Category Archives: Editorial

Blessing of the Bicycles

Almighty God, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible,

we come to you in prayer and thanksgiving.

 

In a world burdened by motorized transportation and consumption,

we give you gracious thanks for the wondrous bicycle,

on which we enjoy the goodness and beauty of your creation

while improving our fitness and health.

 

We ask you to protect the children who ride or who are learning to ride.

We ask you to keep all riders, leisure riders to elite athletes, safe from accidents.

We ask you to protect all riders from anger and theft.

We ask you to give us skill to ride in all sort of conditions, and

to help us forgive those who are negligent and mean.

We ask you, in thanksgiving for those who build or repair bicycles,

that you will guide them to be diligent and competent in their work.

 

Heavenly Father, be with us now and bless us as we dedicate these bicycles

and their use to the preservation of lives to your honor and praise.

Grant us faith to know your gracious purpose in all things.

Give us joy in them and lead us to use all your gifts, including our bikes,

with wisdom, compassion, patience and love.

We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Composed & Delivered on 8/13/16, Troy NY

Fr. Michael Gorchov, Rector
Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church
58 Third Street
Troy, NY 12180

 

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Filed under Activisim, Editorial, Rides

Felony Reckless Driving and Vulnerable Users of the Public Highway

Felony Reckless Driving and Vulnerable Users of the Public Highway (Creto/Kade Law)

On Saturday, 10/31/15, a drunken Thomas Gorman ran down three young Skidmore students in Saratoga. He killed one outright and sent the other two to intensive care with serious injuries. According to the Times Union (11/2/15), this driver “faces DWI” charges. Gorman was later charged with first-degree vehicular assault and driving while intoxicated.

DWI can be a felony or misdemeanor depending on the skill of the defense attorney and the facts of the case.

ADDRESSING THE ISSUE – A recent proposal, named in memory of two motorcyclists killed by people in cars who committed moving violations would make it a felony offense to kill any “vulnerable road user” – pedestrians, persons riding animals, or persons operating any of the following: bicycle, implement of husbandry, motorcycle, horse drawn carriage, electric personal assistive mobility device, or wheelchair.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Albany Bicycle Coalition voted unanimously by those present at its 10/29/15 meeting to support this proposed law.

Details of the proposal follow.

SUMMARY: Felony Reckless Driving And Vulnerable Public Highway Users (Creto/Kade Law) – Felony reckless driving is driving or using any motor vehicle, motorcycle, or any other vehicle propelled by any means other than muscular power or any appliance or accessory thereof in a manner which causes death to a vulnerable user of the public highway (or knowing or having reason to know the operator is violating this section). Vulnerable users include the following: pedestrians (including those working, in or along a highway or providing emergency services within a right-of-way), persons riding animals or operating a bicycle, implement of husbandry, motorcycle, horse drawn carriage, electric personal assistive mobility device, or wheelchair.

*** FULL TEXT ***

FELONY RECKLESS DRIVING SHALL MEAN DRIVING OR USING ANY MOTOR VEHICLE, MOTORCYCLE, OR ANY OTHER VEHICLE PROPELLED BY ANY MEANS OTHER THAN MUSCULAR POWER OR ANY APPLIANCE OR ACCESSORY THEREOF:

