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Clog an Intersection? You Could Be Fined $150

The city has targeted 18 intersections for special enforcement, two of which are in the South End.

Everyone knows how annoying it is to miss a green light because someone heading in another direction has blocked an intersection. 

Now, because of a new campaign similar to the "Don't Block the Box" initiative in New York City, drivers who block an interection could be issued a $150 fine. 

It was already illegal under state law to drive into an intersection when you can't get all the way across. But starting Thursday, Boston will be handing out tickets to motorists who clog intersections — even if they edged in while the light was green.

The city is targeting 18 intersections so far with signage and pavement markings. Most of them are in the Longwood Medical Area. They are listed below and shown on the map accompanying this post:

  1. Brookline Avenue and Francis Street
  2. Brookline Avenue and Deaconess Road/Jimmy Fund Way
  3. Brookline Avenue and Longwood Avenue
  4. Longwood Avenue and Binney Street
  5. Longwood Avenue and Blackfan Street
  6. Evans Way and Fenway/Louis Prang Street
  7. Huntington Avenue and Longwood Avenue
  8. Huntington Avenue and St. Albans Road/Mission Street
  9. Huntington Avenue and Fenwood Road
  10. Brigham Circle
  11. Huntington Avenue and Ruggles Street/Louis Prang Street
  12. Atlantic Avenue and Congress Street
  13. Atlantic Avenue and Seaport Boulevard
  14. Congress Street and Purchase Street
  15. Massachusetts Avenue and Albany Street
  16. Massachusetts Avenue and St. Botolph Street
  17. Boardman Street and Leyden Street
  18. Meridian Street and Monmouth Street

Here is some of the text of the state law against blocking the box:

The driver of a motor vehicle shall not cross or enter an intersection, which it is unable to proceed through, without stopping and thereby blocking vehicles from travelling in a free direction.  A green light is no defense to blocking the intersection. The driver must wait another cycle of the signal light, if necessary.

The crackdown is being done in partnership with MASCO, a non-profit that works for the interests of the Longwood Medical Area.

The city said it will add more intersections as needed. What other intersections in the South End should be considered? 

Northguy August 30, 2012 at 02:46 PM
They really need to do this at Herald and Albany Streets in the South End. Automobile traffic constantly blocks traffic on Washington St during back ups. Also, I hope this means that they will start enforcing stop line violations too. Cars that stop beyond the stop line and block the crosswalk create a real safety hazard for pedestrians (esp at W. Newton and Washington -which is a "No Turn on Red", so there is no reason to proceed beyond the stop line during a red), but it never seems to be enforced.
JMc August 30, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Only 30 years after NYC did the same thing....
Derek Whitaker August 30, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Intersection of Washington St and Herald St has needed this for at least the 9 years I've lived here. Glad they're finally getting around to it.

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