Bicyclist pulled out from under garbage truck at Mass. Ave. and Columbus

Around 10:30 a.m.

KWAPT reports the truck had to be jacked up to get the person out.

Aerial photo of the scene.

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

Free tagging: 

Comments

Good God what is the deal

Good God what is the deal with that section of Mass Ave? Is it all the construction? Wasn't something supposed to be done about it?

E: From the aerial photo it looks like the garbage truck may have right hooked the cyclist coming down the bike lane. Depending on the speed the cyclist was going and how far they were from the truck, it's most likely the truck's fault.

up
30

Its the redesign of it, where

By on

Its the redesign of it, where curbs are cut back at intersections so drivers don't have to slow down to turn, as they would if the curb came out at the intersection. Instead, pedestrians have further to walk to cross the street and drivers can speed through a turn, which means more accidents and less attention to whether they will kill anyone in the process. Hopefully Walsh will be more people centric when redoing Boston streets than the car centric Menino who seemed to have a disdain for pedestrians (see South Boston Waterfront or Charles/MGH hell for Meninos "vision"

up
16

Most likely the truck's fault

Which means they'll get a slap on the wrist and told not to do that again. So nothing will change, move along people.

You gotta wonder if the driver even signaled his intent to turn, which can help cyclists to back off and avoid getting right hooked by drivers that can't be bothered with checking mirrors and blind spots. Driver either didn't look and right hooked the cyclist or the driver looked, saw the cyclist and still turned.

Glad the cyclist is alive, hope the injuries are minor.

up
44

Really?

By on

And just how, in heaven's name, is the driver suppose to check a blind spot? Have you ever read those signs on the back of trucks? If you are in my blind spot, I can't see you?

That is why they are called "blind spots". And whether you a in a car or riding a bike, one is best to be aware of them and plan accordingly.

Good God, indeed.

up
65

The "blind spot" in a car

By on

The "blind spot" in a car exists purely out of laziness. Just turn your head and look!

Trucks may have true blind spots, depending on mirror configuration. In these cases, extra mirrors and/or cameras need to be required, or trucks of this size need to be restricted in use (perhaps by time of day or to certain roads). The Homer Simpson attitude of "if I can't see you and you don't get out of my way it's your own fault" is unacceptable if solutions exist.

up
20

You can't check your

By on

blind spot in a vehicle of that height with no back or rear passenger windows. That's why they have the signs, DUH!

up
18

How about

By on

Don't pass on the right - especially at an intersection? If a car or more likely a motorcycle tried that stunt they'd be found at fault - assuming they lived. Why should a bike be any different? Because they can?

up
30

Passing on the right

By on

is all relative.

I'm a suburban biker, and the number of cars who pass me on the left, forcing me into their blind spot, is incredible. I was once stopped at a stop sign when an 8-seater SUV pulled up next to me, three inches from my handlebars- and shouted at me to watch where I was going. I had been completely stopped the entire time.

I do everything I can to maximize my visibility and avoid being in a position where a car could injure me-including pulling over to let a dense clump of traffic pass. However, frequently, cars refuse to follow the laws of the road in a way that endangers bikers.

up
25

I'm not sure what makes you

By on

I'm not sure what makes you certain that the cyclist was the one doing the passing here - in the all-too-common Right Hook case, which it has been asserted this could well have been, the car passes the cyclist (not the other way around) before taking a right turn in front of them.

It's not generally the bike passing on the right in a blind spot the driver didn't check because of entitlement lanes.

up
23

Because the bicycle was in

By on

Because the bicycle was in its own lane, and vehicles turning right are required to merge into the bike lane before turning.

up
13

I believe...

By on

An intersection is not a lane. There are very separate markings - or no lane markings in intersections. (and I think even where there are bike lanes, the bike lanes don't extend across intersections). Different rules apply. Lawyers please weigh in.

There's another post somewhere on this thread that notes a biker who, when approaching an intersection, gets off the right rear bumper of the leading car and prepares to stop if the car turns. Says it has probably saved his (her?) life many times. That's smart defensive biking.

Legally this may not be correct, but if a biker gets "right hooked" s/he probably did something stupid unless the car came screaming up from behind and went careening around the intersection.

You just described the classic right hook.

By on

unless the car came screaming up from behind and went careening around the intersection.

You have just described the canonical right hook that cyclists worry and complain about. Yes, we know about it and try to avoid it, but cars pass us all the time, and if we assumed every car without a blinker on was going to hook us, we wouldn't make much forward progress. Cars turning through my lane without ever signaling is an everyday occurrence for me. If I slip up once, I don't relish the idea that you are going to blame me for not being careful enough.

up
15

Careening

By on

These accidents (at least the bad ones) seem to involve garbage trucks and Semis. We may all have different opinions of "careening", but I've rarely if ever seen an garbage truck or semi "careen" around a corner in the city. Cars may be a different story. Can't really know whom to blame in any case because I have never seen the situation, especially one that results in an accident, although it obviously happens. Just saying - for whatever reason, it's hard for drivers to "see" or more aptly, notice, bikers. Perhaps because we are not used to it (although I can assure you I've gotten better at it thanks to Uhub). I don't think anyone is "out to get you". I think the problem is more that bikers are still rare - and drivers have a hard time seeing you, as noted, and an even harder time estimating your speed. If they see you and "right hook" you, it's probably because they thought they were safely by you and misjudged your speed. This isn't a conspiracy against bikers by drivers.

Wish I could agree, but....

I don't even ride in the city, but this statement just isn't correct:

If they see you and "right hook" you, it's probably because they thought they were safely by you and misjudged your speed

Probably not. In fact, definitely not.

They simply don't know what they're doing. They are totally unaware that when they do that, they are severely endangering the rider. Once the bike is out of sight, it's out of mind, even if they passed the bike .1 second ago.

