Police: Motorist punches out bicyclist who refuses to go through a red light

Capt. John Greland at C-6 reports that around 5:55 p.m. on Tuesday, a motorist took exception, by way of his fist, to a bicyclist obeying traffic rules at Dorchester Avenue and Columbia Road.

Greland says the motorist, apparently headed straight, beeped at the bicyclist in front of him. When the bicyclist refused to move and told him the light was red, the driver got out of his car and punched the bicyclist in the face, giving him a bloody mouth and knocking him to the ground - possibly into unconsciousness - Greland says.

EMTs took the bicyclist to the hospital; police will seek criminal complaints against the driver in South Boston District Court.

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Comments

Apparently someone isn't

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Apparently someone isn't mature enough to operate a car without resorting to violence and needs to have their license revoked.

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Bikes were there first

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Motorists can't behave. There's no room for giant contraptions for single people. Ban all cars.

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Legally, tactically,

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Legally, tactically, functionally, and ethically your opinion is baseless and without merit.

No discussion.

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Good Idea, Pete

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Lets punish the law-abiding victims because the criminals can't be expected to control themselves!

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85

Minor edit

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Bikes Some drivers don't belong on roads with cars.

Fixed that for you.

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122

Well then

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Fewer car lanes, more cycletracks. Discuss.

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I agree

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I agree, we don't belong on the same roads. Instead, let's build a network of cycletracks & greenways that are separated from streets as much as possible. They are safer, and offer cleaner air for us cyclists so we don't have to choke down toxic car exhaust. Now, that we all agree, I can help identify which roads to remove lanes from in order to make this happen.

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I disagree

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And when you're through building your utopia with butterflies and unicorns romping, and the end to world hunger, let us know.

Meanwhile, the rest of us still need to ride on the roads we have.

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Reply to I disagree

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Whom do you think should fund the bicycle facilities? The tax payers. This was attempted in Iowa about 10 years ago. It happened as a result of a state law maker who got pissed at a group of cyclists LEGALLY riding on the shoulder of a state highway with an adjacent multi use path. When the former state senator, who shall not be named, pulled over and ordered the cyclists to get on the path they refused. He tried to play I'm a state senator card with them and they still refused. The reason they refused is the path turned to continue away from the highway and was not going to the destination they were going.

At the next legislative session he presented a bill to ban all cyclists from all public roadways. The cyclists mobilized and got our own supporters in the legislature and had amendments made to the bill. The amendments included a multi use path adjacent to every single public roadways, especially state highways. This effectively killed the bill in committee. At the next election year the former senator who shall not be named, was voted out of office because of this bill he proposed.

So I ask again who in the state of Massachusetts is going to fund the building of separate bicycle facilities? The tax payers? Which state law maker is going to propose this bill with the risk of being voted out of office for doing so? It happened in Iowa, this has happened in other states. Do the law makers of MA really want to risk it in their state?

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Tax on electric vehicles

A week or two ago Mass Republicans suggested a way to increase roadway funding in the face of declining gas tax revenues as vehicles get more efficient. What should be the funding model if everyone drives an electric vehicle? What pays for road repairs when electric vehicle owners pay nothing, bicyclists pay nothing, and hybrid owners pay little? They suggested a $100/year registry tax.

So, the question is: How do you propose bicyclists pay for their adjacent paths? Do you have a funding model with enough political support?

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I'm not sure on what funding

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I'm not sure on what funding model should be propose, which is a very good question that should be addressed before any progress is expected. But I'd also like to point out that cycling paths are fractional costs compared to motor-purposed roads, but they also allow denser traffic. For example, a single car lane can support 4 bi-directional bike lanes. They also require very low maintenence once built (virutally none, unlike vehicle roadways that needs to be repaired very frequently due to heavy trucks ruining the surface).

I think to get move forward, you first have to appeal to the masses that you are not spending their money on somebody else's roads. You are spending their money to help improve their OWN situation. More cycling paths means less cars on their roads, which translates to less traffic, less pollution, and less costly road maintenence in the long run. Quite honestly, I think it's an investment more than just expense.

