Amy, Nicki, and Kate from the Albany Water Department (owner of the Six Mile Park and Trail) joined ABC staff on a walk through of the trail on February 28, 2019 to locate the signs and maps. These will be installed when the ground thaws.
In January 2019, the Capital District Transportation Committee – the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Albany-Rensselaer-Saratoga-Schenectady metropolitan areas – released its final plan for the four-county trail master plan.
Capital Trails-New York is an overall branding and area designation. Individual trails within the system will retain their own identity much as is the case with the statewide Empire State Trail network. The advantage of this approach is twofold – it will attract newcomers – tourists and new residents – to the area and will encourage those with allegiance to a local trail to continue their involvement.
The complete plan is here – www.cdtcmpo.org/trails
CDTC developed this plan as a toolbox for local governments, trail advocates, and organizations. CDTC cannot implement the plan because it cannot initiate capital programs. The economic data, maintenance case studies, and branding plan provide the spine for cities and towns to create their own trail and/or Complete Streets plans to connect to the system. These data also will help in competing for funding and offer ideas for local friends groups to promote trail projects, advocate for trail connections, or support an existing trail and a marketing strategy to attract private sector support and champions.
Since this plan will drive development of trails for years to come, it is imperative that you be familiar with it. While the plan is packed with interesting and valuable information, you should check the pages that refer to your area:
In each such section, you will find a trail map and detail description of each trail and its features.
If this plan is to reach its goal of 148 miles by 2020 and 289 miles after full implementation and for the region to benefit economically and socially from a trails network, you will need to get involved in supporting your municipality and advocacy groups in pushing for completion – trail by trail.
Pages 81-104 provide case studies of what people (like you) were able to accomplish. Starting with our own Friends of the Rail Trail and the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail, these case studies relate how great success was achieved but also how important was involvement by the citizenry. The studies are loaded with how-to tips.
As a side note, we in the Albany Bicycle Coalition were pleased to see the Albany-Colonie Connector adopted as Supporting Trail #14 as one of the key connectors between Guilderland, Albany, the Village and Town of Colonie, and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail at Lions Park. See page 33. This connector ties in with the Albany Loop (Core Trail “C,” pg. 29), Patroon Greenway (Core Trail “D”), Shaker Trail (Supporting Trail #13), and the University at Albany Purple Path. The Albany Bicycle Coalition has promoted this connector and has reached out in this effort to municipal leaders and local NYS Assembly members.
The Colonie Village Connector is an element in the overall Albany-Colonie Connector. The following letter calls for the Village of Colonie to install bicycle lanes through its industrial park to connect Rapp Rd./Lincoln Ave. to the Central Ave. to Locust Pk. And other routes leading to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail near RT. 7. See also – https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2018/09/03/washington-ave-flyover-a-call-for-change/
September 13, 2018 – RE: Colonie Village Connector
Hon. Frank Leak, Mayor, Village of Colonie, 2 Thunder Road, Albany, NY 12205
Dear Mayor Leak:
This is to ask your leadership in creating a new bicycle-friendly route through the Village of Colonie – the Colonie Village Connector. We in the Albany Bicycle Coalition believe that this will help establish the Village as a sea of calm in a motor vehicle dominated area and provide substantial benefits to your walking and riding citizens – as well as those people in cars who would appreciate “calmed traffic.”
Our proposal is that the Village of Colonie build on the routes leading to and from it by the simple and inexpensive installation of one mile of bicycle lanes on the Petra Lane/Walker Way/Jupiter Lane Clark Industrial park corridor. Such an improvement will connect the Village to the University at Albany, to Guilderland and to the City of Albany via the proposed “Industrial Park Bikeway” consisting of Rapp Rd., the Six-Mile Trail, the Washington Ave. Corridor and the University at Albany Purple Path. It will also go north and west via Locust Park and Hunting streets to Sand Creek Rd. and the Shaker Multiuse Path leading past the airport to Route 7 and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail/Empire State Trail. (An annotated list of the connecting routes is enclosed.)
A major safety benefit that would derive from the proposed Colonie Village Connector would be diverting bicycle traffic from the Central Ave./I-87/Wolf Rd. danger zone.
John Gillivan, village resident and bicycle advocate, obtained a grant to conduct a family bicycle rodeo in Thunder Park with a “pop-up” bicycle lane on Locust Park – one of the linking roads. This event demonstrated to enthusiasm and support that would derive from the Village of Colonie expanding its bicycle facilities.
Mayor Leak, while we recognize that segments of the proposed linkage have a project life of their own and that some segments – notably Rapp Rd. – are barely rideable, action by you and the Village of Colonie to install bicycle lanes on Petra/Walker/Jupiter may well encourage other officials to take steps to hasten improvement of these interconnecting segments.
Sincerely yours, Albany Bicycle Coalition, Inc.
cc: Edward Sim, Deputy Mayor, Frank Prevratil, Traffic Committee
~ Trail and Road Elements in the Colonie Village Connector ~
(Annotated list of the connecting routes) – September 13, 2018
Industrial Park Bikeway – Addition of bicycle lanes on Petra Ln., Walker Way, and Jupiter Ln. (1.1 miles). Map – https://www.google.com/maps/dir/42.7093357,-73.8412039/42.7201327,-email@example.com,-73.8381526,1466m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!4m1!3e1
Rapp Road – The section from the railroad tracks at Petra Ln. and Lincoln Ave. to the Six-Mile Trail (0.7 miles). This road is narrow, winding and in terrible condition with no accommodation for people walking or riding. The Albany Bicycle Coalition has a separate campaign to address this situation.
