Category Archives: Capital Trails-New York

On the Trail – Ride Right ~ Pass Left

The clear trail message is “Ride and Walk Right – Pass Left.” This conflicts with conventional on- the road guidance with is, for pedestrians, “walk on the left side facing traffic” and, for people on bicycles, “ride on the right with traffic” where in both cases “traffic” means “motor vehicle traffic.” We frequently see both people walking and on bicycles flaunting this common sense rule at their own peril. While walking (jogging, running) facing traffic is wise in that one can “stop on a dime” and jump out of the way, riding facing traffic confuses people in cars and provides no means to “jump” out of the way. It is also illegal. This wrong-way-riding puts other people on bicycles at risk. It also risks making a collision a head-on one rather than a “rear-ender” or sideswipe.

With the apparent universal move to allow e-vehicles to ride in bicycle lanes and on multiuse paths, the need for a firm trail protocol is even more essential. In all cases, the faster traveler (joggers vs. walkers, inline skaters vs. joggers, bicycles vs. joggers, etc.) must yield to the slower.

Regrettably, if New York State Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, Empire State Trail, Parks and Trails New York, and New York State Parks and Recreation have any guidance on trail etiquette, it is well hidden. Accordingly, we have to rely on secondary sources for guidance.

Some of these are as follows:

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Filed under Capital Trails-New York, Comings and Goings, safety

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

Champlain Canal Trail and the Empire State Trail Going North from Waterford

Champlain Canal Trailand the Empire State Trail Going North from Waterford

MAP Champlain Canal Trail Upper Newtown Rd. 7-15-20

One of the nicest rides in the area – from Corning Riverfront Park to Upper Newtown Rd. – just got better. Work is in progress on the trail and towpath from Upper Newtown Rd. to Mechanicville. Formerly, people on bicycles could follow the original Champlain Canal Trail from Broad St. in Waterford, past the Weighlock, and on to “Landfill Mountain” by Momentive Performance Materials. Then, following a narrow paved road onto Bells Ln. (that changes into School House Ln.), you come to the Half Moon Trail skirting the old Champlain Canal on your left. This undeveloped area is about as close as you get to ride along the original canal through its surroundings. You can almost hear the clop-clop-clop of the mules’ hoofs. At 5.3 miles from Waterford, you arrive at a trailhead with parking for 4-5 cars at Upper Newtown Rd. Just across the road is evidence of construction of the new trail – formerly just grass, weeds, and brush.

Champlain Canal Trail Upper Newtown Rd. 7-15-20

This will be part of the Empire State Trail north connecting New York City to Canada. Go here for more detail on the currently rideable portions of the Champlain Canal Trail at Waterford.

 

View From “Before” July 2016

Trailhead Looking South Toward Waterford July 2016
Waterford Lock No 5
Waterford Weigh Lock from the Tow Path/Trail
Waterford Weigh Lock Looking North

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Filed under Black Bridge, Capital Trails-New York, Champlain Canal Trail, Empire State Trail, Erie Canal Trail, Trail Network

Patroon Greenway Project – Yardboro Ave. to Everett Rd.

The institutional support for the Albany Bicycle Coalition to promote the Patroon Greenway Project lies in Capital District Transportation Committee’s January 2019 “Capital District Trails Plan (pg. 28) – https://www.cdtcmpo.org/images/bike_ped/TrailsPlan/CDTC_TrailsPlan_F3_reduced.pdf

Capital Trails Plan 1-2019

The plan describes the Patroon Greenway (Off-Road Trail • 8.8 miles) as follows:

“The Patroon Greenway is a planned multi-use trail route which would connect from the Albany waterfront to the Albany Pine Bush Preserve and points beyond to the Schenectady County line, taking advantage of slivers of greenway which are found along the I-90 corridor.

“Beyond the county line, the Patroon Greenway is projected to continue northwest along the I-90 corridor thru Rotterdam and eventually connect with the Mohawk River section of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail (F) as part of the Empire State Trail. (Refer to Schenectady section for more detail in that county and the Patroon Greenway Feasibility Study.)

“Although the full Patroon Greenway extends to the Mohawk River, only a portion of it is considered a Core Trail for the purposes of this plan. Commencing at the crossing of the Livingston Avenue Bridge, where it would connect with the Rensselaer Riverwalk/RPI Trail as well as the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail along the Hudson River, this trail is envisioned to follow the railroad bed northeast— through the wooded area behind Capital Woods apartment complex—and connecting with the established trail which winds its way through the Tivoli Lake Preserve. Branching off the Tivoli Preserve Trail, it would then head north and pass along the Transflo railyard on Anderson Drive. From this point, it is envisioned to continue following the I-90 corridor west just south of the railroad tracks to Six Mile Waterworks Park at Rensselaer Lake. Here, the Rensselaer Lake Trail could connect it through to trails within the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, where it could link up with the proposed Schenectady Park Connector (R) trail heading north into Schenectady.

