Northern Blvd. Bicycle Lane Network

[UPDATED 7-1-20]

There are  0.2 miles of new bicycle lanes on Northern Blvd.-Manning Blvd. running from Pennsylvania Ave./McCrossin St. to Lark Dr.  This expands the Northern Blvd. /Memorial Hospital area bicycle lane network to a total of 1.4 miles. The network connects to the Village of Menands/Department of Transportation 1.5 miles of bicycle lanes on Van Rensselaer Blvd. (See more background and photos here: Bicycle Lanes in the City of Albany.)

This brings the City of Albany total installed bicycle lanes to 4.9 milesThe final 2009 Albany Bicycle Master Plan designated 18 “major bikeways” within the City of Albany. While the plan did not specify bicycle road treatments, it suggested many – Including bicycle lanes but with long stretches of shared lanes. In several instances, the plan called for narrowing motor vehicle travel lanes to provide space for bicycle lanes. The approximate total miles of these 18 bikeways is 40.64 (using Google Maps distance function). While not a 1:1 comparison, this 4.9 miles of bicycle lanes is 12 percent of this total.

With anticipated completion of the South End Bikeway Connector (about 1.5 miles of cycle track/bicycle lane plus a side path), the total will be 6.3 miles or 16 percent of the 2009 total.

New bicycle lanes – looking southeast from Northern Blvd. toward Manning Blvd. The bridge crosses the I-90/I-787 entrance/exit ramps.

Looking SE on Northern-Manning at Rt9 Overpass 6-18-20

A view in the same direction with Northern Blvd. petrovehicle traffic entering from the left and Pennsylvania Ave. on the right (taken from McCrossin Ave.).

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Looking back up Manning Blvd. toward Northern Blvd. from Lark Drive. The Albany Fire Department Arbor Hill Station is to the right. Note buffered bicycle lane.

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There’s still a challenging “shared lane” area on the Rt. 9 overpass – high speeds, no rideable shoulders, entrance/exit ramps to/from Northern Blvd. to Rt. 9.  The proper use of a Shared Lane is to connect “real” bicycle facilities. According to National Association of City Transportation Officials (https://nacto.org/publication/urban-bikeway-design-guide/bikeway-signing-marking/shared-lane-markings/ ) Shared Lane Markings (SLMs), or “sharrows,” are road markings used to indicate a shared lane environment for bicycles and automobiles. The shared lane marking is a pavement marking with a variety of uses to support a complete bikeway network; it is not a facility type and should not be considered a substitute for bike lanes, cycle tracks, or other separation treatments where these types of facilities are otherwise warranted or space permits.

In the instant case, the SL do connect two of bike lane segments. It’s still a squeeze unless the rider ‘takes the lane.”

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City of Albany Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan Public Meetings

(UPDATED 6/7/20)

Throughout June, the Albany Department of Planning and Development will host six virtual meetings to discuss cycling and walking in the City. Each of the six meetings will be based on a grouping of neighborhoods and corresponds with the meeting numbers listed below.

  • Neighborhood Meeting #1:  Monday, June 15th – 6:30pm – 8pm

(Center Square, Downtown, Hudson Park, Lincoln Park, Mansion, Pastures, Washington Park Washington Square) Zoom Registration Link: https://nelsonnygaard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYkf-irrTosHNEZZ23Vytg5JOlaRqZYHoDA

  • Neighborhood Meeting #2: Wednesday, June 17th – 6:30pm – 8pm

(Delaware Avenue, Lincoln Park, Mount Hope, Second Avenue, South End) Zoom Registration Link: https://nelsonnygaard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUtc-mqpzItGtdg9NDxdZlgXs5zmbIncD4o

  • Neighborhood Meeting #3: Monday, June 22nd – 6:30pm – 8pm

(Beverwyck, Helderberg, New Scotland/Woodlawn, Normanskill, Pine Hills, Whitehall) Zoom Registration Link: https://nelsonnygaard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAlcemspzosH9SIAV9I10xSmxkeyW0ju8HQ

