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‘Ghost bike’ tribute for surgeon set for Back Bay crash site

Police and crime investigators were on the scene after a bicyclist was killed.
Police and crime investigators were on the scene after a bicyclist was killed.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Cyclists from the area plan to hold a ceremony at the Back Bay site where a 38-year-old endocrine surgeon was struck and killed by a flatbed truck while riding her bike. The event is intended to celebrate the woman's life, and call attention to the dangers of the busy intersection.

Members of the cycling community, friends, and colleagues will honor Anita Kurmann at 6:30 p.m. Thursday by placing a "ghost bike" at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Beacon Street, one of the most dangerous spots for bike riders and pedestrians in the city.

"Everyone is welcome to attend, as together we mourn this tragic loss," according to a news release distributed Tuesday by the Boston Cyclists Union. "This dedication, as with others in Boston, the USA, and around the world, is an effort to make our streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike."

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Ghost bikes, which are painted white and chained to a pole, serve as memorials to cyclists killed in crashes with motor vehicles.

Kurmann, who worked at laboratories at both Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston University, was killed Aug. 7 when a truck made a right turn from Massachusetts Avenue onto Beacon Street.

Kurmann's death brought significant attention to the busy thoroughfare, and the need for better cycling infrastructure.

Cyclist Jonathan Fertig told the Globe last week that a couple from Brookline had donated a bicycle to be used for the memorial.

Since the day of the crash, flowers, cards, and other mementos have marked the spot where Kurmann was killed.


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.