4 Years of Comm Ave Bike Crashes the Focus of a New Independent Study | BostInno
Over 50 percent of reported bike crashes that occurred on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston during a four-year stretch involved a bicyclist being hit or coming in contact with a car while riding in the designated bike lane.
There were 100 bike crashes reported on the entirety of one of Boston's busiest stretches, the stretch of Comm Ave flanked by Boston University, between 2009 and 2012. In the area between Packard's Corner and West of the BU Bridge alone – an area currently targeted for multi-million dollar reconstruction project – 58 crashes occurred; the top cause of reported crashes involved motorists unknowingly cutting off bikers while making a right turn at an intersection, while the second highest percentage of bike crashes was "dooring" – bikers slamming into recently swung-open car doors.
Paul Schimek, an independent researcher and author of a new bike injuries study, describes how over half of these bike crashes happened: "Cyclists were riding in the bike lane and were "struck by a suddenly opened car door or by a motorist turning right across the bike lane."
In reported incidents, about 30 percent of bicyclists escaped with only minor or no injuries, and did not require treatment by emergency medical services; moreover, only 26 percent of bikers treated in emergency rooms, Schimek found, citing state Department of Public Health data pertaining to Boston, and even for the more serious cases, where the bicyclist was admitted to a hospital overnight, only 40 percent had been in a collision with a motor vehicle.