As part of our Project KidSafe campaign, Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to make a donation of 200 bicycle helmets to the Quincy Police Department this year. Attorney David W. White visited Quincy Police Department headquarters on June 14th and had a nice opportunity to speak to members of the Quincy Police bike patrol.
As National Bike Month ends, we finish a busy May for our Project KidSafe campaign. Six years have passed since we began our campaign and each year, Bike Month and Bay State Bike Week, get better and engage more people in Massachusetts. A few of our donations:
Framingham Earth Day. This event was held on April 28th. But it’s always the unofficial start of Bike Month for us. This was our fifth year participating in Framingham Earth Day and donating bicycle helmets from our Project KidSafe campaign to the kids. Attorney David W. White and Framingham Police Officer Garrett Coffin fit 150 helmets over the first two hours of the event. The rain stayed away so this year, we got to enjoy being out on the Framingham Center Common. Dozens of vendors came out, including several organizations for cyclists. We have to add: this is always a worthwhile event for cyclists. Friends of the Natick Trails, the Natick Cochituate Rail Trail and the Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail participated, giving cyclists a way to learn about the latest developments before riding.
We want to offer a special thanks to Officer Coffin of the Framingham Police Department. Garrett comes out each year. He is patient, good with people and has to be one of the best bicycle helmet fitters in Massachusetts.
Clinton Community Safety Rodeo. On May 5th, we were pleased to donate bicycle helmets at the Community Safety Rode in Clinton. This is the second year the town of Clinton Park & Recreation Department has organized the event. We are told last year, many children showed up with bikes, but were unable to participate because they didn’t have helmets. In Massachusetts, it’s not just good sense to wear a helmet. It’s required under the law for children (up to age 16). And as we said, it is important and good sense for all cyclists.
One of our favorite events is Boston’s National Bike to Work Festival, when cyclists ride into City Hall Plaza in convoys, bright and early, ready to start a fun morning. Breakstone, White & Gluck is pleased to participate again this Friday morning. Our attorneys will be out at our Project KidSafe tent, greeting cyclists and workers who come out to celebrate and learn about cycling in Boston.
Please come say hello. Our attorneys can inspect your bike helmet and we are offering our Project KidSafe helmets free to cyclists who need one (available on a first-come basis, while supplies last). In addition, cyclists can sign up for free breakfast and other freebies, plus learn more about the new Blue Bikes.
Boston’s Bike to Work Festival Details: Register by Wednesday, May 16th
If you are interested, please read the City of Boston’s e-mail announcement. Cyclists can sign up to ride into the festival on one of the many convoys coming in from all over the area or just ride in on your own. You must register by Wednesday to receive an event t-shirt and take advantage of the free offerings.
WHAT: Boston’s Bike to Work Day Festival
DATE: Friday, May 18
TIME: 7 a.m.- 9 a.m.
WHERE: Boston City Hall Plaza
LEARN MORE: www.boston.gov/bike-to-work-day
Bike Activities in May
Before we continue, we want to mention all the activities being offered to cyclists this week and month. May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the American League of Bicyclists. As part of National Bike Month, National Bike to Work Day will be celebrated in Boston and communities across the U.S. Here in Massachusetts, MassBike is also presenting Bay State Bike Week from May 12th to May 20th. Check out the Bay State Bike Week calendar and the MassCommute Bicycling Challenge 2018.
Expect to see lots of blue as the City of Boston celebrates the rebranding of the public bike share system at Friday’s event. The metro-Boston’s public bike share system is owned by the municipalities of Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville and operated by Motivate. The green Hubway bikes will be phased out, as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts becomes the new title sponsor.
New Balance was the original title sponsor for the system, which launched back in 2011 with 600 bikes. The system has since tripled in size. Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans further expansion, and the system could reach 3,000 bikes by year’s end.
According to the City of Boston, Blue Cross and Blue Shield will offer free rentals on Friday. Read this announcement to learn more. You can also visit www.bluebikes.com and download the app if you are interested.
