Friday, May 17, 2024

I had a very scary moment today on my bike riding in the unprotected bike lane on Massachusetts Avenue by the Pemberton Farms Marketplace in North Cambridge.

A driver had stopped and parked partially in the bike lane and as they opened their door, it caught on my right leg and pedal, throwing me out into the street. Luckily I made it out with only a few scrapes, but my bike had substantial damage and my company laptop was destroyed. This really put quite a fright in me and in numerous passersby, not to mention the driver.

With the door just a bit more open, I would have been a human shish kebab! Had the van behind me been following just a bit closer, I would have been crushed. Had the situation been that much worse – 6 inches more door open, 6 yards less spacing between myself and the van behind me, to put me 6 feet under, what would you have to say to my mother, who worries so much about me and insists I wear enough neon to blind anyone around (though that wasn’t much help here)? What would you say to my fiancé, who has been waiting the past two and a half years to move here and start our car-light lives together?

I love Cambridge and Somerville, love biking here, love to play with my many close friends who work and play in Cambridge, but poor design leading to events such as this are unacceptable. We need a full, well-designed bike network throughout all of Greater Boston along with robust public transit to serve people, not just cars.

Henry Hutcheson, Burnham Street, Somerville

This post was updated May 9, 2023, to correct the name of a business.