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SMG Alum Hit by MBTA Bus

Condition upgraded from critical to serious


A School of Management alumnus is in serious condition after being hit by a bus Friday afternoon at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Babcock Street.

Steve Binnam Ha (SMG’11) of Brookline was taken by ambulance to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he was in the intensive care unit. Ha’s condition was upgraded Saturday, from critical to serious.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority says its bus hit Ha after he ran in front of the vehicle on Commonwealth Avenue at about 11 a.m. Transit police interviewed the bus driver and witnesses, the MBTA says, and the investigation is continuing.

Ha’s LinkedIn page identifies him as an associate consultant for Microsoft. He majored in business administration and management at SMG, where he concentrated in finance and management information systems.

“He was a very, very good student,” says Norman Blanchard, director of SMG’s undergraduate program office.

Rich Barlow

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu.

33 Comments on SMG Alum Hit by MBTA Bus

  • Anonymous on 08.06.2012 at 5:34 am

    First off, my heart goes out to him. Hope he is OK and gets better soon, recovers from whatever serious condition he is in. Second: Is anyone really surprised???

    My only surprise to this matter is that it does not happen often enough!! With the perfect storm conditions Commonwealth Ave is in regards to safety or lack thereof. The majority of these kids (referring to pedestrians) are some of the most selfish, inconsiderate I have ever come across!! Often times crossing the street at will without ever consulting incoming traffic and trying to cross (even with the light on green giving cars right of way). As if they outright owned the roads! I am surprised this does not happen as often. Common physics law will tell you that an incoming car’s velocity and mass will not be stopped by hitting a human, why do people continue to think otherwise?!

    Another huge issue are these cyclists in the middle of the road. They don’t respect anyone, pedestrians, drivers, anybody! They blow right through intersections, never respecting red-lights or traffic rules. Never mind that they’re using the same roadways car owners have to pay taxes to drive on! I am referring to basic traffic laws here folks.

    In order for cars, pedestrians or cyclists to co-exist they all must follow the rules of the road in order to insure everyone’s safety. As of right now, I only see one of these groups following any rules and people wonder why there are so many accidents! Drivers often times are the only ones subjected to the law and consequences of moving violations. How about pedestrians or cyclists? What form of consistent enforcement is there to assure any sort of accountability? Respect of the roads? Sadly, there isn’t.

    • CD on 08.06.2012 at 9:49 am

      Honestly couldn’t add anything to what you just said.. I’m gonna be a senior at BU this coming fall, and I’ve never seen so many people blatantly disregard their own safety by walking out in front of car as I have in the past 3 years. And like you said, even though we know bicyclists and pedestrians are neglecting the laws, the police will only enforce traffic laws when they involve cars.. and that’s just ridiculous. I’ve seen very few instances here where a car has put a bike or pedestrian in danger, but MANY when a pedestrian or bicyclists put themselves in danger by walking into the street or blowing through an intersection when they have a red light or stop sign

      • bike on 08.06.2012 at 11:07 am

        Spend 15 minutes on a bike on Comm Ave and you’ll realize how wrong you are. Far too often the bike lanes are treated as extended parking spaces.

        • CD on 08.06.2012 at 12:20 pm

          I’ve seen a few, as I said before. And btw, I would NEVER ride a bike on comm ave.. or any other street with cars for that matter.. the fact that you are completely unprotected while everything around you is like 2 tons heavier, made of steel, and traveling at 40 mph, is enough to deter me from riding a bike. What I don’t understand, is why pedestrians and bicyclists don’t pay more attention (even if, in principle, they shouldn’t have to).. in 3 years here, i have never had a close call with a car, or a bus, or the T, because i LOOK before I walk. Cars don’t just appear, so if someone gets hit, they DEFINITELY saw that car coming, unless it jumped the sidewalk or something. Comm ave is not a dangerous street, unless you choose to take chances and put yourself in danger

      • CN on 08.06.2012 at 12:36 pm

        Just so you know, cars putting pedestrians and bicyclists in danger happens more often than you might like to think. Buses are the most cautious drivers on the road, in my experience.

