Bennington & Saratoga, East Boston

On April 16th, 2016, Mr. Kim, owner of a local restaurant, was hit and killed while attempting to cross Bennington. Witnesses told police that Mr. Kim was crossing the street in a crosswalk against the signal. The Vision Zero Task Force visited the crash location on April 20th to make recommendations for any short and long term changes to the area that could improve safety.

Date of Crash
4/16/2016, approx. 10:15PM 

Date of Site Visit 

Bennington and Saratoga, East Boston

News coverage 
UniversalHub - "Pedestrian dead in Orient Heights"
Boston Globe - "Man killed by car in East Boston ran restaurant, merchants say"

Present at Site Visit
Chief of Streets
BTD Commissioner
Boston Transportation Department - Planning 
Boston Transportation Department - Engineering
Boston Police Department 
Boston Public Health Commission 

Photos from Site Visit

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Short term:

  • There is a very long wait for pedestrians at this signal: close to 2 minutes. Adjust signal timing for shorter cycle. Add a concurrent phase for crossing Bennington St; it should be possible due to protection from right turning vehicles since they use the slip lane. 
  • Create bump out with paint and flex posts at corner of Bennington Street in front of Orient Heights restaurant to tighten the turning radius onto Saratoga (creating more of a right angle) in order to slow turning vehicles. 

Longer term:

  • Further away from the intersection on Bennington, look into creating a mid block crossing near the Orient Heights MBTA station. This would be similar to the crossing on the opposite side of the station on Saratoga and follow the desire line of people exiting the station.
  • Approach MBTA about re-establishing an entrance from sidewalk straight into entrance of station. There is currently a crosswalk across the bus lane (as can be seen in Google Maps).

Improvements Completed 
As of additional observation on 6/9, concurrent signal phase had been added, giving people extended time to cross over Bennington. Striping had been added to extend the curb at corner in front of Orient Heights restaurant, but no flex posts have been added. Vehicles continue to turn through the painted area, which defeats the purpose: to create a slower and predictable right turn movement.

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Please send us photos/comments when you see changes so this page remains accurate.