Category Archives: City Review

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

Bicycle Lanes (and Traffic Calming) on Van Rensselaer Blvd./Rt. 377

Van Rensselaer/Rt. 377 Bicycle Lanes – There soon will be two lanes for motor vehicles, left turn bays, and bicycle lanes on Van Rensselaer. These are a great tie-in with Northern Blvd.’s bicycle lanes.

The first photo shows the start of the new lanes (as yet uncompleted) at Northern Blvd.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut there’s more…

NYSDOT is completing this recent project in consultation with the City of Albany on project scope. It builds on the 2015 bicycle lanes/traffic calming installation on Northern Blvd. The city will expand the bicycle lane project on Northern Blvd from the I-90 bridge north toward Albany-Shaker Road later this summer. Notably the lane treatment at the southern end of Northern Blvd. is one of the best designs you will find in the region. Note the bottom photo with a nice buffer.

Those who use the BikeAlbanyMap and Parks & Trails New York Erie Canalway Trail map will note that one can ride the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail from Rotterdam Junction (with a few on-street portions in Schenectady, Cohoes, and Watervaliet), leave the MHBHT at the (hidden and bumpy) Schuyler Flats Trail near Passano Paints and the I-787 underpass at Broadway and 4th Sts. to Schuyler flats, go a short half mile south on Broadway, crawl up the hill through Albany Rural Cemetery, join the above described new bicycle lanes on Van Rensselaer/Rt. 377, enjoy the “calmed” Northern Blvd. to McCrossin and Thornton Sts. at the old Livingston Middle School, and then wind through a quiet residential neighborhood to the bicycle lanes on Clinton Ave.

It’s almost a network!

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Filed under Bicycle Boulevards, Bike Lanes, City Review

Crisan Pastry Shop – Alive and Well in Albany

Your life is not complete until you experience Crisan pâtisserie for some “edible art” (their tag line). This bright and cheery Albany venue recently re-opened (see earlier post) in the Albany Institute of History & Art, second floor.

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Crisan at AIHA

Crisan had been a busy mainstay on Lark St. for six years. It offered the best pastry in the area, delicious coffee, and gelato in a courteous, welcoming atmosphere. It was common to find all three tables fully occupied and a long line at the counter. In all but the coldest months, the three outside tables were a great spot to “see and be seen” and enjoy the goodness of Crisan. Crisan Bakery & Edible Art Gallery is still at 197 Lark St. Albany 12210, (518) 445-2727, e-mail cafecrisan@gmail.com. Hours: Monday: Closed, Tuesday – Friday: 9-3, and weekends: by appointment. There is no table service at this location.

If you have not been to Crisan, you have not lived a full life. Now located on the Institute’s second floor adjacent to the Museum Shop, come for a selection of European pastries, flaky croissants, creamy gelato and refreshing sorbets (in season) as well as soups, salads, and sandwiches made by Crisan Bakery. Enjoy special drinks including Harney and Sons’ fine teas, espressos and Italian affogato. Eat in or take away.

Café Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 10:00 to 5:00, Thursday: 10:00 to 8:00, and Sunday: 12:00 to 5:00. Closed Monday and some major holidays.

After (or before) your visit to Crisan, be sure to visit the exhibits at the Albany Institute of History & Art.  The Museum – a local treasure – is celebrating its 225th Anniversary in 2016. It is New York’s oldest museum and will be celebrate with special exhibitions, events, and admission rates all year! Admission: adults: $10, seniors: $8, and students: $8 (with ID). There is no charge for visiting Crisan or the museum shop in the Institute.

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Filed under City Review, Comings and Goings, Product Review, Shop Local

~ Albany Bicycle Coalition ~ What’s Our Role in the Capital Region?

logo-blogs-smallAlbany Bicycle CoalitionFounded 2004

Promotes cycling in the capital region. Advocates for cyclists. Meets last Thursday of the month, LaSalle School, Western Ave. (corner of Partridge St.) , Albany.

 Social Media –

 Activities –

Many members are League of American Bicyclists League Cycling Instructors who conduct “how to ride” workshops.

Affiliated With –

 

Go to the Albany Bicycle Coalition website to …

  •  Like Us On Facebook!
  • Join our mailing list
  • Get more information about ABC and what we do
  • Follow Blog via Email – Click to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

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Filed under Activisim, City Review, Support the Cause

Collar City Ramble – Saturday, September 24 – 9 AM TO 2 PM

Collar City Ramble – Saturday, September 24 – 9 AM TO 2 PM

Get ready to Ramble – Join an exciting tour of Troy’s urban trails by foot, by bicycle, by water, or by GPS in an alternative Transportation Festival. The Collar City Ramble covers Troy in ways that anyone can enjoy. Explore the historical, the undeveloped, the water, and the Hidden Treasures in the urban area.

Go with a tour group or independently. Get materials from the Collar City Ramble booth at the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market.

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Ramble Booth

Event Duration (hours): 5 hours (depending on event)

Equipment Required: depends on the activity chosen

Sponsoring organization – Transport Troy – https//www.facebook.com/CollarCityRamble/

Contact Information – jimmer@nycap.rr.com, (518) 429-3909

For Updates – https://collarcityramble.com/ or Facebook

For those coming from Albany and near by ….

The Albany Bicycle Coalition team will meet at 9:00 AM in and ride from the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Washington Park in Albany, NY to the meet-up point at Riverfront Park in Troy. On the way, we will pass through the Corning Riverfront Park on the Hudson River. In Troy, we will join with Transport Troy and other organizations and individuals for the Collar City Ramble. We will ride over the selected route within the city of Troy. The ride will be on paved city streets and paved bicycle/walking trails. It will include a ride on the Uncle Sam Trail and a stop at Knickerbocker Park. This causally paced ride is free and all are welcome. . Link here.

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Troy Bike Rescue to the Rescue

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Filed under Activisim, City Review, Transport Troy