About Breakstone, White & Gluck and Project KidSafe: Over 20,000 Bicycle Helmets for Children
Breakstone, White & Gluck is a Boston personal injury and medical malpractice law firm representing plaintiffs. With more than 100 years combined experience, our lawyers fight for justice for those who have been injured by the negligence or wrongdoing of others.
Our law firm is committed to bike safety and preventing head injuries through our Project KidSafe campaign. Wearing a helmet is required by law for cyclists who are 16 and younger in Massachusetts, though it is critical for cyclists of all ages. Please commit to wear a helmet every time you ride.
Over the past six years, Breakstone, White & Gluck has donated over 20,000 bicycle helmets to children, families and other cyclists through our Project KidSafe campaign. We partner with local bike committees, police departments, schools and non-profit organizations to make these donations, including these organizations in Boston:
- City of Boston, Boston Bikes Roll It Forward
- City of Boston, Youth Cycling Program
- Boston Police Department
- Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Partnership
- CommonWheels Bicycle Collective
- Boston Cyclists Union
- Bikes Not Bombs
- Bicyclecentro of East Boston
- Mattapan on Wheels
- Tierney Learning Center of South Boston
- The Home for Little Wanderers
National Bike Month is a time to celebrate and champion cycling. If you live in Massachusetts, you know the cycling spirit is stronger than ever. But that doesn’t mean conditions are always safe.
In fact, cyclists and pedestrians are at a higher risk now than ever. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports cycling deaths increased 11 percent from 2015 to 2016. Pedestrian deaths rose 9 percent. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently weighed in with a report on hit and run crashes. The numbers show the toll on pedestrians and cyclists, as well as others on the road.
- There is now more than one hit and run crash every minute in the U.S.
Though snow fell this week, students from Career Academy in Lowell still managed to make the most of school vacation, fitting in a bike ride to Heart Pond in Chelmsford. This was a special ride because students were pedaling new bikes – and wearing new helmets. Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate the helmets from our Project KidSafe campaign.
The idea for the bike ride began with Bernice Chandler-Petrovick, who teaches biology. Some of her students needed bikes to get to school and travel more independently. She began teaching students about bicycle safety while also setting out on another goal: finding bikes for her students.
Boston saw 70 degrees in February last week. Naturally, many of us are now ready for Spring. If you are a cyclist or have a child who rides, now is the time to get ready for a safe cycling season.
The attorneys of Breakstone, White & Gluck have long represented cyclists who have been injured by negligent drivers in Massachusetts. We are committed to preventing these bicycle accidents and reducing injuries. In a few weeks, we will begin the 6th year of our Project KidSafe campaign, donating bicycle helmets to children in Boston and other communities. Bike helmets are critical to preventing concussions and traumatic brain injuries. And they are most effective when cyclists start wearing them at an early age with positive reinforcement from parents and other family members.
We want to share a few photos from our Project KidSafe campaign.
Dedham Bike Rodeo. Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate 120 Project KidSafe bike helmets to the Dedham Bike Rodeo on July 26. Attorney David W. White participated in the event, fitting helmets for children who needed one. We always enjoy this event because we get a chance to talk to children and parents about bike helmets and bike safety. It was one of the first events we donated helmets to in 2013, the year we began our Project KidSafe campaign. The rodeo is organized by the Dedham Police Department and the Dedham Parks and Recreation Department.
Mattapan on Wheels. Breakstone, White & Gluck also donated helmets to cyclists at the 7th Annual Mattapan on Wheels event on July 22. We are told 130 cyclists took to the Neponset Trail to raise funds for a youth bike summit and many had no helmet or needed a new one. Participants could choose their destination and ride along the trail to Pope John Paul II Park, Carson Beach or Castle Island. This was the first time we donated helmets to this event and we are told every helmet was put to use.
