Follow Up on ABC Project Proposals for the City of Albany

On 2/20/21, the Albany Bicycle Coalition sent a follow-up letter to Mayor Sheehan on a number of proposals that we submitted between 2016 and 2020. It is our position that each of these – albeit each with a primary focus on cycling – would add immeasurably to the safety, convenience, ambience, and economic vitality of the city regardless of their benefit for people on bicycles.

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Monkey Wards Way

Good News! – The Monkey Wards Way Connector linking Rt. 32/Broadway in Menands at the former Montgomery Ward retail store and warehouse and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail just south of Troy is now open. This is a fine addition to the trail network.  There is still a little work to be completed (e.g., control panels for the bicycle-pedestrian crossings at Broadway).

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Rossi Junction – Honoring a Bicycling Hero

Rossi Junction – Honoring a Crucial Bicycling Activist – New York’s network of bike trails, paths, and routes that we enjoy today did not just materialize. In the 1990s laws were enacted that allowed the federal Highway Trust Fund to be used for bicycle and pedestrian needs. Afterwards, public investment in bicycle infrastructure exploded.

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Albany Bicycle Coalition Consolidated Comments on the Proposed Albany Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan

The Albany Bicycle Coalition, Inc. welcomes the opportunity offered by the development of the City of Albany’s Albany Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan to present its transportation ideas for the future of our city. Rather than an organization-level response, individual members submitted their comments on the November 2020 Draft to the City of Albany.

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A Hidden Gem – Dott Ave. and the CapitalNYBikeMap

One of the major challenges in developing and refining the CapitalNYBikeMap (formerly the “BikeAlbanyMap”) is identifying streets, roads, trails, and intersections that are up to the map’s established standards of being safe and comfortable to ride. Since the map covers much of the Capital Region – with more to come – it is inevitable that the routes it proposes will have to contact streets that the Albany Bicycle Coalition would never recommend for a “traffic concerned” rider.

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Your New Year’s Resolutions

Resolutions for people on bicycles who want to make cycling safer for all by promoting a positive image of cycling and make the City of Albany and the Capital Region a place where people want to live, work, and relax … I will – Smile and say “good morning,” “good afternoon,” “hi,” etc. to everyone I meet while riding.I will – Remember that to increase safety for people on bicycles is to ride my bicycle as often as I can.

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Where are We in Albany?

FROM THE ARCHIVES: The following was one of the Albany Bicycle Coalition’s many efforts to promote the installation of bicycle lanes on Madison Ave. as part of the Madison Avenue Traffic Calming campaign. While we were successful in that effort, only about 1.6 miles of additional bicycle lanes have been installed in the City of Albany since the lanes on Madison Ave.

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A Mystery at Schuyler Flatts

While snooping around the new cycle track in Watervliet (see Cycle Track in Watervliet – Update 9-8-20)  and winding back to Broadway/Rt 32, we came across a curious sign at the “dead end” at the southern terminus of Broadway. Clearly, this sign was placed with some intent. The google street view (image dated 2007) DOES NOT show the Erie Canalway Trail (ECT) and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail (MHBHT) signs.

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Changes to South End Connector – City of Albany

Following substantial completion of the South End Connector, the Albany Bicycle Coalition detected a number of issues needing resolution. We had identified some of these even before design and construction began on the Connector. On 9/17/20, we asked the city to explore how we might get these projects on the city’s “to do” list for 2020-21. Key members of the Albany Bicycle Coalition have had some considerable experience with the new South End Connector and many years of observation and riding in the S.

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Update on Champlain Canal Trail and the Empire State Trail North from Waterford

Work progresses on the trail and towpath from Upper Newtown Rd. to Mechanicville. Work in Progress There is currently no good (that is, off road) bicycle route connecting the Champlain Canal Trail trailhead on Upper Newtown Rd. and Mechanicville. There are three on-road alternative routes: Ride 2.2 miles on the road/shoulder of Rt. 4/Rt.

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Get Out and Ride While the Leaves are Falling

While COVID-19 has eliminated or moderated several bicycle-related activities, the fine early fall weather provided plenty of opportunities for social distanced rides. Looking ahead, there is some nice riding in late fall and winter whether for recreation/exercise or errands/work. Here are a few riding tips to encourage your riding and to keep you safe: Check your lights front and rear.

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Patroon Creek Greenway Trail Ride II

Introduction – The Capital District Transportation Committee’s Capital District Trails Plan envisions a network of core trails for the capital region.  The Patroon Greenway, connecting the Albany Waterfront to the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, is one of six core Albany County trail components of that planned network.  Other better known core trails include the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail, the South End Bikeway Connector and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail.

