Category Archives: Albany County Rail Trail

South End Bikeway Connector Rumbles Along – Cont’d (11/22/19)

Here are today’s (11/22/19) views of progress on the South End Bikeway Connector. From them, it is clear that the South End Bikeway Connector will be open from Church St. at the RR tracks to the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail trailhead at Old S. Pearl St. by the end of the construction season. According to the City of Albany, the remainder will be completed in 2020. In the meanwhile, riders will be able to access downtown Albany along Green St. or veer off Green St. to the right onto 4th Ave. to access Broadway. An alternative is to turn right (east) at the RR tracks to take Broadway directly to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail at the Slater/Dutch Apple mooring and then onto Buffalo on the Erie Canalway Trail.

The first shows the general layout of the connection from the trailhead to the South End Bikeway Connector (looking north from the parking lot).

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Next, a couple views of the actual 2-way protected bicycle lanes on S. Pearl St. (formerly Orchard St., Washington St., Common Ln., Cow Ln., and Cow St.). The construction pylons are not the final “protection” – they are to keep petrovehicles and those humongous trucks out of the cycle track until conclusion of construction.

Here is a nice view of Capital District Transportation Authority’s brand new bus shelter on its new concrete pad with the protected bicycle lane passing behind the shelter and onto the I-787 “Frontage Rd.”

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These views looking south from Church St. (for the nearby St. John’s and “Dutch” churches) show the cycle track with a landscaped barrier. This is the likely end of South End Bikeway Connector construction for 2019.

~ The South End Connector Bikeway Route Description ~

A South End Bikeway Connector route description follows below. When completed, the SEBC will be the first Protected Bicycle Lanes in the City of Albany and the first bicycle lanes that actually connect up to other facilities – the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail/Erie Canalway Trail/Empire State Trail. According to the City of Albany, construction on the SEBC will continue until the end of the 2019 construction season. With this additional 1.5 miles of bicycle lanes, Albany will have a total of 6 miles of bicycle lanes just in time for the 10 anniversary of the Albany Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan.

The bikeway begins at S. Pearl St./Old S. Pearl St. in the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail trailhead and parking lot. Between Old S. Pearl St. and Mt. Hope Dr. and the Frontage Road (the I-787 northbound entry road), there will be a separated, on-street, two-way cycle track. (This two-way feature alleviates the need for people on bicycles to cross S. Pearl St.) The cycle track will continue onto the east/river side of the Frontage Rd. to Church St. It will then briefly turn west before continuing on an off-road, 10-foot wide, multi-use trail and linear park underneath I-787 to Broadway and Quay St. To skirt the I-787 support structure, at the Church St./Bassett St. intersection the connector will be on-road until Rensselaer St. Here it again it will shift back off-road until the turn toward the Hudson River, the Slater and Dutch Apple mooring, and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail/Albany Riverfront Park. To accommodate the connector’s path, Church St. from Rensselaer St. to Bassett St. will become a one-way southbound. Broadway currently consists of four travel lanes – two eastbound and two westbound. One lane on will be removed to construct the multi-use path on the south side of Broadway (where it passes under I-787), resulting in one westbound lane and two eastbound lanes.

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Filed under Albany County Rail Trail, Albany Riverfront Park, City Review, South End Bikeway Connector

South End Bikeway Connector Rumbles Along – Cont’d (11/10/19)

Here are today’s views of progress on the South End Bikeway Connector. The first shows a major step completed at the southern end of the Connector – curbing for the cycle track installed with the concrete curing under protective cover. Remaining steps include paving the bicycle area, installation of “protective ‘plastic’ bollards,” and striping.

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Next, a northerly view of Frontage Rd. along 1-787 showing the shoulder and one motor vehicle lane converted to a cycle track. The excavation is complete almost to Church/Vine Sts. Looking south from Church/Vine Sts. showing cut marks in the pavement and the progress on excavations from S. Pearl St. up to the construction vehicle in the distance.

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The soon-to-be linear park and off-road multiuse path under I-787 now being used as a construction staging areas – note piles of soil, rock, and granite curbing (to the left).

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A South End Bikeway Connector route description follows below. When completed, the SEBC will be the first Protected Bicycle Lanes in the City of Albany and the first bicycle lanes that actually connect up to other facilities – the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail/Erie Canalway Trail/Empire State Trail. According to the City of Albany, construction on the SEBC will continue until the end of the 2019 construction season. With this additional 1.5 miles of bicycle lanes, Albany will have a total of 6 miles of bicycle lanes just in time for the 10 anniversary of the Albany Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan.

~ The South End Connector Bikeway Route Description ~

The bikeway begins at S. Pearl St./Old S. Pearl St. in the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail trailhead and parking lot. Between Old S. Pearl St. and Mt. Hope Dr. and the Frontage Road (the I-787 northbound entry road), there will be a separated, on-street, two-way cycle track. (This two-way feature alleviates the need for people on bicycles to cross S. Pearl St.) The cycle track will continue onto the east/river side of the Frontage Rd. to Church St./Vine St. It will then briefly turn west before continuing on an off-road, 10-foot wide, multi-use trail and linear park underneath I-787 to Broadway and Quay St. To skirt the I-787 support structure, at the Church St./Bassett St. intersection the connector will be on-road until Rensselaer St. Here it again it will shift back off-road until the turn toward the Hudson River, the Slater and Dutch Apple mooring, and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail/Albany Riverfront Park. To accommodate the connector’s path, Church St. from Rensselaer St. to Bassett St. will become a one-way southbound. Broadway currently consists of four travel lanes – two eastbound and two westbound. One lane on will be removed to construct the multi-use path on the south side of Broadway (where it passes under I-787), resulting in one westbound lane and two eastbound lanes.

