Articles Posted in Boston bicycle lawyer

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2018 National Bike Summit., with Senator Markey’s office. From left to right, Galen Mook, Vivian Ortiz, Tom Francis, Senator Markey, Massbike Exec. Dir. Richard Fries, Bikeattorney Andrew Fischer and Jon Terbush

The annual National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C. this month presented a key opportunity for bicycle safety advocates to press Congressional leaders on the importance of investing in bicycle infrastructure and continued efforts to unify local, regional and national forces in furthering bike-related projects and programs.

Boston bike attorney Andrew Fischer was present and actively involved with a group of MASSBIKE representatives. The three-day conference concluded with a full day of lobbying. In addition to meeting with Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass), Fischer and the team met with the staffers of Elizabeth Warren and Reps. Joe Kennedy III, Seth Moulton, Michael Capuano and James McGovern. Primary goals included outlining critical concerns of the cycling community and advocating for peak priority in larger urban planning actions.

The two main takeaways from the Summit:

  • A proliferation of dockless bike share businesses springing up in urban areas like Boston but also in gateway cities like Worcester, Springfield, Lawrence, Lowell, New Bedford and Fall River. There is a push toward extending greater accessibility and connectivity of cycling networks, particularly in law income areas, which are vastly underserved. (Fischer was struck by the data revealed on this front, allaying previous concerns these business models might undercut further expansion of traditional municipal dock-based bike share services.)
  • At the time of the conference, the first week in March, federal funding for bike infrastructure appeared threatened, as part of the budget cuts for mass transit and transportation funding for big cities, particularly in the northeast and on the costs. We though we would need to work with our allies in the Massachusetts delegation to protect this funding, which remains essential in the fight to continue our campaign for  safer streets in Boston and throughout the Commonwealth. However, bicycle infrastructure funding was included in the budget that passed two weeks after our return from Washington. This allows us to continue to advocate for improved bicycle infrastructure.

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Boston may soon be the site of a Bike Share War, and there could be serious repercussions for the pace of Boston’s cycling infrastructure growth.bike injury lawyer

The City of Boston founded the Boston Bikes program in the fall of 2007, with Hubway launching in the summer of 2008 with 600 bicycles and 60 stations citywide. The number of bikes and stations have expanded since then, with the city now reporting by the end of 2018, there will 245 stations and more than 2,400 bicycles. Boston bike injury attorneys at BikeAttorney.com recognize this has been a huge investment for the city and taxpayers, and it provides incentive for city leaders to continue investing in complete streets that incorporate more bike-friendly features, giving riders more ease and confidence.

However, there are a number of businesses now vying to capitalize on Boston’s growing bicycle enthusiasm. As The Boston Globe reported in October, several firms offering on-the-spot bicycle rentals in Greater Boston have begun trying to work their way into the market. One of the unique advantages these companies have over Hubway is they don’t need fixed docking stations. Instead, renters can park and lock the rental bicycle virtually anywhere.

This so-called “dockless technology” has become wildly popular in China, and it’s rapidly spreading to cities like Boston. The problem, as noted by Boston Bike Attorney Andrew Fischer, is that it may ultimately hinder Hubway’s growth model – which may be bad for cyclists in the long-term.  Continue reading

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Electric assist bikes have become increasingly popular, as many riders use them for the intended purpose of helping novice riders and commuters push their way up hills or gain some speed on their way to work. Some even see them as a democratizing force on city streets. And of course, the more people on bikes in the city, the more visibility we gain and the safer all cyclists are.bike injury lawyer

However, there has been some recent controversy in Boston over the fact that some people are essentially using them as motorcycles in bicycle lanes or even on paths strictly designated for bicyclists and pedestrians.

“Electric assist bikes are still bikes, but they are capable of traveling 20-miles-per-hour,” said Boston bike attorney Andrew Fischer. “When they are in bike lanes, they become a big hazard because they are proceeding as a motorized vehicle in a lane where motorized vehicles are not allowed.” Continue reading

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BikeAttorney.com Andrew Fisher will be playing a role in Boston’s activities for World Day of Remembrance.

The annual international event, which recognizes the burden of traffic crash victims globally, will be commemorated in Boston on Sunday, November 19th.

bike attorneyIt was founded to remember those injured and killed in traffic crashes (including Boston bicycle crashes) – and demand our elected officials take action. In Boston this year, it will include a memorial bike ride, a memorial walk, a vigil and rally at the steps of the state house. This will be followed by a press conference, wherein organizers will release new information about the lack of accountability in a recent fatal Boston bicycle crash.

