The Latest From BostonBiker.org
News, Events, Updates
Johnathan Fertig is amazing! He was sick of seeing the slow progress of adding divider pylons on Mass. Ave. so he went and did it himself!
Inspired by a book about “tactical urbanism” and what he called the city’s slow response to making certain roadway improvements, cyclist Jonathan Fertig took matters into his own hands and constructed a separated bike lane along one of Boston’s most dangerous thoroughfares using house plants and orange traffic cones.
Now he’s raising money online to create more “flower lanes” just like it to keep cyclists and pedestrians safe on the same corridor.
On Sunday, Fertig, who commutes daily from his home in Dorchester to Cambridge, placed six potted plants and cones on a portion of Massachusetts Avenue near the Beacon Street intersection, the site of a fatal crash in August that claimed the life of endocrine surgeon Anita Kurmann.
“I went to Home Depot, bought the mums that were on sale for $6, and then just put them down and walked away,” Fertig said.(via)
The article also shares a tweet from our own Greg Hum.
— Greg Hum (@thehum) September 8, 2015
These sort of improvements are not rocket surgery, there are many well tested and well implemented examples of good bicycle infrastructure from both American Cities and the rest of the world all we have to do is copy and implement!
Tags: Mass Ave Bridge, Plant Lanes
Posted in advocacy, Commuting, infrastructure, news | No Comments »
As I noted before, the intersection is definitely under construction.
A protected bike lane, signs calling for turning motorists to yield to pedestrians and cyclists, and optimized traffic signals are some of the improvements coming to the Boston intersection where a bicyclist was killed this month.
The intersection at Massachusetts Avenue and Beacon Street has been repaved, new striping will be applied, and flexible posts protecting the bike lane on Massachusetts Avenue will be installed starting this week, said Vineet Gupta, director of planning for the city’s Transportation Department.
“Our goal is to make it safe for everyone at that intersection,” Gupta said.(via)
I would have liked to see more improvements, but this is a start. Keeping Mass. Ave. to two lanes as it exits the bridge heading into Boston and making the right most lane a protected cycle track with a large curb bump to slow right turning vehicles (the curb bump out could have a cut through for cyclists) would have been more optimal in my opinion. The curb bump out would also make it easier for pedestrians to cross.
Even though they have known it was the most dangerous intersection in the town since at least 2013(pdf), it apparently took a fatal crash to get them to fix it up. While I am very glad they are addressing this concern, will it take a dead cyclist at every dangerous intersection to get these well known problems fixed? The truck drivers name/company still has not been released, and they have still not filed any charges.
It looks to me like he was clearly making a right hand turn from the left most lane. And if the city has these images, they probably have many more. This person needs to be charged with something.
A ban on crazy huge vehicles without escorts should also be put in place.
Tags: danger, mass ave., too little too late
Posted in news | 5 Comments »
The Mass. Ave. intersection at the base of the Mass. Ave. Bridge has been repaved, and all the street markings are gone. This, as you may recall, is the scene of the recent hit and run that killed Anita Kurmann. The driver of that truck has of yet not been charged with anything.
Two thoughts immediately came to mind. Is this going to affect any investigation into her death? And two, is this in direct response to the crash?
As of now there are no lane markings, making what was already a very dangerous intersection, more so. Be careful out there.
Tags: anita kurmann, Mass Ave Bridge, mass ave., repairs
Posted in Commuting, infrastructure, news | 2 Comments »
A ghost bike will be placed where Anita Kurmann was killed by a driver in a truck last week. The memorial will be Thursday Aug 20th at 6:30pm at the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Beacon st.
Tags: anita kurmann, cyclist killed, ghost bike
Posted in advocacy, news | No Comments »
If you take the 4 millionth trip you could win a prize! From Hubway:
Hubway’s launched with 60 stations and 600 bikes throughout Boston, and the first trip was taken on July 28th, 2011. In the last four years we’ve seen expansion to Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville, along with an additional 79 stations (139 total) and 700 bikes (1,300 total), with further additions expected later this year along with Hubway’s 4 millionth trip. Check out the fun data graphic — we hope you’ll celebrate with us by taking a ride — and see below for plenty of suggestions for places to pedal. If you#TakeHubway‘s 4 millionth trip, you could win a $250 gift card from New Balance!
