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Tractor-Trailer Fatally Strikes Bicyclist in Harvard Square

A fatal accident shut down Harvard Square Tuesday morning and afternoon.
A fatal accident shut down Harvard Square Tuesday morning and afternoon. By Aidan F. Ryan
By Ellen M. Burstein, Crimson Staff Writer

A tractor-trailer fatally struck a male bicyclist in Harvard Square Tuesday morning, according to CPD spokesperson Jeremy Warnick.

The accident took place near the Out of Town News kiosk on Massachusetts Ave., Warnick confirmed in an email.

“Unfortunately, the bicyclist (a man believed to be in his 50s or 60s) died as a result of the crash. The operator of the tractor-trailer remained on-scene and is cooperating with investigators. The tractor-trailer was traveling westbound towards Johnston Gate,” Warnick wrote.

Warnick added that CPD officers remained on scene conducting an investigation as of 1:15 p.m.

This is the second fatal accident in Harvard Square in less than a year. In September 2019, 67-year-old librarian Sharon Hamer was struck and killed by a truck when crossing outside of the crosswalk.

The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office is investigating Tuesday’s accident.

Tuesday’s events reignited a debate on social media over pedestrian safety in the Square that began after Hamer’s death.

On Twitter, Cambridge Bicycle Safety, a group of Cambridge residents organizing for bicyclist safety in the city, called for the establishment of a protected bike lane in the Square.

“After Sharon Hamer was killed here a year ago, the Harvard Square Kiosk project was changed to remove a travel lane and make space for a protected bike lane. This protected bike lane needs to happen now. No more delays,” the group wrote.Cambridge City Councilor Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler shared photos of the accident site on Twitter.

“This is less than a year after a pedestrian was killed by a boom truck just yards away. This needs to change,” Sibronho-Wheeler wrote.

Sobrinho-Wheeler wrote in a statement Tuesday that the design of the Square should be changed to make the area safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

“Anyone who has been in Harvard Square can tell you it’s almost always full of pedestrians and cyclists crossing irregular intersections that were designed before motor vehicles existed. We need to rethink and pedestrianize these streets to make sure this does not keep happening," Sobrinho-Wheeler wrote. "And we need to figure out what Cambridge can do to limit trucks like these from travelling at 9am through crowded pedestrian areas.”

—Staff writer Ellen M. Burstein can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ellenburstein.

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