BU Today


Student Killed in Bike Accident

Tragedy at Harvard and Brighton Avenues


A BU student was killed Monday evening while bicycling near the busy intersection of Harvard Avenue and Brighton Avenue. Boston Police spokesperson Neva Coakley says the accident, reported by witnesses to have involved an MBTA bus, occurred at 6:26 p.m. She says a 21-year-old man was killed. The name of the victim, who was pronounced dead at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Peter Fiedler (COM’77), vice president for administrative services at Boston University, says the accident is a tragedy for the entire University. “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family and friends, and to everyone who knew him,” says Fiedler.

Boston Police and  MBTA Transit Police are investigating the accident.

Art Jahnke

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.

100 Comments on Student Killed in Bike Accident

  • Jiaqi on 11.13.2012 at 5:18 am


  • Kathryn Kogan on 11.13.2012 at 6:50 am

    Seems this happens about once a year. What is B.U. doing to protect the biking safety of its students? This is not the first fatality involving an MBTA bus. What a terrible tragedy for the family.

    • Manny on 11.13.2012 at 8:04 am

      RIP. This should not have happened that we lose one of our own like this.

      As a student who bikes daily from Allston to BU, road safety is something that bike riders and motor vehicle operators have to take into account when going through any environment, especially an urban one like Allston or Kenmore. BU has been working on increasing the awareness of bikes and bike safety, so it’s really up to everyone using the streets to use better judgment and share the road space to prevent tragedies like this from happening. I’m not blaming the victim in any way, but BU can only do so much to protect its students.

    • OldFatty on 11.13.2012 at 8:14 am

      There’s nothing BU can do to stop a bus. That’s out of their control. You can’t blame BU for every bad thing that happens to a BU student.

    • dianne brown burley on 11.13.2012 at 8:16 am

      What are students doing to protect their OWN safety? Bike helmets? Raising their awareness that large and small vehicles have blind spots (front and back)! And acknowledging that many drivers are not skilled at multi-tasking (watching for pedestrians, people on ‘cycles, AND negotiating the BUSY, congested streets of Boston)–it’s a sad fact. Ride knowing these risks that you cannot control the actions of others and that no one intentionally wants to run anyone down. What a terrible accident!

    • Claire on 11.13.2012 at 8:24 am

      This certainly is tragic, but we don’t know the exact circumstances of the accident, and we can’t necessarily blame BU for it. A lot of biker are very reckless and don’t respect red lights and simple traffic rules.
      I don’t intend to blame anyone. I just want to say that we can’t always shift the responsability of all our actions to the university. We’re grown-ups, after all.
      I dearly hope that the family will find the force to help each other to deal with this tragedy.

    • anonymous on 11.13.2012 at 8:29 am

      …..How is this BU’s fault?

      • Anonymous on 11.13.2012 at 10:09 am

        Didn’t you know, it’s always somebody else’s fault?! Never, ever do we ever consider such a thing as personal responsibility in this country anymore! The sense of entitlement is ingrained so deep, it’s disgusting!

        • Frank on 11.13.2012 at 3:54 pm

          Totally agree. It’s always someone’s fault. And if you can’t find someone, just blame everything on BU.

    • Jobar on 11.13.2012 at 8:32 am

      I think they actually do a lot. There are whole bike safety initiatives trying to get students to be careful, wear helmets, and bike defensively along Comm Ave. (http://www.bu.edu/bikesafety/) BU is in the middle of a city and simply can’t control every aspect of student life, especially when students are off campus, as this student was. It’s sad and awful, but blaming BU isn’t fair.

    • Dave on 11.13.2012 at 8:55 am

      I agree that this event was a tragedy, but to pin it on BU is unfair Kathryn.

      BU does a lot to proect the bike safety of BU students:

      *BU has yearly bike safety events
      *At those events, BU gives out free equipment (I got a free helmet and safety light last year) and also provides discounts for students at various bike vendors
      *BU keeps up a webpage to educate students about biking issues in Boston and to coordinate giveaways and events to benefit the BU biker community http://www.bu.edu/bikesafety/ (as Jobar already posted)
      *It was BU, NOT the City of Boston, that put up the “look left for bikers” stencils at every crosswalk along Comm Ave, reminding pedestrians of the bike lane.
      *BU has worked hand-in-hand with the city to create and maintain dedicated bike lanes in the campus area.

    • Olivia on 11.13.2012 at 9:35 am

      This is in no way the University’s fault. They are doing their best to raise awareness about biking safety and motor vehical safety. As a student I am bombarded with messages about biking safety every day. Yet I still constantly see students riding around, not paying any attention to their surroundings, crossing streets when they shouldn’t be, and even somestimes trying to dodge through traffic. I’m not saying that this victim was doing any of that, but that students do need to be more careful with their biking safety- there’s really not much more that BU can do to protect students from biking accidents save from riding around with them. My condolences and prayers go out to the family of the victim.

