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Police: Motorist hits, drives over bicyclist in Neponset Circle
By adamg on Fri, 05/22/2015 - 8:14am
State Police report a Dorchester man suffered serious injuries yesterday when a woman from Quincy drove over him as they were both traveling around Neponset Circle around 4:30 p.m. yesterday.
The victim, 46, was taken to Boston Medical Center with serious injuries. The driver, a 53-year-old woman in a Subaru, was uninjured.
The cause of this crash remains under investigation. No charges have been filed at this time.
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You could not pay me enough
You could not pay me enough to bike through there, especially at 4:30 pm.
That's a very tough circle to
That's a very tough circle to navigate for bicyclists. Hope the cyclist will be okay. Multiple lanes of traffic, and multiple merges of busy streets and ways, including onto 93 north.
When I used to bike around there, I would act like a crazy person, continually motioning right and moving over. Seeing how wide the street was, people would get the idea and generally let me through.
The Expressway ramps
First time I rode through there, I very nearly ended up on the Expressway. Terrible, terrible spot for cyclists, and unfortunately, not many alternatives for getting through that area.
You can double back to Pope John Park and cut across the Port Norfolk side depending on where you're going. Hopefully when the Neponset River Greenway is done you'll be able to connect directly from the bridge to the path.
I used to have to ride over the bridge and around the circle to Neponset Ave nearly every day back before the bridge was redone, it was definitely sketchy as hell and the bridge is one of the biggest improvements for cyclists in the Neponset/North Quincy area over the last several years.
Hand signals are essential when biking through a rotary
The one I'm most familiar with is Powderhouse Circle in Somerville, near Tufts University. Unlike a car, I can signal exactly where I'm trying to go, by pointing straight ahead, 20 degrees to the left, or wherever necessary.
It's a beautiful day out...
I'll give this one......about 55 comments today.
I'll warm up the bingo cards.
For anyone who wants to play along at home:
A road of lies under the wheels of justice
This 'game' whitewashes the theft of our ancestral lands for occupation by human 'rights of way' and how this invasive infrastructure oppresses us.
I haven't forgotten you,
I haven't forgotten you, brave turkey crusader. You were on the last card.
Wow, she didn't drive away
Wow, she didn't drive away after running over a cyclist like most drivers do? I dare say that may be a sign of progress.
Totally unfair anti-car rhetoric
I wouldn't say "most" drivers drive away. I'd say "many" drivers drive away.
I'm sorry I victimized those
I'm sorry I victimized those poor car drivers who hit cyclists. They are the true casualty in this situation.
I'm sorry, I thought Adam's
I'm sorry, I thought Adam's post was about a cyclist getting hit by a motorist on a local rotary. I had no idea it was about you, Kinopio! My thoughts are with the cyclist.
Now that there's a new story about a hit-and-run on a pedestrian at the top of UH, "most" may now be technically accurate.
We'll count up all the drivers who hit non-drivers over the weekend and crunch the final "run vs. stay" numbers, because it's easier than actually punishing anyone who drives like a maniacal shithead.
Yeah, wise ass...
why don't you read the coverage of the story before making your snide comments. The lady stopped and, according to her husband, was extremely upset and shaken about hitting and pinning a human being under her car.
Relax ya psycho.
Relax ya psycho.
I would not even say "many".
Rotaries scare the crap out of me on a bike
And the rotaries I go thru aren't even close to being as scary as Neponset Circle.
I'm going to guess - and this is only a guess - that the cyclist got hit when the car was trying to exit the rotary. There's no good way for the cyclist to stay in the rotary while cars are trying to exit. You need to be aggressive or you'll be there all day looking for an opening, so you end up putting a lot of trust in the drivers seeing you and not hitting you. "Trust" isn't something you can count on. It's a fugly situation.
Hope he's OK.
Rotaries, especially the big ones, and cyclists do not mix (well).
I've heard of multiple people (friends and friends of friends) getting hit in the BU rotary.
I have read that....
... the safest and most appropriate speed for rotaries is somewhere around 5 mph, This would seem to make negotiating around/past them safer for bicycles, pedestrians and even cars. But I can't imagine ever getting Bostonians to drive that slowly.
Of course it's unlikely that
Of course it's unlikely that anyone would ever drive through this particular rotary at that speed since it's basically hundreds of feet of open asphalt.
I didn't know only Boston
I didn't know only Boston residents drove on Boston rotaries! Citation please. As a Boston resident who mostly walks but drives every once in a while, I ALWAYS give cyclists as much space as possible on the road as I would never want to harm another human being... whether they ride a bike, drive a car, ride the train or walk. Grow up. It's people like you who give urban cycling a bad name.
...what post you were actually responding to?
I'm lost, too
Not sure where that came from.....
