Crossing the four lanes of Bennington Street in front of Wood Island MBTA station was always a risky venture. While there was always a cross walk the lack of a pedestrian traffic light meant many times motorists would not adhere to traffic laws and not stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Last week that all changed.
After years of residents asking for a light at the crosswalk the City of Boston s Transportation Department installed a new pedestrian activated traffic signal at Wood Island station. The new equipment is expected to better ensure pedestrian safety on this busy stretch of Bennington Street.
East Boston residents have for many years taken full advantage of the MBTA Blue Line that provides public transportation service in the neighborhood, said Mayor Martin Walsh. I want to make sure that when residents are walking to and from the five T stations located in East Boston, they are able to make their way safely across our local streets. This new pedestrian activated traffic signal will go a long way toward this goal for neighborhood residents from the Wood Island Station area.
The new traffic signals are pedestrian activated, meaning that the red light to stop vehicular traffic will only come on when the pedestrian pushbutton on the base of the signal pole is pressed. At all other times, the signals will remain green. In addition to the new traffic signals, Stop Signs have been installed for vehicles exiting both Wood Island Station and the commuter parking lot located on the opposite side of Bennington Street, under the Route 1 overpass.
We have appreciated this opportunity to work with the East Boston community on this pedestrian safety project, said Acting Boston Transportation Department Commissioner James Gillooly. In an effort to keep our streets free of traffic congestion, BTD consistently encourages people to leave their cars at home and take the MBTA. It is rewarding to have this opportunity to install this equipment designed specifically to assist those residents who are, in fact, commuting each day via the T.
Gillooly said Eastie drivers are advised to drive carefully in the vicinity of all MBTA stations in the neighborhood and watch for pedestrians in the roadway at all times.