Category Archives: City Review

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.

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Filed under Activisim, Bethlehem Delaware Avenue Traffic Calming Project, City 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.)

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Engaged!

 

 

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Presenting the BIG Plan

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

Van Rensselaer Blvd. and Tips from the Times Union

The summer “road diet” project for Van Rensselaer Blvd. is complete. The $1 million project re-striped the former four-lane corridor between Northern Blvd. and Menand Rd. (Rt. 378) into one motor vehicle lane in each direction with a center turn lane. The shoulders are widened to include six-foot bicycle lanes on each side and seven-foot shoulders. The speed limit is now 45 mph (down from 55 mph posted).

Affected area, 1.5 miles – https://www.google.com/maps/dir/42.6772786,-73.7436492/42.6983906,-73.7388047/@42.6866889,-73.7459224,15.37z/data=!4m2!4m1!3e1

For background and in-process photos, see – https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2017/07/08/89398/ .

As noted there, those who use the BikeAlbanyMap to get around the City of Albany and Parks & Trails New York Erie Canalway Trail map to travel along the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail 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 “traffic calmed” 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!

Delaware Ave. Traffic Calming – In other news on 10/16/17, the Times Union recommended adoption of Bethlehem’s “Delaware Avenue diet.” See http://www.timesunion.com/opinion/article/Editorials-Long-story-short-12278566.php . This proposal – to go from four lanes to three makes room for bicycle lanes as well as improving safety FOR ALL along the busy road with a minimal impact on automobile traffic. This project is modeled after the Madison Avenue Traffic Calming project now moving rapidly to completion.

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Editorial Note – While one cannot be anything but pleased at this Van Rensselaer Blvd. project, it does exploit bicycle facilities as a way to calm motor vehicle traffic – not a bad thing, but, in this case, the end at Menand/Osborne Rd. (Rt. 378) leaves something to be desired. For people on bicycles who NEED bicycle lanes, Menand/Osborne Rd. would not be a travel choice they would make. As noted, one can use the Albany Rural Cemetery Rd. to get to Broadway and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail. Further, the redesign of Van Rensselaer Blvd. still leaves it looking like a high-speed road much as I-787 looks entering/leaving Cohoes, much of Central Ave., and Washington Ave. (where the posted speed limits have been reduced on a road that looks and feels like a higher speed is appropriate).

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Filed under Bike Lanes, City Review

Bicycles in the Main “Stream”

The September 2017 city water bill mailed to metered customers includes a flyer from the City of Albany Sustainability Advisory Committee. The flyer promotes bicycle safety and targets people in cars. The flyer refers to the Albany Bicycle Master Plan but a more helpful link is to the Albany Bicycle Coalition’s BikeAlbanyMap .

In any case, bicycle awareness seems to be creeping into the main “stream.”

H2O Bill Sep 2017 Pg 1

H2O Bill Sep 2017 Pg 2

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Filed under City Review, Support the Cause

Ramble in Troy – A Great Day

The Schedule

L: Jim registers the Mayor

R: Transport Troy is more than bicycles

“Ride Leader for Life” organizes the ride

 

I need one of those …

Parks & Trails NY and the City of Troy set up a Bikeway, a protected bile lane/cycle track, and a bile lane to show what can be done.

Forget your bicycle?  No problem!

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Filed under Activisim, City Review, Rides, Transport Troy