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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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Mayor Menino Has Passed Away.

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 30

Thomas M. Menino, the longest-serving mayor in Boston’s history, has died. He served as mayor from 1993 until 2013.

The Boston Globe reports:

Thomas Michael Menino, who insisted a mayor doesn’t need a grand vision to lead, then went on to shepherd Boston’s economy and shape the skyline and the very identity of the city he loved through an unprecedented five consecutive terms in City Hall, died Thursday. He was 71 and was diagnosed with advanced cancer not long after leaving office at the beginning of this year.

“Visionaries don’t get things done,” he once said, crisply separating himself from politicians who gaze at distant horizons and imagine what might be. Leaving to others the lofty rhetoric of Boston as the Athens of America, he took a decidedly ground-level view of the city on a hill, earning himself a nickname for his intense focus on the nuts and bolts of everyday life: the urban mechanic. (via)

 

I met him on several occasions and every time he gave me a handshake with one of his massive hands.  He started it all here in Boston proclaiming that the “car is no longer king.”  And pushed for the first of many bike lanes to come.  He might not have thought of himself as a visionary, but he had the guts to buck the trend and pushed cycling to the forefront as a valid urban transportation method.  Mayor Menino was a good guy, and good friend to cyclists, he will be sorely missed.

I can only hope his final days were pleasant and spent with friends and family.


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Road Closures In Cambridge, Part Of Event To Honor Fallen MIT Police Officer

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 23

This will likely affect a lot of your commutes, I suggest you plan ahead

From here, more here.

Thanks Sophia for the heads up.

———————

Road Closures related to MIT Police Officer Memorial Service April 24

Cambridge Police Department announced various road closures beginning before the morning rush hour on Wednesday, Apr. 24 for the memorial service of MIT Officer Sean Collier at Noon. This service is only open to members of law enforcement and the MIT community with valid MIT Ids.

Road Closures:
• Vassar St: between Audrey St. and Mass. Ave. Wednesday, Apr. 24 at 6 a.m.
• Mass. Ave: from Albany St. toward Boston Wednesday, Apr. 24 at 7 a.m.
• Memorial Drive: between Mass. Ave. and B.U. Bridge Wednesday, Apr. 24 at 12 a.m.
• Mass. Ave. Bridge into Cambridge: Wednesday, Apr. 24, at 7 a.m.

These road closures are going to have a major impact on traffic in the city. Police are asking residents to plan ahead, seek alternate routes, and use public transportation whenever possible.

ALL roads and bridges will be open to pedestrian and bicycle traffic EXCEPT FOR Memorial Drive between Massachusetts Ave. and the B.U. Bridge.

We have been coordinating with our partners at the MBTA to minimize disruptions to bus routes in the area.

We are confident that the operations will be complete and all roads reopened to vehicular traffic by 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24.

Further updates about road closures and other traffic issues will be posted on the Cambridge Police Department’s website at www.CambridgePolice.org. Information can also be found by following @CambridgePolice on Twitter.


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Posted in Commuting, news | 2 Comments »

The Stupid: It Burns!

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 20

For the record: first cycling isn’t dangerous, getting hit by a car is dangerous. Second, cycling is a lot less wimpy than sitting at your desk and talking out your ass about stuff you don’t know anything about (listen again, both people admit to not knowing anything about what they are talking about multiple times). Third, is there no lengths to which these people will go to harp on the president (don’t get me wrong, there are a millions things to harp on him about, so why these completely insignificant ones?).

The state of current politics, where the WSJ will spend time talking about the “wimpification” of America, instead of, say an in-depth discussion about the use of drones to kill American citizens, or the approaching extinction danger facing the human species due to global warming saddens me. It doesn’t surprise me, but it does sadden me.


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Posted in news, video | 4 Comments »

Sad News…Boston University Cyclist Killed In Alabama, Killer Could Only Get 1 Year In Prison

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 19

This sort of shit just makes you feel bad all over. I can only hope that others follow in her foot steps and continue to do good for the world. This sort of death is senseless, and heartbreaking. Especially when it happens to such an amazing person. This happened last year, but the guy was charged this month.

A man has been charged with knocking down and killing a female cyclist who was riding 4,000 miles across the U.S for charity.

Craig Chandler, 44, from Fort Payne, Alabama, was indicted on Negligent Homicide charges, one of the lowest charges he faced, and released on a $3,000 bond.

Christina Genco, 22, died after being hit by a car as she cycled uphill along a highway in Rainsville, Alabama.

Cristina was a group leader for the charity bike ride, which was part of the national campaign called Bike and Build.

The group were cycling from South Carolina to Santa Cruz in California to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity.

The Boston university graduate found her passion for fundraising after she travelled to Louisiana and Mississippi to volunteer in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

It was the second charity bike ride across America that Christina was taking part in when she was killed and she had planned to work for Bike and Build full-time when the event was completed.

Jeremy Story, who was helping Christina lead the fundraising cycle ride, described her as ‘always putting others before herself,’ to Boston.com.

