Category Archives: Support the Cause

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

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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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

Bread & Honey and Traffic Calming Too

The new Bread and Honey bagel, bread, and coffee shop at 809 Madison Ave. hosted a recent meeting on Madison Avenue Traffic Calming. Bread & Honey 4-18-14 COMPThe proprietor, Naomi, having had a near-death experience in the “Bermuda Triangle” (intersection of Quail and Madison Ave.), was very interested in the proposed re-do of Madison Ave.

This is an expected response from small business owners who can only benefit from slower traffic, more bicycles, and more pedestrians. Her interest was amplified by having been one of many with a bad Madison Ave. experience.

A delicious Bread and Honey bagel and coffee suggests that there will be many more visits. One authoritative member of the group also attested to the baguettes’ deliciousness.

The staff says that a bicycle rack is in the plans (a convenient fence is just east of the shop) and that a shop sign will be installed soon.

Gimme Coffee rectangle 4-19-14 COMPAs a bonus, Bread and Honey is the exclusive local vendor for Gimme! coffee, a roaster and wholesaler with retail outlets in Ithaca, Brooklyn, Trumansburg, and Manhattan – and now Albany. Here’s a little promo from their website: “Gimme! espresso bars are found in New York City and Upstate New York. We served our first shot of “world-class neighborhood coffee to go” in 2000 at our Cayuga Street [Ithaca] location. Since then, we’ve opened a few small cafes, usually favoring worn spaces that call for a little revitalization. Each place feels “like a Gimme!” while showing its own local style. We’ve been amazed and inspired by how neighborhoods come alive and people come together when there’s a new gathering place on the block.”

Bread and Honey is just west of Quail St. on the north side of Madison so stop in a support your local business.

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Filed under Activism, Feature, Support the Cause

College of St. Rose Picks Up on ABC Position on Madison Avenue Traffic Calming

The College of St. Rose “Chronicle” nicely picked up on the Madison Avenue Traffic Calming letter ABC sent to Albany Police Department’s Traffic Engineering. ABC voiced support for the “traffic calming” proposals put forth but asked that the bicycle lanes be six (not five) feet wide. This sentiment was echoed in the article by recently re-elected (in the face of anti-bicycle lanes backlash) 10th Ward Common Council Member Leah Golby.

History buffs – and bicycle and pedestrian advocates looking for support for their own cause – will enjoy the comments by City Historian Tony Opalka about the “transposition powerhouse of the day” (the canal lobby) banning railroads from crossing the Great Western Turnpike (Western and Madison Aves.). If you ratchet up the dates to the present and the contenders (motor vehicle/big petro/big construction lobbies vs. cyclists and pedestrians) you’ll see that we are in the same fix today – those who have a right to locomotion are constrained by road and street design from exercising that right in safety.bike-in-traffic

The Text of the ABC letter follows:

Since April 16, 2013 when Creighton-Manning presented its suggested Madison Ave. “road diet” treatments for Madison Ave., the Albany Bicycle Coalition has considered many different approaches, and has concluded that there is only one that maximizes bicyclist safety, and would, therefore, encourage new cyclists. That approach is a modified “Option C” (in-road bicycle lanes), with the bicycle lanes widened to six feet to provide a sufficient safety margin.

By way of explanation, ABC’s goals remain firmly as follows:

• Calm Traffic on Madison Ave. – For the benefit of cyclists, pedestrians, transit users, and motorists.
• Make Madison Ave. the City’s Main East-West Bicycle Corridor – Of our three radial streets, only the Madison-Western Ave. combination offers all the desired benefits without negative impact on other street users. It has all the major destinations and connects easily with all major cross streets. With its expected continuation east to the river and west to Guilderland, it will be the heart of the long-needed “river-to-Fuller” bicycle route.

The consulting engineer’s Madison Ave. traffic calming study suggested only three options to meet the goals of that road diet. The suggested options (with ABC annotations) are as follows:

A. Shared Lanes in Travel Lanes – This option is unsuited to most cyclists. While shared lane have been installed elsewhere in the city to great benefit, their use on Madison Ave. would undercut the goal of its being a major route suited to cyclists of all skill levels.
B. Shared Lanes in Parking Lanes – This option seems to be used rarely elsewhere and exacerbates the potential for collisions between cyclists and opening doors of parked vehicles. ABC members who have ridden these “parking-bicycle lanes” found them unsuitable. This option should be considered only as a last resort.
C. Five-Foot Bicycle Lanes – This is the preferred of the three options. However, we believe that five-foot lanes would deter many would-be cyclists. The margin of safety with five-foot bicycle lanes is just not sufficient.

Thus, these three options have extremely limited potential for bringing new cyclists onto the streets. Options A and B might be suitable for experienced cyclists, but those cyclists are already accustomed to riding on streets with no bicycling features at all.

The overarching goal for the City of Albany is to build cycling infrastructure that will attract current non-riders, as well as those who hesitate to ride on the street with motorized traffic. Only by working toward this goal can we realize lower pollution, more parking, less traffic congestion, more public safety, improved health, and increased pedestrian use of the streets.

Consistent with that goal, our position is that a modified Option C – with wider bike lanes – is the best way to bring about the city’s objectives:

• The consulting engineer’s Option C consists of five-foot bicycle lanes located at the right side of the travel lane, adjacent to the parking lane.
• However, based on our extensive experience, five feet is not sufficient to protect cyclists from car doors, and from wide commercial vehicles parked at the curb.
• Therefore, we propose that the bicycle lanes be a minimum of six feet wide. Our design obtains the extra two feet (total) by subtracting approximately eight inches from each of the three motor vehicle drive lanes.

These modifications are feasible and justifiable. They vastly improve the safety of Option C, and they preserve the intent of the consulting engineer’s proposal. If implemented, they will provide a safe, inviting, Madison-Western east-west bicycle corridor that the city needs in order to become a real bicycling community.

We look forward to working with you and other project staff and supporters to realize the development of the Madison Ave. bicycle route.

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Filed under Activism, Bicycle Boulevards, City Review, Support the Cause