  • Neighborhood Meeting #4: Monday, June 29th – 6:30pm – 8pm

(Buckingham Lake, Campus Area, Eagle Hill, Manning Boulevard, Melrose, Pine Bush, Upper Washington Avenue) Zoom Registration Link:https://nelsonnygaard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwsdO-vpzktGNRKwuYtJtJkZ3s1FdOeneQs

  • Neighborhood Meeting #5: Wednesday, June 24th – 6:30pm – 8pm

(Arbor Hill, Sheridan Hollow, Ten Broeck Triangle, West End, West Hill) Zoom Registration Link:https://nelsonnygaard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYuc-qorjIrGtI2erS3TKvWgm9EmVmD1Twg

  • Neighborhood Meeting #6: Thursday, June 25th – 6:30pm – 8pm

(Bishop’s Gate, North Albany) Zoom Registration Link: https://nelsonnygaard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJErdO-hqjstG9QO5BPn57eWaotd-keWJrTR

To learn more about this project, please visit the project website and watch the project introduction video. On the project website, you can also take the project survey and use a WikiMAP to provide location-specific comments about cycling and walking in the City.

Contact  dpd@albanyny.gov if you require any accommodations for the upcoming meetings or have any questions about the project.

 

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Filed under Activisim, Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan, City Review, Meetings

South End Bikeway Connector Rumbles Along – Cont’d (5/18/20)

[Comments received on this post and on a related email are posted at the end.]

For the first time, a visitor to the South End Bikeway Connector site can get a clear picture of the entire route and layout from the trailhead at Old S. Pearl St. to the Albany Riverfront Park at the Slater/Dutch Apple anchorages.

  • The on-street cycle track on S. Pearl St. is complete except for perhaps signage, painting, and other “clean up” activities.
  • The portion along I-787 Frontage Road/northbound entry road is graded but needs paving a lot of finish work.

SEBC 787 Frontage Rd 6-6-20

  • The “linear park” under I-787 from Church St./Vine St. to Broadway and the Hudson River is clearly visible although in the early stages of preparation. The only area that is not apparent is the bump out to skirt the massive I-787 support structure where the connector will be on-road at the Church St./Bassett St. intersection until Rensselaer St. (Church St. will be one-way south for petrovehicles in this area.)

SEBC Under 787 6-6-20

For site photos and a complete route description, follow these links:

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COMMENTS RECIVED AS OF 5-20-20:

  • I just came that way and there is a van parked there – might be the same car. I agree there should be signage and maybe there will be when it’s all complete.  The glass and other debris situation is something that was brought up at the various community meetings – with the outstanding question as to who will maintain that section.
  • That darn Van is parked there most of the time.
  • What about the glass on the section along the ramp of 787? It has been horrible.
  • Went home this way about 4:30 pm.  There were no barriers this afternoon from the bus shelter south.  Woman in the silver van was parking in the bike lane as I was passing (well there was one barrier but someone knocked it away).
  • Is this section of the trail actually completed and open?  Have not ridden this area lately since it appeared that a top coat and other work was not done, some barriers still existed.  
  • When I rode home from the rail trail, there were barriers blocking the bike lane!
  • I haven’t been on S. Pearl lately, so I’ve missed the van scofflaw, but I have been coming home from downtown via the river and Broadway/Church and then on the other 787 access road that exits at S. Pearl near McCarty and 1st Ave. (across from Cherry Hill house). I’ve noticed that the 787 access road that you note is being prepped for repaving. Let’s hope that will alleviate some of the glass issues, for awhile at least. I rode on that section last month and you are correct in that the amount of glass was extraordinary, it seemed to be covering nearly every square inch. I ended up with a flat on my rear tire. It made me wonder if there was some sort of weird religious cult that required its practitioners to go out and smash glass in places used by bicyclists and pedestrians. As I ride that way, I can also see that they are doing extensive work under 787 and in making the connection across Church St between the access road and under the highway. Last week I was able to ride a little bit under the highway as they had graded the roadway, but can’t this week as there is a sizeable gap between the curb and the proposed cycle path. Still have a hard time picturing people actually hanging out there, no matter how much they prettify it. Riding through downtown has been eerie these last few weeks, but boy, I’m going to miss the reduced amount of traffic once we return to whatever new normal we will be returning to.
  • Drove past it last night … People are using the Connector for parking.  This must be stopped before it becomes normalized.  

