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Another bad bicycle crash, this time at Beacon and Charles

UPDATE: Sara Underwood, who first reported the bicyclist had died, now says her source was wrong and that the guy is in the hospital.

Bicyclist hit by car at Beacon and Charles streets around 12:30 p.m. Boston Biker has some details and photos.

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Also, the Globe is printing the MBTA's lies:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/201...

"Meanwhile, the MBTA today identified the victim in a fatal bicycle crash involving a bus Wednesday as Michael Hunt, 22, of Mission Hill. Authorities have said Hunt was killed after he tried to pass a bus and lost control of his bike."

http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/201...

"The bicyclist lost control and fell under the moving bus, Pesaturo said."

Too bad the Globe can't get off their fucking asses and actually interview some witnesses like the TV stations- all of whom said the biker was trying to free his bike from the tracks, and was struck by the bus.

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The guy's name was "Mike Hunt"?

Sheesh. :/

EDIT: According to Boston Biker the victim's name is Eric Michael Hunt.

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He wants the Vatican to notice and hire him for PR. That's why he's perfecting his "official statement of lying to protect the organization" style here.

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The Friday Globe follow-up story:
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/art...

Says:
"Investigators from both the MBTA and Boston police said Hunt was trying to pass the bus when he hit its left rear section, causing him to lose control of his bike and fall under the 60-foot-long vehicle." and

and

"But Lewis Best, deputy chief of the MBTA Transit Police Department, denied reports that Hunt had become trapped in the rails, preventing him from escaping the bus’s path.

“There’s no indication that’s accurate,’’ he said.

Best said police interviewed several witnesses to the accident. The bus did not have cameras, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officials said."

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Will this serve as a wakeup call for Menino and his bike czar? Half the bike lanes they promised two years ago never showed up. And it's not like they promised anything special like the buffered bike lanes popping up in NYC or DC. No, they just want the most basic kind of bike lane, but can't even do that.

Would a bike lane have prevented this or yesterday collisions? Probably not, but they'd be a start.

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The kid was run down in the middle of the road in broad daylight!

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I'm not convinced that bike lanes always make things safer for cyclists. They often seem to direct bicyclists right into the path of opening car doors.

On some stretches of my own commute, I'd feel safer if speed limits were reduced to 20 mph (with rigorous enforcement) and prominent signs stating that bikes may take the full lane.

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As a former messenger and someone who still likes to ride for recreation I think the best thing is to possible eliminate bike lanes all together and equip all bicycle messengers with nuclear land torpedoes. Nothing like fear of a city destroying event to keep people from coming near you on the road.

Seriously though I wish people would be more open minded to eliminating curbside parking in parts of the city. This would give us room to have divided by medians bicycle lanes. And at the same time discourage people from using their cars in parts of the city serviced by public transit (or bikes).

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Hear, hear. The system they're trying in Manhattan is where many European cities have gone. There are separate areas for motor vehicle, bike, and pedestrian traffic. NYC is finding great success on several of its N/S avenues. We were very impressed with it on a trip last September. I can see that kind of system inspiring many more of us to walk and bike.

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I don't think you can compare the two. At least in Manhattan, the streets are so wide, and there is usually a less crowded parallel street that you can find and drive on for miles.

Boston needs a few public alley/bike paths for those going from strategic point A to point Bs across the city.

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There are more apt comparisons than differences. NYC chose avenues -- wide and one-way for the trials. We have comparable routes and we need to start changing thoroughfares to one-way with parking on one side or neither side downtown. What they did and many European and a few Asian cities did was sacrifice on-avenue parking for safety of all modes -- ped and cycle as well.

We do have to stop pandering to car drivers on this. I think of Beacon Hill, where I lived for a decade. There were over four registered cars for every resident space. We can't satisfy that silliness and block spaces businesses would like to have available for customers. Let's get real about this.

Menino is slowly edging toward this, but he doesn't have the guts to drive to a massive conversion of downtown on-street parking for the common good. Visit European cities and see how well that has worked and how much more pleasant and safer they are for it. Boston could use a downtown vision and leader.

