Fatal collision between SUV, car and motorcycle shuts Mass. Ave. Bridge

Motorcycle remains

State Police are investigating a crash on the Mass. Ave. Bridge around 2:30 p.m. that left a motorcyclist dead.

State Police released few details except that the motorcycle rider was a 20-year-old man who was pronounced dead at the scene and that driver of the SUV is being treated for "emotional distress."

Doug, who took this photo, said the SUV "had major front damage and airbag deployment."

Another view from the WBZ helicopter.

The driver of a Boston-bound 1 bus eventually executed a U-turn to get back to Cambridge:

Bus u-turn

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Comments

Sad

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Riding anything on two wheels (bike, motorcycle, scooter) in this city is a bad idea, and that is a shame. We would have much more pleasant, less crowded, roads, if getting around on something other than a car weren't so dangerous. But it is not inherently this dangerous, it is made that way by the fact that the police allow dangerous behavior to go on, without enforcing the rules that exist to keep us safe.

It looks from the location of the crash that the truck was making an illegal left off of Storrow Drive towards Boston. It happens all day every day. The police could set up shop there, give a few tickets and hundreds of warnings, and make a dent in this VERY dangerous behavior. But they do not, and today it has led to a death.

If I were a police officer in this city I would not be able to sleep through the night, out of the guilt of the blood I have on my hands for letting bad drivers literally get away with murder.

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Please.

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As if bikers/motorcyclists don't break the law all the time too. 9/10 of bikers that I see daily blow red lights like they're nothing. This is not just a car problem, and I say that as someone who walks and takes the T everywhere.

This is an enforcement issue.

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As a biker who obeys traffic laws, nothing pisses me off more than bikers blowing past me at red lights...without even stopping or looking to see if it's "safe" to completely ignore the light. Somerville and Cambridge have been actively ticketing bikers who do this. I'm sure it's too much to ask Boston or State Police to do this unless it somehow involves guaranteed overtime or paid detail work.

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Brookline Police enforcing traffic laws on bicyclists, too.

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Brookline Police have also been doing some fairly rigorous and regular enforcement, particularly around Coolidge Corner. I talked to some of the bike cops, and they told me that they are ticketing about as many cyclists as motorists on shift (the bike cops also stop motor vehicles for traffic infractions - it's quite a sight to see a car pulled over by a cop on a bicycle!).

As another biker who obeys

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As another biker who obeys the law, it also pisses me off to see bikers making dangerous and illegal maneuvers. I will break the law very occasionally, but only if for some reason it will make me safer in a situation (I know that doesn't make it less illegal, but I like my life.) The other day I was riding my bike (very slowly) on the sidewalk the wrong-way down a one-way street. I was only doing this for one block, and only to avoid going 4 blocks out of the way, 2 of which were on a scary part of Mass Ave, which terrifies me. A woman in a car pulled over erratically to yell at me about not following the rules of the road. If someone was right behind her, they would have rammed right into her.

Fast forward to today: I live on a one-way street not far from that spot, and as I've been sitting near my front window all day, I've seen at least 20 cars drive the wrong-way up my street. This is clearly a common practice around here (that I've somehow never noticed before), and not enforced at all. I cross my street without looking the other way sometimes, because I assume no one is coming from that direction, because they shouldn't be! And a bicycle going very slowly and cautiously down the sidewalk (a sidewalk next to nice big front yards and long driveways, by the way, where I can see a pedestrian coming a block away) is the dangerous one around here!? Why is no one yelling at or reporting all these motorists! (my neighbors' children ride their bikes super fast on the sidewalk all the time, by the way, without any complaint from anyone).

The point is this: yes bicyclists and probably motorcyclists do illegal things around here, and sometimes those things are seriously putting their lives in danger. But in a competition between a vehicle and someone on a bike, the person on the bike is almost always going to bear way more of the injuries and have a much higher likelihood of dying. So when vehicles do illegal things, chances are there is another vehicle or a bicycle going along legally who they are going to injure or kill. There needs to be more enforcement on both sides.

I'm very sorry to hear that this young person died.

I always look both ways no

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I always look both ways no matter if it is a one way street on not. Even though I would be right I would feel stupid if I was hit by a car/bike/anything while crossing a street.

Once again

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I can't understand how a post about a tragic fatal accident involving a motorcyclist and a car that made what sounds like an illegal move becomes a diatribe about bikers. Seriously--is it some sick distancing mechanism kicking in? Like, oh well hopefully it's only the folks who are "blowing through red lights" who kinda-maybe deserve to get killed on the road. Let's ignore the fact that it's the dangerous drivers in this town who cause the vast majority of the fatalities--God forbid we do anything to require people to drive more safely. Instead let's talk about bad cyclists and motorcycles and how stupid it is for anyone on two wheels to even exist in Boston. Sheesh, people.

