The Colonie Village Connector is an element in the overall Albany-Colonie Connector. The following letter calls for the Village of Colonie to install bicycle lanes through its industrial park to connect Rapp Rd./Lincoln Ave. to the Central Ave. to Locust Pk. And other routes leading to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail near RT. 7. See also – https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2018/09/03/washington-ave-flyover-a-call-for-change/
September 13, 2018 – RE: Colonie Village Connector
Hon. Frank Leak, Mayor, Village of Colonie, 2 Thunder Road, Albany, NY 12205
Dear Mayor Leak:
This is to ask your leadership in creating a new bicycle-friendly route through the Village of Colonie – the Colonie Village Connector. We in the Albany Bicycle Coalition believe that this will help establish the Village as a sea of calm in a motor vehicle dominated area and provide substantial benefits to your walking and riding citizens – as well as those people in cars who would appreciate “calmed traffic.”
Our proposal is that the Village of Colonie build on the routes leading to and from it by the simple and inexpensive installation of one mile of bicycle lanes on the Petra Lane/Walker Way/Jupiter Lane Clark Industrial park corridor. Such an improvement will connect the Village to the University at Albany, to Guilderland and to the City of Albany via the proposed “Industrial Park Bikeway” consisting of Rapp Rd., the Six-Mile Trail, the Washington Ave. Corridor and the University at Albany Purple Path. It will also go north and west via Locust Park and Hunting streets to Sand Creek Rd. and the Shaker Multiuse Path leading past the airport to Route 7 and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail/Empire State Trail. (An annotated list of the connecting routes is enclosed.)
A major safety benefit that would derive from the proposed Colonie Village Connector would be diverting bicycle traffic from the Central Ave./I-87/Wolf Rd. danger zone.
John Gillivan, village resident and bicycle advocate, obtained a grant to conduct a family bicycle rodeo in Thunder Park with a “pop-up” bicycle lane on Locust Park – one of the linking roads. This event demonstrated to enthusiasm and support that would derive from the Village of Colonie expanding its bicycle facilities.
Mayor Leak, while we recognize that segments of the proposed linkage have a project life of their own and that some segments – notably Rapp Rd. – are barely rideable, action by you and the Village of Colonie to install bicycle lanes on Petra/Walker/Jupiter may well encourage other officials to take steps to hasten improvement of these interconnecting segments.
Sincerely yours, Albany Bicycle Coalition, Inc.
cc: Edward Sim, Deputy Mayor, Frank Prevratil, Traffic Committee
~ Trail and Road Elements in the Colonie Village Connector ~
(Annotated list of the connecting routes) – September 13, 2018
Industrial Park Bikeway – Addition of bicycle lanes on Petra Ln., Walker Way, and Jupiter Ln. (1.1 miles). Map – https://www.google.com/maps/dir/42.7093357,-73.8412039/42.7201327,-firstname.lastname@example.org,-73.8381526,1466m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!4m1!3e1
Rapp Road – The section from the railroad tracks at Petra Ln. and Lincoln Ave. to the Six-Mile Trail (0.7 miles). This road is narrow, winding and in terrible condition with no accommodation for people walking or riding. The Albany Bicycle Coalition has a separate campaign to address this situation.
Six-Mile Trail – The Six-Mile Trail joins Fuller Rd. at the roundabouts to Rapp Rd. at the Solid Waste Management Facility. This multiuse path falls under the Albany Department of Water and Water Supply. The Albany Bicycle Coalition has worked successfully with that water department and with Albany’s Department of General Services to have signs installed at the ends of the multiuse path to guide route access (in process – 1.3 miles).
