Category Archives: Ghost Bikes

Roads Remain Unsafe for People on Bicycles

16-Year-Old Struck and Killed – The bicycle community was again saddened by the death of another young cyclist struck and killed by two motor vehicles. See – https://www.news10.com/top-stories/police-16-year-old-on-bicycle-killed-after-crashing-into-car-on-state-highway-30/  The report is not clear on how the crash occurred but states that  “no tickets or charges have been filed” and “New York State Police are investigating  while … “The investigation remains ongoing.“

The Scene – If one looks at Rt 30 for the full stretch by Dennie Loop Rd. (see https://www.google.com/maps/search/Dennie+Loop+Road,+in+the+town+of+Mayfield/@43.126514,-74.2480724,48m/data=!3m1!1e3 ) the shoulders on Rt 30 are a generous 10 ft wide (using Google measurement tool).

David Ryan – June 29, 2004 (age 32)

Ryan 3 - Completed 10-28-07

Roger L. Sawyer – October 19, 2017 (age 30)

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Ride of Silence – COVID-19 forced the Albany Bicycle Coalition to postpone its annual Ride of Silence to commemorate the injury and death of people on bicycles.

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Matthew Ratelle – December 20, 2012 (age 40)

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Edston J. Kirnon – July 22, 2017

The Growing List – Notice in the following lists the frequency of drunk, reckless, sleeping, and inattentive drivers. Ghost bike memorial locations* are now as follows:

  • William Drake – July 4, 2020 (age 16) Bicyclist hit by two cars, Rt. 30, Mayfield
  • 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 30) 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 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 drunk driver, 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 drunk 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 drunk driver/SUV, Rt. 66, Sand Lake

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Matthew Ratelle – December 20, 2012 (age 40)Matthew Ratelle 10-26-72 -- 12-20-12 C

Paul J. Merges, Jr. – November 24, 2012 (age 45)

Paul J. Merges Jr 11-24-12

Additional Incidences (From the Times Union archives provided in 2007) – Earlier deaths are as follows:

  • Eric M. Taylor, July 2, 2007 (age 18) Hit by car (swerved into traffic), Rt. 197, Fort Edward
  • Bill Page, Aug. 2, 2004 (age 79) Hit by car (swerved into traffic – tire blowout?) Rt. 9, Saratoga County
  • Larry Finkle, Nov. 17, 2001 (age 54) Hit by a drunk driver while crossing Rt. 9, Malta in the dark
  • James V. Percent, Aug. 19, 1998 (age 50) Killed in head-on collision with a city trash collection truck, Albany
  • Thomas Van Patten, June 12, 1997 (age 71) Rode into path of a car, Rt. 9, Schodack
  • Joseph Raymond Hebert, Aug. 22, 1997 (age) Rode into path of tractor-trailer, Glens Falls
  • Andrew Spiller, June 7, 1992 (age 26 of Rochester) Participating in an endurance bicycle race when hit around 1:00 AM by 18-year-old drunk driver Jason Lamphere, Rt. 29A, Town of Stratford. Woman who provided beer to Lamphere (who also died). later charged with unlawfully dealing with a child
  • Albert Lester, June 7, 1992 (age 31 of Westwood, Mass) Participating in the above race when hit around 2:00 AM by drunk driver Gerald S. Hill, Jr., 18. County Rd. 119, Town of Ephratah. Hill later sentenced to 1-1/3 to 4 years in prison. Denied parole in 1994. The owner of the market where Hill bought beer that night charged with unlawfully dealing with a child. (This was the second year for the endurance, but it was never held again after the two deaths.)
  • Donald Conklin, June 15, 1990 (age 22) Hit by a car while riding through a parking lot off Rt. 9, Hudson
  • Edward Sinclair, June 11, 1987 (age 25 of Schenectady) Hit by a car after riding through a stop sign, Vrooman Ave. and E. Main St., Amsterdam
  • Andrew W. Hummel, March 24, 1987 (age 22 of Latham) Hit by a car on Rt. 9, Colonie. No one charged, but it appears driver was at fault
  • Robert Palmer (age 14) and David R. West (age 16) Sept. 6, 1986 Hit by drunk driver, Rt. 50, Ballston Spa. Driver Randy L. Hotaling later sentenced to 1-1/3 to 4 years in prison
  • Vicki A. Spezio, July 4, 1986 (age 13) Hit by drunk driver while trying to cross Central Ave., Colonie on her bike. Driver Charles P. Wells later sentenced to 60 days in prison and three years probation (the jury blamed the cyclist)
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Jose Perez – August 3, 2006 (age 60)