    • Jason on 11.13.2012 at 12:09 pm

      … I’m sorry. I feel for the loss, but are you seriously trying to hold the university responsible for biking safety?

      Ride safe, or walk. I’m sure we’ve all seen bikers running red lights and attempting to squeeze ahead of MBTA trains/buses.

      Each must use his or her own judgment regarding road safety. You’re adults now. The university shouldn’t have to tell you to value your own life.

    • Blueman on 11.13.2012 at 3:05 pm

      As tragic as this is the question is not so much what is BU doing to protect the biking safety of its students as much as it is what are students doing to protect themselves i.e. wearing proper protection gear, respecting the rules of the road, and not taking unnecessary chances that are unsafe and risky. The behavior of bikers and pedestrians alike needs to change or more people will lose their lives.

  • Ray on 11.13.2012 at 7:13 am

    This won’t end until there are curbed bike lanes protected from parking vehicles, opening car doors, and frequently stopping busses.

    • Mark on 11.13.2012 at 9:34 am

      Good point. The city should install these at least on a trial basis.

      • Jorge on 11.13.2012 at 12:39 pm

        Yeah totally. Do you want to pay for it?

        • M on 11.13.2012 at 3:11 pm

          Hey Jorge,

          The city could pay for it. BPHC spent so much money on the campaign to wear helmets, surely some of that money could go towards additional bike lanes.

    • Sue on 11.13.2012 at 10:34 am

      The basics here. Roads are used the most by cars and buses, outnumbering bikes. Buses stop frequently to pick up and discharge passengers. Elderly people and people with disability need the bus to stop at the curb to make it easier for them to get on. Those on bicycles are fit, and the city has spent a lot of time and money to add clearly marked bike lanes. All people have to do — everyone riding and walking — is pay attention and follow the rules. Look and think beyond yourself, and past your nose. That means minds concentrated on what’s around you, not being distracted by cell phones or anything else.

    • Alex on 11.14.2012 at 12:45 pm

      That’ll do wonders for the car traffic! Imagine if the already hellish Commonwealth Avenue had one less lane so bikers could meander around at their leisure, it’d be perfect!

  • anonymous on 11.13.2012 at 7:15 am

    This is so sad and definitely a tragic wake up call. Too many times I’ve seen bikers ride right next to the buses or swerve in front of them and luckily the drivers I’ve had were aware, but in addition to regulation of meta and other buses, there has to be some biker regulation as well. It needs to happen to prevent horrible events like these

    • AP on 11.13.2012 at 9:43 am

      I agree. Along the BU campus, and all over the city, I’ve often seen bikers dart in between a large turning vehicle (bus, van, SUV) and the curb, trying to beat the large vehicle around the turn. They’re basically squeezing into a tiny blind opening around the vehicle. Sadly, a bicyclist who tries something like this is likely to get hurt or killed, and it will be his or her own fault.

  • JR on 11.13.2012 at 7:45 am

    Though the details of what happend in this particular tragedy have not been released at this time, I think it is important that we all take notice of the dangers involved in riding our bikes (especially after dark) throughout this hectic city. Contrary to common practice, cyclist are bound by the same “rules of the road” as motorist and adhering to those rules is paramount to ensuring rider safety. My heart goes out to the family and friends of this young individual and I hope that we will all allow this to serve as a reminder of the dangers associated with riding our bikes through intersections rife with blind spots.

  • SM on 11.13.2012 at 7:56 am

    This is obviously a very tragic and sad case, one that we hope can be prevented in the future. Such an event also brings to light the importance of everyone’s responsibility to ensure bike safety. This responsibility lies in the hands of BU, the city, the drivers, and most importantly the bikers themselves, as it is their lives most at risk. Now, I do not know the circumstances of this incident, but I have too often seen bikers around BU (or all of Boston for that matter) with no helmet and no lights, weaving feverishly through traffic, all while talking on a cell phone. This is clearly an extreme scenario, but I have personally witnessed it many times. Drivers, bus or car, must also demonstrate extra caution especially when driving in congested areas like BU, where bikers are aplenty. As both a driver and a biker my stomach cringes at the thought of this incident and my heart goes out to this young man’s family and friends.

  • Anonymous on 11.13.2012 at 7:57 am

    Yup, @Kathryn Kogan, according to your logic then BU has to go out there and ‘protect’ people; enact civil laws I suppose? (this happened off campus mind you) It’s also all the MBTA bus’ fault probably too right? Biking safety? Give me a break! BUPD/Boston PD was out all this fall issuing citations, trying to get people to comply and do the right thing (what did that do?), the amount of people who bike and just don’t care is abysmal (personal responsibility!); I see them blowing red lights every single day/eve. Just about no one respects traffic laws: yeah, that includes drivers. Comm Ave becomes a racing strip during certain points of rush hour. Drivers are held to a much higher standard than bikers though (when you do see enforcement). My feeling is the responsibility is mutual but the punishment for wrongdoing is not. Common sense, patience and respect may go a long way for everyone!

