Category Archives: Article

6-Mile Park Trail – Signage

Albany Bicycle Coalition, Inc.
127 S. Pine Ave.
Albany, NY 12208
April 9, 2018

RE: Signage at the 6-Mile Park Multiuse Path

Daniel Mirabile,Commissioner, Department of General Services

Joseph E. Coffey, Jr., PE, Commissioner, Albany Department of Water and Water Supply

Dear Commissioners:

This is to ask that you coordinate on installing wayfinding signage at the two entrances to the “6-Mile Park Multiuse Path.”

The multiuse path/bikeway – connecting the 6-Mile Park with Rapp Rd. at the Solid Waste Management Facility – needs signage to direct users to the path. The route is for recreation by people on bicycles and walking. It is a critical “low stress” bicycle connector between the city and Central Ave. with connections to Sand Creek Rd. and beyond. This avoids the death-defying portion of Central Ave. around I-87 and the shopping mall complex on Central Ave./Wolf Rd. We also suggest adding signage to direct both walkers and cyclists to the University at Albany “Purple Path” and the connection to it along the “nano complex” on Fuller Rd.

The Capital District Transportation Committee staff can advise on the style of signage that will be compatible with the overall trail network in the four-county region as well as with the developing Empire State Trail. You could do the requested work with in-house resources on an “as-time-permits” basis.

We in the Albany Bicycle Coalition would be pleased to meet with you or staff to include site visits to explain better our objectives for enhancing the value of the 6-Mile Multiuse Path.

Special Notes:

  • DGS: In addition to wayfinding signage, we suggest warning signs on both the trail and the Rapp Rd. facility entrance to alert people to the heavy truck traffic.
  • WATER AND WATER SUPPLY: We suggest a modifying the paved entry road lying between the park and Washington Ave. Extension and which joins to the lake path at the maintenance building. Pedestrian and bicycle access can be made without defeating the motor vehicle lift gate barrier. You should perhaps change the gate sign from “posted” to “no unauthorized motor vehicles beyond this point.” A little cleanup of the path to the south of the gatepost would also help.

cc:

  • Kathy M. Sheehan, Mayor City of Albany
  • Michael V. Franchini, Executive Director Capital District Transportation Committee
  • Daniel W. DiLillo, Deputy Commissioner – DGS

Photos: Entrance to trail at Rapp Rd., Gate on access road from Fuller Rd., paved access path around gate (two views)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Leave a comment

Filed under Activisim, City Review, Fuller Rd., Trail Network

Human Power Planet Earth Bicycle Shop ~ Empowering Humanity

If you’re in sunny Saranac Lake, be sure to ride over to the “Human Power Planet Earth Bicycle Shop” where owner John Dimon will give you a friendly welcome and logofull1-e1464831248233a run down on whatever is happening in the area. This is a full service shop with new and used bicycles, rentals, and service. During the winter you can rent pond skates or get you own skates sharpened.

 

Here’s a rundown based on the website:

HOURS:

  • Tuesday – Friday – 10 AM – 6 PM
  • Saturdays – 10 AM – 5 PM
  • Closed Sunday and Monday.

LOCATION:Saranac Lake B

  • 77 Main St.
  • Saranac Lake, NY 12983
  • 518-524-6177, htt

 

Rentals – Feeling the need to get out on the town or trails, but don’t have anything to ride? Not a problem! Choose from our selection of fat tire bicycles, now available to rent! Rates: $50/day, $30/2hours

Repairs – Does your bicycle need some love? Our team of qualified mechanics is ready to help! From basic tune-ups and safety checks, to hydraulic brake bleeds and suspension rebuilds, we’ve got you covered!

thSales – Need a new ride? We are proud to announce that for 2016 we now carry KHS bicycles. Since the late 70’s KHS has provided high quality bicycles at a great value. We have Fat Bicycles, Mt. bicycles, Hybrids, Commuter and Fitness bicycles, and children’s bicycles on the floor or available to order. We also have restored Vintage (read Charming), Pre-Owned, and Consignment bicycles, for sale. Come check our growing fleet of bicycles. We have something for everyone!

Classes – Focusing on the following: fixing a flat, patching a tube, straightening bars, breaking a chain, seat adjustment, fixing chain-suck, checking bearings, and more. An “advanced class” offers the preceding plus a tool kit with the following: Crank Bros. M17 multitool, Park tire levers, Jandd Seat pack (color choices), Lezyne patch kit, White Lightning Epic Ride chain lube, Park Tool mini pump, and Kenda tube for your bike.