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Filed under Albany County Rail Trail, Albany Riverfront Park, City Review, South End Bikeway Connector

Accessory Obsessing – Brake Lever Covers

In July 2007, the products “Lizard Skins Lever Grips” (for “greater control and comfort’) seemed (at $3.99/pr.) as exactly the right accessory for brake levers on a flat bar. So perfect that, after “testing,” a second pair was obtained and then a third (to replace the first which were worn out) in August 2019 (now $8.00). Here they are worn out . . .

These grips had a nice fabric feel with a sewn seam and a rubberized liner. They mounted easily with the ever-reliable lubricant hairspray.

When both the second a third sets (on two different flat bars) wore out, it seemed like an easy task to get replacements.

Answer: NO.

Lizard Skins  offers all sorts of neat bicycle and sports accessories but brake lever grips no longer. The best result after a lot of web searching was “not available.”

Returning to the search recently, up came “Race Ready Pro Cycling” which leads to EBay  for a similar product in silicone at $8.99 and here they are installed in black.

These would also fit “North Road” handlebars but that seems a little de classe.

Just  ordered another set in red and one in black pair at $3.19 from another vendor . . . who turns out to ship from the “KEP Sorting Center,” Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – where else? Here is the proof:

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Filed under Bike Tech, Feature, Product Review

Farmers Markets Finding Ways to Operate During COVID-19

~ or ~ Ride Your Bicycle and Eat Good Chow

NOTE: Updated 4/30 based on Times Union article.

One of the short-term COVID-19 causalities is the Troy Farmers Market, much loved by many people on bicycles. However, even closed, the Troy market has provided a way to buy direct from vendors including your favorite prepared food. Go here – https://www.troymarket.org/alternatives (updated 4/30). The Market is now accepting orders for twice-weekly, drive-through pickup at the Carioto Produce distribution center in Green Island. On the portal, troymarket.org, shoppers pay online, and their orders are sorted and packed at the pickup spot. Online orders open at 4 pm Friday and close at 9 am Monday for Wednesday pickup and close at 9 am Thursday for Saturday pickup. To ease expected traffic congestion, customer pickup times are set up by last name on each day: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., A though F; 11 a.m. to noon, G through L; noon to 1 p.m., M through R; 1 to 2 p.m., S through Z.

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For more tips on eating well while supporting local farmers, go to Know Where Your Food Comes Fromhttps://knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com/2020/04/08/farmers-markets-finding-ways-to-operate-during-pandemic/ This site is dedicated to “Promoting local and sustainable agriculture that cares for people, animals, land, and water.”

Farmers Markets are designated essential businesses. Here is info on some other area markets (updated 4/30 based on Times Union article):

  • Spa City Farmers Market – Sundays, Saratoga Spa State Park/Lincoln Baths. Reduced operation and appropriates precautions.
  • Saratoga Farmers Market – Opens Sat, 5/2, 9:30 AM-1:30 PM, Wilton Mall (Bon-Ton/Bow Tie parking lot). Wednesdays’ market is 3:00-6:00 pm.
  • Delmar Farmers Market – Opening 5/16, 9:30 AM-1:30 PM (TU, 4/22/20).
  • The Farmers Market Federation of New York – Provides a list of farmers markets on its website. The
  • Schenectady Greenmarket – Opening 4/26, Sundays, 10 AM-2 PM, City Hall, jay St. Smaller number of vendors spaced 10 feet apart.
  • Farmers Market Federation of New York has spotlighted the Interim Guidance for the Operation of Farmers’ Markets (3/31/20) issued by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.tumblr_544e798facbc301d77decb2a656aaa07_7372d86e_640weq

If you want to make a commitment to good food/health and local sourcing, consider a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share – more here – https://knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com/2020/03/21/march-2020-now-more-than-ever-time-to-sign-up-for-a-farm-share-in-a-csa/ where you’ll find this timely statement: “ … instead of panic, this is the right moment to build community. One way is to focus on our food, which is at the core of human existence, in good times and bad, and by mindfully knowing who is growing and producing what we eat.”

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Filed under Activisim, City Review, Riding to Get Somewhere, Troy Cycling