Here’s the email the that the Bike Newton board received this evening from Molly Schaeffer, who commutes across Newton by bike daily:

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to let you all know that the Newton Police did a super job tonight.  Those of you who know me know I ride with very bright lights front and rear, day and night + safety yellow clothing (and always helmet).  That still didn’t prevent me from nearly becoming another statistic.  
 I was riding eastbound on Beacon St at the top of the hill before Beacon intersects Hammond St. at approx. 6:15pm when a car hit my mirror on the left side of my bike.  Fortunately I didn’t get knocked over since the traffic was heavy and the road is very narrow at that point.  I yelled “you hit me” at the car (with expletive) and gestured.  The car braked but did not stop.  I rode fast and succeeded in getting the license #.  When I found a safe place to stop, I called 911 and told them I was a bicyclist that had been hit by a car and gave my location + the license # and description of the car.
An officer (office Lavalle [?]) arrived within 10 minutes and he, with the help of another officer and the person at the police who checks licenses managed to track down the car and the owner, who admitted to having hit me.  Turns out the person is 81 yrs old, had damage to the side of the car and their grandson said that the family had been trying to get this person to stop driving for a while.  Luckily, I wasn’t injured or killed.
The bottom line is that I was treated very respectfully (the officer said he is a motorcycle cop sometime, so I think he has some sympathy for bicyclists) and the officer was just great.  
But that stretch of Beacon Street is very dangerous-it’s narrow and the paved shoulder disappears to nothing.  The road surface is in bad condition and the cars go very fast.  We’ve been promised bike lanes on Beacon St (or at least better markings and signage than we have now) for months, but nothing happens.  I agree completely with Nathan P’s comments at last week’s Bike Newton meeting.  We need to put some pressure on the city to do something now, in the short term, not just more long term planning.