“The remainder of the Patroon Greenway would eventually continue to follow the I-90 corridor beyond the county line to connect with the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail in the vicinity of Dalys Island.”

Notes on the Plan appear at the end of this post. The Patroon Greenway studies are as follows:

From these reports and the Trail PLan, it is clear that the proposed Patroon Greenway Project is a key element in the Capital Trails program as it ties together other trails and destinations that are virtually inaccessible by bicycle or foot because of the overpower encroachment of dangerous roads and highways. Further, it connects two jewels in the City of Albany – Six-Mile Trail and Tivoli Preserve, the largest urban preserve outside of NYC.

Photos follow:

“I Get No Respect” – Patroon Creek buried under Central Ave. at Yardboro Ave. (3X)

Heading SE – Clear path ahead – Patroon Creek to the right.

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Patroon Creek (2X)

Pond

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“Last Prize” (2X)

Everett Rd. (3X)

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Path Veering Off to the Right

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I-90 Overpass – Tight Squeeze to the right side of RR tracks

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Train Yards and Tank Bomb Parking

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Capital Trails-New York (Overview) – In January 2019, the Capital District Transportation Committee – the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy-Saratoga Springs metropolitan areas – released its final plan for the four-county trail master plan.

The complete plan is here – www.cdtcmpo.org/trails

CDTC developed this plan as a toolbox for local governments, trail advocates, and organizations. CDTC cannot implement the plan because it cannot initiate capital programs. The economic data, maintenance case studies, and branding plan provide the spine for cities and towns to create their own trail and/or Complete Streets plans to connect to the system. These data also will help in competing for funding and offer ideas for local friends groups to promote trail projects, advocate for trail connections, or support an existing trail and a marketing strategy to attract private sector support and champions.

Capital Trails-New York is an overall branding and area designation. Individual trails within the system will retain their own identity much as is the case with the statewide Empire State Trail network. The advantage of this approach is twofold – it will attract newcomers – tourists and new residents – to the area and will encourage those with allegiance to a local trail to continue their involvement.

Since this plan will drive development of trails for years to come, it is imperative that you be familiar with it. While the plan is packed with interesting and valuable information, you should check the pages that refer to your area:

  • Albany County – page 28
  • Rensselaer County – page 34
  • Saratoga County – page 39
  • Schenectady County – page 44In each such section, you will find a trail map and detail description of each trail and its features.If this plan is to reach its goal of 148 miles by 2020 and 289 miles after full implementation and for the region to benefit economically and socially from a trails network, you will need to get involved in supporting your municipality and advocacy groups in pushing for completion – trail by trail. Pages 81-104 provide case studies of what people (like you) were able to accomplish. Starting with our own Friends of the Rail Trail and the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail, these case studies relate how great success was achieved but also how important was involvement by the citizenry. The studies are loaded with how-to tips.As a side note, the Albany-Colonie Connector – developed and designed by the Albany Bicycle Coalition – was adopted as Supporting Trail #14 as one of the key connectors between Guilderland, Albany, the Village and Town of Colonie, and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail at Lions Park. See page 33. This connector ties in with the Albany Loop (Core Trail “C,” pg. 29), Patroon Greenway (Core Trail “D”), Shaker Trail (Supporting Trail #13), and the University at Albany Purple Path. The Albany Bicycle Coalition has promoted this connector and has reached out in this effort to municipal leaders and local NYS Assembly members.

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Filed under Capital Trails-New York, City Review, Patroon Greenway

Explore the Wonders of Troy

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Once again, Troy’s Transport Troy advocacy group hosted a wonderful Collar City Ramble as part of the Hudson Valley Ramble. It was a beautiful day in the city with the famous Saturday Farmers’ market adding energy to the whole downtown.

Entering the city from the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail and the “serpentine” at the Rt. 378 Bridge.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

Part of the Collar City Ramble – in addition to walks and bicycle rides – is free kayak rides on the Hudson from Troy’s new boat launch. (It’s so new that it’s still “under construction” on Google Maps.) Here’s Pam, a Transport Troy and Albany Bicycle Coalition member, acting as “Harbor Master” along with some volunteers (kayaks in the background).

 

What else is there to see? The new mural on River St. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Here is a view of the developing Uncle Sam Trail running from the Rt. 378 Bridge in South Troy to 101st St. in N. Troy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAProgress on the “sea wall” near the Green Isl. Bridge (in the background).

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Riding back to Albany on the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll in all, a day well spent.

 

 

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Filed under Capital Trails-New York, Rides, Transport Troy, Troy Cycling, Uncle Sam Trail