MIT scientist on bicycle struck, killed by truck at Beacon and Charlesgate; driver drove away

The scene. Photograph by Cory Gardner.The scene. Photograph by Cory Gardner.

Updated with MIT info.

MiuraKanako Miura, 36, a visiting scientist at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, died this afternoon when she was struck by a dump truck, MIT and Stanley Staco report.

Boston Police report the victim was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after the 3:30 p.m. incident.

A mangled silver and black bicycle, believed to be hers, was found several blocks away on Bay State Road at Silber Way, Brian D'Amico reports.

According to MIT, Miura had come to Cambridge last fall from Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. She had been working in Prof. Russ Tedrake's Robot Locomotion Group.

Video demonstrating one of the projects she worked on in Japan.

"Our hearts go out to her friends and colleagues at MIT, and especially the Miura family, who must absorb this terrible loss from so far away," MIT President L. Rafael Reif wrote to MIT students and staff in e-mail tonight.

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

Free tagging: 

Comments

Terribly sad, and I've noticed the ghost bikes going missing too

I noticed that Christopher Weigl's ghost bike in front of Landry's went missing very recently -- like, within the last couple of weeks. The manager of Landry's was pretty clear about not really liking the ghost bike . Also, Alexander Montsenigos's ghost bike in Wellesley was reported missing at the end of last year on the ghostbikes dot org web site .

up
10

Issue with Ghost Bikes

That’s my issue with these ghost bikes, as they seem to be taking advantage of a death to tack on someone political agenda at the worst time possible.

I don’t have a problem with them as memorials per say, but that a grieving family would need to ask someone to remove one to respect their wishes kinda points out how obtuse they are. Shouldn’t they, you know, ask the family for permission first?

up
13

the problem with Ghost Bikes

...is that people who don't like cyclists try to portray them as "controversial" or claim the families and friends of cyclists killed hate them as well.

They don't.

Every time Eric Hunt's dad is in the area, he visits the bike we, as a community, installed for his son.

Kelsey Rennehbohm's brother thanked me for installing the bike in her memory, as did her best friend, professor, and numerous acquaintances. They installed a flower basket afterward and put new flowers in.

I am not sorry that reminding you someone was killed makes you uncomfortable. It's not about you.

The city fully supports ghost bikes. So do all the bike advocacy groups. So do the families. Alexander's bike was removed because the mother didn't want her young child to see the bike every day, twice (or more) a day, because the bike was barely a few blocks from his house.

There's now someone saying "she's a person, not a cyclist, stop making this political." It's a matter of safety and of life and death for us as a minority outgroup. Because the majority blames us for our own deaths and injuries despite no scientific basis (and now evidence to the direct contrary in our specific area, which shows Boston is no different from most other US cities), slaps negative labels and attributes on all of us because of the behavior of a few, harasses/intimidates us on the roads simply for being there, and blocks infrastructure improvements and legal protections - you, not us, have "made it political."

Yes, she was a person. Yes, she was a member of the community. And many of us do get upset when we see "cyclist injured" instead of "person on a bike injured." But DO NOT stand there and accuse us of exploitation when we stand up for injustice against a group the victim was a part of.

o..k, not about you either friend!

But DO NOT stand there and accuse us of exploitation when we stand up for injustice against a group the victim was a part of.

Anytime a group has decided it has the right to talk for an individual that can’t anymore, you bet your ass I’ll question them.

Again, why not work with the families first? Why make them request for something they didn’t ask for to be taken down? You can’t argue it’s not a political statement, because it is. And again, I have no problem with those families that think this is a great idea. I do have a problem with self-serving idiots that love to hijack misfortune for their own goals.

I’d just point out it’s a bit troubling; that putting one where someone died as default is a bit thoughtless to the person who passed and their family when you have little to no connection to them. All I'm saying is ask first and respect their wishes, because it isn't about your or your cause, but about tragedy.

up
10

I have to admit

Feeling very ambivalent about the ghost bikes. As a temporary memorial I think they're fine but I'm not sure what purpose they serve as a longer-term thing. Not to mention that if we had memorials to every pedestrian or motorist who were killed at a particular spot, we'd all be living in a terrifying mausoleum of homemade shrines and cenotaphs ( oh yes, Markk--hate to be the one to tell you but shockingly, people "enclosed" in cars do occasionally suffer fatal injuries due, generally, to other people similarly "enclosed").

up
12

I hear you.

After my posting last night, I visit the ghost bike website. Seems there are many varied opinions on the bikes. I think they're nice reminders. After reading about how family member might feel, now I'm not so sure. I like seeing them because it makes me feel as though there are people out there who care. I also understand the constant reminders may be too much for some of us.

Job for MIT

Two solutions to tragic transportation deaths:
1. Distributed, bug-less, computer intelligence to control motion of all motor vehicles, bicycles, skateboards, and pedestrians so they don't crash into one another. Replaces fallible human intelligence.
2. Enclosures that make crashes more survivable when they inevitably occur. Something like ... a car, truck, bus, or train.

Road sign lobby?

Who likes road signs? Not me. Get off the road if you don't know where you are or going! Hate the needless No Turn On Red signs. Speed limit signs? The universal speed limit is enough: "safe and prudent".