Tags: 4 million rides, 4th year, hubway
Posted in Commuting, infrastructure, news | No Comments »
My deepest sympathies go out to her friends and family. I can only hope that real change comes from this tragedy.
At about 7:05 AM on Friday, August 7, 2015, officers assigned to District D-4 (South End) responded to a call for a bicyclist struck in the area of Beacon Street and Massachusetts Avenue. On arrival, officers located a female victim, who has since been identified as Anita Kurmann, 38, of Cambridge, suffering from life threatening injuries. The victim later succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased.
Investigators have located the flat-bed tractor trailer truck and the operator involved in this accident. The Boston Police Department continues to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at (617) 343-4470.
Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1(800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of those who wish to help this investigation anonymously.
More information has been released about Anita. Such a lovely person, she will be missed I am sure. Again my deepest sympathies go out to her friends and family.(via)
Anita Kurmann came to Boston from Switzerland nearly three years ago as an endocrine surgeon who wanted to put her medical training to use in a research lab.
She did that and much more, her supervisors said, forging a relationship between laboratories at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston University as they collaborated on transforming embryonic stem cells into functional thyroid tissue.
But just as she was preparing to return to Switzerland to set up her own research lab later this year, Kurmann, 38, was killed while riding her bicycle Friday morning at a busy Back Bay intersection. Her death stunned colleagues at both labs.
“She was the kind of the person you want to be your surgeon,” Dr. Tony Hollenberg said Saturday night. Hollenberg supervised Kurmann at Beth Israel.
“She was kind. She was compassionate,” he said. “She had it all. It’s a huge loss.”
Kurmann was killed after she was struck around 7:05 a.m. Friday at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Beacon Street, police said. A long flatbed tractor-trailer truck was making a right turn from Massachusetts Avenue onto Beacon Street when the fatal collision occurred.
Kurmann recently moved to Cambridge and biked often, Hollenberg said. Her fellow researchers spent Friday trying to get answers and get in touch with Kurmann’s relatives in Switzerland, Hollenberg said.
“She was European and that was the mode of transportation,” he said. “She was a great athlete.”
Dr. Darrell Kotton, who worked with Kurmann at BU’s Center for Regenerative Medicine, said he had hoped she would have a long career.
“She brought out the best in me and my team,” Kotton said. “It’s just a devastating loss.”
Hollenberg credited Kurmann with uniting the two labs.
“Because of her perseverance, her personality, her ability to get along . . . she built the bridges between our two labs,” he said.
The project she was working on related to turning embryonic stem cells into thyroid tissue was almost complete, and Kurmann was preparing the research for publication in a journal, Hollenberg said. The research was aimed at helping people who are born without a thyroid or have their thyroid surgically removed, according to Hollenberg.
“Nothing scared her, and that’s what allowed her to be successful in this project. She didn’t know how hard it was. She just thought that all science projects were like this,” he said. “It’s an incredible loss. She was loved by everybody who ever worked with her.”
Hollenberg sent a message to colleagues saying that Kurmann came to Beth Israel to broaden her knowledge of science and she contributed to the hospital in many ways — but that she will be missed for so much more.
”Above and beyond her many professional achievements, Anita was – most importantly – brilliant in life,” he wrote. “She was dynamic and kind-hearted and the consummate friend, professional and achiever. We will miss her deeply.”
Boston Police spokesman Stephen McNulty called the investigation “active and ongoing.”
The truck and the operator have been located, McNulty said. He could not say whether investigators have spoken with the operator, and police have not named the operator.
A man at nearby Quality Market on Saturday said he was there when it happened. A witness ran into the store, he said, and yelled, “Call 911!”
“I ran outside and I [saw] her,” said the man, who only gave his name as Chafik. “When I got there, she was dead. That was it.”
The growing makeshift memorial honoring Kurmann at the site includes flowers, a Boston Bike Party sticker with a black line through it, and a copy of James Joyce’s short story “The Dead.”
Jami King, 26, of Mission Hill, biked to crash site Saturday evening and placed a mixed bouquet of flowers at the memorial.
