Tag Archives: safety

Albany’s 10th Annual Ride of Silence

The Albany Bicycle Coalition held the Ride of Silence on Wednesday, May 17. Twenty-six riders plus an Albany Police Department escort visited four ghost bike sites in the City of Albany and Colonie – Jose Perez, Diva De Loayza, Nicholas Ricicihi, and Paul Merges.  We started from the Boat Launch area, Albany Corning Preserve and W. Capitol Park on Washington Ave. At each site, we placed fresh flowers.

At Diva De Loayza’s ghost bike site (corner of Western Ave., Homestead we read the names of those who have been killed since 2000 while riding their bicycles. We were honored to hear from family members of three of the fallen riders.

Ride of Silence – 10 Years – The national Ride of Silence organization has authorized ROS 10 yr logo 2017ABC’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 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.  See for complete annotated list and photos at – https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2017/05/01/ride-of-silence/

This year, thanks to Alert Rider Anthony, we had tags to give to those who saw our ride. Each tag had the ROS logo and a few words on the rationale for the ride.

 

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Filed under Activisim, Ride of Silence

Washington Ave. – Watcha’ Gonna Do?

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The recent reduction in speed limits on Washington Ave. from Brevator to Fuller Rd. (from 40 to 30 mph) and from Fuller to Rt. 155/Karner Rd. (from 55 to 45) invites immediate reconsideration of the street for use by people on bicycles and for increased safety for all road users. Opening almost 4 miles on Washington Ave. for all users would provide a major commuter and recreational route and would connect the City of Albany to Schenectady and the suburbs with benefits to all. Specifically for people on bicycles, a traffic-calmed Washington Ave. would connect to the Six Mile Waterworks Park trail (and thence to Lincoln Ave./Rapp Rd. and then to Central Ave.) allowing riders to bypass the dangerous Wolf Rd. – Central Ave. area.

To support this approach, we need only note that, although the official speed is now lower, the configuration of the road and the clear message it sends to people in cars is – 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 mph – it’s all good. The entire Albany Police Department could not “police” speeders on Washington Ave. The simple solution is to abandon this configuration of wide lanes with negligible build up or greenery near the roadway, wide shoulders, and 4 lanes. We can send a “complete streets message” by taking advantage of these wide shoulders and extra wide motor vehicle travel lanes to provide 11-foot travel lanes and bicycle lanes on each side from Manning Blvd. to 155/Karner Rd..

A positive feature of Washington Ave. is that it lies under only one jurisdiction – the City of Albany – and is not a New York State numbered route. This means that it is unnecessary to navigate many levels of government to make these changes.

Another aspect of Washington Ave. is the “trail to nowhere” that starts on the sidewalk at the Fuller Rd. underpass/traffic circle on the south side of Washington Ave. (2.4 miles from Manning Blvd.). This multi-use path runs to an abrupt end at the Collin’s Circle entrance to the University at Albany. On its way there, the multi-use path crosses one campus access road (W. University Dr.) with no bicycle accommodations but with pedestrian crossing signals. (With Albany’s “right turn on red after pause ’rule’,” all these University at Albany entries are high-risk crossings.)

There is unencumbered real estate for continuation of this path from Collins Circle to the New York State Harriman Campus western border near the traffic lights controlling access to the office complex at 1365-1367-1375 Washington Ave. (3.8 miles from the start of the multiuse path at Fuller Rd.). Possibly, all that is needed is straightforward signaled crossover for pedestrians and for people on bicycles (to switch between the multi-use path and the bicycle lanes).

Here is a look at Washington Ave. (photos dated 4-9-17):

  1. (photo above) Super Mirage at Fuller at Wash Ave
  2. (photo above)Fuller at Wash Ave – Looking east
  3. Aspen & Quad Wash Ave-UA – Looking east
  4. Collins Cir Entrance Wash Ave-UA – Looking east
  5. Looking toward new Path Wash Ave-UA – Looking east
  6. E Bridge over Ring Rd Wash Ave-UA
  7. Exit to Patroon Creek and Ring Rd Wash Ave-UA
  8. Bridge Over Rt 85 at Jermain St Wash Ave-UA – Looking east
  9. Exit to Rt 85 from Wash Ave-UA
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3. Aspen & Quad – Looking East

 

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5. New Path Route East?