As to asphalt: I miss concrete roads. They last longer and are safer with shorter stopping distances, especially in the wet. Asphalt is cheaper, quieter, and just something to do with oil refining residue. :-)

I doubt tape was looking for

I doubt tape was looking for a definition of borders; the comment seems so tasteless that it has shot well beyond the frame of trolling.

Unless I'm missing some hidden meaning in your reply, in which case, mea culpa.

up
12

Really...

Could you be anymore of an a**hole? Im starting to be convinced that you're actually a passionate cyclist who's created this vile, bike-hating, car-worshipping online persona just to make people's jaws drop at the creepy, idiotic things you post. You mayeternal out to be the best thing ever to happen to share-the-road advocates.

That all said, I am so sorry to hear this news. Sad especially to see the green bike lanes and wonder what on earth could have gone wrong here (did the truck head onto Bay State Road as she was crossing?) I can't help wondering if along with better infrastructure, we need to be advocating for more basic bike safety education for automobile drivers--how to drive alongside bikes, how to observe bike lanes and other markings, not opening doors into traffic without looking, etc

I used to ride a lot

First on bicycle, then motorcycle. Either way, little protection in event of an accident. I was attentive and lucky, never reckless or hit. Both are more dangerous than taking the T or driving a car, modes I've also never suffered injuries with.

People here like to blame each other instead of starting with personal responsibility and controlling what they can. That starts with choice of transportation mode. You know what the various roads are like and how people behave on them. Decide based on the facts what you will do and accept the consequences. Decide transport mode and associated level of safety and cost. Decide how much time to allow safe travel to where by when. Playing bike messenger, racer, distracted texter, or oblivious pedal pusher today? You don't have any more control over other people than the weather, so deal with it instead of complaining.

Yes, her death is sad

Now what. Honor her life with a candlelight vigil, or learn from her death and reduce more senseless deaths?

Ghost bikes can be reminders to cyclists and motorists to be safer, besides taking a bike off the road.

What is offensive and disrespectful to her life and the other cyclists who have died is more promotion of bicycling on streets ill suited for it. More senseless deaths will surely follow. Bike nuts are like extreme Islamists by promoting martyrdom. Stop urging more people to needlessly risk their lives and court death. There may be no 72 virgins or 72 bicycles waiting in heaven.

up
10

MarkK is the Islamic Sympathizer

He wants to force people to use oil. Most oil comes from same Arab countries that bankroll Islamic terrorism and sponsored 9/11.

I think, from his comments here, he wants a world where we are as fully dependent as possible on wasteful use of a commodity that pays for people who hate us to kill us.

Therefore, MarkK is an Islamic Extremist hell bent on destroying America - if not through obesity and pollution, through oil dependence.

up
16

Tactfulness and Sympathy

Mark, your response does nothing to address the anger at your initial comment in this thread. In isolation, advocacy for personal responsibility is fine. But, personal responsibility is a separate topic when the news is about a death and a driver who just drove off from the scene. Thus, all you said is a red herring that debating it only tangents farther from the offense and the topic of this thread.

The offense is the pure snarkiness, mean-spirited-ness of your comment. No one is attacking personal fucking responsibility. Everyone is attacking you by your display no sympathy - making a joke to a news post of a death. Unless you have some kind of trouble reading social cues, that's called a low blow, Mark.

I'm done

with your particular foul and clueless brand of troll bait. "Playing bike messenger, racer, distracted texter, or oblivious pedal pusher..." What exactly about this particular woman--a brilliant, 36-year-old MIT engineer--strikes you as any of these things? Really--a shameful new low, even for you.

Personal Responsibility

People here like to blame each other instead of starting with personal responsibility and controlling what they can.

Right on with those words of wisdom Mark, I think your onto something here. I think we need to update our laws with regards to the personal responsibility of drivers involved in accidents with bicycles. We can take the Dutch philosophy on this: Cyclists are not dangerous; cars and car drivers are: so car drivers should take the responsibility for avoiding collisions with cyclists. This implies that car drivers are almost always liable when a collision with a bicycle occurs and should adapt their speed when bicycles share the roads with cyclists.

up
10

Much easier job for MIT

Develop in-vehicle surveillance systems that shut down the vehicle if the driver has run too many red lights, veered into bike lanes or shoulders too much, etc. and informs you when you have hit something so you can't play the "gee, I didn't know" game on you if you don't stop and report it.

Start with MBTA buses.

Wrong

Cyclists don't kill people.

Drivers kill people with heavy equipment that they can't seem to operate safely and properly.

Period.

Surveillance needed for bicycles

What would actually be very helpful is a surveillance system that warned truck, bus, and SUV drivers when bicyclists are in their blind spots, trying to pass them on the right while a driver is turning etc.

More stringent side impact regulations are making car doors higher with less glass to see bicyclists and others out of - bigger blind spots. Demand and regulations for greater fuel economy are making cars more aerodynamic with higher rear decks, less glass, and poorer rear visibility. Regulations have made cycling more dangerous, so surveillance systems to detect cyclists would help compensate.

up
13

To Give a Fair Assessment

On this note, I'll make a response that I hope you actually read.