Six-Mile Trail – The Six-Mile Trail joins Fuller Rd. at the roundabouts to Rapp Rd. at the Solid Waste Management Facility. This multiuse path falls under the Albany Department of Water and Water Supply. The Albany Bicycle Coalition has worked successfully with that water department and with Albany’s Department of General Services to have signs installed at the ends of the multiuse path to guide route access (in process – 1.3 miles).
Washington Avenue – Patroon Creek Corridor – This project covers Washington Ave., between Brevator St. and the Eastbound I-90 on-ramp (Exit 2), across from the University at Albany. This is a major arterial connecting residential and commercial properties. Modifications will improve safety and reduce roadway conflicts to complement the reduced 30-mph speed limit. Project Updates – https://washingtonpatrooncorridor.weebly.com/project-updates.html , Map – https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1bjlrEiOrM9sEeYbUpRfM37Dv1bNWS4KQ&ll=42.68690102151503%2C-73.81502894183347&z=14 , and specifications on the study: https://washingtonpatrooncorridor.weebly.com/ The Albany Bicycle Coalition has a separate campaign to address the “all cars-all the time” road design on the Washington Ave. Extension Flyover and the traffic circles on Fuller Rd. See – https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2018/09/03/washington-ave-flyover-a-call-for-change/
Purple Path – As original envisioned by the late University at Albany President, Kermit Hall, the “Purple Path” would connect the University to the surrounding communities. Currently, this multiuse path falls somewhat short of this goal in that it is primarily an on-campus facility with the connections either in rudimentary form or nonexistent. The Albany Bicycle Coalition will initiate discussions with the university to seek resolution of these conditions. See – whttps://www.albany.edu/campusrecreation/pedestrian_bikepaths.php
Locust Park and the Short Section of Hunting Rd. Heading North to Sand Creek that Begins at the Bridle Path – Suburban style streets on which appropriate signage and pavement markings are need to provide safe passage for people on bicycles and on foot/wheelchairs/etc. Map – https://www.google.com/maps/dir/42.7209216,-73.8344883/42.7399445,-firstname.lastname@example.org,-73.8260425,1367m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!4m1!3e1
Sand Creek Road – Major suburban arteirlal. No plans at present to add bicycle- or pedestrian-friendly facilities.
Shaker Multiuse Path – Flat, 2.4-mile multiuse path (paved – 1.3 miles, paved with bicycle lane – 1.1 miles). Starting from Troy-Schenectady Rd. (Route 7), a multiuse path runs south along British American Blvd. through an office park to a bridge crossing Rt. 155. The trail follows Rt. 155 south and then continues on road on Airline Dr. and S. Family Rd. to Sand Creek Rd., and then to Hunting St. and Locust Park. Description – http://bikeitorhikeit.org/shaker_multi_use_trail.htm
Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail/Empire State Trail – The Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail is the Capital Regions premier trail running from the Albany Riverfront Park to Rotterdam Junction. It will be part of the Empire State Trail. See – https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/new-york/mohawk-hudson-bike-hike-trail
Washington Ave. Flyover – A Call for Change – In fall 2012, the long awaited “Flyover” to route through motor vehicle traffic from Washington Ave. to the Washington Ave. Extension was completed. This and the accompanying series of traffic circles on Fuller Rd. were clearly designed under an “all cars-all the time” philosophy. These means that people on bicycles who want to travel on Washington Ave. and its Extension, on Fuller Rd., on the University at Albany’s “purple path,” and on the Six-Mile Trail must be in the Advanced/Experienced “Strong and Fearless” or “Enthused and confident” 1 percent category.
The following letter calls for the New York State Department of Transportation to revisit this area and to modify it to accommodate people on bicycles.
Here are some earlier rider assessments.
++++++ LETTER ++++++
Albany Bicycle Coalition, Inc.
September 4, 2018
RE: Washington Ave. Flyover at Fuller Rd.
Sam Zhou, PE – Director
Region One – NYS Department of Transportation
50 Wolf Road
Albany, NY 12232
Dear Mr. Zhou:
This is to seek your assistance in clarifying safety concerns of the Albany Bicycle Coalition and of people on bicycles who use Washington Ave., Washington Ave. Extension, and Fuller Rd.
Because of our advocacy role in the region, we receive questions and comments about riding conditions. One common area of concern is navigation of the Fuller Rd. traffic circles, the Fuller Rd./Washington Ave. intersections, the Flyover, and bicycle travel on Washington Ave. Extension. As you are aware, fear of riding in traffic is the single, major impediment to bicycle travel. This is nowhere more apparent than in those spaces where motor vehicle movement was the paramount design feature.
In response to these concerns, we formed a study group to develop questions and recommendations about these specific roadways. We are at the point where we need advice from you or members of your staff on what are feasible treatments for this Washington Ave.-Fuller Rd. area.
I am asking that you arrange for our group to meet with you or staff for a learning session where we can articulate our concerns and our ideas. I am enclosing some specific ideas that result from our site visits and deliberations. Because several of our members work during the day, it would be helpful to have such a meeting at the end of or after the businesses day. This meeting could be augmented by site visit(s).
We look forward to hearing from you.
++++++ Attachment ++++++
ALBANY BICYCLE COALITION, INC.
ON FULLER RD./WASHINGTON AVE. FLYOVER