Category Archives: City Review

Uncle Sam Trail Progress Report – July 30

Background – Troy’s Uncle Sam Trail has been through many years of planning. Its original configuration, the off-road Uncle Sam Bikeway, connecting Middleburgh, and North Sts. stood in isolation.

Cycle Tracks On Division St. (Left) and River St. (Right)

The big breakthrough was installation of shared lanes, bicycle lanes, and cycle tracks from the Rt. 378 Bridge/High St. to State St. just south of the heart of downtown. From here, on-road portions connected to the off-road Bikeway at Middleburg St. See the BikeAlbanyMap of an overview of the entire route. The Uncle Sam Trail is part of the major trail network in the Capital District Transportation Committee’s Trails Plan (see pg. 34) and is, of course, part of Troy’s Trail Connection Plan.

Access to the Unlace Sam Trail – People on bicycles can access the trail via and of the following additional points:

  • 2/Congress St. Bridge from Watervliet
  • Green Isl. Bridge from Green Isl. Those entering Troy from Green Isl. can turn left at the Troy side of the river and then take an immediate left to aces the Trail. When crossing the bridge, position yourself in the left lane and then in the left-turn lane.
  • Ontario St./Rt. 470/112 St. Bridge from Cohoes
  • Broad St./126 St. Bridge from Waterford. This last crossing is just under a mile on city streets to the northern terminus of the Uncle Sam Trail (formerly “Bikeway”).

Promotion – Over the years, Transport Troy hosted its annual Collar City Ramble, frequently escorted by Troy’s Mayor, to show the planned route to visitors. Parks & Trails New York and the City of Troy coordinated on some “pop up” demonstration street configurations in several locations. Capital Rootsand its volunteers added art in the form of decorated intersections/cross walks. The Albany Bicycle Coalition always includes exploration of the route in its group rides through Troy.

Moving Ahead Along the River – The next step is replacing or augmenting the on-street portions with a trail running along the Hudson River waterfront, under the Green Isl. Bridge and along the water. At present, much of the construction along the river is near completion.

Riverfront Park Looking North – Note New Sidewalks

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All the new segments from the Bar-B-Que/Green Isl. Bridge north are open as far as City Hall/Hutton St., to the pocket park under the Rt. 7/Hoosick St. Bridge, and then onto VanDerHeyden St. and River St. At VanDerHeyden, people on bicycles have to use the sidewalk if the ramp gate is closed.

The Promenade Looking North Behind the Bar-B-Que And Going Under The Green Isle. Bridge

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 From The Promenade Looking South with View of Riverfront Park and Boat Mooring Facility (Note Barrier)

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From The Promenade under the Green Isle. Bridge Looking South with Starbucks Isle. To The Right

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There is then a short hop on the ever-busy River St. to Middleburgh.

 Entrance to the Waterfront Portion of the Uncle Sam Trail from River St. At VanDerHeyden St.

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 Ode to a Disappearing Bicycle Lane on Middleburgh St. – Where Did It Go?

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 Leaving Middleburgh St. onto River St. – Lots Of Motor Vehicle Traffic

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 Can You See This?

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As of this post (7/30), construction still blocks end-to-end travel but it won’t be long! Even with most of the path blocked, one can enter at Hutton St., go under the Rt. 7/Hoosick St. Bridge, and then exit at VanDerHeyden.

Leaving the River Front Multiuse Path toward River St. On VanDerHeyden St. – Gates Closed? Take the Sidewalk!

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Bicycle Path of Car Park?

As a positive note, the “Bar-B-Que/Green Isl. Bridge promenade” finally eliminates the bicycle/pedestrian “pinch point” the Bar-B-Que at the North end of River Front Park. However, people on bicycles who are on the sidewalk in front of the Bar-B-Que must dismount if pedestrians are present.

 The Current Cycling-Pedestrian “Pinch Point” By the Bar-B-Que – Note Promenade behind Construction Barriers

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View Of The Promenade Looking South from Under Green Isle. Bridge – Note Ongoing Construction

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Promenade Looking South with View of Green Isle. Bridge and River St. Retail on the Left

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 Promenade Looking North to City Hall and the Collar City Rt. 7/Hoosick St. Bridge

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 Second View from the Promenade Looking North To City Hall, the Collar City Bridge, and Construction Ongoing

 It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a …. Bike Rack?

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 Hard At Work!