You're right, the driver is not outright out to hit the cyclist. But there is an amount of arrogance/ignorance on the driver's part that needs to be adjusted.

Blind spots are not the same

Blind spots are not the same as "if you can't see my mirrors..." Blind spots are areas you have to manually look to see, not just in the mirrors. Please don't drive if you don't know this.

up
23

As mentioned above

By on

In a vehicle of this size, blind spots are true 100% blind spots. No amount of craning your neck would allow you to manually check your blind spots. There is a reason trucks of this size have multiple size/shape mirrors, but even those don't cover every spot. Just don't ever expect to be seen if you are approaching a turning truck. Now if the truck passed the bicyclist then turned, it's a different story.

up
10

Blind Spot

By on

A blind spot is not a free hitting spot.

When I'm driving/biking/walking, I'm always watching for things like this, but watching for them cannot prevent them 100% from hitting you. If a truck pulls along side you and then starts immediately turning, what are you supposed to do about it? Teleport to another location?

up
19

Fair enough

The blind spot jab was commentary on drivers in general. Sort of a snarky "all cyclist run reds" which really doesn't add anything to conversation. Useless comment indeed.

Oh yeah and speaking of useless, I totally have seen trucks and buses with the "If you can't see my mirrors, I can't see you." Doesn't stop them from cutting me off when they apparently can see me.

The only blind spot on a

By on

The only blind spot on a truck is behind the truck, not beside it. The mirrors would show any one passing left or right.

Please, I doubt the driver

By on

Please, I doubt the driver will get something as harsh as a slap on the wrist.

up
12

I gotta wonder if the cyclist

By on

said "Gee, here's a large truck approaching an intersection. Even though they might be making a turn, I'm gonna pass them on the right anyway because I'm in my specal entitlement lane."

up
47

"Special entitlement lane" meaning...lane?

By on

It's a bike lane. I don't know why that screams entitlement to you or whether you'd just prefer that the 28-lb bike share a traffic lane with the three-ton truck or...? Anyway--sweet of you to suggest that this biker who was more than likely killed or maimed by a truck was acting really "entitled."

up
56

BULLSHIT

BULLSHIT BULLSHIT

The vast majority of these situations - and this is likely not an exception - involve a truck PASSING a cyclist JUST BEFORE turning.

Grow up, please. Drivers are RESPONSIBLE when they FAIL TO YIELD.

If you cannot drive without killing someone with your inattention to road conditions, then get the hell off the road and stop blaming other legally operating vehicles or demanding special rights for people with large vehicles and motors.

up
79

Im assuming you

By on

were there, seeing how you're providing us with so much "factual" data!

up
20

Bullshit on you Swirly.

By on

All of this blaming one another is absolute bullshit. Listen, it boils down to one simple fact:

If you are going to ride a bicycle in Boston, you better damn well be riding EXTREMELY defensively, cautiously and ultra-aware of your surroundings at all times.

Regardless of fault, negligence, ignorance, etc. etc., a bicyclist is literally putting their life on the line every time they hop on their bike and ride around town. Until the city bans large vehicles from traversing the same streets, (which will never happen) there will always be this danger.

In my humble opinion, 99.9% of the time BOTH the vehicle driver AND the bicyclist is at fault. Large vehicle drivers need to be incredibly careful when driving around this city for numerous reasons. But bicyclists should be even more careful, considering they're the ones who ultimately pay with their life.

up
73

Truck hitting bicyclist

By on

I have to add, it is very scary how bicyclist ride their bikes. I also fear the large truck drivers that intimidate you on the road. I am sorry to hear this person was hit on their bike. I hope it all ends well and there is a lesson in this for everyone. Be aware of your surroundings while on the road. I am not going to place blame anywhere. That's whats wrong with our society, we don't wait for the facts. Yes, someone was hit by a truck. Or the bike rider tried to beat the truck.We just don't know. It is just a sad situation.

up
10

I'll take Victim Blaming for 100 Alex

If you are going to ride a bicycle in Boston, you better damn well be riding EXTREMELY defensively, cautiously and ultra-aware of your surroundings at all times.

Yeah I ride this way daily and still manage to get passed too closely, right hooked and tailgated to no end. So it must be my fault for just being on the road, it can't have anything to do with inattentive and aggressive drivers that are given free rein to maim and kill pedestrians and cyclists because "Whooops! Didn't see them officer!"

up
26

It's the driver's fault

By on

Not your fault. Too many people in Boston who feel entitled and don't know how to drive. They are rich preschoolers whose mommys and daddys never gave them enough spankings.

I however look to my right and left and don't just use my mirrors. Your mirrors cannot be trusted and as a motorist we take the responsibility since we are the ones driving a one ton hunk of metal. If you drive cautiously, you won't hit anybody.

up
12

Oh... I didn't know all

By on

Oh... I didn't know all garbage truck drivers were born into great wealth and had never been spanked as a child. That explains everything. Your insight is invaluable.

up
14

@spin o rama

By on

Clearly you didn't read what I wrote, which doesn't surprise me.

Again, regardless of fault, negligence, or ignorance of the driver, it's still the bicyclist who pays with life and limb. So playing the blame game is pointless and absurd, but humor me for a second...

Drivers need to be more careful. I think that is universally understood. So that's 50% of the blame right there.

The other 50%? How about the bicyclist who thinks "I could die if that truck hits me, so HE better be careful when turning", instead of thinking "I could die if that truck hits me, so I better be careful".

Ok Swirly. Consider this

By on

Bike lanes - MANDATED by law, even if the demand isn't there for them, or even if they won't improve traffic flow or safety.

Registration for bikes - not required.

Insurance for bikes - not required.

Licensing for bikes - again, not required.

Not to mention the proposals to allow cyclists to treat stop signs and red lights differently than drivers must.