Markk, I am reasonably sure that if you made this post not under your ill-reputed name and other associated posts, others would deem this to be a reasonable post. With cars already offering rear-cameras, self-paralleled parking, and Google researching self-driving cars, it may actually come true.

However, what sinks you is your continuous posting accusing cyclist with offensive comparisons and comments that show your total callousness.

Yet, you seem to pose yourself as technocratic urban design enthusiast. And in moments like this, you provide a moment of hope that you may actually think in terms of maximizing good rather than pushing your pet interest (cars) with no consideration that others may want other modes (walking, biking, and trains).

While others given up on you, here's a benefit of a doubt. Here's a list of things you need to understand if you actually operate on urban design with mind to maximize satisfaction to everyone and generate better discussion.

1. First, and very first. Do not make jokes like your first comment in this thread. Making a mock idea playing on her MIT background and a sarcasism to pose the second demonstrates a total dismissiveness to her. It's called a low blow.

Others in real life and I think in Universal Hub have said something akin to "News like this scares to ride a bike, I think I'll stick to other modes." If one think about it, it's the same message, but it doesn't imply such a callousness as you did as it is stated straight, honest, and earnestly.

2. Do not call bikers "bike nuts" and compare them to fundamentalist Islamist. Maybe you meant to only apply few type of cyclists that others may actually agree (like discussions of the red-light blowing type), but the way you frame you insulted anyone who rides or like to ride.

3. Following your past posts and moments like this, it does give hope you operate with just a misinformed philosophy than selfish self-interest. Think of this, people like bikes and want to ride them. It provides multiple benefits and conveniences inside an city situation. You argued personal responsibility above, but there's a mistake of assuming a binary choice (and ignored that personal responsibility also mean when driving, one must maximize attention to all types and bikes are relatively new). Like instead of throwing up one's hand and never ride, but ride maximizing caution and set up better infrastructure like bike lanes. If people want to ride, let's set up a system that accommodation it best - cycle tracks, lanes, and trails (which have worked in Europe rather than your idea of everyone should drive when they actually like to bike). If you disagree on this principle, you need to argue its flaw. You need to someone explain that even though it looks like it works in Europe, why doesn't apply.

4. One more thing. In the past you advocated for more lanes. Since you seem to pose and talk as an urban planner enthusiast, then you need to address common counterpoint that many times the driver estimation does fit. Also, there's information like the paradoxical findings raising capacity raises congestion and vice versa. While I clashed heads several times on the extent and interpretation - commonly with Matthew here - if you do think about traffic and urban design you need to show some understanding of such knowledge and your take it. You don't demonstrate that when you just state how awful that lanes are being removed like it's already a given we agree.

Thanks

You clearly put time and thought into your comment.

First, I don't have a car agenda, I'm representing what the public wants. Capitalism generally works out better than communist planned economies, so public service needs to take note. The demand for facilities for car transportation is far greater than that for bike transportation, so that's what needs to be supplied rather than what a small minority wants at the expense of the largest demand. Pedestrian mobility is less than car demands, yet still far greater than bicycling, so take excess sidewalk space for bike tracks, not high demand travel or parking lanes. Urban planners seem to be communists!

1. Sorry about the cynical response. I have a computer science education. I too frequently see overly complicated, fanciful, and failure prone solutions proposed at work, here, and elsewhere on the web. The examples I gave of how well intentioned ideas like side impact protection, passenger seat air bags, and child car seats all had some unforeseen negatives are why people stuck in bubbles in Kendall Square or Silicon Valley sometimes need a reality check. Geeks on bikes are one of those sub-cultures.

2. I intended no generalization of people who ride bicycles as bike nuts. Most just want to get from A to B, or get some exercise. City street riding is not so much pleasure riding given the stress. Anyway, I meant the bike zealots and evangelists that preach for more people to ride and disproportionate public consideration for their agenda.

3. More people carpool to work, even than ride bicycles, and bicyclists pay no user fees or fares (like T, bus, cab, tolls) for all their demands. Cyclists would do well to come up with a more attractive funding model to win over the majority. Welfare for a bicycling population dominated by educated, white, male professionals isn't appealing to the general public.

The current approaches to bike and ped safety have real and hidden costs. Road work costs are easily measured. Many things are not measured. When scarce road width is taken away from the majority mode demand and given to low demand modes like bike lanes and tracks and excess sidewalk, traffic congestion, travel times, frustration, yellow light squeezing, aggression, and stress levels all increase. This costs productivity and health. Is more stress for 80% of the population a good trade off for 1% additional (beyond current 1-2%) people to get a little more exercise? Promoting walking is a slightly better case - walking burns more calories than riding a bike at non-race speeds and doesn't need to take high-demand road space. The challenge is that far more people already walk than cycle with little realistic opportunity to grow.

4. I advocate more lanes for two reasons: to counter demands for fewer lanes; to bring attention to the facts that many roads are at 1935 capacity levels or less with changes to only reduce capacity, rather than increase it to meet demand. Adding supply increases congestion only in rare topology cases. Has adding sidewalk width made them congested with pedestrians (instead of street furniture)? Does a bridge to nowhere create congestion? Do ghost cities in China get populated because they are there? No. Supply only gets consumed when there is demand, both pent up and growth.

