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Cyclist Killed on Rout 51, Beaver County

This Thread was started in the local News thread, http://localhost/mb/topic/local-news-stories-lte-2015/page/9/#post-315866
2015-08-08 10:11:25
2015-08-08 10:16:38
I've ridden that road many times on randonnées. There are some sections, like here, where there's absolutely no place to go but to take the lane. No shoulder, nothing. There's no way to fix this other than road redesign. There are other sections, like here, where simply cleaning the berm would make a huge difference. It's quite wide there and the surface is smooth, but it's unrideable because of fallen rocks. Maybe, in light of this most recent death, we could get whoever is responsible for maintaining the road to do some cleaning.
2015-08-08 10:28:13
51 is an important transportation artery for this area. With that in mind, it is an eyesore throughout its length and a very poor excuse for a gateway into a major American city. Yes, there are no shoulders and poorly cleaned/maintained berms. There is also very little traffic enforcement on 51 in the Pittsburgh City and Suburban Pittsburgh communities. Few drivers obey the posted speed limits and there is frequent racing and maneuvering in and out of lanes to save a few precious seconds. There are often extensive traffic backups due to problems on the Parkway. On July 14, 2015, an organization known as Economic Development South held a Forum regarding the future of Route 51. The section of 51 covered by the forum was from Large to the South Portal of the Liberty Tubes. The crowd of approximately 50 people was overwhelmingly positive about the possibilities for the corridor, which included making the Saw Mill Run watershed into a Greenway complete with bicycle and pedestrian transit. It gave me some hope that something might actually be done to improve the 51 corridor. I know that this does not directly address the tragic situation in Beaver County. I've ridden that section of 51 in the past and was scared shitless. Bicycle Route A was established with good intentions but no follow-up was ever done to make it safer. Until effective measures are taken, history is likely to continue to repeat itself. How many more bodies must pile up until something is done? It is an absolute shame that in many parts of our area, there is no safe way to ride from some suburbs and from some outlying communities into the city. A sorry situation for a city and metro area that considers itself "most livable".
2015-08-08 11:04:04
It would be so easy to express outrage. Frankly, I'm tired of outrage. How do we get from outrage and repeated memorial services to action on the part of people who operate pens and bulldozers?
2015-08-08 12:47:44
I wish I knew that answer, Stu.
2015-08-08 13:22:54
Isn't that about where our memorial ride for Taylor Banks started?
2015-08-08 15:02:09
I am struck by how little news coverage there has been about this fatal accident. On Thursday we learned there was an accident, victim was life-flighted, traffic was delayed on Rt. 51 and driver of the truck was uninjured. Friday an obit was published in the Beaver County Times, and nowhere else that I can find. Who was the driver? Was he intoxicated, distracted, sleeping at the wheel? The rear bicycle light was still flashing as the media filmed the bike being loaded into the back of a truck. It was a bright blinking light. Will the driver face any consequences? It was a fatality, so there was surely an investigation. Where will it be published, and when? What was the root cause, when and how will PennDOT address it? Three fatalities in just over 2 years on this road. Arthur deserves better than to be just another data point on a chart of tragic events.
2015-08-08 15:52:05
Stu, the Taylor Banks ride started in Monaca, stopped at the scene and returned to Monaca. We never went quite as far south as the new crash location. I'm trying to figure out a route for a Ride for this location / zone, I'm thinking about something like this. Start in Leetsdale or Edgeworth. Ride Beaver St. to Ambridge. Cross the Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge, taking the lane. Ride north on 51 to the 2014 Taylor Banks location. Ride south on 51 to the 2015 crash location, dedicate the ghost bike. Continue south on 51 to Emily Jankart's ghost bike at Sewickley Bridge. Cross Sewickley Bridge, taking the lane. Use the proposed ORTC route under the bridge and out to Beaver St, back to the start.
2015-08-08 20:49:49
jdgPGH, well written. I commuted all last year and through June this year along this road, as I mentioned in the other thread I always took the lane during that stretch but never felt unsafe. Arthur strikes me as a serious, competent cyclist; I find it very hard to believe he did anything squirrely that a car, four feet away, couldn't have avoided. As you said, where are the updates?
