Tag Archives: complete streets

They Are Here – Bicycle Lanes on Madison Ave.!

They Are Here – Bicycle Lanes on Madison Ave.!

Finally – workers are today, Monday, 8/22/16, putting the finishing touches on the new road layout on Madison Ave. from Partridge St. to Allen St.

 See more photos here – https://lorenzworden.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/august-22-2016-madison-ave/

Not surprisingly, when people in cars complete the new one-travel lane segment delimited by the center turn lane on one side and the bicycle lanes and parking lanes on the other, they continue in a “traffic-calmed” single file. How easy it was! Attention Naysayers! – Before the job is 100 percent completed, people have learned how to drive in it.

Moreover, what a dream to ride one’s bicycle.

Dimensions (unofficial – taken from centerline of stripes):

  • Parking Lane – 7’
  • Bicycle Lane/Parking Lane Stripe – 5”
  • Bicycle Lane – 6’
  • Bicycle Lane/Travel Lane Stripe – 6.5”
  • Travel Lane – 10’ 3”
  • Turn Lane – 10’

Credit for this success lies largely with Virginia Hammer, president of the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association, whose diligence, persistence, initiative, and presence at many events guided this new era for the City of Albany into fruition. We need also recognize all those who attended meetings, carried banners and posters, wrote letters, and signed petitions to support the effort to calm Madison Ave. for the benefit of all.

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Protected Bicycle Lanes at Risk on Madison Ave.

Protected Bicycle Lanes at Risk on Madison Ave. – After a 10-year effort by citizen groups, the City of Albany is designing and constructing a “road diet” along Madison Ave. from S. Allen St. to Lark St. While the project reduces the number of motor vehicle travel lanes, while improving to some degree bicycle accommodations, it still maintains Madison Ave. as a car-priority street.

The City of Albany is holding a Public Meeting on Madison Ave. Traffic Calming and Protected Bicycle Lanes on Wednesday, March 9, 6:30-7:30 PM at the College of St. Rose, Lally School of Education, 1009 Madison Ave.

The City of Albany initially proposed three alternative treatments:

  • Shared Motor Vehicle/Bicycle Lanes
  • Shared Motor Vehicle Parking/Bicycle Lanes
  • Conventional Bicycle Lanes
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5-ft lane with buffer

Since no one of these, especially the first two “non-facilities,” were acceptable, the Protected Bicycle Lane Coalition formed to push for a 2-way Protected Bicycle Lane on the north side of Madison Ave. The city studied this proposal and added a fifth option, Buffered Bicycle Lanes. The Protected Bicycle Lane Coalition then offered a second Protected Bicycle Lane option, 1-way Protected Bicycle Lanes on each side of the street.

The City now has two alternatives under consideration. The purpose of the meeting is to review these concepts and trade-offs for the two feasible alternatives. The Allen St.-to-Lark St. project is to be done in three phases, Allen to Partridge Sts. being the first.

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Meeting Details:

  • Wednesday
  • March 9, 2016
    6:30 to 7:30 PM
  • Info/questions? Bill Trudeau Jr., Coordinator of Traffic Engineering, Albany Traffic Engineering Unit, 434-5791, MadisonAveStudy@albany-ny.org
  • The College of Saint Rose – Lally School of Education, 1009 Madison Ave., Touhey Forum
  • March 9, 2016

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Big Weekend – #1 Tour the South End Bikeway Link and #2 Bike EXPO 2015

#1.    Albany’s Past and Present ~ Bicycle Tour of the South End Bikeway Link and Area

Saturday, May 2 – 9:30 AM – 1:00 PM

START: Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center –Broadway and Clinton Ave. Free parking in lot behind the Pump Station (Enter on Spencer St. off Broadway). Free event followed by on-your-own social gathering at the Pump Station.

Tour the South End Bikeway Link and some interesting historic sites. In October, the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail will connect Delmar with the South Albany – reaching statewide via the Corning Preserve Bike Path, the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, and the Erie and Champlain Canalways. Except for a 1.5-mile gap in the south end. How will all the cyclists/walkers, neighbors/tourists, and south enders/suburbanites connect to this network?

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#2.    5th Annual Albany Bike EXPO 2015

Sunday, May 3 – 10 AM – 4 PM

Raffles and Prizes – Vendors – Entertainment

Lakehouse – Washington Park – Albany

Free Event

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Sometimes I Take the Sidewalk

From “Let’s Go Ride a Bike,”  8/29/09

Bikes belong in the street, not on the sidewalk. In fact, it is illegal for anyone over the age of 12 to ride on a sidewalk in Chicago*. Riding in the street is generally safer because you are visible, while on the sidewalks you encounter pedestrians, cross streets, alleys, and parking lot entrances where drivers don’t expect to see bikes. Riding in the street is also generally faster and smoother, on better-maintained pavement instead of concrete blocks. Finally, riding in the street sends the correct message to drivers: that bikes belong.

