Bicycle Lanes Gone Bad

Here is what happens when people who never walk and never ride set out to design bicycle lanes.

One would think the first photo one has something to do with a pedestrian crosswalk, but no ….

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 The second photo shows (1) that the bicycle lanes are ON THE SIDEWALK, (2) that there are people walking on the sidewalk, and (3) that, later on, the city of Annapolis put its BikeShare “hub” in the sidewalk area and on its misguided bicycle lane.

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 This scene is from Annapolis MD – a flat, bike-able, and walkable city but one that is totally tuned to an “all cars-all the time” philosophy.

 

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Filed under Bike Lanes, City Review

Ready for the Riding Season?

Unless you are a dedicated year-round cyclist, the condition of your bicycle(s) may be far from your mind. Right now might be the best time to think about how soon spring will arrive and how great it will be to get out for a ride – provided your bicycle is ready to go.

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There are, of course two ways to go – a professional tune up at a local bicycle shop or a do-it-yourself job.

YOUR LOCAL BIKE SHOP – Getting a complete tune up from your bicycle shop makes the bike ride like new again. Even nuisance noises that do not affect the bike mechanically are gone and you can ride carefree. Things you might miss – one brake shoe toed out, a barely noticeable wheel wobble – will not escape the notice of good technicians. They will look over your entire bicycle in the course of doing a pre-season “tune up.”

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Remember that internet retailers will not be there for you when you need advice, repairs, a part in a hurry, or a tune up – your local bicycle shop will be. You may save a bit of change (even after shipping and the hassle of possible returns) and get “next day delivery” (who REALLY needs that?), but you’ll miss all the benefits of a good relationship with your shop’s personnel.

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Here is a list of area shops – see the Albany Bicycle Coalition website for updates. https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/resources/local-bike-shops/

DO IT YOURSELF – If you prefer to do your own work, there are plenty of “how-to” videos – a good place to start is with Park Tool’s at https://www.youtube.com/user/parktoolcompany Just as an example that anyone can use – how to fix a flat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58STtUM-Wow&list=PLGCTGpvdT04SCKR3pm1OsC5mUF9dapUuz

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Speaking of tools, you’ll want to buy the best you can find. For bicycle-specific items, again, Park Tool is a good place to start. Many shops have a display rack of commonly needed tools – by Park and others. For general-purpose tools, Sears Craftsman brand tools are now available at some hardware and home stores. With these or Snap-On, you can’t go wrong.

You can use your multitool for many maintenance and adjustment steps but you’ll be happier and do a better job with regular tools. Save the multitool for on-the-road attention.

tumblr_nn47ut4TWt1t19os5o1_500Another resource for “do it yourself” is “open bike night” at your local community bike rescue. Here you’ll find camaraderie with like-minded cyclists and advice if you get stuck. You might even want to show off your newfound bicycle servicing skills by volunteering at the bike rescue – there’s no better way to learn than to teach someone else.

Bike Rescues – Here is a list of area bike rescues – see the Albany Bicycle Coalition website for updates. Go here – https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/resources/albanybikerescue/

  • Albany Bike Rescue – 15 Trinity Pl., Albany 12208, AlbanyBikeRescue@gmail.com, (518) 227-1030 – The Albany Bike Rescue (ABR) hosts community bike repair and educational workshops every Tuesday night from 6:15 to 8:00 PM.
  •  Electric City Bike Rescue189 Jerry St, (off Watt St. at the McGathan Townhouses Community Center) electriccitybikerescue@gmail.com
  • Troy Bike Rescue – 3280 6th Ave., (North) Troy 12180, (518) 328-4827, WINTER HOURS- Wednesday open shop 5-8 pm

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Filed under bicycle shops, Bike rescue, Bike Tech, Shop Local

Downtown Albany and Patroon Creek

This is an effort to trace Patroon Creek from the Tivoli St. area to its mouth at the Hudson River. It is part of the Albany Bicycle Coalition’s promotion of the Patroon Greenway development. Patroon Creek was also known as Bloomaert’s Kill, Fifth Kill, Vyfde Kill (Dutch for “fifth”), and Flodderkill

Other Patroon Greenway Project posts are Patroon Creek Greenway Trail Ride 11/19 and Patroon Greenway Project – Yardboro Ave. to Everett Rd.

