Selectmen To Attend Traffic Advisory Committee’s Thursday Meeting On Crosswalk Concerns

Photo: The scene of the accident at Lexington and Sycamore streets.

The Belmont Board of Selectmen will join the town’s Traffic Advisory Committee at its scheduled meeting Thursday, Sept. 13 at the Town Hall auditorium as the committee takes up pedestrian safety after the death of a resident killed walking in a crosswalk.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and run for approximately 90 minutes.

Sachi Thanawala, 39, was struck by a 2015 Ford Transit commercial van around 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 30 while walking at the raised intersection of Lexington and Sycamore streets. The mother of two died two days later.

The meeting will be the first, but not likely the final chance the public will have a chance to question town officials and make statements. Town Administrator Patrice Garvin said that it is quite likely that there will be future hearings on traffic issues involving pedestrian safety.

Since the accident, residents have contacted elected and town officials, police and have posted online their concerns that the intersection where the accident occurred  and Lexington Street are unsafe as vehicles are prone to race above the 25-mph speed limit. Residents near the accident site has expressed increasing that traffic calming street measures need to be employed to make area safe for walkers and school children who use the intersection to head to and from the Samuel Butler Elementary School which is a few blocks down Sycamore.

Citizens have also used social media to express their opinions.

“This intersection is an absolute nightmare, and has only gotten worse since the town added a raised speed table/bump,” commented Frank Maldarelli in the Belmontonian. “My recommendation would be to add a four-way stop sign. Perhaps this will prevent life from needlessly being lost in the future.”

“I have watched in horror as children ran, frightened and confused, across streets where cars would not slow down at all,” wrote Sara. “Belmont is used as a cut through–pick up trucks, vans, fast cars. Enough!!! Do something!! Let’s demand more of our town government.”

Thursday’s meeting will begin with statements by the selectmen, the Belmont Police and the advisory committee. Glenn Clancy, the director of the Office of Community Development and Town Engineer, will then present an overview of pedestrian and traffic projects. After the officials speak, residents will be given an opportunity to express their opinion.

Resident Dies Of Injuries After Pedestrian/Vehicle Accident

Photo: Sachi Thanawala (Belmont Manor website)

A 39-year-old Sycamore Street resident who was struck by a van and injured Tuesday walking in a crosswalk a few feet from her house died Thursday, August 30, according to official reports released on Friday.

Sachi Thanawala, 39, died at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he was taken after being hit by a 2015 Ford Transit commercial van at the intersection of Lexington and Sycamore street at approximately 8:25 a.m.

The mother of two, Thanawala was the Director of Rehabilitation at Belmont Manor since March of 2016. She was an occupational therapist with 12 years of clinical and management experience in Geriatric care, according to Belmont Manor, a nursing and rehabilitation home located on Agassiz Avenue, a few blocks from the accident scene.

The driver of the van has not been charged with any traffic violation or crime in connection with the incident. An investigation by Belmont and State Police is ongoing. Belmont Police said there was no sign of driver impairment at the time of the accident.

Breaking: Woman ‘Seriously Injured’ Hit In Crosswalk At Sycamore and Lexington

Photo: Police at the scene of a pedestrian/vehicle accident in Belmont, Tuesday, Aug. 28.

An unidentified middle-aged woman was critically injured after being struck by a light commercial van while in the crosswalk at the intersection of Sycamore and Lexington streets Tuesday morning, Aug. 28.

The accident took place at approximately 8:30 a.m. when a late-model white Ford Transit operated by a man struck the woman mid-way into the crossing located in the Waverley neighborhood. Belmont Fire and Police responded quickly to the scene.

Police closed off Sycamore and Lexington for several hours after the accident. A pair of brown shoes, a metallic water bottle, a scarf along with what looked like food was still at the scene by late morning.  

It is not known if the woman is a Belmont resident. 

Some eyewitnesses reported that a small child was with the woman but that could not be confirmed by authorities. 

“All we know now is that she is in critical condition,” said Belmont Police Sgt. Ben Mailhot, adding she was taken to a “local” hospital. 

Mailhot added that there was no sign of driver impairment. He could not say why the accident occurred on a sunny, clear day during the end of the morning commute. 

“There is an on-scene investigation with [Belmont] and State Police at this time. 

Nearby residents contend the street is not as safe as it could be, even after the intersection was raised to slow vehicles along Lexington. 

Along Lexington Street: Some Paving, Restricting Parking and More Stop Signs

Photo: Where all the action will be in the next weeks.

Lexington Street will be undergoing some significant changes beginning next week.

• For two days beginning on Tuesday, July 19, E.H. Perkins Construction will be paving the raised intersection on Lexington Street at the intersection of Sycamore Street.

The intersection will be closed to through traffic during the paving operation, according to a press release from Belmont town officials and Perkins, the town’s general contractor. 

Sycamore Street will remain open only to residents of the street, said the release. Detours with signage around the project work zone will be used, “but drivers and residents should expect delays and plan accordingly.”

Those with questions can go to the Pavement Management Program webpage or contact the Office of Community Development for additional information.


• On Monday, July 11, the Belmont Board of Selectmen approved a recommendation from the Traffic Advisory Committee bringing parking restrictions on Chandler Street from the Waltham city line to Lexington Street.

Beginning in the next few weeks, there will be “no parking” 50 feet from Lexington while on the odd-numbered side of Chandler from Lexington to Waltham, there will be a special “no parking” restriction from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. in an attempt to thwarted commuters who park along the street all-day. 

• Lexington Street will soon have two new four-way stop intersections, at Beech and Burnham streets, to slow through traffic along the byway.