  • Old School on 11.13.2012 at 8:02 am

    This is indeed a tragedy, similar to many others which seem to be happening much more frequently around campus and the city.

    As for your question, Ms. Kogan, please check out: http://www.bu.edu/bikesafety/

    The University is quite active in working internally and with neighbors and government to try and protect its community’s safety.

  • Kate on 11.13.2012 at 8:19 am

    I saw how those buses drive. They always intimidate students. A few times I was riding 57 and I was sure we would hit a cyclist passing by. Drivers assume that they would stop or something but their driving and behavior towards cyclists is extreme! Let’s raise awareness, people!

    • Ben on 11.13.2012 at 10:28 pm

      Yes, the MBTA drivers frequently drive in an unpredictable and almost reckless manner, speaking from my experience both riding on the buses and biking through Boston. Drivers need to be held accountable.

    • anonymous on 11.14.2012 at 10:24 am

      I have taken to calling in busses not obeying traffic laws. If you can get the bus or license number and call it in, we can get some of these bad drivers off the road.

      • Mark on 11.14.2012 at 5:07 pm

        Who do I call to get bad bicyclists off the road?

  • RJT on 11.13.2012 at 8:23 am

    I feel like that section of streetlights was out the last few nights. Terrible tragedy.

  • C on 11.13.2012 at 8:29 am

    Sad story. But what is BU doing? They’re instructing cyclists to obey traffic laws. You wouldn’t believe how many cyclists I see running red lights. All you gotta do is obey the traffic laws.

    • Barbara on 11.13.2012 at 1:45 pm

      The cyclist is smaller than the bus. To pin the death on the cylist alone without knowing all the details is premature. Was the cyclist passing the bus on the right or left? Was he crossing the intersection? Did he violate a red light? Did the bus? There are many factors to consider before pointing the finger of blame. What we do know is that one young person is dead and the MBTA is once again in the midst of a cycling tradegy.

  • Chris on 11.13.2012 at 8:37 am

    Awful. As a cyclist myself I can’t help but feel it’s just a matter of time before I have some sort of incident, whether it’s being “doored” (someone opening their car door in the bike lane) or worse. I used to run through red lights when there was no traffic coming, but I stopped that a few months ago. Cyclists can’t be too careful with drivers around here, especially some of those on the MBTA. I wonder what the circumstances here were? Buses swerving to intimidate cyclists – I can’t imagine – would end in a fatality. Either way, definitely a tragedy. Any who cycle, do be careful. You’re (we’re) a lot smaller than vehicles which requires extra attention. Any who drive, also be careful. Condolences to the family.

  • Jo on 11.13.2012 at 8:47 am

    This wasn’t even on BU’s campus…? How would you expect BU to fix this, they can’t play god.
    But honestly though this was just a horrible accident; prayers going out to the family :\

  • SC on 11.13.2012 at 8:47 am

    I sometimes ride my bike to campus but stick to bike lanes and push my bike across pedestrian crossings, and have observed that some people riding theirs do not observe traffic signals, or cut in from the left lane to turn right at a large intersection. But I have seen far many worse drivers who honk at cyclists/pedestrians and drive through the walk sign when pedestrians are crossing, and have lost count of cars which cut into the bike lane, missing me by literally inches.

    No matter how they try to appear a bike-friendly city, Boston/Cambridge is a really dangerous place to ride, and I sense the worsening of conditions from years ago. They should really look at how Montreal has done it.

    • BU Grad Student on 11.13.2012 at 9:18 am

      Seriously, the number of drivers who think they can sit in the crosswalk at a red light, giving pedestrians nowhere to walk without risking being hit by traffic going the other way, is ridiculous. This is How to Drive a Car 101; I don’t even drive and I know this rule. The city really needs to do something about this, along with the people who drive into bike lines when cyclists are there. I have never seen as much of this before I moved to Boston.

  • Nikitasha on 11.13.2012 at 8:57 am

    Can the city do something about these bike lanes? In Sweden, the road is set up so that the bike lanes are next to the side walk. Then you have parked cars which serve as a buffer between the bike lanes and the moving traffic.

    • Anonymous on 11.13.2012 at 9:34 am

      I think its a great idea and all, but its likely not feasible in an old city like Boston that already has such narrow lanes and no room for the bike lanes to go.

      • Samuel Pobberstock on 11.13.2012 at 10:01 am

        The city could just swap the bike lanes and parking spots. Just some rearranging.

        • Student on 11.13.2012 at 1:27 pm

          They don’t do this because then they lose money on parking. If they put the parking closer to the street then they can’t have spots on the corners and I’m sure a few other places. It’s the same deal in New York.

          Whether or not this is the main/only reason I’m not sure, but I’ve been told this one for sure.

