Author Archives: Lorenz Worden

Pay Attention!

Car #1 stops for pedestrian in crosswalk. Car #2Dreaming? Texting? Yaking? Eating?

Result?

Pay Attention EB 10-13-19

The backstory is the person slumped in the seat of Car #1 was a passenger on the way to the ER for a post op situation. The driver of Car #1 – even with an ailing passenger – has enough responsibility to stop for people walking. The driver of Car #2?

You’ll witness this identical behavior if you do some test walks on the “circles of death” on Washington Ave. and Fuller Rd. Try it …

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[Photo and story courtesy of Alert Cyclist Ed.]

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Filed under Comings and Goings, safety

Explore the Wonders of Troy

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Once again, Troy’s Transport Troy advocacy group hosted a wonderful Collar City Ramble as part of the Hudson Valley Ramble. It was a beautiful day in the city with the famous Saturday Farmers’ market adding energy to the whole downtown.

Entering the city from the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail and the “serpentine” at the Rt. 378 Bridge.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

Part of the Collar City Ramble – in addition to walks and bicycle rides – is free kayak rides on the Hudson from Troy’s new boat launch. (It’s so new that it’s still “under construction” on Google Maps.) Here’s Pam, a Transport Troy and Albany Bicycle Coalition member, acting as “Harbor Master” along with some volunteers (kayaks in the background).

 

What else is there to see? The new mural on River St. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Here is a view of the developing Uncle Sam Trail running from the Rt. 378 Bridge in South Troy to 101st St. in N. Troy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAProgress on the “sea wall” near the Green Isl. Bridge (in the background).

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Riding back to Albany on the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll in all, a day well spent.

 

 

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Filed under Capital Trails-New York, Rides, Transport Troy, Troy Cycling, Uncle Sam Trail

Burlington’s Bike Boxes are Beautiful

It’s always great to visit Burlington to see the latest efforts by the city government to make the city more livable for it citizens and more rideable for people on bicycles.

The latest addition is a Bike Box on a major east-west thoroughfare, Pearl St., at its intersection with Union St.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Update 10-10-19 ~ The City of Albany has four bike boxes – three at Shaker Rd/Northern Blvd. (see “Bicycle Lanes in the City of Albany”) and one at Madison Ave./Lark St. None has colored pavement as a background color.

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If you are unfamiliar with “bike boxes,” view How to use a Bike Box” by Streetfilms.

Or, read the instructions.

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The basic concept is pretty clear – if you are on your bicycle, traveling in the bicycle lane, and need to turn left (in this case, east bound off Pearl St. onto northbound Union St.), the petrovehicles are stopped before the green box allowing you to safely ride into the box ahead of the cars and make your left turn as soon as the traffic light indicates. See also: https://nacto.org/publication/urban-bikeway-design-guide/intersection-treatments/bike-boxes/

 

 

 

Why have bike boxes? (SOURCE)

  • Increases visibility of bicyclists.
  • Reduces signal delay for bicyclists.
  • Facilitates bicyclist left turn positioning at intersections during red signal indication – This only applies to bike boxes that extend across the entire intersection.
  • Facilitates the transition from a right-side bike lane to a left-side bike lane during red signal indication. This only applies to bike boxes that extend across the entire intersection.
  • Helps prevent “right-hook” conflicts with turning vehicles at the start of the green indication.

Typical Applications: (SOURCE)

  • At signalized intersections with high volumes of bicycles and/or motor vehicles, especially those with frequent bicyclist left-turns and/or motorist right-turns.
  • Where there may be right or left-turning conflicts between bicyclists and motorists.
  • Where there is a desire to better accommodate left turning bicycle traffic.
  • Where a left turn is required to follow a designated bike route, access a shared-use path, or when the bicycle lane moves to the left side of the street.
  • When the dominant motor vehicle traffic flows right and bicycle traffic continues through as at a “Y” intersection or access ramp.
  • Provides priority for bicyclists at signalized bicycle boulevard crossings of major streets.
  • Groups bicyclists together to clear an intersection quickly, minimizing impediment to transit or other traffic.
  • Pedestrians benefit from reduced vehicle encroachment into the crosswalk.

 

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Here’s another Burlington feature, a “Neighborhood Greenway” – how nice is that!

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Filed under Bike Lanes, Burlington VT, City Review

12th Annual Daily Grind Ride – Sat, August 17, 2019

Riders from the Town of Colonie (2), New York City (1), Guilderland (2), Troy (1), and Edmonton (1) joined for the Daily Grind-to-Daily Grind Sponsored Ride. We met at the Albany Daily Grind Café and, after a weather “all clear,” we headed out to Troy using the BikeAlbanyMap.com .

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Albany

After a photo stop at the Albany Riverfront Park we cruised north on the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trails. After the preceding night’s heavy storm, we found the multiuse path littered with small branches, leaves, and, in a couple cases, large braches that blocked the trail. Since the weather was beautiful and the riders enthused, we smoothly overtook these impediments.

