Author Archives: Lorenz Worden

Albany’s 10th Annual Ride of Silence

The Albany Bicycle Coalition held the Ride of Silence on Wednesday, May 17. Twenty-six riders plus an Albany Police Department escort visited four ghost bike sites in the City of Albany and Colonie – Jose Perez, Diva De Loayza, Nicholas Ricicihi, and Paul Merges.  We started from the Boat Launch area, Albany Corning Preserve and W. Capitol Park on Washington Ave. At each site, we placed fresh flowers.

At Diva De Loayza’s ghost bike site (corner of Western Ave., Homestead we read the names of those who have been killed since 2000 while riding their bicycles. We were honored to hear from family members of three of the fallen riders.

Ride of Silence – 10 Years – The national Ride of Silence organization has authorized ROS 10 yr logo 2017ABC’s using the 10-Year Anniversary logo since we are on record as having conducted the Albany ROS each year for that period.  Going back those 10 years from this year’s ride date (5/17), we have lost John J. Cummings (1/27/16), Robert Agne, Stephen Nolan, Brian Bailey, Matthew Ratelle, and Paul J. Merges (11/24/12).  That’s 1 every 20 months.  Four of the six died by virtue of bad behavior by people in cars.  See for complete annotated list and photos at – https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2017/05/01/ride-of-silence/

This year, thanks to Alert Rider Anthony, we had tags to give to those who saw our ride. Each tag had the ROS logo and a few words on the rationale for the ride.

 

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Filed under Activisim, Ride of Silence

People on Bicycles at Crossgates

A number of transportation related projects are envisioned for the Western Ave./Washington Ave. corridors. One of these is the hotel proposal for the south side of Crossgates Mall. To ensure that people on bicycles are considered in this plan, the Albany Bicycle Coalition has taken steps to be involved in the review process. Following in is one example of these steps.

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May 16, 2017

Mr. Stephen J. Feeney
Chairman – Planning Board
Town of Guilderland
Town Hall, Route 20
PO Box 12084-0339
Guilderland, NY 12084

Dear Mr. Feeney:

On April 26, 2017, representatives of the Albany Bicycle Coalition, Inc. attended the Planning Board meeting regarding the Crossgates Mall Hotel – Lehner Rd. proposal. Our interest in this is predicated on our commitment to making the streets and roads in the area welcoming to people on bicycles and safer for all road users.

We were encouraged that the proposed site plan for the relocated Lehner Road included a bike path. With recent developments in the area, we believe that this project – with the proper guidance and input – can contribute to success in our goals for this notably cycling unfriendly section of Guilderland. In particular, the Westmere Corridor project, the advent of CDPHP Cycle! BikeShare this summer, completion of the Madison Avenue Traffic Calming project and its direct connection to Guilderland via Western Ave, and the growing cultural interest in reducing pollution, road deaths and environmental degradation all suggest a firm commitment by the Town of Guilderland to ensure that this new project is integrated into these other efforts. I would also note that the representative of Crossgates, Michael Shanley, approached us informally outside the meeting to express interest in our being involved in plan’s development. We hope that you will be in a position to encourage this collaboration as the project moves forward.

At the hearing, we inquired about the appropriate forum to raise our concerns and to explore plans by the developer. You suggested that the upcoming site plan review sessions were the proper setting.

Accordingly, please include the following representatives from ABC in the announcement of these sessions: [List of contacts follows]

Sincerely yours,

Albany Bicycle Coalition, Inc.tumblr_loptfhMnk81qzu3e6o1_1280

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Filed under ABChallenge-2017, Activisim

Earth Day Ride 2017 – Afterglow

The Albany Bicycle Coalition held the Earth Day Ride from 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM on Earth Day – Saturday, 4/22/17. The ride started and ended at the Lake House in Albany’s Washington Park.

For more exciting photos by Bert, go here.

Corning Riverfront Park 4-22-17 ~ PHOTO by Bert

 

  • Riders – 26
  • Nice spread of genders and ages.
  • Donations for the BikeAlbanyMap$27.00
  • Albany Police Department Bicycle Officers – 6
  • Miles – 6
  • Highlights of the ride:
    • Briefing on the BikeAlbanyMap at the ride start
    • Ride protocol briefing by the ride leader
    • Use of the BikeAlbanyMap routes for much of the ride
    • Orientation on the need for and status of the South End Bikeway Link – at Island Creek Park (where there is neither an island nor a creek – but it’s a hidden Albany gem and a great feature of the South End Bikeway Link )
    • Orientation on the Corning Riverfront Park redesign with emphasis on the new green path – at the pedestrian/bicycle bridge
  • Glitches – none except for a slight chill in the air.

