What’s Going on With Madison Ave.?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor the past several weeks and probably for several more, there has been and will be extensive street work on Madison Ave. You’ll see a lot of traffic cones, heavy equipment, workers in hard hats, dust and dirt, pipes, re-paved strips, and so on. This is in preparation for the final phase of the Madison Avenue Traffic Calming project – Partridge St. to Lark St. This “below surface work” must be done before the repaving and re-striping of the roadway. It appears that these last phases will be done in this fall with installation of traffic control signals to follow.

Completion will mean 1-1/2 miles of sane motor vehicle traffic with left turn lanes, cross walks, and new traffic control devices and signs. It will also mean that people in cars can go no faster than the car ahead of them – hopefully, the posted 30 mph or less. No more crazy passing on the right or using the parking lane as a through lane.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The continuation of the bicycle lanes from Allen-Partridge to Lark St. will provide people on bicycles with a smooth, safe ride Pine Hills Neighborhood Association to “downtown.”

It remains for people who want better bicycle facilities in the City of Albany (this would mean YOU) to start pushing for continuing the lanes past Manning Blvd. to connect to the current bicycle lanes in Guilderland and then on to Crosse Gates. Accompanying this must be mapping of cross town and downtown routes from Lark St./Delaware Ave. For suggested routes, see the BikeAlbanyMap.

None of this will happen unless there is a big and sustained push from those who want a livable Albany.

So get cracking!

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Filed under Activisim, Madison Ave. Traffic Calming

Livingston Ave. Rail Road Bridge ~ Where Are We?

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Sadly, the 1902 Livingston Ave. Rail Road Bridge – the only east-west passenger RR crossing of the Hudson – seems to be nowhere as far as being replaced. The plan seems to be to let it fall in the river, or, as in the case of the Crown Point NY-Vermont Bridge, have it declared unusable so we can spend scrillions on “emergency” replacement. Then everyone can pat himself or herself on the back for having “saved the day.”

People on bicycles who want a water-level route across the river to access Rensselaer or Albany are counting on Amtrak/Conrail/NYSDOT et al. to reinstall a pedestrian/bicycle patch on the new bridge.

To learn more, go to the Livingston Ave. Rail Road Bridge Coalition site – http://livingstonavebridge.com/home/where-have-you-been/

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Filed under Activisim, Corning Riverfront Park, Livingston Ave RR Bridge, Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail

NYS 3’ Ride

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Many Mohawk-Hudson Cycling Club and Albany Bicycle Coalition members joined a ride to promote changing NYS’s safe passing law. We need to specify a minimum passing distance (e.g., 3 feet) – see: https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2016/02/22/3-foot-passing-law/ ) Currently, NYS essentially says, “pass safely” which – as any person on a bicycle knows – can mean anything from 4 inches up.

The New York Bicycling Coalition organized the ride as part of its long-standing effort to bring New York State’s law up to date.

Go here for more on the law, go HERE.

Many riders wore special “3-foot jerseys” and then rode the loop around the Capitol once for each foot. We noted the relationship to the proposed “Felony Reckless Driving and Vulnerable Users of the Public Highway (Creto/Kade) Law” – see: https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2015/11/09/felony-reckless-driving-and-vulnerable-users-of-the-public-highway/

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Filed under Activisim, Law, Support the Cause

From the Ashes – A Classic Motobecane Super Mirage

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYears ago, when people were cleaning out all the French, English, and Japanese bicycles that they bought during the 70s and 80s, one could find almost anything on the curb in the City of Albany on “trash night.” Now it seems that all the cleaning out is over and the owners are in assisted living or Albany Rural.

All that is left is beat-up mountain bikes from WallyMart.

In any case, on one dedicated night-time venture around 10 years ago, the subject of this post showed up – a Motobecane “Super Mirage” with all the features – SunTour VX, Weinmann center pulls, proprietary drop bars, crank arms and seat, Lyotard pedals with Christophe toe clips, Weinmann rims, Dia Compe brake levers, and beautiful black finish with red and gold highlights. (Other color choices for this model were “New Blue” (dull) or “Champagne Gold” (ugly).)

After a lot of disassembly, degreasing, polishing (and more polishing), waxing, and re-assembly, we have a beautiful example of the many French bicycles that flooded the bicycle shops of the area. (This sample came from the Eagles Nest in Delmar.)

See you on the street …

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Filed under Bike Tech, Feature

Wind-Blox – Cut That Wind Noise

Bothered by the rush of wind through and around you helmet as you zip along on your 10-speed? Wind-Blox claims to be the #1 most effective wind noise blocker. You can test this claim for $17.95 (Feb 2017 price).

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This simple device, composed of long narrow pads that are affixed to the helmet’s forward straps with hook-and-loop closures, closes the gap between your cheeks and the straps thereby cutting the rush of wind along the side of your face.

Do they work? Wind-Blox wisely states, “We recommend occasionally lifting your helmet straps away from your face to experience the difference with and without Wind-Blox.”

While there are competitors on the market, yes, the Wind-Blox – using the above test – does reduce the annoying rush of wind and, at the same time, enhances one’s chances of hearing other sounds such as the howl of the cat you just hit.

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Filed under Bike Tech, Product Review