7 Investigates: After collisions and complaints, changes coming to Boston road

BOSTON (WHDH) - Rudolphe Gilot is haunted by the memory of a man dying in front of him.

“Anytime I go out, I have to see him right in front of me,” says Rudolphe.

Rudolphe was outside his Hyde Park home when he heard tires squealing. He says he watched a man on a motorcycle crash into his neighbor’s wall.

“He hit the first wall, the helmet had broken and come off. The motorcycle flew all the way down here,” says Rudolphe.

He rushed over to help. But the man didn’t survive.

“Unbelievable. I was shook, I was traumatized,” says Rudolphe.

Rudolphe says it was one of many dangerous crashes on a small stretch of Wood Avenue.

Kelly Smith is a nurse and says she has run from her home at least a dozen times to help people involved in accidents.

“Now I’m getting really choked up and emotional because it is, it’s a big problem. And somebody needs to fix it,” says Kelly.

Kelly says she and her neighbors have been asking the city to do something for years.

“That’s why I’m talking to you now, because it’s literally starting to physically and mentally affect the families in this neighborhood,” says Kelly.

How many accidents are we talking about?

In the last 3 years, there have been 32 crashes reported on a narrow 1,000 feet section of Wood Avenue.

According to the State Department of Transportation, in fifteen of those accidents, someone was killed or hurt.

Commissioner Gregory Rooney of the Boston Transportation Department says the main problem is people driving too fast around curves on the Avenue.

“If you’re entering that curve and you’re going at a higher rate of speed, you’re more likely to encounter a crash or another problem,” says Rooney.

The city did a one day study after the fatal crash in August. They said 47.2% of vehicles went above the speed limit at the curve.

Rooney says the city is now working to make the street safer.

“It’s a priority for us, it’s a focus for us and something we take very seriously,” says Rooney.

The city wants to lower the speed limit and Rooney has some other ideas as well.

“We’re going to implement some parking restrictions to increase visibility prior to entering the turn. Install some pavement markings, double yellow lines,” says Rooney. “We want to give people a little more advanced notice, we want them to be able to understand that it is a narrow roadway and lower speeds are preferable.”

Rudolphe hopes these changes will save lives.

Rooney says new signs with the lower speed limit will go up in the next few weeks, but work on the street markings will most likely not begin until Spring 2021.

The city says that speed humps, or changing the street to a one way is not off the table, but is a part of a larger discussion, and would not happen in the next year.

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