New Data Shows the Most Dangerous Streets for Bicyclists in Boston

Boston is a beautiful, historic city. Exploring its historical trails and paths is a part of Bostonian culture. With well-planned infrastructure and a cycling-friendly atmosphere, it is a haven for two-wheeled adventurers. The network of bike lanes and paths crisscrossing the city grants cyclists the freedom to explore its vibrant neighborhoods and iconic landmarks on their own terms.

While the city has worked to improve the often narrow streets for bicyclists, there are still risks and dangers inherent in bicycling in a city such as ours, and newly released data shows that bicycle accidents are still happening, especially on certain roads. Bicycle accidents can often lead to catastrophic injuries such as brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and organ damage. When bicycling in Boston, it is important to do so with caution.

Our legal team at Breakstone, White & Gluck has secured millions in compensation for those who have been injured, or families who have lost a loved one in a bicycle accident. Some of our results include:

These are just a few of our successes. Our Testimonials Page shows how our clients feel about our work for them, and we are proud to have represented them. If you have suffered from a bicycle accident, let us help you too.

What streets are most dangerous?

The MassDOT Crash Open Data Portal has released a new report showing bicycle crash data from 2011 to 2023, and the results bring to light just how dangerous some of Boston’s roads are for those looking for a scenic ride on their bike or trying to get to school or work.

Most Dangerous Streets for Bicyclists in Boston

11 Years of Bike Crash Data: MassDOT recently updated data showing the top locations for bicycle and motor vehicle collisions in Massachusetts, 2011-2022 HSIP Bicycle Cluster. Here is a glimpse at the crash cluster areas in Cambridge, Boston and Somerville. You can learn more by viewing the interactive map.

While bicycle accidents can happen anywhere, several streets continue to see increased instances of crashes. These streets include:

  • Massachusetts Ave. This street sees the most bicycle accidents with 729 crashes occurring on that street, and even more from adjoining streets.
  • Beacon St. Beacon street sees a majority of bicycle crashes, with 289 crashes total on that street alone.
  • Broadway. Delving through the heart of downtown, Broadway has seen its fair share of bicycle accidents with 196 crashes, and more crashes as an adjoining street.
  • Somerville Ave. This saw 74 crashes where it was the main street, but was the adjoining street to many of the other crashes on the more busy roads such as Massachusetts Ave and Beacon Street.

Many of these crashes happened at intersections. Intersections are extremely dangerous for not only vehicles, but bicyclists and pedestrians. Some of these intersections include:

  • Somerville Ave and Massachusetts Ave
  • Massachusetts Ave & Charlesgate West
  • Massachusetts Ave & Storrow Drive
  • Interstate 93 & North Washington St.

Catastrophic injuries from bicycle accidents

When it comes to bicycle accidents, the resulting injuries can be devastating, and it is crucial to select the right personal injury attorney to aid in your recovery process. Due to the limited physical protection that cyclists have, the injuries they endure often have severe consequences. Even a seemingly minor collision between two slow-moving vehicles can cause significant internal harm to a cyclist, depending on factors such as the size, weight, and speed of the vehicle involved.

At our law firm in Boston, we focus our efforts in representing cyclists who have suffered various types of injuries, including:

  • Head injuries. Bicycle accidents can result in traumatic brain injuries and permanent impairments. Despite wearing a helmet, cyclists can still experience disfiguring lacerations, vision loss, and other forms of lasting trauma. Our attorneys possess extensive experience advocating for cyclists with head injuries, ensuring they receive compensation to address both short-term and long-term financial needs.
  • Spinal cord injuries. These injuries are among the most catastrophic, as they often lead to permanent consequences and a lifetime of therapy. Although medical advancements offer hope, individuals who sustain spinal cord trauma may face varying degrees of paralysis for the remainder of their lives.
  • Internal injuries. Shockingly, SUVs account for a significant portion of fatal bicycle crashes. In such collisions, the cyclist's chest and/or abdomen are the most vulnerable areas of impact. Collisions with larger vehicles can result in organ damage, internal bleeding, and multiple complex fractures.
  • Burn injuries. While burns may not be the most common type of injury in bicycle accidents (unless we consider the serious friction burn known as "road rash," which is prone to infection and scarring), they can have lifelong effects on riders or passengers. Severe burns caused by car fires or other incidents often require skin grafts and various surgical procedures for treatment.
  • Fatal injuries. The sudden loss of a loved one is an emotionally challenging experience. Our Boston wrongful death attorneys handle these cases with utmost care, treating you and your family with the respect and understanding that you deserve. Although no amount of compensation can fully compensate for the loss, we strive to hold the negligent parties accountable and pursue justice on your behalf.

What is Boston doing to help keep bicyclists safe?

As the city is compact, many people are getting around more and more by bicycle, which is good for the environment and good for one’s health. However, it can leave commuters vulnerable to crashes. The city of Boston offers several resources for bicycling safely. Some of these resources include:

  • Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital Community Van. This van offers a “variety of services including helmet fitting and distribution. Each Friday the van goes to a different neighborhood of Boston.”
  • Bikes Not Bombs. This organization supplies free helmets to any Boston resident, and uses bicyclists as a vehicle for social change and to help “achieve economic mobility for Black and other marginalized people in Boston and the Global South.” They provide a free helmet to any Boston resident who needs one.
  • Boston Cyclists Union. The City of Boston states that “the union's mission is to transform the streets of greater Boston into equitable and inviting people-centered spaces affording access and connection for everybody.” This union’s efforts could eventually help to bring about more bike lanes and safer paths for bicyclists.
  • Dorchester Bike Kitchen. This is a donation-based, volunteer-run, bike repair space. Here they teach people how to fix their own bikes. A malfunctioning bicycle is another way to end up in an accident, so maintaining your bicycle is a part of staying safe on the streets.

With these programs and more, we expect to see bicycle collisions decrease over the next decade. Boston is a great city for pedestrians and bicyclists alike, offering enchanting vistas and sights, but too often, the streets are narrow and lack bicycle lanes, or even wide shoulders. It is critical to be safe when bicycling; and if you are driving, be cautious about bicyclists who may be difficult to see amongst the traffic and parked cars.

At Breakstone, White & Gluck, we sincerely hope that you never find yourself injured, but we want you to know that we are here to help you if you find yourself involved in a crash. If you have been in a bicycle accident and require legal guidance, please don't hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation to understand your rights. With a collective experience of over 100 years, our attorneys specialize in representing cyclists who have suffered injuries due to bicycle accidents in Massachusetts. Call us, or simply fill out our contact form for more information. We’re here to help.