        I nearly got hit by a car while crossing Boylston near Shaw’s yesterday. If I had not shuffled backwards, I very well may have gotten hit. I had a walk sign…

        And within the last month, I nearly got hit on bike while riding in the access lane on Comm Ave. A women peeled out of a side street with a stop sign one morning, and then proceeded to continue texting without apologizing. The access lane has no stop signs, just lights (which I stop at).

        • CD on 08.06.2012 at 1:06 pm

          You kind of just proved my point, you didn’t get hit because you were paying attention!!! Funny how that works, huh??
          I’m not saying pedestrians and bikes are always at fault, that would be ignorant, i’m just saying that more often than not, they take unnecessary risks which puts them in danger. If everyone paid a little more attention, drivers included, boston would be a lot safer..

          • CN on 08.06.2012 at 1:15 pm

            I didn’t get hit because I backed up!
            Other than that, I think we’ve reached an understanding. Maybe we should get back to work now…

          • CN on 08.06.2012 at 1:17 pm

            which I suppose is paying attention : / ya got me.

    • darth on 08.06.2012 at 10:35 am

      Cyclists pay as much in taxes as do the motorists. There are a lot of bad eggs out there, but try to understand that many of us do abide by the traffic laws. The same folks who dash in front of cars are the same simpletons who ride through a red light on the BU bridge without a helmet. Instead of spending $11.5 million to purchase Cummington St, BU should invest that money in bridges, tunnels, bike lanes, safety personnel, etc.

      • CD on 08.06.2012 at 10:53 am

        if they don’t own a car they most certainly do not! Vehicle owners are charged excise tax based on the value of their car, which is essentially a tax allowing you to use the road. Cyclists don’t get charged excise tax on their bikes..

    • anon on 08.06.2012 at 11:55 am

      Biking in Boston is extremely dangerous, and the traffic laws to which you are referring are not designed to protect cyclists. For example: cyclists are supposed to ride in the bike lane? Doors opening to your right, cars to your left. People regularly make right hand turns THROUGH the bike lane without checking for bikers or even using turn signals (I have been ridden off the road 4 or 5 times in 5 years due to this). To top it off, city buses cross the bike lane every single block, and most of them simply DO NOT CARE that you are there; they will not wait for you to clear the bus stop, they’ll simply cut you off and force you into the sidewalk.

      The traffic laws you mention do not adequately protect cyclists; as a result, many of us take our safety into our own hands. We practice extreme defensive driving and assume that we are in constant danger. This contributes to the ‘us vs them’ mentality that you seem to have as a driver.

      In short; you can ask cyclists to respect traffic laws, but there should also be an effort to modify traffic laws so that they respect cyclists. There are more and more of us every year, and hopefully that trend continues.

      • CD on 08.06.2012 at 12:28 pm

        everything you said is true.. BUT you should know that you are the exception, not the rule. 90% of cyclists have no regard for anything but getting to their destination.. To me the solution is simple, a bike should ALWAYS have to yield to a car. I say that for 3 reasons, 1) the bicyclist is the one in extreme danger, not the car.. 2) it’s much easier to stop a bike than it is to stop a car, also a lot easier to maneuver.. and 3) a bicyclist has nothing to pay attention too.. while a driver has many things to pay attention to (lights/speed limits/other cars etc..), why would you rely on a vehicle’s driver to effectively pay attention to one more thing.. when you could just pay attention to them and protect yourself?

        • CN on 08.06.2012 at 12:40 pm

          1) true
          2) not true; bikes do not break as quickly as cars – We’re supposed to come to a halt in the bike lane so that cars can park?
          3) How do we have nothing to pay attention to when you want us to stop at lights and stop signs (which bikers should definitely do)? We have the EXACT SAME THING to pay attention to. We do pay attention to cars, but when they swerve over into the bike lane, we’re forced to move into traffic so we don’t run into the car.

