There was another accident at the intersection of Austin Street and Lowell this morning around 9:00. A grey SUV was on Austin Street either going straight or turning right and a maroon van was going straight on Lowell. The van’s front right side hit the SUV’s front left side. Both cars were towed away. No one left in the ambulance.
Three fire trucks arrived first, parking on the bridge over the pike, and afterward the police arrived, parking on Lowell, at the scene. The intersection was never closed for any amount of time and a man walking his dog tried to direct traffic for a while but stopped when the police arrived. Then no one directed traffic so the cars just weaved in and out of the accident, police cars, fire trucks and people to keep going on their way – another accident just waiting to happen.
This intersection is highly frequented by cars, bikes and pedestrians, including residents walking to Newtonville Center and kids walking to and from schools. I’ve had discussions with residents about which cars have the right of way under different scenerios. But who has the right of way is sometimes irrelevant in terms of who does what because at times the traffic is so backed up drivers are just looking for a tiny space to jump into so they just aren’t watching out for every car, bike or pedestrian. The only way to be safe at this intersection is for drivers to practice defensive driving techniques which is primarily a joke in Massachusetts.
There are stop signs on both sides of Austin Street but none on Lowell. It’s a terribly dangerous intersection and will get even more so as the new developments on Austin Street and Washington Street are built. I’m told that a light or stop signs on Lowell aren’t possible because of the intersection’s closeness to the bridge over the pike and the light on Lowell on the other side of the bridge but there has to be an answer that decreases the likelihood of accidents.
Images (added by Sean related to his comment):
Lowell/Austin with tighter corners