2015-08-08 22:56:20
I am Arthur Bell's brother. I want to thank everyone for the concern they have showed towards my brother and for the safety of future riders in this area along route 51. I just wanted to share some more information about my brother. He has been a serious cyclist for probably more than 30 years. He was 14 years older than me, so when I was younger he often took me along on many of his bike rides and bike vacations. When I was 16 we biked down the pacific coast with a tour group called Cycle America. He biked to work taking this route probably 2-3 times a week, and always said he felt safe except for that particular area near the bridge. I don't think he could have taken more safety precautions. He wore a florescent yellow reflective vest even during the day, had a rear light, and a pretty significant headlight. In speaking with the police, we did not get any indication that the driver was in any way negligent, but we are waiting on the police to approve and release a report to us. He was a very special person, and we miss him dearly. Please, let me know about any plans to memorialize my brother, or any help you may need in forwarding safety efforts in this area. Sincerely, Brian Bell
2015-08-09 13:01:50
Brian, I am deeply sorry for your loss. I hope you find peace through this tragedy. I found your brother's obituary on a FB site that copied it without the subscription needed on the timesonline page. A mechanical department manager at Astorino and spent his time volunteering at the Children's hospital for terminally ill children. Your brother sounded like a top quality person and his life didn't have to end this way and this soon.
2015-08-09 13:48:30
I'm very sorry for your loss Mr. Bell.
2015-08-09 14:22:06
Thank you for reaching out to us. We are all saddened by this loss.
2015-08-09 14:42:36
Mr. Bell, I too am so sorry to hear of your loss. Your brother sounds like he was someone we'd all be honored and privileged to know. Thank you for posting.
2015-08-09 14:45:36
Brian I feel so sorry for you and your whole family; your brother Arthur sounds like he would have been a great guy to know and someone we all would have enjoyed riding with.
2015-08-09 15:06:02
So sorry for your loss, Mr. Bell.
2015-08-09 15:50:47
So sorry to hear about your brother. That is the worst section of road to ride on, but like Jon Webb said, that is a road that we use several times on rando rides to head out toward ohio. I once was taking the right hand lane and had to bail to the shoulder when a big white truck wasn't moving over to pass. I can't wait until the Ohio River trail is complete so I don't have to take 51 anymore. It would be nice to bike to see my parents in Monaca more.
2015-08-09 19:06:56
2015-08-09 20:13:03
My condolences to all of the Bell family. I wish there was more to say than that... but words can not express my desire to steal a backhoe and/or an armed tank and just go rage crazy on sr51 right now. I'm truly sorry for your loss.
2015-08-10 00:02:14
Very sorry for your loss, Mr. Bell
2015-08-10 06:22:32
Greetings, all. I am the guy that was interviewed the day of the accident by WPXI and told him to mention the state law as part of his story. I was there right after Art was transported away. After everyone left, I went back. I stepped off the lines and it was about 150ft from impact to where he ended up. There was significant blood still there and they marked where his head rested. The ghost bike is another few yards south of that. The truck continued at least another 150ft before stopping. Scratch marks from the bike were clearly visible in the pavement. I found Art's chin strap that was cut away and recovered that, cleaned it up, put it in a box and gave it to his dad and brother at the funeral home. It was still clipped. I didn't where a suit, I wore a cycling jersey. The section of of south of the Ambridge Bridge has a huge shoulder that is typically covered with gravel, ash and glass. I have ridden that road for over 20 years and never road to the right of the white line unless necessary. People generally have moved over to create space. But you can't trust that anymore. I imagine Art was riding the line like we all do and even more so as he heard the truck approach. The dent on the hood of the truck was on the passenger side. There is no way, no matter how dark, with all of the reflective material and light that visibility played a role, as the police were postulating....unless the truck's lights were not on or the driver was distracted. Very sad this is...again. You may remember my friend Mark Parker who was struck in Fox Chapel a few years ago. I have an idea and I'm gonna do some research and see what we can do to bring this to the front of the mind of every one behind the wheel. I'll keep you posted. In the mean time, this is Steven Fisher's email at WPXI- Why don't you all send him a note of thanks and ask him not to let this one go. And while he's at it, bring up Taylor Banks while he's at it. I here there is still no explanation to the family on that one either? As it turns out, I was on the scene of that one right after it happened as well. Too weird, too sad and too important to let these tragedies fade into oblivion.