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6. East Bridge Over NYS Campus Ring Rd.

 

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7. Exit to Patroon Creek and NYS Campus Ring Road

 

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8. Bridge Over Rt 85 at Jermain St.

 

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9. Exit to Rt 85 from Washington Ave.

 

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Filed under ABChallenge-2017, Bike Lanes

Pay Attention!

Everyone knows the “ABC Quick Check” – Air (tread or sidewall damage), brakes (pads and cables adjusted), Cranks (loose?)/Chain (lubed?)/Cassette (worn?), and QUICK Releases (both wheels and brakes). The ABC Quick Check can come in many variations, but the preceding is pretty much it.

But time passes, wear occurs, the mind wanders, the B-12 wears off, etc.

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Standing around one day, a fortunate glance showed that the “A” in “A,B,C” was totally overlooked when it came to the rear tire. In two places, the tread was worn through and cracked with the tire casing fabric showing through. YIKES! In the case of this particular bicycle, there was not even the excuse of fenders blocking view of the tread…

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Resolutions for People on Bicycles

Resolutions for people on bicycles who want to make cycling safer for all by promoting a positive image of cycling …

  • I will – Smile and say “good morning,” “good afternoon,” etc. to everyone I meet while riding.
  • I will – Remember that the one certain way to increase safety for people on bicycles is to ride my bicycle as often as I can. All the bicycle lanes, tickets, smart traffic lights, “share the road signs,” blinkie lights, and reflective clothing will do little if not accompanied by MORE PEOPLE riding MORE OFTEN – so that all road users get used to each other being on the street.
  • I will – Shop locally at locally owned businesses who hire local people and pay a fair wage.
  • I will – Obey the traffic law. I will stop for signs and signals especially when people in cars or on foot can see me, and I will stay off the sidewalks.
  • I will – Lube my chain and check my tires (for wear and correct air pressure).
  • I will – Check that my brakes work (lever is a thumb’s distance or more from the handle bars when full “on”) and the pads contact the wheel rim braking surface.
  • I will – Be deferential to all pedestrians no matter how crazily they act
  • I will – Speak out on behalf of people on bicycles in a polite and non-confrontational manner.
  • I will – Signal my stops, scan and signal my turns, and make eye contact with people in cars and on foot.
  • I will – Speak out and write in on issues facing cycling. I will keep up to date on developments that affect safe use of the streets by people on bicycles.
  • I will – Support my local bike rescue and bicycle shops. I will buy on the internet only when my bicycle shop does not stock or cannot order what I need.
  • I will – Wave and smile to those in cars who are bothered by my presence on a bicycle on my streets (no “one finger waves,” s.v.p.)
  • I will – Be Kind.bicycle-friendly-america-fall-2016-001

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Filed under Activisim, Article, Shop Local, Support the Cause

3-Foot Passing Law

Action Alert on 3-Foot Safe Passing Law from the New York Bicycling Coalition

We need your help to make our state a safer place to ride.

While New York State already has a safe passing law, it is ambiguous and is not easy to enforce. Each person in a motor vehicle can interpret “safe distance” in his or her own way.3 foot passing

In order to resolve this issue and make our roads safer and consistent with many other states, New York State needs to require a minimum safe passing distance of at least 3 feet. This means that every person driving a motor-vehicle must pass people on bicycles by giving them at least 3 feet of space.

There’s no reason this shouldn’t be part of the existing law and we need your help to make it a reality. Please take a moment to email your legislators. Tell them that you support the implementing a 3-foot safe passing law because it means safer roads and streets for our friends, families, and communities.tumblr_mksey1gE5e1qh2ly7o1_500

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Filed under Activisim, Traffic Law