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Cambridge Fast Tracks Inman Square Redesign

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 30

The city of Cambridge has decided to fast track the redesign of Inman square after the recent death there.

Sigh…seems the best way to get shitty infrastructure fixed is to have someone die in it.

We saw the same thing happen to Mass. Ave. at the base of the bridge in Boston after a death there.

And just like the dangerous intersection at the base of the Boston side of the Mass. Ave. bridge, city government has known for years that Inman square was a dangerous intersection.   It appears as if it took a fatality to get construction prioritized though.

We have data on where the dangerous intersections are, they should be first in line for redesign.  We can not wait until someone is killed to fix them.

Unlike the Boston improvements, Cambridge does seem committed to a comprehensive re-do of the entire intersection, rather than just putting down some paint and bollards.

 

From the city of Cambridge:
That the City Manager is requested to work with the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department, Department of Public Works, Community Development Department, Fire Department, Police Department and Budget Department and other relevant City departments to fast-track plans to completely redesign and reconstruct Inman Square’s dangerous 5-street intersection, prioritizing the safety of people who bike and walk.

Information

Department: City Clerk’s Office, JD Sponsors: Councillor Jan Devereux, Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Councillor Nadeem A. Mazen
Category: Policy Order

Attachments

  1. Printout
  2. ORIGINAL ORDER

Body

WHEREAS: The City of Cambridge has committed to Vision Zero and Complete Streets policies to improve safety for all modes, especially vulnerable users like people who walk and bike; and
WHEREAS: The City’s Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department held a community meeting on June 22nd to present preliminary concept designs for reconfiguring the 5-street intersection at Inman Square, whose crash rate exceeds the MassDOT average and whose long and awkward crossings are known to be particularly dangerous to people who bike and walk; and
WHEREAS: The City of Somerville is reconstructing Beacon Street with protected bike lanes; Beacon Street becomes Hampshire Street in Inman Square and the two streets carry a very high volume of people commuting on bicycles to and from Kendall Square and Boston; and
WHEREAS: On June 23, 2016, a young Cambridge resident, Amanda Phillips, was tragically killed on Cambridge Street near Inman Square; preliminary reports indicate that she was riding past a line of parked cars when a car door was opened on the driver’s side, knocking Amanda off her bike and into the path of a large truck; and
WHEREAS: “Dooring” is well known to be one of the leading causes of crashes involving people who bike, and protected bike paths are widely preferred by people who bike because the potential for being accidentally doored is greatly reduced and because the potential for cars and delivery trucks blocking on-street bike lanes is also greatly reduced; and
WHEREAS: The City’s Bicycle Network Plan shows protected bike lanes on both Hampshire and Cambridge Streets; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to work with the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department, Department of Public Works, Community Development Department, Fire Department, Police Department and Budget Department and other relevant City departments to fast-track plans to completely redesign and reconstruct Inman Square’s dangerous 5-street intersection, prioritizing the safety of people who bike and walk; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to work with all appropriate departments to establish a firm and accelerated timetable and budget for the installation of protected bike lanes on Hampshire and Cambridge Streets; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to work with Public Safety officials, the Public Information Office and other staff to launch a high-profile public education campaign on the dangers of “dooring” to people who bike; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to require all city contractors operating trucks in Cambridge to install safety side guards as soon as possible; and be it further
ORDERED: That a future public plaza be created as part of the redesign of Inman Square and said public plaza be dedicated to and in the names of Amanda Phillips, Marcia Deihl and other bicyclists that have lost their lives.

 


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Drunk Driver Gets 12 Years For Killing Cyclist In Dorchester

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 29

In a rare turn of events a motorist was actually sentenced to jail time for killing a cyclists. All it took was him being drunk and driving without a license.  Nothing will bring back young Fritz Philogene, but at least justice has been served in some small way.  My heart goes out to the family.

 

from uhub:

 

A Dorchester man who admitted he was drunk when he took the life of a teenager waiting to cross the street with his bicycle was sentenced today to 12 years in state prison, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office reports.

Gregory McCoy, 27, pleaded guilty to manslaughter while operating under the influence, leaving the scene of a collision causing death, and leaving the scene of a collision causing injury for the death of Fritz Philogene, 18.

