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The Perils of Bicycling in Boston

Three bicyclists have died in the past five years along Huntington Avenue.

 

Even while Boston has become a more bike-friendly city, there are still perils of bicycling.

In the wake of Friday's on Huntington Avenue, bikers who use the busy, narrow street say it is a dangerous but an essential way to get around the city.

"It's hard to ride on Huntington," said Lucy McDermott, a Northeastern student who relies on her bike, "but we do it because we have to."

McDermott also relies on her friends. She bikes with fellow Northeastern students Jessica Feldish and Teresa Bryant whenever possible. By riding in a staggered formation they can take up a whole lane, as is their right as cyclists.

The trio had stopped by a memorial to the woman who died Friday, 28-year-old Boston College graduate student Kelsey Rennebohm. A glass vase held a simple flower arrangement and a card that read: "In loving memory K.R." The vase stood atop a stone wall next to the intersection where Rennebohm was fatally injured.

Police are still investigating what happened, but she may have been struck by the 39 Bus and possibly other vehicles. Route 39 is the . No charges had been filed as of Monday afternoon, according to Boston Police.

In the past five years, at least three bicyclists have died along Huntington Avenue, according to WBZ.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino plans to put a renewed focus on how the stretch can be made safer.

"We have to work out a situation where it’s a much safer roadway to drive and cycle on," Menino told the Boston Herald on Sunday. "It’s congested, there are no cycling markings there and there are a lot of students crossing."

Parts of Huntington Avenue do have "sharrows," or lanes where bicycling symbols are painted to remind drivers to share the road. But those don't begin until you reach Parker Hill headed outbound. Real bike lanes don't start until Huntington Avenue becomes South Huntington going into Jamaica Plain.

City transportation officials did not return Patch's call on Monday.

As for the trio of bike-riding Northeastern students, they plan to keep on riding —and watching out for one another.

"I'm a huge bike advocate," said Feldish. "It's changed my life. You can go anywhere you want."

Do you ride bike on Huntington Avenue? Do you think it's safe? How safe do you feel riding a bicycle on the streets of West Roxbury? Leave a comment below the article.

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