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A modest proposal

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It seems to me that people who use bikes to commute burn more calories than those who drive. As a result of this, they likely have to consume more calories. Thus, I propose a calorie tax. The taxes paid for foods will be weighted based upon how many calories are in that food. That way, all those cyclists who are eating all those calories will have to pay their way to building those safer paths.

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Non-car owners already pay for the bulk of car travel

When motorists start paying for more than 28% of the public cost of their driving we can talk.

Perhaps we should add an obesity-related illness tax on cars as well? To pay for the healthcare that cyclists, walkers, joggers, and public transit users don't use because the lack of physical activity in habitual drivers leads to higher rates of illness?

There is plenty of evidence that investment in infrastructure that encourages non-motorized travel pays back hugely in the increase in productive life span (measured as DALYs - disability adjusted life years). Longer, healthier lives mean more time working and producing and paying taxes.

I did once talk to a Cuban physician who had to ride a circuit of clinics when he was younger. He eventually bought a motorcycle because the cost of food to fuel 4-500km of cycling a week was far less than the cost of fuel.

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Anti-MBTA now too?

Hint: The MBTA only provides motorized transportation.

"Non-car owners already pay for the bulk of car travel"

You make that claim how? Because there are so many more tax payers who don't own cars than do? So many more bicycles on the road than cars? More people traveling to work by walking and bicycle than by motor vehicles (car, car pool, bus, cab, motorcycle, train)?

I guess you indirectly agree that electric car owners should pay more for roads, that aren't now because they pay no gas taxes. High efficiency car owners need to pay more too, again because they are under-charged by the gas tax method of funding roads.

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Gas tax pays only 1/4 of the cost of car travel in MA

The money all goes into and comes out of the general fund (in case you aren't familiar with how our local government works).

Car owners put in 25.8% of the cost of MA roadways via gas taxes according to the Tax Foundation. Everybody, regardless of car ownership, pays the rest through sales tax, income tax, property tax, and other fees and taxes that support car habits.

Gas tax is only a pittance of the actual costs. Meanwhile, cyclists, walkers, MBTA users pay in a lot of money that subsidizes car users (on top of fares funding 60% of the MBTA).

So, when drivers pay their fair share of their road use, we can start talking about taxing other modes. Meanwhile, cyclists get no where near what they pay in to subsidize your car habit back in accommodations, and will continue to demand their fair share (especially since cycling accommodations are far cheaper than car accommodations - especially when the capacity is so much higher given so much less extra vehicle is involved).

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The less popular, the more unfair?

By your logic, the less popular the transportation mode, the more unfair the funding is?

Rollerbladers, skateboarders and pogo sick riders are thus treated even less fairly than bicyclists? Where are the skate parks from transportation money for them?

What is the fair share of road costs for drivers? Should they pay in proportion to how much they use roads, and yet get a lower percentage of the road width because you think bicyclists should get more road percentage than their ridership represents?

What you have not answered is what you think should replace the gas tax model. The gas tax model fails for electric and hybrid vehicles, contributing to the gas tax shortfall. How do you propose fixing the gas tax so that higher efficiency vehicles pay their fair share? Tax based on vehicle weight cubed times mile per year traveled (only while driving in Massachusetts)?

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Whenever I Use My Pogo Stick To Cross The Longfellow Bridge ...

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... those nasty bicyclists keep intruding into the pogo lane ...

Oh, and don't get me started about when the pogo signal says "Go", while bike signals say "No Go", but the pogos can't go because the cars didn't go because the pedestrians had to go when the "Walk"signal said "No" ... !

So ... build more pedestrian bridges to get to and fro. From there, you can look down and laugh at the madness below!

