Items tagged with 'cycling'

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.

(there's more)

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.

(there's more)

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...

(there's more)

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...

(there's more)

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.

(there's more)

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.

(there's more)

CDTA: Bike share planned for next summer

Capital Region bike share demo project bikes

Some of the bikes used during the 2014 Capital Region bike share demonstration project.

CDTA is planning to start its new bike share pilot next summer, the transit org said Wednesday.

It was one of the details the accompanied the announcement that CDTA has selected the company Social Bicycles as the operator of the two-year pilot program. The company runs bike shares in a bunch of cities around the country.

Bike share press release blurbage:

(there's more)

Bike Albany Map

bike albany map finished screengrab

A screengrab.

That interactive map of bike-friendly routes through the city of Albany that the Albany Bicycle Coaltion has been working on is now online -- go have a look. The map/app will be formally introduced at an event at the Downtube Friday.

From a description of the project:

Objective: an online, interactive Albany bike map with bicycle-friendly routes.
Primary considerations: safety and comfort. We especially want to encourage novice riders, visitors, and new residents, by showing that you can cycle throughout Albany on mainly bike-friendly streets. The map concentrates on secondary roads, side streets, and bike-pedestrian paths. Major arteries are used only where necessary to make connections. Traffic density is indicated by color coding. Traffic advisories, where needed, are indicated by "caution" triangles.

The map includes preferred routes, bike shop locations, and there's even functions for mapping out a bike-friendly route between two places and measuring distances. It's also set up to work on mobile devices.

ABC has been working on this project with Parks & Trails New York and Mohawk Valley GIS, it was funded in party through state grant money (coordinated by local state Assembly member Pat Fahy) and local donations.

Ramping up

downtown Albany Broadway pedestrian bridge bike ramps

New-to-us pedestrian and bike infrastructure, a continuing (?) series: Jodi pointed out to us on Twitter this week that there are now bike ramps along the stairs leading to the pedestrian bridge that connects Corning Riverfront Park/Jennings Landing and downtown Albany. That's her pic above.

We hadn't seen ramps like this before. And while it might not be a big thing, it is another way of 1) making things a little easier for cyclists and 2) communicating that, yes, there's a place for bikes here.

Which reminds us... we have to get over Corning Riverfront Park and check out how the pedestrian and bike upgrades project is coming along. We've spotted the (very, very) green bike lane in a few spots lately.

(Thanks, Jodi!)

Earlier on AOA:
+ (blink) pedestrian crossing (blink)
+ Adapting to the Madison Ave Road Diet
+ Connecting Albany's riverfront park

Bike-friendly Albany map nearing finish line

bike albany map test 2016-September

The Albany Bicycle Coalition's effort to create an interactive map of bike-friendly routes through the city of Albany is almost to the finish line. ABC has posted a preview of the map, and it's working on the interactive version.

The org says it's still looking to raise $1,500 to complete the project. Details on how to contribute are at that link above. A fully-functional test version is expected to be ready this month.

About the project:

Objective: an online, interactive Albany bike map with bicycle-friendly routes.
Primary considerations: safety and comfort . We especially want to encourage novice riders, visitors, and new residents, by showing that you can cycle throughout Albany on mainly bike-friendly streets. The map concentrates on secondary roads, side streets, and bike-pedestrian paths. Major arteries are used only where necessary to make connections. Traffic density is indicated by color coding. Traffic advisories, where needed, are indicated by "caution" triangles.
We have made many revisions the past few months, based on your input. We incorporated valuable advice from many people, and have made significant changes to many of the routes.

(As mentioned this past spring.)

Schenectady bike lane demonstration

schenectady bike plan Craig Street demo

The city of Schenectady's ongoing work toward a master plan for bike infrastructure includes a demonstration project that starts today (Wednesday) and runs through the weekend on Craig Street in Hamilton Hill that's focused on bike lanes, shared lanes, and street calming. Blurbage:

As part of the Schenectady Bike Infrastructure Master Plan, riders and residents are invited to participate in this community demonstration project showcasing street-level bicycle improvements designed to increase safety and connectivity. The temporary installation through funding from CDTC, is designed to explore bicycle-related Complete Streets options for improving Craig Street as a City, Neighborhood and Schools connection.

Here's a map and other backgroun about the project.

The demo includes a bike fest Wednesday afternoon from 2-6 pm with bike-themed activities and prizes. And the Electric City Bike Rescue will be there helping with repairs and maintenance.

This is the second demostration project as part of the bike master plan process. Earlier this year there was a demo of a contra-flow bike lane on Washington Ave.

Madison Ave Road Diet, now lined up

Madison Ave east of Main

As mentioned, the city of Albany has started re-striping Madison Ave has part of the road diet in the works for the corridor between Allen Street and, eventually, Lark Street. So we took a a few minutes Tuesday to stop by the western-most section to see how it's looking.

That's a pic above, and there are more after the jump if you're curious.

The Madison Ave Road Diet is changing the street from two travel lanes in each direction to one travel lane each way with a center turn lane and bike lanes running along both sides.

The goal behind changing the road design is to "calm" traffic -- getting cars to move slower and making the corridor more friendly to pedestrians and cyclists -- with an eye toward making the street safer. A representative of Creighton Manning, the firm that's overseeing the road diet project, said at a public meeting earlier this year they're projecting a 25 percent decrease in accidents because of the redesign.

(there's more)

Tour de Habitat 2016

tour de habitat bike wheel logo 2016The Tour de Habitat cycling event returns September 17 in Albany. It's a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity Capital District.

