Van Rensselaer Blvd. and Tips from the Times Union

The summer “road diet” project for Van Rensselaer Blvd. is complete. The $1 million project re-striped the former four-lane corridor between Northern Blvd. and Menand Rd. (Rt. 378) into one motor vehicle lane in each direction with a center turn lane. The shoulders are widened to include six-foot bicycle lanes on each side and seven-foot shoulders. The speed limit is now 45 mph (down from 55 mph posted).

Affected area, 1.5 miles – https://www.google.com/maps/dir/42.6772786,-73.7436492/42.6983906,-73.7388047/@42.6866889,-73.7459224,15.37z/data=!4m2!4m1!3e1

For background and in-process photos, see – https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2017/07/08/89398/ .

As noted there, those who use the BikeAlbanyMap to get around the City of Albany and Parks & Trails New York Erie Canalway Trail map to travel along the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail will note that one can ride the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail from Rotterdam Junction (with a few on-street portions in Schenectady, Cohoes, and Watervaliet), leave the MHBHT at the (hidden and bumpy) Schuyler Flats Trail near Passano Paints and the I-787 underpass at Broadway and 4th Sts. to Schuyler flats, go a short “traffic calmed” half mile south on Broadway, crawl up the hill through Albany Rural Cemetery, join the above described new bicycle lanes on Van Rensselaer/Rt. 377, enjoy the “calmed” Northern Blvd. to McCrossin and Thornton Sts. at the old Livingston Middle School, and then wind through a quiet residential neighborhood to the bicycle lanes on Clinton Ave. It’s almost a network!

Delaware Ave. Traffic Calming – In other news on 10/16/17, the Times Union recommended adoption of Bethlehem’s “Delaware Avenue diet.” See http://www.timesunion.com/opinion/article/Editorials-Long-story-short-12278566.php . This proposal – to go from four lanes to three makes room for bicycle lanes as well as improving safety FOR ALL along the busy road with a minimal impact on automobile traffic. This project is modeled after the Madison Avenue Traffic Calming project now moving rapidly to completion.

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Editorial Note – While one cannot be anything but pleased at this Van Rensselaer Blvd. project, it does exploit bicycle facilities as a way to calm motor vehicle traffic – not a bad thing, but, in this case, the end at Menand/Osborne Rd. (Rt. 378) leaves something to be desired. For people on bicycles who NEED bicycle lanes, Menand/Osborne Rd. would not be a travel choice they would make. As noted, one can use the Albany Rural Cemetery Rd. to get to Broadway and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail. Further, the redesign of Van Rensselaer Blvd. still leaves it looking like a high-speed road much as I-787 looks entering/leaving Cohoes, much of Central Ave., and Washington Ave. (where the posted speed limits have been reduced on a road that looks and feels like a higher speed is appropriate).

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Filed under Bike Lanes, City Review

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