Wiping away tears, King said she did not know Kurmann, but used to ride by that spot regularly on her way to school.
“This could have been me,” she said.
Richard Inonog, 36, and his wife, Colleen O’Malley, 34, of the South End, visited the site Saturday on their bicycles to pay tribute to Kurmann, though they did not know her.
“We’re always worried because the same thing could happen to us at any time,” O’Malley said as tears fell.
“There’s a lot of aggression toward cyclists,” she said. “You’re not as valued.”
Inonog said the city must implement safeguards, like well-marked bike lanes, to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
“It’s really stressful,” he said. “You’re always thinking about being safe.”
A letter to Kurmann had been left earlier in a box.
The writer, who signed the note “Gretta,” said people had comforted Kurmann after she was hit.
“Know your daughter left this world with love [and] concern by her side,” Gretta wrote. “For a short time that I was here, she was strong.”
Tags: anita hurmann, cyclist killed
Posted in news | 2 Comments »
Check in with your friends. Does anyone know who this is. This is horrible, and marks yet another instance of large trucks having fatal interactions with cyclists.
A woman riding a bike was struck and killed by a truck in an apparent hit-and-run in the Back Bay Friday morning.
The cyclist was hit by the rear wheel of a flatbed truck as it turned off Massachusetts Avenue onto Beacon Street around 7 a.m.
The woman was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital where she died a short time later, according to police.
Her name has not been released, but investigators said she was in her 20’s. (via)
If you see a truck matching the following description let police know right away.
Police said it is possible the truck driver was not aware the cyclist had been hit.
They’re looking for a flatbed truck with a red sleeper cab and a damaged chrome grill.
A city traffic camera has video of crash, according to police, and authorities plan to release images of the truck soon.
No other information is available at this point in the investigation.
Does anyone know who owns this bike?
More info from the globe:
She was struck by a tractor-trailer unit pulling a flatbed trailer loaded with steel, said Boston Police Superintendent Bernard O’Rourke. Police were called to the scene at 7:05 a.m.
He described the tractor-trailer as having a red sleeper cab with chrome air horns on top of it, and some damage to the grill. He said the truck driver may not have seen the bicyclist, but stressed the investigation is just starting.
He said surveillance cameras in the neighborhood captured the incident and some of that footage may be released to the public later Friday.
“It’s a very, very tragic situation,’’ O’Rouke said.
The search for the vehicle is underway. “We are checking everything we can. We are looking at every single surveillance camera we can check,” he said. “We’re doing whatever we can to find the truck.”
Zach Cloyd, 31, who lives next door to the scene, said he stopped biking home from work because this particular intersection is dangerous.
“That exact corner, waiting at that corner, I’ve had someone almost hit me as they were turning right,” he said.
In the aftermath of the crash, there was a bike with a crushed handlebar laying at the intersection and nearby a helmet laying next to the bike.(via)
This is the truck they are looking for:
UHub reports this is a very dangerous intersection, which we figured out in 2013. Lets hope we do something with that data now. (via)
The Back Bay intersection where a bicyclist was hit and killed this morning was identified in a city report two years ago as the most dangerous in the city for bicyclists.
A 2013 report on bicycle safety commissioned by then Mayor Menino found the intersection of Beacon Street and Massachusetts Avenue had more bicycle crashes than any other – and noted it was just two blocks away from the second riskiest intersection for bicyclists:
We found that nearly 60% of all bicycle collisions occurred at street intersections. Of the 7 locations with 5 or more geographically identical collision locations, the top two intersections with the highest number of crashes were in the Back Bay/Beacon Hill neighborhood, with 14 collisions at Beacon St and Massachusetts Ave and 12 collisions at Massachusetts Avenue and Commonwealth Ave (Westbound).
H/t Penny Cherubino.
BPS has released more pictures of the truck.
They have also said that the woman was in her early 30’s not her 20’s.
They found the driver and the truck. No charges filed yet.
Tags: beacon st, boston, cyclist killed, mass ave., senseless, tragedy, woman
Posted in news | 7 Comments »
The latest from Bikes Not Bombs:
Tags: bikes not bombs, update
Posted in advocacy, news | No Comments »