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no. it's a sidewalk. it's

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no. it's a sidewalk. it's more dangerous for cyclist and pedestrians if bikes are ridden on it

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You're right! They can't

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You're right! They can't possibly coexist, because many cars have sociopaths driving them, and most of our roads are not designed to properly protect bicyclists from them. Since bikes have been using those roads for much longer, I assume you're advocating for banning motor vehicles from the streets of Boston, yes?

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Perfectly put sir. Exactly

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Perfectly put sir. Exactly right. Bikes were here first, so let's get the cars off the roads. We gave them a go, and they've been disastrous. Just a completely failed experiment.

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Ooh, ooh, ooh...

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Cars don't belong where people are. Since people need to use roads for transportation cars should not be there.

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Cyclists need to take back

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Cyclists need to take back the roads from motor vehicles, especially when drivers can't behave like mature human beings.

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Bikes

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Should be registered and have some sort of license plate or identifying number. People who ride bikes should have to take a bike safety and road test. A bike license would be nice also, and an excise tax should be assessed for every bike.

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Lets start with those who cause the most deaths

You know, careless drivers? I challenge you to find a single accident in MA in the last five years where a careless cyclist killed someone other than themselves. Meanwhile, careless drivers and drunk drivers kill hundreds each year in MA and tens of thousands nationally.

Oh, and you clearly understand that most cyclists - like well over 90% - have driver's licenses already, right? Right?

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Care to share...

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The results of your google? Because I'm not seeing anything except for lots of dead cyclists killed by cars.

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Bikes

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You know it was bicycle and a bicycle club in the 1890s that got paved roads started .

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Were you alive in 1890? I

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Were you alive in 1890? I doubt it, so no, YOU did not get the roads paved. Do you by groceries? How do you think those groceries got to wherever you bought them. On a TRUCK which uses a ROAD. Mind blown? Get over yourself.

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Roads were paved because if the bike

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This is historicaly correct. In 1885 the roads were first paved because cyclist needed a smooth surface to ride on. Also it was the bike manufacturing industry that started to make cars. This is a historical fact. You don't need to have lived in that time to know it is true.

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My mind is blown, by your defensiveness

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You know the intended point was not that cars [or trucks in this instance] do not belong on the road per se. Hell, most cyclists are also car drivers some of the time too. Rather the point seemed to be to counter the frequently mantra that bicycles do not belong on the road. The point being drivers should be grateful to those actions taken by cyclist advocacy groups back in 1890 because driving on cobblestones sucks almost as much as riding on them does. And perhaps as a result extend a little more courtesy towards cyclists today, and stop making selfish statements that amount to "Mine!".

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I absolutely think bikes

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I absolutely think bikes belong on the road and off of the sidewalks. I don't know any cyclist who doesn't also carry a driver's license. None of them take credit for paving roads. It's childish and silly. The cyclists who keep congratulating themselves for paved roads are not helping improve relations with the neighborhood residents through which they ride. Demanding and whining without contributing is obnoxious and only discredits one's cause. Roads were paved before they were born and they had NOTHING to do with it.

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Kids can and do ride on sidewalks

It's both legal and sensible for kids to ride on sidewalks in most places. This doesn't mean that it's sensible for adults to ride on sidewalks. If you want to get anywhere on a bike, the road is the way.

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*buy. If you're going to

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*buy. If you're going to slam on someone, try to spell it correctly or you just sound ridiculous.

Funny

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What's funny is that anon you did not notice that he said cyclists from that time was the people that got roads paved. He didnt say he got them paved. Read carefully. And have a good day sir.

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reducing vehicles on the road.

Actually, my theory about getting cars off the road would exclude commercial vehicles. as you mind blowingly noticed, restricting commercial vehicles would restrict commerce, and that would be unsustainable.

I think that if you banned private cars from cities (or even city centers), it would be safer to ride and walk. handicapped drivers would also need to have access. I think this would even increase commerce of certain kinds of business because commuters wouldn't bring everything from home each day.

my cray cray rant, would also point out that private cars are killing us. I can't count how many parents have told me that asking their child to walk 2 miles to school is abuse. In fact, back when this kind of abuse was normal and people walked everywhere, people were healthier.

