Articles Posted in Bicycle-Car Accidents

These days in Massachusetts, especially in cities like Boston, Newton & Cambridge, and towns like Brookline and Arlington, it’s all the rage for these municipalities to promote bike lanes on city streets.  It’s a ridiculous idea whose time never was and likely never will be.  It was never wise.  Not if you define “wise” as “safe” or “sensible”.  It was more like throwing matches one by one into a room full of explosives, and wondering witch one will, eventually, cause a massive explosion.

Yesterday, a  bicyclist was killed in a collision with a UPS truck in the suburb of Newton. was mourned Tuesday as a respected professor and mentor to graduate students at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Alex Bohm of Newton, 57 years old, died at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, after he was transported there by ambulance following critical injuries he suffered in the crash that occurred late Monday afternoon.  Mr. leaves behind his wife Celia and their daughters.

For years in Massachusetts, electric scooters, as a means of transportation (vs. recreation), were illegal in almost all cities and towns. In the past few months, however, the Boston City Council (not a body known for its intellectual acumen or common sense), voted to allow a pilot program that allows these “vehicles” into Boston. So has the town of Brookline, at least for this summer.

Under the program in Boston, officials there can issue ‘pilot licenses’, can supposedly limit the number of licenses granted each year, and can supposedly control how many vehicles can be utilized at a given time. So far, two scooter companies have injected themselves into the metropolitan Boston area:  Bird and Lime.  Other provisions supposedly require companies owning these vehicles to submit ‘safety plans’ (whatever they are), and supposedly detail how those scooter companies plan to communicate safety information to people riding these things. Did you notice how many times I wrote “supposedly”? That’s because the introduction of dangerous items like small, electric scooters, is an example of how some ideas, in a theoretical context, cannot be effectively managed in a practical context. Call it the “theory-practice” divide – and the idea of hundreds or even thousands of people all over the Greater Boston area whizzing around on these things – with no direction signals on them and no operator’s licenses being required to use them, is a disaster just waiting to happen.

Exhibit ‘A’: In the town of Brookline, where I grew up and was previously an elected Town Meeting Member, a scooter operator was injured on the first day of that town’s pilot program allowing the use of these death traps. Why do I call them “things” and “death traps”? Let me count the ways:

Tragically, it happened again yesterday: Another death from a bicyclist being hit by a motor vehicle – in this case, a dump truck. Given the large number of bike riders on the traffic-congested streets in and around the Boston area, it was only a matter of time. And worse, it will only be a matter of time until the next such Massachusetts pedestrian-motor vehicle accident happens.

According to media reports including The Boston Globe, the bicyclist who was killed in the collision was named Meng Jin, and he was a 24 year-old Boston University graduate student from Shanghai.  Boston University’s official news site, BU Today, also released this information. Technically, the collision occurred in Cambridge, but it was only feet from the Boston city line and the Science Museum, at the intersection of Monsignor O’Brien Highway and Museum Way. Massachusetts State Police reported that the young man was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead due to his injuries. Continue reading

I’ve been around Massachusetts awhile.  I was born and raised in Brookline, and educated in the Boston area.  I’ve never really lived anywhere else but this area, and I’ve watched it change a lot over the past 20-25 years.  While a good amount of construction and development has changed the face of Boston and its suburbs, one of the biggest changes has nothing to do with the skyline.  It has to do with the streets – specifically, what’s on them now, that wasn’t on them to any near degree that it was 20-25 years ago.  What is that?  Bicyclists.  There are more bicyclists on the roads in Boston and the suburbs in the Route 128 Belt, than were ever seen as recently as the early 1990’s. Continue reading

As a Boston car-bicycle accident lawyer, I know all too well that bicyclists are always exposed to risks when riding on Massachusetts roads. There is always the threat of injury and death from motorists who, for whatever the reason, are unable to share the road with a cyclist, and the poor cyclist ends up as an accident victim or a fatality.

If you’ve driven around Massachusetts lately – or around the country – you may have seen the haunting “makeshift memorials” to killed cyclists that have unexpectedly sprung up. They are called “ghost bike street memorials.” The typical one looks like an older model of a bike, and is painted completely white, tires and all – a stark contrast to its surroundings — and is chained to a tree or to a lamppost, as if to signify that their owner will someday return to ride it. The truth is, the bike’s owner has been killed in a Massachusetts bicycle-car accident. Usually, surrounding the white bicycle are flowers, flags, handwritten notes, and a small plaque to memorialize the killed victim.

Working behind the scenes of these makeshift memorials are people who are affiliated with According to their website, Ghost Bikes are memorials for bicyclists who are killed or hit while riding a bicycle on the street. These memorials serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street, and serve to showcase cyclists’ right to safe travel. This isn’t a local phenomenon: Ghost Bikes lists 26 countries where they are located, including Poland, Austria, Ukraine and New Zealand. The first ghost bikes were created in 2003 in St. Louis, Missouri. Right now there exist more than 500 ghost bike memorials that have been created in more than 180 locations throughout the world.