Cyclist Bernard Lavins Killed In Porter Square

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 05


A male cyclist was killed after a crash with an 18-wheeler truck in Porter Square during rush hour this morning, according to police. The incident happened around 8:08 a.m. on Massachusetts Avenue near Christopher’s restaurant, at 1920 Mass. Ave., in the direction of Harvard Square. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Both sides of Mass. Ave. near the crash will be closed for some time as investigators reconstruct the crash, according to Jeremy Warnick, communications director for the Cambridge Police Department.

My heart goes out to his friends and family. It is very sad to see another fatality with a large truck, perhaps its time to think about banning them from the city during certain hours, or making it mandatory that they have more safety equipment, or in any way addressing this problem.

We can’t keep fixing problems AFTER someone dies.  We have to fix them before it happens.

Personally I would love to ban large trucks from the city, either during certain hours, or totally.  This is a problem that is solvable, we just currently value money over human life, so we have not fixed it yet.


More info when I get it.



The cyclists has been identified as 60 year old Bernard Lavins of Lexington.

There are also details emerging about the gruesome nature of the accident.


Richard Fries of the advocacy group MassBike came upon the scene during his commute to downtown Boston.

“Suddenly I saw the aprons where they tried to conceal where the victim was, and then the moment you see that,” he said, speaking later in the day. “So many bike riders go through there.”

Fries estimates three out of 10 commuters in Porter Square are cyclists — and the intersection can be treacherous.

“This truck hit this cyclist square on … the body was 60 feet behind and the bike was wedged under this guy’s truck,” Fries said.

We must take proactive action on improving intersections and policies BEFORE these deaths occur. We can not allow cyclists to die in dangerous intersections before we take action.

Every time we hear about these things we learn that EVERYONE knew how dangerous a specific intersection was, and yet we did nothing until someone was killed.

Cycling is the future of transportation in this city, not single occupancy cars, and large trucks have no place in the city during most of the day (or ever). We must develop our policies and intersections accordingly.



Seems the safety record of the trucking company involved in this crash is pretty bad.


An awful lot of violations for speeding, bad brakes, and driving while looking at your phone.

These things have real life consequences as we have tragically observed. I am really starting to think that large trucks should be banned from the city except during certain hours, and perhaps with an escort.

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2 Responses to “Cyclist Bernard Lavins Killed In Porter Square”

  1. By DKB on Oct 10, 2016 | Reply

    Being near an 18-wheeler is never a good idea. Has anyone learned anything specific about the situation that led to this death? If it’s a “teachable moment,” I’d like to learn something.

  2. By TS on Oct 12, 2016 | Reply

    Most of our streets are poorly designed and do not meet Federal DOT safety standards for lane width.
    Take Blanchard Rd (northbound) at the intersection of Concord Ave. Many bikers use it daily to commute to and from Alewife station.
    It is a very narrow stretch of sloped road through a densely populated neighborhood with many blind driveways. It is also designated as an urban collector road, which should have a minimum lane width of 10 feet( excluding curb and parking space). But at its narrowest part the actual width of each lane is less than 8 feet.

    There are posted signs that prohibit trucks. But large trucks and construction vehicles , many with no destination on the road, routinely use it as shortcut to Rt 2 because there is no enforcement.

    Speeding is also rampant during hours between rush hours. This is because vehicles often speed up the long and straight stretch of road before the intersection to beat the traffic light. The city of Cambridge constructed a chicane several years ago to “calm” the traffic but about half of the vehicles actually speed up again after the bend or simply cross the double yellow lanes to maintain their high speed up the sloped road. I’ve see many close scuffles with cars ,buses, and large trucks.
    Residents have complained over the years about these problems but I think it will take another tragedy before any serious effort to enforce safety if not a redesign to happen.

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