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bikes/cars on the road

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Discuss THIS -- until motorists learn that A.)roads weren't made just for cars; and B.)they don't OWN them, then MOTORISTS can keep THEIR asses off roads.

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motorists are defensive for a reason.

they are not entitled to the road for the simple fact that a license to drive a car is granted by the state. Bicyclists are entitled to be on the road, because there is no reason to license to operation of something that doesn't kill you if it hits you. Motorists were not licensed until they killed people.

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I know, huh?

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But some people aren't ready or able to bike, so we need to allow at least some cars. For now.

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I disagree!!!

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I disagree. The law for cyclists is the same for cars. As an avid cyclist I cannot believe how people in vehicles can act so very aggressively to someone out there on the road following the laws of the road. We are not protected in a half ton steel cage, why do people in cars feel it is ok to cause bodily harm to cyclists who are obeying the law while trying to excersize and have a good time? Cars don't purposefully smash into other vehicles, why is it ok to kill someone on a bike?

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Bikes were the first machines

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In all 50 United States DRIVING IS LEGALLY A PRIVILEGE NOT A RIGHT. I don't agree with this, but the fact remains. Most roads were built over trails which horses, then wagons, then bicycles, AND THEN cars rode over. No license is required to ride a bike or a horse. Cyclists are required to obey traffic laws. Many don't. However, TWO WRONGS DON'T MAKE A RIGHT! BUT three lefts do make a right. SO, .....was alcohol involved?

Good question

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Somehow they IDed the driver because they know who he is for issuing a court summons.

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The punchy puncher constutuency

..are like odd rogue males that usually have a collection of bar fights, street scrapes, a spouse battering or two and the array of lout life moments that end up being noteworthy to cops.

And if, you think about it, the various neighborhoods are like small towns clustering to make a city.

So Hyde Park will have a Punchy McPunch Punch or two, Rozzie, wherever the endangered townie subspecies still anxiously roost.

In many cases it's some judges cousin as nothing emboldens a Punch A Lot Lord like the impunity that comes with a whoyaknow.

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bicycle violence

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This was an episode of bullying,pure and simple.I know because I am the police witness who was there and attended to the innocent victim in this despicable incident.For anyone to suggest that the victim "got what was coming to him" needs mental health counseling.

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Care needed

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Elaine -- I am not a lawyer, but if you are called as a witness to anything it may be worthwhile to avoid commenting further, could allow claims that you are biased etc. Of course, I agree with your sentiments.

Regarding the majority of this comment thread: Are we so easily baited? Seems so.

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Underlying psychology of driver

The driver was completely wrong, but I can picture his emotional state.

He was not expecting someone to suddenly stop for a stale yellow or just turned red light, especially when bicyclists blow through red lights all the time. The expectation was set that bicyclists don't stop for red lights and bicyclists as a whole plus no enforcement by police are to blame for that. Add in state lawmakers for not having any fines stick for cyclists, and the result is low law compliance.

So, with the driver on his way through the red light, he has to jam on the brakes to not kill the cyclist. Well, that is an adrenaline jolt to the body intensified with the realization that he could have killed someone.

Now, pumped full adrenaline, higher mental functions are impaired and lower fight-flight ones dominate. Reason is disabled. When there is then a verbal confrontation with the cyclist, fight happens.

In any sort of road rage incident (fueled by hormone release) it is best to disconnect from the situation and not confront, regardless of vehicles. Don't try to lecture anyone who is pumped with adrenaline because the message doesn't get through and it only pisses them off.

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Tell us more, Mark

Like, you seem to know so much about this incident - did you make bail yet?

Or are you just making your usual specious and bizarre driver privilege arguments absent logic, reason, facts, and any sense of responsibility for drivers?

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Red lights?

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Motorized vehicles run red lights in this city constantly. Everyone should just be punching people all the time.

