Two days ago Lorenz, you know the big, burly, president material kind of guy, sent an e-mail out to the listserve notifying us of the permit by the City of Albany to install thirteen new bike racks between S. Main and Allen on Western and Madison Avenues. Here is the original e-mail:
Attached is the “permit” (and location descriptions at the end) form the City of Albany for installation of the 13 new racks between S. Main and Allen on Western and Madison Avenues. There will be a ribbon cutting after some or all of the installation is complete – hope you’ll come!
(PS – Before you lock up your bicycle [here or anywhere else], have you recorded its serial number in a safe place?“
At first I was happy because I love when they put bike racks anywhere. The ones they put all over Lark St are a great improvement to the area and for making cycling a more accessible form of transportation. Because who is going to ride somewhere if they don’t have a safe place to lock up their bike. This being the area of Albany I am most familiar with, because that’s where I live, when I gave it more thought I was a little taken a back because we already have bike racks in the area. So I wrote this e-mail back to Lorenz:
“Why are they putting 13 bike racks so close together and in this area? The places they mentioned are not five feet from one another. Furthermore there are already ample bike racks on that entire stretch of road. You can go to the library, the police station, price chopper, CVS, Tiera (the coffee house), or the movie theater and find a rack right now. I know it’s already too late, but why not put them where they are needed; like on Delaware Ave. West Central Ave, New Scotland Ave. (past the hospital), at Walmart or BJ’s, at the Colonie Center, or any of the other locations around Albany that don’t have bike racks? I smell an article in this.”
This, I still think, is a valid point, but now because of Loren’s response to this email clarification was brought forth and understanding ensued:
Pine Hills NA through its “BUMP” effort – Beautify Upper Madison Project” requested the racks – so they naturally put them all in their area of concern. That’s the explanation.
They did really need the racks however – esp. at Bruegers and the bars at Allen (currently no racks), at CVS (the CVS rack on Main is going), at Steamer 10 (currently no racks) and at all the business from the Tierra Coffee to Allen (currently no racks).
So what can we take out of this whole thing? For everyone in the area, that means you are going to have new places to park your bike. For all of the business owners that means bicyclists will be more inclined to visit your shops. For local blog writers it is a lesson to read more into a topic before responding to it.