Articles Posted in Boston bicycle accident

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It’s been more than a century since massive crowds gathered in Madison Square Garden to witness, “The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World.” He was perhaps better known as, “the Worcester Whirlwind.” His defiance of Jim Crow segregation in the sport drummed up headlines and publicity, but his performance that year made history. Marshall “Major” Taylor became a world champion bicycle racer.bicycle race

He was the first African American world champion – and this was years before Jack Johnson, also a black man, became the heavyweight champion of the world in 1908 and nearly a half a century before Jackie Robinson was integrated into baseball.

To honor his history, strife and contributions to the sport of cycling and society at-large, a number of Major Taylor birthday rides are being hosted throughout the country. Taylor was born on Nov. 26, 1878. This year, rides are being held on that day in:

  • Los Angeles;
  • San Diego
  • Chicago
  • Pittsburgh
  • Worcester County (Massachusetts)
  • Oakland, CA
  • Indianapolis

All this has been part of an ongoing, concerted effort not to allow Major Taylor’s memory to be lost in light of such remarkable accomplishments. Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Late last year, Massachusetts state Rep., Steven Howitt (R-Seekonk), introduced a bill that would ban bicyclists in the Commonwealth from wearing headphones while they ride. bike

He reasoned that, “If they want to share the road, they have to share the responsibility as well.”

Certainly, there is a case to be made that bicyclists need to be alert at all times when navigating through traffic. It’s really more for their own protection than anything else. But are efforts to crack down on distracted cycling really going to slash the number of bicycle accidents in Boston and elsewhere?

A recent analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts suggests probably not. That’s because the real problem isn’t biking while distracted. It’s driving while distracted.  Continue reading

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Boston has a long history of bicycle-friendly initiatives and for years has encouraged residents to take up riding as a way to cut down on pollution, overcrowded roads and personal health issues. askingfordirections

But now, Boston and many other cities across the U.S. are targeting tourists to get into the cycling groove. Perhaps that is no surprise because as some tourism officials have noted, bicycle tourists tend to stay longer, spend more money and support smaller towns and locally-owned bed-and-breakfasts, craft breweries, cafes and small shops. That’s compared to other tourists, who generally look for the nationally-recognized chains.

It’s not the largest niche in tourism, but it’s one of the most lucrative. To see evidence of that, consider the many states that are investing in efforts to accommodate out-of-town cyclists.  Continue reading

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The growing number of cyclists in Boston has been great for the environment, for personal health and for the city’s culture. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that of the 318,000 employees in Boston, 1.7 percent biked to work. That’s a 70 percent increase from the number who did so in 2000. That doesn’t include the number who have picked up the activity for recreation or those who do so as a way to get to and from classes. bicyclist21

Our Boston bike attorneys are thrilled at the traction the sport has gotten in recent years. But we also recognize it has also coincided with an uptick of bicycle accidents.

Most serious bicycle accidents in Boston happen as a result of a car or other vehicle colliding with a cyclist. Cyclists are often competing with drivers and pedestrians for space as they navigate through construction, gridlocked intersections and double-parked vehicles. Whether it’s “dooring” or being cut off by a driver who doesn’t see you, cyclists are taking a risk every day. Many may have grounds for compensation for those injuries, but obtaining it can be tough without an experienced attorney.  Continue reading

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Boston bike riders are daily dodging large trucks, drivers who are distracted and vehicles that are double-parked. They are doing so on fast-paced roads that more often than not were designed without consideration of their existence. bicycle1

From 2010 to 2015, more than a dozen people were killed on city streets, ranging in age from 8 to 74. In each case, riders were struck by motor vehicles – buses, cars and massive trucks without side guards to stop them from falling underneath.

The Boston Globe reported last year that Boston has more cycling deaths per 10,000 commuters than Washington D.C., Portland, Seattle, Denver and Minneapolis – all cities of similar sizes where, like here, bike travel is increasingly popular.  Continue reading