Townies in Southie love to

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Townies in Southie love to make excuses for criminal behavior while blaming all the ills of the world on yuppies, it seems. I guess that's why they are making the millionth movie/book/documentary about your favorite criminal Whitey, while everyone pretends they are ashamed of him...sort of.

was wondering that too. I

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was wondering that too. I wonder how many prior violent and driving offenses this out of control motorist has on record

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This driver is

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obviously an asshole, however that does not negate the fact cyclists are just awful.

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We're simply dreadful, trying

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We're simply dreadful, trying to get from one point to another without a motor. The audacity!

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just awful?

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Just awful for waiting at a red light, in that way that drivers are always insisting that cyclists never do?

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the most angry and aggressive

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the most angry and aggressive drivers in the state are the those really cool stud muffins that ride speed bikes. never fails that every time I see one they are driving aggressively. too cool not too ya know.

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Reminder that Levi's makes

Reminder that Levi's makes some lovely commuter jeans with a loop in the back to holster a U-lock, that could come in handy for defense purposes should one be faced with a life threatening situation.

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Straight

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Is this post based solely on the tweet? The tweet doesn't say anything about the intended direction of the driver. Based on my past experiences of getting honked at while stopped at red lights, it is because the driver behind me wants to go RIGHT on red. That's reasonable UNLESS there is a vehicle in front of you! I'm wondering if that's what happened in this case.

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A vehicle in front of you

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You mean, like, a bicycle?

Or do you mean that you expect a cyclist to run a red light so a motorist can turn?

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Yes, both cars and bikes are

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Yes, both cars and bikes are vehicles. You shouldn't expect to be able to go right on red if a vehicle is in front of you and they aren't going right.

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This is true, but as a

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This is true, but as a cyclist I'll often try to move to the left of the right lane if I sense the car behind me wants to go right on red. We're living in a society after all...

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Nope

I bike through there almost daily. It's a No Right On Red intersection.

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You all know the story.......

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The police he will ID him, catch him, bring him before a judge who will slap him on the wrist sending him on his way to repeat the cycle........

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Damned if you do...

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Damned if you don't. I'd really love to hear some expressions of support from the dozens of regulars on here who complain constantly about how cyclists NEVER stop for red lights.

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They Don't

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Ever.

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Not a problem.

Not a problem.

In this instance, Cyclist was 100% in the right. The Assaulting driver was 100% wrong.

#swirlyjustice

Even though she won't take over for Emily Rooney, I'm glad that it wasn't Swirly.

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This fanboy comment is a

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This fanboy comment is a little bit creepy, PeterGriffith5.

Personally, I'd rather get out of the way than be knocked unconscious. When I'm in the crosswalk and someone guns it for me, I sprint to the sidewalk regardless of whether or not the driver lawfully should have stopped. Obviously the cyclists was legally in the right for not running the red and the motorist was an aggressive psycho for punching him. Would be interesting to read an interviews of both cyclist and driver.

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Innocent etc.

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Maybe the motorist was framed! The cyclist probably blew the red, ran into a lawfully proceeding car, then blamed someone else for his bloody nose.

Seriously, though, hat's off to this non-scofflaw cyclist. Damn shame this happened.

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Here!

Busy. Back soon.

(at 5:55 pm Tuesday I was commuting home with the Mister, taking pics of our bikes with the big giraffe at the Legoland Discovery place)

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FAQ changed

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They appear to be willing to offer Adult Nights. This is a change from what was first stated.

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We just dropped by the giraffe

We didn't go in. It is on one of our routes home from work when we are on bikes.

I don't have little ones though - one of mine is a legal adult now. You might want to rent one of our neighbors' kids.

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Kids too old

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They might get jobs there and help you sneak in, though.

Adam, can you just disable

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Adam, can you just disable comments on any bike vs car, bike vs pedestrian, etc thread? The bike nazis and SUV stalwarts are more than happy to spread this back-and-forth to other news stories.

