Category Archives: Support the Cause

Articles dealing with bicycle advocacy and what people can do about it.

Is There Hope for I-787?

tumblr_l3fmm8IrTN1qzl4rno1_500On 3/4/15, the Times Union stated that “Supporters of the effort to give downtown Albany more access to the Hudson River should take heart from what’s happening 300 miles to our west” and then described how Buffalo/Niagara falls is ridding itself of  a 2-mile stretch of parkway to allow enjoyment of the Niagara Gorge and Falls.

Read the complete story here.
Albany now has a chance to right a 50-year-old disaster, the riverside I-787 and return it to a surface street with city-appropriate speed limits, traffic patterns and cross streets.

I-787 is just one of many misguided “all-car-all-the-time” projects that plague Buffalo, Binghamton, Endicott, Syracuse, and other cities across the state and nation – four-lane, limited access highways that cut cities and neighborhoods in half, block views of architecture, lakes and rivers, and add to noise, congestion and crashes.

Depending on which plan is adopted, the I-787 change may cost between $30 million and $50 million.  Not cheap, but there always seems to be plenty of public funds for local motor-centric projects like the following:

  • $99.7 million to add two more motor vehicle lanes to the 7 miles between exists 23 and 24 NYS Thruway ($14 million per mile)
  • $18 million for the fly over etc. on Fuller Road
  • $29 million for the repaving the Thaddeus Kosciusko Bridge (Kosciusko, 1746 – 1817, Hero of America and Poland)

The paper noted “. . . the Riverfront Arterial, the steel and concrete roadway that became Interstate 787 was part of the massive Empire State Plaza project. Thousands of state employees needed [it] to get in and out every workday. A massive highway system was deemed more important than maintaining access to the scenic Hudson River.”

Stay tuned for public meetings where those who care about a new and lively Albany can speak their piece.

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Filed under Activisim, City Review, Riding in Albany, Support the Cause

“The Joy of Bicycle Travel”

??????????????????????This was one of the main points by Jim Sayer, ED of Adventure Cycling, during his talk in Saratoga Springs on 1/26/15. As is his custom, Jim was taking a swing through part of the US to drum up bicycle touring but also, of course, to promote Adventure Cycling as the lead bicycle touring organization in the US and as an international leader. He highlighted the many different types of tours offered ranging from van supported, inn-to-inn, family fun, and self contained.

Jim covered the Adventure Cycling program and urged attendees to support their local advocacy groupLeague of American Bicyclists, New York Bicycling Coalition, Albany Bicycle Coalition, Parks & Trails New York,  Bike Toga, and so on. He made a big push for the United States Bike Route System which, when realized, will be the world’s largest. An audience of about 50-60, including at least 6 ABC members, also heard about touring initiatives and routes around the world and in Canada.

One of the major points raised – and of interest to local advocates for the Erie Canalway Trail “close the gap” push, the Madison Avenue Traffic Calming/Protected Bicycle Lanes initiative, and the multi-sponsor South End Bikeway Link was the many economic impact studies that demonstrate how bicycle tourism generates BILLIONS in states like Oregon, Montana,  Michigan, and Arizona.

Jim’s enthusiastic presentation and the programs he described were quite inspirational. We were all grateful to Bike Toga for hosting the event including a nice spread of beverages, fruits, and snacks.

 

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Filed under Activisim, protected bicycle lanes, Rides, Riding in Albany, Support the Cause

Bicycle Shops Support Push for Protected Bicycle Lanes on Madison Ave.

Two bicycle shops in the City of Albany are using their business goodwill to encourage customer support of Protected Bicycle Lanes as a key element in the Madison Avenue Traffic Calming project.

At the invitation of the owner, the Protected Bicycle Lane Coalition placed a petition “stand” at the Downtube Bicycle Works.??????????????????????????????? The petition reads: “We, the undersigned, urge the City of Albany to include protected bicycle lanes in the upcoming infrastructure and traffic calming improvements on Madison Avenue. Protected Bicycle Lanes will welcome people on bicycles to Madison Avenue. They will make the street safer for all who use it – those in cars, on foot, in buses, and on bicycles.”

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The manager of Broadway Bicycle Co. also agreed to host a “stand.”