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Albany Bicycle Coalition Positions on the Proposed Albany Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan

The City of Albany is developing an Albany Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan to replace the 2009 such plan. The earlier plan limited itself to bicycle issues while the proposed pan also addresses issues facing pedestrians since the vast majority trips by any alternative mode of transportation begins and ends with people walking. The Albany Bicycle Coalition (ABC) was heavily involved in the development of the 2009 plan and has been fully engaged in monitoring the current effort.

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Lane Markings Clinton Ave. – Refreshing

Unlike longitudinal motor vehicle traffic lane makings, bicycle lanes – like cross walks and stop lines – are subject to continual scrubbing from wheels, street sweepers, and snow plows. Accordingly, the schedule used to maintain these critical pavement markings has to be adjusted for these differing wear rates, the criticality and nature of the street in question, and the severity of the weather.

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Pederson Bicycle – The Ride for You

What bicycle has 14 steel tubes, connected at 57 places and forming 21 triangles? Kiss goodbye to saddle sores, backaches, and bone-shaking rides over Capital Region pot-holed streets. The hammock-like saddle cushions the Pedersen cyclist from all such discomfort. A Contemporary Pedersen That saddle sways with peddling motion to give almost complete suspension.

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Pre-Trip Bike Maintenance Check Up from Adventure Cycling

Preamble – Adventure Cycling’s Alex Strickland provided the following pre-ride tips for the upcoming “Bike Travel Weekend.” Even if your fall riding plans are a bit less ambitious, you might want to review these reminders. Adventure Cycling leads in with this: “Will you do us a favor and take a few minutes to check your bike before you leave for your Bike Travel Weekend &

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Cycle Track in Watervliet Update – 9-8-20

The good news is brief – the cycle track/multiuse path from 4th St at the terminus of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail/I-787 Underpass to 23rd St. at Hudson Shores Park is mostly paved. New Cycle Track A few parts of the off-road portion still need final paving and the on-road portion on Broadway in front of the US Army Arsenal remains to be done.

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Update #2 on Champlain Canal Trail North from Waterford

Trail Grading – 9/8/20 Good news on the Champlain Canal Trail and Empire State Trail – grading has begun at Upper New Town road. Go to this post for a complete review. “Update on Champlain Canal Trail and the Empire State Trail North from Waterford.” +++++++

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Safe Streets – It Can Be Done

The Setting – This is about a recent street redesign in a residential area but one with major traffic arteries – Partridge St. and Woodlawn Ave. In the specific location there is the Woodlawn Park Basketball Court, Albany Babe Ruth, National Little league, and Woodlawn Park Playground. The court is constantly in use. In non-COVID-19 baseball season, players and families pack the streets and grounds.

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On the Trail – Ride Right ~ Pass Left

The clear trail message is “Ride and Walk Right – Pass Left.” This conflicts with conventional on- the road guidance with is, for pedestrians, “walk on the left side facing traffic” and, for people on bicycles, “ride on the right with traffic” where in both cases “traffic” means “motor vehicle traffic.” We frequently see both people walking and on bicycles flaunting this common sense rule at their own peril.

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William Drake – Struck and Killed

The bicycle community was again saddened by the death of another young cyclist struck and killed by two motor vehicles. See Channel 10 Report. The report is not clear on how the crash occurred but states, “no tickets or charges have been filed” and “New York State Police are investigating …” while … “the investigation remains ongoing.

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Update on Champlain Canal Trail and the Empire State Trail North from Waterford

Construction on the Champlain Canal Trail at the Upper Newtown Rd. Trailhead Work progresses on the trail and towpath from Upper Newtown Rd. to Mechanicville. Currently, there is no good bicycle route connecting this Champlain Canal Trail trailhead on Upper Newtown Rd. to Mechanicville. There are three on-road, alternative routes: Ride 2.2 miles on the road/shoulder of Rt.

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Traffic Calming on Western Ave. – Make It Happen

The following letter to Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan calls for Traffic Calming on Western Ave. The Albany Bicycle Coalition proposes the logical extension of the Madison Ave. bicycle lanes from their terminus at S. Allen and Madison Ave./Western Ave. to the city line. There they will join the Town of Guilderland’s long established bicycle lanes at the city line/University at Albany.

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Uncle Sam Trail Progress Report – July 30

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.