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yeah just

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disable all comments, I only come here to read the news, participating in democracy is overrated

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Now now

It might be nice if Adam removed the restraints and the eylid props that force him to read them. He really doesn't need to have a bit of the ultracomments.

How many?

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Can you imagine how many comments were made but not posted?

I get honked at all the time

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I get honked at all the time for not turning right on red through the "Walk" pedestrian signal at a major crosswalk near my home. Its quite likely that some of the honkers would punch me if they had the opportunity but luckily I am safe in the climate controlled confines of my single occupant Buick sedan.

I do hope the cyclist was wearing a helmet.... perhaps motorcycle type helmets should be required for bicyclists, seeing as they are apparently universally considered assholes that deserve to be punched.

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Biker v. Car

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The guy on the bike has got to figure out that he's provoking the guy in the car. All he has to do is get out of the way. Typical self-righteous biker.

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The nerve...

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The nerve of that cyclist, what a sense of entitlement - brazenly following the law like that. He got what he deserved!

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"provoking"

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Provoking the guy in the car by.... obeying the law?

I mean, seriously, it's not even like the guy would get where he's going any faster if the cyclist *did* run the light. IT'S A RED LIGHT.

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Yeah--totes!!

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I hate it when people are driving 30 in a 25mph zone and I'm driving 40 and they won't get out of my way!! They're totally provoking me, those self-righteous slowpokes. Next time I'll just get out of my car and bash them with my shillelagh.

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Makes a lot of Sense...

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....sounds like Brian has been on the vehicular side of a similar confrontation...I have had more driving-morons yell at me for following the law...it's easy to provoke a driver by following the law (try driving the speed limit around here). But it is never ok to punch someone for this...never. And I also drive, a lot...just can't imagine taking on a biker for this or anything...ya have to be pretty angry or have a sucky life.

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I know this corner well

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I go through this intersection almost every day. There's often a multi-light backup on Columbia Rd. A few aggro-drivers who think they're better than everyone else duck into the left turn only lane just before the light turns straight-ahead green, so they can get through on one cycle. Of course if someone happens to be there waiting to turn left, they're stuck through the whole cycle and it serves them right. In this case, it was a bicycle waiting to turn left and the type A driver couldn't believe he found one of the small minority of bicyclists who obey traffic lights. I'd do the same thing, but if the guy got out of his car, I wouldn't wait around for a green light.

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Damned if you do, punched if you don't?

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Saying that cyclists never obey the rules of the road is kind of like saying motorists are never violent, hostile misanthropes.

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It's a paunchy punching pounce bounce.

But Punch a Lots... have hope of a roped dope and beat punches into puncheons for a princely punch drunk tumble through the mud slopped trail..

This crowd likes its Absolutes as well as its Absolut in an Ab salute!

Hoot Hoot!!

But I have seen a future in Salem and Marblehead as recently as Tuesday in the form of a very busy greenway using yet another dead rail bed.

Walking, Baby Stroller deployment, bikes and a skate thing or two were all in the mix... 5 miles of it.

People want these things and use them.

The sooner we ace that system, the sooner old Punchly McPummel can find some new incitement for that roundhouse ever seeking a glass jaw.

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No, the logic is different from that

To extend the idea some have that a light running cyclist means all cyclists run red lights: a bicyclist punching driver means all drivers are violent thugs.

Now of course, neither of these statements is true, but they follow the same logic. I await all the folks who claim all cyclists are evil scum to now condemn all drivers.

Not holding my breath, though.

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I think every experienced rider...

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...has encountered the situation of being attacked by a driver for doing nothing more than following the law. Just that most drivers stay in their vehicle while doing so.

One time I was pedaling along while following the bike markings on the street, and the signs, when some crazy guy came up behind me about 2 inches from my rear tire and HONKED suddenly. Luckily I was unfazed so I did not fall off as I looked back. He then went into the left lane to pass me and yelled something about me not belonging on the street.

