Category Archives: Colonie

Deborah Carpenter – Hit and Run 9/1/21

A utilitarian cyclist, Deborah Carpenter, who (apparently) was struck down by a motor vehicle while riding home from work. The crash was near 847 Loudon Rd, Colonie. She was left in the road alive but in a coma and in critical condition. Deborah faithfully rides her bicycle to and from work.

Photo courtesy of the Times Union

From the report, it is hard to conceive that this was a bicycle-only event. Details hopefully to follow from police. Read on –

Several cyclists wrote in with these comments:

From DD: I live not that far from the Latham Traffic Circle and frequently have to deal with the potential hazards of that intersection. I experienced a minor incident a couple of years ago where I was heading North on Route 9. I entered the Circle when a car coming up from behind through the Circle on my left; decided to make a right onto Route 2 heading East. I was thereby forced to alter my course at the last second and turn to the right. I was side swiped by the car and was knocked to the ground. The car did stop and I was able to get up off the pavement before the passing of additional traffic. The driver apologized and asked if I was all right. Both the car and the bike had minor scratches and I experienced some minor cuts and bruises; but was basically all right. I saw no need to get the insurance companies involved. He asked again if I was all right before we continued on our ways. I am NOT a fan of traffic circles. I am cautious when dealing with traffic circles and depending on the time of day and volume of traffic will go out of my way to detour around them. [Emphasis added.] I sincerely hope for a speedy recovery for the injured cyclist.

Photo courtesy of the Times Union

From IV: I heard a newscast, but missed the TU article. Please let me know if I can donate to a fund for Deborah. RE the exam of the bike by police: sometimes if only the back tire is hit, no scratches, paint chips etc. are found, however the rear wheel is significantly out of line with the brakes out of line as well. (My back wheel after the crash impacting me was greatly distorted.) It is worth getting that thought to Colonie Police.

From JF: So awful to hear. Hope they get the information they need to move forward.

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Filed under Colonie, Ghost Bikes, Ride to Work, safety, utilitarian cyclists

A Hidden Gem – Dott Ave. and the CapitalNYBikeMap

One of the major challenges in developing and refining the CapitalNYBikeMap (formerly the “BikeAlbanyMap”) is identifying streets, roads, trails, and intersections that are up to the map’s established standards of being safe and comfortable to ride. Since the map covers much of the Capital Region – with more to come – it is inevitable that the routes it proposes will have to contact streets that the Albany Bicycle Coalition would never recommend for a “traffic concerned” rider. This includes Central Ave., Washington Ave., Fuller Rd., and so on.

In some cases, there simply is no alternative. In these instances, the map provides instructions and cautionary icons. These may say, “Walk bicycle to traffic light can cross at the light” or “busy intersection with high traffic volume – use caution.” Alternatively, the map may suggest a more indirect route but one that avoids hectic streets or intersections.

Frequently, through many hours of evaluation and on-site assessment, we have been able to identify routes that one would never heretofore considered. This is about one such route – once hidden but when revealed shows a new and safer way to navigate the area.

Current Situation – To get from the Crossings Park in the Town of Colonie to the Six-Mile Park on Fuller Rd., the CapitalNYBikeMap has to get people on bicycles across the ever-challenging Central Ave. Briefly, the map uses Frederick Ave. It suggests using the traffic light at Frederick and Central, and then the sidewalk along Central Ave. to continue on Interstate Ave. 

As You Head Toward Death-Defying Central Ave., There’s a Traffic Light and Dott. Ave Straight Ahead!
View from Central Ave. – It’s “Dead End” for Cars but not for Bicycles!

A Glimmer of Hope – But wait! Immediately across Central Ave. from Frederick Ave. is Dott Ave. As we can see, Frederick – with the help of the traffic light to get us across Central Ave. – leads right into Dott Ave. What not use it? A closer view shows there are not one but two “dead end” signs as you head south on Dott Ave. from Central Ave. It is a dead end. Not atypically, “dead end” means “dead end for people in cars” but how about on bicycles?

A Closer Look at Dott Ave. Connecting Railroad Ave. and Central Ave. – (See,-73.8130095,17z) The map shows Dott Ave. in the center with the direct connections to Fredrick to the northeast and to Rail Road Ave. to the southwest.

(See CapitalNYBikeMap )

The Albany Bicycle Coalition suggests that the Town of Colonie open the dead-end Dott Ave. as a multiuse path for people riding bicycles or walking. Dott Ave. is entirely within the town so changes to it are simplified and of minimal cost.

Dott Ave. is more direct than the currently proposed route via Interstate Ave. It would not require walking bicycles along Central Ave. Dott Ave. is a dead end. Currently, a hole in the fence is big enough for a bicycle, but it is off center and southbound riders cannot see it until they are 200 feet away. First-time visitors might conclude there is a mistake on Albany Bicycle Coalition’s map and turn around. Often, there are many vehicles parked on the south of the fence so that even northbound riders could only find the hole with difficulty. The photos clearly show that this is a classic “no brainer” – a easy lift to facilitate safe travel for people on bicycles.

View from the End of Dott Ave. Toward RR Ave.

The Town of Colonie would have to arrange for removal of one or two motor vehicle parking spaces, add some signage, and conduct minor paving/re-paving.

View from the RR Ave. side toward Dott Ave. and Central Ave.

As a side benefit to the residents of Dott Ave., clearly marking the passage through the fence and building appropriate structure might deter truckers from trying to open the existing gate to reach the industrial park. Plus, they’d have some nice people on bicycles waving to them!

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Filed under CapitalNYBikeMap, Colonie