Category Archives: Law

Silent Ride in Tribute to Cyclists Killed on the Road

ROS State Ed Bldg 5-16-12

ROS State Ed Bldg 5-16-12

Albany’s 6th Annual Ride of Silence was on Wednesday, May 16 starting at 6:00 PM and 6:30.

Cyclists gathered at Albany’s Corning Preserve/Boat Launch and at West Capital Park/NYS Education Building for a silent tribute to riders killed or injured while cycling on local roads.   The 20 riders were accompanied by a bicycle police officer from the University at Albany.

The slow-paced procession left the Corning Preserve/Boat Launch at 6:00 p.m. and then visited Jose Perez’s bicycle on Broadway at Quay St.  The 12-mile round-trip route then met up with riders near the NYS Education Building and visited two more fatality sites.  We finished up with two flat tires and a refreshing downpour as we cruised in town on Central Ave.

The Ride of Silence, which is held during National Bike Month, reminds us all – cyclists and motorists – to be considerate on the road for the safety of all.  The ride also shows respect for those who have been killed or injured while cycling.

The first Ride of Silence was organized in 2003 to honor a Texas cyclist killed by a bus. Events are now held across the nation and in other countries, including Australia, Canada, and Scotland. For a list of locations and more on the history of the event, go to

Across the nation, more than 600 cyclists are killed on the road every year.  Local fatalities for whom there are ghost bikes include the following:

  • Nicholas Richichi, 53 – Oct. 19, 2007, Fuller Rd., Guilderland
  • Diva De Loayza, 40 – June 6, 2007, Western Ave., Albany
  • Alan Robert Fairbanks, 72 – Oct. 29, 2006 (later died), Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail and Route 5S, Rotterdam
  • Jose Perez, 60 – Aug. 3, 2006, Quay St., Albany
  • Joel Melnikoff, 49 – July 3, 2006, Rt. 32, Bethlehem
  • David Ryan, 32 – June 29, 2004, Riverview Rd., Rexford
  • Robert Zayhowski, 43 – July 16, 2000, Rt. 66, Sand Lake

Ride of Silence 2013 will be on May 15, 2013.

Leave a comment

Filed under Activism, Law, Local Bike Rides, Rides, Support the Cause

US Proposes Law to Force Cyclists Off the Road

The Senate’s transportation authorization has drafted the S. 1813 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act that if passed, would force cyclists to paths and trails parallel to all roads in national parks and other federal lands. Yes – new law that forces cyclists off the road.

Are you kidding me?!

The Section § 203 (d) (p. 226) says,

“(d) BICYCLE SAFETY.—The Secretary of the appropriate Federal land management agency shall prohibit the use of bicycles on each federally owned road that has a speed limit of 30 miles per hour or greater and an adjacent paved path for use by bicycles within 100 yards of the road.”

Andy Clarke, the President of the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) says,

“The problem with the provision is that the restriction applies regardless of the quality, safety, and utility of the path provided; it disregards cyclists need the roadway to reach shops, services etc.; and ignores our fundamental right to the road.”

Answering why this proposed provision, Clarke says,

“One such idea is that it’s just not safe for cyclists to sharing the road with cars going more than 30 mph and thus, for our own safety, we should have to use the provided path. This paternalistic (at best) approach is guilty of not only blaming the victim but simply doesn’t make sense unless every higher-speed roadway has a path alongside it.

The second principle at play is the idea that “we provided this path for you, you’d darned well better use it”. To which our response should be…if the path is any good, you shouldn’t have to force anyone to use it; they will use it voluntarily because it works. Our communities are replete with examples of poorly designed, built and maintained paths that are little more than glorified sidewalks. “

One blogger brings up a meaningful point. Michael Frank of Adventure Journal says, “just code for a screaming headline, ‘Mountain Biker Takes out Iowa Mom on Grand Teton Walking Path'”.

This provision would affect 22 national parks in New York State according to the National Park Service. This includes sites from New York City, into the Appalachian Mountains and  many others. Who’s to say this law won’t spill over into state parks? How will we get to food and service shops on the roads? What about road cyclists?

Are we going to let law makers force us cyclists off all US national park roads?

To remove the provision that would force cyclists off national park roads there is a petition, the League of American Bicyclists have started with over 12,500 signatures thus far. Sign the petition. The petition tells, “the Senate that the mandatory side path law is a bad idea.” If this law passes, we are supplying a deterrent against bicycling.

Join the effort to keep us on the road by signing the petition.





The League of American Bicyclists represents 57 million cyclists with 300,000 members, 25,000 individuals and 700 organizations. LAB works for better bicycling.

Leave a comment

Filed under Activism, Law

Madison Ave. Traffic Calming Results

There was a quiet congratulation last night for everyone involved when the common council voted unanimously to support the Madison Ave. traffic calming effort in which the street would be repainted to include three lanes instead of four. It seemed that there was some opposition to it initially, but once all the votes were counted the naysayers flipped their vote.

Something interesting came out of one of the speeches one of the council members gave before the vote. Apparently one of the council members, I forget which one, and if you were there maybe you can post it in the comments, got a grant to put sixty bike racks all around the Lark St. area. This comes as a welcome respite to the current situation because the only places to chain your bikes on some parts of that street are out of the public eye and therefore a little more risky.

So over all the night was a success. Don’t forget to come tonight to the Capital Region Transportation Forum which will be at the Albany Public Library, Main Branch Auditorium at 161 Washington Avenue at 7:00 pm. I’ll see you there.

Written by Chris Belsole

Leave a comment

Filed under Article, Law

State Legislature and Governor Enact Safe Passing Law

On August 13, 2010, Governor David Paterson signed into law a mandate that drivers pass cyclists at a safe distance when traveling on New York’s roads.  Although the law does not set a specific distance, the text of the law states that three (3) feet is considered a safe distance and that sometimes an even greater passing distance is necessitated by road conditions.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Law, None