More recently I was riding along again, following the bike markings on the street, when I noticed a pedestrian in a crosswalk, so as required by law I stopped to allow the pedestrian to cross. A few moments later I heard very loud honking and before I could even look behind me, a sedan passed me with about 3 inches to spare, crossing illegally over the double yellow line. As I recovered from that experience on the side of the street, someone in a passenger seat yelled out that I deserved it.

And most recently, last week, I was riding along with the bike markings (common theme) when I saw a pedestrian in the crosswalk so I slowed down to a stop while trying to indicate with my hands to the cars behind me that I was stopping for a reason. Didn't work. The guy behind me was chatting on his cell phone I saw, just illegally passed me as I was stopped at the crosswalk. Luckily the pedestrian saw it coming and was not struck.

If I rode my bike more often I probably would have even more stories. I hear that drivers are supposed to follow laws, but you could have fooled me.

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Intersection of Beacon and

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Intersection of Beacon and Arlington near the Public Garden is one of the worst for bad driver, cyclist and pedestrian behavior. Witnessed a woman, not near a crosswalk, walk into 2 lanes of oncoming traffic causing cars to slam on their breaks and as a result a bike to almost crash into the back of a cab. Drivers were honking like crazy. She was visibly shaken and threw up her hands and yelled she didn't see any cars coming. Such a lie. We all saw the cars which is why the rest of us hadn't crossed.
One of the pedestrian signals at that intersection hasn't worked for weeks. As a result, you have to dash across any chance you get. While waiting to cross I've made several observations. It's disgraceful the number of drivers texting or yapping on their phones not looking where they're going. Hubway riders are clueless about navigating that area. Demonstrating no concern for their own physical safety, they unsteadily pedal into heavy foot and vehicle traffic regardless of people in the crosswalk or cars zipping in front of them. It's as if they're in a zombie-like trance and cannot stop or turn until they get to the footbridge to deposit their rentals.
Sadly there are many clusterf*ck areas in Boston like this. No one group is blameless. Not sure what the solution is.

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Sadly there are many clusterf

Sadly there are many clusterf*ck areas in Boston like this. No one group is blameless. Not sure what the solution is.

I think you can look at Cambridge and Somerville for an idea of what the solution might look like. They're not perfect by any means, but they've made great strides in improving signs and signals in their cities, as well as reconfiguring traffic as warranted, in a way that at least acknowledges the concept that city transportation infrastructure does not exist solely for the benefit of automobile drivers.

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I can't speak for Somerville,

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I can't speak for Somerville, but my experience with Cambridge is awful. Central Square is a disaster when it comes to cyclist, cars and pedestrians despite the lines on the road, crosswalks, numerous traffic signals. Pedestrians cross whenever and wherever they're so inclined regardless of safety and legality, and I've regularly seen cars try to squeeze cyclists off the road. Some cyclists stop for red lights while others don't. Totally unpredictable.

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Well, you undoubtedly have

Well, you undoubtedly have more experience in that area than I do but I bet it's still better than a lot of intersections in Boston. At least Cambridge is trying to perform some sort of modern traffic engineering; it sounds like the CPD are falling down on the job when it comes to enforcement (big shock there).

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Central square is a madhouse

The rest of Cambridge is pretty good to get through. There are many parallel tracks so that you don't have to go through the really crazy areas unless you are going to them.

I've avoided Mass Ave ever since they opened the bike lane on Harvard Ave. I now take Broadway or Hampshire or Cambridge, but I have ways to "dive in" to Central from the less fraught roadways.

The same applies when I'm driving a car in the area: avoid, use the periphery, walk.

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How is that possible?

A "road diet" was imposed there 20+ years ago, narrowing Mass Ave from 4 lanes to 2 lanes plus turn lanes, bump outs and enormous sidewalks.

So, I don't know how Central Square could possibly be a regular top 10 accident location in the state for pedestrians and bikes, unless road diets don't work as promised. How could this location allegedly made more safe by a road diet be worse than any in the whole city of Boston?

