Category Archives: City Review

Albany Bicycle Coalition Positions on the Proposed Albany Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan

The City of Albany is developing an Albany Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan to replace the 2009 such plan. The earlier plan limited itself to bicycle issues while the proposed pan also addresses issues facing pedestrians since the vast majority trips by any alternative mode of transportation begins and ends with people walking.

The Albany Bicycle Coalition (ABC) was heavily involved in the development of the 2009 plan and has been fully engaged in monitoring the current effort. While the city has yet to release a draft of the plan, ABC offers recommendations for the plan as enumerated below. An emphasis of our positions is that the proposed Albany Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan must embrace all forms of transposition since no one form can be addressed independently from the others – that is, “transportation equity.”

The Albany Bicycle Coalition, Inc. takes the opportunity offered by the development of the City of Albany’s Albany Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan to present its transportation ideas for the future of our city. We present our program in two parts as follows:

  • Specific, bicycle-related projects that the city needs to begin work on immediately.
  • Foundational propositions that cover all aspects of the plan whether it impinges on pedestrians, cyclists, bus riders, or motor vehicle drivers.

Our position is that the City of Albany, like many, many cities, allowed itself to become car centric. All transportation issues center around and are decided upon accommodating more and more motor vehicle traffic or upon sustaining current volumes (“Level of Service”). Accordingly, people – regardless of their specific mode of transposition – are subjected to dangerous street conditions, air and noise pollution, and limitations to their enjoyment of the built environment. Our road and street network is completely “behind the times.” We believe that the Albany Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan is really the “Albany Transportation Plan” and, as such, must reach beyond considerations of walking or riding a bicycle to encompass all citizens.

We base many of our propositions on the fundamental belief that our streets, roads, and sidewalks should be safe – not “pretty safe,” or “safer,” but SAFE. There can be no compromise. Sacrificing safety for the convenience of a minority of motor vehicle operators cannot continue.

We believe that the points we set forth in this document can pave the way for bold new thinking. If the City of Albany will embrace a new approach to transportation, it will provide unending benefits to its citizens, will position itself to be competitive in attracting new populations and businesses, and will become a model for other municipalities. The city will be able to cope more effectively with the coming change in the availability of cheap petroleum and increasing pressure to reduce its consumption and replace it with other forms of energy suited to transportation.

Specific, Bicycle-Related Projects

  1. Western Ave. Bicycle Lanes – Connect Western Ave. from Madison Ave. to the Guilderland portion of Western Ave. to form a seamless, calmed commuter and recreational route. Western Ave. from the University at Albany to Madison Ave. at Allen St. has two schools with posted 20 mph zones and many business and residences with exiting and entering traffic. The extra wide double lanes encourage speeding and erratic lane changes threatening everyone’s safety. This is an ideal street for Traffic Calming. This wide street section with essentially no parking has ample room for buffered bicycle lanes without impeding the smooth flow of motor vehicle traffic.
  2. Install bicycle lanes on New Scotland Ave. especially between Manning Blvd. and the Thruway Overpass. Bike lanes were strongly preferred over parking for traffic calming on this section of New Scotland by community members participating in the City’s recent Upper New Scotland Traffic Study.
  3. Install bicycle lanes on Green St. and improve the crossing at Madison Ave. to provide safe downtown bicycle access from South Albany
  4. Complete bicycle lanes on Shaker Rd./Loudonville Rd. to Broadway
  5. Complete bike lanes on North Manning Blvd. from Lark St. to Livingston Ave.
  6. Complete Clinton Ave. bike lanes from Ten Broeck to Broadway where they can connect to the new Albany Skyway and the Empire State Trail/Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail.
  7. Work with Menands to extend Broadway bike lanes to provide safe downtown bicycle access from Menands to North Albany.
  8. Improve Everett Road I-90 interchange/overpass to make it safe for pedestrians and cyclists who must use this road to cross I-90 and the railroad tracks.
  9. Provide bike lanes and traffic calming for Washington Ave. west of Brevator
  10. Change Belgian blocks (“cobblestones”) on Lark St. and South Pearl St. intersections to a traffic calming surface that does not cause bicyclists to fall.
  11. Coordinate with Colonie and Guilderland to install bike lanes and or multiuse side path along Rapp Road/Lincoln Ave. from the City of Albany’s Rapp Road Waste Management Facility to Village of Colonie’s Cook Park to accommodate cyclists, pedestrians, and hikers using the Pine Bush, Six Mile Waterworks lake, park and trail, and Cook Park trails.
  12. Coordinate with Delmar and Town of Bethlehem to extend Delaware Ave. bike lanes and traffic calming efforts from the Normans Kill Bridge to McAlpin Ave. Establish safe cycling routes from that point to Hackett Blvd. and Madison Ave.
  13. Work with the Town of Colonie to develop the Patroon Creek Greenway from Six Mile Waterworks to Tivoli Lake Preserve and the Albany Skyway
  14. Cross-Town bicycle Expressway – Construct a cross-town connector between Northern Blvd./McCrossin Ave. to Clinton Ave. bicycle lanes and to Whitehall Rd./Delaware Ave.
  15. Extend Hackett Blvd. multi-use path with bicycle lanes to Manning Blvd.
  16. Improve informal path/trail from Lark St. behind Hackett Middle School to Hackett Blvd. multiuse path at Holland Ave. by the McDonald’s

