Randy Knilans spent much of his life helping Avon Lake become a better place.
It is in his memory that we dedicate these bike lanes.
Randy Knilans always enjoyed riding his bike. When he was a teenager and living in Columbus, he would ride to his high-school sweetheart Patty’s house. Years later Patty would become his wife, and they’d move to Avon Lake with their young family. Randy’s true love was sailing, and Avon Lake’s waterfront first drew him here. He competitively raced sailboats for decades.
Soon after, Randy volunteered for Avon Lake’s Planning Commission. More than 25 years of service followed, including helping to write the zoning code twice and serving as Commission Chair.
On June 6, 2019, while doing his daily bike ride on Lake Road, Randy was struck and killed by a drunk driver. He was 66 years old. He left behind his wife Patty, children Becky and Brad, and several grandchildren. He also left behind a legacy of volunteerism and change that Avon Lake will never forget.
Following Randy’s tragic death, The Public Safety and Health Committee immediately began looking for ways to improve road safety. With $3,099,700 in funding and in coordination with ODOT, Avon Lake completed improvements to Lake Road from the city lines of Bay Village to Sheffield Lake, including repaving, widening the bike lanes from four feet to five feet on the north and south sides of Lake Road, changing center lines to double lines in certain locations to prohibit passing, and striping center turn lines in warranted locations for public safety. The bike lanes have been aptly named for Randy.
In addition to the completed safety improvements, enhancements will continue to be made over the next several years. Avon Lake, in cooperation with ODOT, will be installing sidewalks on both the north and south sides of the entire length of Lake Road, ADA-compliant curb ramps, and enhanced Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons on Lake Road at Beach Park Towers and Avon Belden Road.
“Randy’s story is one that’s worth telling. It shows that somebody who is a normal, average guy can contribute to the community where he lived. It’s the ones who are quietly in the background doing things that can make their neighborhoods better.”
– Patty Knilans
Bicycle Safety Tips
Bicycle safety tips intended to minimize crashes and injuries while bicycling include:
- Obey traffic signs and signals. Follow the rules of the road like other vehicles.
- Wear a helmet. While Ohio currently has no statewide mandate of helmet usage, bike helmets save lives and prevent injuries.
- Wear bright clothing.
- Use lights on front and rear of bike.
- Never ride against the traffic. State law requires that bicyclists drive like other operating vehicles
- Do not pass on the right.
- Do not operate a bicycle wearing headphones, talking on a cell phone or texting.
- Do not consume alcohol.
- Use hand signals.
- Make eye contact with drivers – do not assume that other drivers see you.
City of Avon Lake
150 Avon Belden Road
Avon Lake, Ohio 44012