2015-08-10 20:56:05
I don't want anyone to think I'm blaming the victim here, but I would take the lane there -- and have. There are two lanes in each direction. The safest (and perfectly legal) way to ride is to take the right lane, so that drivers have to pass in the left lane, and don't try to squeeze on by. Even better would be to somehow get the municipality to clean the shoulder; it's wide and smooth.
2015-08-11 07:47:41
Jon, read my post. I had to bail when I was taking the lane cause a driver wouldn't move over into the empty left lane to pass. It was terrifying. I don't know what the solution is.
2015-08-11 08:35:18
@Stef, I agree it's a terrifying road with no good solution. Still, I think it's better to take the lane and worry about the rare driver who doesn't understand the lane-changing technique than to ride to the right and have drivers frequently squeeze on by -- or be completely ignorant of your presence, which is what I'm guessing happened here. I was riding back from a brevet one night, blinking like crazy, with the road practically empty, and had a driver slow down when he saw me, pull up behind in my lane, and, then, after I guess threatening me for a while, finally change lanes and pass. It's hard to understand the psychology sometimes. Again, NOT blaming the victim; for future reference, if you have to ride this road.
2015-08-11 09:03:09
Claiming the lane helps catch driver's attention but it's far from being a guarantee. Open road hypnosis can be disturbingly deep. The shoulder sweeping would give a meaningfully better option, but the ohio river trail is the only thing I'd really call an answer. Shame on the state for not having taken action based on the fatalities the two years prior. Here we are again. I'm so sorry for this man and his family.
2015-08-11 09:18:09
@Skalman, thanks for the additional info. I've been checking local news sites for more coverage of this - but I've found nothing. How very sad that a man loses his life in such a senseless way and society barely takes the time to notice. Hopefully we can organize a memorial ride of some sort to bring media attention to this dangerous stretch of road, and put pressure on PennDot and local government to make this corridor safe for ALL road users.
2015-08-11 09:32:05
@marko ++ BTW, except that I live on the complete opposite side of the city, and feel, frankly, that crap on the side of the road is in no way my fault, I might be motivated to Adopt a Highway and clean the berm there myself. Might save a life or two.
2015-08-11 09:39:09
@jonawebb I'd help with that.
2015-08-11 11:05:45
We are working on a ride. It may include the two other fatalities in recent years, and also provide a review of the alternate ORTC route. Between the Sewickley-BeaverAve-Ambridge bridge shuffle and this route through the industrial park - both are paved and fairly bike friendly - you can avoid10 miles of the 15 mile RouteA risk zone. (this back route provides an alternative which avoids the last two fatal crash locations)
2015-08-11 11:34:24
Just signed up for the message board because of this... I live in Aliquippa/Hopewell. I ride 51 a lot. Mainly because it's the only way to get north and south conveniently. I regularly ride it to go to meetings and for fun. I typically say that 99.99% of drivers are awesome on this road. Rarely a close call. I went to a meeting in Wexford today and rode the part between Aliquippa and the Ambridge bridge. The south bound side berm is now meticulously swept and cleaned. Too bad someone had to die for that to happen. There is no berm northbound. Just two lanes with jersey barriers inches away from the white line. It was hard to feel comfortable and have fun today. Vannever, thanks so much for that route. That will be a real help going northbound. The plans to build a bike path would be amazing for those of us who use 51 a lot. Until then, what? I am very interested to hear what Skalman is thinking. I was wondering today if it would be helpful for PennDot simply to paint the right hand lane with bike symbols and share the road writing (sort of like through Robinson). It wouldn't cost much and it would be something.
2015-08-11 14:53:26
Demand, repeat, demand, nothing short of lowering the speed limit to 35 mph. If Mr. Bell was dragged >150 feet, speed was a factor. If the driver did not see a cyclist in time, speed was a factor. When Taylor Banks was hit, we determined speed was a factor. When Emily Jankart was hit, though she was doing something a bit unusual, she would have been seen and likely avoided if the driver was going slower. Hence, speed was a factor. Legal speed. I am not blaming anyone for exceeding the posted limit. I am saying the posted limit is too high. Thirty-five. This should be what we fight PennDOT on. Plant a flag in the ground and defend it. It will be as welcome as a bucket of cow manure at a wedding reception, but too bad. You want to go faster, use 376. You want to go from way over here to way over there, use 376. If you're just changing towns and this is the most direct way, then fine, use 51 but go 35.