          • CD on 08.06.2012 at 12:59 pm

            2) Bikes don’t break as quickly as cars? what? that’s not true simply because of the speed and weight factor, it takes longer to stop a 4000 pound car going 40 mph than it does to stop a 300 pound bike going 10 mph.. Also, you can maneuver a bike in smaller spaces because it’s like 1/10 of the size. In regard to your quesiton, “we’re supposed to come to a halt..” YES YOU ARE, just like a car should stop if a car is parallel parking in front of them, same principle. And if you don’t want to, the answer is not to go into traffic, you have ONE lane for your bike, the bike lane, if it’s occupied, get off your bike, walk it down the sidewalk, then get back in the bike lane. Bikes have NO business in traveling lanes regardless of the circumstances.
            3) And with point number 3, I should have specified that, WITH THE CURRENT LAWS, bikes are technically not required to pay attention to anything.. because, cars are required to yield to bikes, and police don’t enforce bikes running red lights or stop signs so why pay attention? Indeed, if you want to stay safe, you do have to pay attention, and that was essentially my point, you have nothing to pay attention to unless you want to preserve your life.

          • CN on 08.06.2012 at 1:12 pm

            To CD’s 12:59 reply –

            In my experience driving and watching cars, cars behind a parking car will go half in the same lane and half in the other lane (probably technically illegal), so why can’t bikes be able to do that (provided they use hand signals to alert cars)? Why do cars have more of a right to get to their destination than bikes?
            I can’t afford a car or the T, so I ride a bike.

            Also, I’m not sure why you put all the responsibility on bikers to pay attention. BIKERS AND DRIVERS SHOULD BE PAYING ATTENTION TO EVERYTHING ON THE ROAD. Why are pedestrians something drivers have to pay attention to, and bikers are not? I think drivers should be the most cautious because they’re driving a machine that, like you said, is “2 tons heavier, made of steel, and traveling at 40 mph”, i.e. dangerous to everyone not in their own car.

          • greenlife2 on 08.06.2012 at 2:52 pm

            I completely agree with CN. Bikes are the best way to travel in Boston and yet cars and pedestrians are always getting in bikers’ way. This is not fair since we all need to share the road. Cars must drive slowly, bikers should signal whenever possible, and pedestrians just need to watch both lights and moving vehicles.

          • greenlife2 on 08.06.2012 at 2:55 pm

            ATTN CN: since you are such a bike enthusiast, you should nominate yourself for cyclist of the week. Look at the Boston Bikes website. Here’s one of their cyclists of the week: http://www.bostonbikes.org/2012/07/cyclist-of-the-week-bekka-wright/

        • biking in Boston? on 08.06.2012 at 6:53 pm

          “And if you don’t want to, the answer is not to go into traffic, you have ONE lane for your bike, the bike lane, if it’s occupied, get off your bike, walk it down the sidewalk, then get back in the bike lane. Bikes have NO business in traveling lanes regardless of the circumstances.”

          Please read ‘Sharing the Road’ at http://www.cityofboston.gov/bikes/bikesafety/bikes.asp


          For motorists:

          1. Yield to cyclists.
          Bicycles are vehicles of the road and should be given the appropriate right of way.

          • CD on 08.07.2012 at 10:50 am

            Yes, we already agreed that according to the law, motorists are required to yield to cyclists. However, that link kind of proves what I said, it says clearly..

            “Bike Lanes:

            Some roads have marked bike lanes to the right side of the road. In ideal circumstances, cyclists should stay in to the left side of the bike lane in order to avoid potential road debris and to stay outside the radius of the doors of parked cars.

            Some considerations:

            Bikes are not required to travel in bike lanes when preparing for turns. If you wish to turn left, always signal as you move out of the bike lane.
            Be attentive in a bike lane that positions you on the right side of a right turn lane, especially at stop lights. Drivers turning right may turn across your path suddenly.”

            According to this, the ONLY circumstance in which a bike belongs in the traveling lane is when they have to cross it to turn left, there is no other situation that permits cyclists to be in traveling lanes. There is another link that says ‘take the lane when..’ but that ONLY applies when there is no marked bicycle lane, as I said before.

  • Mark Krone on 08.06.2012 at 10:01 am

    “My only surprise to this matter is that it does not happen often enough!”

    Among other problems with this sentence, I think you intended the opposite of what you wrote.