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Cycle Track in Watervliet – Coming Soon!

The long awaited safe bikeway and multiuse path through Watervliet is coming to fruition. It originates at the park/trail head/parking lot terminus of the off-road portion of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail and continues for about one and one-half miles to 23rd St. The “Watervliet Bike Path” will become shared lanes at 23rd St. for access to the Hudson Shores Park.

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Champlain Canal Trail and the Empire State Trail Going North from Waterford

Champlain Canal Trailand the Empire State Trail Going North from Waterford One of the nicest rides in the area – from Corning Riverfront Park to Upper Newtown Rd. – just got better. Work is in progress on the trail and towpath from Upper Newtown Rd. to Mechanicville. Formerly, people on bicycles could follow the original Champlain Canal Trail from Broad St.

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Proudly Made in America Since 1898 – Worksman Cycles

efore you get concerned about “gender appropriation,” “Worksman” is not a marketer’s dream word – like Sear’s (R.I.P.) “CraftsMAN” or “LeatherMAN” – but recalls the company’s founder, Morris Worksman. He began building local delivery cycles in New York City more than 100 years ago. “Our Goal is to bring a more efficient, reliable and healthful transportation to modern industry”

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Roads Remain Unsafe for People on Bicycles

16-Year-Old Struck and Killed – The bicycle community was again saddened by the death of another young cyclist struck and killed by two motor vehicles. See – https://www.news10.com/top-stories/police-16-year-old-on-bicycle-killed-after-crashing-into-car-on-state-highway-30/  The report is not clear on how the crash occurred but states that  “no tickets or charges have been filed” and “New York State Police are investigating  while … “The investigation remains ongoing.

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South End Connector Bikeway Construction – Almost Done

Mayor Sheehan and the City of Albany promised. Mayor Sheehan and the City of Albany delivered – the South End Connector Bikeway After many years of work, the South End Connector Bikeway is “99 and 44/100 percent” done. Contractors have completed all the heavy construction work. There remain many finish-up projects, but the route is open and usable at this time.

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Northern Blvd. Bicycle Lane Network

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 netwrok connects to the Village of Menands/Department of Transportation 1.5 miles of bicycle lanes on Van Rensselaer Blvd.

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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 –

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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.

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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 .

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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.

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How to Make Cycling in Albany More Affordable

This article provided by Guest Blogger Isabella Lovett Cycling is a popular sport and pastime in New York, where, in New York City, an estimated 787,000 adult residents enjoy a ride at least once a month, as reported in the annual Mayor’s Management Report last year. Bike riding has a wealth of proven health benefits, including stress reduction and the improvement of cardiovascular fitness and strength.

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Pandemic Pedaling

“Social Distance” Family Ride   First Responders (?) “Now go wash your hands (20 secs).” ####

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Saved by the Swiss – Who Else?

Your bicycle’s chain is second in importance only to your brakes. So what is the feature of a bicycle chain that allows it to remain serviceable for many thousands of miles? What’s the secret ingredient? Bicycle chains are properly “bush roller chains.” Hans Renold invented this common bike chain and patented it in Manchester in 1880. This Swiss engineer was born in Aarau, Switzerland (about 30 miles west of Zurich).

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Bicycle Lanes Gone Bad

Here is what happens when people who never walk and never ride set out to design bicycle lanes. One would think the first photo one has something to do with a pedestrian crosswalk, but no ….  The second photo shows (1) that the bicycle lanes are ON THE SIDEWALK, (2) that there are people walking on the sidewalk, and (3) that, later on, the city of Annapolis put its BikeShare “hub” in the sidewalk area and on its misguided bicycle lane.

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Ready for the Riding Season?

Unless you are a dedicated year-round cyclist, the condition of your bicycle(s) may be far from your mind. Right now might be the best time to think about how soon spring will arrive and how great it will be to get out for a ride – provided your bicycle is ready to go. There are, of course two ways to go – a professional tune up at a local bicycle shop or a do-it-yourself job.

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Downtown Albany and Patroon Creek

This is an effort to trace Patroon Creek from the Tivoli St. area to its mouth at the Hudson River. It is part of the Albany Bicycle Coalition’s promotion of the Patroon Greenway development. Patroon Creek was also known as Bloomaert’s Kill, Fifth Kill, Vyfde Kill (Dutch for “fifth”), and Flodderkill Other Patroon Greenway Project posts are Patroon Creek Greenway Trail Ride 11/19 and Patroon Greenway Project – Yardboro Ave.

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Keep it in the ground.