Newton Bicyclist Death A Tragic Reminder

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.

Bohm was an associate professor of developmental, molecular, and chemical biology at Tufts University School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

As a Boston bike-car accident lawyer, I’ve seen an frighteningly sharp increase in the number of bicycle-motor vehicle accidents in this area.  They simply don’t belong traveling side-by-side on the same road — and no amount of road paint, road markers or road signs is going to erase this incompatibility.  It’s a fatal fantasy to think that this can be safely done.  I feel much sympathy for victims like Mr. Bohm and his wife and kids.  There will be a lawsuit that follows this fatality, as there should be.  UPS will be named as a defendant, as is procedurally appropriate.  But whether UPS should be the only defendant or not, remains an open question.  Justice needs to be served here – and changes need to be made when it comes to bicyclists and motor vehicles sharing roads that were originally not constructed for this co-existence.

While many lawyers would leap to suing just one defendant here, it may be wiser to take a larger, wider view here.    This family has lost a husband and father to negligence on a number of levels.  They deserve justice – from any parties that contributed to this tragedy.  That may include city planners.