With MassDOT’s Promised Safety Upgrades in Limbo, More Carnage on Somerville’s Mystic Ave.
On Monday evening, another hit-and-run driver seriously injured a pedestrian on Mystic Avenue in front of Somerville’s largest public housing neighborhood, in the same crosswalk where another driver killed Kevin Dumont in 2019.
The crash happened after 7 p.m. Monday evening. The victim, who some bystanders described as an adult in their 30s or 40s, was evacuated to a hospital with serious injuries. Additional details about the victim’s identity or condition were still unavailable as of Tuesday morning.
State Police are still searching for the driver responsible for the crash, who fled the scene. Police say that they are looking for an orange Subaru Crosstrek with damage on its front end.
#MAtraffic Troopers on scene at hit & run vehicle vs pedestrian crash Mystic Ave near Shore Dr in #Somerville. Pedestrian transported to hospital with serious injuries. Vehicle has not been located at this time. Lane closures in place at the scene as investigation continues.
— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) December 7, 2021
Mystic Avenue and the nearby McGrath Highway have been the subject of intense scrutiny and activism from Somerville officials and safety advocates in the past year.
State highway officials came under fire earlier this year for fast-tracking a $37 million highway project for I-93, while the timeline for a planned $6 million safety project for the sidewalks and crosswalks on adjacent surface roadways, including Mystic Avenue, remained uncertain.
Somerville residents and elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, rallied next to the McGrath Highway in May to memorialize the numerous victims of driver violence in the area and demand more immediate safety improvements.
MassDOT subsequently promised to prioritize sidewalk and crosswalk upgrades this year, before their highway repair project begins in earnest.
This summer, the agency installed a new crosswalk across McGrath Highway at Blakeley Avenue, where another hit-and-run driver had killed Marshall Mac, a 72-year-old Vietnam War veteran and grandfather, in April.
But other promised safety improvements, including traffic-calming raised crosswalks and ADA-accessible sidewalks on Mystic Avenue, still haven’t been implemented.
Seeing another yet another crash “makes me feel horrible,” Mystic Avenue resident Emily Vides told StreetsblogMASS on Tuesday morning.
“It’s like the people who live on Mystic Ave. are second-class citizens,” said Vides. “We had to bring in Rep. Ayanna Pressley just to get a crosswalk. We have to publicly shame MassDOT for months and months, and all we get are empty promises.”