Alan R. Fairbanks – October 29, 2006 (age 72

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

Diva De Loayza – June 6, 2007 (age 40)

Nicholas Richichi – October 19, 2007 (age 53)

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*The City of Albany removed all its ghost bikes in 2014.

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Albany Ride of Silence – 5/15/19

Twenty-one riders commemorated the deaths of bicycle riders in the area by participating in Albany Bicycle Coalition’s 12th annual Ride of Silence.

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As in years past, we stopped for a remembrance at each of the area ghost bike sites. At each site, we had a sign with the first name, a bicycle symbol, and year. We affixed a bouquet of flowers at each site.

When we arrived at the Diva (Diva De Loayza, June 6, 2007, age 40, killed by car) ghost bike site at Western and Homestead Aves., we stopped to acknowledge all the deceased area riders. DSCF9955

 

We were honored to be joined by the family of Roger Sawyer (October 19, 2017, age 30, run down by SUV, Washington Ave. Ext.). DSCF9969Rodger’s mother relayed her frustrations in attempting to gather data from local agencies on the death of her son. Contrary to Albany Police Department and Times Union reports, the motor vehicle operator behaved and had background issues that contributed to Roger’s death and that were not known beforehand.

Susan, daughter of Alan Fairbanks (October 29, 2006, age 72, hit by car/died, Rt. 5-S at bicycle path, Rotterdam) and her friend joined us as they have for many years. A rider spoke in honor of Robert F. Zayhowski (July 16, 2000, age 43, killed by drunken driver/SUV, Rt. 66, Sand Lake). Another spoke in honor of his friend who was struck, paralyzed, and eventually died of his injuries. We took turns reading off the names of the other area fatalities with a few words on the circumstances of their deaths.

We also visited the sites of the deaths of Edston J. Kirnon (July 22, 2017, age 42, collided with side of CDTA bus, N. Pearl St.), Nicholas Richichi (October 19, 2007, age 53, killed by motor coach, Fuller Rd., Colonie), Jose Perez (August 3, 2006, age 60, killed by SUV, Broadway at Quay St., Albany), and Paul J. Merges, Jr. (November 24, 2012, age 45, killed by drunken driver, Manning Blvd. & Roosevelt St.).

What is the Ride of Silence? – This ride commemorates those who were killed or injured while riding their bicycles. The ride reminds all road users to be careful and considerate of their fellow travelers. The Ride of Silence is an international movement that the Albany Bicycle Coalition has supported by hosting the Albany ride since 2007. See – http://www.rideofsilence.org/main.php .

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ROS 2018 – Photos

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by | May 28, 2018 · 2:29 pm

Ride of Silence – 2018

The Albany Bicycle Coalition’s 11th annual Ride of Silence was on Wednesday, 5/16/18 to coincide with the national ride. The 22 riders met at the Albany Riverfront Park/Row Center and at the Capital Park-Education Building. There were new memorial sites at N. Pearl/Wilson Sts. and Washington Ave. Ext. (or 6-Mile Park).

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We visited the sites asterisked below and left flowers at each. There is a sign at each site with the late cyclist’s name and year of death.

At the Diva De Loayza (Western Ave.) site, we went around the group with each rider stating the person’s name and date of death. Three of our riders who had relatives killed while riding offered their thoughtful and inspirational comments.

The Roger Sawyer site on Washington Ave. Extension was not conducive to riding although his ghost bike is now installed at the crash site. As an alternative, we held a brief remembrance at the entrance to Six-Mile Trail on Fuller Rd. where Roger’s sign is also displayed.

Nicholas Richichi’s ghost bike (Fuller Rd.) has been repainted.

The 2019 ride will be on Wednesday, May 15.

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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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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