Black Bridge Revisited – A New Beginning

At the recent Capital District Transportation Committee Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting, Barton & Loguidice – the project engineers for the “Black Bridge Project” – briefed the group on plans for its completion. Those who have taken the bridge as part of a wonderful ride from Albany, Watervaliet, Green Island, or Cohoes to Waterford and beyond can attest to for the final changes on this project.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For background and information on this riding opportunity, see also –

Here is a summary of what is done and planned to complete of the original $499,000 project by April 2018:

  • Pave the stone portion of the trail south of and leading up to the bridge
  • Install a half-way-point shelter/rest stop
  • Add a Cannon St. trailhead in Green Island with a shelter, motor vehicle parking, and info kiosk
  • Install security cameras linked to local police
  • Modernize and enhance the existing lighting
  • Open up views of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers at the northbound approach to the bridge (ED: why removing the trees was needed, is a mystery. There never was a problem finding either river)

If you want to plan a nice ride with major off-road portions, check the referenced links  so you can include the Black Bridge in your 2018 riding plans.

1 Comment

Filed under Erie Canal Trail, Rail Trail, Rides

News on the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail

One of the best projects for recreational cyclists is the coming Albany-Hudson Electric Trail. The project derives from the Albany-Hudson Electric Trolley, an interurban system that operated from 1899 to 1929 powered by the Stuyvesant Falls hydroelectric plant.AHET Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOURCES: http://www.ahettrail.org/ , https://www.columbiapaper.com/2017/11/power-line-trail-plan-aired-khook/#more-12497 , Times Union 12/3/17 – http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Columbia-County-news-12400821.php, ,See map here – route_map

Recently, representatives from the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail and the director of the Empire State Tail reviewed plans for the trail which will extend from Rensselaer County at the north end through Columbia County at least as far south as Stottville and maybe to Greenport. The state taxpayers have given $36 million for the project and National Grid has allowed use of the company land for the trail.

The project is also part of the Hudson River Valley Greenway, a voluntary program created by state law in 1991 to “facilitate the development of a regional strategy for preserving scenic, natural, historic, cultural, and recreational resources while encouraging compatible economic development.” See: http://www.hudsongreenway.ny.gov/home.aspx . Perhaps more importantly, the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail will be a large link in the proposed 750-mile Empire State Trail.  See the complete trail plan here .

The next step is complete the design with construction starting in 2019 and finishing in 2020.

The trail will be marked with signs saying no ATVs. Municipalities will maintain the trail, generally limited to mowing a small section. The Erie Canalway Trail will provide municipal officials with the proposed costs of that maintenance work so they could use it for budgeting. The state is committed to long-term maintenance. While the state does not plan to put up fencing along the trail, it would talk to homeowners adjacent to the route who have “site-specific concerns.” The plan calls for six bridges along the entire trail.

To schedule a meeting with a member of the design team, call 518 898-9595. Submit comments at http://www.ahettrail.org/ .

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Albany-Hudson Electric Trail, Empire State Trail, Rail Trail

ABC Response to Bethlehem Delaware Avenue Traffic Calming Project

November 30, 2017

We in the Albany Bicycle Coalition are pleased to learn of progress on the Delaware Avenue Traffic Calming project in Bethlehem and appreciate your efforts in presenting information on its evolution.

Speaking not only as cyclists, but also in consideration of all users of Delaware Ave. – pedestrians, motorists, and local businesses – we fully endorse a complete streets/road diet approach. We believe two motor vehicle lanes, a central turn lane, superior bicycle lanes, and appropriate and supportive signalization and signage is the only proper treatment for this road.

Our reservations are two fold and we hope that you and the town officials will find a way to address them in the final plan as follows.