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A new omnibus bill before Massachusetts lawmakers could have a profound impact on bicyclists’ rights and legal protections in Boston. Our injury lawyers in Boston have been long-time members and advocates of the cycling community (long before we were attorneys). We recognize the impact An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities (Senate Bill 1905, House Bill 2877) could have. bicycling

Among the many provisions is one our own Attorney Andrew Fischer has personally fought for in the past. It involves the rights of bicyclists in crosswalks.

“There is a mythology that a bicyclist is protected in a crosswalk,” Fischer said. “In fact, that is not Massachusetts law. If you look at the section that deals with crosswalks, it says ‘Motorists shall yield to a pedestrian in the crosswalk.’ The omission of ‘bicyclist’ is a glaring one.”  Continue reading

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Attorney Andrew Fischer of BikeAttorney.com has been awarded MassBike’s first-ever Paul Dudley White Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is bestowed for unyielding advocacy of bicycle safety and cyclists’ rights in Massachusetts.Bike Attorney Andrew Fischer

A renowned bicycle injury lawyer, Fischer is also a founding member, former president and long-time director of MassBike. He is also recognized as a pioneer of bicycle law in the Commonwealth. He personally penned legislation that protects cyclists from “dooring” and removed the legal loophole that gave negligent motorists a defense when they struck bicyclists passing on the right. Fischer has been a bicycle safety advocate in the Bay State since the 1970s. He is now the first annual recipient of this prestigious award.

“(He) put in a full 50 years and started when NOBODY believed an adult could, or should, ride a bicycle for transportation,” wrote MassBike Director Richard Fries. “During the day, he represented victims of bicycle crashes as one of the country’s first bicycle lawyers. And his case work helped define many laws. And if there were no laws, he helped write them! … (Bicyclists) are safer because Andy made sure cops and district attorneys and engineers recognized that a person on a bicycle belonged on the road with as many rights as anybody else.” Continue reading

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A bicycle-car crash eight years ago cost one man his ability to move from the shoulders down. Now, with assistance from a number of cutting edge technologies employed by neurologists and neuroengineers at Massachusetts General Hospital, he is able to use both his hands and arms once again. hand1

The researchers used something called a “neuroprosthesis” – which is a device that either supplements or supplants the input or output of the nervous system. This type of technology can restore a degree of sensory, motor and autonomic functions by stimulating or simulating the nervous system, including nerves, muscles, spinal cord and brain.

The lengths to which this bicyclist had to go to regain even a modicum of movements highlights the severe injuries that can result from bicycle accidents, and why you need an experienced attorney to ensure you recover all the damages to which you are entitled.  Continue reading

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Boston University’s independent student newspaper, the Daily Free Press, reports that the Boston Transportation Department is now accepting applications for itroundabouts upcoming 2017 Neighborhood Slow Streets Program. The intention is to implement traffic calming measures that will help bolster road safety in residential areas, which could be especially beneficial for people on bikes.

A spokeswoman for the transportation department explained that the program uses a number of different approaches to help reduce the overall speed of traffic, which in turn curbs the danger.

For example, physical cues may include speed humps, traffic circles or narrower lanes, while visual cues might use include posted signs or strategic landscaping.  Continue reading

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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

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Many in Boston have dedicated themselves to a healthier lifestyle in 2016, and for some, that means participating in a cycling routine. That can involve commuting to work by bike at least a few days a week or it can mean simply taking one out for recreation on the weekends. bicycle12

Boston bicycle ridership has grown exponentially since 2007, when former Mayor Thomas Menino launched Boston Bikes. With more than 60,000 bicycle trips made just within the Hubway share ridership program annually (and more than 1.5 million since the program was launched) the city has vowed to slash the cycling injury rate by half by 2020. The 30-year Bike Network Plan involves construction of 356 miles of bike facilities in the city, and the city is continuing to dedicate resources to renovating existing roads under the “Complete Streets” model.

In a recent three-year span, the city reported 1,700 confirmed bicycle accidents to which Boston emergency medical technicians responded. Another survey by Boston Bikes indicated there were more than 2,550 crashes that occurred during that time.

As cycling grows in popularity, it becomes incumbent on all of us to work toward a safer environment for cyclists. That often begins with the cyclist, and the outset of a new year is a good time to get started. Continue reading