According to the DA’s office:

Had the case proceeded to trial, Assistant District Attorney Gregory Henning would have introduced evidence and testimony to prove that McCoy was driving a friend’s 2012 Cadillac CTS at a high rate of speed in a residential area as he approached the intersection of Norwell Street and Talbot Avenue on the night of May 19, 2015. The Cadillac slammed into the rear of a BMW stopped at a red light, sending both vehicles careening through the intersection just before 10:10 pm.

Philogene, who was at the corner with his bicycle and apparently waiting to cross the street, was struck and died at the scene. Henning would have proven that Philogene’s fatal injuries came as a result of McCoy’s actions.

The crash also injured the 33-year-old driver of the BMW and McCoy’s passenger, a 26-year-old Quincy man who owned the Cadillac.

The evidence would also have shown that McCoy extricated himself from the badly-damaged Cadillac and fled the scene on foot, leaving a blood trail from the vehicle’s final resting point to his neighborhood.


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Amanda Phillips Dies After Being Hit By A Truck

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 24

As we mentioned yesterday there was a horrible crash in Inman Square.

 

Sadly Amanda Phillips has succumbed to her injuries and has died.

 

A 27-year-old woman was killed Thursday after she was hit by a truck while riding her bicycle in Inman Square, a four-way intersection often jammed with cars, pedestrians, MBTA buses, and bikers, authorities said.

Amanda Phillips of Cambridge was struck by a landscaping truck at 12:17 p.m. at the intersection of Hampshire and Cambridge streets, said Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan and Cambridge Police Commissioner Christopher Burke in a statement Thursday night. Phillips was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead, they said.

“She was really one of the sweetest, smartest clients that I have,” Pinho said. “She was a really gentle girl.”

Phillips worked full time as a barista at Diesel Cafe in Somerville, had graduated from Harvard University, and planned on pursuing a career in health care, Pinho said.

The Diesel Cafe owners lamented Phillips’s death in a statement.

“We are all heartbroken,” Jennifer Park and Tucker Lewis said. “She was an amazing friend, employee, co-worker and human being. We are sure that the world is a little less without her.

Phillips was a student at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, a graduate school in Charlestown founded by Mass. General, according to her Facebook page.

“She really loved to exercise. That was her big thing,” Pinho said, adding that Phillips also doted on her two pets, a dog and cat.

My heart goes out to her friends and family, we must not rest until our roads are safe for all users.

EDIT: I am getting reports that Amanda was doored and then flew into the path of a large truck, these are unconfirmed, but if true mirror what happened last year when a cyclists was doored and then hit by a bus.

The solution for this must be better designed bike lanes that have a barrier between the parked cars, the cyclists, and another one between the cyclists and the moving traffic. If there is not enough space for this infrastructure remove the on-street parking.

Our goal should be less car use, not more. All the research shows its better in so many ways. We can not continue to allow people to be killed by lazy people failing to look behind them before opening their god damn car door.


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Ghost Bike For Anita Kurmann

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 19

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.


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Police Release Name Of Woman Killed On Mass. Ave.

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 08

My deepest sympathies go out to her friends and family.  I can only hope that real change comes from this tragedy.

From the BPD:

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.

EDIT:

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)

anitafromBU-8461[1]

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.”


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Harvard Bridge connection to the PDW path: proposed improvement November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Harvard Bridge connection to the PDW path: proposed improvement November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Harvard Bridge connection to the PDW path: proposed improvement November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Mass and Beacon: looking at the larger picture. November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Harvard Bridge connection to the PDW path: proposed improvement November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Harvard Bridge connection to the PDW path: proposed improvement November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Harvard Bridge connection to the PDW path: proposed improvement November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Harvard Bridge connection to the PDF path: proposed improvement November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Harvard Bridge connection to the PDW path: proposed improvement November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. There are two special bicycle routes … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Mass and Beacon: looking at the larger picture. November 18, 2017
      TweetLet’s look at how well bicycle routes around the Boston end of the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Charles River) might be improved.. Here is a Google maps overview of the area. You may click on it to … Continue reading →
      jsallen