Here is a final opportunity – The “Barn Rescue” Tune Up – The Complete “Barn Rescue” Tune Up is for those who want to get back on their trusty steed. You know the story. It has been in the barn, in the cellar, or outside under the eaves for years. We want you to ride it again. However, there is usually corrosion to deal with, even on alloy parts. We wire brush and grease rusty bolts, take the corrosion off the rims, clean and polish pivot points. We clean, lube, polish everything, and replace what is necessary to make your bicycle rideable again. Parts replaced as necessary. It is worth it – for you and the Planet.

If John is not there, he out on his bicycle – as he is rumored to “go everywhere” by bicycle.

Before or after your visit, be sure to stop in to the next door “Origins Café” for a great meal, pastry, and coffee – http://www.origincoffeeadk.com/food/ You might meet up with Joshua, owner and former Exec Director of New York Bicycling Coalition.

Leave a comment

Filed under bicycle shops, City Review, Local Heros

ABC Response to Bethlehem Delaware Avenue Traffic Calming Project

November 30, 2017

We in the Albany Bicycle Coalition are pleased to learn of progress on the Delaware Avenue Traffic Calming project in Bethlehem and appreciate your efforts in presenting information on its evolution.

Speaking not only as cyclists, but also in consideration of all users of Delaware Ave. – pedestrians, motorists, and local businesses – we fully endorse a complete streets/road diet approach. We believe two motor vehicle lanes, a central turn lane, superior bicycle lanes, and appropriate and supportive signalization and signage is the only proper treatment for this road.

Our reservations are two fold and we hope that you and the town officials will find a way to address them in the final plan as follows.

#1 – Delaware Ave. and a Major Commuter Route – The Albany Bicycle Coalition has developed its interactive BikeAlbanyMap.com to lead people on bicycles safely from/to the I-90 bridge on Delaware Ave. in Albany. The Delaware Avenue Traffic Calming in Bethlehem will take them from/to the Normanskill from/to the town center. What remains is the connection over the Normanskill and I-90. We recommend that the final plan include provisions for Bethlehem and the City of Albany to coordinate on an appropriate treatment for this gap. While a complete redesign would be ideal, we believe that a stopgap measure would be low-cost signage and pavement markings that would include a 20-30 mph speed limit.

#2 – Connections with the Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail – Since the new Delaware Avenue Traffic Calming project area and the rail trail are key features of the town, we encourage your including comprehensive two-way wayfinding signage to connect the two routes at appropriate points. When the South End Bikeway Link is finished, the rail trail will serve as a full-scale commuter route and recreational facility. Connection to Delaware Ave. can only enhance the value of these two projects.

#####

1 Comment

Filed under Activisim, Bethlehem Delaware Avenue Traffic Calming Project, City Review

Lighting the Way with Busch + Müller and Peter White Cycles

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhining and Complaining – We all know how hard it is to see some people on bicycles from the rear at night or in gloomy weather unless they have adequate lighting. In fact, if one were to choose between a front light over a proper rear taillight, safety would suggest the latter.

Why then do not all non-racing/fast road/mountain bicycles have built-in lighting?

In the USA, most bicycles – regardless of style or brand – require searching out both a tail and headlight or switching these from other bicycles. These lights depend on a variety of mounting techniques, not all of which are good or are not good in certain applications. In the case of headlights, each mounting or re-mounting then requires adjustment to ensure that it is aimed for best effect in terms of both visibility to oncoming traffic and in lighting the roadway.

Since dynamos are typically also not found on bicycles sold in the USA (at least since the UK dropped its line of upright bicycles with “Dynohubs”), we are all stuck in large part with replacing or recharging all those batteries on a regular basis. Even with a retrofitted/add-on generator, the difficulty or impossibility of having internal wiring and an integrated off/on switch means that the install will also be less that aesthetically pleasing.

The Issue – If one wants to fit her bicycle with lights that (1) are always there and (2) won’t disappear while having that croissant and coffee, the only recourse seems to be to modify an existing, off-the-shelf light(s). Here is a Planet Bike light fitted with a semi-theft proof bolt to mount on a Tubus Logo Evo rear rack.

One Solution – After a little Googling around for a more professional option for the Tubus Logo Evo rack, up pops Peter White Cycles. This small New Hampshire firm specializes in dynamo lighting but also offers battery powered lights for those who do not want to have a wheel rebuilt with a dynamo hub. “Bicycle Quarterly” has featured Peter White Cycles but with an emphasis on their hub generators.

Success – Sure enough, Peter White offers two Busch + Müller bolt-on, battery-powered rear lights with 50 mm spacing to exactly fit the Tubus Logo Evo’s pre-drilled holes – the Toplight Line. B&M Tail LIght for Tubus 10-30-17 (4)These lights conform to Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland) bicycle regulations. Founded in 1925, Busch + Müller is in Meinerzhagen (population of 20,000 and about 71 km west-northwest of Cologne).

