BOSTON (CBS) – “What do we want? Safe streets.” Those were the words that rang through South Boston on Thursday night. Wearing shirts the color of caution signs, about 75 people snaked through the crosswalks in South Boston slowing down traffic.
“It shouldn’t have taken something so tragic to bring the community and have our city officials wake up,” said organizer Nora Wasserman.
Wasserman says pedestrian safety has long been a problem in Southie. Two weeks ago, an accident that sent a van into a sidewalk killing toddler Colin McGrath pushed the community to take action.
“It’s such a shortcut to get into town from the expressway. It’s a neighborhood and we have to remember that,” said resident Katie Donovan.
Donovan sits in a wheelchair recovering from a couple surgeries. She and her son were hit in a crosswalk walking home from a baseball game. “It was very scary,” said her son.
Police Commissioner William Gross says about 40-percent of citations in Southie are written to Southie residents.
“It should be a wake-up call to everyone,” said Commissioner Gross.
He walked with demonstrators to a packed transportation meeting where city leaders say they have started working on improvements.
Many like Deirdre Habershaw said more needs to happen now. Her father was hit and killed five years ago. “Since he was killed crossing the street, you have achieved practically nothing,” Habershaw said to officials.
Over the past week or so, the city has installed white flex posts near several intersections. They said it’s just the beginning and everything is on the table including ideas like speed humps and 20 mile per mile speed limits.