Saying that NYC's trial wouldn't, couldn't work here is admitting to our delusion and atavism. If we want to live that cliché we use so often of being a world-class city, we need more than nice brochures and a classic ballpark.

IMNSHO -- now you got me started.

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While we're at it, can we pave Boston Common and the Public Garden so public parks can be more convenient for bicycle riders? Grass and flower beds are such pesky nuisances to bicycle tires!

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This is exactly what they did for cars and trucks -have you been to Storrow Drive (used to be a nice park, till the benefactor died and they made the highway) or the Emerald Necklace (used to be connected by greenspace, now highways like the arborway).

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Actually, if you reference earlier comments by SwirrlyGrrl from related posts, Boston began paving for cyclists specifically, not cars.

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Paving roads and paths, not swaths of green..... history 101, League of American Wheelmen, cmon.

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Quite true. Paving was first used in American cities to spare the cyclists the cobbles of death.
Cobblestones are even more dangerous than Green Line tracks. And even when you're not locking up between them, your slipping, sliding, jouncing, and bouncing on top of them.

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You have a citation for that?

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Here you go.

"In 1902, the League of American Wheelmen helped organize the American Road Makers. In 1910, the organization was renamed the American Road Builder Association and became a strong advocate for better roads at the Federal level."

Or so says the American Concrete Pavement Association.

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But from getting to point A to point B in New York City on a bike or even as a pedestrian is a lot easier in my opinion. Just the way the city was set up.

Plus streets like Huntington Ave are too narrow for trucks and buses anyway. Get rid of the silly tracks and either put in another underground or make it really wide and just have buses. Too much stuff going on that street. These trolleys take up too much space in many parts of Boston today in my opinion.

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He could wear a helmet... and avoided what was certainly a devistating headwound (see: puddle of blood).

Seriously... I appreciate the risks that bicyclists go through everyday... but take some responsibility for your own safety.

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His bike split in two from the force of the impact and the entire windshield was smashed.

I hope it occurs to you that while a helmet would have helped, he still would have been seriously injured.

Are helmets, like seatbelts, a good idea? Of course. Does failure to wear one put one at fault? NO. Does wearing one make you invincible, or protect ribs, necks, arms, legs, and spines from breaking? NO.

See "eggshell skull defense". You're gonna illegally drive your car into a cyclist, well, you're gonna take the chance that they might not be wearing a helmet. You're still guilty of vehicular manslaughter.

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For many years, I kept my bright yellow helmet with three long cracks in it. After a driver broadsided me on an illegal turn, the surgeon who examined me said it was either the helmet or my skull.

I had a bad concussion with effects for a year, plus broken wrist and fingers, but the helmet definitely was smart. I scold friends who use a painter's cap instead and hauled out the yellow helmet story to women who say they don't want to mess up their hair or get a sweaty scalp.

It's true that not wearing a helmet theoretically doesn't change the criminal aspect of prosecution for a reckless driver who hits a cyclist. I'm not at all sure a jury would ignore that factor on the criminal side. You can be damned sure that it would factor in a civil award for damages in a suit.

Tuck in a brush and wear the helmet.

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A decent helmet is actually cooler than no helmet because it is designed to funnel air in as you ride.

I still have one with a huge crack up the back after an impact that still knocked me out for a bit. I'd have been dead at age 31 without it. It's great for show-n-tell with the kids.

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Avenues like Boylston and Beacon would be perfect for a separated bike lane. Tremont as well. North south is a bit trickier, but NYC bike lanes arent limited to avenues.

There are many examples like this in NYC

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&g...

1 lane parking, 1 lane automobile, 1 bike lanes. Most roads in Boston are actually wider than that.

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The city wants to redo Nonantum Road from Brighton Circle (at the IHOP) to Galen St. They want to remove a car lane in both directions in order to increase lane width and reduce head-to-head collisions on the narrow 4-lane road. Their plan is to slightly widen and standardize the bike/jogging path as opposed to taking the removed lane and turning it into a detached biking throughway for getting from Watertown to Oak Square.

