Items tagged with 'cycling'

Looking ahead on the future of the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail

Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail 2017-July

Though a portion of it has only been paved for a few years, the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail is already one of the area's most popular hike/bike paths. And 2018 is shaping up to be another big year -- the trail is set for more miles of pavement and a trailhead makeover.

Here are a few things about what's ahead...

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Mapping out a future for bikes in Troy

Troy Bikeway network draft cropped

What's the route to follow to make Troy more bike and pedestrian friendly?

That's the question at the heart of the current push to create the Troy Bike Connections Plan. The backers of the project -- which include the city of Troy, the Capital District Transportation Committee, and Parks & Trails New York -- released a draft of the plan at a public meeting Wednesday evening.

And the materials are now online, if you'd like to have a look.

"There are a lot of streets in Troy that can be transformed with not a ton of engineering to become more bike friendly," said CDTC's Jennifer Ceponis Thursday, emphasizing the plan is a way of mapping out a direction for future projects as money and opportunity present themselves. "This is going to be incremental, for sure."

A few things about the proposed plan...

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Talking about the future of biking in Troy, and the next segment of the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail

Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail bridge 2017-summer

The Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail.

Two bike-related events coming up that might interest you...

November 8: Troy Bicycle Connections Plan
There's a public meeting to present the draft plan for the Troy Trail Connections Plan Wednesday, November 8. About the plan: "The study will create a plan for bicycle facilities that connect major destinations and neighborhoods in the City of Troy to the Uncle Sam Bikeway and the planned South Troy Riverfront Bikeway."

The meeting is at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity (30 3rd Street). There's an open house at 6 pm, and the presentation starts at 6:30 pm.

November 13: Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail
Albany County has a public meeting set for Monday, November 13 in Delmar to "gather input on the design of the Slingerlands Trail Head and planned paving project in 2018. After a brief overview, the county will distribute a sketch of the design along with markers for the public sketch out their thoughts." The meeting's at 6 pm at the American Legion post (16 W Poplar Drive).

The county is planning to pave the rail trail the portion of the rail trail that stretches from Slingerlands to Voorheesville. That would add about another 4 miles of path, bringing the total length from South Pearl Street in Albany to Voorheesville to about 9 miles. Here's a Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy map that gives a quick look at the paved/unpaved portions.

How I ended up riding a bike as one of my primary ways of getting around town -- and how that's gone

cyclist silhouette

By Greg

So here's something I've been hearing lately: "You rode your bike here!?"

Because I did.

This past summer I made an effort to become a bike person. That is, not just a person who rides a bike for fun, but a person who uses a bike for transportation around town. (Though, really, it's still fun even if you use it that way.)

Here are a few thoughts on how that's gone...

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CDTA: Bike share is ahead of its membership goal

CDTA bike share bikes Madison Ave

CDTA says it's ahead of its goal for the number of people signing up to use the new bike share -- the transit org says CDPHP Cycle has 2,028 members so far. The goal for the entire 2017 season was 2,000 members.

That was one of the numbers CDTA released Thursday in an update about the bike share. It reported that people have taken 7,615 bike rides using the system. Here's a breakdown of rides by city (rides per hub in each city):

+ Albany: 5,274 (264)
+ Saratoga Springs: 1,121 (280)
+ Troy: 764 (109)
+ Schenectady: 456 (65)

That Albany's had the most number of rides isn't surprising -- it also has way more hubs (20) than other city (7 for both Schenectady and Troy, 4 for Saratoga Springs). But its rides-per-hub number is still relatively high compared to Troy and Schenectady.

CDTA has said it would be using this first season to gather data about what's working -- and not working -- as it plans for expanding the system next year. It's looking like a key question will be why ridership is Troy and Schenectady is so far behind the other two cities.

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Bikes and cars, sharing the road

Because safety, and also because people often end debating this kind of stuff: The New York Bicycling Coalition has produced a video about the rules for cars -- and bikes! -- when using the road together.

The video is embedded above. It starts out with the section for cars, focusing on how bikes can use travel lanes and how to safely pass them. Then it flips to rules for bikes, focusing on practices such as signaling and (not) riding on the sidewalk. (Each segment is embedded individually below, if you'd like to watch them that way.)

The video was created in conjunction with the Albany Police Department using a grant from the state. You'll recognize a bunch of locations from around Albany.

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The Albany-Hudson Electric Trail

Albany Hudson Electric Trail Kinderhook segment

One of the photos from the project presentation showing a portion of the proposed route in Kinderhook.

The proposed plan for the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail -- which aims to connect Rensselaer and (almost) Hudson via a (mostly) shared-used bike path -- is out. And there's a public meeting about it Tuesday evening in East Greenbush.

Here are a few details...