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Ride of Silence ~ 5/17/17

“Attention: I greatly appreciate those who made this memorial in remembrance of my brother José Perez (Ray). My name is Nivia. Thank you.”

José Perez’s sister posted the above note on his ghost bike in August 2007.

A group of local riders installed José’s ghost bike on July 3, 2007. It was the first in the City of Albany. Prior to that, there was a cross with some memorial items. José’s ghost bike was maintained from 2007 until 2014 – new signs, paint, new chain, flowers, etc. The City of Albany removed José’s ghost bike and all others in 2014 (along with all other “street memorials”). His ghost bike was discarded.

Matthew Ratelle 10-26-72 -- 12-20-12 C

 

Roughly, every 15 months a person in a motor vehicle killed a bicycle rider in the area. Some drivers were drunks, convicted reckless drivers, or OD’d on drugs or asleep. Other bicycle riders contributed to their own deaths by their unsafe actions. Regardless of the cause, these people are dead.

Ride of Silence – 10 Years – The national Ride of Silence organization has authorized ABC’s using the 10-Year Anniversary logo since we are on record as having ROS 10 yr logo 2017conducted the Albany ROS each year for that period.

Going back those 10 years from this year’s ride date (5/17), we have lost John J. Cummings (1/27/16), Robert Agne, Stephen Nolan, Brian Bailey, Matthew Ratelle, and Paul J. Merges (11/24/12). That’s 1 every 20 months. Four of the six died by virtue of bad behavior by people in cars. (The cause is not clear on Nolan and Bailey.)

Please attend the 10th Annual Albany Ride of Silence on Wednesday, MaDiva with Dog COMPy 17. We will visit the ghost bike sites in the City of Albany and Colonie. Your participation honors cyclists killed or injured in collisions with automobiles. Last year, there were 445 Rides of Silence in all 50 States plus 48 countries on 7 continents. Our silence during the ride promotes safety awareness and mutual respect on the road.

There are two Starting Points – Boat Launch area, Albany Corning Preserve, 6:00 PM and W. Capitol Park & Washington Ave. & State St., 6:30 PM.

John Cummings 1-27-16

Anyone with a bicycle and helmet is welcome to this slow-paced and quiet ride.

If you prefer not to ride but want to participate, please meet around 7:00 PM at Diva De Loayza’s ghost bike site (corner of Western Ave., Homestead, and University Place near the SUNOCO station, Uncommon Grounds plaza, and All Saints Catholic Church). At this site, we will read the names of those who have been killed while riding their bicycles, and we will hear from some of family and friends. We will also honor Diva and the others whose sites we visit with fresh flowers.

Paul J. Merges Jr 11-24-12

 

Please remember your fellow riders:

  • John J. Cummings – January 27, 2016 (age 65) Bicyclist
  • run down from behind and killed, Amsterdam Rd., Glenville
  • Robert Agne, DVM – September 7, 2015 (age 54) Bicyclist
  • killed by sleeping driver who crossed centerline, Rt. 30 Pawlet, VT
  • Stephen Nolan – June 2, 2014 (age 53) Bicyclist killed by
  • car, King & Federal Sts., Troy
  • Brian Bailey – March 11, 2014 (age 37) Bicyclist killed by truck, Route 9W, Ravena
  • Matthew Ratelle – December 20, 2012 (age 40) Bicyclist killed by impaired driver, Rt. 22, Petersburg
  • Paul J. Merges, Jr. – November 24, 2012 (age 45) Bicyclist killed by drunken driver/pickup truck, Manning Blvd. & Roosevelt St., Albany
  • Nicholas Richichi – October 19, 2007 (age 53), Bicyclist killed by motor coach, Fuller Rd., Colonie
  • Diva De Loayza – June 6, 2007 (age 40) Bicyclist killed by car, Western Ave. at Homestead Ave., Albany
  • Alan R. Fairbanks – October 29, 2006 (age 72) Bicyclist hit by car/died, Rt. 5-S at bicycle path, Rotterdam)
  • Jose Perez – August 3, 2006 (age 60) Bicyclist killed by SUV, Broadway at Quay St., Albany.
  • Joel Melnikoff – July 3, 2006 (age 49) Bicyclist killed by drunken driver, Rt. 32, Bethlehem
  • David Ryan – June 29, 2004 (age 32) Bicyclist killed by recOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAkless driver, Riverview Rd., Rexford
  • Robert F. Zayhowski – July 16, 2000 (age 43) Bicyclist killed by drunken driver/SUV, Rt. 66, Sand Lake

