Alert reader Frank forwarded an article from the Sierra Club journal under its “green biz” section on people pumping their pedals to provide services. Ruthy Woodring of Pedal People hauls away trash and recyclables in Northampton, Massachusetts (which seems to not have curbside collection). Her company is a cooperative of 16 workers who collect trash and recyclables for 600 customers. The longest distance between a customer and the transfer station is 3 miles with a typical route requiring 3 trips averaging 15 to 20 miles on trailers with 300 pound capacity. Their biggest customer is the city – the Pedal People has 80 trash and recycling bins in the downtown. Further north, Julien Myette founded a bike-and-trailer moving company, Demenagement Myette, in Montreal and has been in operation since 2008. Demenagement Myette has about 500 customers per year, employs 15 people (during peak season), and uses 4-wheel trailers holding 600 pounds. Loads include beds, washing machines, armoires – all but pianos. Since Montreal is densely urban, the average move is less than 2 miles. Myette notes that driving a truck cost half an hour trying to park. Locally, there was a bread delivery service in the Delaware Ave. area and a compost pickup in Troy. Anyone knowing of someone operating a bicycle-powered service is encouraged to comment.
A group of 18 riders toured the sites of the local ghost bikes to commemorate the 2014 Ride of Silence.
We visited Jose Perez (August 3, 2006 – age 60; killed by SUV, Broadway at Quay St., Albany), Diva De Loayza (June 6, 2007 – age 40; killed by car, Western Ave. at Homestead, Albany), Nicholas Richichi (October 19, 2007 – age 53, killed by motor coach, Fuller Rd., Colonie), and Paul J. Merges, Jr. (November 24, 2012 – age 45, killed by pickup truck/drunk driver, Manning and Roosevelt, Albany). The placement of decorations at each site is depicted in the photos (with the lead photo being Paul and Diva’s ghost bikes that accompanied the ride).
The ghost bikes within the Albany city limits have been removed.)
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.
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.
RESOLUTION OF THE COMMON COUNCIL PROCLAIMING MAY 2014 AS
BIKE MONTH IN THE CITY OF ALBANY
Passed Unanimously by the Common Council
April 21, 2014
Council Member Golby introduced the following:
Resolution Number 36.42.14R
RESOLUTION OF THE COMMON COUNCIL PROCLAIMING MAY 2014 AS BIKE MONTH IN THE CITY OF ALBANY
WHEREAS, in 2009, the City of Albany, in partnership with the Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) completed a Bicycle Master Plan identifying a network of bicycle routes to improve cycling as a viable mode of transportation throughout the City; and
WHEREAS, in April 2012, the Albany Common Council adopted the “Albany 2030” Comprehensive Plan which supports promoting and implementing the Bicycle Master Plan; and
WHEREAS, the growing network supports a safe and healthy transportation alternative that is paramount to achieving sustainability and enhancing the quality of life in the City; and
WHEREAS, in 2013 the Albany Common Council adopted a Complete Streets Ordinance and the Albany Police Department convened a Traffic Safety Stakeholders’ Committee that is continuing to work and focus on Engineering, Education and Enforcement efforts to promote safer streets for all users of the road; and
WHEREAS, since the inception of the Bicycle Master Plan in 2008, the City of Albany has added or improved 16.3 miles of bicycle infrastructure, which includes multi-use paths, shared use markings (sharrows), signage, and bike lanes throughout the City of Albany; and
WHEREAS, the number of bike racks in Albany have increased to 344 throughout the city with an estimated total of 1446 bicycle parking spaces, all regular route Capital District Transportation Authority buses are equipped with bike racks; and
WHEREAS, each year the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) recognizes bicycle friendly communities with Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze level awards, and recognizes communities that are on the right track with Honorable Mention. The City of Albany received Honorable Mention in 2012 as a “Bicycle Friendly Community” from LAB for efforts to become more bicycle friendly. LAB feedback report stated that they were, “…impressed with the growing commitment to make Albany, NY a great place for bicyclists. The Honorable Mention given by the reviewers reflects their view that some of the key building blocks of creating a Bicycle Friendly Community are in place…;” and
WHEREAS, the LAB feedback report provided numerous recommendations to the City of Albany to make the city more bicycle friendly such as promoting active transportation by reducing traffic speeds, providing “protected bicycle infrastructure, such as cycle tracks, buffered bike lanes or parallel shared use paths” along arterial and collector roads, making intersections safer for bicyclists, and more; and
WHEREAS, in April 2010 the CAPITAL COEXIST website (www.capitalcoexist.org) was launched. This localized education campaign is geared towards cyclists and motorists safely coexisting when using the region’s roadways. Capital Coexist was developed by the CDTC in response to the Albany Bicycle Master Plan and public requests for bicycle education and safety information; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor’s Office of Energy & Sustainability was established in 2010 to coordinate energy conservation and efficiency initiatives among the municipal departments and to drive community wide efforts to become a more livable and sustainable city, which includes promoting and supporting bicycling and other active transportation. The office’s website is http://www.albanysustainability.org; and
WHEREAS, in 2007, the world’s foremost authority on climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), declared that the “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level” and that “human influence is very likely the leading cause of global warming;” and
WHEREAS, the City of Albany’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions inventory, available on the Office of Energy and Sustainability, website found that 21% of total community GHG emissions are generated from transportation. This percentage can be reduced by community members making the choice to walk, bike or ride the bus more frequently; and
WHEREAS, the League of American Bicyclists, the New York Bicycling Coalition, Capital Coexist, the Albany Police Department, the Albany Bicycling Coalition, and others are promoting greater public awareness of bicycle operation and safety education in an effort to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities for all; and
WHEREAS, the Albany Police Department will be conducting a public outreach campaign throughout Bike Month that will include a “Share the Road” announcement on message boards in key locations and directed enforcement of Vehicle and Traffic Laws pertaining to bicycle and pedestrian safety; and
WHEREAS, Section 152 of the New York State Traffic Law defines “traffic” as “Pedestrians…vehicles, bicycles and other conveyances either singly or together while using any highway for the purpose of travel;” and
WHEREAS, in summary, three key components of the New York State Traffic Law that
relate to bicycling are:
• Bicyclists must ride with traffic and thus travel in the same direction as motor vehicles.
• A bicycle is a vehicle and as such must observe all traffic laws and obey all signals, signs, and pavement markings.
• Bicyclists must signal to turn on a roadway, a bike lane or bike path; and
WHEREAS, there are numerous events to promote bicycling, including: The Earth Day lunch time bike parade on April 22nd, 3rd Annual Albany Tweed Ride on April 27th. The Albany Bike Expo 2014 on Sunday, May 4th, National Bike-to-Work Day and the Capital Moves Bike to Work Challenge on May 16th, the Albany Police Department and PAL 2014 Bike Rodeo on May 17th, The Ride of Silence on May 21st and the Capital Moves and NY Bicycling Coalition Traffic Skills 101 training on May 23rd and 24th.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Albany Common Council hereby proclaims May 2014 as Bike Month in the City of Albany, urges all motorists and bicyclists to follow New York State’s Vehicle and Traffic Law, and share the road respectfully and responsibly.
The new Bread and Honey bagel, bread, and coffee shop at 809 Madison Ave. hosted a recent meeting on Madison Avenue Traffic Calming. The 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.
As 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.