But if they have to go an
But if they have to go an appropriate speed those drivers might get home 20 seconds later and that isn't worth the lives of cyclists and pedestrians to them.
One of the benefits
of traffic gridlock is the cars crawl making cycling safely easier. The BU Bridge rotary is gridlocked regularly during morning and evening rush hour. There's a case where cyclists get the benefit and drivers think more about "Why aren't I riding a bike?"
What scares me is the right
What scares me is the right-hand curve heading onto the bridge. A lot of drivers drift into the bike lane. https://goo.gl/maps/KldQZ
This is one situation where (carefully) biking through a red light really is safer than waiting.
It's also frustrating that a traffic jam was created where there wasn't one before in order to create bike lanes, and two bus routes are delayed, but the bike lane isn't actually usable.
I had to bike commute through Sullivan Square
years ago. Scared the hell out of me, and I would always get off the bike and walk through it.
Take another look at Sullivan Square today
The state has repaved it and striped it extensively with bike lanes. It's much better today than it was. Hand signals are still essential.
Perhaps Neponset Circle would benefit from similar lane markings?
Big multi-lane rotaries are bad for that. In some rotaries when I have to ride past an exit/entrance I've taken the approach of riding on the lane divider between the outermost lane and the next one in. At least that way somebody carelessly merging into the outermost lane won't hit you and people in the outermost lane merging out won't hit you either. It also lets cars in both lanes pass unimpeded.
At that point, the problem is (more or less) reduced to people merging in and out of the inner lanes, and at least at that point you're in a place where they're already looking for cars to be.
This worked well at Sullivan before they relined it. I haven't ridden through Neponset Circle, and it may not make sense there. Frankly, I find Neponset Circle to be both confusing and a little terrifying in a car, probably because I go through it once in a blue moon and don't know the traffic patterns well.
Take appropriate lane
It's quite daunting at first, but the proper way to bike in a rotary is to take the lane you would be in if driving. That is to say, don't stay all the way to the right of the rotary, which would force you to cross over exits from the rotary. Stay in the inside lane (or the rightmost part of the inside lane) until you get to your exit, and merge right as you would in a car.
I know vehicular cycling isn't en vogue, but sometimes it's the only safe choice.
Sometimes you just have to drive your bike as if it were a car.
I was going to make this point as well. It's the best way to stay alive in certain traffic layouts.
I adopt this technique in some rotaries, but also in congested narrow areas (no bailouts because of parked cars) where the traffic is moving relatively slowly (favorite example: Beacon St. in Newton Centre between Centre St. and Langley). It simply limits the temptation for drivers of automobiles to do something silly, like try to squeeze by you just to make it to the red light in front of both of you 3 seconds before you do.
In my example location above, if you don't ride in the middle of the travel lane on Beacon, your chances of being doored or having some idiot try to squeeze by you only to have to cut you off immediately thereafter in the face of oncoming traffic are ridiculously high.
Taking the lane is perfectly legal, and much safer in instances where there really isn't room for a car to try and squeeze by you.
However, this is also the fastest way to get a driver to honk and flip you the bird while screaming "get on the sidewalk."
I'll take the latter for the safety of the former.
Rotaries are scary for cars too
Masshole drivers either don't know or don't care about the right of way rules in a rotary. It's usually anarchy and mayhem, especially during heavy traffic. I cant imagine how bad it is on a bike.
Definition of anarchy
Rotaries define anarchy, IMHO.
Rotaries are even more *ahem* challenging if you're driving on the left side of the road......
Which was likely
due to the fact that in Britian, traffic entering the
rotaryroundabout hasused to have the right of way over traffic already in the roundabout. Complete opposite of our rules.
Revised my original post to reflect the current British Highway Code (thanks RickW for the clarification), which has changed since I last visited Britian in the early 1990s.
I believe you misunderstood
Traffic entering the roundabout yields to circulating as a general rule in England.
Last time I was in Britian
(early 1990s), the rule was still that circulating traffic had to yield to entering traffic. Glad to see they've changed that.
However, I suspect there are still drivers over there who haven't gotten accustomed to the current rules. Kind of like people in Massachusetts who still insist that, in a line of three cars approaching a stop sign, only the first car actually has to stop before entering the intersection - even though this rule was abolished in the mid-1970s.
Appreciate the clarification, and have revised my original post.
Same change in Massachusetts
For years, one had to look sharp for some older person not informed of the rule change barreling into the rotary and insisting they had the right of way.
Right of Way
I have found that many do not care about right of way in many situations. This seems to apply to both 4 and 2 wheel drivers.
In my experience, local
In my experience, local drivers seem more willing and able to obey the rules of the road at rotaries than they are at four way stops.
Imagine A Rotary Like This Here!
These tourists find it challenging, but they also seemed to enjoy the experience!