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Filed under Albany County Rail Trail, Albany Riverfront Park, City Review, South End Bike Link

South End Bikeway Connector Rumbles Along – 10/26/19

Construction is fully underway on the long-awaited South End Bikeway Connector. [Photos from 10-26-19. For route description, go to end of this post.]

LOOKING NORTH – New CDTA bus stop at Mt. Hope Dr. People on bicycles will ride behind it and then veer off to toward the river and onto the cycle track on the I-787 northbound entry road.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALOOKING NORTH – The new cycle track on Frontage Road, the I-787 northbound entry road leading to Church and Vine Sts. (“One lane taken form cars, one lane added for bicycles.”) (“Tank Bombs” very much in evidence.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALOOKING SOUTH TOWARD THE RAIL TRAIL – Cycle track replacing the eastside parking along S. Pearl St.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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LOOKING NORTH – Cycle track under construction on east/river side of S. Pearl St. Note brave cyclist riding in the motor vehicle lane. There is no choice while the road is under construction. For orientation, note the blue and white Bennet sign to the west. Note pavement cut marks and compare final width shown in Photo #3 and 4.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALOOKING SOUTH – Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail trailhead and parking lot is to the left just past the pylons.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

~ The South End Connector Bikeway Route Description ~

The bikeway begins at S. Pearl St./Old S. Pearl St. in the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail trailhead and parking lot. Between Old S. Pearl St. and Mt. Hope Dr. and the Frontage Road (the I-787 northbound entry road), there will be a separated, on-street, two-way cycle track. (This two-way feature alleviates the need for people on bicycles to cross S. Pearl St.) The cycle track will continue onto the east/river side of the Frontage Rd. to Church St./Vine St. It will then briefly turn west before continuing on an off-road, 10-foot wide, multi-use trail and linear park underneath I-787 to Broadway and Quay St. To skirt the I-787 support structure, at the Church St./Bassett St. intersection the connector will be on-road until Rensselaer St. Here it again it will shift back off-road until the turn toward the Hudson River, the Slater and Dutch Apple mooring, and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail/Albany Riverfront Park. To accommodate the connector’s path, Church St. from Rensselaer St. to Bassett St. will become a one-way southbound. Broadway currently consists of four travel lanes – two eastbound and two westbound. One lane on will be removed to construct the multi-use path on the south side of Broadway (where it passes under I-787), resulting in one westbound lane and two eastbound lanes.

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Filed under Albany County Rail Trail, Albany Riverfront Park, City Review, South End Bikeway Connector

South End Run, Ride, Walk – 9/30

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[Two-way, pop-up cycle track on planned route for the South End Bike Link]

South End Run, Ride, Walk – Honoring Qazir Sutherland – Sat, 9/30/2017

This event is related to on-going efforts to build a South End Bikeway Link to connect the Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail at the Albany Riverfront Park.

Start time: 10:00 am – Ezra Prentice Homes, 625 South Pearl Street

  • Registration: 10:00
  • Opening Remarks: 10:30
  • Walk Step-off: 11:00

Activities Include: Complete Streets and CDPHP Cycle! BikeShare Pop-Up, DJ, Fresh Fruits & Vegetables, Healthy Living Tips, and more…

Walk Partners: Qazir Sutherland’s Family, A Village, Capital District YMCA, Ezra Prentice Tennant Assoc., Albany Housing Authority, Albany Center Gallery, Grand Street Art Gallery.

Sponsored By: City of Albany, Albany County Department of Health, and Capital Roots, with participation by Albany Bicycle Coalition

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Filed under Activisim, Albany County Rail Trail, Rides

A Ride in the Woods

We are all indebted to the Friends of the Rail Trail volunteers, the staff and volunteers in the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, and the Albany County leadership and staff for the design and construction of Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail.

Here is a nice ride one can take that uses the entire paved portion of the trail. Starting in the Pine Hills area it’s, about 3.5 miles to the trailhead on South Pearl Street at Old South Pearl Street. The ride to the trailhead will always be tedious until the South End Bikeway Link is completed. However, in the meantime, using the BikeAlbanyMap – an interactive device that lets you plan your trips through the city of Albany on low-traffic low-stress roadways – you can get most of the way to the trailhead with only a minimum of hassle.

Once on the rail trail, the smooth surface takes you through the beautiful Normanskill Gorge in an idyllic setting. The only traffic noise is while going under Route 9 and the New York State Thruway. Trail is far enough below them that the noise can easily be ignored. Then it is up the gentle but uniform grade across the Normanskill until eventually one ends up cruising past the backyards of suburban Bethlehem. Once there, the trail levels off and it has a pleasant hop across Delaware Ave. to the terminus of the paved section is Slingerlands by the old railroad station at 5.75 from the trail head at South Pearl St.

An alternative route back to the City of Albany is to take the trail until just after it crosses Elsmere Ave., take one of the trail exits to Ellsworth Ave., and follow around on Plymouth until Delaware Ave. From there, it is a short hop to Jim’s Tastee-Freez ($3 for a small cone) and then across the Normanskill to Delaware Ave. in Albany. Remember that, just after crossing the Thruway Bridge reentering the city of Albany, to refer to the BikeAlbanyMap to find a pleasant way to avoid the car-centric design of Delaware Ave.

From Pine Hills and return it is about 16 miles – a nice day trip.

Better than reading about the Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail, just go ride on it!

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Filed under Albany County Rail Trail, City Review