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We used the serpentine path from the MHBHT at the Rt-378 Bridge to cross into South troy to explore Troy’s new bicycle infrastructure. Our ride coordinator mapped a nice route past the Burden Iron works to get us onto the main Uncle Sam Trail while avoiding the Mill St./High St. craziness.

Troy has outdone itself to welcome people on bicycles with buffered bicycle lanes, Protected Bicycle Lanes, cycle tracks, and (only as intra trail segment connectors) shared lanes. The Albany Bicycle Coalition is proud to announce that it has extended its BikeAlbanyMap to include the Uncle Sam Trail as well as rider-friendly routes into the Town of Colonie, Bethlehem, and Niskayuna.

We arrived at the Troy Daily Grind and enjoyed delicious food and coffee, gracious service, and a nice rider discount. After a relaxing time at the Daily Grind, some headed off to the famous Troy Farmers’ Marker while others enjoyed a sunny ride back to Albany.

Our riders were Pam, John, Cynthia, Herb, Mary Anne, Glenn, Shelly, Wendy (Five Borough Bike Club), Margaret, Lorenz, Maggie, and Mark.

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Troy

We’ll look forward to this year’s Collar City Ramble to again enjoy Troy’s bicycle infrastructure.

As a frustrating closing note, we were again amazed that Albany County – after much prodding by the Albany Bicycle Coalition – has yet to attend to the root-damaged portions of the area’s premier multiuse path. People come from all over the USA and the world to ride the Erie Canalway Trail (Empire State Trail) – what must they think?

Take Action on the Bumps – Albany County Executive – Daniel P. McCoy, County_Executive@albanycountyny.gov , (518) 447-7040, Albany County Office Building, 112 State St., Rm. 1200, NY 12207.

MHBHT Roots 10-17 C

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Filed under Collar City Ramble, Rides, Transport Troy, Uncle Sam Trail

Student Climate Strike – Friday, 9/20/19

Panic March 9-20-19 (29).JPGThe PANIC rally and march started at 11:00 AM, at 79 Sheridan Ave., the state-owned, natural gas plant that heats/cools the Capitol/State Plaza Complex. Sheridan Ave., The march will stopped at sites along the way including DEC , NYS State Comptroller’s office, banks, and the Public Service Commission. Other marches begin from several sites including Albany High School and the downtown University at Albany downtown campus culminating in a rally at the State Capitol.th8AK20ODN

From observation, the march brought out some of the same people one would expect at any such “protest” but with the welcome addition of hundreds of high school-age participants many with ingenious signs stating their positions. See the young lady with the two-sided sign in the these photos.

Groups urged Governor Cuomo to declare a climate emergency. Specific demands included the following:

  • Ban on all new fossil fuel projects.
  • Halt to all New York State subsidies for fossil fuels.
  • Increase in funding to $10 billion for renewable energy/green initiatives in the 2020-21 budget with 40% of targeting “disadvantaged communities.”
  • Convert all public buildings and vehicles to zero “greenhouse gas” emissions by 2023.
  • Amend building codes to require all new buildings be carbon emission free by 2023.

[Ed Note: Sadly, none of these demands addresses taking direct and immediate action to reduce energy use. The demands focused on an assumption of continued energy usage but substituting non-carbon sources. This is a completely unrealistic and unattainable goal. This approach echoes the much vaunted, so-called “Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act” which pushes action off to 2030 and 2050. It calls for studies, not action. And joke of jokes, yet another state panel: The New York State Climate Action Council. Oh please! This will be a dithering group of political appointees with minimal qualifications and no pressure to do anything.

A valid approach would include proposals such as the following:

  • Adopt the California’s motor vehicle emission standards.
  • Progressively reduce speed limits from the current 55 mph to an eventual 40 mph (and from 65 to 50 on 4-lanes roads). Enforce the speed limit with vehicle confiscation after so many violations (e.g., 1 month for each mph over the limit for, say, the third violation).
  • Immedicte 40 mph limit for large trucks (“semis”) on secondary roads and 50 mph on 4-lane limited access roads.
  • Increase the sales tax for new vehicles based on EPA mileage ratings. Have a scale of so much percentage for EPA 20-30 mpg, 15-20 mpg, etc. There might be no sales tax for new vehicles in the 40-50 mpg range.
  • Progressively increase the fuel, tire, and related taxes (with provisions that the politicos not squander the increased revenue).
  • Progressively (but aggressively), increase all tolls.
  • Mandate bus pull-offs with bus operator controlled signalization to give buses priority to get back into the traffic flow.
  • Mandate that towns and cities (a) progressively eliminate parking and (b) meter all on-street parking.
  • … and on and on …

Sadly and in response to the march, the governor could only come up with a weak statement blaming the federal government for inaction while it is clearly in his power to lead NYS on climate action. From the Times Union, “Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised the climate marchers. In a prepared statement he said, ‘I commend the thousands of students who are participating in the Global Climate Strike today and demanding solutions to this crisis before it gets worse. This next generation of Americans will pay the price if the federal administration’s inaction continues.’”]

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Filed under Activisim, Climate Change