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Checking out the new CDPHP Cycle bike share

CDTA bike share Washington Park

The new bike share backed by CDTA -- CDPHP Cycle -- launched Thursday. You can now sign up for an account and check out a bike from one of the stations in the Capital Region's four core cities.

Here are details about how it works, and a few thoughts after trying it out.

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New York State Bike Summit

New York State Bike Summit logo 2017

The first New York State Bike Summit will be at the Hearst Media Center* September 15. Blurbage:

This Summit will provide a forum for advocates, industry, policy makers, government officials at all levels, planners and engineers, allied environmental and other non-profit organizations as well as concerned individuals to meet, network, strategize and prepare for the transformation of New York into a leading state for safe and shared bicycling, pedestrian and active transportation.
Biking is on the rise in NYS. The challenges facing the bike movement have shifted from explaining why biking is important to how we can move toward more complete, shared and connected roads and trails throughout New York State. This cultural shift has primed the state for a "big tent" event - bringing together advocates, planners, engineers, public officials, legislators, business interests, concerned citizens, environmental and conservation interests, and law enforcement.

The attendance fee is $110. It's an all-day event -- here's the schedule of talks, panels, and whatnot. It looks like there will be a bunch of interesting bike-related topics up for discussion, many that often pop up here. It's organized by the New York Bicycling Coalition.

* It's the new venue Hearst built to host events at the Times Union building on Albany Shaker Rd near the north end of Wolf Rd.

Albany's sister city bike paradise

1. Nijmegen is Albany's sister city in the Netherlands.

2. And, as illustrated by the Streetfilms video above, it's also some sort of bike paradise.

Yep, the United States is not Europe, and Albany is not a mid-size Dutch city. But there are a lot of interesting bits in that video, among them the history of Nijmegen's shift toward bikes over the last handful of decades, and the idea that making a city bike and pedestrian friendly also makes it more attractive to young families and seniors.

[via]

Here's how much it will cost to use one of the upcoming bike share bikes

CDTA bike share CDPHP Cycle

What the bikes will look like. / photo via CDTA

The upcoming bike share from CDTA -- CDPHP Cycle -- has now posted pricing info.

The base pricing for using the bikes will be $5 per hour (prorated to the minute). There's also an "out of hub" fee of $2 and a "brought to hub" bonus of $1. In other words, checking out a bike will incur a $2 fee (before any time is used) and you get a buck back if you return the bike to one of the bike share hubs. (The bikes don't have to returned to a hub. The electronic tech for the renting the bikes is on the bikes themselves, and they're equipped with GPS.)

The bike share is starting off in zones that include the cores of Albany, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, and Troy. There's a charge of $25 for leaving a bike outside the zones.

As mentioned, that's the base rate. There are also membership plans that, like buying in volume, will make using the bikes cheaper on a per-minute basis:

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High traffic spots on the area's walk/bike trails

CDTC trail usage 2016 map

Here's a larger version. / map: CDTC

That map above depicts estimated usage at various points for the area's walk/bike trails based on survey and tracking done last year for the Capital District Transportation Committee. The full report is online if you'd like more detail and/or see how the numbers were gathered.

A few bits:

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Here are the station locations for the bike share starting later this summer

cdta bike share locations 2017 Albany cropped

A clip from the map of Albany stations.

The new bike share that CDTA is launching later this summer -- CDPHP Cycle -- is now one step closer to starting up: The transit org has announced the locations of the stations for the bike share.

So let's have a look...

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Capital City Shuttle

Capital City Shuttle bus

CDTA is staring up a free shuttle service this week that will run from the Warehouse District through downtown Albany to Lark Street. The "Capital City Shuttle" starts this Thursday, June 8 and will run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights through Labor Day.

"People come here without a car. People live here, who don't have a car. People work here who don't have a car. And they need a menu of options," said CDTA executive director Carm Basile while introducing the program Tuesday. "This is just another notch on our menu of options."

Here are a few more bits about the shuttle service, along with updates about the planned regionalization of taxi service and the upcoming bike share...

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The plan to connect two major bike paths at the Albany waterfront

Albany waterfront connector route plan under 787 rendering

Part of the plan includes a new multi-use path that runs through the space under 787.

Two major bike paths -- the Mohawk-Hudson Hike-Bike Trail and the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail -- run into Albany's South End. But they don't connect. They're separated by roughly two miles filled with interstate off-ramps, truck traffic, and trains.

For the past year the city of Albany and consultants have been working on way to connecting these bikeways. And now there's a plan.

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Albany Waterfront Connector Trail meeting

Albany waterfront connector meeting section3 cropped

From the public meeting last summer.

How best to connect the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail and Mohawk-Hudson Hike-Bike Trail along Albany's riverfront?