I Agree, RB

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I'm a rider, too, and pride myself on obeying the rules of the road. I get really ticked off when I see another rider who blatantly disregards basic traffic laws or decides to lane split. It gives us all a bad name.

yes, please.

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yes yes, and pedestrians always wait for walk signals and use crosswalks. if 100% adherence to all laws were a requirement to use the roads, then no one would be using them. enough with this holier than thou attitude.

Better Idea

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Get the goddamn cars out of the motherf*cking bike lanes - like the assholes on seaport ave, like the losers on Franklin - all those assholes need to be bitchsmacked first.

Then we'll worry about a small vehicle running a light.

Assholery Redux!

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Great idea. Some Mass drivers act like assholes (Stop the Presses!) so cyclists can act like assholes too.

Can't fault your logic on this one.

You're hilarious. Really.

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Because honestly--you come across as such a great bike lane advocate. I'm sure you've put in a lot of hours with Livable Streets and the Boston Cyclists Union working for added bike lanes and safer streets. Do you know how many miles of bike lanes there are in Boston? Percentage of streets that have them? Despite the incredible hard work and advocacy by many people, not many. So until then, stop your idiotic bitching about bikes not riding in the lane--seriously, how many cyclists bike outside the lane when there's an option to bike IN one?--and respect the existing rules of the road which include not running over cyclists. Kay?

If bike lanes are so necessary, then why do cycling advocates

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consider it such an unreasonable burden to require cyclists to actually use them. After all, do we allow pedestrians to legally meander all over the street when there's a sidewalk (or conversely, do we legally allow cars to travel on sidewalks)?

Especially when the bike lanes were paid for with money from the highway fund in the first place. And who contributes the bulk of the money that goes into the highway fund? Not cyclists, that's for sure.

Simple answer

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Bike lanes are often full of Taxis, trucks, idling cars and special assholes who think they are too special to wait in traffic or even swivel their heads before cutting off a cyclist to drive down one!

Then there are also left turns, road hazards on the edges, etc. which require bikes, like other traffic, to move left.

Google youtube NYC bike lane and you will find a nifty video of exactly WHY cyclists cannot be required to use the lanes.

You might want to also turn in your driver's license if you think you are too special to learn the laws, rules, and markings yourself.

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As I originally said, I support

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enforcement of laws preventing people from standing or parking in bike lanes.

Of course, if people standing or parking in bike lanes is such a problem, then perhaps everyone would be better off if we gave drivers and cyclists a set of common travel lanes that everyone could use. That's equally sharing the road, with no special lanes or rights or rules for anyone.

And, with respect, I do understand (and try to obey) the law. But here's the rub. Say I'm in a lane marked left turn only and decide to go straight, I can be stopped and ticketed. But if a cyclist decides to veer out of a marked bike lane into my path because he wants to get "head on line" privlidge at the next intersection (or some equally silly "justfication"), thus causing me to slam on my brakes and get rear-ended by the car behind me, the cyclist has legally done nothing wrong. What's that bike lobby statement again about "Equal rights - Equal responsibilities"?

For the record, I seldom drive in Downtown Boston - preferring to use a combination of public transportation and walking.

Oh waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh.

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So--poor you for having to pay for bike lanes but now that we have a few of them, the folks on bikes shouldn't be allowed to...what did you call it? "meander" on the road? Funny--I call it biking and unlike jaywalking it's LEGAL. Personally I'll take a bike lane wherever I can get it, but they're still pretty few and far between.

Just a reminder--we all pay taxes. There's no special exemption for people who ride bikes (most of whom also own cars). And call me crazy, but I suspect that with the thousands of miles of highways in Mass. and the--what 50 miles of bike lanes in Boston--I suspect that we're already paying our fair share.

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What is SO hard about the concept.

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We provide special lanes for cyclists, which are largely paid for with highway taxes and fees (fuel tax, registration, drivers license, etc..

One would reasonably expect that the law should require those same cyclists, who pay none of the aforementioned fees and taxes but reap the benefits of said lanes at the expense of drivers (hint - a travel lane and bike lane carries less overall traffic than two travel lanes do) to be required to use those lanes.

Your new name

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Hobby horse man.

Seriously - you are riding a hobby horse, not driving here. Especially in comment section where a DRIVER of a MOTOR VEHICLE acted ILLEGALLY and KILLED SOMEONE.

Which happens at a 100:1 ratio verses cycling incidents.

Shame on you.

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When I drive my car, I have to legally stay

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within the travel lanes for cars and trucks. But when I ride my bike, I can use ANY lane I want, even when the government has gone to the time and expense of providing special lanes for said use.