 

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Filed under Death on the Road, Ghost Bikes, Ride of Silence

Washington Ave. – Watcha’ Gonna Do?

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The recent reduction in speed limits on Washington Ave. from Brevator to Fuller Rd. (from 40 to 30 mph) and from Fuller to Rt. 155/Karner Rd. (from 55 to 45) invites immediate reconsideration of the street for use by people on bicycles and for increased safety for all road users. Opening almost 4 miles on Washington Ave. for all users would provide a major commuter and recreational route and would connect the City of Albany to Schenectady and the suburbs with benefits to all. Specifically for people on bicycles, a traffic-calmed Washington Ave. would connect to the Six Mile Waterworks Park trail (and thence to Lincoln Ave./Rapp Rd. and then to Central Ave.) allowing riders to bypass the dangerous Wolf Rd. – Central Ave. area.

To support this approach, we need only note that, although the official speed is now lower, the configuration of the road and the clear message it sends to people in cars is – 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 mph – it’s all good. The entire Albany Police Department could not “police” speeders on Washington Ave. The simple solution is to abandon this configuration of wide lanes with negligible build up or greenery near the roadway, wide shoulders, and 4 lanes. We can send a “complete streets message” by taking advantage of these wide shoulders and extra wide motor vehicle travel lanes to provide 11-foot travel lanes and bicycle lanes on each side from Manning Blvd. to 155/Karner Rd..

A positive feature of Washington Ave. is that it lies under only one jurisdiction – the City of Albany – and is not a New York State numbered route. This means that it is unnecessary to navigate many levels of government to make these changes.

Another aspect of Washington Ave. is the “trail to nowhere” that starts on the sidewalk at the Fuller Rd. underpass/traffic circle on the south side of Washington Ave. (2.4 miles from Manning Blvd.). This multi-use path runs to an abrupt end at the Collin’s Circle entrance to the University at Albany. On its way there, the multi-use path crosses one campus access road (W. University Dr.) with no bicycle accommodations but with pedestrian crossing signals. (With Albany’s “right turn on red after pause ’rule’,” all these University at Albany entries are high-risk crossings.)

There is unencumbered real estate for continuation of this path from Collins Circle to the New York State Harriman Campus western border near the traffic lights controlling access to the office complex at 1365-1367-1375 Washington Ave. (3.8 miles from the start of the multiuse path at Fuller Rd.). Possibly, all that is needed is straightforward signaled crossover for pedestrians and for people on bicycles (to switch between the multi-use path and the bicycle lanes).

Here is a look at Washington Ave. (photos dated 4-9-17):

  1. (photo above) Super Mirage at Fuller at Wash Ave
  2. (photo above)Fuller at Wash Ave – Looking east
  3. Aspen & Quad Wash Ave-UA – Looking east
  4. Collins Cir Entrance Wash Ave-UA – Looking east
  5. Looking toward new Path Wash Ave-UA – Looking east
  6. E Bridge over Ring Rd Wash Ave-UA
  7. Exit to Patroon Creek and Ring Rd Wash Ave-UA
  8. Bridge Over Rt 85 at Jermain St Wash Ave-UA – Looking east
  9. Exit to Rt 85 from Wash Ave-UA
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3. Aspen & Quad – Looking East

 

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5. New Path Route East?

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6. East Bridge Over NYS Campus Ring Rd.

 

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7. Exit to Patroon Creek and NYS Campus Ring Road

 

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8. Bridge Over Rt 85 at Jermain St.

 

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9. Exit to Rt 85 from Washington Ave.

 

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Filed under ABChallenge-2017, Bike Lanes