B'way Bicycle PBL 11-25-14 B

 

The Protected Bicycle Lane Coalition appreciates greatly the support of these shops, if you are interested in signing the petition, why not stop in for a visit? At this time of year, you will find a more relaxed pace in the shops giving you an opportunity to assess their wares and get answers to your questions and service needs.

You are also encouraging to “friend” Protected Bicycle Lanes on Madison Ave. on Facebook.

Madison Avenue Traffic Calming is the only major bicycle infrastructure improvement in the city that is funded – it’s going to happen. Your support to make Protected Bicycle Lanes integral to this project is essential to make this critical uptown/downtown link a reality.

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Photos

Counter view – Petition Stand at the Downtube Bicycle Works

Close up of Petition Stand at the Downtube Bicycle Works

Counter view of Petition Stand at Broadway Bicycle Co.

Close up of Petition Stand at Broadway Bicycle Co.

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Filed under Article, protected bicycle lanes, Support the Cause

BikeShare in Albany – August 9-15

On June 20, 2014, the Capital District Transportation Committee announced its CAPITAL REGION BIKESHARE MONTH.  This will include short-term BikeShare pilots in Albany, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, and Troy.  There will be 25 bicycles for use between 10 am and 8 pm at one or more locations announced by the cities.  The Albany BikeShare will be in Washington Park in Albany from Saturday, August 9 through Friday, August 15.  There is no cost to participants, although a credit card will need to be on file as security for the bikes.  More information and updates will be available here.

2 CitiBike New Yoker & Intro of NYC Bike Share 6-3-13 COMP

 

4 Paris COMP

5 Boulder BikeShare COMP

 

Other City Dates were/are as follows: Schenectady Thursday July 10 – Wednesday July 16, TroySunday July 20 – Saturday July 26, and Saratoga Springs Wednesday July 30 – Tuesday August 5.

The signature program in New York State is CitiBike.  Here are some statistics on NYC followed by global data.

The Cold, Hard Facts  . . . on CitiBike in New York City (as of May 2014)

Trips – 9 million+
Avg. Trip – 14 min, 16 sec
Miles – 16 million+
Annual Memberships – 10,700
Casual Use Passes – 400,000
Fleet – 6,200 bicycles
Crash Reports – 100
Carbon Offset – 5,832,377 lbs.
Flats per Month – 511

(Source: NYC Bicycle Share., LLC as reported in Bicycling, July 2014)

Global Bicycle Share

Percentage of world population in cities – 50
Fleet Size (52 countries, 600 cities; early 2014) – 570,000
China Fleet (82 programs) 380,000
World’s Largest Program Fleet (Wuhan, China; 9 million people) – 90,000
Programs in USA – 36
Predicted USA Fleet (late 2014) – 37,000
Paris Fleet – 24,000+
Paris Stations – 1,700+
Paris’s Increase in People on Bicycles in the Streets (2007-14) – 41%
Average Annual AAA Cost to Own a Car and Drive 10,000 Miles/Year – $7,800
Bike Share Annual Membership – less than $100
London Fleet – 9,000+ (launched 2010, 6,000 bicycles)
Programs in España – 132
Programs in Italia – 104
Programs in Deutschland – 43
Weight Loss Going from Driving to Cycle Commuting – 10 lb/year

(Source: Bicycle Times, September 2014)

1 CitiBike TU 3-22-14 COMP

3 Capital Bike Share DC COMP

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Filed under BikeShare, Local Bike Rides, Support the Cause

Albany Public Library & Bethlehem Public Libraries Embrace Bike Month 2014

Thanks to hard work by an Albany Bicycle Coalition member, there are topical displays in both the Albany (Main Branch, 161 Washington Ave.) and Bethlehem (451 Delaware Ave.) public libraries.

APL went a step further with a Bike Month 2014 flyer promoting their new “Zinio Digital Magazine” service – as a way of accessing literature remotely. So far, the collection on cycling is limited to Bicycling.APL Bike Month Flyer 5-1-14 001

If you check out the Bethlehem homepage, you can select some of the cycling books featured – including “Just Ride” by Grant Petersen. This read is well worth the time, and you can have it shipped by interlibrary loan to your nearest branch.

So stop in for a look at available literature for people who bike.????????????????????????????????????????????

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Filed under Activisim, Comings and Goings, Support the Cause