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Road diet made it much better

The problem is that there are too many people trying to get through the area.

Not cars - people.

Getting rid of a lot of the cars helped the problem, because cars take up an extreme amount of space per person transported, but it didn't solve the problem. Ditto for expanding the sidewalks.

Of course, you have not been transiting the area nearly daily in one mode or another over the last 15 years, so you wouldn't have a clue as to what changes had what consequences.

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Novice Cyclists and Distracted Drivers

I bike through Central Square in Cambridge almost daily and it seems perfectly safe to me as long as you ride legally and with appropriate caution at taxi stands, bus stops, and high-volume cross streets. There are, however, a lot of novice cyclists who ride through Central Square, many of them associated with MIT, who don't appear to understand basic safety while riding. They endanger themselves primarily, but they do tend to give other cyclists a bad name.

I rarely see aggressive motor vehicle operators while riding, but there are A LOT of negligent drivers, especially those who are consulting their various "devices" when they should be paying attention.

Recumbent bikes

J. Gordon Wilson started holding January IEP workshops at MIT to build recumbent bikes back in the 1970s or so ... and he's over 80 and still commuting to MIT via recumbent bikes of his own design and manufacture.

Of course, somebody is still stuck in the 1980s with that comment, as usual (eyeroll).

Novice Cyclists and Distracted Drivers

I bike through Central Square in Cambridge almost daily and it seems perfectly safe to me as long as you ride legally and with appropriate caution at taxi stands, bus stops, and high-volume cross streets. There are, however, a lot of novice cyclists who ride through Central Square, many of them associated with MIT, who don't appear to understand basic safety while riding. They endanger themselves primarily, but they do tend to give other cyclists a bad name.

I rarely see aggressive motor vehicle operators while riding, but there are A LOT of negligent drivers, especially those who are consulting their various "devices" when they should be paying attention.

"Pedestrians cross whenever

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"Pedestrians cross whenever and wherever they're so inclined regardless of safety and legality"

If there is a crosswalk without a light, the pedestrian legally has the right of way all the time. I know most drivers pretend to not know this, but it's true. Is it annoying when you're driving? Yes, but the driver is the one breaking the law if they don't stop. Sorry you can't do a steady 40 mph down Mass Ave or Cambridge St.

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What's your point?

There are also plenty of pedestrians who cross whenever and wherever they're so inclined, i.e. NOT at a crosswalk. I've seen pedestrians step off the curb without looking when they're 20 feet from a crosswalk.

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to dave davery (not verified)

By on

to dave davery (not verified)
Clearly you have never walked, biked, driven nor take a bus down Mass. Ave. in Central Sq. Pedestrians are notorious for NOT using the crosswalks while strolling, yes STROLLING, into the flow of traffic.

Sorry you can't do a steady 40 mph down Mass Ave or Cambridge St.

I don't drive through Central Sq., I walk, but thanks for being a dick anyway.

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If bikes belong on the street

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If bikes belong on the street then they should be registered and insured. I was always told not to ride in the street .

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Here's a research assignment

How many deaths are caused by cyclists running into other people and cars each year.

How many deaths are caused by drivers running their cars into other cars and into people each year.

Then ask yourself: where is the most important use of public money to prevent deaths?

Bonus points: learn that cyclists and drivers come from the same population, most of whom have a license to drive already.

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yup

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I'm staying as far away from this bike debate as possible. I've learned not to even bother with the bike debate posts. Not worth getting my blood pressure to rise.

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As long as you have the money

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You can get a licence in Massachusetts without knowing the laws of the road as long as you have the cash to pay the DMV. If we want safer roads for everyone, the State has to stop treating Driving Licenses as revenue sources, and start treating it as a way of maintaining law abiding knowledgeable drivers. A few weeks ago a driver took a left on to Prospect (one-way street) in Cambridge, knocking me off the road. She began yelling at me that I didn't belong on the sidewalk and that I had no right to be on the road because she has insurance. How do you even begin to argue with stupid?

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