Helping Injured Bikers for Over 30 Years
Learn More
Published on:

Biking in Boston is a way of life for many people, but as many of us know, it can also be quite treacherous. This is especially true anytime there is construction. construction

Recently, a special alert was issued by Boston Bikes to use extra care on Massachusetts Avenue from Boylston Street to Westland Avenue, as the city works to improve the roadway. Of course, the ultimate goal is to make the road surface safer for all users – including bicyclists and pedestrians. However, the city made it clear that over the course of the next several weeks, the area will be, “more uncomfortable for anyone who is biking or driving in the construction zone.”

The plans involve milling the pavement (removing the surface to smooth out irregularities and create a uniform depth) and then installing a temporary surface that will be re-striped with limited and temporary markings. These temporary markings are only going to include a double yellow center line and dashed white lines that will make the travel lanes clear. The city urged cyclists to consider taking this alternate route, which has riders taking St. Botolph Street to West Newton Street across Huntingon Avenue, where the road turns to Belvidere Street and then turning onto Dalton Street at the Belvidere/Dalton Plaza. Continue reading

Published on:

Marshall “Major” Taylor, also known as the “Worcester Whirlwind” was a champion bicyclist who broke world records and competed around the globe at the turn of the century. He was also a black man. He started racing professionally at age 18 and in a single year, by 1900, he held several major world records and had competed in events around the globe. Intense racism, however, was always an uphill battle for Taylor, who retired at age 32. autumnbike

Now, a giant banner will show him, steely-faced on two wheels, on the side of the Casey Storage Solutions on McKeon Road, visible to motorists on Interstate 290. As the Worcester Telegram reports, the 23-foot image sites alongside basketball player Bob Cousy, an astronaut suit designed by the David Clark Co. and a distinctive neon sign that depicts Coney Island Hot Dogs.

News of the $100,000 banner project comes just ahead of the Gran Fono New England KMC Cross-Fest bicycle race, which benefits the Major Taylor Association. The Gran Fono race offers both challenge and enjoyment for riders of all skill level. The four different routes will each weave through the breath-taking autumn landscapes of New England. Passing through small towns, farms and stunning fall foliage, riders will have the opportunity to ride through Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, with portions covered by hard-packed gravel and others fully-paved. There will be competitions on each route, but competition is optional.  Continue reading

Published on:

Boston cycling advocates are pressing city planners to do more to protect cyclists from motorists – and commercial truck drivers in particular – from veering into the bicycle lanes. This concern has grown especially sharp as students recently returned to classes, and many opt to bike to and from classes and part-time jobs. Not only that, but students returning to classes in droves, moving trucks in tow, have created a hazard for cyclists when those trucks park in bike lanes.bikepath

As The Boston Globe reporters observed recently on Beacon Street as a commuting cyclist was forced into regular traffic lanes in order to avoid a sizable white moving truck that was full of boxes that blocked her way. Said the cyclist, “It’s really dangerous.”

Boston is known as a community with narrow streets and tons of double parking. Those on bicycle say it’s not uncommon to have to veer in and out of regular traffic to try to get around the motor vehicles parked in bike lanes. It creates a perilous situation for them.  Continue reading

Published on:

Nearly one quarter of all Boston bicycle accidents that result in injury are caused by vehicle drivers or passengers opening their doors into the path of an oncoming cyclist. It’s called “dooring,” and in addition to accounting for a significant number of the total number of bicyclist injuries in Boston, it’s blamed for 40 percent of all cases where a driver is at-fault for injury to a bike rider. It’s also illegal, per Mass. Gen. Law Ch. 90, Section 14. This statute makes it clear that it is the vehicle occupant’s job to wait to open the door until it’s safe to do so without interfering with other moving traffic – which includes both cyclists and pedestrians. bicycle9

And yet, these incidents continue to happen, as as bicycle safety advocates note, it has largely to do with the fact that bicycle traffic is still something of an afterthought – if it’s a thought at all – to many American drivers. In the Netherlands, as noted in one New York Times article, it’s far different. Cycling is ingrained into the culture. Everyone cycles. While many cities in the U.S. – including Boston – have dedicated bike lanes for safer bicycle travel, in the Netherlands, bicycles are truly seen as equal vehicles, with not just dedicated lanes, but dedicated traffic lights, parking garages and depots.

This bike-friendly culture is the reason Dutch drivers are taught in driving school that when you are about to exit a vehicle, you reach for the door handle with your right hand. Why? It forces the driver to reach around his or her own body, causing the shoulders and head to turn – which makes it much easier to see if a bicyclist is approaching from behind. Now, as The Boston Globe recently reported, a 70-year-old retired medical doctor and Cambridge cycling advocate is pushing for Bostonian drivers to do the “Dutch Reach.”  Continue reading

Published on:

The Lexington Department of Public Works has announced it will be paving a section of the popular Minuteman Bikeway that runs between Hancock Street and Bedford Street.biketrail2

Beginning today, this section of the bike path will be closed on weekdays from 7 a.m. to dusk. However, it will still be open for bike traffic in the evenings and on weekends until further notice. Officials with the agency, who offered this map of the paving work, speculate it will be completed before the end of the month.

