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
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
From The Promenade Looking South with View of Riverfront Park and Boat Mooring Facility (Note Barrier)
From The Promenade under the Green Isle. Bridge Looking South with Starbucks Isle. To The Right
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.
Ode to a Disappearing Bicycle Lane on Middleburgh St. – Where Did It Go?
Leaving Middleburgh St. onto River St. – Lots Of Motor Vehicle Traffic
Can You See This?
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!
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
View Of The Promenade Looking South from Under Green Isle. Bridge – Note Ongoing Construction
Promenade Looking South with View of Green Isle. Bridge and River St. Retail on the Left
Promenade Looking North to City Hall and the Collar City Rt. 7/Hoosick St. Bridge
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?
Hard At Work!
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
View Back To the South from the Above Exit Area
Riding South on the New Uncle Sam Trail
Uncle Sam Trail Heading North to the “Pocket Park” Underneath the Collar City Bridge
Working On a Laptop in the Collar City Bridge “Pocket Park”
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
South Troy Industrial Rd. Project Southern View near Burden Iron Works Museum – County Jail on the Right
Scene at the Industrial Rd. Project Site
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).
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)
*** 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.