SCHENECTADY — A 30-year-old Schenectady man riding a dirt bike died after colliding with a vehicle at the corner of Cutler Street and Fourth Avenue Thursday. He was traveling the wrong way on Cutler — a one-way section — at the time, according to police Sgt. Nick Mannix.
The dirt bike rider was moving at a high rate of speed when he crashed into the back of a vehicle that was traveling on Fourth Avenue at around 2 p.m., Mannix said. The dirt bike rider was taken to Albany Medical Center. The bike came to a rest near a line of parked cars and marks could be seen on the road. Schenectady police declined to release the name of the victim late Friday.
The motorist driving the car appeared to be safe and was cooperative, according to Mannix.
Dirt bike riders have been riding on the city streets causing concern among residents.
“In the early spring and summertime, we’re constantly dealing with [dirt bike calls],” Mannix said. “And that’s why we have targeted enforcements specifically designed to go out and go after the dirt bikes, because unfortunately, a lot of the time they’re not wearing helmets or necessarily being safe. It’s obviously something we want to avoid. We don’t want anybody to get hurt on them. They’re not designed for city streets.”
While Mannix said he couldn’t go into detail on the Police Department’s dirt bike enforcements, he said the department has been most successful in issuing tickets and towing vehicles in the spring and summer seasons.
Cutler Street resident Eric Kwiatkowski said he called the police when he saw the dirt bike speed down Cutler Street twice on Thursday before the crash.
“I tried to get footage of it on my phone, but unfortunately I was too late,” Kwiatkowski said. “He had already been flying down … Once he got past our house, he went pretty fast down the one-way the wrong way.”
Kwiatkowski said bikers have ridden down the street nearly everyday for the last 14 years, and sometimes pop wheelies while they go. He regularly calls and emails the Police Department about the bikers speeding down Cutler Street but feels not much has been done.
“Finally, I just got fed up with it and assumed nothing was happening,” Kwiatkowski said. “My calls have kind of eased back a little bit over the past couple weeks.”