Now, what were you saying about special rights?

up
34

Re: The Mandate, you don't

By on

Re: The Mandate, you don't determine the need for a bridge by measuring the number of swimmers in the river. Bike lanes are there to encourage biking. The fact that they don't improve traffic flow or safety is a byproduct of the city's lack of commitment to safer bike lane designs.

Everything else you site is a byproduct of the light weight of bicycles and their relative lack of ability to cause serious harm to people or property.

Increasing the number of bicyclists tends to lower accident rates. All of the things you've cited tend to reduce the number of bicyclists while doing little to improve safety.

Furthermore, right-hook accidents like this one tend to be open and shut cases where the driver is found to be at fault. It's very unlikely that licensing for bicyclists would really change anything.

up
27

You determine the number of lanes for a road

By on

by the number of vehicles expected to use it. You determine the need for traffic signals by the amount of delay to side street traffic without them, or the number of crashes that can be avoided by installing them. You determine the need for separate left or right turn lanes by the number of vehicles expected to make said turn.

Proposed bike lanes, which actually reduce capacity for ALL road users AND reduce safety as well (nee "dooring" and "right hooks") should be reviewed according to similar standards. Instead, we have another "one size fits all" requirement to appease the bike lobby's whims.

And if you believe that "but it's for the better good of everyone, so let's mandate it" mantra of the bike lobby, may I remind you that this attitude is what drove (no pun intended) the construction of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s and 1960s.

What is the consensus, if

By on

What is the consensus, if there is one, among experienced urban cyclists regarding whether bike lanes help or harm?

You say that like it's a bad thing

...may I remind you that this attitude is what drove (no pun intended) the construction of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s and 1960s.

Is that such a bad thing?

The world isn't as your theories say

Proposed bike lanes, which actually reduce capacity for ALL road users AND reduce safety as well (nee "dooring" and "right hooks") should be reviewed according to similar standards.

Although part of this is exactly why Somerville is putting in a cycletrack on Beacon St.

Hourly counts of bikes are 1/2 what they are for motor vehicles during rush hours, so it isn't unreasonable that bikes take a fair share of the road. Furthermore, there is room for more bikes per hour (expected when proper facilities are constructed), but not more room for cars.

Sit at Beacon and Washington at rush hour and count how many bikes make it through each cycle versus how many cars.

You see, these cycle tracks won't reduce capacity for anyone - they will increase it overall.

Maybe you and Markkkkk should move to Texas and report back on the car utopia?

So you're saying that bike lanes should be put in

By on

on every single street because certain streets may have a lot of bike traffic? Why don't we also put traffic lights in at every single intersection because they've been shown to work at some intersections? Or put left turn lanes at every intersection because a few cars a day have to wait thirty seconds for traffic to clear so they can turn?

And if we're going to adopt such blanket policies regarding bike lanes, then at least include a legal requirement for cyclists to actually STAY WITHIN THEM (no more of this "we demand these facilities, but don't force us to use them" nonsense).

Ok roadman

Mandated by law - even in neighborhoods like Allston/Brighton, where the primary mode of transportation of the actual RESIDENTS is probably split at least 50/50 between bikes and cars, if not more towards bikes, not every road that needs a bike lane has one.

Registration for bikes - for what purpose? Maybe yearly inspections? Cyclists pay for the tiny cost of their road use through local and property taxes, since they pretty much have to live near the roads they use.

Insurance - massachusetts only requires liability insurance for car drivers. The amount of damage the average cyclist causes is tiny compared to the average car. Insurance mandates should be related to the potential damage an activity can cause, not where it takes place (i.e. a road).

Licensing for bikes - a good idea, even though licensing for cars doesn't seem to do much for drivers with a few years of experience. If the cops around Boston would actually enforce basic traffic laws, like exceeding speed limits, blowing red lights, and failing to use turn signals, and actually take points off the drivers license accordingly, I would be all for it.

up
18

50% bikes?

I have a hard time believing the 50% figure. There are @ 55000 residents in Allston Brighton. Are there really 25000+ people riding bikes in that neighborhood? Then it would feel like Amsterdam or an Asian city, which it doesn't. If you want to argue that 50% of the residents don't use cars and use bikes AND public transport, that might be believable.

up
13

Still not

By on

believable, 20% is even a push!

Perhaps

I don't have real numbers, and I doubt anyone actually does. I have lived mainly on the Allston/Lower Allston side. From my observations, I would guess most of the neighborhood does not use a car to commute to work - its slower, expensive to park, and why pay Boston rents if you aren't going to take advantage of the location?

I have a car, and lots of my friends and old roommates in the area have them too, but we mainly use them for shopping and trips out of the city, not commuting. Still, it would be neat if the RMV could tell us how many cars are registered in a zip code.

You do realize you don't have

By on

You do realize you don't have the right of way when you're making a turn, right? It's your responsibility to wait until cyclists and pedestrians are clear before you make that turn.

up
40

Facts

By on

Does anyone know the facts yet before jumping to conclusions?

Or are we all simply knee-jerking reactionary tw*ts A) siding with the cyclist because we ride a bike as well or B) blaming the cyclist because we simply don't like them.

up
13

I said clearly that I'm not assigning blame

By on

But boy, do I have a problem with someone whose first response to hearing about an accident like this is to start nattering on about "special entitlement lanes" like the guy on the bike had no right to be there. Are crosswalks "special entitlement corridors" for pedestrians? Sheesh.

up
17

Not entitlement....

By on

Legal right to pass on right hand side in Massachusetts. MGL Chpt 85 11B(1) http://goo.gl/mqYgmO. Not debating whether it's a good or bad decision but law does permit this type of action.

up
11

"Legal" <> "Safe".

"Legal" <> "Safe". And according to the eyewitness who posted below, the cyclist was being neither.

up
11

Finally a person who seems to

By on

Finally a person who seems to be anti-cyclist understands why cyclists need to break the law to survive in this city.