      • gs on 11.13.2012 at 10:33 am

        I don’t think Boston is at all “old” compared with cities in Europe and the rest of the world. That is no good excuse. And YES, BU which is capable of purchasing Cummington St. can certainly influence the construction of better bike lanes on its campus. It’s ridiculous to say that the best BU can do is teach bikers “bike safety”. Come on!

        • gs on 11.13.2012 at 10:34 am

          And just to clarify… I completely agree with Nikitasha.

    • Mark on 11.13.2012 at 9:35 am

      Yes, that is what is needed here in Boston.

  • JL on 11.13.2012 at 9:18 am

    What a terrible tragedy. I bike along the same stretch of Brighton Ave often, and it is very scary to hear about such an accident. I wonder if the biker had proper lights on his bike. It is very dark by 6:30 at this time of year, and it is difficult for vehicles to see bikers without lights – yet I see people riding without them.

  • Thomas on 11.13.2012 at 9:40 am

    The city of Boston and the entire culture around traffic and bicycling needs to change. As Chris said, with conditions as they are, bicyclist consider accidents to be an inevitability rather than a freak occurrence. The aggressive nature of Bostonian traffic (cars and bicycles) needs to be changed or accidents like this will only continue. The European model is miles ahead of the U.S. in terms of safety, but things like this take time. Hopefully from here we will make progress.

  • SR on 11.13.2012 at 9:40 am

    Though it’s very sad to hear about this loss, it does raise an opportunity to make a few remarks about cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers in this city.

    The shared feature between all three is that far too many of them have barely any respect for the rules of the road. How many times a day do you see pedestrians–students on BU campus especially–literally walking out in front of cars when they have a green light (none too often with this odd, almost palpable sense of entitlement that doesn’t even require they look at the traffic signals, but just walk where they want). Stand for 5 minutes at the intersection of Comm Ave. and BU Bridge and watch the idiots walk in front of cars barreling at them at 50mph. It’s so stupid it’s almost funny, until I have to witness someone dismembered by a Dodge Ram.

    Cyclists–much of the same. Rip through red lights, weave between traffic, no helmet, often no lights, no reflective wear, on their cell phone, sometimes carrying a coffee.

    Drivers–the ones in Boston are some of the worst, and that comes from someone who lived, biked, drove, and walked in the downtown of a city twice the size for 10 years before coming here. They’re way too aggressive, far too quick with the horn, take too many chances, and again have this odd sense of entitlement once they’re driving 2 tonnes around.

    That’s not to say that this cyclist’s death wasn’t a tragic accident; in some sense I hope it was, as if he was just an idiot that that’d take way from what really needs to be thought of here.

    But for most people on here–BU students, I presume–to get up in arms about it, but then literally show zero regard for traffic laws when their walking, cycling, or driving–it’s a bit rich.

    • Nikoletta on 11.13.2012 at 10:20 am


  • Lydia on 11.13.2012 at 9:50 am

    Wear a seatbelt. Use a tail light. Don’t ride with headphones. Use your eyes. Use your ears. Use your blinker. Show hand signals. Wear a helmet. Stop at red lights. Look before you cross the road. Look before you open your door into traffic. Don’t just look, look both ways. Be aware. Be defensive, not aggressive.

    Want to change the number of deaths? Want to change the level of fear and the growing hostility? Want to make driving, walking, and riding safer in your city? Start paying attention and do what YOU can to make it so.

    What an awful occurrence. Wake up everybody. This is on all of us.

    • Sue on 11.13.2012 at 10:57 am

      Excellent reply. For example, this morning, taking a right, I was in the right lane as there is now a bike lane. The light changes, I check the right mirror for bikes, and what is trying to pass me — in the bike lane — but another car. I thought the fool was going to clip my bumper. It’s idiots like that we *all* have to look out for.

  • Bob on 11.13.2012 at 9:58 am

    The real problem here is the recklessness of the MBTA bus drivers. They have no regard for the bike lane at all.

  • Class of 1985 on 11.13.2012 at 10:05 am

    When I attended BU in the 80’s the statistics showed that 3 students per year would be injured every year by Comm Ave and that at least one accident would be fatal. Comm Ave is a crazy, chaotic boulevard and students (especially new students) find it hard to adjust to such a threatening environment. Young adults tend to move through the world as if they’re bullet-proof anyway. The University cannot control individual student’s traffic skills nor can they control the behavior of every driver on the road, especially off-campus! This is a horrible tragedy, but horrible things sometimes just happen. We call these events “accidents”. The attitude that BU must supply a warm womb of absolute safety in this very vibrant city is just the sort of perspective that will make you more at risk here. BU can’t protect you from the big, scary world completely. Every student needs to understand that the University can’t protect them from everything and try to remember that urban streets can be very dangerous.

