Tag Archives: advocacy

Washington Ave. Flyover – A Call for Change

Washington Ave. Flyover – A Call for Change – In fall 2012, the long awaited “Flyover” to route through motor vehicle traffic from Washington Ave. to the Washington Ave. Extension was completed. This and the accompanying series of traffic circles on Fuller Rd. were clearly designed under an “all cars-all the time” philosophy. These means that people on bicycles who want to travel on Washington Ave. and its Extension, on Fuller Rd., on the University at Albany’s “purple path,” and on the Six-Mile Trail must be in the Advanced/Experienced “Strong and Fearless” or “Enthused and confident” 1 percent category.

The following letter calls for the New York State Department of Transportation to revisit this area and to modify it to accommodate people on bicycles.

Here are some earlier rider assessments.

++++++ LETTER ++++++

Albany Bicycle Coalition, Inc.

September 4, 2018

RE: Washington Ave. Flyover at Fuller Rd.

Sam Zhou, PE – Director
Region One – NYS Department of Transportation
50 Wolf Road
Albany, NY 12232

Dear Mr. Zhou:

This is to seek your assistance in clarifying safety concerns of the Albany Bicycle Coalition and of people on bicycles who use Washington Ave., Washington Ave. Extension, and Fuller Rd.

Because of our advocacy role in the region, we receive questions and comments about riding conditions. One common area of concern is navigation of the Fuller Rd. traffic circles, the Fuller Rd./Washington Ave. intersections, the Flyover, and bicycle travel on Washington Ave. Extension. As you are aware, fear of riding in traffic is the single, major impediment to bicycle travel. This is nowhere more apparent than in those spaces where motor vehicle movement was the paramount design feature.
In response to these concerns, we formed a study group to develop questions and recommendations about these specific roadways. We are at the point where we need advice from you or members of your staff on what are feasible treatments for this Washington Ave.-Fuller Rd. area.

I am asking that you arrange for our group to meet with you or staff for a learning session where we can articulate our concerns and our ideas. I am enclosing some specific ideas that result from our site visits and deliberations. Because several of our members work during the day, it would be helpful to have such a meeting at the end of or after the businesses day. This meeting could be augmented by site visit(s).

We look forward to hearing from you.

++++++ Attachment ++++++

ALBANY BICYCLE COALITION, INC.

SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS
ON FULLER RD./WASHINGTON AVE. FLYOVER
September 2018

  1. Bicycles Ahead Signage – Place several signs near the merge areas on both Fuller Rd. and Washington Ave. (Share the Road, Bicycles In Lane, etc.). Of particular emphasis is the on ramp to westbound Washington Ave. Extension from southbound Fuller Rd.
  2. Bicycle Lane Markings – Install conventional bicycle lane pavement markings on the Washington Ave. “flyover” shoulders to designate clearly where the people on bicycles should be riding. These markings will instruct both cyclists and people in cars.
  3. Bicycle Lane – Install “Bicycle Lane” signs near and at both entrances to the Flyover.
  4. Activation Alert – Install bicycle-activated sensors to illuminate a bicycle symbol sign on the Fuller Rd. exit onto westbound Washington Ave. These will alert motorists when cyclists are present. Bicycles would activate these as they pass over the correct place on the shoulder (bicycle lane) without stopping. (A less effective alternative is MUTCD-compliant flashing LED edge-light signs with high-intensity LEDs.)
  5. Intersection Crossing Pavement Marking on Westbound Washington Ave. – Install crossing markings (e.g., dotted green and white) in the median to guide people on bicycles from the proposed bicycle lane on westbound Washington Ave. to the proper lane to continue west on Washington Ave. Extension. This will (1) alert people in cars to the presence of bicycles and (2) guide cyclists away from the tail of the merge lane (where they would risk conflicts with both the through motor vehicles and the merging motor vehicles).
  6. Shared Lanes Markings – Install Shared Lanes pavement markings on all lanes leading to and from the flyover.
  7. Walk Your Bicycle Assist – Install enhanced walking instructions for those people on bicycles who prefer not to navigate by bicycle the multiple traffic circles to access the Six-Mile Trail, Washington Ave., the University at Albany campus, or Fuller Rd. Ensure continued diligence to maintain and clean the sidewalks, curb cuts, and pavement markings/signage.