That's a question the city of Albany and consultants from Alta Planning + Design and have been working over the past year. And next week it looks like they're ready to present the results of that work. There's a public presentation set for Tuesday, May 23 at 5:30 pm at the Albany Public Library's Howe Branch (105 Schuyler Street).

As explained at a meeting last summer, the city and Alta were working to narrow down a range of possible routes for bridging the roughly two-mile gap between the major bike paths through the South End using some combination of bike lanes, multi-use paths, and city streets.

Each of the options discussed last year had its tradeoffs -- for level of bike amenities, ease of construction, and cost. And there's also the important consideration of a how the connector trail could potentially most benefit the surrounding neighborhood.

This project is important not just because it aims to connect two of the area's most prominent bike paths, but also because it moves the city/area more toward having a network of bike paths. As we wrote last year: A bike path is fine. Two bike paths is better. But a system of bike paths, connecting within the city of Albany and to its surrounding areas, holds the most potential in helping foster a culture here in which a broad range of people, in a range of places, feel comfortable choosing cycling as a transportation option.

BikeFest 7

troy bike rescue bikes

The annual BikeFest in Troy returns to The Sanctuary For Independent Media this Saturday, May 13. It's a fundraiser for the Troy Bike Rescue:

This celebration marks 17 years in existence of the volunteer-run, non-profit organization. TBR volunteers run weekly shop sessions where community members learn bike repair, bicycle safety, and fix bicycles to be available for adoption to the general public.
Bike rodeo for kids & Troy Samba!
Troy Bike Rescue volunteers have gotten really good at building fun obstacle courses at Freedom Square for kids to test their bike riding skills. The fun begins at 3pm. Troy Bike Rescue will have a few bikes on hand for kids to borrow, but participants are encouraged to bring their own. The fun at Freedom Square will conclude with everyone's favorite Brazilian Samba ensemble, Troy Samba! at 4:30pm. Participants are advised to bring water, snacks and sunblock if needed.
Dinner, Raffle, Cake Auction & Live Music by Raggliacci
A delicious burrito buffet will be prepared by TBR volunteers under the guidance of local food writer and educator Amy Halloran. Beer will be provided by the one and only Rare Form Brewery. There will be raffle prizes from local businesses, and music by Troy's very own Ragliacci. The night will be rounded off with an auction of cakes contributed by local bakers and bikers.

Events start at 3 pm with the kids bike rodeo in Freedom Square. Doors for events at the Sanctuary for Independent Media open at 5 pm. Tickets are a on a sliding scale -- with a $20 suggested donation.

photo via Troy Bike Rescue Facebook

Capital Region Bike to Work Challenge 2017

Madison Ave bike lane

The annual Capital Region Bike to Work Challenge returns May 19, which aims to promote cycling a mode of commuting. And, as the name implies, it's also a competition, organized by the Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) and Bikeatoga:

In each county, the winning team for each of four categories will win a trophy, relinquished by last year's winners and originally contributed by Bikeatoga, Albany Bicycle Coalition, and Troy Bike Rescue, and made out of used bicycle parts. The four categories are
+ Organization with the largest number of riders,
+ Small organization with the highest percent participation (20 or fewer employees),
+ Large organization with the highest percent participation (over 20 employees), and
+ Person who rode the farthest.
The Municipal Challenge is on again this year, for the highest percent participation for any municipality in the region in which the mayor or supervisor rides to work.

As we've mentioned before, biking -- like walking or taking the bus -- to work might seem to be impractical or a big hassle if you don't do it often. But once you start it quickly becomes normal and something you might even look forward to.

Also: It might help you live longer. [BBC]

Peeking at the bike share station suggestions

bike share suggestion map 2017-04-13

Another quick follow-up on CDTA's upcoming bike share. The online suggestion and voting for bike share stations continues to run through April 30 -- and the results are being mapped.

That's a clip of the map above. The top suggestions in Albany so far are pretty much you'd expect: Washington Park, the ESP, Lark Street, the pedestrian bridge to Corning Riverfront Park, and so on. (One location that doesn't have many votes, yet, but seems like it could be a good idea: Swinburne Park near Clinton Ave, which has a bike lane.)

It looks like the other three cities -- Schenectady, Troy, and Saratoga Springs -- could use a few more suggestions and votes for stations.

There are two more upcoming public info/suggestion events for the bike share:

April 25: Saratoga Springs Recreation Center on Vanderbilt Street - 6-7:30 pm

April 26: Albany Public Library, Washington Ave Branch - 6-7:30 pm
____

Earlier: A few more details about the upcoming CDTA bike share

CDTA and CDPHP advertise on AOA.