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 Promenade Entrance/Exit under the Green Isle. Bridge – Note Plantings and Rock Garden with Construction On Going in the Near Distance with City Hall and the Collar City Rt 7 Bridge in the Far Distance

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 View Back To the South from the Above Exit Area

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 Riding South on the New Uncle Sam Trail

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Uncle Sam Trail Heading North to the “Pocket Park” Underneath the Collar City Bridge

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 Working On a Laptop in the Collar City Bridge “Pocket Park”

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River St. – A New Beginning – The Times Union featured the long-awaited River St. connection from Division St. to High St./Burden Ave. on 7/23/20. The vision is that this will also be a connection for people on bicycles. The section from Main St. to Monroe St. is under construction with the Monroe St. to Adams St. planned. Ultimately, there will be a river front bikeway from Rt. 378/High St. to Adams St. Here the path will re-join the existing Uncle Sam Trail. The Times Union photo shows Mayor Madden – under whose administration many of these changes have occurred – posing with the project engineers.

South Troy Industrial Rd. Project Northern View near Burden Iron Works Museum – County Jail on the Left

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 South Troy Industrial Rd. Project Southern View near Burden Iron Works Museum – County Jail on the Right

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 Scene at the Industrial Rd. Project Site

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Long term, Troy’s river front bikeway will connect to the city of Rensselaer at the recently completed Rensselaer Waterfront Esplanade. There will then be connection to the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail providing largely off road or bicycle lane access from N. Troy/Lansingburgh to Hudson with the river crossing to the City of Albany via the Dunn Memorial Bridge. “Someday” the Livingston Avenue Bridge Coalition may be successful in getting the return of the “water level” bicycle crossing on the 100-year-old railroad bridge (or its replacement).

Ren Cnty CDTC Trail Plan

 Access – The Uncle Sam Trail is readily accessible from the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trailon a (curiously unmarked) serpentine connection a few yards north of the Rt. 378 Bridge. Once across the Hudson River, people on bicycles can follow the trail to the Burden Ave. intersection with Mill St. and proceed north on shared lanes (with shared lanes markings visible from, Mars). The beloe photo shows the path, the 378 bridge, and the MHBHT just before completion in 2010.

The Serpent Showing the Path, the Rt. 378 Bridge, and the MHBHT (2010)

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Filed under City Review, Cycle Track, Transport Troy, Troy Cycling, Uncle Sam Trail

Cycle Track in Watervliet – Coming Soon!

The long awaited safe bikeway and multiuse path through Watervliet is coming to fruition. It originates at the park/trail head/parking lot terminus of the off-road portion of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail and continues for about one and one-half miles to 23rd St. The “Watervliet Bike Path” will become shared lanes at 23rd St. for access to the Hudson Shores Park.

Map of the Project Area

Bike Way Map 2019

Those continuing to Green Isl. and the Erie CanalwayTrail/Empire State Trailwill continue on shared lanes on Broadway until 25th St. and then follow Albany St. to the Green Isl. Bridge to Troy or Hudson Ave. north – the current route of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail.

Concept of Broadway Cycle TrackBrdway Near Arsenal EST

Broadway at 4th St. Exiting From the Park/Trail Head/Parking at Current Terminus of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail

Brdwy & 4th MHBHT Watervliet 6-7-20

We were unsuccessful in getting from the City of Watervliet definitive information on the route and road treatments of the Empire State Trail/Watervliet Bike Path from Watervliet through to Green Isl. We are particularly interested in the treatment around the Rt. 2 Watervliet-Troy Bridge and the aforementioned Albany Ave./Hudson Ave./Green Isl. Bridge intersection. The New York State Department of Transportation 2018 “On-Road Routes Concept Plan” for the Empire State Trail sheds no light on this issue.

Progress Just North Of 4th St. – Note Passano Paints

More progress in Watervliet today

 James Roy Mills 1835 – Now Used By Passano Paints

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 Construction Ahead! (Heading South On Broadway)

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 Cycle Track Route between Motor Vehicle Lane And I-787 Fence (2 Views)

 Cycle Track Base I-787 Fence (North and South Views)

 View South with Arsenal Fence to the Right

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Heretofore, Broadway from the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail at 4th St. was one of the main barriers for less road-hardened riders going on to Troy, Cohoes, the Black Bridge, Champlain Canal Trail, Waterford, and the many sites along the way. The new bikeway is very impressive and will make the ride a wonderful experience. I-787 will be noisy but the bikeway will be safe and relaxing traffic wise.