Riders who would otherwise use the path aren’t going to be completely without options. Those traveling north will exit the trail on the left onto Harrington Road and then swing out onto Bedford Street. They can remain on that path, past Lois Lane, Carol Lane and Larchmont Lane, to hook a left back onto the trail just past Sunny-Knoll Avenue. This initiative should make the bike trail a safer place for riders. Continue reading

Published on:

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not require bicyclists over the age of 16 to don a helmet when they take to the streets. Furthermore, the law is very clear that lack of a helmet on an injured rider is not grounds to find contributory negligence (see M.G.L. ch. 85, section 11B). bicycling1

That said, it’s generally a very good idea for all bicyclists to wear a helmet. We know that more head injuries occur in biking than in any other sport. A bike helmet may not prevent a bicycle accident, but it can help to significantly reduce injuries and protect riders against concussions and traumatic brain injury. There were reportedly 287,0000 bike-related head injuries in the U.S. between 2007 to 2011. By comparison, there were 220,000 head injuries attributed to football and 132,000 to basketball.

Recently, Consumer Reports touched on this in two different articles. The first involved finding the best bicycle helmet and the second involved analyzing the anatomy of a bicycle accident and how helmets can help play a role in reducing injuries.  Continue reading

Published on:

Bicycle accidents in Boston that involve children tend to be perceived as “part of growing up.” They aren’t viewed as seriously or as a major problem. bicycling

Unfortunately, many child bicycle accidents result in injuries that far exceed scrapes-and-bruises. In some cases, children may suffer fractured bones, severe scarring, internal organ damage and possibly even traumatic brain injury.

Child-related bicycle accidents tend to be far more severe in the summertime. That’s when more children are out-and-about and parents actually encourage their kids to take on bike riding. Nine out of every 10 bicycle accidents involving children happen during daylight hours and most occur during the spring and summer months.  Continue reading

Published on:

Hit-and-run accidents have been on the rise in major cities in recent years, spiking more than 13 percent in a recent three-year time frame. In some places, like Los Angeles, it’s so bad that half of all crashes in the city involve at least one driver who fled the scene. In total, these accidents kill about 1,500 people a year – disproportionately affecting pedestrians and bicyclists. In fact, 60 percent of hit-and-run fatalities are pedestrians.bicycle9

Just recently in New York City, friends and family gathered in Brooklyn to remember the 35-year-old founder of a company called Bikestock, a bike repair vending machine business and avid bicycling advocate, who was riding home form his night job when a black Chevrolet Camero with tinted windows struck him around 2:30 a.m. He was dragged for a distance. The driver didn’t stop. He was later pronounced dead. It was the 12th cycling fatality in New York City this year, compared to five this time last year. Said a police investigator, “Most of the time, it’s errant and lawless motoring that is to blame.”

Several states, including Texas, Florida, Arizona and Colorado have increased criminal penalties for hit-and-run drivers. In Massachusetts, M.G.L. c. 90 s. 24 makes failure to stop after a collision a misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of up to 2 years in jail, a $200 fine and between 60 days and 1 year of license loss. Of course, that assumes the driver got caught. So here does all this leave Boston bicycle accident victims?  Continue reading

Published on:

A bicyclist in Cambridge was struck and killed in Inman Square recently, prompting a vigil and a lasting memorial we’ve come to see with increasing commonality in Boston: The ghost bike. bikememorial

The 27-year-old cyclist, Amanda Phillips, was allegedly hit by a landscaping truck at the intersection of Cambridge and Hampshire Streets around 12:15 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon. She was in critical condition following the crash and was transported to Mass. General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Witnesses told investigators Phillips either swerved to avoid an opening door of a sport utility vehicle or was actually struck by the door and thrown into the path of the truck. One nearby resident told reporters the Cambridge intersection has been a huge problem for decades, and it’s gotten even worse as the number of bicyclists has ballooned in recent years.  Continue reading

Published on:

In an effort to highlight the varying challenges and issues that face commuters of all walks – and rides – of life, advocacy group MassBike hosted its fourth annual, “Boston-to-Somerville Rush Hour Challenge,” (previously known as the “Rush Hour Race”). bicycle5

Seven different commuters were challenged to see who could be fastest to get from the MassDOT headquarters in downtown Boston to Davis Square in Somerville. The challenge involved three bicyclists – one on an electric bike, one on a Hubway bike and one on a personal bicycle), an MBTA “The T” passenger, a runner, a walker and someone who drove their own vehicle.

The winner? The electric bicycle rider, who was first to cross the finish line in just 28 minutes. Meanwhile, the driver of the car came in sixth place – just ahead of the person walking the route. It took the car driver 40 minutes to reach the finish line.  Continue reading