2015-08-11 15:25:43
Okay. Here is what I am thinking. 1000 of the 4 Feet Please, Share the Road, It's the Law signs. This would be of the political sign variety, bright yellow with black lettering. They can be put anywhere you can push a step stake into the ground, nailed to telephone pools, zip tied to whatever. I have a company that will provide a quote within the next couple days. I have called Edgar Snyder marketing who MAY be able to pay for all or part of the cost. We have them shipped to a location and we all grab some and start the awareness campaign all over the place. Edgar Snyder marketing has also suggested interviewing me for a blog that they would attempt to make go viral. For those who don't know me, I was the guy interviewed by Steven Fisher of WPXI. I am the same age as Art Bell, 54. Been cycling literally all but five years of my life and have competed in races. Been hit four times, once by someone who ran a stop sign and I flew 20ft, hit a street sign and bounced another 10. I've been grazed by a bus, clipped by an extended truck mirror and cutoff by someone making a left hand turn, not to mention a few pedestrian cutoffs downtown. Anyway, that's it. I think someone mentioned Woodland road, which rides parallel to 51 for quite a ways. There is some newly section for new construction going in, but the rough parts are rough. I plan on using it exclusively when I can. However, if I am crossing the Ambridge bridge, it's not really an option without a dismount and climb up the hill. I don't 35mph ever happening on that road. Might Art still be alive if he was hit by a 35mph truck? I don't think it was speed AS MUCH as the potential for a driver not even looking at where he was going. THAT is my bet.
2015-08-11 16:07:50
this is a non-trivial portion of the Beaver County mentality: (the road happens to actually be a state bike route) Not everybody. Just some. As we all know, it just takes one.
2015-08-11 20:44:30
@skalman wrote:
However, if I am crossing the Ambridge bridge, it’s not really an option without a dismount and climb up the hill.
If you're southbound from Monaca heading to Ambridge, the Woodlawn route suggests that you stay on Woodlawn, ride under the Ambridge-Aliquippa bridge, turn onto Route51 in Crescent. Possibly, the eventual delivery of ORTC will include a two-direction bike lane on the southbound shoulder from Crescent to the Ambridge bridge. So (if this happens) you'd cross 51 where it's 35mph, then ride contraflow (north) on the (hillside) shoulder of 51 South to the Ambridge bridge. That's certainly adding to the distance, but it's the only maneuver we can discern to not ride with 55mph cars on Route51. Inevitably, the northbound route does the same two-step in the other direction: Sewickley to Ambridge, cross the Ambridge Bridge, turn left onto the 51South bike lane to Crescent, cross 51, turn left onto Woodlawn - go back under the Ambridge bridge - and continue to Monaca. (I recommend Yolanda's pizza). It's not pretty but it works. Not saying anybody should, don't want to get into anybody's practices, just identifying a different way to look at the situation.
2015-08-11 20:50:21
Stu, you can demand a 35 mph speed limit and maybe even get it (doubtful) and it will make no difference. Cars routinely do 70 along the stretch from Monaca to south heights and the speed limit is at most 55. Frankly as a driver on that road 35 is ridiculous. Better we spend our energy on alternatives like the ORT.
2015-08-12 07:01:33
Could a biker continue north on Woodlawn Rd. the whole way to the end of the Woodlawn on 51 near Monaca Rd.? There is an overpass where Woodlawn goes way up over 51. There are barriers at that entrance location from 51. Cars couldn't pass through, but my bike could. There is no center barrier on 51 there, so you could access the north bound lane. If you were going to Monaca, you'd only have about a mile of road and the speed limit does drop to 45mph. Anyone tried that?
2015-08-12 07:37:30
Is it that the limit is unenforceable? Where can a cop sit to do his/her job, if there is no shoulder? That makes it a road design problem, thus we're right back in PennDOT's court. I've been saying for over two decades now, if you had to use something other than a car to get from A to B, how could you? What's preventing you? Well, if mixing with 70 mph traffic is OK with you, then fine, go right ahead, but I don't think that's a valid option for the majority of cyclists. I say we fix the road, and jam it down the public's throat if we have to. This can't be safe for motorized traffic, either. Oh, and build the trail, too. Another idea: More/less permanently place a set of traffic cones and a flashing arrow narrowing traffic to a single lane, if only for 50 feet, along the worst stretch for speeding. Precedent: When the West Carson Street project was being discussed, and they were arguing for two outbound lanes to handle traffic flow, a small landslide caused the curb lane to be closed for months. Guess what happened? Nothing. No backups, even at rush hour. I bet they could do the same here.
