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Woman struck by motor vehicle highlights urgent solution to speeding at Hall’s Corner

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Malden St. victim undergoes multiple surgeries since being struck by vehicle


By Barbara Taormina


REVERE – Ward 6 Councillor Richard Serino said this week that he has requested Acting Mayor Patrick Keefe to direct the chief of police to have the Traffic Enforcement Division direct speed enforcement along Malden Street in the vicinity of Hall’s Corner in the wake of a tragic accident which left a 46-year-old Malden Street resident hospitalized in serious condition after being struck by a Hyundai Sonata while crossing the street in front of her apartment. Serino also asked that the Traffic Commission look into the feasibility of a raised crosswalk or a three-way stop sign to slow down traffic.

The request comes in the wake of this horrific accident involving Gina Pennachio, who recently moved to an apartment above Vinny’s Market. Pennachio was crossing Malden Street in the crosswalk to get to her car. She was struck by an oncoming vehicle and left with broken bones throughout one side of her body, including her face, neck and skull. Her mother, Roberta Cordero, said that as of Tuesday she was still in the Intensive Care Unit at Mass General Hospital, where she has undergone multiple surgeries.

Cordero, who lives in Peabody, said residents in the neighborhood have repeatedly asked for something to slow down traffic, such as a raised crosswalk.

“Speed is an issue all around the city,” said Serino, who represents the neighborhood. “I think we need to start with enforcement or maybe a three-way stop sign. We have a real issue.”

Chris Giannino, a retired Revere Police Sergeant and former member of the Traffic Commission, who is running for the Ward 6 City Council seat which Serino will leave open at the end of his term, said he proposed something a few years ago but it was shot down because the community development department was conducting a study. He said the speed limit was lowered from 30 MPH to 20. “Once I’m in, it will be different,” said Giannino. “I’ve been around this neighborhood since I was a kid.”

But John Donnarumma, who lives a short distance down on Malden Street, questions why it has taken so long. Donnarumma said his parked car has been hit multiple times and three of his tenants have had their cars hit and totally destroyed. Speeding cars have also hit fences and hydrants. “Those are the kinds of accidents we see a few blocks down from Vinny’s,” he said.

Donnarumma, a former safety compliance professional, has launched an online petition asking the city to address the issue. “This problem is of particular concern given the proximity of local schools, putting our children and community members at risk daily. Accidents are occurring at all hours and days of the week, demonstrating that this is a persistent, not occasional, issue.

“The design of the road, slight curves, and speed/inattention of vehicle operators contribute to this ongoing problem. Speed warning signs are already in place at both ends of the high incident zone, which we believe indicates the city’s awareness of the issue. However, we suggest that controlling speed through reliance on human behavior is insufficient,” reads the petition.

Donnarumma believes enforcement is not the answer and that engineering controls are the most effective way to slow down the street. He favors speed bumps, which he said work 24 hours a day. Speed bumps have been proposed but Donnarumma said there was push back because of the damage they would cause to police and fire vehicles.

Donnarumma said speed has been a factor in all the many accidents at Hall’s Corner. “We all have a story and now we have Gina,” he said, adding that the neighborhood needs to unite to have something done.

Although the city is paying some attention to the problem, it’s clearly frustrating for residents who have seen so many accidents occur without any changes.

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