IN A MANNER WHICH CAUSES DEATH TO A VULNERABLE USER OF THE PUBLIC HIGHWAY, OR KNOWING OR HAVING REASON TO KNOW THE OPERATOR IS VIOLATING SECTION: 1110(a): Failure to obey a traffic control device, 1111-3(d)2: Failure to stop for red light making a right turn, 1111-3(d)5: School bus illegally making a right on red light, 1120(a): Failure to keep right, 1120(a)3: Failure to yield right of way to oncoming traffic, while avoiding a traffic obstruction, 1120-6(c): Failure to keep right, crossing the center line of a roadway, 1121- Failure to yield one half of the road way to opposing traffic, 1122 (a): Improper overtaking of a vehicle on the left, 1122- (b): Improperly increasing speed when being legally passed on the right, 1124: Unlawfully crossing the center line of roadway while overtaking another vehicle, 1125-1: Illegally driving left of center of roadway; approaching crest of grade or curve with an obstructed view, 1125-2: Illegally driving left of the center of the roadway within 100 feet of traversing a railroad grade crossing, 1125-3: Illegally driving left of the center of the roadway when view is obstructed approaching a bridge, viaduct, or tunnel, 1126-(a): Illegally passing in a marked no passing zone, 1127-(a): Driving wrong way on a one way road way, 1127- (b): Failure to keep right passing around a circular intersection, 1128- (a): Moving from lane unsafely, 1128- (b): Illegal use of center lane- roadway divided into three lanes with two way movement, 1128- (d): Illegally crossing prohibitive roadway markings, 1129- (a): Following to closely, 1130-1: Illegally travelling upon the dividing area of a divided or controlled access highway, 1130- 2: Illegally entering a controlled access highway, 1131: Illegally operating a motor vehicle on a shoulder or slope, 1140- (a): Failure to yield right-of-way entering an intersection, 1140- (b): Failure to yield right-of-way, to a vehicle to the right, when arriving at an intersection at the same time, 1141: Failure to yield right-of-way making a left-hand turn (to a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction), 1142- (a): Failure to yield right-of-way at a stop sign, to a vehicle already on the roadway, 1142- (b): Failure to yield right-of-way at a yield sign, to a vehicle already on the roadway, 1143: Failure to yield right-of-way entering a roadway, 1145: Failure to yield right-of-way to a vehicle in a rotary traffic circle, 1160- (a): Improper right turn, 1160- (b): Improper left turn-two way traffic, 1160- (c): Improper left turn other than two way traffic, 1161: Illegal U-turn (any curve, approach to or near the crest of a grade-must be visible from 500 feet away), 1162: Moving from stopped, standing or park position unsafely, 1163- (a): Unsafe turn, 1163- (b): Failure to use proper signal when turning, 1163- (c): Stopping unsafely, 1163- (e): Illegal use of hazard lights, 1172- (a): Failure to stop at a stop sign, 1172- (b): Failure to stop at a yield sign, when required, 1173: Failure to stop ???????????????????????????????emerging from an alley, driveway, private road or building, 1180- (a): Unsafe speed for prevailing conditions, 1180- (b): Speed in excess of posted 55 mile an hour speed limit, 1180- (c): Speed in school zone, 1180- (d): Speed in excess of the posted speed limit (any posted speed limit other than 55 mph), 1180- (e): Failure to reduce speed-special road hazards, 1180- (f): Failure to reduce speed construction or maintenance work area, 1181- (a): Impeding traffic, 1211- (a): Unsafe backing, 1212: Reckless Driving, 1214: Unsafely opening and closing vehicle doors, 1216: Illegally coasting a vehicle, 1220: Illegally dumping garbage on a roadway, 1225: Illegally avoiding intersections or traffic control device, 1225-c-2(a): Illegally talking on cell phone, 1225-d: Illegally using a portable electronic device (viewing or transmitting images, playing games, or composing, sending, reading, viewing, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving e-mail, text messages, or other electronic data), THE OPERATOR CONTINUES TO DO SO. A PERSON VIOLATING ANY OF THE tumblr_ln0bi0HNhi1qjxfx5o1_1280PROVISIONS OF THIS CHAPTER SHALL BE GUILTY OF A CLASS D FELONY PUNISHABLE PURSUANT TO ARTICLES SIXTY-FIVE AND SEVENTY OF THE PENAL LAW.

Vulnerable user shall be defined as:

(a) A pedestrian including a person engaged in work, in or along a highway or engaged in the provision of emergency services within a right-of-way

(b) A person riding an animal

(c) A person lawfully operating any of the following on a highway or the shoulder of a highway: bicycle, implement of husbandry, motorcycle, horse drawn carriage, electric personal assistive mobility device, or wheelchair.

Written by: Kenneth A. Watson, Sr.

 Amended 01-27-2015 by Kenneth A. Watson, Sr.

(Reformatted and edited – Lorenz M. Worden, 10-29-15)

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Every Day is a Good Day

What better way to recover from a hot day of doing user counts on the Erie Canalway Trail/Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail than a hot coffee and a snicker doodle at the Brakes on Lark?

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Trail Count & Survey

After the sun shifts a little, the outdoor seating is a perfect spot to (see earlier post) to capture some images for Albany Bicycle Coalition’s“riding in Albany” scrapbook.

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Patio at Brakes

But wait – just when leaving Brakes, who should appear but Natalie, the owner/chef at Tapasia – an Asian tapas soon to open on the lower level in the Brakes building. Natalie described her riding experiences in Chicago where she lived for some time – and contrasted them with the scary situation she found in Albany – riding to the HWFC, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and so on. Natalie was enthusiastic about the Madison Avenue Traffic Calming Protected Bicycle Lanes project, as it will help her new venture.

Asian Tapas on Lark 001

Never idle, Natalie and husband – who has extensive experience riding in Burlington with its pedestrian “mall” on Church St. and who asked when Lark St. would be car free – stopped at the Protected Bicycle Lane Coalition sign-up table in front of Upstate Artists Guild on 1st Friday.

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Protected Lane Sign Up – Have You?

UAG hosted the Protected Bicycle Lane Coalition booth on both the 7/3 and 7/7 1st Fridays as part of its community support mission and to enhance walk ability of the City of Albany.

But wait again – Brakes is now complemented by the new Healthy on Lark vegan restaurant (in the old ‘Lil Buddha spot). At both spots, you’ll find great food and a pleasant atmosphere.

Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2013-10-21 17:45:43Z | http://piczard.com | http://codecarvings.com

Healthy on Lark

Sharon, the owner/chef at Healthy on Lark is no newcomer to healthy living with this expansive mission: “Healthy In A Hurry” motivates and supports clients to define a personal vision of optimum health and begin living the life they truly crave. We assist you to turn off auto-pilot and make conscious daily choices that impact your health: food choices, exercise routines, self-care choices, and sleep habits.”

But wait some more – The well-established Hudson River Coffee House at Quail and Hudson is now branching to Delaware Ave. in the former Tierra/Ultra Violet site next to one of Albany’s gems, the Spectrum 8 Theater. Once again, a nice dinner with a movie to follow will make a nice “evening out.” Hudson River Coffee House opened in 2010. Owner/operator Anton Pasquill, who expressed enthusiasm about coming to Delaware, will bring his years of experience to remodel and operate the new location. He even bought a motor vehicle!

It’s just too much to absorb . . .

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Filed under Editorial, First Friday

Tips from the “Land Down Under”

Catherine Deveny’s 5 Tips For Stylish Cycling, By Claire Wilson @styleshespoke, February 28, 2014

 SOURCE: http://styleshespoke.com/719/catherine-devenys-5-tips-for-stylish-cycling/

Intro – Melbourne comedian Catherine Deveny only started riding seriously in 2010 when she got what she describes as an “old Dutch grandmother style bike.” She says that this bike changed her life, not only because it made her want to ride, but because it made her want to find gorgeous frocks to go with it.

She prefers to cruise about town in 1940s inspired floral, accessorised in red to go with her polka dot panniers and black Lekker step-through.

To the ever-pragmatic Catherine Deveny, however, cycle style is less about what you are wearing and more about how you act on the road – a sentiment that I applaud wholeheartedly. So, without further adieu, here are Ms Deveny’s 5 tips for stylish cycling [Ed: #3 is the best]:

5. Look hot – It is a simple truth that when you look hot people are going to notice you faster, which is excellent news if you want to be seen by drivers.

4. Be predictable – Use hand signals, get into the turning lane early, and just generally let other road users know what you are up to. A confused driver will get flustered and angry whereas one who can tell what you are doing (and gets a smile and a wave of thanks into the bargain) will have a smile on their face.

3. Assume you’re invisible – It’s undeniably true that bikes are harder to spot than cars, so it’s safest to assume that other road users probably haven’t seen you. For me this translates to keeping my hand on the brake lever at all times and a constant eye on the road conditions.

2. Maintain your line – Swerving all about the place is going to contradict rule #4, it is also going to freak out drivers in much the same way as a herd of kangaroos – you just don’t know when one of those things is going to smack into your bonnet. Choose a line, signal your intention, and don’t change your mind.

1. Own the road – It’s official, bike riders have every right to own their lane. While this doesn’t mean obstinately riding in the middle of the road wherever you go, it does mean riding in the middle of the lane when you believe it would be unsafe for a car to pass you or where the risk of being car doored is high. If you have stuck to rule #5 and look hot then any driver shouldn’t mind cruising behind you for a while. 

SOURCE: http://styleshespoke.com/719/catherine-devenys-5-tips-for-stylish-cycling/

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Filed under City Review, Editorial

“All Cars All the Time” ~ Albany Bike Count, 5/20/15, 3:30-5:30 PM, Delaware & Morton

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Even though Delaware, Morton, and Holland Avenues all technically have bicycle “accommodations” (shared lanes), 62 percent of the adults riding through the intersection were on the sidewalk and crosswalks. Perhaps here is why (based on the “Bike Count Location Feedback Form” responses):

  • Where there an obstacles/negative conditions effecting bicycle travel? – Absence of any bicycle infrastructure.
  • Were there any incidents or close calls between bicyclists/pedestrians/motorists?
    • Yes, between bicyclists and pedestrians – Due to people on bicycles riding on the sidewalks/crosswalks who were weaving through people walking and waiting for buses.
    • Yes, between bicyclists and motorists – Many people on bicycles had difficulty wending their way through the motor vehicle congestion in the intersection without some quick avoidance maneuvers. This was by those riding the correct way in the roadway. For those riding on the sidewalk/crosswalks, they were the source of their own problem.
  • Were there any cases of bicyclists disobeying traffic laws? – Yes. Adults riding on the sidewalk in conflict with local law – apparently to avoid the heavy motor vehicle traffic on Delaware Ave. and Morton/Holland Aves.
  • Based on your observations (and experiences), do you have any additional feedback regarding bicycling in Albany? – The City of Albany has to get serious about implementing its 2009 Albany Bicycle Master Plan. Since the plan was approved, only two sections (totaling one mile) of bicycle lanes have been installed. There are no Protected Bicycle Lanes.

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Filed under Bike Lanes, City Review, Editorial