Sharing the Road for a Bike Safe Boston

Officials in Cambridge, MA are now looking into safer alternatives for bicyclists after a woman riding her bicycle collided with a dump truck and later died last Thursday.

According to NECN, the 27-year-old woman was riding her bike to work Thursday morning through Inman Square when she entered the roadway from the sidewalk. As she entered the roadway, a driver opened the door to his Jeep while she was passing which allegedly caused her to have either hit the car door or swerved out of the way resulting in the collision with the dump truck.

Cambridge city records show there has been over 30 accidents in that intersection alone the past few years, including 15 bicycle-involved crashes.

Car doors that are opened suddenly into the path of a cyclist are a regular hazard in city riding, as reported by the City of Boston.

Avoid getting “doored”:

  • Stay at least three feet from parked cars.
  • Look for brake lights; if a car has just parked, a driver may be about to get out.

Sudden stops:

  • If a car stops in front of you suddenly, watch for exiting passengers on either side of the vehicle.
  • After, scan and signal to pass on left.

Riding bicycles in the city raises risk of bicycle related accidents. Moreover, Boston bicyclists have to navigate dangerous landscapes notorious for being a threat for these cyclists.

Likewise, the number of Boston residents who regularly commute by bicycle has more than tripled in a decade, according to data from the US Census Bureau.

An estimated 8,100 workers regularly pedaled themselves to their jobs last 2014, up from 2,300 in 2005, according to the bureau’s American Community Survey.

The city is continuously working on identifying priority intersections and how to make them safer.

The City of Boston is also working on installing protected bike lanes down Massachusetts Ave — which will place posts between lanes meant for cars and cyclists. In response, some residents are concerned about how many parking spots will disappear and how the plan will affect local businesses. The current plan would eliminate about 18 legal parking spaces and six illegal spaces.

Officials are still lobbying for changes to state law to insure a safe commute for cyclists as well.

None the less, always remember to follow the rules of the road for bicyclists and to remember to be aware of your surroundings. Try to build a sense of the “door zone” for parked cars to avoid accidents. (Read full City of Boston Bike Safety Tips article here.)

At Sheff Law, we work with victims of bicycle accidents. We understand the devastating impact bicycle accidents can have on the lives of victims as well as their families; whether the accident results in personal injury or wrongful death, our experienced attorneys are here to help.

Cyclists ride in a bike lane near Boston Common
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