Category Archives: Activism

Why Ghost Bikes?

A ghost bike reminds us that all road users are responsible for all other users – whether in cars, on foot, in wheel chairs, on public transit, and on bicycles. As long as a ghost bike remains in place, it serves as a graphic reminder that someone was killed in a crash – regardless of fault or responsibility.

Fairbanks 6 (Susan + Patrick Briggs)  5-9-08

A second and more touching reason is that the ghost bike provides the surviving loved ones a focus for their loss, and, by their commemoration, serves as beacon for the rest of us.

On 9/3/12, Matthew was riding north on Rt. 22 toward Hoosick falls at 8:30 AM on a clear day on a straight, smooth road with wide shoulders. He was an avid, experienced cyclist.

Becky Goodermote struck him from behind and left Matthew lying by the road 30 feet from where she hit him. Goodermote, 37, was charged with leaving the scene of a serious personal injury accident, operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs, driving with a suspended registration and failure to use due care.

Matthew died on 12/20/12 having been in a coma since struck. His third child was born during that time. He left Jennifer, his wife, and children, Kylie, Connor, and the baby. He worked at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in radiology.

A local business owner went to the scene. “It was pretty bad. I saw one of his shoes and thought it was a young kid at first. It was a big mess,” he said.

A Rensselaer County judge sentenced Goodermote to 2⅓ to 7 years for her plea to leaving the scene of an accident that caused a death and 1⅓ to 4 years for criminally negligent homicide, both felonies. Everybody loses …

His ghost bike was installed 1/13/13 near the point of impact a few days after Matthew died. Jennifer, Matthew’s widow, visits frequently leaving flowers and cards. Below is the ghost bike shortly after St. Valentine’s Day, 2018.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Read more: https://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Cyclist-dies-of-crash-injury-4135692.php#ixzz2FgpQPcO

Obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/timesunion-albany/obituary.aspx?n=matthew-ratelle&pid=161866101&fhid=5076

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ROS 10 yr logo 2017Annually, there is a “Ride of Silence” in Albany to commemorate those who were killed or injured while riding and to remind us all – drivers and cyclists – to be careful. We pass by and stop at the ghost bikes sites in the city – Paul Merges, Nicholas Richichi, Diva DeLoayza, and Jose Perez. This year there are two new sites – two new fatalities. A daughter of a deceased rider, the wife of yet another, and another’s co-workers sometimes join the ride. This year’s ride is on Wednesday, 5/16/18 starting at 6:00 PM at the Row Center in Albany Riverfront Park and at 6:30 at Capital Park Washington Ave.

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

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Filed under Ghost Bikes, Local Bike Rides

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

Happy Bikesgiving 2016

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  • Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail (Albany to Slingerlands)
  • Northern Blvd. bicycle lanes
  • Clinton Ave. bicycle lanes from Ten Broeck to Manning
  • Bicycle Fixit Stations at six Albany Public Library branches
  • Bike Barn MeetUp Rides (“Towpath Tuesdays”)
  • Mayor Sheehan’s “Mayor Ride to Work group ride”
  • Earth Day Expo 2016
  • Corning Riverfront Park – Protected Bicycle Lanes/green path + racks and kiosks
  • 9th Annual Daily Grind Ride
  • Capital District Transportation Committee “bike-ped $1,000,000 annual set aside” funding
  • Lights in the Park Ride
  • Madison Ave. bicycle lanes from Allen St. to Partridge St.
  • Bike Counts (spring and fall)
  • Halloween “Crypt” Ride
  • Earth Day Ride
  • Cranksgiving Ride for Food
  • Collar City Ramble
  • BikeAlbanyMap at https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/
  • South End Bikeway Link Design Study

 

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Filed under Activism, Comings and Goings

Well?

did-you-ride-your-bike-today

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by | October 30, 2016 · 6:25 pm

Protected Bicycle Lanes in Albany?

Protected Bicycle Lanes in Albany?

You saw it here first – under construction (photo #1). Hopefully those “Jersey Barriers” are an indication of the final Quay St. configuration (looking north just north of the USS Slater).

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#1 – PBL in Albany?

The Corning Riverfront Park Project will include the following according to the City of Albany:

  • Repaving and widening some areas of the multi-use path along the riverfront to accommodate two-way cycling as well as people walking.
  • Extending the multi-use path south to the Quay St. /Broadway intersection near the USS Slater (The Jose Perez Memorial Plaza) and north to Erie Blvd. (ed: Now if we can just build that South End Bikeway Link … )
  • Building a new two-way bicycle lane along the backside (west side) of the tidal ponds to bypass the amphitheater during events (photo #2 – tiptoe around the tidal pool looking south from near park HQ) .
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    #2 – Path for People on Bicycles West of the Main Park Area

  • Making the riverfront more accessible with new crosswalk signals at three intersections on Quay St. at Broadway, the Broadway Connector, and Water St.
  • Calming Quay Street to make it a “complete street.” Quay St. will go from two motor vehicle lanes to one to accommodate people on bicycles and people walking as well as motor vehicles (photo # 3 – Quay St. gets a shave – looking north from just past the pump station/former Aqua Duck HQ).

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    #3 – Quay St. Gives Up a Motor Vehicle Lane to People

  • Adding nearly 50 parking spots on Quay St. to make it easier for people in cars to visit the riverfront.
  • Enhancing lighting along the new multi-use paths and along Quay St.
  • Providing benches, bicycle racks, and trashcans (ed.: recycling too?) along the paths.
  • Providing informational kiosks to promote Albany events and activities.
  • Adding trees to the park so that there will be more trees than before the project began.

Moving on (after a visit to the Corning Riverfront Park) – photo #4 shows markings for the return of Conventional Bicycle Lanes on the repaved Clinton Ave. Maybe the bicycle lanes can at least begin continued beyond Lexington to the intersection of Clinton and Central Aves. per the original plan.   As of 7/11, the lanes are re-marked from Ten Broeck to the western end of the re-paving project – you’ll notice the lane marking bicycles are now rider less.  Hmmmmm…

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Markings for Bicycle Lanes – looking west

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Filed under Corning Riverfront Park, protected bicycle lanes, South End Bike Link