By Barrett Seaman
A clutch of bicycle enthusiasts gathered in frigid temperatures at midday on Saturday, November 9, to “re-memorialize” Merrill Cassell, who on a Friday afternoon ten years and three days earlier was struck and killed by an articulated bus as he rode his bike on Route 119 opposite the Westchester County Center. The remembrance was held at the corner of 119 and Aqueduct Road in Greenburgh, where a bicycle painted white and decorated with flowers marks the site of his fatal accident.
Dan Convissor of Bike Tarrytown organized the event in part to raise public awareness of his group’s efforts to create a bike lane along the busy thoroughfare from the Mario Cuomo Bridge to White Plains, where it would hook up with existing north/south hiking and biking trails.
The ultimate decision to approve and fund both the Route 119 bike path and the north/south Broadway bike path, also promoted by Bike Tarrytown, is in the hands of local and state politicians who were well represented at the ceremony. In addition to State Assemblymen David Buchwald and Tom Abinanti, County Legislator Alfreda Williams, newly re-elected Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, County Executive George Latimer and a representative of State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins all spoke in favor of improved bicycle and pedestrian safety measures.
Cassell’s daughter Tania, after describing her late father as an avid cyclist, assured the group that “If he were here today, I’m sure he would be supporting the route 119 bicycle plan because it was right up his alley.”