And the bike lobby continues to persist in demanding special facilities and treatment without even showing legitimate justification (i.e. volume counts, which are normally a standard requsite for any roadway improvements) for them.

Gotta love the logic behind bike lanes though. We, a group of people who, unlike other road users, aren't required to be licensed to operate on the public streets, aren't required to register our vehicles to operate on the public streets, aren't required to carry insurance in case we accidentaly injure somebody while riding on the public streets, demand that the government provide special facilities for us. And the best part - these facilities are provided not as the result of studies and other justification on a case-by-case basis (like every other publically funded project), but are mandated to be included on all new projects under state law.

Four bikes a day on a local street. Doesn't matter, you still need to put in the lanes.

Given all that, and the bike lobby's constant cries of "equal rights, equal responsibilities, it is far from an unreasonable burden to require cyclists to actually use the lanes that the taxpayer's dollars have paid for. And calling for basic equity in the traffic laws is hardly a "hobby horse" argument.

Only operaters of motor vehicles are required to be licensed

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We, a group of people who, unlike other road users, aren't required to be licensed to operate on the public streets

Pretty much only those who operate motorized vehicles on the public ways are required to be licensed and there's good reason for that. When one is operating thousands of pounds of steel and glass that take up a good portion of space on the roadway at relatively high speeds on the public ways, they need to demonstrate that they can do so without damaging property, injuring or killing themselves or others in the process. The relative risk to the public safety involved with operation of a motor vehicle justifies it. One doesn't need a license to walk, bike, segway, ride a horse, etc on the public ways. Horse drawn carriages are licensed, but by the Department of Public Safety and licensing there falls under the category of amusement rides and entertainment.

Nothing you say makes sense.

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That's like complaining that pedestrians don't have to pay for crosswalks. And seriously--how many times do I have to say it?--most people in this state, bikers included, own cars and pay their own share of those highway fees that seem to bother you so much, a teeny tiny infinitesimal portion of which go to create bike lanes--again, Boston has a whopping fifty miles of so--which most people would argue benefit not only cyclists but drivers by creating safer and more orderly roads. You don't want the cyclists "meandering" all over the streets which you seem to consider personally yours, but you're carping about the lanes too. And again, I really don't understand how this came up as a hot topic on a post about a fatality caused by bad driving. Why don't you get all hot under the collar about that?

Please re-read my original post

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Providing bike lanes, that's OK. Not mandating that cyclists be LEGALLY REQUIRED to use those lanes that have been SPECIALLY PROVIDED for their use (with the fuel taxes and registration and license fees of DRIVERS), that's the problem I have.

Wait...you've figured all this out

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just from the location of the crash???!?! And just from the location, you say you don't know how cops sleep at night? How do you jump to all these baseless conclusions?

Seems accurate.

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I just rode my motorcycle through the scene on my way home- there's still blood on the roadway. The parent poster is almost certainly correct; from the location of the crash, and by the litter of little plastic debris still on the road, it does seem like this was caused by the SUV taking an illegal left onto Mass Ave. from Storrow Drive. Since it's fairly close to the Beacon St. intersection, I would wager the motorcyclist was going pretty quickly seeing a green light at that intersection.

When I ride southbound over the bridge, I never even think to look at that onramp, since cars are not supposed to take a left there, crossing Mass Ave to do so, and I try to line up a right-hand turn on to Beacon St.; I will pay a lot more attention there from now on.

I say don't

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because of everyone else, not the person on the bike. As safe as one is, all it takes is for another stupid driver to do something dumb. And day in day out I'm seeing more dumb shit on the road. They let everyone have a license now in this state!

I'd love to get a bike for the summer months, but as long as I live in this populated city, it's never, ever going to happen. I don't trust anyone else to keep an eye out for me. At least in my car I stand a chance.

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I stand corrected.

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According to the NECN story, the rider was going from Boston to Cambridge- which is surprising, since the carnage appears to be on the Boston-bound side of the bridge. Maybe he was speeding towards Cambridge, the SUV pulled out, taking a legal right-hand turn towards Cambridge, and attempted to swerve out of the way?

It isn't a legal turn

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If you fail to yield the right of way.

Where does the "speeding" assumption come in?

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What's truly perplexing to me

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What's truly perplexing to me is that I've heard some peoples' GPS giving them explicit direction to take that illegal left onto Mass Ave from the Storrow off-ramp.

People should obey the signs clearly posted there, but still, I don't understand why some GPS directions are telling people to do something illegal.

Cite? I wouldn't believe this

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Cite?

I wouldn't believe this unless I saw a picture of the GPS routing. They're pretty good about following turn restrictions, especially on very busy roads.