 

This light comes in two formats as follows:

  • Toplight Line Permanent – spreads light from two LEDs across the width of the taillight and uses a single AA battery. It has a simple “On/Off” switch ($ 40.00).
  • Toplight Line Senso – which is the same as the “Permanent” but with a three position “On/Off/Senso” switch. “Senso” activates light and motion sensors. When the bike is moving and it is dark, the light is automatically switched “On.” When you stop, the light stays on for a few minutes. As long as you do not move again, it switches off and stays “off” ($ 46.00).

Features – For the extra $6+ shipping, let us see what the Senso offers.Frist, Peter White Cycles makes buying a pleasure. They do not accept internet orders – it is all by telephone with a knowledgeable and pleasant human. (One can use email and checks, but why not enjoy the human interaction?)

The B+M light comes with (almost – see below) everything you need: the light, a single AA battery, mounting nuts and lock washers, a locking machine screw for the battery compartment, and a T-2 wrench* for this screw. Oh – and there are instructions of sorts. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The key difference with the Senso (over the “Permanent”) is the special mode that (1) comes on when the light detects motion, (2) stays on if he light detects darkness, or (3) goes “off” after 4 minutes if there is (a) no motion or (b) no darkness. Presumably, one could leave this light in the Senso mode all the time, thereby ensuring that the light will always be on when the bicycle is moving and it is dark. (ED: Not tested yet.)

The Battery Lock – The instruction state that the aforementioned machine screw can be used for “Theft protected locking of the battery compartment.” Since it’s difficult to imagine thieves prowling about stealing batteries from bicycle lights, the better use for this feature is to install the screw (with the provided T-20 wrench) to keep the battery compartment securely closed. Since this compartment is on the bottom of the light and if one were not to secure properly the clip-in compartment cover, it is feasible that the cover would be lost – followed soon enough by the battery. The minor downside is the need to carry a T-20 wrench – which is also needed for the Tubus Logo Evo mounting screws so it is already in the tool kit.

Installation – Since the Toplight Line is made to fit the 50 mm spread of the predrilled holes in the Tubus Logo Evo rack, installation is simple. A little “Threadlocker,” and it is on. HOWEVER and surprisingly, the provided M-5 standard hex nuts are unsightly. A trip to the land of the orange aprons was required to get proper cap nuts ($0.72) – see photo for comparison.

Does It Blink? – Nope. In Germany, the road traffic regulations, Straßenverkehrszulassungsordnung (StVZO), dictate bicycle requirements. Every bicycle on public ways, for both children and grownups, is supposed to follow these rules. Most bicycles have required accessories already in place including proper lights. (You can buy a bicycle without everything, and some people ride bikes that do not conform, but in the event of an accident, the rider is likely at least partly responsible.)

Lighting requirements are a white headlight and a red rear light ready for use at any time. A single switch must control both the headlight and rear light. The lights must be able to be powered by a dynamo backup, though they can use batteries in addition (as a stand light for example). At the most, one may add a single additional battery powered rear light. More battery-powered lamps are not permitted, including blinking ones or ones on the helmet or body.

If you are committed to a rear blinky but want the carefree luxury of a B&M Toplight Line, stick a back-up blinker on there somewhere (but do not ride in Germany).


*Torx, developed in 1967 by Camcar Textron, is the trademark for a screw head with a 6-point star-shaped pattern. Popular generic name for the drive is “star,” as in “star screwdriver” or “star bits.” The official International Organization for Standardization (ISO) name is “10664,” “hexalobular internal.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Bike Tech, Product Review

Toward Better Connections in Troy

An enthusiastic audience came to the interesting Tech Valley Center of Gravity facility to learn all about the big plans to build new bicycle routes and to connect up those that already exist.

The City of Troy, the Capital District Transportation Committee, and Parks & Trails NY held a public meeting on 11/8/17 to give an overview of the “Troy Trail Connections Plan.”  Mayor Madden opened the meeting with a statement of commitment by the city to move forward as rapidly as possible to make Troy a bike-able city.  The project director from CDTC wisely provided a brief overview of the nature of her organization and its mission in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties – something that is a mystery to many.   We then got down to business with a presentation by the Executive Director and Project Leader from PTNY.

To comment on the plan, go to – http://troytrailconnections.weebly.com/draft-plan.html

Those who were on this Fall’s Collar City Ramble will recall the “pop up” bicycle facilities planned and installed by PTNY and the city.  (We should also recall he Mayor and Mrs. Madden road the Ramble – a good example for other local officials.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Engaged!

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Presenting the BIG Plan

Leave a comment

Filed under Activisim, Bike Lanes, City Review, Transport Troy