Dangerous Corners Draw Concern

Cambridge to Boost Safety Measures at Accident-Prone Intersections

Cambridge's "ten most dangerous" list doesn't include any criminals.

The list, which the police department compiles every month, names dangerous intersections in the city.

Cited because of their high accident rates, the most dangerous intersections include the corner of Concord and Garden St., ranked third on the list. The Harvard-area intersection is located between the Yard and the Radcliffe Quadrangle, near the Harvard Police Department(See graphic).

The list of intersections is based on statistics of reported accident investigations each month, said Gloria Pimentel, public information officer for the Cambridge Police Department.

The list is getting more attention lately because some of the Cambridge locations have been included in the Commonwealth's list of most dangerous intersections.


According to Pimentel, the city has increased funding allotments for stop signs, traffic lights and police to restore pedestrian and vehicular safety. "Certain areas become increasingly targeted," Pimentel said.

And police have responded to the identification of the intersections with traffic measures such as increased patrol officers and radars.

Topping the list of dangerous intersections was Columbia and New Hampshire St. in East Cambridge. The other dangerous intersections were all along Mass. Ave, the city's main artery. Those intersections included Vassar Street and Pleasant Street in Central Square and 1600 Mass. Ave.

There have also been problems at the stop sign locations of Columbia and Bishop Allen and Franklin and Pleasant.

Cambridge City Councillor Francis H. Duehay '55 acknowledged problems with intersections in the city. He said the accidents are often a result of people parking too closely to busy corners and thus preventing cars entering the intersections from viewing oncoming traffic.

"Cars park in loading zones, forcing trucks to move in the street and making traffic more congested. That's certainly a problem in Harvard Square and elsewhere," Duehay said.

According to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, there were 4054 accidents involving motor vehicles in Cambridge in 1990. Of these accidents, for were fatal, 1199 involved injuries and 2051 involved property damage.

Pedestrians were involved in 163 of the accidents, motor vehicles in traffic in 2714 and parked motor vehicles in 649.