General Principles for the Albany Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan

 Safe Street Infrastructure Improvements

  1. Enhance viewing space for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians at intersections. “Daylight” all intersections as provided in the city parking code to 20 ft from each crossing street by painting curbs yellow and/or with painted “bump outs.” (§ 323-34 Street crossings kept open for passage – “… extending back into each street 20 feet beyond said corner, shall be kept free from all vehicles … “). Create a clear space at all intersections to improve visibility for bicyclists, pedestrians, and operators of motor vehicles. Do this by removing parking for a yet-to-be-determined distance and then “bumping out” the curbs to shorten crossings and prevent motorists from parking in the clear space areas (similar to the Delaware Ave. reconstruction.) Post signs to restrict the parking at corners until funds are available to reconstruct the curbs.
  2. Emphasize “safe streets” over “complete streets.” Make safety the priority in all street designs. New York State law defines a Complete Streets as roadways planned and designed to consider the safe, convenient access and mobility of all roadway … including pedestrians, bicyclists, bus riders, and motorists (Complete Streets Act – Chapter 398, Laws of New York, 8/15/11). While the law implies that safety will be a considered, it does not make safety the primary goal. Rather, Complete Streets implies a compromise over all mobility modes without paramount consideration for the vulnerability of certain road users. Since most Albany streets and intersections are or were designed for maximum motor vehicle throughput, it stands that no street redesign project proposal should ever consider the null alternative “do nothing.”
  3. Prohibit diagonal or perpendicular parking throughout the city except for previously established Albany Police Department facilities. Backing up is inherently dangerous to cyclists (and to motor vehicles).
  4. Reduce speed limit on all residential streets to 25 mph.
  5. Reduce to 20 mph the speed limit in a newly established “green zone” bounded by Clinton Ave., Broadway, Madison Ave., and Henry Johnson Blvd.
  6. Work with New York State legislators to provide home rule for cities to set speed limits below 30 mph (outside of schools zones). For specific projects, apply for “home rule” for traffic safety advancements such as a “20 Is Plenty” “green zone” described above.
  7. Reduce speed limit on park roads in the City of Albany to 15 mph with traffic calming changes made to roadways to discourage driving over the desired speed. Calming techniques include reducing the width of driving lanes, squaring intersections, installing speed bumps and speed tables, and changing the road surface.
  8. Close parks to all through traffic driving on Sundays between noon and 5 pm
  9. Reduce all in-city motor vehicle travel lanes to 11 ft or less except where the passage of emergency vehicles dictates greater width. These narrowed roadways and/or travel lanes will calm traffic thereby improving traffic safety on the roadways. Each street design project will suggest different approaches to this objective. In some case, for example, painting shoulders might suffice. Other cases might call for bicycle lanes, bicycle lane buffers, or curb relocations.
  10. Post more “No-Turn-on-Red” signs and use illuminated “No-Turn-on-Red” signs that activate at certain periods during the signal cycle or when pedestrian push buttons are active. This will increase pedestrian and bicycle safety. Increase the number of intersection where “no right on red” is the rule especially in areas with high pedestrian and public transport traffic. An example would be for all cross streets on Central Ave.
  11. Analyze intersection crashes to improve intersection safety and then designate these areas for redesign, education, and enforcement. To not limit this investigation to Albany Police Department traffic incident reporting.
  12. Provide motorcycle-only parking spaces. Establish these spaces at the beginning or ends of parking areas on each block (angle parking for motorcycles). Determine the number of spaces per block or area by working with motorcycle groups and the Albany Parking Authority. (This will improve intersection sight lines and reduce risk to motorcycles of parking in conventional parking spaces.)
  13. Review traffic patterns to determine if the city needs to change signs and traffic signals.
  14. Perform a city-wide traffic sign inventory. Reduce number of signs where possible to increase compliance with the posted regulations or warnings. Analyze the results with the following objectives: reducing sign clutter (to increase the utility/impact/effectiveness of the remaining signs); assessing whether signs installed “years ago” are still needed; and assessing whether or not evolving traffic patterns suggest new, revised, or unneeded signage. Continue to prohibit all signage not directly involved with traffic control and safety. Do in phases to control costs. This would dictate removal of all promotional and commercial signage, with the possible exclusion of some directional signage.
  15. Develop a master plan for Traffic Engineering. Develop an Engineering approach to calm aggressive driving.
  16. Analyze on-street parking in the City of Albany with a special emphasis on the following: enhancing viewing space for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians at intersections, restricting parking at intersections, and striping to preclude driver creation of an informal right-turn lane), and establishing pull off/pull out for buses (i.e., analyze problem “stops” and remove parking as indicated). Gradually reduce the number of on-street parking spaces from designated areas to enhance community growth and street-side ambience.
  17. Start and continue a share-the-road campaign to make roadways friendlier for all modes of transportation.
  18. Starting with Albany Police Department traffic/crash data, identify existing danger areas. Analyze the areas for remediation through engineering, education, and enforcement. Consider publishing the results. Consider special signage, lane reconfiguration, road redesign, markings, or speed limits for the identified “danger zones.”
  19. As a rule, reconfigure all intersections to have 90-degree turns to reduce speeds and enhance safety for pedestrians. This will discourage high-speed turns that can be deadly to pedestrians and cyclists.

