By William Tauro
Recently another person fell victim and died this past week to that stretch of roadway in Somerville on Mystic Avenue considered and known as “Somerville’s Death Trap.”
I recall that the Somerville Police Department, back in the day, used to run radar at Memorial Road and Mystic Avenue every morning starting between 4:30am and 5:00am.
As I also recall the officer that did this radar detail grew up as a kid in the area and knew what a dangerous section of road this was between Shore Drive and the Route 93 on-ramp that’s located by Stop & Shop.
As I recall this police officer was there religiously believing that he was truly making a difference, and he was. After he was writing loads of speeding tickets, the actual speed of vehicles appeared to be coming down as vehicles entered Somerville.
I’m sure that during these traffic stops this officer ran into some angry drivers, but low and behold because of these stops someone finally convinced the state to do a speed study on Mystic Avenue.
As the City of Somerville rolled out its 25mph plan the state raised the speed limit from Medford to Shore Drive from 30 to 35 mph. From shore drive to the Route 93 on-ramp by Stop and Shop it was 25 mph.
So, what that created was people going faster into Somerville and slowly paying very little attention to the drop in the speed limit at Shore drive.
Over time as I recall this Somerville Police officer was in a pretty severe motorcycle/motor vehicle accident himself where he sustained serious injuries and health problems which caused him to take a desk job after returning back to work.
Since then the roadway (Mystic Ave) has had nearly none if any at all speed enforcement keeping pedestrians safe.
You seldom any Massachusetts State Police cruisers there, hell, you can’t even get them to enforce the blocking of traffic on Mcgrath Highway at Broadway and Pearl Streets in the morning. It could be a manpower issue, I simply just don’t know.
Mystic Avenue speeding continues, on both sides, heading into Medford or towards Boston. What i find troubling is that we have hundreds, possibly thousands of children and families that cross over towards Ten Hills going toward the Assembly Square area.
These people are low income, for the most part, and I sometimes wonder if anyone cares? There have been three fatalities or near fatalities in a short span along with many less lethal accidents on that roadway. What is it going to take for the City and State to take notice? Yes, its a State roadway but its our citizens who are in danger.
I know this is a little more than you probably want to hear, but I’m a greatly concerned about it. If you ask around, people will tell you that this Somerville Police officer who was positioning himself there back in the day was a fixture on Mystic Avenue for many years.
Hopefully our elected officials and our trusted public safety officials will take all these factors into consideration and do something about it to correct the problem before we lose anybody else on the roadway.
The facts are all here and hopefully it will get Mystic Avenue some proper attention and slow people down. The idea is to make people believe its heavily enforced so they slow down whether police officers are there or not.