  • Clinton on 08.06.2012 at 10:11 am

    Wow, that sucks. I don’t even know what to say. He must be in horrific pain. A bus. That’s really awful.

  • WHB on 08.06.2012 at 10:14 am

    The problem for students is that BU’s campus is 1.5 miles long with essential classes for underclassmen located as far apart as KCB in Kenmore and CGS in West. If you have to get from one first-year class to a second one in a mere 10 minutes without being late, you do whatever you can even if it impacts your safety. Professors like Bob Devaney in the math department even lock the front door to their lecture halls and classrooms (his is in East Campus) to discourage latecomers forcing people to loop around back.

    There are ways that the University could help. Increase the time in between classes, lengthening classes from 1 and 1.5 hours by 15 minutes to give professors more time to teach and students more time to commute. Install diagonal crosswalks at intersections. Stagger “core” courses throughout campus (not just in areas closest to that department’s office) and consolidate them as closely as possible toward the center of campus in STH and CAS.

    Students should do more for their own safety, but in many cases they are just doing the best they can… and could use some extra help.

  • Nick on 08.06.2012 at 10:46 am

    Failed parenting…no one ever taught them to look both ways.

    • gs on 08.06.2012 at 11:43 am

      Nick’s callousness…. Anonymous’s misguided, anti-intellectual tirade that reeks of antipathy and a profound sense of entitlement…. all signs of a culture in decline. Did you people always exist in this country or did Fox News give you the feeling that your voice deserves to be heard? Please shut up and go away.

      • Relevancy? on 08.08.2012 at 3:45 pm

        What does Fox News have to do with this? Did your little liberal heart just beat wildly to get that jab in there?

    • Ds on 08.11.2012 at 7:23 pm

      Yup, failed parenting indeed. I guess Nick here was taught to be rude and judgmental when he obviously knows nothing about the situation.

  • Jeff on 08.06.2012 at 11:42 am

    I’ve noticed that Comm Ave pedestrians take even bigger chances when there’s a cloudburst, and they’re in the process of getting soaked. Understandable, but as a driver, 1) it’s harder to see someone darting out in front of you, and 2) it’s harder to stop. I saw someone leap out in front of a bus during one of last week’s sudden storms; fortunately, the bus driver saw it coming and was able to stop in time.

  • Anonymous on 08.06.2012 at 11:43 am

    It never ceases to amaze me how insensitive people can be. As the article states, the investigation is ongoing and it is according to the bus driver that the individual ran in front of the bus. Instead of being so quick to blame the pedestrian, the actions of the driver should also be thoroughly considered. Furthermore, the assertion that this accident is a result of failed parenting is absurd and ignorant.

  • CD on 08.06.2012 at 1:28 pm

    to CN:

    I believe we have!! this is kind of a pointless argument anyways.. I really do feel like both sides have a point, it just depends which side you identify with (you ride, I drive..)

    Good debate!!

    • Intrigued on 08.06.2012 at 2:54 pm

      What’s this, now? Civility on the internet?

      • CD on 08.06.2012 at 3:31 pm

        hahaha it’s rare, i know!

  • BU Alum on 08.08.2012 at 12:33 pm

    Enough with the bickering and mindless chatter. There are some very insensitive comments in this post that really show me how careless and ignorant some people are. Whatever really happened is unfortunate, but it could have happened to any of us on any given day. I’ll bet that none of you even know who Steve really is, so enough with the conjecture and mistruths.

    All I ask is that everyone pray for him and his family. He is a good kid and we all hope he recovers swiftly

    • Sue on 08.08.2012 at 2:40 pm

      No, I don’t know Steve, but like the original poster I’m surprised as well that it doesn’t happen more. I hope he recovers fast, but I also hope that students learn a lesson from it. I really wish that those BU escorts would bring up Comm Ave when they do a “tour” of the campus with visitors and tell them how busy it gets with the bikes and the cars and the pedestrians.

      “it could have happened to any of us on any given day”

      I’ve got to differ with you there. If I have to cross Comm Ave, I either wait for the light, or a large space in traffic, and I know what red or green mean unlike others I see crossing. It is a dangerous road and you need to be alert whether you’re driving, biking or walking.

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