People need to think of transportation as economic activity. People are going to work, going to buy things, going to provide goods and services. During recession, transportation needs decline. When costs and availability of transportation and energy are artificially manipulated there is a direct effect on jobs and the economy. Constricting transportation or promoting more expensive transportation (MBTA) hurts people. Hurts their standard of living, and thus health.

Let's get one thing straight

First, I don't have a car agenda, I'm representing what the public wants.

Try representing what you want. Let's figure out what the public wants by asking them. You don't get to speak for the majority...at least, I missed that election if you do.

Answer is obvious

People most accurately speak with their actions. The US Census has the data. UHub comments do not represent how the majority votes with their actions. I'm just trying to represent the silent majority in this bubble. What I want is to not get stuck in traffic when in my car. Its only gotten worse over time to the point where I rather not spend any time or money in Boston or Cambridge unless sometimes during light congestion hours. I prefer to walk when the situation fits. I gave up my motorcycle for a two seat convertible. Much less stress and danger. On a nice day with no helmet, the top down and music playing, even sitting in traffic is pleasant. A 400 lb. sport motorcycle is great for parking and maneuvering in cities, but feeling boxed in by a motorcycle helmet, usually being either too hot or too cold, and the stress of always having to be on high alert are downsides. Skiers thumbs and a heavy clutch were hard on my hands sitting in traffic while skiers knees now keep me off a bicycle. You too will accumulate chronic physical challenges.

What?

Capitalism generally works out better than communist planned economies

So why do you keep trying to dictate that people stop riding bikes, everyone should drive a car, we should spend more on automobile subsidies/infrastructure?

I'm a huge capitalist, and I acknowlegde that under a truly free market, in all likelihood... mass transit would be the dominant mode of transportation, with walking (as a primary), cycling, and cars likely being equally second to mass transit. Your apparent obsession with the automobile as being the number 1 mode in a "capitalist" society is odd, to say the least. An autocentric world is alot more costly for its citizenry, and thus the public would not be taking part in it en masse.

Now, this is merely my own theory based on some history and economic theories. So I could be entirely wrong. But I don't go around insulting people with different views or proposing we force people to conform to some agenda.

up
12

Supply and demand

Perhaps only one or two mass transit systems in the world are self sufficient, so that would counter your claim. It used to be that car travel was less subsidized, and even then demand grew.

There is often a large but finite appetite for free. Walking is free, yet its still not the dominant travel mode. Same for bicycling. People can't even give away working CRT TVs and monitors, much furniture, and old electronics. Look at yard sales, CL, freecycle, and curbs on trash day. People also don't drive around for no reason. Not having a job cut into much driving. Manufactured traffic congestion and desire to text instead of drive also reduce demand for driving. With previous bumps in fuel prices, driving has reacted little - people still had to get to work and buy groceries etc. This shows real need and demand, little influenced by cost. Traffic congestion has been a bigger detriment and urban planners know it and use it to promote what they want over what the public wants.

Perhaps only one or two mass

Perhaps only one or two mass transit systems in the world are self sufficient

Yeah, because the world we live in isn't stuffed with regulations or anything and represents a free market. Except... not even close, though.

We must not forget indirect subsidies, as well. Railroads like B&M were given their fair share of direct subsidies, though I'm not sure I'd say as much as roads ever did. But roads have a massive amount of indirect subsidies that railroads didn't benefit much from. Suibsidization of utilities into less dense areas which essentially require a car to get around, restrictions on density, etc. I'd also contend that had it not been for the ultimate result of subsidies (post-War sprawl), cities like Boston wouldn't have been so shitty in the 70s and 80s. The economy shifted, and cities were choked with pollution, which was one of the many drivers of people fleeing cities. They had become filthy places. It is now much more desirable to be in a city, but the damage has already been done. And not by any "free market", either. It's very complicated, and there's dozens of variables that add into it. To say we'd be living in some auto-centric sprawling development had we let free market rule, seems to fly in the face of everything that it took to raise car culture to the point it even is now.

General Pointers

Okay, I'll point to you a few more things. While I am highly skeptical of your claim as voice of the majority (at least for Boston-Cambridge-(maybe?)Somerville, I'll going to focus a few areas that I can find reasonable and point out framing and tact.

1. The above you said this:

so take excess sidewalk space for bike tracks

I can vote for such an idea. There are moments where taking sidewalk is better than road space. One possible example is Comm Ave at BU, Boston (with BU's paying the extra stuff) redid Comm Ave but used a large part of the sidewalk for plants. The plant area could have been a little smaller for a lane of cycle track instead.

If you give ideas like "there's lightly used wide sidewalk area better used as a cycle track than a bike lane" and without your current name association, then I think reception would be open. It would be assessed as an attempt to actual better urban design by space allocation efficiency and prioritization with everyone winning.

2.

Sorry about the cynical response.

You better learn to handle your cynicism better. If are the voice of the majority, you made the majority look like a bunch of blood-thirsty assholes.

3.

