The District Attorney’s report finds that Amanda Phillips’ fatal crash was “unavoidable”. That might be true from a criminal justice perspective, but it is false from a broader perspective. The report focuses on whether or not any of the immediate participants in the crash – the driver of the parked car, the driver of the truck, or Amanda – could have avoided the crash, and concludes that they couldn’t.
This misses the point. Protected bike lanes here would have saved Amanda’s life. The crash, and Amanda’s tragic death, were avoidable through a different street design. The crash would have been impossible if the bike lane had been separated from traffic, away from the car door which knocked her into traffic, killing her. In a protected bike lane, the bike lane goes next to the sidewalk and is separated from parked and moving cars by a curb or buffer. This design would have prevented Amanda’s death, because it makes a collision with car doors impossible. The upcoming Inman Square redesign includes protected bike lanes and would have saved Amanda’s life. Nobody should ever have to go through what Amanda’s family has experienced again.