After a rash of reports of bicycle accidents, including one that resulted in a fatality, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has announced a bicycling safety summit next week, calling for more harmony between bikers and drivers.
"This is about the need for a shared, common respect among everyone who uses Boston's roads," Menino said in a statement. "We have to come together and recognize that everyone is responsible for keeping our roadways safe and that we all have the right to safe passage through our beautiful city."
High-ranking city officials and area bicyclists are expected to discuss ways of improving safety on the city's roadways at the summit Wednesday. Secretary of Transportation Jeffrey B. Mullan and MBTA General Manager Richard A. Davey Jr. plan to attend.
Menino's office also said he had ordered the Boston Police to immediately launch an effort to help bikers and drivers share the road by cracking down on safety violations committed by both groups.
Police are also looking into implementing a better system of documenting bike accidents, the mayor's office said.
In a statement, the Boston Cyclists' Union applauded Menino's effort, but also cautioned that more must be done to teach police how bicyclists navigate their way around the city and its drives are sometimes hostile to them.
“The more we know about how and where bicycle accidents occur, the more we can do to prevent them by improving road designs, calming traffic, or other solutions,” BCU director Pete Stidman said in the statement.
“In our opinion, the lack of a comprehensive database of motor vehicle/cyclist accidents that includes how and where they occur is one of the most important obstacles being able to improve bicycle safety in our city today,'' Stidman said.
A fatal cycling crash involving an MBTA bus on Huntington Avenue last week sparked an outpouring of sympathy and frustration from cyclists, who said the accident underscored the need for greater safety measures.
Eric Michael Hunt, a 22-year-old from Mission Hill, was killed in the collision with a bus on April 7.
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