Bicyclist Specific Safety Improvements

  1. Concentrate on establishing a city-wide network of bicycle facilities rather than on isolated segments.
  2. Restrict installation of shared lanes (“sharrows”) only as provided by National Association of City Transportation Officials in conjunction with bicycle facilities such as bicycle lanes, protected bicycle lanes, and cycle tracks. Although people on bicycles may ride on all non-limited use highways (e.g., interstates), bicycles may at times legally share (or “take”) the traffic lane. Shared lane markings reinforce the legitimacy of bicycle traffic on the street. This is especially true where keeping to the right is unsafe. They serve as a reminder to people in cars that bicycle riders may be present and that they have “taken the lane” for their own safety.
  3. Improve on the League of American Bicyclists’s Bicycle Friendly Community designation.Analyze the suggestions provided by the League of American Bicyclists in its review of City of Albany’s bicycle friendly community designation.
  4. Selectively establish bike-only and or separated bikeways to promote more biking.
  5. Promote work-place bicycle lockup areas for those who ride to work.
  6. Install and build more bicycle accommodations throughout the City including bicycle racks, fix-it stations, lanes, and intersection “bike boxes.”
  7. Install signal detectors capable of identifying bicycles. Mark areas at selected intersections to inform bicyclists where they should be on the pavement to activate the traffic signal at intersections that have actuated approaches.

