Bicycles are becoming increasingly common in Boston as it evolves into a world-class walkable city. Cars and bikes are still learning to share the road, a task more easily said than done in the tight city streets winding up hills and around cobblestone sidewalks. As all Boston drivers know, traffic comes to a standstill during rush hour, with deadlock turning scenic bridges across the Charles into lines of steady red brake lights. Tempers flare and drivers and bicyclists do not always out for one another.
Bike accidents involving motor vehicles have become a serious concern for everyone on the road. Bike ridership has increased steadily in Boston in the past few years, and with that, problems have arisen with the notoriously treacherous Back Bay roads that were made for trolleys and horse-drawn carriages, not cars and bicycles. So many accidents have occurred in recent years that a Boston-area bike crash map has been created by researchers to map out danger spots for riders.
The latest serious accident occurred right in one of the hot spots depicted on the crash map. A bicyclist was riding on Massachusetts Avenue in front of Symphony Hall when she was pulled under the back tire of a Reed’s Ferry Lumber truck turning from Westland Avenue. There was construction going on in the area and cones were set up in the road, requiring bikers and pedestrians to walk around the site in the street. Dale Colby, a laborer working in the area told Boston Magazine, “The truck just turned wide and closed her in. It brought tears to my eyes. Seeing that woman laying there-it squished her right in. I heard her scream and saw her tied up with the tire.”
In a recent blog about the bike crash map, we used the interactive tool to pinpoint several hotspots, including this very area. Like Commonwealth Ave, Massachusetts Ave runs through several densely populated neighborhoods full of college students. The long street stretches though Porter Square, by Leslie University, past Harvard University, MIT in Kendall Square, Berkeley College of Music, and Northeastern University as it makes its way through the city. Drivers-both agitated and careless-fail to look out for bicyclists and the result is often a tragedy.
Read our bike crash map analysis blog here
Witnesses say pedestrians and construction workers immediately jumped in to help keep her calm and conscious until paramedics arrived. Fortunately, the driver stopped and cooperated with authorities. However, both the victim’s boyfriend and a construction worker that witnessed the accident both complained to authorities that there was no police detail at the scene of the incident. Police details are generally required at all construction sites in the city, and it is not clear why there was not one present at this site until after the accident occurred. Colby concurred with other witnesses when he explained to Boston Magazine that “If there was a cop there this would never have happened.” The article went on to point out that it was only after the victim’s boyfriend and several others confronted police about the dangerous set-up that a safety lane from bikes and pedestrians was erected, as well as a policeman stationed to direct traffic.
Per Boston Magazine:
“Orange cones and rope, separating the construction crews from the roadway mark the strip of Mass. Ave. where the crash occurred. There was little space between passing vehicles and pedestrians forced to walk in the street in order to circumvent the ongoing construction.”
The cyclist’s name and exact nature of her injuries was not immediately released, but it was reported that she sustained a very serious leg injury. According to her boyfriend, she quickly underwent surgery and “should be OK.”
Car accidents involving bicycles are becoming increasingly frequent as more and more people take to the streets on their bikes. Recovery from these incidents can be difficult, both physically and financially. Injuries sustained in bike accident can be extremely painful and life-altering. If you or a loved one has been hit by a motor vehicle while riding a bike, Altman & Altman would like to help. Our dedicated attorneys have decades of experience successful handling pedestrian accident cases and are available to help around the clock. You should contact a Boston Injury Lawyer right away to find out whether to proceed with this route.
To read the full Boston Magazine article, click here