I don't know what makes you

I don't know what makes you think I'm anti-cyclist. I'm pro-reality. I don't bike, but if I did, I would rather be alive than "right". On the one hand, I think the city and state need to take a much harsher approach to all drivers who are in accidents, to encourage defensive driving, especially drivers who hit pedestrians and cyclists. On the other hand, there are clearly situations where peds and cyclists recklessly endanger themselves (and others), but many of the anti-car people on Uhub don't seem willing to acknowledge this.

up
12

It is entirely likely that the driver did signal

By on

It is entirely likely that the driver could have signaled, but given that the back of garbage trucks also tend to have a few amber strobe lights going, that the bicyclist never saw the turn signal. How many of you have noticed a fire truck or an ambulance signaling while they have their emergency lights. I see them use it all the time, but it's not always the most obvious turn signal with the other lights going.

Of course you think so

By on

Most likely the truck's fault
By "spin o rama"

Scroll down to read a witness' account of what actually happened, rather than what you were so sure off based on nothing whatsoever.

This is much further down than the area under construction.

By on

Still always feels like a slightly scary spot to me, though more often I'm wary of the opposite corner by the gas station where drivers often decide to make hasty right turns onto Mass. Ave. I'm not gung-ho to assign blame here and mostly just hoping that the cyclist is OK but yeesh...if you are turning right with a bike lane beside you, you need to check the lane and see clearly that you're good to go. And cyclists obviously have to give big trucks an especially wide berth when they're turning. A cyclist in New Orleans was just killed last week in similar circs--just a nightmare.

up
18

Two excellent points

By on

"if you are turning right with a bike lane beside you, you need to check the lane and see clearly that you're good to go. And cyclists obviously have to give big trucks an especially wide berth when they're turning"

These two points need to be hammered home to drivers and cyclists. Too many repeats of this same scenario.

up
23

The dreaded right hook again?

By on

It looks like that is certainly a possibility.

These are happening with such frequency these days that I have decided to yield my rights when riding a bicycle in such situations. When I am approaching an intersection at which one may turn right and there is a car that is wholly or partially in front of me, I will not pass that car until it is clear to me that it is not turning right, unless I get an affirmative indication from the driver that s/he has seen me and will let me pass prior to turning (of course, those people typically signal their turns anyway, so there is more info to deal with in the first place).

Similarly, when I am driving and preparing to take a right, I always indicate to cyclists that I know that they are there and that I will let them pass before taking the right. I often get honked at from behind, but that's a small price to pay to assure everyone's safety. It just seems to work better for all involved.

I hope that the victim is okay and recovers quickly.

up
42

this this this

By on

I got right-hooked when I was 16 (with a trombone case balanced on my back rack...this was not in Boston). Ever since then, if I'm approaching a place where there's a car to my left, and a place it could turn right into on my right, I assume that 1. the car doesn't see me, and 2. it's gonna turn right. It's saved my ass so many times I've lost count.

It sucks that in order to survive, you have to trust everyone around you to do the stupidest most vehicular homicide-y move possible at all times, but driving, walking, and cycling like that has undoubtedly saved my life.

I'm so glad to hear the victim is alive, and I hope for a speedy recovery.

up
22

...

By on

EXACTLY!

I 100% agree

By on

I always walk and drive (I don't bike) assuming that the people around me are complete morons. While it's not always the case (obviously,) it's really saved me NUMEROUS times, especially while crossing any street. Try to always expect the unexpected.
Here's to the health of the biker. And the driver of the truck, too, who might actually feel really shitty about this.

up
10

Right hooks are always the

By on

Right hooks are always the driver's fault. While they are avoidable as a cyclist, it is the driver's responsibility to check the bike lane before turning.

up
13

Cyclists, however, can do the following:

By on

•Keep a proper lookout -- use a mirror, and check your mirror as you approach the intersection.
•Be prepared to brake suddenly in case a car cuts you off.
•Adjust your lane position by riding closer to the car lane or taking the entire right lane as you cross the intersection.
•Consider crossing at the crosswalk -- but note that riding into the crosswalk from the sidewalk puts you at risk of being hit by both left and right-turning drivers, who won't be expecting a cyclist to suddenly enter the crosswalk. You can reduce your chances of being hit in the crosswalk by walking your bike across, as a pedestrian.
•Never pass a car on the right at intersections or driveways. Either slow down to match the pace of the car or take the lane and pass on the left.
•Avoid being in a car's blind spot while approaching from behind or while waiting at traffic lights. (Yes, folks, it does exist)
•Use a "bicycle box" where available. (Portland, Oregon is beginning to experiment with these European innovations). These position cyclists ahead of other vehicles at intersections.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/bike-accidents-collisions-with-ca...

Some of these suggestions are laughably ignorant

•Keep a proper lookout -- use a mirror, and check your mirror as you approach the intersection.

Wait, so you want me checking my mirrors, for cars behind me, that might pass me at an intersection and right hook me? While I'm also looking forward for cars that might left hook me? What about the 18 wheeler that decides to illegally turn from the left lane, over the right lane and bike lane to make a right, my mirror helps how?

•Be prepared to brake suddenly in case a car cuts you off.

Yeah thats what brakes are for but when car decides to quickly pass and then right hook, even the best brakes and attention will not help.

•Adjust your lane position by riding closer to the car lane or taking the entire right lane as you cross the intersection.

You want me to get further into the lane of traffic with the giant metal boxes that want me out of the way? Because that won't result in me getting tailgated or anything.

•Consider crossing at the crosswalk -- but note that riding into the crosswalk from the sidewalk puts you at risk of being hit by both left and right-turning drivers, who won't be expecting a cyclist to suddenly enter the crosswalk. You can reduce your chances of being hit in the crosswalk by walking your bike across, as a pedestrian.

