Now that the weather is getting warmer and COVID restrictions are loosening up a bit, businesses around Lark Street and the center square portion of Albany will see an uptick in people eating, shopping and hanging out.

Also guaranteed to be on the rise will be the idiots on illegal dirt bikes and ATV's that rip through the city travelling in large packs with seemingly no regard for any person or any law.  You've heard (or perhaps read) about this from me before, and at the risk of sounding like  "I told you kids for the 100th time to get off my lawn guy," I'm back at it again.  But this is a little different.  Many of us have major cabin fever and want to get outside and do things.  And our restaurants are more than happy to oblige; they're adding tables and chairs to their sidewalk space to accommodate as many diners as they can.

ATV's and dirt bikes + diners eating outside = a recipe for disaster

I remember eating outside at a little restaurant on Lark Street last summer.  Most of the tables and chairs were relatively away from the actual street, but one couple was seated at a table just a foot or so from the road.  Normally, that's not an unsafe place to be but Lark Street in the spring and summer is different.

Knowing full well that the out-of-control outlaws have zero regard for the public's safety, I told them if they hear a pack of ATV's or dirt bikes in the distance move away from the road, ASAP!  You can hear them coming from 5 block away and these guys will do anything to get around cars even if that means driving on sidewalks to do so.  Thankfully they heeded my warning and moved away from the danger zone.

It's stuff like this that makes me think that someday I will bear witness to seeing someone get obliterated.

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According to a report from the Times Union, the City of Albany is looking to impose greater fine and harsher punishments for people riding these illegal ATV's and I know that local law enforcement is cracking down on these idiots who routinely pop wheelies, weave through traffic, go the wrong way down one-way roads, and even climb sidewalks.

The truth is, the kind of person who does this doesn't care about the increased amount of police surveillance or harsher fines.  They're a-holes, plain and simple.  I've seen them flip-off a police officers as they ride by them without a care in the world.

Will harsher penalties, more surveillance and increased awareness help combat the problem?  I'm not holding my breath.

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