  • Nikoletta on 11.13.2012 at 10:06 am

    Yes, it’s terrible. This also happened about 50 m from my apartment and I cannot tell you how many bikers I saw, during the investigation, that were riding without helmets, without reflective wear, with ear buds and one girl was even texting!

    Again, we don’t know the circumstances but as a note from one biker to another – wear reflective gear, don’t listen to music or text while cycling and always wear a helmet. Always minimize risks, even if you feel you look like an ass.

  • bill on 11.13.2012 at 11:21 am

    i really cannot understand why this can happen…China’s streets are 20 times more busy than here, but very few people killed on a bike by car accident… i think the problem is the skill of the bus drivers…

  • Cate Solomon on 11.13.2012 at 11:23 am

    As an administrator and as the mother of a recent alum who came home last night saddened and upset after passing by the scene soon after this tragic death – I beg BU and the city of Boston to do something to protect bikers (our students).

    Please put an inside lane between parked cars and the sidewalk as they do out West to buffer bikers from drivers.

    Something must be done!

    We are so sad for this loss – please do not let it happen again!

    • Ella on 11.13.2012 at 3:40 pm

      As a fellow administrator, you should know this wasn’t on our campus. I agree with the sentiment overall, but let’s mourn the poor student right now, not use it as a soapbox.

  • Michelle Carpenter on 11.13.2012 at 11:58 am

    First, let’s agree that this comments section is absolutely bonkers.

    Boston University is not culpable for this tragedy. The administration supports and stands for safe biking, which means wearing helmets, reflective gear, abiding by traffic laws, and most importantly, recognizing your own limitations and the reality that you can’t control other people. That is, just because you’re confident that you can ride your bike safely doesn’t mean others won’t screw up.

    You want Boston University to put an inside bike lane at the location where this accident happened? Where are they going to put it? Where will that money come from? Who are the engineers who will take care of this project? What about the minor detail that this didn’t occur on Boston University’s campus?

    You ought to not be so flippant about what you perceive as the correct and simple solution to a serious and multidimensional problem. This student’s death is a tragedy, and likely one that was preventable. But was Boston University the one that could’ve prevented it? Can you support your argument with things like facts and reality and science, or just an inflated sense that you’ve got all the answers? If it is so obvious that all we need is another bike lane, why aren’t you pounding the pavement to get support and shaking out your wallet to make that happen?

    Besides all of this, when did the BU Today comments section become a sub-Reddit. Take your outrage somewhere else, it’s humiliating.

  • Sam on 11.13.2012 at 12:41 pm

    I think it would be way safer if no one ever left their dorm (or house, apt., etc.). That way, no one would get hit by vehicles. Actually, it would be even safer if no one enrolled in college. If you don’t go to college, you’re probably much safer in general.

  • Tom on 11.13.2012 at 12:56 pm

    Well said Michelle. BU and the city aren’t going to look to the comments section of an article for suggestions on moving forward. It is a tragic accident that JUST happened. I think it’s time to keep the student and his family/friends in our prayers instead of jumping to place blame when the incident is still undergoing investigation.

    There are a lot of things wrong with how people drive, bike, and walk around BU and Boston as a whole. There are so many factors that can contribute to an incident such as this. The “solutions” set forth by many of the people on here might sound good, but it takes time, money, and strategic plans to actually make changes to the whereabouts of a bike lane.

    True, maybe it takes something horrible like this to make the city re-evaluate the layout. But it’s not going to be simple and might not even happen. Correct me if I’m wrong, but no one on here is an expert in traffic flow and safety. If you are, you could bring your suggestions elsewhere. I openly admit that I don’t know how to solve the problem. It’s bigger than me and a comments section isn’t the proper venue even if I thought I knew what to do.

    I kind of wish there were helmet laws here though. I remember when I was a kid, my parents told me I had to wear a helmet in NY until I was 16. I don’t know if it was a real rule, but maybe they could make it a real rule and get rid of the age limit. Nothing bad can come out of it. It’s frightening to see the Hubway riders (who don’t ride frequently) zip around without helmets.

    • Anonymous on 11.13.2012 at 3:11 pm

      Laws don’t change behavior, education does.

      • Tom on 11.13.2012 at 4:20 pm

        Well that’s a statement…Laws do change your behavior if you follow them. People don’t always follow rules, but there’s a select few who like to stay out of trouble that will. And in the case of helmets, that would mean a few more helmeted heads.

        Of course education has a big impact. And I’m not trying to imply that a helmet had anything to do with this incident. It could have had more to do with the lack of a good lane or poor visibility from the bus. Was just thinking out loud like you all are.

  • Aleks on 11.13.2012 at 1:53 pm

    Poor guy, family, friends, and bus driver.

    As a bike commuter the bus always scares me. Big vehicle with poor visibility that often changes lanes. Buses that make frequent stops like the 57 go about bike speed. Its like leapfrog, the bus passes the bike and stops, then the bike passes the bus… this increases the probability of interaction over other big vehicles.

