We are sad and upset, like many of you, after last week’s fatal crash in Boston in which a truck driver killed George Luis Clemmer, 71, of Cambridge, while he was riding his bike near Mass. Ave and Huntington Ave. We are especially frustrated because we continue to witness fatal crashes involving large trucks while the State and City could be doing more to require safer trucking especially on streets heavily trafficked by people walking and biking. Of the 21 fatal crashes in Cambridge and Boston that killed cyclists since 2011, 14 of them have involved large trucks and in the last four years in Boston, three out of four fatal cyclist crashes involved trucks.
Back in 2017, the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition worked with legislators to file An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities, which included several truck safety requirements. FIVE YEARS LATER we are still pushing to pass the same bill. The bill would require vehicles over 10,000 pounds that are leased or owned by the State to have convex mirrors, cross-over mirrors, backup cameras and side guards. It would also allow the state to set speed limits in construction zones more easily to protect construction workers and establish 25 mph speed limits on state roads in thickly settled areas. These are common-sense safety measures, and are really just first steps in regulating trucks so roads are safer for people walking, biking, skating, scooting, rolling, etc.
As the end of the legislative session draws near, it’s time to let legislators know that we do not want to wait another year to pass H.3549, An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities. Use this link to contact your Representative, bill sponsor Representative Moran and Ways and Means Chair, Representative Michlewitz.
|Image description: An image of the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Huntington Ave. shows several traffic lights, a “do not enter” sign, a bike lane with a cyclist in it and two driving lanes with a few cars. A headline above reads, “Truck Driver Kills Cambridge Man Next to Symphony Hall in Boston”.
Other follow up from last week’s crash
We wanted to let you know that we are communicating with some of George’s friends and relatives about a ghost bike dedication ceremony, as well as other ways to support his family during this incredibly difficult time. We will let you know how you can support them once we know. Our thoughts are with George’s family and those of you who knew and loved him.
We are also looking into what changes can be made to the intersection at Mass. Ave and Huntington Ave. There are sidewalk-level bike lanes proposed on the block North where the crash took place, by the Green Line Symphony stop, because we and other advocates pushed the MBTA to include these in their station redesign. We still do not know the cause of the crash or have further information about possible changes to advocate for at the intersection. Feel free to let us know your ideas on how it can be improved and we will pass those along to the city of Boston.