Category Archives: Activism

South End Ride-Walk Honoring Qazir Sutherland

This 3rd annual community event was held on Saturday, September 29 at the Ezra Prentice Homes on. Pearl St. This is one of the least safe streets in the City of Albany with a constant stream of high-speed cars and heavy trucks.

See Channel 10 Video here

There were opening remarks followed by a walk with about 25 participants and some Albany Police Department e-bicycle-mounted escorts along S. Pearl St. to the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail. Other activities included DJ Supreme, fresh fruits, healthy living tips, a Y-infor table, and a Capital District Transportation Committee safety and trails exhibit. Walk partners included Qazir Sutherland’s Family, A Village, Capital District YMCA, Albany Housing Authority, the City of Albany, Albany County Department of Health, Albany Police Department, and Capital Roots with media support from the Albany Bicycle Coalition.

What better way to relax after a morning of community organizing than a cinnamon bun and coffee at the 3 Fish Café?

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Filed under Activism, City Review, South End Bike Link

A Tale of Two Deaths – Ghost Bikes

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Ghost Bike

  • Edston J. Kirnon – July 22, 2017 (age 42) Bicyclist collided with side of CDTA bus, N. Pearl St., Albany
  • Roger L. Sawyer – October 19, 2017 (age 31) Bicyclist run down by SUV, Washington Ave. Ext., Albany

We went almost a year and a half without a bicycle fatality. This ended July 22, 2017 with Edston Kirnon’s fatal collision with a Capital District Transportation Authority bus on N. Pearl St. at Wilson St. This was followed in two months on October 19, 2017 by Roger Sawyer being stuck down by a SUV as he crossed Washington Ave. Ext. at Springsteen Rd. by Crossgates Commons/Walmart big box mall. Roger was on his way to work.

The FOILed Albany Police Department report states that the SUV was heading west on Washington Ave. in the left (passing) lane and that Sawyer “… turned West [left] and traveled in the left lane along the guard rail. V1 [SUV] did strike V2 [bicycle] west of the crosswalk causing the operator of V2 to strike V1.”

Ride of Silence – 11 Years – The national Ride of Silence organization has authorized ABC’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 11 years, we have lost John J. Cummings, Robert Agne, Stephen Nolan, Brian Bailey, Matthew Ratelle, and Paul J. Merges and now Edston J. Kirnon and Roger L. Sawyer.

This year’s Ride of Silence will be on Wednesday, 5/16/18.  Meet at the Albany Riverfront Park/Row Center (Colonie St.) at 6:00 or at Capital Park-Education Building 6:30. New memorial sites at N. Pearl/Wilson Sts. and Washington Ave. Ext. (or 6-Mile Park) https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/

Please remember your fellow riders:

  • Edston J. Kirnon – July 22, 2017 (age 42) Bicyclist collided with side of CDTA bus, N. Pearl St., Albany
  • Roger L. Sawyer – October 19, 2017 (age 31) Bicyclist run down by SUV, Washington Ave. Ext., Albany
  • 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 reckless 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 Ghost Bikes, Local Bike Rides

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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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