The Madison Ave Road Diet moves to phase two

Madison Ave Road Diet phase 2 Lark diagram

The second phase of the Madison Ave Road Diet -- one of the area's most interesting transportation projects -- is set to start this summer, and officials say they hope the bulk of the work will be finished this year.

That timeline was one of the details discussed a during a public meeting about the project Thursday evening at Saint Rose in which the city and project engineers continued to express optimism about the traffic calming plan in the face of skeptical comments and questions from the crowd.

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Suggestion site now open for CDTA bike share stations, public info sessions coming up

CDTA bike share CDPHP Cycle

A model of the bike share bikes. / image via CDTA

Quick follow-up to that recent post about the bike share CDTA's planning to launch later this year...

The online site to collect suggestions from the public about where the the CDPHP Cycle 20 bike stations should be located is now up and running. Blurbage:

Tell us where you want to pick up CDPHP Cycle! bikes. Use our map or download the Social Cyclist app to vote for our suggested rack locations. You can also comment on why you think it's a good spot for a CDPHP Cycle! rack. Be sure to navigate the map of your city to find suggested locations.
Decisions on rack locations will be guided with your feedback, along with the following criteria: available space, pedestrian traffic, population density, bike infrastructure, and transit options. You can also vote by downloading the free Social Cyclist mobile app, emailing cdphpcycle@CDTA.org, or calling (518) 437-6844.
Voting ends Sunday, April 30 at 11:59 p.m.

Via the suggestion site's map, there's also a peek at the initial coverage zones for the bike share in the cities of Albany, Schenectady, and Troy.

As CDTA mobility manager Bailey said in March, the overall goal of the bike share program initially will be to extend people's transportation options from nodes in the CDTA network (example: The upcoming Uncle Sam Transit Center), and to cover short-distance trips within downtowns. The second phase of the program will focus on reaching out farther into neighborhoods with additional bikes.

Public events (updated)

There are also a series of upcoming public info sessions, where you'll be able to ask questions, offer suggestions, and see one of the bikes that will be used in the system...

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A few more details about the upcoming CDTA bike share

CDTA bike share CDPHP Cycle

What the bike share bikes will look like. / image via CDTA

CDTA announced Monday that is now has a name and sponsor for its upcoming bike share program: CDPHP Cycle! (with the exclamation mark). The system is set to launch this summer.

Planning for this two-year bike share pilot has been in the works since last year, and there are now a few more details about how it's taking shape...

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Saratoga Fat Bike Rally 2017

saratoga fat bike rally

The annual Saratoga Fat Bike Rally is this Saturday, February 11 in Saratoga Spa State Park. The schedule includes races, group rides, and other activities.

Fat bikes are kind of like mountain bikes with oversized, squishy tires that all for riding in snow and mud. Rally blurbage:

The Saratoga Fat Bike Rally sprang out the minds of three individuals one night in February, 2014 while riding around the Saratoga State Park. Three hours and maybe a couple of Craft Brews later, we had a mission. Jim Adams, Shawne Camp, and Tony Ferradino set out to tell the world about Fat Bikes and to share our passion with other Fat Bikers. Our original ideas were very grand and involved complicated event planning and strategic alliances with every bike manufacturer known. In the end we decided we just wanted to ride our Fat Bikes with other enthusiasts.

The events start at 8:30 am at the warming hut in the park ("Look for our tent village.").

Also going on that day is the annual pond hockey tournament. Registration for that is already closed, but it might be fun to head over to watch for a few minutes.

photo via Saratoga Fat Bike Rally Facebook

CDTA's new fare smart cards are now available

CDTA Navigator card in hand

This Navigator card belongs to Albany Public Library executive director Scott Jarzombek. He was at today's public roll out of the new system because APL employees -- including himself -- were using the cards during a pilot test over the past year. (APL has a universal access agreement with CDTA for employees to ride the bus.)

CDTA opened its new Navigator fare card to the general public Thursday. The new system includes a bunch of potential benefits for riders as well as the transit org -- and it opens some interesting possibilities for transportation in the Capital Region that extend beyond the bus (hello, taxis).

"It makes everything quicker, everything more convenient," CDTA CEO Carm Basile said Thursday. "But most importantly, the customer manages their own account. They do what they want to do when they want to do it and how they want do it."

Here's a quick overview, along with a few bits about the upcoming bike share and a common taxi system for the Capital Region.

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The Empire State Trail

Empire State Trail map slide

An overview map shared by the Cuomo admin Tuesday.

One of the many proposals to floated during Andrew Cuomo's ongoing State of the State tour this week is a plan to build the Empire State Trail -- a 750-mile multi-use path that would stretch from NYC to the Adirondacks and from Albany to Buffalo.

The Cuomo admin says it'd be the longest state multi-use path in the country.

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