Late afternoon on Saturday, June 25, 2022, residents of Sleepy and Hollow and Tarrytown gathered at the end of Millard Avenue where it meets Broadway. Most of the two dozen or so attendees had biked there after meeting at the Morse School and riding slowly through downtown Sleepy Hollow, escorted by members of the Village’s police department.
The purpose of the bike procession and the gathering were to remember the life and death of Luis Ángel Zhizhpon Quinde. Ten years ago, on the night of June 25, 2012, a car struck and killed the 28-year-old Sleep Hollow resident as he rode his bicycle on Broadway (Route 9) while returning from work at a restaurant.
One of Luis Zhizpon’s uncles, Humberto Quinde, opened the brief ceremony by thanking those in attendance for coming and the Sleepy Hollow Police Department for their assistance. He also expressed his gratitude for Bike Tarrytown’s donation of a ghost bike, a roadside memorial placed near the location where Zhizhpon was hit.
José Quinde, another uncle, called the ghost bike “a symbol for life, not just for now.” Speaking in Spanish, he expressed hope that people maintain the memorial and gather there each year to remember his nephew and the tragedy that befell him.
According to Dan Convissor, the head of Bike Tarrytown, the Sleepy Hollow stretch of Broadway averages twenty-four crashes and seventeen injuries each year. While many residents of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown want to ride bicycles in and between the two villages, dangerous roads, he asserted, “make people too scared to bike.”
Ten years ago, in the wake of Zhizhpon’s killing, Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray called the stretch of Broadway a “death trap,” according to the Tarrytown Sleepy Hollow Daily Voice. “Wray noted several intersections are particularly dangerous, including a five-way intersection of Beekman, Route 9, Route 448, Webber Park and Hudson Terrace,” reported the online publication.
Ten years later, that five-way intersection and Broadway/Route 9 remain as dangerous as ever.
For such reasons, Dan Convissor urged those in attendance on Saturday to support the Route 9 Active Transportation Project. The Village of Sleepy Hollow, he pointed out, has a plan to improve Route 9, but it falls far short of what is need, covering only a two-block area and without addressing the needs of cyclists. “So, I encourage you to push Sleepy Hollow to build a Broadway for everybody,” he said.
The ghost bike, a simultaneously beautiful and poignant tribute to the memory of Luis Ángel Zhizhpon Quinde, sits at the end of Millard Avenue, just across from the site on Broadway where he was struck on June 25, 2012.
It is past time for another memorial: a re-designed Broadway, one safe for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as for drivers.