In the summer of 2015, a tractor trailer making a right turn from Boston’s Massachusetts Ave. onto Beacon St. hit and killed a cyclist on the way to her job as a surgeon at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center. The biker died a few minutes later after the flat bed truck left the scene.
This is a notorious corridor in Boston, where vehicles trying to connect to the Massachusetts Turnpike see much traffic, and pedestrians crowd the sidewalks and crosswalks. Bikers are left with a narrow lane between a line of parked cars and the busy street, which is not always clearly defined.
From 2009-12, there were 14 crashes with bikers reported at the same intersection, which is the highest in the city. Across Boston, hundreds of other bikers and pedestrians were injured in crashes as well.
That is the reason that Boston has initiated Vision Zero, which is a program to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety.The primary goal of Vision Zero is to eliminate fatal and serious traffic accidents in the city by 2030.
Vision Zero Boston, according to its website, attempts to look behind statistics and closely at the human/economic cost of crashes. It promises to take action in four areas:
- Reducing speeds and designing safer streets
- Reducing distracted/impaired driving
- Talking to city residents about Vision Zero
- Holding the city and program accountable for results
Millions of dollars have been pledged from the city budget to reshape the most dangerous streets and intersections of Boston to make them safer through the Vision Zero program. At least $9 million will be used to improve areas where frequent crashes with bikers and pedestrians occur.
Another aspect of the plan is that when there is a biker or pedestrian injury, officials go to the scene immediately to analyze what caused the wreck and how to adjust the area to prevent future accidents.
Our truck accident and pedestrian personal injury attorneys in Virginia are glad to see that the city of Boston is doing what it can to cut down on biker and pedestrian injuries. We would like to see a similar program implemented in the Virginia Beach area, which has far too many car, pedestrian and bicycle accidents each year. It would be very helpful for the Vision Zero program to be implemented along Virginia Beach’s Atlantic Avenue to reduce these accidents.
Whether caused by a reckless truck driver or car driver, many of these pedestrian accidents are preventable. All drivers in cars and trucks have a duty to watch for bikers on city streets and pedestrians in crosswalks, and to avoid causing anyone harm to these citizens. They have the same right to use the public roads as drivers do.