#1 – Delaware Ave. and a Major Commuter Route – The Albany Bicycle Coalition has developed its interactive BikeAlbanyMap.com to lead people on bicycles safely from/to the I-90 bridge on Delaware Ave. in Albany. The Delaware Avenue Traffic Calming in Bethlehem will take them from/to the Normanskill from/to the town center. What remains is the connection over the Normanskill and I-90. We recommend that the final plan include provisions for Bethlehem and the City of Albany to coordinate on an appropriate treatment for this gap. While a complete redesign would be ideal, we believe that a stopgap measure would be low-cost signage and pavement markings that would include a 20-30 mph speed limit.

#2 – Connections with the Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail – Since the new Delaware Avenue Traffic Calming project area and the rail trail are key features of the town, we encourage your including comprehensive two-way wayfinding signage to connect the two routes at appropriate points. When the South End Bikeway Link is finished, the rail trail will serve as a full-scale commuter route and recreational facility. Connection to Delaware Ave. can only enhance the value of these two projects.

#####

1 Comment

Filed under Activisim, Bethlehem Delaware Avenue Traffic Calming Project, City Review

People on Bicycles and in Cars Doing Dumb Things and Paying the Price

Recently, people on bicycles have “paid the price” for not obeying simple “rules of the road” (or even using common sense). This was compounded by people in cars doing the same dumb things.

Case 1 – On 7/23/17, a rider apparently blasted down the very steep Wilson St. in Albany, through the stop sign, and smack into the side of a Capital District Transportation Authority bus. Wilson St. is one block north of the Palace Theater at Clinton Ave. and intersects S. Pearl St. where there is a bus stop. It is a hill so steep that one would be well advised to walk his bicycle down it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The 42-year old rider died instantly. Regardless of one’s attitude about helmets, the rider chose not to wear one.

Sadly, the Times Union report also noted, “the bus driver was  …. could be seen crying as she got into a car.” See: http://www.timesunion.com/7dayarchive/article/Albany-police-on-scene-at-bicycle-vs-bus-accident-11307576.php#photo-13283511

As always, everyone loses …

Case 2 – On 11/18/17, a 24-year old bicyclist rode through stop sign in Queensbury and plowed into a car – the rider damaged the car, suffered non-life threatening injuries, and ended up with traffic tickets.

See: http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Bicyclist-ticketed-after-Queensbury-crash-12365126.php

So here, to save a second on two (or through plain obliviousness/stupid), we have a person on a bicycle hurting himself, probably ruining his bicycle, getting a ticket, and probably scaring the person in the car out of her wits and then having to get her car repaired.

And so … the next time you think about “blowing off” that stop sign or red light, better think again about “blowing off” that stop sign or red light.

As always, everyone loses …

tumblr_ln0bi0HNhi1qjxfx5o1_1280

Case 3 – On 11/14/17 in Queensbury a driver from Gansevoort crashed into cyclist Anthony J. Larmon, 29, of Queensbury who then went to the Glens Falls Hospital ER for non-life threatening injuries. Warren County sheriff’s deputies ticketed Kristopher T. Demars, 46, of Gansevoort. Demars pulled on to Route 9 from a parking lot near Firestone Auto Care without stopping for a flashing red traffic signal. Deputies did not provide the specific charge.

See – http://poststar.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/bicyclist-brought-to-hospital-after-being-struck-by-car/article_d7b5aa7f-ef1e-50cf-80aa-e62185809a77.htmlhttp://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODN/AlbanyTimesUnion/Default.aspx

As always, everyone loses …

Leave a comment

Filed under Activisim, Death on the Road, Traffic Law

650 Riders Cycle the Erie Canal

The 2017 ride ended on July 16 for which some closing scenes appear below.

Mark your calendar for Parks & Trails NY 20th anniversary edition of the Cycle the Erie Canal tour.  It leaves Buffalo on Sunday, July 8, 2018 and arrives in Albany eight days later on Sunday, July 15.  See more about 2018 at https://www.ptny.org/events/annual-bike-tour    Registration opens January 2018.

To get an idea of each day’s opportunity, see the maps and cue sheets from 2017.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Leave a comment

Filed under Erie Canal Trail, Rides