Driver Strikes Disembarking Passenger at Hazardous Middle-of-the-Street Green Line Stop

Two Green Line trains and an MBTA bus meet at the Mission Park stop of the E Branch on Huntington Avenue in Boston.
Two Green Line trains meet at the Mission Park stop of the E Branch on Huntington Ave. in Boston. This segment of the Green Line is one of the last remaining areas where trains must share a lane with car and truck traffic, and stations lack dedicated platforms where riders can board and disembark. Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Pi.1415926535, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

A driver who was allegedly passing a stopped Green Line train at the Riverway stop inflicted non-life-threatening injuries to a disembarking rider on Sunday evening, according to the Boston Police Department.

Around 7 pm Sunday evening, a driver who was allegedly attempting to pass a Green Line train that had stopped in the middle lane of South Huntington Avenue struck and injured a passenger as they were crossing the outer lane to get to the sidewalk.

The crash disrupted Green Line service between Heath Street and Brigham Circle, and sent the victim to the nearby Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, according to police.

The Green Line’s E branch is the only part of the MBTA’s rapid transit system where trains share a lane of traffic with motor vehicles.

Trains run in the middle lanes of Huntington and South Huntington Avenue, which forces passengers to board and disembark in the middle of a busy street (see photo above).

Under Massachusetts state law, drivers in adjacent travel lanes are required to stop when passengers are disembarking from a Green Line train. A police spokesperson told StreetsblogMASS that the driver responsible for Sunday’s crash has been charged for failing to yield.

The T and the City of Boston are in the early stages of investigating safer designs for those streets that could mitigate their safety issues while also providing dedicated lanes for the Green Line and the bus routes that also rely on that corridor, but any actual improvements to those streets are likely several years away.

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