Category Archives: Uncle Sam Trail

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

(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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 Can You See This?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 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?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 Hard At Work!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 View Back To the South from the Above Exit Area

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 Riding South on the New Uncle Sam Trail

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 Scene at the Industrial Rd. Project Site

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 ++++++

 

*** 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

Leave a comment

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

Explore the Wonders of Troy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

 

 

Leave a comment

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

12th Annual Daily Grind Ride – Sat, August 17, 2019

Riders from the Town of Colonie (2), New York City (1), Guilderland (2), Troy (1), and Edmonton (1) joined for the Daily Grind-to-Daily Grind Sponsored Ride. We met at the Albany Daily Grind Café and, after a weather “all clear,” we headed out to Troy using the BikeAlbanyMap.com .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Albany

After a photo stop at the Albany Riverfront Park we cruised north on the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trails. After the preceding night’s heavy storm, we found the multiuse path littered with small branches, leaves, and, in a couple cases, large braches that blocked the trail. Since the weather was beautiful and the riders enthused, we smoothly overtook these impediments.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We used the serpentine path from the MHBHT at the Rt-378 Bridge to cross into South troy to explore Troy’s new bicycle infrastructure. Our ride coordinator mapped a nice route past the Burden Iron works to get us onto the main Uncle Sam Trail while avoiding the Mill St./High St. craziness.

Troy has outdone itself to welcome people on bicycles with buffered bicycle lanes, Protected Bicycle Lanes, cycle tracks, and (only as intra trail segment connectors) shared lanes. The Albany Bicycle Coalition is proud to announce that it has extended its BikeAlbanyMap to include the Uncle Sam Trail as well as rider-friendly routes into the Town of Colonie, Bethlehem, and Niskayuna.

We arrived at the Troy Daily Grind and enjoyed delicious food and coffee, gracious service, and a nice rider discount. After a relaxing time at the Daily Grind, some headed off to the famous Troy Farmers’ Marker while others enjoyed a sunny ride back to Albany.

Our riders were Pam, John, Cynthia, Herb, Mary Anne, Glenn, Shelly, Wendy (Five Borough Bike Club), Margaret, Lorenz, Maggie, and Mark.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Troy

We’ll look forward to this year’s Collar City Ramble to again enjoy Troy’s bicycle infrastructure.

As a frustrating closing note, we were again amazed that Albany County – after much prodding by the Albany Bicycle Coalition – has yet to attend to the root-damaged portions of the area’s premier multiuse path. People come from all over the USA and the world to ride the Erie Canalway Trail (Empire State Trail) – what must they think?

Take Action on the Bumps – Albany County Executive – Daniel P. McCoy, County_Executive@albanycountyny.gov , (518) 447-7040, Albany County Office Building, 112 State St., Rm. 1200, NY 12207.

MHBHT Roots 10-17 C

Leave a comment

Filed under Collar City Ramble, Rides, Transport Troy, Uncle Sam Trail

2018 Daily Grind Ride

A report on the 2018 Daily Grind Ride by Hugh.

“We decided to “grind it out” it out on Saturday August 18th from one Daily Grind to another.” 

     by Hugh Johnson

On August 11th it was looking as if “Mother Nature” was going to cooperate and allow for a an Albany Biking Coalition (ABC) ride from the “Daily Grind” in Albany to the one in Troy along the bike path.

Well, at the last minute, rain developed forcing the ride to be cancelled even though some rode through the rain for Daily Grind Ride -18 Part “A.”

DG Pre-Ride 8-11-18

The “A Team”

A week later, the same dilemma unfolded. This time the weather trends went from better to worse, but by Saturday morning, there was hope that we could squeeze the ride despite some gloomy forecasts.

I, being a retired NWS forecaster, put my thinking cap on and looked at lots of data. It looked to me besides a few rogue showers, we might be able to squeeze the ride in. After much discussion, we decided NOT to cancel the ride.

Most of the group, consisting of 11 bikers, met at the Daily Grind on Lark Street in Albany. However, two met with the remainder of the group at the Albany Riverfront Park boat launch. As the group left the Daily Grind, a new line of showers associated with the actual cold front blossomed to our northwest and strengthened. Luckily, the folks who rode from the Grind got down to shelter under I-787 before the big dump.

Unfortunately, there was some small faux pas, as Glenn had to swerve to avoid a biker on the wrong side of the road, taking action only to find his back tire caught in a crack. As a result, the law of physics took over. The wheel stopped the forward momentum of the bike but not the rider. As a result, Glenn took off from the seat and landed onto the road. Fortunately he was probably going less than 10 mph so while a “perfect storm” of events leading up to the minor accident, it could have been worse. He had wrapped his knee up in a Band-Aid as it was scrapped, but luckily not significantly injured. He showed up a few minutes behind the rest of the group.

It took some convincing, but I persuaded all the folks to remain under the bridge. It took some time for the really heavy rainfall to arrive but when it did, I think everyone was glad to be hunkered underneath the 787 bridge as the rain came slashing. We remained anchored for the better part of an hour until the rains finally let up. Our forecast dilemma was not over. There was yet another batch of showers trying to work toward us in the Schoharie Valley. However, I noticed our wind had shifted to the north and there was a distinct cooling compared to the earlier stifling feel to the day. I surmised the cold front had gone through and the next batch of showers would likely remain south of us.

We started, still with some light rain, and MANY puddles on the bike trail. Slowly we ambled, well maybe NOT so slowly. We got to the Rt. 378/High St. Bridge where we had to climb one of our few hills, the curvy extension from the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail to the bridge. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere was still water flowing down the incline, but it was no problem getting up to the bridge. After that, we stayed on the left side of the bridge and ended up over another bridge overlooking the Wynantskill which was roaring quite a bit due to the rains (see picture).

Wyantskill 8-18-18

The Power of Troy

We regrouped, and then zig zagged our way across the still developing “Uncle Sam Trail” through the riverfront of Troy. At a brief stop, Pam talked about the Burden Iron Museum (second photo below). We did leave the trail, climbing one short but very steep hill that put us on 3rd Street and to our destination, the Daily Grind Café in Troy.

Burden Iron 8-18-18

Burden Iron Co.

We got in and had a nice brunch/lunch for half price. The staff was very friendly and the food delicious. We hung awhile with chatting away. I checked the radar again and alas, it looked as if the second batch of rain was JUST going to miss us!

We headed back to a slowly clearing sky and a refreshingly drier air mass. As a little perk, we even had a tail wind back to Albany (a north wind). The trip back saw a much drier surface, with just a few remaining standing puddles. As usual, the riders split up a little as some had to get somewhere with a deadline. Some were tired and needed to rest more. By the time we pulled into the riverfront, the sun was brightly shining leaving only a small evidence of the earlier deluge. The ride was a little over 20 miles.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I seem to have this curse about me, the “Hughie curse.” With few exceptions, weather almost always tried to get in the way when I participate in these “organized” events. The same issue happened when I lead a Pine Bush Hike in both May and June. The May hike was washed out but we snuck the June one before it rained. Today was no exception but we won out over Mother Nature!

Our riders were Barb, Oliver, Brent (ride leader), Hugh, Glenn (road warrior), Pam (co-leader), Dana, Mark, Ed, Dick, and Lorenz.

Leave a comment

Filed under Local Bike Rides, Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, Troy Cycling, Uncle Sam Trail

Collar City Ramble – Bicycle Ride – Sat., 9/22, 12:00 PM, 2nd Ave.

Ramble Poster 2018

Leave a comment

by | September 18, 2018 · 1:06 pm