2015-08-12 07:41:45
PMike that is private property. You can't go farther north on woodlawn than west aliquippa unfortunately. It's posted everywhere and I think Vincent Troia told me the road you see on google maps is CSX property.
2015-08-12 13:53:18
As someone that has traveled that section of rt 51, 5 days a week for 24 years during the peak traffic hours there is no reason for this road to be a 4 lane road. It should be taken down to a 2 lane road with 35-45-55 mph signs where applicable. That would give plenty of room on one side or the other for a bike lane or bike trail or in the very least a safe place for people using the PA bike route to ride.
2015-08-12 14:00:10
"Well, if mixing with 70 mph traffic is OK with you, then fine, go right ahead, but I don't think that's a valid option for the majority of cyclists." Right on! Saying that you rode this section of road for X-number of years and w/o incident is not a solution to the problem and frankly, detrimental to the movement. Congrats to you, but such statements subtly reinforce the idea that things are ok as they currently are. The road needs to be made safer for everyone. What happens if a motor vehicle becomes disabled? The motorist has no place to get off the road in many spots. By becoming stranded, one also becomes vulnerable and the traffic snarls. The comment about throwing resources and energy behind the ORTC is quite constructive.
2015-08-12 15:57:08
Here's what bothers me about this: PennDOT clearing the shoulder. It means it's possible to get them to do it. Did someone here contact them, and if so, how? I knew it was unrideable months ago. Maybe if I'd contacted them Art would be alive.
2015-08-12 18:18:14
Jon, I don't think that the dirty (glass, debris, wires) shoulder caused the death, and I certainly don't think that any notification gap caused the death. Cyclists don't have to use the shoulder. Citizens don't have to notify the state to maintain the roads. In the absence of anything else, I'd speculate that what caused the death was a cyclist legally using the lane, being struck from behind by a driver probably doing 55mph (the speed limit), failing to pass with the required 4-foot clearance and reduced speed, on a road the State has designated as a a bike route. IMO that explanation is sufficient for everything we know about this.
2015-08-12 19:28:10
I don't think this is just about why this particular incident happened. Sure, it is legal to take the lane in a place where cars go 55 mph or more routinely. But it isn't something that most people are going to do nor should it even be implied that anyone be encouraged to do so. All it takes is some one fiddling with their coffee cup or their nuts in the early morning darkness for disaster to happen. This is about making roads safer for more than just a few cyclists, with a false sense of invincibility, to use. Neither this cyclist nor any of the others needed to die. If the road had a reliable shoulder upon which to ride, most cyclists would gladly choose that option. This is also not anyone's fault for not contacting an agency to clean the shoulder either. We have a long way to go around here. It's damned shame that people have to die to make any sort of progress. 51 sucks and it's the only option, in many areas, for getting places. We need to not let this go. Please let me know when you're doing the memorial ride. Hopefully we'll get a huge number of riders and send a big message. Stu, if you want to do that 51 ride in the South Hills, I'm with you. West End Bridge to Brownsville Road out to attract some attention.
2015-08-12 19:48:13
Exactly vannevar. Somebody is at fault. Obviously the 4 foot law and most likely speeding and distracted driving was also to blame. But, nobody will pay the consequences of their actions. This is America, where killing somebody due to our driving culture is ok. It pisses me off to no end. When is a memorial ride scheduled? Arthur is also a fellow Penn state AE grad (Well before me) I am attending.
2015-08-12 20:10:36
Anyway, I didn't know PennDOT would do it. Lives would be saved if they would do it regularly.
2015-08-13 04:04:56
If I had the money I'd by 2 dump truck loads of tombstone blanks and dump a couple of tons in the right lane going each direction at 8 am some morning, let the "inattentive" assholes hit those instead of a cyclist. I really don't have any interest in participating in any more sad and ineffective memorial rides, and have nothing change.
