I have cycled and motored through the crash location many times, and I’ve seen the photos — the trucker was making a wide right turn, necessarily slowly. The cyclist was traveling downhill, fast according to an eyewitness; likely as fast as motor vehicles go, and probably out of the field of view of the truck’s mirrors before the truck crossed his path. The trucker could be held at fault, but an alert cyclist with good brakes could have avoided the crash. Most motor-vehicle/bicycle crashes occur when paths cross, as they must, and as they did here. The bike lane here, or for that matter, the sidewalk-like bikeways increasingly seen in Cambridge, only lend a false sense of security. Cyclist education is what can prevent more tragedies like this from happening. The City Council wants to solve the problem with infrastructure?
I listened to the news story about the crash and City Council hearing on WBUR-FM this afternoon, with a number of sound bites of cyclists speaking at the hearing. I found one particularly striking: a woman said that she never once more wanted to hear cyclists being held at fault. Sorry, that is off the mark. Assigning blame is useful in law enforcement and in recovering compensation following a crash, but it is a distraction from the need to develop skills, and keep equipment in good condition, to avoid a crash. It appears to me that in this morning’s crash, both the trucker and the cyclist made mistakes, but the cyclist had the better opportunity to prevent the crash.
I strongly recommend the article from Commute Orlando, What cyclists Need to Know About Trucks.