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seriously

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"

If I were a police officer in this city I would not be able to sleep through the night, out of the guilt of the blood I have on my hands for letting bad drivers literally get away with murder.

"

What an awful thing to write. I agree there is an enforcement "issue", but I don't know enough about staffing, details, etc to comment intelligently as to the reasons behind what at times appears to be less than adequate enforcement.

Anyway, safe conditions for all road users are ultimately created by *all* users behaving safely. Blowing through red lights, illegal turning, weaving nimbly through traffic can all seem "safely" executable during the split second ones decides to go for it - but unfortunately, the operators of nearby vehicles can't read minds. (Nor pedestrians.)

I think it's premature to place full blame on the truck driver so quickly, too - but then it sounds like you are more familiar with the traffic pattern there than I am.

I really can't tell what happened here. What a tragedy, though. Just awful.

Oh Please.

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Give me a break, Ms Dramatic. Yes - it's not the bad drivers but the police officer's fault. And of course they should be at every place at all times. And since when do people "get away with murder" when there is vehicular manslaughter? This entire post is ill thought out, bizarre and troll-y. Good job.
Police Officers do tons of great stuff in the city - more then I'm sure you have stopped and thought about so I'm sure they can sleep just fine.

Is anyone else not able to

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Is anyone else not able to view pictures on this site?

The Universal Hub logo and embedded images in posts aren't loading.

Right-clicking an unloaded image and selecting "Open image in new tab" results in this:

Forbidden

You don't have permission to access /images/templates/logo-token.png on this server.

Try Google Chrome...

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I had similar problems recently with U-Hub and many other sites while at the office. I switched to Google Chrome (rather than Internet Explorer) and it solved all my issues.

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Bus reroute

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I'm seeing route 1 buses headed for the BU Bridge.

Probably wise to seek alternate route if you use that bus.

"Mass Ave Bridge"? Doesn't exist

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It ain't called the "Mass Ave Bridge."

Try using its correct name, the "Harvard Bridge."

Excuse me.

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I believe that I am the most worthy namesake of this bridge.

And someday, hopefully

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people (including Boston traffic reporters) will start calling the highway between Canton and Peabody by its proper name.

Interstate 95

people (including Boston

people (including Boston traffic reporters) will start calling the highway between Canton and Peabody by its proper name.

You must be referring to Route 128. Indeed, that highway has been identified as Route 128 for many decades.

A number of years ago the Federal Highway Administration required that the state start identifying it as I95 and even go as far as labeling the exit ramp signs to be consistent with the rest of I95.

Many of us still refer to it as 128 as in "take 128 south to braintree" as opposed to "take 95 south and then 93 north and get off at Braintree".

Perhaps you'd be better served adapting the the peculiarities of a region instead of waiting for everyone else to change to your way of thinking?

Update

Seems that the driver of the pickup truck made an illegal turn in front of the motorcycle. The rider collided and fell off and was run over by the SUV.

I am 100% confident the 18 year old driver will have said at the scene "I never saw the motorcycle" as that is the typical response when a driver hits a MC or bike.

WAKE UP Boston drivers. And as someone who rides, I encourage my fellow riders to assume that no one sees you and ride with that in mind.

Does not surprise me...

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I walk over the bridge every day and I can't tell you how many autos make illegal u-turns and how many near misses I have seen. Usually the drivers don't want to wait in traffic going one way and do the u-turn to reverse direction.

Very tragic in every sense of the word.

just sad and scary

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As a motorcycle rider that crosses that bridge twice a day, I got chills when I rode past the scene this morning. This was completely avoidable if both drivers (truck and motorcycle) paid more attention and obeyed traffic laws (illegal turns, speeding). If the motorcyclist was going the posted speed at 30 mph he should have been able to perform an evasive move to avoid being struck (that is if the truck did not T-bone the rider, hitting him blindsided). If the truck driver looked for motorcycles or bikers for that matter this could have been avoided

I have close calls every week on my motorcycle, you must assume that no driver sees you (when you are on a bike) and be ready to perform an evasive move. I trust no drivers here in Massachusetts, they have no respect for anything on the road besides them (I've seen bikers hit, people hit, cars hit, animals hit, kids hit, motorcyclist hit, etc). Most of the drivers are too distracted or in a rush and could care less.
Be careful out there, we can all be part of the solution if we just respected the ability we have as drivers to take someones life away.
RIP to the motorcyclist.
Please everyone be safe and look for other vechiles on the road.

Sounds like

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The truck hit the motorcycle, sending it flying into the lane where the SUV was driving.

That's not fair.

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It wasn't the pickup driver that went in for emotional distress, it was the one who was driving the SUV that ran over the motorcyclist thrown in his path as a result of the pickup making the illegal move. He is probably the most innocent one in this.