2015-08-13 08:04:39
With respect, memorials are to express condolences and in the case of horrible stuff like this, solidarity. To the extent that feeling of solidarity broadens the pool of participants, strengthens resolve about what needs to be pushed for, etc... that's what brings change. And we're starting to get some of that all the way through the political process to paint on the ground in the city, PennDot is just a much harder nut to crack. I wish I had a realistic chance to make this ride but I know I won't. I'm with you guys in spirit, and edmonds59, I know you are too.
2015-08-13 08:24:57
Sure. Vannevar - did someone respond strongly to thughes2222 stupidity, I'm hoping? Is that on the twitter? I don't do the twitter.
2015-08-13 08:39:35
Bill, it's on the Beaver County Times website. You have to be a subscriber to comment or respond. It's a self-selecting pool of parochialism. (sorry to be negative). I stopped my subscription years ago when they terminated all the youth paper routes, which to me was part of the social contract of a newspaper. Right-sizing 12-year-olds didn't work for me.
2015-08-13 09:28:28
There is a thughes2222 Twitter account but it's dormant. I have no idea if it's the same one. Again, ignorance on the part of motorists. Supposedly licensed motorists. Again, I state that a written exam needs to be a requirement of every renewal. Specifically ask questions about interactions with vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians, horseback riders, etc.
2015-08-13 09:58:15
I just got an email that the Ohio River Trail Council is selling t-shirts ($20) to raise funds and awareness. It doesnt mention a date for a memorial ride yet, but hopefully we can bring the public's attention to this dangerous stretch of road.
2015-08-20 12:58:05
Just a status update on the Arthur Bell Ghost Bike Ride. We have this route: and Dr. Troia has prepared a draft flyer for the ride. I've spoken with the family and asked them to confirm a time. Sort of a "groaner" of a story that Brian Bell told me today: The sister of the cyclist drove to Route51 to visit the Ghost Bike. Since the road curves, she parked prior to the Ghost Bike and walked up to it. She spent a few minutes there, walked back to her car; somebody had stolen her wallet from the front seat while she was at the Ghost Bike.
2015-08-20 13:04:02
Vannevar, based on your description, I think I know where she parked. That is a popular entrance to the trails on the hill for ATV riders. I wouldn't be surprised if someone took her wallet into the trails there and took what they wanted and left the rest on the trail. If you can get in touch with her you should let her know that.
2015-08-21 06:45:29
If anybody is cycling from the city to the memorial ride and wouldn't mind a rather quiet reserved person tag along for up route 51 would you please let me know.
2015-09-06 16:46:10
^we'll probably have a bike train riding out for this. At least we did last year.
2015-09-06 20:16:12
Here's a bump: this Saturday is the Ghost Bike dedication in Ambridge. Cyclists please meet at 10am promptly at 6000 Woodlawn Road, Aliquippa PA 15001. The start is at the Beaver County Jail.,+Aliquippa,+PA+15001/@40.645562,-80.2420823,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x883465c816895bc5:0x318664ef60fc1f99 If you're approaching from the south/city and are running late, the dedication will be at 1045 at 632 Cherry Alley, South Heights, PA 15081 (GPS: 40.577089, -80.235470) This location is behind the Creswell Water Authority (Creswell= Crescent-Hopewell),+South+Heights,+PA+15081/@40.5769862,-80.2354448,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x883467a8f22ccf4d:0x1b776b2993d33b7a I imagine folks coming up from the city will depart south after the dedication and not continue north back to the starting point. Facebook link: thanks, VB
2015-09-09 09:33:12
Do we have any estimate of when things will be wrapped up? If this starts at 10, the Tweed Ride starts at 2, and guesstimate of an hour travel time from one to the other, it sounds like there might be a chance they will not be in too much conflict. I don't want to rush a somber event just to chase off to a fun one, but it would be useful to know if I have to choose between the two or consider making it to both.
2015-09-09 10:39:14
Anyone contemplating both events will be welcome to join the Tweed Ride at the first rest stop, the Robert Burns statue at the East end of Phipps Conservatory. We estimate to reach there between 2:50 and 3:00 pm and will leave around 3:15, if things run close. I will post full details on the appropriate thread.
2015-09-09 13:16:24
I can't make either ride, but that Burns statue is just accross a couple of bridge from my home, so I'll likely come by wearing some tweed.