I have a computer science education. I too frequently see overly complicated, fanciful, and failure prone solutions proposed at work, here, and elsewhere on the web. The examples I gave of how well intentioned ideas like side impact protection, passenger seat air bags, and child car seats all had some unforeseen negatives are why people stuck in bubbles in Kendall Square or Silicon Valley sometimes need a reality check. Geeks on bikes are one of those sub-cultures.

This kinda exemplify something you then do when you try to make arguments: make a bunch of comparisons that most scratch their heads. Read it enough times and I (I think) get what you mean. That those things you listed apparently had unintended consequences and you're paralleling with bikes as it is apparently connected by being from the same type of people.

The problem is one have to make a lot of connection to see any parallelism including believing there are major issues with any of the three listed, noting the types of people, and finally connecting them as examples as you claim. It also make you look like you're trying shoehorn more car grievances than really making backing evidence.

4.

I intended no generalization of people who ride bicycles as bike nuts. Most just want to get from A to B, or get some exercise. City street riding is not so much pleasure riding given the stress.

Another example, by your mere second sentence, you implicitly challenge all bikers(thus not wanting to bike, just have to since it is not enjoyable).

The above pointer won't necessarily let you get support here. You dug a deep hole that many will just tune you out or even reasonable idea will just look bad because it is suggested by you. But if you have noble intentions, you need to present arguments better. Not go make comments (let's assume unintentionally) attack people passive-aggressively. You need to present data (you mentioned we're at 1935 capacity, where's your source?), not make stretches of theoretical argument of stress where it will only preach to the stressed. And you need show you want to balance desires (i.e. - advocate more lanes at streets where current traffic and projects says so - know the actual numbers, mention you actually okay with a cycle track at this certain place, not make convoluted stress arguments that looks self-serving to everyone here)

Else you just look like a guy with a car agenda who hates bike unwilling to balance design.

The appeal of anon

I use a login to take responsibility for my comments, but some have made clear, sadly, how anon posting is still a better choice.

Some people here can't seem to consider an idea or argument on its own merits. They are stuck in ad hominem thinking/value/attack. This is a very limiting way of life closed to opportunities. Might as well require all posters to list their credentials and apply for Internet access rather than allow a free exchange of ideas. I suggest reading comments before looking at who posted them, if at all, to not prejudice interpretation.

I don't have a defined persona associated with my login and use other personas with other logins, like story characters or people posing as someone they are not on chat (including false gender). My login is for a person, not a persona or game character. I've not been elected to represent any ideologies or positions. As in a debate class, I may take a side I personally don't favor (Devil's advocate) just to point out how ill-reasoned some comment is. I'm not letting myself be shackled into some narrow role because of what some people might think of me, especially if they don't get that I'm joking or playing Devil's Advocate.

#3: Two things. I perceive connections between concepts and things more readily than most people. It allows me to employ tools or objects for uses not originally intended. Its the sort of gift that makes Jonathan Winters and Robin Williams entertaining for how they make spontaneous connections. Most people need a few breadcrumbs between points A and B. I forget that sometimes or don't take the time and words explaining, when providing free content to a web site. Writing long explanations is tedious for me, not fun.

I'm writing unpaid blog comments solely for my own entertainment/ pleasure and nothing else. I'm not doing it because I need anyone's admiration or need credibility. Instead of comic books, video games, Facebook, Twitter, or, You Tube, this is how I often waste time for entertainment.

Responses

This post is getting buried older news now. So a few short responses. Not even sure you're still following this now.

1. Being an anon probably won't help. It does get points to post with a pseudonym. I debated with people that anonymity shouldn't matter, but regardless, many people give more points to a peseudonym.

Also most people associate login as a person and login as a person. It is frown in all circles on the internet to use multiple personas.

2. If you been acting as Devil's advocate, you need to say you are. When you commented stuff in the past that you don't actually agree and sound just as absurd to others, you need to note that. Personally, I just try to give a balanced view rather than skewing hard to direction. Devil's Advocate is more about rhetoric and provoking thoughts - else, it is just trolling.

3. Claiming you perceive connections between concepts better than others is pretentious. Many people perceive many connections - I perceived plenty that is not immediately obvious. The important thing is explaining them. It doesn't even have to be verbose, sometimes the same can be accomplished by pointing something else.

As to BU and sidewalk bike tracks

I really don't like most urban planners. You know, like the ones who gave us crime prone public housing complexes of the 1960s and 1970s.

In the case of Comm Ave. and BU, instead of a bike track, planners gave students planters. Urban planners clearly put style and superficial appeal above safety, here and everywhere. They love wide sidewalks - all the more to decorate and provide free seating on public property for private cafe businesses. They don't care if it makes bicycling or driving more dangerous, or take away parking for business customers. Those things just detract from their designs.

Many of the road treatments are only cosmetic in value, like curb extensions. No data suggests that they have reduced accidents. There is only the perception that they increase safety, but that's what people most want anyway. Airline flight is safe, despite the common fear it is not.

