I just saw on the news that a 3 year old was struck by an ambulance on Nassau street. The news anchor said this was downtown but Nassau Street is the street in back of the Metropolitan where BCNC is housed. BCNC has a preschool that Noah used to go to, and which I also attended before the Metropolitan was there. Basically this is where the Hospital is and where the Ambulances park. But other than the ambulances it is a low traffic area... so basically my kids used to run across that cross walk on the way to school quite often. In fact running to school Noah would often feel like, "I got it from here Baba" and run ahead while I cursed him and screamed at him drawing dirty looks from older non Chinese women.
I would often have to pick them up just to make it across that crosswalk and there was sometimes an ambulance slowly pulling in.. They would see us and stop and wait.
When there are any type of sirens (as there was today when we were in Chinatown.. police actually) we wait WAY back from the curb even if the sirens are from far away. Basically I am paranoid and terrified of something like that happening to my kids to the point where other adults will look at me like I'm crazy for having my kids have to walk right next to me and me giving them such a hard time about it. At one point, Jonah went through a stage where he would pretend to dart out into the street to prove a point, some sort of rebellion. In JP a few times he actually did go all the way out into the street by the Curley. Luckily, that street is very quiet.
But usually Nassau street is also quiet.
The reason why I am paranoid about it is because look, it just happened today and it could happen to anyone. Now I don't know about statistics of number of people hit by car in Chinatown versus other communities, but it doesn't seem like there are a high number of deaths by pedestrians getting hit by car in Chinatown. It is often children and the elderly. One problem is there are a lot of streets that are highways that suddenly become residential streets. So the cars go really fast like they are still on the highway.
In fact I was hit once myself crossing the street in front of the Josiah Quincy Middle School.
(I was an adult)
In terms of Nassau street, it almost looks like a cul de sac type of street where there aren't going to be a lot of cars. You might relax while unloading, there are also likely to be parking spaces here for dim sum. You don't expect that your three year old will go into the street and you don't expect an ambulance to be going so fast that they will run your child over.
It happens and in Chinatown it really seems to happen often.
It seems to happen often in JP as well. A lot of it has to do with how the streets are laid out.
I really feel for the family because I have gone through that fear so often. In fact it is something I will have to be hyper vigilant from now on. My kids are older but we definitely have to talk about the streets around the hospital. In fact I point to this incident as proof to them that they have to walk with me when we are near the street, especially the narrow crowded streets in Chinatown.
I will also be watching two nieces this summer, and I do plan to go into Chinatown twice a week. We will have a rope with various things to hold on to... but this incident does make me nervous, especially since the girls might not be as used to these Boston streets. Maybe they have to go in a stroller.
I may also avoid that Nassau street altogether, and get out of the station on the other side.
It actually makes more sense to get use the other entrance for me anyway because I will be coming into Chinatown to teach classes at Little Panda and Josiah Quincy's BCYF. Plus there are more playgrounds to hop around on that side of Chinatown.
Those areas have dangerous streets as well, but I feel like Nassau street is deceivingly quiet and children often feel like that street isn't a real street or something. I've seen my kids do it.