Cyclists may now ride safer near parked cars, after a recent update to the Massachusetts driver’s manual. On page 109, there is a new title, “The Danger of Open Doors to Bicyclists,” and instructions for the Dutch Reach method of exiting a car.
A common practice in the Netherlands, the Dutch Reach method calls on drivers to park and take three simple steps:
- Check your rear-view mirror.
- Check your side-view mirror.
- Open the door with your far hand, the hand farthest away from the door.
This last step forces drivers to turn their bodies, so they can see cyclists and pedestrians coming from both directions.
A Cambridge man campaigned for the change, which was announced by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation on May 30th. According to The Boston Globe, Michael Charney launched the website dutchreach.org following the death of Amanda Phillips, a 27-year-old barista at Somerville’s Diesel Café. Phillips was riding her bicycle in Inman Square in Cambridge when she struck the open door of a parked Jeep. As a result, Philips was pushed into the street and collided with a dump truck.
This is known as a dooring accident or a car-dooring crash. We have represented numerous cyclists in these accidents, which can cause very serious injuries and are more common than you may realize. According to the City of Boston, dooring accidents accounted for up to 13 percent of all bicycle crashes between 2009 and 2012.
Massachusetts is one of 40 states which have passed dooring laws, according to the League of American Cyclists. Under M.G.L. c. 90 § 14, “No person shall open a door on a motor vehicle unless it is reasonably safe to do so without interfering with the movement of other traffic, including bicyclists and pedestrians.”
Drivers can be fined $100 for each violation. But the greater penalty is drivers may have to pay compensation to injured cyclists. Read about a recent settlement we obtained for a cyclist injured in a dooring accident in Brookline.
Breakstone, White & Gluck is pleased to participate in the National Bike to Work Day Festival on Boston City Hall Plaza this Friday. The festival is hosted by the City of Boston, which says, “We think it’s important to celebrate everyone who rides in Boston, and we want to make it easier for new riders to start commuting.”
Breakstone, White & Gluck couldn’t agree more. We will be attending for the third year. Stop by and say hello to Attorney David W. White at our Project KidSafe tent. David will be answering safety questions and sharing information about our Project KidSafe campaign. Over the past four years, Breakstone, White & Gluck has donated over 10,000 bicycle helmets to children in Massachusetts, with a goal of protecting young cyclists from serious head injuries. Under Massachusetts law, cyclists 16 years old and younger are required to wear helmets, but many children do not and are at risk.
We are donating an additional 4,000 helmets in the Boston area in 2017, all through community organizations. Many helmets will be donated in the city of Boston, including through the Boston Police Department and Boston Bikes’ Roll It Forward, a city program.
The Bike to Work Day Festival is part of Bay State Bike Week, a statewide lineup of cycling events which began May 13. Events continue through Sunday, May 21.
MassCommute Bicycle Challenge (MCBC)
For the 23rd year, cyclists can compete in the MassCommute Bicycle Challenge. Cyclists who log their miles each day are eligible for daily prizes. Cyclists can compete individually or on teams organized by employer. The goal is to count just how many miles cyclists are logging. Last year was a record breaker, with 156,285 miles traveled.
If you can’t participate, we still encourage you to check out the MassCommute Bicycle Challenge website.
Harvard Bicycle Appreciation Breakfast. Cyclists traveling through Cambridge can stop in at the Harvard Bicycle Appreciation Breakfast at Dudley House Plaza. Event starts at 7:30 a.m. and cyclists are asked to RSVP.
Seaport Common Bike Tune-Up. In Boston, cyclists can take advantage of free bike tune-ups at Seaport Common starting at 7:30 a.m. Tune-ups are on a first come, first serve basis and the event is organized by the Seaport TMA, a nonprofit transportation management association.
Bike Breakfast. Bike commuters are also invited to stop by for a light breakfast and refreshments at the MassDOT building at 10 Park Plaza in Boston. Event starts at 7:30 a.m.
