• Bicyclists dedicate ghost bike to BU grad student killed by dump truck

    By: Jim Morelli

    Updated:

    Its been over a week since Meng Jin was hit and killed by a dump truck in Cambridge while riding his bike.

    The dedication of Jin's ghost bike this Sunday coincided with the 2018 World Day of Remembrance, which commemorates those killed and injured on roads.

    Ghost bikes are small memorials set up across the city for bicyclists killed or hit on the street while also promoting bike safety awareness.

    Today, many who attended the dedication then rode their bikes to the State House to remember lives lost due to traffic crashes.

    "Meng was killed by someone driving a dump truck turning right," said Becca Wolfson, of the Boston Cyclists Union. "This is not a fringe issue. And all of our cities, Boston, Cambridge, Somerville the state agencies need to provide safe places for people to bike."

    Biking advocates say improvements such as physical barriers for bike lanes and a requirement for side guards on trucks to prevent bikes and pedestrians from getting pulled under.

    "It's terribly sad [and] totally unnecessary - small infrastructure improvements can prevent this loss of life," said Joel Feingold, a bicyclist.

    Last month, the government released its latest statistics on traffic safety which pointed out an overall eight percent decline in bicycle deaths in 2017. However, in the past 10 years, there's been a troubling trend for bicyclists in urban areas.

    Bicycle deaths in cities across the country are up 13 percent since 2008, according to the government.

    For some bicyclists in Boston say those numbers are not surprising, saying riding a bike in the city is a game of chance.

    "Car runs a red light, that happens all the time, happens all the time," said Feingold.

    "When I moved to Boston 35 years ago it was the worst city in the country to bike in," said Alan Wright, a bicyclist. "It's gotten a lot better but it could improve a lot more."

    Jin's ghost bike is now shackled to a pole near the Museum of Science, standing as a haunting reminder of a tragedy that could have been avoided.

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