As to safety, there was a bit on the news at noon about drowning deaths. I was thinking how the public is pressured to use seat belts, baby car seats, hockey helmets, skating helmets, bicycle helmets, and skiing helmets, yet where is the pressure to get everyone to wear a life jacket each time they are in a swimming pool, pond, lake, or ocean? Video showed a couple kids in them, but they were the exception. Our nanny state is still incomplete!

get the driver

Most dump trucks have commercial markings of some sort on them -- hopefully somebody saw something here so the driver can be found. The mangled bike was found blocks away - so maybe they didn't notice the impact but could they have drove around with a bike stuck to their vehicle and then have it fall off without ever noticing that either?

Driver identified by police

Driver identified but not made public by police yet.

I have a real problem with this statement though from the article:

The size and weight of the truck would have made it possible for the driver to hit Miura without realizing it, the officials said.

I gotta say..."so what?". The size and weight of the truck being able to kill someone without knowing it seems like it means a greater concern/caution from his senses needs to be taken to know if he hit and possibly killed someone since the vehicle won't make it obvious. I mean, if you're driving that big of a vehicle, then why is it somehow of note that you drove away because you didn't know? It's not like she dove under your wheels while being sure to hide from the view of your mirrors or something.

It's like the guy in Wellesley who got crushed by the truck that turned in behind him and ran him down. Oh, no fault of the driver...he just wasn't in control of his vehicle, that doesn't let him know he hit someone, enough to keep from killing someone on a bicycle that day. Shrug...let's move on, right?

You just gotta love it

Pre-excuses for vehicle drivers from the idiots who can't be bothered to get off their asses and enforce even the basic traffic laws.

I get it - if they aren't paying attention to what the hell they are doing and where the hell they are steering their heavy equipment, MURDER IS A FREEBEE. WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

CDL = Common Dunce License it appears. Professional driver - gets away with murder.

MA needs a vulnerable road user law - Boston Cyclists Union is pushing this.

The even bigger problem

The anonymous comments reveal that the police are already looking to make excuses for the accident. What the hell. If this was a shooting, the police would not be trying to frame it as self-defense. That's the job of the defense attorney, not the police investigators.

They should be gathering the facts for a court of law to sort out. How can we have any confidence in this "system of justice" when the supposedly impartial investigators are falling over themselves to exculpate the defense?

I'm thinking maybe it's time

I'm thinking maybe it's time we petition our legislators to pass a law requiring large vehicles that are do be driven on city streets to install deflectors (installed in front of wheels and basically pushes people out of the way off to the side). I believe they're going to install them on MBTA buses.

doesn't solve the problem of overly large vehicles on our streets and poorly design intersections and dangerous road user behavior, but should help reduce deaths in these sorts of collisions.

The other thing is that due to Bernoulli's principle, if a large vehicle is moving over a certain speed, a cyclist can essentially be sucked toward the larger vehicle and potentially pulled underneath. If you've ever been passed by a speeding bus you definitely know that feeling. so maybe vehicles over a certain mass are required to drive at low speeds on city streets?

I don't know... it would be nice to find a solution that is a bit easier to implement - I think the deflectors are probably the easiest since they're not that expensive and puts the cost on operators instead of taxpayers...

Myth busted

The air being forced *away* from the front of a bus or truck is enough to maybe knock you down but Mythbusters showed that even a train couldn't suck a dummy onto the tracks by passing at high speed.

That intersection

is a total nightmare. My husband lived in an apartment overlooking it for years, and he and I used to observe several accidents a week from drivers trying to navigate the confusing traffic signals between the Storrow exit at Charlesgate, Beacon splitting into Bay State, and the left turn off of Charlesgate to go inbound.

That intersection is a disaster area, and I really hope someone reevaluates how unsafe it is in light of this tragedy.

Intersection can use a lot of work

From the posts picture, you can see how much work can be done at that intersection to make it safer for all users.

The green-painted bike lane is a nice start, but the open swath of asphalt combined with high-traffic, wide-open roads leads to a scary situation for cyclists, pedestrians and a sense of lawlessness for cars.

Raise the Triangle

Well it's not really an open intersection at all, because that giant hashed triangle is considered no-man's land. You are not supposed to be on the triangle. I suppose one thing you could do to keep people from cutting across both the bike lane and said triangle (like the truck that hit her did) is fill in the triangle with a nice island covered in grass and some flowers. They should name it after Kanako Miura as she was an amazing person.

Good Idea

While some much needed parking spots could also form an island, a memorial would be nice also. BTW, Harvard Square got a green triangle recently near the Hasty Pudding building. I wonder where the city's priorities are on road spending. High accident areas need to be a priority, especially for a fairly minor change.

Not anymore

People caught on to him and his one-(noncycle)track mind and callous disregard for sense, reason, facts, logic and tact.

Besides, all it took was for five reactionary old people with lead poisoned brains to move to the special neighborhood or die before his political career was over.

"I didn't see you" shouldn't

"I didn't see you" shouldn't be a legal defense (and in these incidents nationwide a get of out jail free card) for vehicular manslaughter. If I dropped a hammer off a roof and it killed someone I'd be liable. Why is it any different for someone operating a multi-ton machine?

up
10

It's unfair to assume that

It's unfair to assume that the truck driver was at fault when we don't have all the information yet. It's also unfair to assume that the unfortunate cyclist was at fault.