Cambridge-Lexington Bike Caravan. If you are new to bike commuting, this is an event for you. The event starts at 1 Kendall Square in Cambridge at 7:30 a.m. Cyclists will commute down the Minuteman Bikeway to Somerville, Arlington and Lexington.
Waltham Night Ride. Join this short ride in Waltham, starting at 8 p.m. at Waltham City Hall. Minimal lights will be distributed to participants who need one for a $5 donation.
Boston Bike Commuter Numbers are Growing
We hope you can participate in an event this week. Over the past few years, Boston has seen a tremendous surge in bike commuters. According to 2015 US Census data, the number of Boston residents who regularly commute by bicycle more than tripled in a decade. Some 8,100 Boston residents pedaled to work in 2015, compared to 2,300 in 2005. Bay State Bike Week provides cyclists a good opportunity to learn more about safe riding.
Breakstone, White & Gluck is committed to protecting children on bicycles from serious head injuries. For the fifth year, our law firm will donate bicycle helmets to children in the Boston area as part of our Project KidSafe campaign. Once again, we are pleased to partner up with local police departments, schools, bicycle committees and community organizations to distribute the helmets.
Over the past four years, Breakstone, White & Gluck has donated more than 10,000 bicycle helmets to children. We are excited about the year ahead and invite you to follow along: www.facebook.com/bwglaw.
Over the weekend, Breakstone, White & Gluck donated more than 350 bicycle helmets to three organizations:
Quincy Police Department. Attorney David W. White delivered 100 bicycle helmets to the Quincy Police Department on Friday afternoon. He was greeted by the Community Policing Unit, including: Officer White, Lieutenant Bina, and Officer Miller (shown in this photo with Attorney White. Photo courtesy of Quincy Police).
On Saturday, Quincy police officers gave the helmets away and spoke to families about bicycle safety at the Healthy Kids Day event at the South Shore YMCA. Read the Quincy police department’s announcement on our donation and bicycle safety tips.
Framingham Earth Day. We partnered up with the Framingham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and Framingham Police Department for the fourth year, fitting children for helmets at the annual Framingham Earth Day celebration. The community welcomed us back as we fit 140 helmets and answered bicycle safety questions from families. The donation was coordinated by Bill Hanson, chair of the Framingham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. We are lucky to have Bill’s help; he has coordinated the donation for the past four years. Bill was also out fitting helmets for the kids, along with Attorney David W. White of Breakstone, White & Gluck and Framingham Police Officer Garrett Coffin.
Healthy Kids Day. For the fourth year, we donated more than 100 bicycle helmets for the Healthy Kids event at the Boroughs Family Branch of the YMCA of Central Massachusetts. The event was held on Saturday. The donation was coordinated by Bruce Tretter of the Westborough Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, who was also on hand to fit helmets for the kids (he is shown in the photo below). Bruce has coordinated this donation for the past four years and we appreciate his efforts.
On June 10th, Attorney David W. White will join Bruce and the Westborough Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee at Spring Festival. This event is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Westborough and you can visit the Rotary website for more details.
Highlights from our 2017 Project KidSafe campaign:
-Breakstone, White & Gluck will partner with more than 30 community partners this year, including police departments, bicycle committees, schools and community organizations.
-We will donate 1,500 helmets within the City of Boston, including 600 helmets to the City of Boston. The Boston Police Department and Boston Bikes’ Roll It Forward initiative will receive helmets.
-Partner organizations include 10 police departments, including Boston, Cambridge, Quincy, Everett, Randolph. Dedham, Norwood, Waltham, Framingham and Malden.
-Safe Routes to School in Massachusetts will receive 400 helmets for children in need who participate in its bicycle safety programming.
-We will partner up with CYCLE Kids and Somerville Public Schools again in June. Fifth-graders who finished the CYCLE Kids bicycle safety program will receive a brand-new helmet for safe summer riding.