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Filed under Activisim, Albany-Colonie Connector, Fuller Rd., NYS DOT, Washington Ave.

Mayor Sheehan Ride to Work Day

Friday, 5/18, 8:00 AM – Mayor Sheehan Ride to Work Day – A group of riders, guarded by a phalanx of Albany Police Department Bicycle Officers, joined Mayor Sheehan for a “ride to work.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe commute began at 8 AM at the corner of Ontario St. and Clinton Ave. (across from Albany Fire Department #7) and went down Albany’s paramount bicycle lanes on Clinton Ave. and then go right on Broadway to Stacks Espresso Bar, where  Mayor Sheehan generously treated us to coffee, tea, and other beverages.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Mayor and several others road CDPHP Cycle! BikeShare bicycles – a great way to promote the service that features 40 racks in the City of Albany and with 160 new bicycles slated for installation in June.

 

 

 

Plan  your own ride around the city at https://bikealbanymap.com/

For other bicycle events, go here – https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/resources/events/

 

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Filed under Bike Lanes, City Review, Rides

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).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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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Filed under Death on the Road, Ride of Silence

A Tale of Two Deaths – Ghost Bikes

ros-5-21-14-c-e1524938052514.jpg

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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Filed under Ghost Bikes, Local Bike Rides

Why Ghost Bikes?

A ghost bike reminds us that all road users are responsible for all other users – whether in cars, on foot, in wheel chairs, on public transit, and on bicycles. As long as a ghost bike remains in place, it serves as a graphic reminder that someone was killed in a crash – regardless of fault or responsibility.

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

A second and more touching reason is that the ghost bike provides the surviving loved ones a focus for their loss, and, by their commemoration, serves as beacon for the rest of us.

On 9/3/12, Matthew was riding north on Rt. 22 toward Hoosick falls at 8:30 AM on a clear day on a straight, smooth road with wide shoulders. He was an avid, experienced cyclist.

Becky Goodermote struck him from behind and left Matthew lying by the road 30 feet from where she hit him. Goodermote, 37, was charged with leaving the scene of a serious personal injury accident, operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs, driving with a suspended registration and failure to use due care.

Matthew died on 12/20/12 having been in a coma since struck. His third child was born during that time. He left Jennifer, his wife, and children, Kylie, Connor, and the baby. He worked at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in radiology.

A local business owner went to the scene. “It was pretty bad. I saw one of his shoes and thought it was a young kid at first. It was a big mess,” he said.

A Rensselaer County judge sentenced Goodermote to 2⅓ to 7 years for her plea to leaving the scene of an accident that caused a death and 1⅓ to 4 years for criminally negligent homicide, both felonies. Everybody loses …

His ghost bike was installed 1/13/13 near the point of impact a few days after Matthew died. Jennifer, Matthew’s widow, visits frequently leaving flowers and cards. Below is the ghost bike shortly after St. Valentine’s Day, 2018.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Read more: https://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Cyclist-dies-of-crash-injury-4135692.php#ixzz2FgpQPcO

Obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/timesunion-albany/obituary.aspx?n=matthew-ratelle&pid=161866101&fhid=5076

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ROS 10 yr logo 2017Annually, there is a “Ride of Silence” in Albany to commemorate those who were killed or injured while riding and to remind us all – drivers and cyclists – to be careful. We pass by and stop at the ghost bikes sites in the city – Paul Merges, Nicholas Richichi, Diva DeLoayza, and Jose Perez. This year there are two new sites – two new fatalities. A daughter of a deceased rider, the wife of yet another, and another’s co-workers sometimes join the ride. This year’s ride is on Wednesday, 5/16/18 starting at 6:00 PM at the Row Center in Albany Riverfront Park and at 6:30 at Capital Park Washington Ave.

Matthew Ratelle 10-26-72 -- 12-20-12 C

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Filed under Ghost Bikes, Local Bike Rides