Washington Avenue – Patroon Creek Corridor – This project covers Washington Ave., between Brevator St. and the Eastbound I-90 on-ramp (Exit 2), across from the University at Albany. This is a major arterial connecting residential and commercial properties. Modifications will improve safety and reduce roadway conflicts to complement the reduced 30-mph speed limit. Project Updates – https://washingtonpatrooncorridor.weebly.com/project-updates.html , Map – https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1bjlrEiOrM9sEeYbUpRfM37Dv1bNWS4KQ&ll=42.68690102151503%2C-73.81502894183347&z=14 , and specifications on the study: https://washingtonpatrooncorridor.weebly.com/ The Albany Bicycle Coalition has a separate campaign to address the “all cars-all the time” road design on the Washington Ave. Extension Flyover and the traffic circles on Fuller Rd. See – https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2018/09/03/washington-ave-flyover-a-call-for-change/
Purple Path – As original envisioned by the late University at Albany President, Kermit Hall, the “Purple Path” would connect the University to the surrounding communities. Currently, this multiuse path falls somewhat short of this goal in that it is primarily an on-campus facility with the connections either in rudimentary form or nonexistent. The Albany Bicycle Coalition will initiate discussions with the university to seek resolution of these conditions. See – whttps://www.albany.edu/campusrecreation/pedestrian_bikepaths.php
Locust Park and the Short Section of Hunting Rd. Heading North to Sand Creek that Begins at the Bridle Path – Suburban style streets on which appropriate signage and pavement markings are need to provide safe passage for people on bicycles and on foot/wheelchairs/etc. Map – https://www.google.com/maps/dir/42.7209216,-73.8344883/42.7399445,-email@example.com,-73.8260425,1367m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!4m1!3e1
Sand Creek Road – Major suburban arteirlal. No plans at present to add bicycle- or pedestrian-friendly facilities.
Shaker Multiuse Path – Flat, 2.4-mile multiuse path (paved – 1.3 miles, paved with bicycle lane – 1.1 miles). Starting from Troy-Schenectady Rd. (Route 7), a multiuse path runs south along British American Blvd. through an office park to a bridge crossing Rt. 155. The trail follows Rt. 155 south and then continues on road on Airline Dr. and S. Family Rd. to Sand Creek Rd., and then to Hunting St. and Locust Park. Description – http://bikeitorhikeit.org/shaker_multi_use_trail.htm
Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail/Empire State Trail – The Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail is the Capital Regions premier trail running from the Albany Riverfront Park to Rotterdam Junction. It will be part of the Empire State Trail. See – https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/new-york/mohawk-hudson-bike-hike-trail
Washington Ave. Flyover – A Call for Change – In fall 2012, the long awaited “Flyover” to route through motor vehicle traffic from Washington Ave. to the Washington Ave. Extension was completed. This and the accompanying series of traffic circles on Fuller Rd. were clearly designed under an “all cars-all the time” philosophy. These means that people on bicycles who want to travel on Washington Ave. and its Extension, on Fuller Rd., on the University at Albany’s “purple path,” and on the Six-Mile Trail must be in the Advanced/Experienced “Strong and Fearless” or “Enthused and confident” 1 percent category.
The following letter calls for the New York State Department of Transportation to revisit this area and to modify it to accommodate people on bicycles.
Here are some earlier rider assessments.
++++++ LETTER ++++++
Albany Bicycle Coalition, Inc.
September 4, 2018
RE: Washington Ave. Flyover at Fuller Rd.
Sam Zhou, PE – Director
Region One – NYS Department of Transportation
50 Wolf Road
Albany, NY 12232
Dear Mr. Zhou:
This is to seek your assistance in clarifying safety concerns of the Albany Bicycle Coalition and of people on bicycles who use Washington Ave., Washington Ave. Extension, and Fuller Rd.
Because of our advocacy role in the region, we receive questions and comments about riding conditions. One common area of concern is navigation of the Fuller Rd. traffic circles, the Fuller Rd./Washington Ave. intersections, the Flyover, and bicycle travel on Washington Ave. Extension. As you are aware, fear of riding in traffic is the single, major impediment to bicycle travel. This is nowhere more apparent than in those spaces where motor vehicle movement was the paramount design feature.
In response to these concerns, we formed a study group to develop questions and recommendations about these specific roadways. We are at the point where we need advice from you or members of your staff on what are feasible treatments for this Washington Ave.-Fuller Rd. area.
I am asking that you arrange for our group to meet with you or staff for a learning session where we can articulate our concerns and our ideas. I am enclosing some specific ideas that result from our site visits and deliberations. Because several of our members work during the day, it would be helpful to have such a meeting at the end of or after the businesses day. This meeting could be augmented by site visit(s).
We look forward to hearing from you.
