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There is no bike lane on the part of Cambridge Street where, on Thursday afternoon, witnesses say a cyclist swerved out of the way when a car door opened — and instead put herself in the way of a truck.
Amanda Phillips, 27, of Cambridge, was hit by a landscaping vehicle in Inman Square. She was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital where she later died.
Phillips' friends and coworkers describe the nursing student as strong, passionate and loved by those around her.
Jennifer Park, the co-owner of the Diesel Cafe in Somerville's Davis Square, where Phillips worked, choked up as she remembered Phillips as one of the strongest and smartest people she'd ever met.
"Her loss is impacting us tremendously," Park said, pausing to regain her composure. "It is sad. All of us are having different reactions. There are some employees who didn't work with her, who are newer to our staff, but her loss is impacting every single one of us."
At the scene of the accident a makeshift memorial quickly sprang up. It included flowers, candles, even notes from 4 year olds asking people to look out for one another.
"The tension's definitely rising pretty high here," said Frank Bocci, who works at a nearby hospital and stopped to place flowers at the site Friday morning. "There's a lot of road rage towards [cyclists]. Not everybody's as nice to them as I am ... I'm not gonna lose my mind over somebody's that's on a bike. I've been a cyclist before."
That's a sentiment echoed by Steve Bercu, the board president for the Boston Cyclists Union. Bercu also stopped by to pay his respects on Friday. He says the issue here isn't the lack of a bike lane — it's that both sides of a narrow but busy two-way street have cars parked.
"There's no space for someone to ride a bike between the parked cars and the travel lane for cars. Even if there were a bike lane, it would be just as unsafe."
Instead, Bercu says the solution is to cut parking on one side of the street and add protected bike lanes. But Bercu says that's something that should have been done before Thursday's crash.
"Every time that something really tragic like this happens, suddenly everybody says, 'We have to do something!'" Bercu said. "But it shouldn't take something terrible happening to galvanize people's attention like that."
This segment aired on June 24, 2016.
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