Crossing at the crosswalk is illegal dude. Further more, you want cyclists to get off their bike when crossing intersections? At every intersection?

•Never pass a car on the right at intersections or driveways. Either slow down to match the pace of the car or take the lane and pass on the left.

This is sound advice actually and something I practice daily. Except the driveway part. Drivers could also signal at intersections but thats just wishful thinking.

•Avoid being in a car's blind spot while approaching from behind or while waiting at traffic lights. (Yes, folks, it does exist)

We move at different speeds and with traffic, sometimes a bike will pass in and out of a blind spot. Just because a driver doesn't want to turn their neck and check for safety before turning doesn't mean the cyclist is at fault.

•Use a "bicycle box" where available. (Portland, Oregon is beginning to experiment with these European innovations). These position cyclists ahead of other vehicles at intersections.

Yeah we have those around the city........and drivers frequently position their cars in these boxes.

up
11

Right Hook?

By on

Looks to be directly in front of New York Pizza. Slight downhill there, from photo looks like classic Right Hook scenario. Fingers crossed for victim.

Not a great start for the

By on

Not a great start for the City's new trash haulers. And to think I was glad to see they had the side guards on the trucks.

Side guards

I'm interested to know if the side guards helped to prevent a fatality or the person from being sucked into the wheels.

up
17

I saw this happen biking to work.

By on

As a cycling commuter, it pains me to report that I saw the whole accident unfold. The cyclist was coming on way too fast (blew the red light, too) into the truck's blind spot and there was no way the truck could have avoided a collision. Hoping for the best with the cyclist and truck driver.

up
37

Impossible!

According to several regular commenters around here, it's the truck driver's responsibility to avoid the cyclist, regardless of how stupidly or illegally the cyclist is behaving.

up
17

My wife and I had plenty of

By on

My wife and I had plenty of time to stop and wait for the truck to turn from across the intersection. Again, hate to say it, but the truck driver had no chance in hell to stop or even see the cyclist coming. Pity for all involved.

By the way, I am entirely for road tests, registrations, and mandatory safety classes for city cyclists. I yell at far more irresponsible cyclists than drivers on a week to week basis. I'm tired of them feeding the entitled, reckless, and dangerous stereotype of what I've seen to be at least 75% of my cycling peers.

up
20

You had me until 75%.

By on

I am a grouchy middle-aged cyclist whose natural sense of caution and maybe mom-ishness makes me hypersensitive to cyclists' antics as well as drivers' and sorry but you're just way off. Obviously the cyclists that you notice are the ones acting like morons, the same way that you notice bad drivers, but there are a lot more innocuous, law-abiding cyclists out there than there are scofflaws, let alone ones whose actions are actually life-threatening. I've yelled at cyclists too but only because they can hear me--if only I could yell effectively at the drivers who have literally come within a foot or two of squashing me...now that'd be nice.

up
12

Citation

By on

>>regardless of how stupidly or illegally the cyclist is behaving.

Who said that? I must have missed it.

I don't get it then...

By on

I don't get it then...

If he was traveling that fast, the driver would have seen him before he entered the blind spot. If he couldn't stop in time, the turning truck failed to yield as he is legally required.

If the light was red (you said the bike blew the red), the truck made an illegal right on red.

If the cyclist was traveling

By on

If the cyclist was traveling way too fast then it's entirely possible that the truck made the turn on a yellow or even a green and the bike came out of nowhere and hit the truck once the light was red and the truck was already moving through the intersection. It takes a while for trash trucks to make a turn.

I've said it over and over on this site and obviously it always falls on deaf ears but just because you ride a bike every day and think you should be able to ride without being extremely defensive it just isn't the case. When I rode a bike in Boston I was always careful, stayed away from cars and slowed down at almost all intersections if there were any vehicles near me. Sometimes I had to completely stop in situations where most people would keep going without a second thought. I still always made it to my destination faster than I would on foot and 90% of the time faster than I would in a car so I never thought it was a big deal to be extra careful.

I get that when you ride a bike every day you start to get comfortable in traffic and for the most part you can bike unimpeded to your destination but I think it's important to always be extremely vigilant and aware. Even if this were 100% the fault of the truck driver it doesn't change the fact that when there's a huge truck near you you should either find a safe way to pass or stay way back regardless of the law or your "bike rights" or whatever.

Traffic is a huge problem in Boston and people are almost always in a hurry to make that next light or whatever. If you drive with any regularity you would understand the stress that it induces and might be a little more lenient on drivers when they make a seemingly careless or impatient maneuver. I spent years in Boston driving, walking, taking the train, biking and skateboarding and the times spent waiting to cross as a cyclist or pedestrian are truly minimal and I never hesitated to let a driver cut in front of me or turn when I had the right of way because cars end up sitting at traffic signals for a huge portion of their journey while I, as a pedestrian, could essentially walk straight to my destination without waiting more than about 5 minutes total at a crosswalk.

In conclusion, safety first, go Sox, I'm gay and I never told my parents, san Dimas high school football rules and don't count your chickens before they hatch

Genuinely curious, because

By on

Genuinely curious, because this intersection is No Turn On Red all around but you seem to have first hand info: how did the bike blowing the red and passing on the right result in the truck apparently hitting the bike on the inside of a right turn, if not also illegal?

Unrelated that that query, I avoid this particular turn at all costs, cars always double parked right around the corner at NY Pizza and always flying through the turn without looking around them. Hazardous at best.

up
10

Who ran the red?

By on

The cyclist was coming on way too fast (blew the red light, too) into the truck's blind spot and there was no way the truck could have avoided a collision.

If the cyclist blew the red there, so did the trash truck. There is a No Turn on Red sign at that intersection.

up
17

One can assume so.

By on

However, the cyclist might of been trying to blow by the truck ("coming on way too fast") on the right and did not make it.

But this is only speculation on my part since I was not there.