Pedestrian Specific Safety Improvements

  1. Re-program all on-demand pedestrian crossing lights to a “pedestrian priority” sequence wherein pressing a demand button will provide for crossing immediately after the end of the current motor vehicle phase in the complete cycle. Allow pedestrians to enter their demand even when the street to be crossed is currently red to stop motor vehicle traffic after the next motor vehicle cycle.
  2. At selected signalized intersections, implement an advanced pedestrian interval or exclusive pedestrian phase in the signal operations to improve pedestrian safety. Examples for this treatment include Lark St./Madison Ave. Delaware Ave., Washington Ave. /Lark St., Delaware Ave./Holland Ave./Morton Ave., and Allen St./Madison Ave./Western Ave.
  3. At select signalized intersections, increase yellow clearance times and all red times to increase intersection safety during high pedestrian use hours.
  4. At selected signalized, high-pedestrian-use intersections, employ ALL WAY STOP signalization. Do this in such a way as to not increase or encourage “pause” by people in cars who do not want to continuously stop at intersections.
  5. For pedestrian heavy streets, install midblock crossing locations preferably with raised, sidewalk-high “green zones.” Where appropriate, signalize these midblock crossings (e.g., Central Ave., Washington Ave.)
  6. Install sidewalks on all roadways to encourage walking and improve safety on roadways. This is especially relevant where pedestrians currently have to share the travel lanes with motorists and bicyclists.
  7. Where sidewalks do not exist, install warming signs for motorists and, where appropriate, “walk left” signs for people walking.

Bus/Bus Rider Safety

  1. Establish ADA compliant bus stops in logical locations with bump outs to provide areas where buses can discharge or pick up passengers on the sidewalk and not in the travel, bicycle, or parking lanes.
  2. Coordinate with Capital District Transportation Authority in analyzing “problem” bus stops using CDTA and city data and driver testimony.
  3. Determine what actions the city might take to ease reentry of buses into the traffic lane.
  4. Provide more bus operator traffic signal control.
  5. Wherever possible, implement bus-only travel lanes.
  6. Work with City School District on an engineering approach to school bus safety. This includes safe pickup and drop off locations that still meet all guidelines and laws. Implement School Zone Safety program. Provide bus, parent drop off/pick up areas at each school large enough to accommodate each. This will improve transportation on roadways around the schools. Work with the School District through the education and enforcement groups to ensure the engineering plans are followed. Encourage the School District to embrace traffic safety that goes hand in hand with school safety. Coordinate with the School District on analyzing trouble spots at the exits/entrances of identified schools. Once completed, use this as a model for the public-charter and private schools (perhaps asking them to do a self-analysis)

Other

  1. Priority sequence all of the Albany Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan’s major projects.
  2. Provide a specific time line for each major planned project in the Albany Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan with a completion-by-date specified.
  3. Improved coordination with neighboring municipalities to provide a regional bike transportation network. Pay particular attention to the interface points between municipalities (e.g., Everett Rd. at I-90, Delaware Ave. at the Normanskill, and Western Ave. at the city line with Guilderland).
  4. Divest all City of Albany Parking Authority Parking lots/garages and sell to private business. This will increase the cost of “downtown” parking and provide the city with tax revenues.
  5. Encourage use of park-and-ride. Analyze traffic and public transport data to assess the benefits of having more park-and-rides. Identify businesses/agencies that should be encouraged to support park-and-ride.

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“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”

[SOURCE: Jane Jacobs, “The Death and Life of Great American Cities”]

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Filed under Activisim, Albany-Bike/Ped Master Plan, City Review

Safe Streets – It Can Be Done

The Setting – This is about a recent traffic calming street redesign in a residential area but one with major traffic arteries – Partridge St. and Woodlawn Ave.

UPDATE: On 9/29/20, City of Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and others gathered at the project site to cut a ribbon opening the new sidewalk. As the Mayor stated “it’s not often that you get invited to a ribbon cutting for a sidewalk.” The mayor and other speakers all noted the long-time request from residents of the area for a sidewalk on Woodlawn to ensure the safety of people walking and visitors to the various recreational facilities at the park. The Albany Common Council Members, county legislators, and the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association president all thanked the Mayor and other city officials for bringing the project to fruition. Several Little League players come on their bicycles to help cut the ribbon.