Its possible the driver was reckless; its also possible that the cyclist lost control or rode recklessly and collided with the truck in a blind spot.

Regardless of who was at fault for yesterday's tragedy, it's clear that both cyclists and drivers need to become better educated with regard to co-existing on the roads.

up
10

Just for Kicks

a. "I had no criminal intent" is a legal defense in every state in the US and most civilized countries. b. Vehicular manslaughter is the crime of killing someone while intentionally driving in such a reckless way that death or serious injury is bound to occur. c. If you accidentally dropped a hammer off a roof while nailing in shingles, then you wouldn't be held liable. If you deliberately dropped a hammer off the same building while you knew a bunch of people were walking by below, then you would. You're smart enough to type in complete sentences and operate a computer, so I'm sure you can figure out why these two situations are different.

Not really

First off, not having criminal intent is not a valid defense in all sorts of crimes, especially here in mass.

And you don't need any intent to be reckless, and dropping a hammer off a roof is almost always going to be reckless. In fact, reckless, malicious, wanton, etc are all legal terms that are used to describe situations where intent isn't a factor.

And wrong again about the motor vehicle homocide in ma, where intent does not matter, for the reasons stated above.

To add on, if you dropped a hammer on someone coming up to your door to ask for money, you may be liable, or if you hit the mailman, or if you hit someone on a private sidewalk, or someone you invited over, etc, etc. maybe not criminally, but if you were reckless enough you may be.

up
15

Pete

Mens rea. You know what this phrase means, I think you've even used it before. It's the mental factor that, when joined with the physical act, makes something a crime. Also, motor vehicle homicide is different from vehicular manslaughter which is new and part of Melanie's Law. It's negligence (low standard) vs. recklessness (high standard). A homeowner who accidentally drops his hammer while shingling his roof is not reckless. It's an accident. Reckless is intentionally dropping the hammer even though there are probably people below.

Of course intent is a factor. If I punch someone and he falls and hits his head and dies, it's an intentional act with an unintended consequence. That's manslaughter. If I'm carrying my trash barrel down my driveway and can't see over the top of it and bump into someone and knock him over and he falls and hits his head and dies, it's an unintentional act with an unforeseeable consequence and not a crime.

First off anon,

(And this is the 3rd anon I am responding to, and I'm not sure if you are all the same or not).

Manslaughter by motor vehicle requires a BAC over .08 or someone under the influence, as would felony motor vehicle homocide. The only difference is the increased penalty (MGL 90, s.24G(a) and (b), vs. MGL. 265, s. 13.5) for the manslaughter charge.. Both statues have reckless, negligent, and wanton elements, and motor vehicle homocide is an either/or, while the manslaugher requires wanton and reckless operation, with the influence element. Bottom line is that the manslaughter charge probably isn't going to be used here, nor is the felony homicide charge.

And a person dropping a hammer from a roof could most certainly be reckless. More often than not it would be negligence, but if you are working on the roof and willingly disregard safty procedures and a tool falls off that roof, that could be a reckless assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (ABDW requires an either/or for the reckless/wanton element).

And your barrel example still could be a crime. If you push a large item onto a public sidewalk where people are known to walk, and you have no way to see that sidewalk, and you knock someone over into a car and they die? That could easilly be looked at as reckless conduct, and most certainly shouldn't be labeled an "unforeseeable consequence". Again ABDW doesn't require Intent when a reckless/wanton act is commited.

What's with the lynch mob?

First off, this is very sad to hear. No one deserves to end up under a dump truck.

I know this is uhub and its bike zealots, but you guys need to ease up.

Boston police said:

"At present, the cause of the accident is still under investigation and no violations have been issued at this time."

So put your hobby horse away for a second and realize that you don't know what happened and automatically assuming the truck driver is at fault is wrong.

It's highly possible that she made a mistake riding or another person/car/etc did something that led to her or the truck making a maneuver that led to her impact with the truck. I doubt most of these posters have even been in a dump truck, much less driven one. They are big, slow, loud and often have hanging chains banging around. So it's possible a bike could have been entangled for a couple blocks before the driver realized something was up.

If the truck driver was careless, hopefully witnesses can prove that and they will be held accountable. If it was unavoidable from the drivers standpoint, then the driver deserves a little compassion as well. I doubt they got up this morning with plans to run someone down.

What lynch mob?

I don't see anyone here calling for the head of the driver, or acting like a "zealot." Given the circumstances, I think everyone is showing admirable restraint so far, given that we're talking about a situation where the driver didn't stop or "realize that something was up" after dragging a cyclist down the street for quite a ways. Seems to me that only Mark is, in his usual intelligent and charming fashion, blaming a 36-year old scientist for her allegedly street-thuggish, irresponsible ways.

Is that really so hard to understand?

I think most of us find it hard to imagine someone in a truck, no matter how heavy and loud, hitting something that weighed collectively between 125-150 lbs and dragging it what seems to be several hundred feet without having any awareness of having done so a little hard to swallow. I still dont see any widespread attacks or leaping to judgment. But hey--I'm sure the Herald will have more fair and balanced coverage.

Read much?

