Category Archives: Death on the Road

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

Who Needs Traffic Calming on Madison Ave.? – Madison Ave. at Lake – 12:00 PM, Friday, Oct 21, 2016

Here’s clear evidence of why we now have Madison Avenue Traffic Calming – too bad this section won’t be done until next year.

Madison Ave. at Lake – 12:00 PM, Friday, Oct 21, 2016

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Filed under Bike Lanes, Death on the Road, Editorial

Whack the Walker …

Box Score = 7

  1. 1/14/16 – Colleen A. Burke, 69, of Saratoga Springs used her Mini Cooper to strike Damon E. Hinchcliff, 40 of Clifton Park who was crossing Rt. 9 near the Saratoga Springs city line at 8:41 pm.
  2. 1/8/16 – Motor vehicle hit and killed a 79-year-old man who was crossing State St. and Veeder Ave., Schenectady.
  3. 1/4/16 – Car traveling west on Columbia Tpk. left the roadway, ran over road signs, and killed Paul Greene, 50, of Rensselaer who was standing on the shoulder.
  4. 12/14/15 – Van hit and caused fatal injuries to Paul Williman, 75, of Troy, who was crossing Hoosick St., Troy.

    The Force Be With You

    May the Force Be With You

  5. 12/9/15 – Motor vehicle struck and killed Jodey Farrell, 81, as she made her way to a bus stop on Van Rensselaer Blvd., Menands.
  6. 12/6/15 – Motor vehicle fatally hit Marine Corps veteran Zachary Unser, 2009 graduate of Colonie Central High, who was walking across Central Ave., Colonie at Osborne Rd.
  7. 12/6/15 – Maria Lentini of Saratoga Springs struck and killed Patrick Duff with her SUV. Duff, 30, of Clifton Park, died on Rt. 9, Halfmoon. Lentini, 30, was charged with leaving the scene of the accident and first-degree reckless endangerment, both felonies.

SOURCES: Albany Times Union with special thanks to columnist Chris Churchill who seems to be the singular voice supporting roadway sanity.

Ed Note – Of the three “Es” of traffic safety – Engineering, Education, and Enforcement – only the first is of real consequence. The roads and streets we have where people get run down and killed or injured did not land here from Mars – they were proposed, approved, designed, and built by the New York State Department of Transportation and by county and city highway departments. The excessive lane widths, absence of pedestrian “bump outs” and refuges, poor signalization, and obliterated markings are all planned conscious acts and decisions. You can “educate” and “enforce” all day long but if the streets are planned to encourage speeding, lane changing, right (and even left and straight) after pause, and so on, these efforts will be of momentary effect. Passing out flyers and posting signs or telling pedestrians to wear reflective clothing are all nice but not a solution.

 If you are content with this, just change the channel.

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Filed under Activism, City Review, Death on the Road, Riding in Albany