Morning rush hour is manic.

People are jacked on coffee and stressed about getting to whatever sadism imposition they have for a job.

Many of these collisions seem to happen at that time

The number of wheels or mode of motion is irrelevant.

It's a street version of a meeting engagement... a daily Gettysburg between antagonists.

I rarely experience it as a useless layabout, but when I dived into it this morning I was reminded of how jittery and hard charging it is.

There seems to be a mode change lag as drivers get off an interstate and hit the slower, more event intensive city streets.

And some spots are particularly abrupt like the Sullivan Square traffic circle.

I liken it to running a river with different classes of rapids that want different levels of attention.

But if everyone on all wheel modes is bent on pedal to metal, that more subtle choreography doesn't happen and collisions are an outcome.

When that is layered over decades of infrastructure neglect and innovation apathy on the part of official keepers of public ways, you get this fractious mess.

No one is psyched to pay for what it costs to fix it but anyone who works on it will be expected to want more money than counterparts in less craven and inflated places.

It's as if everyone thinks they are worth more than they really are while assuming all of their fellows are surely worth less.

Possibility

By on

I can't recall off the top of my head, but doesn't this intersection use non-concurrent walk signals?

If so, then the light would be red, but the walk signal would be lit. The biker approaching the intersection (too?) rapidly would see the red light but also the walk signal and choose to run the red using the pedestrian time to cross the intersection. At the same time, the trash truck seeing no pedestrians crossing his way might have seen the walk cycle as an opportunity to make an illegal right on red as he knew the cars were still stopped and didn't see the approaching bicycle.

Just one possibility in which the light would be red and both the truck and the bike would think it would be safe to go (each with their own relative measures of illegality).

I travel through this

By on

I travel through this intersection daily. The walk signal activates for pedestrians to cross Columbus at the same time as vehicles traveling southbound on Mass Ave (or turning right onto Columbus) get the green.

So the truck either turned right on the green light at the same time that the pedestrian signal was lit for the Columbus crosswalk - or the truck did an illegal right on red without pedestrian signal lit. I see plenty of illegal rights on red at this light - and hear plenty of honking behind me when I *don't* take the illegal right on red.

Protected lefts?

By on

I wonder then if the protected left turns on Mass Ave were lit and nobody was going north on Mass Ave to turn left. Then they both expected to jump the green, the bike keeping his momentum from behind the truck and the truck taking an unsignaled right just before the light went green.

Prediction

I expect this incident to inspire a sober and thoughtful discussion of vehicle safety, said absolutely no one.

up
32

Sex pistols wouldn't help here

But from the aerial photo, the garbage truck practically drove over the sidewalk on that turn. From that position, there's no way a left-hand driver of a big truck would have been able to see pedestrians entering the crosswalk (where the hubway bicyclist now appears to have been, along with other pedestrians) during the concurrent walk signal. He could just as easily have run over a baby carriage as a bicyclist.

Some bollards around the corner might have prevented the truck from taking this dangerous angle at the crosswalk.

Take care

The right hook law helps no one especially bikers who assume that because there is a law and a lane, they will be safe. Beyond that, almost every ride I take someone passes me to turn right in front of me. Take time and stay away from the inside of any vehicle if you cannot see the eyes of the driver.

I agree that the right hook

By on

I agree that the right hook law is next to worthless. I was wearing a gopro camera when I was right hooked by a cab in Boston. I sent the video to Nicole F. at BikeBoston who forwarded it to the police captain with responsibility for biking issues. He said they could not issue a ticket because the violation was not witnessed in person by a police officer.

There is a technical solution to this

By on

The sad thing is that there is a technical solution to this problem that Boston has so far done little to implement in spite of several fatalities:

IMAGE(<a href="http://wiki.coe.neu.edu/groups/nl2011transpo/wiki/ba51e/images/__thumbs__/77dc4.png)">http://wiki.coe.neu.edu/groups/nl2011transpo/wiki/ba51e/images/__thumbs_...

The tl;dr is that if you divert the bicyclists away from the traffic a few feet before the turning vehicle, they are forced to intersect at a 90 degree angle, where the type of accident is less deadly and the driver is more likely to see the bicyclist.

The stupid thing is that it doesn't even cost more to build it that way, you just have to be willing to build it that way from the beginning.

The full article

Of course what's misleading about this picture is the idea that the Dutch are even still designing roads with non-separated bike lanes in the first place. My understanding is that they no longer do that.

up
18

Now this is what

..quality discourse looks like.

I may not rise to it but I do recognize it from other parts of the intertoobz and it's always great when it shows up here to offset the dong waving, snarling and scolding.

Comic relief and subtle asides are usually the best we seem capable of and Scratchie is going to burn out from holding that end up.

These are out of fashion

The Dutch design is similar to what has existed for most of a century on US roads. They are called slip lanes, or informally, "pork chops". However, the difference most everywhere is that they are for all vehicles to use while the Dutch examples are only for narrower vehicles like bikes, or perhaps mopeds (which also tend to travel to the right of other traffic).

In the last couple decades, especially in Boston and Cambridge, slip lanes have been replaced with corners that bump or jut out, arguing that pedestrians are thus less challenged by not having an extra crossing of vehicular way. Another issue is accommodation for pedestrians with disabilities.

Getting the Dutch design implemented would require advocates of the current fad to admit shortcomings and change their religion to a new one. For hundreds of years this has been a challenge in science, often taking decades to convert believers. People got jailed or killed for claiming the Earth was not the center of the universe, so intersection philosophy too will take time to change.

