Full Road Diet for Delaware Ave. – Elsmere Ave. to the Normanskill Bridge

[Ed Note – Two letters were sent to the Town of Bethlehem]

ABC Logo SMALL 2011#1 – 10/17/17

Mr. Robert Leslie

Director of Planning

Town of Bethlehem

Dear Mr. Leslie:

I am writing on behalf of the Albany Bicycle Coalition in support of the Full Road Diet proposal for Delaware Avenue from Elsmere Avenue to the Normanskill Bridge.  The Albany Bicycle Coalition promotes cycling and cycling safety throughout the Capital Region.  We have reviewed the Delaware Avenue Complete Streets Feasibility Study and several of our members were able to attend the recent presentations. We are familiar with this busy section of road as both cyclists and drivers.

The lack of bike lanes, narrow shoulders (if any) and the speed of cars make cycling on this section of Delaware Avenue especially hazardous. The four lanes of traffic make the road difficult to cross except in the two widely separated places that have crosswalks. We agree that slower speeds, two motor vehicle traffic lanes with a turning lane and bike lanes will vastly improve the safety and appeal of this area.

One especially bothersome complaint opposing the plan is that walkers and cyclists have the new and popular Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail so should not need bike lanes and pedestrian improvements on Delaware Avenue.  Pedestrians and cyclists are not just participating in these activities for the sake of walking or cycling.  They are going somewhere. There should be a safe way to walk and cycle to the many businesses and other destinations along the Delaware Avenue corridor.  People in cars are not “giving up something” for people on busses, on foot or on bicycles – these latter groups are merely demanding their fair and proper share of the road space.  Improving and increasing foot and bike traffic is not only good for pedestrians and cyclists, it is good for businesses and good for building an appealing community.

It is also important to remember that for many Delaware Avenue is the only practical connection between Albany and the southwest communities of Delmar and Elsmere.  The rail trail has no designated access between Elsmere and South Pearl Street in Albany.  For walkers and cyclists wanting to go anywhere in between the rail trail is not a solution.  Delaware Avenue is the only route for many people that commute to work by bicycle and for many people that commute by bus who must then walk from bus stops to their destinations.  These people must be able to get to and from work safely.

Lastly, if the success of the Rail Trail has shown anything, it has shown how so many people in this community want to get out of their cars to walk and bicycle.  While the rail trail is a safe place to walk and bicycle, it is hazardous to get to the Rail Trail if your route follows Delaware Avenue.  We urge the Town Board to approve the Full Road Diet plan and to see that this plan is carried out without delay.

Thank you for your efforts and consideration.

Sincerely,

###

#2 – 10/24/17

Dear Mr. Leslie,

As a member of the Albany Bicycle Coalition. I am writing to express my support of the Full Road Diet proposal for Delaware Avenue from Elsmere Avenue to the Normanskill Bridge. I have biked on Delaware Ave and am  familiar with this busy section of road as both a cyclist and driver.

The lack of bike lanes, narrow shoulders (if any) and the speed of cars make cycling on this section of Delaware Avenue especially hazardous. The four lanes of traffic make the road difficult to cross except in the two widely separated places that have crosswalks.  Lower speeds, two motor vehicle traffic lanes with a turning lane and bike lanes will vastly improve the safety and appeal of this area.

An invalid complaint by those opposing the plan is that walkers and cyclists have the new and popular Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail so they should not need bike lanes and pedestrian improvements on Delaware Avenue.  Pedestrians and cyclists are not just participating in these activities for the sake of walking or cycling.  They are going somewhere. There should be a safe way to walk and cycle to the many businesses and other destinations along the Delaware Avenue corridor.

The Rail Trail has shown that many people want to get out of their cars to walk and bicycle.  While the rail trail is a safe place to walk and bicycle, it is hazardous to get to the Rail Trail if your route follows Delaware Avenue.  I urge the Town Board to approve the Full Road Diet plan and to see that this plan is carried out without delay.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Sincerely,

Albany Bicycle Coalition

###

1 Comment

Filed under Activisim, Bike Lanes, Road Diet - Traffic Calming

One response to “Full Road Diet for Delaware Ave. – Elsmere Ave. to the Normanskill Bridge

  1. Well said, Lorenz! Thanks

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