2015-09-09 14:35:45
@Stu, yes I think you can make both. The ride begins at the north end at 10am. Dedication and brief talks start at 1045. Figure the dedication wraps up at 1105. You could depart the event at that time. A cyclist could depart the dedication southbound and bike to the Point in 2h15m without killing themselves, so you'd be at the Point at 1330. A cyclist who uses a car to move between rides could do the whole GhostRide and be at the Tweed Ride with plenty of time to take a nap and eat lunch.
2015-09-09 15:28:15
Bump. this ride begins at 10am at the Beaver County Jail. Hope to see some of yinz out there! Questions? 724.494.9343
2015-09-11 13:12:50
Thanks goes out to V. and everyone else who made this ride happen. While I'm really getting sick of riding in these memorials, I think they are very important to the families to show support from our community.
2015-09-13 11:18:45
I'd like to say it's totally wonderful to be in a community that comes out on shizzle-drizzle(tm) mornings for such a function. It's great to be among yinz, seriously.
2015-09-13 13:14:20
Some photos I shot at the Arthur Bell memorial ride in Aliquippa on 9/12 are at Here are three of them. Arthur's brother (in blue, head bowed, in front of blue tent) speaks to the group Arthur Bell's ghost bicycle, as Ed Quigley speaks to the group Dino Angelici (left) bikes along Woodlawn Rd near United States Gypsum Plant, Aliquippa. This road would be a much safer alternative to a section of Route 51, for cyclists.
2015-09-18 17:31:02
I just got off the phone with Beth Ann Banks, the mother of Taylor Banks. We are organizing a memorial ride for Saturday, October 31. Same route and time as last time, I think, unless people have other ideas. Last time we met at 729 Pennsylvania Ave in Monaca, at 2 pm. We rode together down Route 51 to the ghost bike location, then back. This will be the one year anniversary of Taylor's death, to the day. The family has heard NOTHING from the police on how the investigation is going, or whether anyone will be charged. They would really like to raise awareness and maybe get some attention paid to the death of their son. If you want to be involved with this ride please email me on gmail at jonawebb.
2015-09-29 13:30:09
[deleted] Another good reason to hold it earlier is to give the media time to get it on the evening newscasts. Hopefully they would want to tie this into their usual safety messages for that evening. _____________________ It's total BS that this driver is not sitting in jail right now.
2015-09-29 15:26:54
OK, so I've been in touch with Beth Ann & cyclists and here's the plan: 1. We start at the same place (729 Pennsylvania Ave in Monaca), but at 10 am instead of 2 pm. The idea being to have a better chance of getting on the evening news. Also, since it will be Halloween maybe folks are going to want to get back early for kids and stuff. 2. Instead of riding south to the Ghost Bike, we ride north to the Beaver County courthouse. We circle the courthouse and have our memorial service / rally across from the courthouse, by the Korean War memorial. The idea is that we've spent enough time at the Ghost Bikes. The problem we're having now is at the courthouse, not the Ghost Bike. We want the folks there to know we want action and answers. The ride will feature a bunch of guys on Harleys as well as us cyclists. So we'll probably draw a bit of attention. The route I have in mind has us going over the bridge to Rochester, and from there across the bridge to the courthouse. I'll post more later.
2015-09-30 16:30:15
There is no news. The family has been told things and, I think, is also hearing rumors. What's clear is that nobody's been charged. Taylor's mother says she goes to the courthouse every three weeks to try to get something to happen. So I'm hoping that if we get some attention it will help. At least the family will feel supported. They really feel like they've been abandoned, and it looks that way to me, too.
2015-10-01 08:59:56
I cannot condone violence, but it's things like this that causes people to send rocks with a note attached through municipal windows. I would much rather get some attention with a crowd, a bullhorn, some protest signs, and rolling thunder. I will try to attend, and the bike I will ride may have a motor. Anyone have a bullhorn?
2015-10-01 12:40:38
Quick reminder: this is this Saturday, 10 am, at 1726 Pennsylvania Ave in Monaca (the same location as the Ghost Bike ride for Taylor Banks started last year). You will see a water tower there and there is parking. We will be joined by motorcyclists. Beth Ann Banks, the mother of Taylor, has been promoting this very effectively and there will be press there. The ride is fairly short, only 3.5 miles, up to and around the Beaver County Courthouse. We will rally there. The route is here: I hope everyone here who is concerned about bicyclist safety on Route 51 or a decent measure of justice for the Banks family will join us. And if you can, please promote the event in your own cycling groups. The Facebook event is at
2015-10-27 14:42:27
I cannot make it. Ironically enough, I will be at a funeral. Not cycling related. On Sunday, I drove out 51 from McKees Rocks past Taylor's ghost bike. (Can't see Emily's while traveling northbound easily and I am not sure where Art Bell's is.) It's hard to understand why that needs to be any higher than 40. Maybe some historical reason?