    I have had many bad experiences with buses where they almost ran me over swerving into the bus stop. With more bikes on the road today I feel that the drivers are more aware and better at sharing the road with bikes than 10 years ago. I also changed my riding habits. I try to avoid the leapfrog thing by slowing down and letting it go far ahead. I also anticipate that the bus is going to swerve in front of me. Give it some space. Never pass the bus on its right side. It is not expecting passing on the right, it has limited visibility out of that mirror, and it is a good way to hit riders getting on and off the bus.

    To protect myself I make every effort to be more visible. Especially from the front. Many bike riders light up the back of their bike well but not the front. I found that the majority of near misses were when someone in a vehicle did not see me coming from behind or the side. Meaning they change lanes in front of me or pull out of a side street. Having bike lights that throw some light to the side are also good. Especially at stop signs or yield situations.

    Put on multiple lights. Make it an art project. During day light riding wear bright clothes. Invest in a hi viz construction vest. Think about buying a visible jacket next time you need one.

    Be sure your ride is in good working order. Front and rear brakes that work in wet and dry conditions are obvious. Be mindful of under inflated tires, deteriorated tires, frame and crank problems, snapping chains. These types of problems that happen instantaneously can cause you to fall unexpectedly. You don’t want that to happen when there is a large vehicle passing you.

  • Nancy Ammerman on 11.13.2012 at 2:00 pm

    The huge number of bikes and the heavy traffic on Comm Ave. make such accidents seem inevitable. WBUR’s Robin Young has done a couple of very interesting programs about bike accidents and bike safety. Here’s a link to her segment on “Ghost Bike” memorials: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2012/09/27/ghost-bikes-bicyclists.

  • Slartibartfast on 11.13.2012 at 2:30 pm

    As a Boston pedestrian I can say with certainty that a very large factor in bike accidents is obnoxious cyclists going too fast and breaking traffic laws left and right. Having been run down on foot by a cyclist blowing a stop sign without looking, I feel little sympathy for those who blatantly disobey regulations while whining about everyone else. Some cyclists obey the laws and cycle safely, but most do not. And they make everyone less sympathetic.

    • multimodalmama on 11.13.2012 at 5:20 pm

      As a Boston cyclist, going on 30 years now, pedestrians get away with the most atrocious stuff of all. I bet you are one of those who doesn’t even know what the term “jaywalking” means, and regularly ignores that red hand thingy and then whiiiiinnnnees about reckless cyclists who DARE TO GO THROUGH GREEN LIGHTS when your special snowflakeness wants to cross! How DARE they! Try your drunken pidgeon act in Seattle or Calgary or Toronto – I dare you.

    • Caroline on 11.13.2012 at 9:03 pm

      This article is practically an obituary. You have no idea what actually happened here and who (if anyone) was in the wrong. I want you to think about the friends and family of the man who was just killed and then reread your comment. Reflect on it. Think about how devastating this crash is for everyone involved. If you still have no sympathy, have some respect and please keep it to yourself.

      • Slartibartfast on 11.15.2012 at 5:02 pm

        Never said anything about not being sympathetic. I feel sympathy for anyone who suffers death or injury on the roads, and for their families and friends. But it does become harder to feel as much sympathy when one is somewhat jaded by experience with reckless cyclists. And if you say that recklessness is not rampant in Boston’s cycling population, you haven’t been outside in a while.

        • Caroline on 11.16.2012 at 8:12 am

          I quote, ” I feel little sympathy”. You also mention how “obnoxious cyclists… make everyone less sympathetic”. In a general article on bike safety these may be appropriate comments, but in an article about someone’s death they are not. Based on your second comment, I think you actually are sympathetic, but I stand by what I said about your original comment. And the third sentence in your last comment makes me think you did not get my point. If you’d like to post about how jaded you’ve become from experience with reckless cyclists, go talk about it in one of the many recent BUToday articles on bike safety. But if you want to talk about how it’s becoming harder for you to feel as much sympathy, don’t do it in comments on articles like these.

    • EC on 11.14.2012 at 1:41 pm

      you just disgust me. were you at the scene? if not, just shut up.

      • Slartibartfast on 11.15.2012 at 5:08 pm

        You clearly misread my post. Maybe take WR100 next semester? I never accused this individual of being reckless. In fact I said nothing about him at all. Rather, I pointed out that as everyone jumps on MBTA and other drivers, it would be wise to remember that many cyclists bring accidents upon themselves.

        • Caroline on 11.16.2012 at 8:27 am

          Maybe you should retake WR100. You didn’t mention unfair blame being cast on the MBTA and other drivers in your first comment. Commenting that “many cyclists bring accidents upon themselves” on an article about a cyclist who has been a victim of an accident implies that you think he brought this accident upon himself. If the goal of your first comment was really to defend the driver (I think it was not), maybe you could have said that you felt that people were being too hard on the driver without knowing the details of the accident. I think everyone (on both sides) is being overly harsh, but making generalized comments about cyclists being reckless and bringing accidents upon themselves is in especially poor taste. This was a devastating accident and I feel terrible for everyone who was involved.