‘She was one of the happiest people I know,’ Story said. ‘She more or less woke up with a smile on her face and pretty much went to bed with a smile on her face. She was always making me laugh and was great to be around.’

Marshall County prosecutors are handling the homicide case because Chandler is a former DeKalb County investigator, with links to many prosecutors in that community.

The Criminally Negligent Homicide charge was on the low end of the spectrum of charges the Grand Jury could have pressed against Chandler.

If convicted, he could face up to a year in jail and a $6,000 fine.

Via

It seems like a crime to only face one year in jail for killing someone, I would like to think that a persons life is worth more than $6000, but sadly these are the kinds of laws on the books in most states. It only convinces me more that all US roadways need to be made to be more bicycle friendly, and that we must continue the fight to make the law more equitable to cyclists. Only a road system designed with all road users in mind will reduce these senseless deaths.

ps. thanks Cait for the heads up on this article


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Posted in advocacy, news | 8 Comments »

Phyo Kyaw Ghost Bike

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 03

As many know one of our own was struck down recently. A Ghost bike has been put up in his honor. I hate seeing these things.

The memorial can be found at the corner of Mass Ave. and Vassar St.


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The Ghost Rider’s Bike

Written by Boston Biker on May 09

Isolate Cyclist has an amazing piece about ghost bikes that you really should read. Here is a taste.

She never imagined that life could end so abruptly, without warning, and without a hint of what was to follow. As she rode into a hollow of time, where a slow-motion scene of cars whirring around her played out without full consciousness, she sensed that something was terribly wrong.

A car was too close. Her bike and the hot metal wall fused into one with a blast of speed and the sound of clashing steel. Slowly, in an instant, the brevity of her life became a reality.

There was so much more to do. So many places to see, so many people to meet, so much more living ahead. But, a moment’s inattention can draw life to a close, unfinished and unlived.

Its really well done, go read the rest here.


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Courier Breed

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 09

Courier Breed – A Documentary on Boston’s Bike Messengers from Brendan Coughlin on Vimeo.

I occasionally hear people complain about “those damn messengers!” But what I think a lot of people don’t realize is that there are hardly any left. If you see some kid on a fixed gear rolling around with a messenger bag on, 99% of the time that is some college kid, not a messenger. Courier fashion has survived, but the industry is almost dead.

I hope that as energy costs go up, and tragedies like the gulf oil spill continue more and more people will return to using bike couriers, but as of right now the industry has fallen on hard times.


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Posted in jobs, video | 1 Comment »

The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Longfellow Bridge Cyclist Traffic Moved Again, Pedestrian and Cyclist Traffic Combined August 29, 2016
      TweetFor months anyone cycling over the Longfellow has had to follow an ever changing series of signs, battle large amount of people walking in places they shouldn’t and in general have a less than good experience, all so we can … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Cyclist Killed When Struck By Commuter Rail In Somerville August 29, 2016
      TweetI 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 … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Ghost Bike Removed Hours After Installed August 24, 2016
      TweetIn Lincoln apparently even placing a ghost bike is too much for the locals. From the globe: More than anything, Erik Limpaecher was surprised. The Concord resident late Sunday night erected a “ghost bike” along a busy road in the … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Ghost Bike Removed Hours After Installed August 24, 2016
      TweetIn Concord apparently even placing a ghost bike is too much for the locals. From the globe: More than anything, Erik Limpaecher was surprised. The Concord resident late Sunday night erected a “ghost bike” along a busy road in the … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Ghost Bike Removed Hours After Installed August 24, 2016
      TweetIn Concord apparently even placing a ghost bike is too much for the locals. From the globe: More than anything, Erik Limpaecher was surprised. The Concord resident late Sunday night erected a “ghost bike” along a busy road in the … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • 3 Simple Design Elements For Safer Intersections August 24, 2016
      TweetLets copy this all over the place…  
      Boston Biker
    • Gilooly’s presentation August 15, 2016
      TweetDeputy Commissioner James Gilooly’s presentation about the planned separate bikeways on Commonwealth Avenue is online at the URL below. I am preparing a version synchronized to his talk about it at the 2015 Moving Together conference and will announce that … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Gilooly’s presentation August 15, 2016
      TweetDeputy Commissioner James Gillily’s presentation about the planned separate bikeways on Commonwealth Avenue is online at the URL below. I am preparing a version synchronized to his talk about it at the 2015 Moving Together conference and will announce that … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Long Time Advocate Jackie DeWolfe Leaves Livable Streets August 4, 2016
      TweetShe has done a great job and will be sorely missed, her farewell letter below: It is bittersweet to write to you that next Friday, August 12 marks my last day on staff at LivableStreets. I have been appointed Director of … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Boston By Bike At Night Aug 13 2016 August 4, 2016
      TweetFrom this years flyer: Twenty eighth annual tour of architectural and historic sites. Meet at 11:15 pm aug 13th in front of Trinity Church in Copley Square Bring a bicycle with a light and wear something reflective.  Helmet recommended Commemorative … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker