A year and a half after a cyclist was killed in a crash with a tractor-trailer, prompting changes to the infrastructure in Cambridge, Massachusetts, state investigators have determined the cyclist was at fault.
Sixty-year-old Bernard Lavins of Lexington was hit and killed on the morning of Oct. 5, 2016. A truck driver remained on the scene after hitting him on Massachusetts Avenue in Porter Square.
Monday, Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan announced that Lavins had left the bike lane and tried to turn left about 36 feet ahead of the crosswalk without signaling.
The driver hit Lavins in the middle lane, and Ryan said the cyclist was in the blind spot of the tractor-trailer. Investigators concluded that it was "very likely" the driver could not see him, according to the DA's office.
Following that crash, and another that left Amanda Phillips dead in Inman Square, vehicles were banned from making left turns in several Cambridge intersections. The city also removed parking spaces to add bike lanes between roadways and sidewalks throughout the city, a move businesses called a "disaster" that cost them customers.
"Business has gone down, customers have been saying 'We are not coming in, there's no place to park.' It's ridiculous," Mariana Maradianos, who works at Hillside Cleaners, told NBC10 Boston last fall.
"I haven't spoken to one human being who looks at this and doesn't think it's a mess," added Randy Ricker, owner of Brattle Square Florist. "It's become a lot more crowded because there is now less space for cars."
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Ricker said that even though the moves were made to create a safe space for cyclists, it made driving more dangerous.
Becca Wolfson, executive director of Boston Cyclists Union, disputed the accounts of those local workers and business owners.
"For any business that says they're losing business because people can no longer park here, I have a hard time believing that," Wolfson said. "Hardly any legal parking was removed to implement this facility."