    • mmmm on 11.14.2012 at 9:40 pm

      As a friend of the victim..I beg you to read the whole article again, at this point with the investigation still going on, we don’t really know what actually happened this tragic Monday. I think you can hold your tongue at least for know. Reading something like this is extremely uncomfortable and I wish none of the other friends or the family will see this comment. We have lost a great friend a great person and something like this is the least those related would want to see.

  • Will C on 11.13.2012 at 3:06 pm

    Brookline Police was literally waiting in that corner and writing tickets for the bikers who crossed the red light. Sigh!!! with media and cameras over there, trying to prove the incidents are usually bikers’ fault? Please reconstruct that road!!! Didn’t see any lane for bikes in Allston village. Plus, not wearing helmet is not the excuse for the poor road design for bikers’ death.

    • Slartibartfast on 11.15.2012 at 5:13 pm

      It is a terrible intersection on foot, by bike, or in a car. However, it is navigable, provided EVERYONE obeys the signals and is careful. So let’s not blame the road just yet.

  • k on 11.13.2012 at 3:23 pm

    Maybe the MTBA drivers need to be re-educated on bike safety.

  • M on 11.13.2012 at 3:28 pm


    Maybe we should start a petition for bike lane on Brighton Avenue. What do you think?

  • lb on 11.13.2012 at 3:31 pm

    I am shocked at how fast the buses fly down Comm Ave. This tragedy is not surprising!!!

  • Anon on 11.13.2012 at 3:49 pm

    The comments on this story are shocking to me. This is not the place to blame anyone or to write unsympathetic/crass remarks. This person was someone’s son or daughter, someone’s friend, someone’s sibling. This person was a PERSON! This is not the platform to complain about biking/driving/pedestrian safety. BU lost a member of its community and I think he/she deserves more respect than some of the nonsense that is being written above.

    • k on 11.13.2012 at 4:28 pm

      Your right sorry. My prayers go out to this BU students family, friends and all the BU community

    • Tom on 11.13.2012 at 4:40 pm

      You’re totally right. But it’s an article on the internet, so people turn it into an outlet for their opinions.

      I suppose I’m doing exactly that by commenting on this. I don’t mean any disrespect. But nothing you say can change how people respond to things on the internet. Especially on BU Today articles once parents get involved. Maybe when someone’s life is involved, comments should be turned off for the first few hours so the whole story can develop and it can settle in.

      Prayers to the student and his family and friends.

  • M on 11.13.2012 at 4:10 pm

    Sign my petition and stop blaming each other, instead start taking action to prevent future bike accidents: http://www.change.org/petitions/city-of-boston-bphc-install-bike-lanes-on-brighton-avenue

    • multimodalmama on 11.13.2012 at 5:22 pm

      No bike lane works without enforcement – and Boston is sorely lacking on enforcement of keeping cars from double parking in bike lanes. Taxis are by far the worst – but not only – offenders, and Boston can’t be bothered in the least to do anything about towing and ticketing the losers.

    • Mark on 11.14.2012 at 5:25 pm

      A bike lane would not have directly prevented this tragedy.

      The cause looks to be the excessively wide sidewalk extension paired with two narrow travel lanes on a busy road with 10′ + wide MBTA buses. The wide curb extensions and narrow lanes left no place for the cyclist. Sue the city to remove the dangerous curb extensions which actually don’t offer any accident reduction to pedestrians.

  • a on 11.13.2012 at 4:56 pm

    This is an incredibly sad situation. But BU bikers tend to have a blatant disregard for everyone else on the road…pedestrians included. EVERYONE should be more careful.

    As for the bus driver…I’m sure it wasn’t his fault either. It was just an accident. To blame this man is awful because I can guarantee that no one is blaming him more than he is himself. Living after having been responsible for someone’s death is not something that anyone wants to live with.

  • Julie Hammond on 11.13.2012 at 6:30 pm

    I got hit by a car while bicycling to guitar class on a Wednesday afternoon a few weeks ago on BU campus, near the BU bridge. I was wearing a helmet, had my rear and front lights on (gotten from BU Sustainability festival) and was in the bike lane. I say this to state that cars just aren’t watching for bicycles nearly enough; the car that hit me pulled into bike lane at the time of the accident.

    The week before, I saw a BU student (pedestrian) get hit by a car at the corner of Brighton Ave an Comm Ave, and be severely injured enough to be taken to the hospital.

    It’s not BU’s fault that this student was killed. However, BU could do a lot to improve student safety on and off of campus. One extremely useful program would be to put a curb around the bike lane. The bike lane is very wide considering how thin a bicycle is; the width of the curb could be part of the bike lane. If such a curb was instituted on campus, this would have prevented the car from hitting me a few weeks ago; if such a curb was implemented on the main roads where many BU students live (Brighton Ave), tragedies such as the one last night could be prevented.

