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Cyclist Bernard Lavins Killed In Porter Square

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 05

Via:

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.

 

EDIT:

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.

via:

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.

 

EDIT:

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

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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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Cyclist Killed When Struck By Commuter Rail In Somerville

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 29

I rode past this scene yesterday and was not aware of what had happened, only that a lot of police were there, and the road was blocked off. Very sad, my heart goes out to his friends and family.

A man riding a bicycle was struck and killed by a commuter rail train in Somerville around 1:30 p.m. Sunday, according to MBTA Transit Police.

The victim, who is believed to be between the ages of 25 and 30, was crossing a portion of the tracks that intersect Park Street near Prospect Hill when he was hit by an oncoming Fitchburg Line train, transit police said.

The bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene, spokeswoman for the City of Somerville Jackie Rossetti said.

Crossing gates were fully functioning and had been dropped in preparation for the train’s approach, transit police said in a statement.(via)

We may never know why he thought he could beat the train, or why he didn’t pay attention to the safety guards, but its still tragic when someone loses their life unnecessarily. People become blind to safety systems, and sometimes think they are faster than they are, or perhaps he was suicidal.

At a time like the main thing to remember is that this was a human life, and it was valuable, and it is gone now.

When its all over, we need to take a hard look at this intersection to make sure nothing further can be done to discourage people from doing what this poor young man did.


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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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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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Cyclist Killed In Hit And Run In Dorchester

Written by Boston Biker on May 20

My deepest sympathies go out to this persons friends and family. This is a horrific tragedy.

————————-

A teenager on his bicycle was killed Tuesday after being hit by a car following a crash in Dorchester.

Two cars crashed at the intersection of Talbot and New England Streets. A young man on a bike was struck during the collision. One badly damaged BMW remained at the scene while the second car fled.

Police say they found the second car on Wednesday morning. The suspect and driver of that car, 27-year-old Gregory McCoy of Dorchester, was arrested on an unrelated warrant, but and charges were expected to be filed later on Wednesday in Dorchester District Court.

The charges include two counts of leaving the scene of an accident causing injury, one count of leaving the scene of an accident causing death, and one count of motor vehicle homicide. The suspect was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injures.

One witness, Cheline Garcia, says she heard the crash around 10 p.m. and rushed out to help. She performed CPR on the victim, who she said had a pulse but later died.
“The scene was just horrible. You can’t even explain how bad it was,” Garcia told FOX25. “He was breathing he didn’t know what was going on I told him the paramedics were on the way.”

Police continue to investigate. (via) (more video here)

More info when I get it.
EDIT:

They have released the victems name:

Prosecutors did not identify the teen, but family and friends identified him as Fritz Philogene, 18, a sophomore at West Roxbury High School. (via)

Read more »


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Protected Bike Lanes Installed On Mass. Ave. In Central December 9, 2016
      TweetThe good folks in cambridge fighting for improved bike safety are claiming their first (of hopefully many) victories, with the installation of protected bike lanes in Central Square.   from their email: We are excited to report major progress in … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Vision realistic December 8, 2016
      TweetFrom an e-mail about the 2016 Progress Report of the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition: Based on our assessment, the City has made progress, but the City will need to dedicate more capital resources and funding for staff in order to … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Vision realistic December 8, 2016
      TweetFrom an e-mail about the 2016 Progress Report of the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition: Based on our assessment, the City has made progress, but the City will need to dedicate more capital resources and funding for staff in order to … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Vision realistic December 8, 2016
      TweetFrom an e-mail about the 2016 Progress Report of the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition: Based on our assessment, the City has made progress, but the City will need to dedicate more capital resources and funding for staff in order to … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Vision realistic December 8, 2016
      TweetFrom an e-mail about the 2016 Progress Report of the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition: Based on our assessment, the City has made progress, but the City will need to dedicate more capital resources and funding for staff in order to … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • December 4, 2016
      On November 29th, CommonWheels finished out a strong season of Open Shops and DIY Community Bike Repairs with a new community event called the Ally Skills Workshop: Combatting Sexism and Transphobia. The workshop was led by Kendra Albert and gave great... Continue reading →
      commonwheels
    • December 4, 2016
      On November 29th, CommonWheels finished out a strong season of Open Shops and DIY Community Bike Repairs with a new community event called the Ally Skills Workshop: Combatting Sexism and Transphobia. The workshop was led by Kendra Albert and gave great... Continue reading →
      commonwheels
    • The Inman Square Peanut Proposal December 2, 2016
      TweetI have posted comments about the proposal for a “peanut roundabout” in Inman Square, and other proposals for the Square, on the Cambridge Civic Forum blog. I think that the City’s “bend Cambridge Street” proposal — with a minor modification … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • An Alternative to the Inman Square Peanut Proposal December 2, 2016
      TweetI have posted comments about the proposal for a “peanut roundabout” in Inman Square, and other proposals for the Square, on the Cambridge Civic Forum blog. I think that the City’s “bend Cambridge Street” proposal — with a minor modification … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • A Sign Of The Times December 2, 2016
      Made this brass knuckle bookmark for a client and they wanted “Civility” stamped on it.  Thought it fit perfectly into the world of 2016.  No reason we can’t be civil while we fight the power! Continue reading →
      Boston Biker