A frequent discussion item is the perceived risk for people on bicycles who are forced to ride though hellish intersections. These include, but certainly are not limited to: Central Ave./Wolf Rd., Western Ave./I-87/Fuller Rd., the Fuller Rd. “flyover” on Washington Ave., and Central Ave./Everett Rd.
In 2014 in a similar situation, the Village of Menands with New York State Department of Transportation oversight, installed a short stretch of bicycle lanes on Rt. 32/Broadway at the Rt. 378/I-787 entrance/exit ramps. (This was an earlier component of an overall re-do Rt. 32/Broadway in the village. Notably, much of this was reduction in motor vehicle travel lanes from four to two – as in the stretch in front of River View Center [Montgomery-Wards] leading north over the railway tracks into the village.)
The first photo (above) looks north just past the soon-to-closed Price Chopper. The iron fence in the left of the photo is Albany Rural’s with CorrCraft and Albany Steel following and the Schuyler Motel on the right with its sign between the second and third utility poles. The second photo (below) looks south with the Price Chopper “plaza” to the right and the Rt. 378 overpass in the distance.
At the time this was done, NYSDOT stated: “The reduction in the number of travel lanes from four to two with a two-way left-turn median in the center … reduces the frequency of rear-end accidents. We understand . . . that there are not left-turning opportunities at all locations where the median is provided, however it is important that the thru travel lanes have a consistent alignment. There may be a minor reduction in the efficiency of the operation of Route 32 but the safety benefits are significant.”
So … is it possible that low-budget projects (as the above) could provide visible bicycle facilities to guide both people in cars and on bicycles through troublesome intersections? This could be done without a complete (and expensive) re-do of the entire street with full-scale bicycle lanes. If you’ve ridden the section in Menands described above or Madison Ave./Main Ave. intersection, you might have an idea on how this might work successfully elsewhere.
Alert Cyclist Mark informs us as follows:
The State’s Regional Economic Development Council Awards for 2016 includes (page 81, middle of the page, project #627184) $325,000 toward design and construction of the South End Bikeway Link. It is described as a “two-way, Separated Bike Lane, also known as a cycle track, extending along the east (ED: river/port/RR) side of South Pearl Street where sidewalks exist.” The Times Union story is here.
The full project (with editorial corrections) is as follows: The City of Albany will design and construct the South End Multi-Use Trail, located in the South Waterfront District, that will link the Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail to the Mohawk-Hudson Hike-Bike Trail/Erie Canalway Trail, filling a gap in a more than 360-mile multi-use trail network. The proposed treatment is a two-way, Separated Bike Lane, also known as a cycle track, extending along the east side of South Pearl Street where sidewalks exist.
The funding of the South End Bikeway Link is perfectly timed with the pending completion of the Corning Riverfront Park Protected Bicycle Lanes and the other amenities as well as with completion of ABC’s BikeAlbanyMap. The three projects now provide people on bicycles with many options for safely and efficiently transporting themselves around the city and region.
Building the ACHHRT
Alert cyclist Brent noted that the bicycle ramps have had a entry ramp added – see picture:
Back-story – The revitalization of the Corning Riverfront Park proceeds apace. The “finishing touches” are nearing completion. The new “green path” is open or will be soon so that people on bicycles can ride from the Slater to the Barge/DGS building without having to navigate amongst the walkers, joggers, and strollers. At Colonie/Water Sts., a second segment helps riders get clear of the Corning Riverfront Park and across the I-787 exit ramp. [Ed: Be careful here!]
Alert cyclist Brent reported that bicycle ramps are installed on the stairs leading to and from the Corning Riverfront Park over the bridge that crosses I-787 at Pine St. on Broadway. Now, instead of carrying one’s bicycle up or down the stairs, one can walk it up or down the ramp. As a cautionary note, lean your bicycle away from the hand railing to prevent interference with the pedals.
The ramps help those whose bicycle weight or degree of fitness makes climbing/descending the stairs a chore. In addition, those who want to enter the Corning Riverfront Park WITHOUT risking the Jose Perez Memorial Plaza (at the Slater entrance) or the I-787 off ramp (at Colonie St.) or who are in midtown, can now use the pedestrian bridge (with ramps) as a good alternative. Notabley, people on bicycles can access the Corning Riverfront Park from either end by using the BikeAlbanyMap.
The ramps are a good idea. Nevertheless, check the motorized “bicycle lift” in Trondheim – a good idea for the State or Morton St. hills?
Here’s clear evidence of why we now have Madison Avenue Traffic Calming – too bad this section won’t be done until next year.
Madison Ave. at Lake – 12:00 PM, Friday, Oct 21, 2016
They Are Here – Bicycle Lanes on Madison Ave.!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Finally – workers are today, Monday, 8/22/16, putting the finishing touches on the new road layout on Madison Ave. from Partridge St. to Allen St.
See more photos here – https://lorenzworden.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/august-22-2016-madison-ave/
Not surprisingly, when people in cars complete the new one-travel lane segment delimited by the center turn lane on one side and the bicycle lanes and parking lanes on the other, they continue in a “traffic-calmed” single file. How easy it was! Attention Naysayers! – Before the job is 100 percent completed, people have learned how to drive in it.
Moreover, what a dream to ride one’s bicycle.
Dimensions (unofficial – taken from centerline of stripes):
- Parking Lane – 7’
- Bicycle Lane/Parking Lane Stripe – 5”
- Bicycle Lane – 6’
- Bicycle Lane/Travel Lane Stripe – 6.5”
- Travel Lane – 10’ 3”
- Turn Lane – 10’
Credit for this success lies largely with Virginia Hammer, president of the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association, whose diligence, persistence, initiative, and presence at many events guided this new era for the City of Albany into fruition. We need also recognize all those who attended meetings, carried banners and posters, wrote letters, and signed petitions to support the effort to calm Madison Ave. for the benefit of all.