If you'd bother to read the

If you'd bother to read the article -- or even look at the pictures -- you might realize that in spite of some superficial resemblance to "slip lanes", the purpose and design of the Dutch-style intersection is completely different, i.e., they are designed to have the right-turning motor vehicle and the non-turning bicycle intersect at right angles to improve visibility for everyone.

up
12

Irrelevent

The Dutch design creates additional crossings for pedestrians over vehicle paths. More islands. That's what the new crop of road designers in the US object to, regardless of how they function. These islands are still in conflict with US ADA standards and a hazard for blind people. But fuck blind people because they don't ride bicycles so much, huh?

change bike lanes.

By on

Nothing like this would likely happen again if they found a way to redesign the bike lanes. The idea of any vehicle passing on the right, a car that is turning right, is insanely stupid and bikes are most often harder to see than cars. Perhaps they could merge the bike lane with regular traffic at intersections or something like that. This system cleary is not working.

Merge at intersection

By on

They already do. Those skip lines on the bike lane at the intersection mean that you can legally drive in the bike lane. More specifically, when you make a right turn, you are supposed to merge right before you do so. State law says that you must make a right turn from the right-most lane, which in this case would be the bike lane.

Also note that where there is a right-turn lane (not here), the bike lane is located to the left of the right-turns.

State law says that you must

State law says that you must make a right turn from the right-most lane, which in this case would be the bike lane.

Two problems with this:

1) I'd bet a nickel that not one non-biking driver in a hundred knows that they're supposed to merge into the bike lane before turning.

2) If they did, this would just result in more accidents, since they still wouldn't check for bicyclists before doing so.

up
11

The ignobility

So sad for the cyclist who likely faces a long, and unlikely full recovery. Then the ignobility of having it occur while riding a Hubway clunker colliding with a garbage truck (even if a new looking garbage truck with side safety guards).

Has anyone ever seen how

By on

Has anyone ever seen how people ride bikes in boston? I'm not speaking of this accident cause no one knows what happened yet... Bikes are lawless they don't stop at red lights, stop signs, and they are constantly passing on the right side.... Sorry to say a bike is no match for a car so they need to be more cautious than drivers.... I don't know one story of a person in a car being killed by a person on a bike. All laws should be followed by everyone using the streets

up
11

No.

Nobody's ever seen this. You are, in fact, the first person to raise the issue of reckless cyclists in the history of Uhub.

up
36

Well I'll take a dent in my

By on

Well I'll take a dent in my bumper rather than a trip to the hospital.... Cars don't get hurt hitting bicyclist but bicyclists do in fact get severely hurt.... When a bike runs a stop sign they deserve nothing more than to be demolished by a car van or trash truck

This was more of a rhetorical

By on

This was more of a rhetorical question thanks for the use of terrible sarcasm my point was if I drive a car make an illegal turn run a red light run a stop sign I can be pulled over and ticketed I've never heard of bikes getting a ticket

And I've never heard of a cyclist killing a car driver.

By on

I'm sure it's happened, kind of like those stories about chihuahuas who kill small infants but it's extremely, extremely rare. In contrast we've had multiple cyclists killed and maimed in collisions with motor vehicles just this year in Boston. Cars are inherently more dangerous for cyclists, pedestrians and other cars--hence the higher level of responsibility and greater penalties for transgressions, though surely you're not implying that driving laws are consistently enforced?

Has anyone ever seen how

By on

Has anyone ever seen how people drive cars in Boston? I'm not speaking of this accident cause no one knows what happened yet... Cars are lawless they don't stop at red lights, stop signs, and they are constantly passing on the right side...

up
21

Note the SUV illegally parked

By on

Note the SUV illegally parked in a bike lane and blocking a hydrant on Mass Ave. Also note the New York Pizza vehicle illegally parked too close to the corner.

City study claimed excess parking spots

When the City proposed removing parking on the north/east side of Mass Ave to create bike lanes, they paid for consultants to do a study. The consultants asserted that there was surplus parking on Mass Ave, so that removing parking on that side of the street to make bike lanes wouldn't be a problem.

I guess they were wrong. Shocker.

Just go away

You're seriously claiming that illegal parking proves that we don't have enough parking spaces? By that standard, Boston won't have enough parking spaces until we convert the entire city to one big parking lot.

up
16

Street view car ran the light

By on

Move forward a few frames and watch as the Google Street View car runs a red light, while the girl on the right waits patiently on her bike.

up
10

FTFY

Has anyone ever seen how people drive cars and trucks in Boston? I'm not speaking of this accident cause no one knows what happened yet... Motorists are lawless they don't stop at red lights, stop signs, and they are constantly passing on the right side.... Sorry to say a cyclist has the right of way in many situations, and cars can kill so their drivers need to be more cautious than cyclists .... I don't know one story of a person in a car being killed by a person on a bike. All laws should be followed by everyone using the streets.

Roads too frustrating

What is happening generally is that roads are getting more and more frustrating to travel by bike or car. In many people this leads to bad behavior including violating rules and laws, be they motorists trying to squeeze yellow lights because light cycles are too long and unsynchronized, or bicyclists running them outright because red lights are so closely spaced. Unfortunately, traffic engineers don't consider frustration producing aspects of their designs and account for them. The extreme expression of increasing frustration is road rage. Likewise, increasing frustration in air travel produces expensive and very disruptive incidents. Between cyclists and motorists, each consider the other a major frustration. Time for road designers to think differently.

I stopped biking.

By on

I've been an avid bicyclist and daily bike commuter for 7 years, but all the free passes that have been handed out for vehicular homicide and the ghoulish victim blaming has caused me to relegate my Surly Cross Check to the stationary trainer, with the occasional weekend jaunt here and there. It's just not worth the risk anymore, and won't be until major changes occur. I'm not sure if this makes me a coward, a traitor to my beloved two-wheeled community, or just a regular non-suicidal human.

You've won, anti-bikers; enjoy my thick plumes of exhaust as I drive to work.

up
12

You're preaching to the choir

By on

You're preaching to the choir at Uhub. The overwhelming majority are pro-cyclists. I wouldn't bike in the city either. Too risky. However, I'm not bitter about it, I'm just a realist. Besides, I enjoy walking and don't mind public transportation.