Start in the “warehouse/lumber district” of the City of Albany. The tree line parallel to Tivoli St. near American Boiler, Tank, and Welding – this is a beautiful section of the creek – see map https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pleasant+St,+Albany,+NY+12207/@42.6641789,-73.7463031,242m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x89de097f81b7ea1d:0x506e790e6c94fe64!8m2!3d42.662751!4d-73.744764 See also photos.

Behind 44 Tivoli St. is a footbridge (accessible from a parking lot on Pleasant St.). This affords an almost idyllic view up and down stream. At American Boiler, Tank and Welding, again accessing from Pleasant St., a vehicular bridge again affords views of the creek. Much of this area is privately owned so permission might well be sought before exploring.

PHOTO 1 – The footbridge behind 44 Tivoli St. accessible from a parking lot on Pleasant St. with the Hudson River to the right.

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PHOTO 2 – The footbridge behind 44 Tivoli St. looking east toward the Hudson River.

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PHOTO 3 – From the footbridge behind 44 Tivoli St. looking west (upstream).

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PHOTO 4 – From the footbridge behind 44 Tivoli St. looking east (downstream).

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The next identifiable feature in the path to the river are two Erie Canal-era culverts that allowed the creek to flow under the canal as they now do under Erie Blvd. The culverts are behind locked “chain link” fences and are covered with perforated steel plates – thus, they are not visible. They are immediately adjacent to National Grid area and Huck Finn’s Warehouse, 25 Erie Blvd.

Culvert #1 – west side of Erie Blvd. – see map  https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6614229,-73.7411599,3a,75y,291.62h,102.28t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sqbqtplEI2q36VpAeuBE2vQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Culvert #2– east side of Erie Blvd. – see map  https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6613315,-73.7412178,3a,75y,137.06h,76.54t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sUBvjA2WBOtlukpC5ggRY-g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Photo 5A – Culvert #1 – west side of Erie Blvd.

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Photo 5B – Culvert #1 – west side of Erie Blvd.

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Photo 6A – Culvert #2 – east side of Erie Blvd.

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Photo 6B – Culvert #2 – east side of Erie Blvd.

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On Google maps, following easterly along Manor St. from the Tivoli St.-Pleasant St. tree line shading Patroon Creek and then crossing Erie Blvd. (once the path of both the original [“Clinton’s Ditch”] and the enlarged Erie Canal) at the site of the above culverts, brings one to the mouth of the creek where it empties into the Hudson River. – see map  https://www.google.com/maps/dir/42.659469,-73.7382589//@42.6594736,-73.7385021,261m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!4m1!3e1 at about 2,800 ft. from the above footbridge over Patroon Creek.

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Filed under Patroon Greenway, Trail Network

Riding To Get Somewhere ~ or ~ the Invisible Rider

Many in the City of Albany ride their bicycles because that is their primary means of transportation. We know that there are “a lot” of these bicycle riders who apparently are not engaged in the discussion on bicycle facilities and bicycle safety issues. They do not appear to join with or participate in the activities of “bicycle advocacy groups.” They do not appear at public meetings and presentations on proposed roadway modifications that may affect them.

The question is: How can we engage with these “riders of necessity” so that their concerns can be brought to the table?

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The pictures that follow are from ABC’s collection of people on bicycles” and are not intended to identify or categorize any person or rider but merely to illustrate an issue for outreach and investigation.

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Filed under Activisim, City Review, Riding to Get Somewhere

South End Bikeway Connector Rumbles Along – Cont’d (12/26/19)

Looking south to work-in-progress connecting the trailhead/parking to the cycle track on S. Pearl St. (The traffic light is at Old S. Pearl St.)

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The new CDTA pickup at the north end of the Pearl St. segment of the cycle track (just visible behind the booth).  Ezra Prentiss homes at the far right.

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Those big, stinking, noisy, fuming trucks still very much part of the daily scene – and notably traveling above the speed limit.

The end of the cycle track on the north end of Frontage Rd. at Church St./Vine St. (Tank bombs to the left.)

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Filed under Albany County Rail Trail, Albany Riverfront Park, City Review, South End Bikeway Connector