Despite all of this, sometimes I take the sidewalk. Very rarely and only on the arterial streets when there is no way around them. This is the type of Chicago street where you’ll find the Targets and the McDonalds. Four lanes, two in each direction, no shoulder, definitely no bike lane, high speeds, and ginormous potholes. Meanwhile, the pedestrian-free sidewalks beckon. For these reasons, if I absolutely cannot avoid taking these streets, I usually ride on their sidewalks.

The most recent sidewalk expedition was on Thursday night, as my destination was on an arterial street and it’s the only way to get across the highway and river dividing the east and west sides. On top of everything, it was dark and raining. After studying Google maps in preparation for the trip, I decided that I would take side streets as far as possible and then hop on the sidewalk.

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I am more interested in getting from point A to point B safely than in sending a message or exuding street cred (which is hard to exude on an Omafiets, anyway). 98% of the time it is safer to ride in the street, and even when I decide to take the sidewalk, it is only safer if I follow these rules:

  • Ride slowly.
  • Watch out for pedestrians and either slow to a crawl or walk your bike past them (if a sidewalk has a lot of pedestrians, don’t even try riding your bike on it).
  • Keep an eye out for alleys, driveways, parking lots or any other place from which a car could spring. Be extra cautious and look both ways.
  • At cross streets try to cross with the light in the cross walk. Assume that drivers do not see you. They certainly don’t expect anything faster than a pedestrian. Look over your shoulder for turning traffic.

This particular ride was more stressful and took longer than normal rides in the street because I had to slow and stop at so many intersections. Although I passed no pedestrians, I passed a few bikes – a couple on the sidewalk and a couple in the street. Did I feel a little sheepish when I passed the street riders? Sure, but not sheepish enough to throw myself in a situation where I did not feel safe.

The problem is that the city traffic design completely disregards bikes at the most dangerous areas, such as crossing rivers and highways. (Read about this problem in more detail at Chicago Bike Blog, where the author eventually decides to take arterial street sidewalks for a particular route with her son). So for those who are passionately against sidewalk riding under any circumstances, I respect that, but don’t hate the player, hate the game.

SOURCE: Let’s Go Ride a Bike,  8/29/09

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*NOTES: New York State appears to be typical in that the Vehicle and Traffic Law 5 does not regulate sidewalk bicycling. It appears that the General Municipal Law (Section 180) 6  states that NY municipalities can regulate bike riding on sidewalks. They cannot require that bicyclists use a sidewalk instead of a public roadway, but they can impose limits to sidewalk bicycling. ALBANY CODE – § 359-4 Riding on sidewalks prohibited; exceptions. – No person shall ride any bicycle, tricycle, velocipede or other vehicle of propulsion on or over any footpath in any of the parks, or on or over any of the sidewalks of any of the streets or avenues in this City, except if it is to go into a yard, lot or building; provided, however, that the foregoing provision of this section shall not apply to children under 10 years of age; and provided further that this section shall not be so construed as to prohibit the riding of any bicycle, tricycle or similar vehicle upon or over the unpaved portion of the sidewalk of any such street or streets outside of the thickly settled part of the City as shall be designated in writing by the Mayor.  Every designation so made as aforesaid shall be filed with the Chief of Police and may be revoked by the Mayor at any time in his discretion.

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Rally for Albany’s South End Bikeway Link – Urgency and Benefits

Rally For Albany’s South End Bikeway Link  – Urgency and Benefits

  1. Wednesday, January 21, 2015
  2. 6:00 to 8:00 pm
  3. Albany Public Library – Main Branch
  4. 161 Washington Ave.
  5. Parking lot in rear of library on Elk Street and on the street (street meters go “off” at 6 PM).

Join other stakeholders to discuss the recreational and economic benefits “the link” offers to connect local residents and neighboring communities. Together, our voices can be heard to build a safer path to the Hudson River/downtown Albany.??????????????????????

Advocates and stakeholders will meet on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 6-8 pm, Albany Public Library Main Branch, Auditorium, 161 Washington Ave., Albany.

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By mid October, the 128-year-old Albany Susquehanna coal hauling rail line re-opens as a multi-use path for people on bicycles, walking, or running. It will stretch 9.3 scenic miles from Albany’s Port at Rt. 32/South Pearl St through Delmar to the Village of Voorheesville. While from Western New York, the 360-mile Erie Canalway/Mohawk-Hudson Bike Hike Trail abruptly stops at Albany’s waterfront Corning Preserve. Between the trails lay a 1.5-mile gap — one that forces cyclists onto rushing car commuters on Route 32 and neighborhood streets that are lacking any facilities for people on bicycles except for a few shared lane markings on S. Pearl St.

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Filed under Activisim, Bike Lanes, City Review, Meetings, protected bicycle lanes