Tag Archives: drunks and cyclists

Cyclists and Others Gather to Dedicate the Ghost Bike for Paul Merges

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThirty-two people attended the dedication of Paul Merges’ ghost bike.  His cousin Mike and Laurie, Mikes’s wife started the ceremony by lighting a candle and speaking on behalf of the Merges family.  Several others made comments about the need for safety on the roads or in sympathy for the family.  Two members of Albany’s Common Council attended and one of them spoke.  Twelve bicycle riders then rode silently from the ghost bike on Washington Ave. and Manning Blvd to Washington Park.

Merges was struck down by a drunken driver on OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASaturday, November 24, 2012.

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Drunks and Death

(This is written just after returning from the funeral home visitation for Paul J. Merges, a cyclist brutally run down by a drunk at Central and Manning early Saturday, November 24.)

With installation of a ghost bike for Paul, we will have experienced a 50 percent mortality rate of cyclists due to drunks on the road.  In addition to Paul and according to my records, drunks killed the following:

  •  Jose Perez – August 3, 2006 (age 60; bicyclist killed by SUV on Quay St. near Broadway, Albany)
  • Joel Melnikoff – July 3, 2006 (age 49; bicyclist killed by car on Rt. 32, Bethlehem)
  • Robert F. Zayhowski – July 16, 2000 (age 43; bicyclist killed by SUV on Rt. 66, SandLake)

Some may also recall that the spouse of an ABC member was run down from behind and injured by drunks on Madison Ave. near Washington Park.

(The other ghost bikers were Nicholas Richichi – 2007, Diva De Loayza – 2007, Alan R. Fairbanks – 2006, and David Ryan – 2004.)

Some may also recall that the spouse of an ABC member was run down from behind and injured by drunks on Madison Ave. near Washington Park.

As this is written, the perp now sits in jail (on your check).  He tested out at twice the legal limit.  I urge each reader to monitor how this case progresses through the (re-elected) DA’s office and what punishment is handed down.  You might also consider those county and state legislators (that Albanians persist in re-electing) to see what they do to remove drunks from the road permanently.

As a closing note, the funeral parlor waiting line extended out of the viewing room, down the hall, up the stairs, down another hall, into the main hall to the front door and then wound around to the back door.  Paul’s father, mother, brothers, sister-in-law, children, nieces and nephews, and other relatives were in the reception line and viewing room.  Paul’s father expressed his gratitude to ABC and even had enough courage to state, “you people should be able to ride the streets in safety.”  See also the ABC Letter to the Editors.

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