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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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Female Cyclist Killed By Truck Driver In Cambridgeport

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 11

A female cyclist was struck and killed by a container truck around 1:40 p.m. Wednesday at the corner of Allston and Pleasant streets.

The victim, whose name will not be released until next of kin is notified, was pronounced dead at the scene. No charges have been made at this time against the male driver of the truck, who remained at the scene.

“If there were any witnesses, we ask them to call us at 617-349-3300,” said Jeremy Warnick, director of communications for the Cambridge Police Department.

Via

This is horrible, more information when I get it. My heart goes out to her friends and family.

Edit: Update, she may have been walking her bike, it is unclear at this point

a dump truck hit a 65-year-old Cambridge woman as she either rode or walked her bicycle from a parking area onto Putnam Avenue between River and Pleasant streets, near a Whole Foods Market, where she may have been shopping, authorities said.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene, Cambridge police spokesman Jeremy Warnick said. Authorities did not release the names of the driver or the victim.

Via

Edit: The name of the woman killed was Marcia Deihl, there is a lovely piece on her at the globe here is a bit:

diehl-big

Friends say Marcia Deihl was always the first person to think up a witty song that perfectly captured the moment, and to encourage the same lyrical invention in others with her “Bizarre Song Parties,” where the price of admission was a ditty of one’s own.

Deihl was a Cambridge activist who spent her life fighting — and singing — for what she believed in, and who had embarked upon retirement with joy that she could finally dedicate all her time to her art.

And she loved to ride her bicycle, a clunky old three-speed decorated with paper flowers and streamers. With her long hair streaming behind her, she cut a distinctive figure, one familiar to many Cambridge residents.

On Thursday, friends mourned the untimely death of the 65-year-old, who was killed Wednesday after being hit by a dump truck while riding her bike on Putnam Avenue.

“She was an icon of Cambridge life. She was a very colorful figure, beloved by the people who knew her,” said Pam Chamberlain, a longtime friend who described Deihl as “a riot” with a keen sense of irony and a gift for bonding with people. “It’s a great loss for the folk community and the feminist movement.”

Edit: MassBike Has responded, read it here.


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Driver With 48 Priors, Arrested On Friday, Gets Car Back On Saturday, Kills Cyclist Sunday

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 14

What the fuck.  Seriously what do you have to do to have your car licence taken from you in this country.  It is a sadly true saying, if you want to kill someone and get away with it, just wait until they get on a bicycle.

I hope this asshole rots in prison for the rest of his life, but sadly I doubt he will.

 

Police say Edward King could barely stay awake when officers found him stopped in the middle of the road in Weymouth on Friday night, his legs hanging out of the car and traffic backing up behind him.
He appeared “confused and off balance” and was carrying a two-day-old bottle of prescription drugs that was already half-empty, police said.
He was arrested and charged with drugged driving, but King was back behind the wheel Sunday when, according to police, he was involved in a crash in Braintree that sent a bicyclist to the hospital with serious injuries. That bicyclist, 53-year-old William Donovan of Braintree, died Tuesday.
King, a 41-year-old Braintree resident, was arraigned Monday on two counts of driving under the influence of drugs and one count each of negligent driving, violating marked lanes and failing to yield to a bicycle. Those charges stem from both the Weymouth and Braintree arrests.
David Traub, spokesman for the Norfolk County District Attorney’s office, said police are investigating and could seek additional charges following Donovan’s death.
Weymouth police arrested King shortly after midnight Friday. He was released about an hour later after posting the $40 bail set by a Quincy District Court bail commissioner. Police say they seized King’s car and asked the Registry of Motor Vehicles to revoke his license after his arrest early Saturday morning. But King was able to pick up the car after a 12-hour hold expired on Saturday afternoon and the Registry did not process the department’s request until Monday when it revoked his license indefinitely.

King also had a long history of crashes and run-ins with the law before last week, according to court documents. In setting his bail, Judge Mark Coven said King had at least five crashes since 1990 and a total of 48 convictions, including 36 that sent him behind bars. King’s driving record shows five surchargeable accidents since 1991. That list includes an accident in Braintree in March and in Dorchester in April.(more here)

Getting drunk or high and running someone over with your car is no different than getting drunk or high and shooting someone with a gun. They are both pieces of metal under your control, and they can both easily kill someone.

Fuck this guy, and fuck the system that lets someone like this continue to get back behind a wheel.


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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