    In addition, it would also be helpful if the BU bus did not pull into the bike lane every time it stopped. As a cyclist, I can say that it is absolutely terrifying to bike behind a BU bus; I would not be at all surprised if the next tragedy happened as a result of a BU shuttle instead of an MBTA bus.

    • Nancy on 11.14.2012 at 9:39 pm

      Added curbs to protect the bike lane is out of the jurisdiction of BU. Those are Boston city streets. Don’t get me wrong, I also have a daughter that relies heavily on her bike to get around Allston/Boston. She also has experienced accidents. she has been lucky. The problem does not lie with BU. The area is heavily populated with BU students but I believe BU offers enough education regarding bicycles. I have driven the streets. Bike lanes are inconsistant and drivers of cars/buses could certainly do much better. Not all bicyclists are BU students. There should be a community conversation including all parties searching for a solution rather than a blame game.

  • bu mom on 11.13.2012 at 8:34 pm

    My heart breaks to hear of this tragic news. My daughter lived in Allston as an undergrad and post grad student. She worked in Brighton and lived in Allston. And is also an active biker, her major form of transport. My heart and love goes out to this dear student’s parents. These kids are our hearts and lives. It hurts so much to hear news like this.

  • bu mom on 11.13.2012 at 8:51 pm

    I also must add that my ddr was hit by a car while biking about 3 times as a Bu student; we were very lucky she survived all 3 collisions, one sent her flying into the windshield of one car, which she credited her ballet training that helped her fly through the air and avoid death. Another was car opening door into her path biking. Many awful near misses. Boston drivers seem to be worse than NY drivers. More hostility and less caution. God bless our students.

  • TRK on 11.13.2012 at 9:11 pm

    This is very sad. My prayers to this poor boy’s family. RIP.

  • bu student on 11.13.2012 at 10:40 pm

    This tragedy is by no means BU’s fault. However one this that is important is that as a student who rides their bike to and from class, drivers do not car about bikers. They pull over into bike lanes without signal they text and use their cell phones when in lanes that do not have a bike lane, and are inconsiderate to bike riders. There are plenty of bike safety seminars, but what do drivers do to be better at sharing the road? My prayers and thoughts are with the victims family and friends.

  • court on 11.13.2012 at 10:40 pm

    That intersection is brutal – I bike through there at least once a week. The problem is not just with the intersection, but with those MBTA bus drivers who think they own the road – I’ve almost been flattened in the bike lane as they practically run me off the road passing and pulling over to the side to pick up people.

  • sean on 11.14.2012 at 1:46 am


  • CJ on 11.14.2012 at 1:17 pm

    As a biker who lives a block away from this accident, I’m pretty worried. Riding behind MBTA and BU buses is a very uneasy experience, and I often find myself skidding to a stop to avoid smashing into one.

    I find it interesting that bike lanes are on the right on the BU section of Comm. Ave, but are on the left once you get past the Mass. Ave intersection. I feel a lot safer when riding that section of Commonwealth, as I know no buses will be pulling over to the left side of the road. Does anyone know why that is?

  • EC on 11.14.2012 at 1:42 pm


  • Annie on 11.14.2012 at 8:50 pm


  • Jen on 11.15.2012 at 2:44 pm

    I’ve witnessed VERY aggressive drivers, completely reckless bikers and idiotic pedestrians flinging themselves into traffic just to.. what, get to the other side? Calm down everyone! In general everyone is in entirely too much of a hurry. Everyone wants it now now now. This is a bigger problem than bike lanes and bus drivers, this is a culture of immediacy and it needs to change.

    Incidentally, for those vilifying the bus driver, I was on an MBTA bus a day or two ago and the driver said the bus driver who hit the young man was in the hospital over it and was completely destroyed over it. The man has children of his own and the biker was completely in his blind spot when the accident occurred. It is a tragedy in all directions.

    Bikers need to wear helmets and remember that bus drivers can’t see you much of the time. Obey the right of way and use caution as a rule. There are many horrible drivers out there (not saying this driver was, we don’t know what happened beyond rumor) and the righteous indignation about the drivers will not help you when they are hitting you. Try to be as safe as you can and report anyone who is not being safe (also don’t be afraid to use side roads parallel to Comm and Beacon Street, you don’t have to use the main drag!)

    I used to commute by bike in DC and people are far too aggressive here for me to feel safe biking in.

  • KG on 11.15.2012 at 3:21 pm

    From what I know, the name of the victim has been released. Why doesn’t BU Today write something about it?! Also is there a memorial in Marsh Chapel for him? My heart goes out to this young man’s family and friends.

  • maria on 02.04.2015 at 2:22 pm

    im very sad:-(

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