Here's the choice comments in this thread:

- Headshots for motorists. Particularly cowardly ones who think that they have no responsibility for their vehicles or mouths.

- Drivers kill people with heavy equipment that they can't seem to operate safely and properly.

- I get it - if they aren't paying attention to what the hell they are doing and where the hell they are steering their heavy equipment, MURDER IS A FREEBEE. WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

- CDL = Common Dunce License it appears. Professional driver - gets away with murder.

- Trucks and buses playing the "oops I did it again - I murdered a ped!" card have maimed and killed more cyclists than that, let alone pedestrians.

Three comments accusing the driver of murder. Lynch mob indeed.

Vigilante Justice

It tends to happen in places where the rule of law has broken down.

Such as when the police make excuses or turn a blind eye to reckless behavior amongst one group of people that affects another.

You know those countries where drivers are pulled from cars and beaten by mobs when they hit a donkey or a kid? BPD is working on turning Boston into such a place if they keep making excuses for people who have killed other people with vehicles.

Just the way human societies work. People don't use the justice system when it repeatedly returns anything but.

Swirly loves to blame the police....

But always ignores the fact about all the other times where police have charged drivers and wanted them convicted, but district attorneys, judges, and juries rule the other way.

The Police present the district attorneys office with facts regarding crashes, and its up to them to decide if charges are necessary, and it is then up to judges and juries to convict. You can never really know for sure where a crash takes place, unless there are skid marks, or a witness.

But you are right about other countries...in this country, we just say "let's make it legal for bikes to do this and that, and people will be made accountable if they don't watch out for bikes" ....... Except, in this country, we always rule on what a reasonable person would do, and when there are so many nut jobs riding their bikes around like maniacs, judges and juries will have that doubt in their mind whether or not the person who dies is one of those nut jobs or not.

Again...really?

Why on earth, in a thread where a mature woman on a bicycle was killed by a truck that did not apparently either notice her or stop after it hit and dragged her, are you tossing around terms like "nutjob" and "maniac?" Why the compulsion to make every person on a bicycle, against all reasonable evidence, into a cat-calling, hood-smacking, red-light-running scofflaw?

Relax Sally....

I'm having a conversation here....

The fact remains that many bikers are maniacs that break the law and /or don't know how to ride, and anyone who has ever been out of their house has seen these people ride their bikes. And these people serve on juries and are judges, attorneys, and cops.

So yea, if there is some doubt that a driver may not have been reckless, they will not be convicted of a crime.

And no, I did not " make every person on a bike" anything, but it says a lot that you thought I did.

up
10

Relax yourself.

If this were a mangled VW and a dead driver that we were discussing and I was on here spouting off about how most Boston drivers are maniacs and nutjobs.--I mean, we've ALL seen them, right?...would that make any sense, or would it sound like I was unfairly accusing the victim of recklessness? it's just a ridiculous, useless thing to say.

Sally, I hate to comment on

Sally,
I hate to comment on this post since it is so sad but am wondering if have you ever ridden in a large truck? You seem to imply criminal intent, is there something you know that noone else does? Do you have any idea the noise level in this type of truck, with that you can probably add radio noise as well. Trucks aren't quiet like cars, they are quite noisy and very jostling.

I have and yes, you can drag a 125lb bike and not know it.

Lets wait for facts.

It wasn't snark....

And the context in which I used it had noting to do with this crash, it had to do with how a human being (on a jury) would act if faced with a limited amount of facts, and only their own experiences seeing "maniacs" and "nut jobs" on cycles. It kind of puts a little doubt in a human beings mind when they revert to their own empirical experiences in regards to how drivers react to these cyclists.

Do your job right, Pete

Investigate, but leave the judgement to a jury.

Issue citations where loss of life is involved and let the courts sort it out.

Follow the RULE OF LAW - a rule that YOU don't get to MAKE or JUDGE because that's what we have judges for.

Make this a third world country, with police bullies deciding the ARE the law, deciding which butchers walk and which innocents are attacked for questioning your authoritay ... and put your petty tribal bullshit, racism, and classism above the law, and you will get third world country in your face.

Where did I say anything to the contrary?

Except that sometimes the DA is the one who decides whether a citation is issued or not?

And you want to issue a citation to someone just because someone died? That is what you just said. The law doesn't say someone has to be charged in every death. And yes, that is the LAW.

I guess YOU are another one who doesn't realize how often the cops charge someone but the DA, or JUDGE, or JURY decides the cop was wrong. (See, anyone can put words in caps to make their point)

Like Pete said

Like Pete said, relax. You don't know what happened. Neither do I. It could have been her first day on a bike for all we know or the truck driver decided he'd had it with Chinese women on bikes that day and took her out.

RELAX. YOU DON"T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!

I was afraid this would happen

Seen too many instances with death resulting where police don't even bother to charge the driver with a moving violation, let alone vehicular homicide, because the usual policy is to charge only if speed or intoxication is involved. They so often decline to even issue an at fault finding which means the estate has no chance whatsoever in civil court. But since this was a hit and run I thought "No, this time they will go after the driver." A drivers license shouldn't be a get of jail free card. Boston strong, indeed. Shameful.