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Massachusetts bicycle accident concerns grow near BU

There is evidence that more people are riding bicycles in Massachusetts, particularly in Boston. Indeed, it is said that bike use increased in the city by more than 80 percent from 2007 through 2011. Unfortunately, along with the increased bike traffic has come the increased risk of a bicycle accident.

Efforts are underway in Boston to address this concern. The topic of bicycle safety received additional scrutiny following the deaths of two Boston University students in fatal crashes near the campus. One involved a collision between a 21-year-old student and an MBTA bus. The other concerned a 23-year-old graduate student who was killed in a collision as he was riding his bike to school.

University and city officials worked together in response to the tragedies and a general concern over cycling safety issues in the city near the university. In addition to the government adding miles of bike lanes throughout the city, the latest initiative has targeted the university area. Along Commonwealth Avenue, bike lanes will include reflectors and additional markings for the safety of bicyclists. More caution signs are also contemplated.

While the added safety measures are welcome, the simple fact is that they alone will not be able to prevent all accidents. The congested city streets leave only so much space for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to share. In doing so, all have a duty to act responsibly and in accordance with Massachusetts law. When a bicycle accident is caused by the negligence of another party, our state laws provide for the right of injured victims (or the surviving family of a deceased victim) to press forward with claims for monetary damages sustained as a result of allegedly errant behavior.

Source: Boston.com, "New bike safety measures start after fatalities," March 19, 2013

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