Welcome!
L-to-R: City Engineer, Dir. Traffic Engineering, Enthused Cyclist
Snip!
It’s Open!

While ABC recognizes that this is not a “bicycle project,” we do note that the traffic calming effect of triple 4-way stop signs combined with the bumpout will tend to make this popular route safer for people on bicycles.

The Scene – In the specific location there is: the Woodlawn Park Basketball Court, Albany Babe Ruth, National Little league, and Woodlawn Park Playground. The court is constantly in use. In non-COVID-19 baseball season, players and families pack the streets and grounds. Temporary signage goes out on game days to slow motor vehicle through traffic. Both Woodlawn and Partridge are “cut-through” streets connecting New Scotland Ave., Lake Ave. Main Ave., Western Ave., Washington Ave., and Central Ave

Area Overview Prior to Redesign
Neckdown or Bulbout/Bumpout Looking South East at Glenwood
Close Up View

The Project – The City of Albany installed a “neck down,” “bulbout,” or “bumpout” mid-block to facilitate safe crossing at Glenwood St. From the National Association of City Transportation Officials, “Previous Studies on Effects of Bulbouts and Street Narrowing – The purpose of a bulbout (also known as a choker, curb bulb, neckdown, nub, or gateway) is reduction of the width of vehicle travel way at an intersection or a mid-block pedestrian crossing. Bulbouts shorten the street crossing distance for pedestrians, may slow vehicle speeds, and provide pedestrians and motorists with an improved view of one another, thereby reducing the risk of a motor vehicle–pedestrian collision.” [SOURCE: https://nacto.org/docs/usdg/effects_traffic_calming_on_ped_motorist_behavior_huang.pdf ]

Neckdown Looking North West at Glenwood from Partridge

Not only do the bulbouts reduce pedestrian travel distance, but they also provide a visible warning of their presence. Notably, the motor vehicle lane width is now 11 ft. (as should be the maximum lane width anywhere in the city). From observation, this is more than adequate for cars passing through and would not hinder first-responder vehicles. This is a heavily traveled street. While the feature is new to people in cars, they are definitely responsive to the new stop signs and narrowed road. As regular travelers become accustomed to the neckdown, speed and “pause-and-go” likely will increase. (Previously, there were no stop signs on Woodlawn at Glenwood.)

Plenty of Room – Brake Lights “On”

See more at http://www.streetfilms.org/mba-traffic-calming/#:~:text=The%20most%20effective%20traffic%20calming%20measures%20are%20those,sending%20the%20signal%20for%20drivers%20to%20slow%20down.

Why Not Elsewhere? – By comparison, Central Ave.’s curb-to-curb distance runs around 67 ft. With 2 7-ft. parking lanes, the motor vehicle travel lanes occupy 53 ft. or 12-13 ft. per lane. Wide enough? Can there be any question why this design determines the speed for people in cars vs. the posted (and theoretical) 30 MPH limit? One might guess that within a block on either side of the commercial district of Central Ave. from, say, King St. to Washington Ave. there are thousands of residents, many of whom will need to cross Central Ave. There are plenty of other opportunities within the city to “neck down” pedestrian crossings. It can be done!

Cruising Through

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Filed under City Review, Road Diet - Traffic Calming, safety

Uncle Sam Trail Progress Report – July 30

SEE UPDATE 9/25/20 AT END

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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(Text Cont’d)

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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*** UPDATE 9/25/20 ***

The Uncle Sam Trail promenade behind the bar-b-que restaurant and under the Green Isl. Bridge is complete.

Bicycle wise, the path behind the bar-b-que restaurant is very narrow (see photo) and would not allow for someone on a bicycle and someone walking to pass by each other. (The photo makes it look wider than it is in “real life.”) A courteous cyclist would likely dismount to let a pedestrian pass by. As in the photos, some construction items remain.

A Short View Looking North

A Short View Looking South
A Long View Looking South

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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