 Empire State Trail staff graciously provided background resources and some of the information herein.

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Filed under Capital Trails-New York, City Review, Cycle Track, Empire State Trail, Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, Watervliet

City of Albany Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan Public Meetings

(UPDATED 6/7/20)

Throughout June, the Albany Department of Planning and Development will host six virtual meetings to discuss cycling and walking in the City. Each of the six meetings will be based on a grouping of neighborhoods and corresponds with the meeting numbers listed below.

  • Neighborhood Meeting #1:  Monday, June 15th – 6:30pm – 8pm

(Center Square, Downtown, Hudson Park, Lincoln Park, Mansion, Pastures, Washington Park Washington Square) Zoom Registration Link: https://nelsonnygaard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYkf-irrTosHNEZZ23Vytg5JOlaRqZYHoDA

  • Neighborhood Meeting #2: Wednesday, June 17th – 6:30pm – 8pm

(Delaware Avenue, Lincoln Park, Mount Hope, Second Avenue, South End) Zoom Registration Link: https://nelsonnygaard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUtc-mqpzItGtdg9NDxdZlgXs5zmbIncD4o

  • Neighborhood Meeting #3: Monday, June 22nd – 6:30pm – 8pm

(Beverwyck, Helderberg, New Scotland/Woodlawn, Normanskill, Pine Hills, Whitehall) Zoom Registration Link: https://nelsonnygaard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAlcemspzosH9SIAV9I10xSmxkeyW0ju8HQ

  • Neighborhood Meeting #4: Monday, June 29th – 6:30pm – 8pm

(Buckingham Lake, Campus Area, Eagle Hill, Manning Boulevard, Melrose, Pine Bush, Upper Washington Avenue) Zoom Registration Link:https://nelsonnygaard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwsdO-vpzktGNRKwuYtJtJkZ3s1FdOeneQs

  • Neighborhood Meeting #5: Wednesday, June 24th – 6:30pm – 8pm

(Arbor Hill, Sheridan Hollow, Ten Broeck Triangle, West End, West Hill) Zoom Registration Link:https://nelsonnygaard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYuc-qorjIrGtI2erS3TKvWgm9EmVmD1Twg

  • Neighborhood Meeting #6: Thursday, June 25th – 6:30pm – 8pm

(Bishop’s Gate, North Albany) Zoom Registration Link: https://nelsonnygaard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJErdO-hqjstG9QO5BPn57eWaotd-keWJrTR

To learn more about this project, please visit the project website and watch the project introduction video. On the project website, you can also take the project survey and use a WikiMAP to provide location-specific comments about cycling and walking in the City.

Contact  dpd@albanyny.gov if you require any accommodations for the upcoming meetings or have any questions about the project.

 

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Filed under Activisim, Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan, City Review, Meetings

South End Bikeway Connector Rumbles Along – Cont’d (5/18/20)

[Comments received on this post and on a related email are posted at the end.]

For the first time, a visitor to the South End Bikeway Connector site can get a clear picture of the entire route and layout from the trailhead at Old S. Pearl St. to the Albany Riverfront Park at the Slater/Dutch Apple anchorages.

  • The on-street cycle track on S. Pearl St. is complete except for perhaps signage, painting, and other “clean up” activities.
  • The portion along I-787 Frontage Road/northbound entry road is graded but needs paving a lot of finish work.

SEBC 787 Frontage Rd 6-6-20

  • The “linear park” under I-787 from Church St./Vine St. to Broadway and the Hudson River is clearly visible although in the early stages of preparation. The only area that is not apparent is the bump out to skirt the massive I-787 support structure where the connector will be on-road at the Church St./Bassett St. intersection until Rensselaer St. (Church St. will be one-way south for petrovehicles in this area.)