Gave up the suicide vest?

No longer a martyr ready to die for the cause? No more riding in snow, rain, sleet, and heatwave? Tsk, just like people who only go to church or synagogue on the most sacred days, rather than all the time. Reason won.

Not reason

Motorized bullying and fundamental lack of enforcement of motor vehicle laws won.

Well I'm still fighting the

By on

Well I'm still fighting the good fight; refusing to pass cyclists within 100ft of a traffic light and often cheerfully waving them in to take the lane, so I'm just as popular with motorists as when I was biking.

Car-ma

By on

I road behind a cyclist today who was only going about 5 mph below the limit until the road opened up and I could pass safely in the second lane. The car behind me wasn't a fan but didn't do anything stupid either.

About three lights later at a red light, I was in the left lane still, the second car from the light. I noticed a different cyclist come up on my left in the left turn only lane. We get the green and he proceeds to cut in front of me without looking. He goes between me and the car in front of me after we had already started moving. He then proceeds to continue across the right lane in front of someone else and across the right turn only lane to make a right turn from the left turn only lane. He crossed three lanes of traffic that had a green light and for no reason since he could have just used the bike lane in the right lane and then the empty right turn only lane.

I hit my horn and he turned a bit and gave me a thumbs up.

Fuck that guy and I hope he doesn't damage the car that splatters his no-helmet brains all over the road some day. So much for getting back what I put out into the universe by being kind to the first cyclist.

I think the addition of the

By on

I think the addition of the bike lanes has given riders a false sense of security which makes them less cautious.

Don't let this get burried

Don't know how to edit my post on mobile, but we had the right of way/walk sign crossing Columbus and the truck made a speedy right turn without slowing or signaling. Before emergency services got there, the driver wanted to try and BACK the truck off of him. What the fuck.

up
11

Walk is synched with green.

By on

Walk is synched with green. Peds get the walk signal to cross Columbus at the same time as drivers get green to go south on Mass Ave (or right onto Columbus).

No.

By on

It is an automatic walk signal when the Mass Ave light is green, and for some inexplicable reason, it is pedestrian activated to cross Mass Ave when the Columbus Ave light turns green. I have no idea what the logic is where pedestrians need to press a button for a walk signal that activates concurrently with a green, but it's been that way since those lights were installed several years ago.

Interesting

If that's the case, then this witness's account conflicts with the other witness (who said the cyclist ran a red light). If I'm understanding you correctly, if the reddit user had a walk light to cross Columbus Ave, that would imply that the truck had a green light (which doesn't make it OK to cut off pedestrians or right-hook a cyclist, obviously, but which seems to confuse the issue).

I don't want to get all Encyclopedia Brown here but...

By on

I was wondering what red light the cyclist allegedly "blew?" I can't quite believe the witness who posted here actually tracked this guy from...what--the Mass. Ave. T station? Not to mention that even if he did, a guy on a Hubway "blowing through" that light isn't quite as egregious as going through an intersection unless he was endangering pedestrians.

I have no idea what the logic

By on

I have no idea what the logic is where pedestrians need to press a button for a walk signal that activates concurrently with a green

Aha welcome to Boston where the transportation department makes you push a button to cross, and the only difference is that it might display a walk signal at the same time that any sensible person would cross (if it is not a broken button).

Naturally everyone thinks that is dumb and ignores it.

I think BTD does it just so that they can blame the pedestrian for following common sense and crossing concurrently with the cars. if there is ever a crash.

The right-hook is illegal

By on

The right-hook is illegal under state law, which says, “no person operating a vehicle that overtakes and passes a bicyclist proceeding in the same direction shall make a right turn at an intersection or driveway unless the turn can be made at a safe distance from the bicyclist.”

up
11

Sunrise Driver not at fault

By on

I was on Mass Ave beside the garbage truck who had a red light, the light turned green and he turned right. The bicycle was on the SIDEWALK instead of the bicycle path and the driver was already committed to the right turn on to the other road. Once the driver was more than 3/4 the way into the road the bicyclist did not yield and went under the truck. The driver stopped when he heard all of the commotion.

Why was he bicyclist on the sidewalk when the LAW states they are NOT to be on it and must be in the bicycle path.

All bicyclist should learn the law prior to riding them!

The law allows cyclists to

By on

The law allows cyclists to ride on sidewalks outside of central business districts. Boston does not define a central business district, so it's a bit ambiguous where riding on the sidewalk may be verboten. The law also allows cities to restrict bikes from sidewalks via local ordinance, but again Boston does not have such an ordinance. Nicole Freeman has confirmed these details, though I suppose nothing is truly "legal/illegal" till the courts get their say.

Bicyclists with suspended/revoked RMV driver's licenses?

By on

In my experience as a police officer, many of those forced to bicycle were bearing suspended or revoked automobile RMV driver's licenses. Multiple drunk driving offenses, etc. For many habitual traffic offenders, biking is cheaper than a cab and easier than the T, especially if one can steal or cheaply obtain the bike. These reports should at least attempt to furnish a RMV (automobile) driver's history of the bicyclist, which is public record, in each story. By no means to cast aspersions on the biker in this case, in fact Sunrise Scavenger was recently caught employing questionable persons in suburban Boston, but the bicyclist seems to be always reflexively portrayed on UH as the innocent victim, which strains credulity.

Brilliant!!!

Get on it ASAP and then get to work on similar case history background checks for pedestrians.

After all, if someone isn't piloting a four wheeled stinkpot, there is something deeply, darkly suspicious.

It's a pity you are out to pasture as this is a stunning demonstration of leadership and imagination.

Do not waste another second on the comment section of some blog... Destiny Calls!!!!

Now GET BUSY!!

up
14

Pages