++++++ Attachment ++++++
ALBANY BICYCLE COALITION, INC.
ON FULLER RD./WASHINGTON AVE. FLYOVER
- Bicycles Ahead Signage – Place several signs near the merge areas on both Fuller Rd. and Washington Ave. (Share the Road, Bicycles In Lane, etc.). Of particular emphasis is the on ramp to westbound Washington Ave. Extension from southbound Fuller Rd.
- Bicycle Lane Markings – Install conventional bicycle lane pavement markings on the Washington Ave. “flyover” shoulders to designate clearly where the people on bicycles should be riding. These markings will instruct both cyclists and people in cars.
- Bicycle Lane – Install “Bicycle Lane” signs near and at both entrances to the Flyover.
- Activation Alert – Install bicycle-activated sensors to illuminate a bicycle symbol sign on the Fuller Rd. exit onto westbound Washington Ave. These will alert motorists when cyclists are present. Bicycles would activate these as they pass over the correct place on the shoulder (bicycle lane) without stopping. (A less effective alternative is MUTCD-compliant flashing LED edge-light signs with high-intensity LEDs.)
- Intersection Crossing Pavement Marking on Westbound Washington Ave. – Install crossing markings (e.g., dotted green and white) in the median to guide people on bicycles from the proposed bicycle lane on westbound Washington Ave. to the proper lane to continue west on Washington Ave. Extension. This will (1) alert people in cars to the presence of bicycles and (2) guide cyclists away from the tail of the merge lane (where they would risk conflicts with both the through motor vehicles and the merging motor vehicles).
- Shared Lanes Markings – Install Shared Lanes pavement markings on all lanes leading to and from the flyover.
- Walk Your Bicycle Assist – Install enhanced walking instructions for those people on bicycles who prefer not to navigate by bicycle the multiple traffic circles to access the Six-Mile Trail, Washington Ave., the University at Albany campus, or Fuller Rd. Ensure continued diligence to maintain and clean the sidewalks, curb cuts, and pavement markings/signage.
Wheels to Waterford History Ride – Sun, 8/5/18, 9:30 AM, Albany Riverfront Park Boat Launch, $20 Fee
Wheels to Waterford History Ride – Sun, 8/5/18, 9:30 AM, Albany Riverfront Park Boat Launch, $20 Fee
Join with the Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center, the Albany Bicycle Coalition, and the http://www.bikebarncycles.com/ ). for a sponsored ride from Albany to Waterford and return. The ride will feature an exclusive tour of the Waterford Museum, stops at some key canal and local features along the way, and a light lunch on the museum grounds.
The escorted ride will be on the very flat Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike and the Black Bridge trails to Waterford and is mostly “off road” with some quiet on-street sections in Watervliet, Green Island, and Waterford. In Waterford, we will follow the Old Champlain Canal towpath to Lock #4 and the Museum grounds.
The rider fee covers lunch, museum admission, and a donation for Albany Bicycle Coalition’s programs. We will have a monitored bicycle lock-up area at the museum. The “rain-or-shine” ride totals about 23 miles. We will depart promptly at 10:00 AM after sign in and will be back in Albany by around 2:30 PM.
How to Register? – Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Use “Waterford” as the first word in your subject line. State the number of riders you are registering and choose a vegetarian or non-vegetarian lunch option for each. A parent or guardian over the age of 18 must accompany children under age 18 who are capable of this ride. Since this ride involves a considerable outlay by the sponsors, please register only if you are committed to attend. Please register by Tuesday, July 31. If you register and are unable to attend, please notify us before that date.
What to Bring? – Helmet, lock, water, $20, and appropriate riding gear. Please check your bicycle over before the ride (air, lube, etc.).
- If you cannot make this ride, visit the Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center on your own (http://waterfordmuseum.com/plan-a-visit/
- Fulfill your bicycle service and accessory needs at the Bike Barn Cycling and Fitness (http://www.bikebarncycles.com/ ).
- For other bicycle related events go to – https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/resources/events/ or visit https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Albany-Bicycle-Coalition/285296490163
- To join the Bike Barn Cycling and Fitness ride group, go to – https://www.meetup.com/Bike-Barn-Cycles-of-Cohoes-Cycling-Group-Rides/