Race to the Bottom . . . More Car Parking in ‘Toga

In the 11/4/14 Times Union Ian Klepetar, “Mr. Bicycle Benefits,” bemoaned the public funding of more parking for people in cars in downtown Saratoga – not only is it more parking but 5 ugly stories of it.

Sadly this is in a community with one of the few walkable downtowns in the area with plenty of on-street parking nearby  . . . a city that depends on people walking for its business vitality, that experiences most of its parking demand during walkable/rideable weather, and that hosts a vibrant bicycle advocacy group – Bikeatoga.

It’s too bad that a fraction of what a parking garage will cost cannot be pumped into facilities for people on bicycles and on foot.  As always, every new bicycle on the road is one more parking place, one fewer car at the red light, one less chance to get killed, and a ton less crap in the air.

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Upper Madison Street Fair and Protected Bicycle Lanes – Winners!

Staff from the Albany Bicycle Coalition was on duty at this year’s Upper Madison Street Fair (9/21) with a special mission – to educate the public on how Protected Bicycle Lanes can be integrated into the Madison Ave. streetscape.

Using a 1:87 scale model and an accompanying handout, ABCers were able to show how removing two of the current travel lanes for people in cars provides room for a 2-way protected cycle track on the north (Washington Park, College of St. Rose) side of the street. ???????????????????????????????This 3-lane configuration – a downtown motor vehicle lane, and uptown lane, and a left turn/emergency lane seems to have gained universal acceptance.  The issue of accommodation for people on bicycles seems to have settled on the 2-way Protected Bicycle Lane model with parked cars providing a physical barrier between the bicycle lanes and people traveling in cars.

In the re-design, there will still be motor vehicle parking on both sides of Madison Ave. and travel lanes that are the same width as currently. The bicycle lanes will each be 4.5’ wide with a 3’ painted buffer separating them from the parked cars.  Incidences of “dooring” will decrease or disappear.  The protection afforded by a row of parked cars will entice hesitant riders to use Madison Ave. as their “go-to” cycling route.???????????????????????????????

Find our more at the Madison Avenue Traffic Calming Facebook page.???????????????????????????????

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Pop-Up Protected Bicycle Lanes ~ A “Parking Day” Wonder

The UA Graduate Planning Student Association (GPSA) hosted 2-way Protected Bicycle Lanes as its contribution to Parking Day in the City of Albany. This was an impressive demonstration and a model for what we plan for Madison Avenue Traffic Calming.??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

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PreRamble II ~ or ~ “I’m Movin’ to Troy!”

???????????????????????????????After a mandatory stop at the Troy Famers Market for a chocolate croissant and the Daily Grind for a mug of coffee, it was off to see what Troy Bike Rescue and “Transport Troy” were up to with “PreRamble II.”

Like all Troy cycling events, this had a wide range of activities – rides, walking tours, tune-up clinics, food, and entertainment.  Always a grand time!

Starting from the repair clinic on River St. and the TBR/Collar City Ramble info table, there was a series of short but inspiring orientation rides on a segment of the proposed “Collar City Ramble,” which, when done, will be an all-access network of multi-use trails, walkways, and bikeways.???????????????????????????????

During the dark hours the night before, a group of Transport Troy volunteers installed bicycle lanes, shared lanes, and a 12-foot wide protected bicycle lane (cycle track) on city streets going south from Monument Square.  Although a short sample route, it clearly showed that (1) the streets used have ample space for the different proposed treatments, (2) shared lane were property used as a connector between bicycle facilities, and (3) installation can be done at reasonable cost without the need for years of planning and deliberation – just the application of some common sense.  What a joy to ride!  Riding on the two-way cycle track on a two-way street illustrated that what is planned for Madison Ave. in Albany is do-able.

All in all a great day and great testimony to the energy of our colleagues in Troy.??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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Advocacy Day in Albany – August 22

Midmorning, Mayor Sheehan and other dignitaries introduced CarShare in Albany in front of City Hall. ???????????????????????????????The CarShare staff presented the Mayor with an honorary key fob device that allowed her to try out on of the six cars currently available.  In her comments, Mayor Sheehan cited the advent if CarShare as one example of “ . . . the beginning of a transformation to a livable, walkable, bikeable Albany.  To find out if CarShare is for you, go to Capital Car Share. ???????????????????????????????

Under an ever-increasing rainfall, staff from Parks & Trails New York delivered hundreds of postcards from supporters of PTNY’s “Close the Gap” program. Cards came from riders of this year’s Erie Canalway Trail ride who came from NYS, other states, and several foreign countries.  PTNY Postcards 8-22-14 C COMP TU PhotoThese were augmented by cards from the public – all calling for New York State to complete the entire trail by “closing the gaps” – the 80 some miles that currently are on roads and highways.  The wisdom of completing the trail is justified on several levels not the least of which is the economic benefit to communities along the trail

Photos: Mayor Sheehan Tries CarShare, A nice new, red CarShare Ride, Close That Gap!

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