2015-10-27 16:11:44
See you there. Thanks.
2015-10-27 16:41:36
I plan on being there, but will have to travel via car (with bike) due to time constraints.
2015-10-28 09:49:34
jonawebb, FYI the water tower is gone. it was torn down about a month ago.
2015-10-28 15:09:33
@Stu: I gotta call BS on your post: "I cannot condone violence, but it’s things like this that causes people to send rocks with a note attached through municipal windows." Then don't suggest violence. If the role was reversed (as it has been) and someone wrote an LTE proposing violence toward cyclists (but weakly prefacing it with "I don't condone, but…), we'd all be up in arms.
2015-10-29 06:48:28
Bump. This is tomorrow. Please come if you can.
2015-10-30 10:57:22
Beaver County Times had an article about Saturday's Taylor Banks memorial ride: "[Taylor's mother Beth Ann] Banks said she is "frustrated" that she doesn't have answers about her son's death. The name of the driver has not been released, and the cause of the crash remains unknown one year later. But Beaver County District Attorney Anthony Berosh said the wait has not been in vain. Berosh said investigators are waiting for an accident reconstruction report to be completed by the county detectives bureau. Results are expected in early November. "I'm very optimistic that we will have an answer in the next two weeks," he said. Accident reconstruction, unlike other investigations, requires a certified specialist to analyze information from the crash before the district attorney's office decides if -- and what -- charges should be filed, Berosh said. Limited resources and funding, coupled with the potential for car crashes to happen at any time, create a backlog of accidents in need of attention. Berosh said past accident reconstruction reports have taken up to 17 months to be filed. Each report requires investigators to put off other duties they have in their department. "We just don't get a break when it comes to these deaths that result in automobile accidents," Berosh said. He said more resources need to be put toward funding and training for specialists, but he maintains that a conclusive investigation is crucial prior to filing charges. "It's frustrating for the family (of the victim of a fatal crash), and it's frustrating for us, as well," Berosh said of investigators."
2015-10-30 12:15:35
“We just don’t get a break when it comes to these deaths that result in automobile accidents,” Berosh said. Uh, what?
2015-10-30 16:22:55
@edmonds: I caught that too, and was devoutly hoping that it was a transcription error.
2015-10-30 18:54:23
“We just don’t get a break when it comes to these deaths that result in automobile accidents,” Berosh said. I think this is just a poorly constructed sentence, spoken on the fly during an interview. What I believe he meant to say is something to the effect, "...deaths that result from automobile accidents." Of course, some of our detractors probably like the sentence in its original state.
2015-10-30 18:58:37
Thanks to everyone for coming. I think it went wonderfully. We had 50-60 riders, about half cyclists and half motorcyclists. The motorcyclists led the way, and blocked intersections for us. They were very kind and respectful. We rode through Monaca, Rochester, Bridgewater, and downtown Beaver, with members of Taylor's family. Beth Ann have a very moving and pointed speech about justice and safety on the steps of the Beaver County Courthouse to us and the press.
2015-11-01 08:51:24
I'm fine with the speaker having a mis-speak on an off-the-cuff interview comment. One would have hoped that the "journalist" on the story would have had the same "uh, huh?" moment that I did.
2015-11-01 09:12:27
Photos from the October 31 ride from Monaca to Beaver. Motorcycles served as traffic control to protect the bicyclists. Taylor Banks' mother, Beth Ann Banks, (blond hair) speaks to the group.
2015-11-11 00:14:07
Follow-up on the death of cyclist Arthur Bell on Aug 6, 2015 from the police report. On 2/01/2016, two traffic citations were filed against driver, David Walls. The first citation, C2880375-1, is for PAMV 3714b Careless Driving resulting in unintentional death. The second citation, C2880376-2, is for PAMC 3303a3 Overtaking Vehicle on Left: Pedalcycle.
2016-02-19 20:37:44