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Instead, they should be narrowed further to the bare minimum of 8 or 9 feet, since this is a parkway where trucks are not allowed. If drivers feel that they barely fit into the lanes, they will drive more slowly and carefully.

Narrow lanes will also discourage SUVs from using this road, where they don't belong.

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"Hugeass vehicle" is. Some SUVs have pretty average footprints:

Honda CRV first generation: 69in wide, 178in long
1997-2001 Jeep Cherokee: 69in wide, 167in long

These are both SMALLER than a 2006-2007 Honda Accord, which is 71in wide, 187in long.

I think the things you're thinking of removing from truck-free roads would be more along these lines:

Toyota Mega Cruiser: 85in wide, 200in long
2007 Escalade ESV/EXT: 79in wide, 222in long

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Go look at Mystic Valley Parkway/Alewife Brook Parkway sometime down by Dilboy and try that again. People don't slow down because of narrow lanes - they hold high speeds by encroaching on the neighboring lanes.

I'd like them wider, but with other traffic calming features such as rumbling lane marking strips to remind addled fools on cel phones that they don't get two lanes for one. If there are only 8-9 feet between rumble strips, with the rumble strips for separation and safety, people will slow down when their speed exceeds the ability of their driving to keep to the lane and they get all the nasty noises, but they won't wander back and forth and across and over in a sloppy way. That section of Nonantum has had head-on crashes too - there needs to be something preventing cross-overs. I assure you that drivers don't pay more attention or slow down because of lane width alone - they just come very close to a sideswipe of the vehicle next to them. Then there are the outright panickers who do 5mph in both lanes. It just doesn't work.

If you think narrow lanes are the answer, go drive in Ireland sometime - and look at their "worst in the EU" accident safety record.

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i have only covered about half of it, but I think narrow lanes are a consistent reality in the EU nations--I imagine Ireland's accident safety record may have a few other factors, no?

Also is it safe to assume that, though they are driving fast, the parkway drivers would be going even faster if the lanes were wider?

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There are things you can do to slow traffic without deliberately introducing hazards. There are some basic safety standards for design that include slowing traffic without relying on drivers fearing accidents because you made the road more dangerous on purpose.

As noted above, you can "thin" the lanes without actually removing the margin of safety with rumble strips. If a car is travelling too fast to hold the narrow quiet lane, it drifts into the safety strip, which isn't tolerable for long periods. The car still drifts, but it doesn't drift back and forth into the other lanes where it can strike other vehicles.

You do not design safety hazards into a roadway to slow traffic - not if you want to avoid losing the inevitable lawsuits. (my dad freaks about "dangerous intersection" signs when he visits because he supplements retirement income by serving as an expert witness. Putting up a sign that declares hazards means putting up a sign that says "sue me and win easily" becuase it implies that those responsible identified a hazard, yet did nothing to fix it or ignored the standards).

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It's not a safety hazard if you're driving at an appropriate speed.

The problem with american roads is that they are designed for the lowest common denominator, mainly drunk drivers and speeders. Why does everyone drive 75 when the speed limit is 65? Because the road was designed for 75 to accommodate the 15% of speeding drivers....except people aren't dumb and figure out the safe speed.

In the 1950s, thousands of trees around the country next to roads were cut down because they were "safety hazards". After all, if a drunk driver lost control and hit a tree, he'd die.

So yes, roads should be designed with visual cues that seem like safety hazards, such as narrow lanes, weaving etc. The 85% of reasonable drivers will adapt, slow down and be safe. And what of the 15% that doesnt? They shouldnt be on the road in the first place.

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According to Sara Underwood (Fox25) on Twitter, the biker has been declared dead now.

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I've updated the post.

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I guess it's not the first time Fox hasn't gotten its facts straight and ran with it anyways.

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All bikers should protest and ride in the streets until they put up bike lanes...let the cars beep there horns

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