As wacky as it seems at first, it's not that complicated and actually works very efficiently; traffic never backs up, even during rush hour.
More information and history of the Swindon Roundabout here.
Picturing everything running in the opposite direction, such a design might work great at places like Bell Circle or Wellington Circle.
Trying not to
I think I need to go have a lie down after watching that. I believe that works but at the same time it seems impossible that is does.
If That Got Your Head Spinning, This Will Make It Explode!
I have to agree with you...
that rotary looks like Russian roulette for a cyclist. I would not be caught going near that place on a bike. As a driver, it is bad enough trying to keep an eye on cars not yielding, never mind having to keep an eye on a smaller bike or vice versa.
It is your job. If you can't do it, work on your skills or ...
Aw, what a sweetie you are...
Gee, I guess me never, ever getting a ticket after driving for oh, let us, say 35 years must mean something, amirite?
But let us not digress. It is not I that needs to work on my skills, dear girl, it is those that do not yield when approaching the said rotary, coming off of an off ramp. And this happens more times than not, unfortunately. So if a cyclist wants to chance it...
I went through there just after it happened and you could tell that the woman who hit the cyclist was shaken up. Tough enough place for cars to navigate never mind doing it on a bike. That whole circle is a cluster!
yeah? how was the cyclists?
How was the cyclist? You know, the person actually harmed? Injured?
I think the point she was
I think the point she was trying to pass was not caring about the unharmed motorist over the injured cyclist. But to explain that the motorist was not unrepentant and heartless.
In some ways that sounds obvious, but there's comments above with lines like "Wow, she didn't drive away after running over a cyclist like most drivers do", so there's argument to mention that.
By all means
let's not give any consideration to the driver, who now has to live with the memory of actually hitting somebody, just because she wasn't physically injured.
Apparently some guys working
Apparently some guys working at the car wash there rushed in to jack the car up and free the cyclist.
Not exactly a circle or a rotary
The Neponset Circle hasn't been a circle in like 50 years - it's more like a freaking crazy mix of left rights, sharp lefts, middle lefts, right lefts, or just rights. And you'd better be quick about it!
All together dangerous for walkers, bikers and drivers.
Can't say it's the driver's/biker's fault if, in fact, the roadway is so screwed up that it causes confusion and accidents all by its lonesome. Rte. 203 (Gallivan Blvd) is one of the most dangerous roads in the state - and that is according to MassDot's own website.
Hope the biker and the driver are both ok.
I've been told
Hopefully those in the actual know can back me up, that police find it very hard to ticket people in rotaries because there is no obvious line for where the vehicle enters. If the bumper of the vehicle is just that little bit into the space (while waiting for clearance to punch it), technically they can be considered 'in' the rotary.
I like rotaries, but I acknowledge that this is crazy. What is tough is when one comes upon a rotary that doesn't have 'traditional' rules - such as Hyde Sq. This one has signage indicating when one should yield or not, but it's still difficult for some to follow.
Then there are the NJ rotaries: I was told (and this is ~15 years ago) that the main artery entering the rotary has right of way. I did not see signage, so I asked my friend how was I to know which was the main artery? Then I followed up with "I'm from MA, I always have the right of way!" And yes - I was kidding and entered when it was safe.
Hyde Square is the surefire
Hyde Square is the surefire shibboleth for answering the question of "Who drives in JP regularly?" At least if you're heading north through it on Centre St on a bicycle, there's enough room to "make" a bike lane regardless of the foolishness happening with the cars and you only have to be on the lookout for somebody swerving right to avoid a driver who doesn't know he or she needs to yield.
How far can bicyclists go around
I live near here and I go through that rotary pretty often. I say through the rotary because I never go all the way around the rotary that sounds crazy to me. Heading south I go under the viaduct on the part of the rotary that is the same direction as the Neponset Avenue and get up on route three. Going north I tend across the crosswalks and go under the viaduct on a dirt path that goes through the middle of the circle.
Also this is not actually a rotary. there are three traffic lights inside the circle. It's really not the safest place to be whether you're in the car on a bicycle or pedestrian.
Neither gallivanboulevard or morrisey have bicycle lanes so it is generally unsafe.
I can't be very sympathetic for the driver I mean she didn't just hit the guy she rolled over him. People are way too aggressive there.the lights are very slow and Its congested and people pretend that there is a three lane left turn from Morrissey Boulevard towards Route three. I don't know what exactly happened but that's usually the biggest problem
You do know cars don't stop on a dime, contrary to marketing hyperbole, yes?
Everytime someone is hit, be it pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, or car, some are quick to judge. Wtf.
Its an urban road, not a highway. If you hit someone, you are going too fast imho. My lack of sympathy for this driver is pretty far from an indictment or attack so slow your roll.
I see what you did there.