SEBC Under 787 6-6-20

For site photos and a complete route description, follow these links:

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COMMENTS RECIVED AS OF 5-20-20:

  • I just came that way and there is a van parked there – might be the same car. I agree there should be signage and maybe there will be when it’s all complete.  The glass and other debris situation is something that was brought up at the various community meetings – with the outstanding question as to who will maintain that section.
  • That darn Van is parked there most of the time.
  • What about the glass on the section along the ramp of 787? It has been horrible.
  • Went home this way about 4:30 pm.  There were no barriers this afternoon from the bus shelter south.  Woman in the silver van was parking in the bike lane as I was passing (well there was one barrier but someone knocked it away).
  • Is this section of the trail actually completed and open?  Have not ridden this area lately since it appeared that a top coat and other work was not done, some barriers still existed.  
  • When I rode home from the rail trail, there were barriers blocking the bike lane!
  • I haven’t been on S. Pearl lately, so I’ve missed the van scofflaw, but I have been coming home from downtown via the river and Broadway/Church and then on the other 787 access road that exits at S. Pearl near McCarty and 1st Ave. (across from Cherry Hill house). I’ve noticed that the 787 access road that you note is being prepped for repaving. Let’s hope that will alleviate some of the glass issues, for awhile at least. I rode on that section last month and you are correct in that the amount of glass was extraordinary, it seemed to be covering nearly every square inch. I ended up with a flat on my rear tire. It made me wonder if there was some sort of weird religious cult that required its practitioners to go out and smash glass in places used by bicyclists and pedestrians. As I ride that way, I can also see that they are doing extensive work under 787 and in making the connection across Church St between the access road and under the highway. Last week I was able to ride a little bit under the highway as they had graded the roadway, but can’t this week as there is a sizeable gap between the curb and the proposed cycle path. Still have a hard time picturing people actually hanging out there, no matter how much they prettify it. Riding through downtown has been eerie these last few weeks, but boy, I’m going to miss the reduced amount of traffic once we return to whatever new normal we will be returning to.
  • Drove past it last night … People are using the Connector for parking.  This must be stopped before it becomes normalized.  

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

Farmers Markets Finding Ways to Operate During COVID-19

~ or ~ Ride Your Bicycle and Eat Good Chow

NOTE: Updated 4/30 based on Times Union article.

One of the short-term COVID-19 causalities is the Troy Farmers Market, much loved by many people on bicycles. However, even closed, the Troy market has provided a way to buy direct from vendors including your favorite prepared food. Go here – https://www.troymarket.org/alternatives (updated 4/30). The Market is now accepting orders for twice-weekly, drive-through pickup at the Carioto Produce distribution center in Green Island. On the portal, troymarket.org, shoppers pay online, and their orders are sorted and packed at the pickup spot. Online orders open at 4 pm Friday and close at 9 am Monday for Wednesday pickup and close at 9 am Thursday for Saturday pickup. To ease expected traffic congestion, customer pickup times are set up by last name on each day: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., A though F; 11 a.m. to noon, G through L; noon to 1 p.m., M through R; 1 to 2 p.m., S through Z.

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For more tips on eating well while supporting local farmers, go to Know Where Your Food Comes Fromhttps://knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com/2020/04/08/farmers-markets-finding-ways-to-operate-during-pandemic/ This site is dedicated to “Promoting local and sustainable agriculture that cares for people, animals, land, and water.”

Farmers Markets are designated essential businesses. Here is info on some other area markets (updated 4/30 based on Times Union article):

  • Spa City Farmers Market – Sundays, Saratoga Spa State Park/Lincoln Baths. Reduced operation and appropriates precautions.
  • Saratoga Farmers Market – Opens Sat, 5/2, 9:30 AM-1:30 PM, Wilton Mall (Bon-Ton/Bow Tie parking lot). Wednesdays’ market is 3:00-6:00 pm.
  • Delmar Farmers Market – Opening 5/16, 9:30 AM-1:30 PM (TU, 4/22/20).
  • The Farmers Market Federation of New York – Provides a list of farmers markets on its website. The
  • Schenectady Greenmarket – Opening 4/26, Sundays, 10 AM-2 PM, City Hall, jay St. Smaller number of vendors spaced 10 feet apart.
  • Farmers Market Federation of New York has spotlighted the Interim Guidance for the Operation of Farmers’ Markets (3/31/20) issued by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.tumblr_544e798facbc301d77decb2a656aaa07_7372d86e_640weq

If you want to make a commitment to good food/health and local sourcing, consider a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share – more here – https://knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com/2020/03/21/march-2020-now-more-than-ever-time-to-sign-up-for-a-farm-share-in-a-csa/ where you’ll find this timely statement: “ … instead of panic, this is the right moment to build community. One way is to focus on our food, which is at the core of human existence, in good times and bad, and by mindfully knowing who is growing and producing what we eat.”

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Filed under Activisim, City Review, Riding to Get Somewhere, Troy Cycling