Category Archives: Article
Upon first coming across the re-paved section of Myrtle Ave. from S. Main to Partridge, one might well wonder “with all this width, why didn’t they put in a real bicycle lane instead of these Shared Lanes?” Myrtle is a nice ride from Marion Ave. to S. Swan and a good way to escape the craziness of Madison Ave. or other routes to downtown.
So what gives?
Appearances can be deceiving – what looks like a vast expanse of available macadam is actually much narrower than it looks. Myrtle is 28 feet wide curb-to-curb from Allen St. to Delaware Ave. If one applies NACTO’s standard*, the space needed for a motor vehicle parking lane and a bicycle lane is 14.5 feet (or a minimum of 12.0 feet, also the AASHTO* guideline).
With a minimal 7-foot parking lane, this results in a 7.5-foot (or 5-foot) bicycle lane (including 6-8 inch traffic-side white line and a 4-inch solid line adjacent to the parked cars. Allowing 7 feet for the north side parking lane, leaves 6.5 feet for a travel lane – no way. (For reference, the can in the photo is 14.5 feet from the southerly curb looking toward downtown with the tip of the Shard Lane making showing.)
Therefore, until Madison Ave. has Protected Bicycle Lanes installed, Myrtle Ave. will remain a good – but shared – bicycle route to downtown.
In the meantime, why not get out there with your Lufkin and find some streets that are wide enough for bicycle lanes? Then start pushing for them.
* NACTO – “When placed adjacent to a parking lane, the desirable reach from the curb face to the edge of the bike lane (including the parking lane, bike lane, and optional buffer between them) is 14.5 feet; the absolute minimum reach is 12 feet. A bike lane next to a parking lane shall be at least 5 feet wide, unless there is a marked buffer between them. Wherever possible, minimize parking lane width in favor of increased bike lane width.”
AASHTO – The AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities: “If parking is permitted, the bike lane should be placed between the parking area and the travel lane and have a minimum width of 1.5 m (5 feet). Where parking is permitted but a parking stripe or stalls are not utilized, the shared area [parking plus bike lane] should be a minimum of 3.3 m (11 feet) without a curb face and 3.6 m (12 feet) adjacent to a curb face.
The Albany Times Union delivered a frequently heard complaint about the behavior of people on bicycles with respect to “rules of the road” (or, put more simply, using common courtesy and common sense).
In a Letter to the Editor that seems supportive of cyclists’ concerns and of redesigning roads with their safety in mind, the author calls out cyclists for ignoring the traffic law
The next time you are riding in the presence of people in cars or on foot, why not stop for the red lights and stop signs, ride on the right with traffic and the correct direction on one-way streets, and use your bright cloths, lights and hand signals?
++++++TEXT OF LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ++++++
Cyclists Must Also Obey Traffic Laws
Letters to the editor – September 2, 2015
I’m sorry that Benjamin Wells and his brother “don’t feel safe biking around Albany” (Aug.18 and I can understand the position of the advocates for dedicated bicycle lanes on Madison Avenue. However, I would like to remind bicyclists that they are supposed to follow the rules of the road.
We have seen many bicyclists fail to stop for stop signs and red lights. Others don’t use hand signals and therefore make unexpected turns. Although it is contrary to the law in New York, as we were driving on Sand Creek Road on Aug. 24, a man was riding his bicycle facing traffic, instead of with the flow of traffic.
I hope that if bicycle lanes are constructed on Madison Avenue or elsewhere, bicyclists who are using them understand that they, too, must take responsibility for their personal safety by obeying the traffic laws.
Judy Madnick, Albany
What better way to recover from a hot day of doing user counts on the Erie Canalway Trail/Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail than a hot coffee and a snicker doodle at the Brakes on Lark?
After the sun shifts a little, the outdoor seating is a perfect spot to (see earlier post) to capture some images for Albany Bicycle Coalition’s“riding in Albany” scrapbook.
But wait – just when leaving Brakes, who should appear but Natalie, the owner/chef at Tapasia – an Asian tapas soon to open on the lower level in the Brakes building. Natalie described her riding experiences in Chicago where she lived for some time – and contrasted them with the scary situation she found in Albany – riding to the HWFC, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and so on. Natalie was enthusiastic about the Madison Avenue Traffic Calming Protected Bicycle Lanes project, as it will help her new venture.
Never idle, Natalie and husband – who has extensive experience riding in Burlington with its pedestrian “mall” on Church St. and who asked when Lark St. would be car free – stopped at the Protected Bicycle Lane Coalition sign-up table in front of Upstate Artists Guild on 1st Friday.
UAG hosted the Protected Bicycle Lane Coalition booth on both the 7/3 and 7/7 1st Fridays as part of its community support mission and to enhance walk ability of the City of Albany.
But wait again – Brakes is now complemented by the new Healthy on Lark vegan restaurant (in the old ‘Lil Buddha spot). At both spots, you’ll find great food and a pleasant atmosphere.
Sharon, the owner/chef at Healthy on Lark is no newcomer to healthy living with this expansive mission: “Healthy In A Hurry” motivates and supports clients to define a personal vision of optimum health and begin living the life they truly crave. We assist you to turn off auto-pilot and make conscious daily choices that impact your health: food choices, exercise routines, self-care choices, and sleep habits.”
But wait some more – The well-established Hudson River Coffee House at Quail and Hudson is now branching to Delaware Ave. in the former Tierra/Ultra Violet site next to one of Albany’s gems, the Spectrum 8 Theater. Once again, a nice dinner with a movie to follow will make a nice “evening out.” Hudson River Coffee House opened in 2010. Owner/operator Anton Pasquill, who expressed enthusiasm about coming to Delaware, will bring his years of experience to remodel and operate the new location. He even bought a motor vehicle!
It’s just too much to absorb . . .
1.You’ll save a load of money – The average cycle commuter saves a whopping £285 (US$444) per month. Think of all of the gorgeous bike accessories you could buy with that. Save up over a couple of months and you could even head abroad on a cycling holiday!
2. Improve your skills – Your commute offers a great way to improve certain skills on the bike. You can even use your commute for some interval training. Believe us, you’ll start to notice the differences on your weekly club ride!
3. It’ll help keep stress at bay – Cycling to work reduces stress levels considerably. Riding your bike to and from work gives you the chance to get some fresh air and gives you the space to think clearly about your day ahead or leave behind the stress of the day. By the time you return home from work the endorphins from the exercise will have you in flying form, making you a much more pleasant person to be around!
4. You’ll keep fit AND save time! – It is an excellent use of time. If like many women you are trying to juggle a million different things at once, it is understandable that exercise often gets relegated to the bottom of the list. Cycling to work will ensure you get exercise every day and is often quicker than taking public transport so you may actually end up saving time!
5. You’ll always be one step ahead – There is no doubt that you will be wide awake by the time you reach the office. Your cheeks will have a rosy glow and you will be ready for action, unlike your colleagues who’ll be slumped by the coffee machine in an attempt to face the day ahead!
Those who cycle to work are even said to take less sick days than their colleagues, a point that can be raised with your boss when you are negotiating your next pay rise.
6. Save the planet – Global warming is a serious problem. And there is no better way to save the planet than to actively reduce your personal C02 emissions.
7. Fair-weather commuter? No problem! – Don’t be put off by the thought of commuting in the rain. It is perfectly acceptable to be a fair-weather commuter: the majority of cyclists ride in to work 3 times a week. Although if you do decide to brave it in any weather, fear not, there are some really incredible winter warmers and waterproof options out there which will ensure a more comfortable ride.
8. Cycling does not mean you have to sacrifice style – Cycling a bike and style go hand in hand. If you don’t believe us then check out the style sections of Total Women’s Cycling. We have covered everything to the most stylish commuter shoes, helmets and pannier bags on the market to make-up options and helmet friendly hairstyles. You’ll be hot to trot as soon as you hop off the bike.