The tour offers four different routes in lengths of 10 miles, 25 miles, 50 miles, and 100 miles. The routes will be supported with rest stops and aid stations All routes start and end at Druthers on Broadway in north Albany, and there's a free after-party there as well.

Early registration fees start at $25 for the 10-mile ride and increase from there. (They jump to $100 and up after September 2.) Of course, this is a fundraiser, riders are encouraged to raise money from supporters for the entry fee (and more).

Habitat says last year's event raised $11,000 for the org.

Schenectady bike infrastructure plan survey

schenectady bike plan crash map

The website for the project includes includes a handful of maps that you might find interesting. The example above plots bike and pedestrian crashes around the city between 2010 and 2015. / map: City of Schenectady / CDTC / Alta / LAndArt Studio

The city of Schenectady is working toward a bike infrastructure plan and is looking for input via an online survey. Blurbage:

This plan is being developed to address the needs of all user types ranging from novice neighborhood and trail bicyclists to expert road bicyclists. Please take 5-10 minutes to fill out this questionnaire. Your response will help to build a better understanding of area needs and priorities. Even if you do not bicycle regularly, your feedback will be helpful.

The survey is pretty much what you'd expect: questions about why people bike, what would encourage them to bike more often, and priorities for making bike infrastructure upgrades.

The city is working with the Capital District Transportation Committee and Alta Planning + Design on the bike plan. (Alta is a go-to consultancy for bike projects -- it's also working with the city of Albany on the waterfront bike trail connector.)

Traffic Skills 101 for cyclists

bike pedal mediumBikeatoga is sponsoring a "Traffic Skills 101" course for cyclists this summer at the Saratoga Springs Regional YMCA. Class blurbage

Traffic Skills 101 is designed to develop individual's knowledge and expertise in the craft and science of bicycling-- the ability to use a bicycle with confidence and competence for pleasure, utility and sport under various highway, climate, terrain, and traffic conditions. This course combines classroom discussion and parking lot activities with on-road practice of the principles of vehicular bicycling. The instructor for this course is certified by the League of American Bicyclists and has years of experience and training.

The class is July 20, July 27, and August 10 from 6-9 pm. It's $25 per person, and each person needs a bike, helmet, and lock. Pre-registration is required: Claire Nolan at 518-209-6477 or cbnolou@gmail.com.

Also this summer, there will be a class for people would like become instructors certified by the League of American Bicyclists. It's at UAlbany this August 19-21. It's $300.

Rensselaerville Ride: From Hill to Hollow

rensselaerville ride 2016 logoThe Carey Institute in Rensselaerville has an event coming up the weekend of September 16-18 that could be fun if you're into cycling (and beer). Blurbage for Rensselaerville Ride: From Hill to Hollow (link added):

It's a family friendly weekend with challenging routes for all ages and abilities, with rides ranging from a 3.3-mile time trial to a 64-mile ride through the Helderberg Hilltowns. Fall foliage will be at its peak so it's sure to be a beautiful weekend. Come early for the Pond Hill Challenge and stay late for live music, good food and craft beer. The Carey Institute has a brewery on its estate and plenty of New York State craft beer.

There's a schedule of events at that link. Entry fees for the rides range from free up to $80 -- the fees will increase at the start of September. (We also hear there are some early bird deals on lodging and meal packages if you're looking to stay there for the weekend.)

Rensselaerville is a beautiful spot in southwestern Albany County. While you're in that area, it's also worth stop at the Huyck Preserve, which has a series of hiking trails and some good waterfalls.

A cookbook for designing Albany streets

draft bike transit intersection example

An example intersection from the manual that highlights bike and transit amenities. (The example doesn't reference a specific intersection.) Here's a larger version.

The city of Albany's ongoing process to plan for a more walkable and bike-friendly future took another step forward this week with the public presentation of a draft of the city's "complete streets" manual.

And if that sounds a little wonky... well, it is. But think of it this way: The manual is like a cookbook for city streets, with recipes (so to speak) about how to incorporate elements such as bike lanes. And it's online for public review -- the city will be accepting comments July 27.

Here's a little bit more about the idea, and a few things that caught our eye while looking over the manual...

(there's more)

Windham mountain bike park open for the season

Windham Bike Park Trail Map 2016 clip

A clip from the trail map.

Windham Mountain Resort's Bike Park recently opened for the season. We get the impression is works kind of skiing -- there are trails, equipment rentals, even a lift. And there's a beginner's area, too. Blurbage:

A Skills Park (designation: Green Circle [Beginner]) where new mountain bikers will be born. This is a beginner area to learn the basics - braking, weight distribution, how to stand on pedals, controlling the bike over obstacles, including rollers, roots, and berms. This area will be simple with small features, including eight berms, a mini rock garden, mini drops and skinnies that will allow riders to really experience their bike for the first time in a controlled MTB setting. First-timers welcome!

The park is open weekends until July 1, and then it's open Monday-Sunday through September 5, before switching back to weekends through October 10.

Regular lift tickets are $36 for adults. And bike rentals are $75. Protective gear is also available for rental (helmets are required).

Mountain Bike Festival at Grafton Lakes State Park
Speaking of mountain biking... The Saratoga Mountain Bike Association is hosting a mountain bike festival at Grafton Lakes State Park this Saturday, June 11 from 9 am-4 pm. The lineup includes bike demos, trail rides, kids activities, and vendors.

Individual registration is $10 / family registration is $20. Festival proceeds will go to support mountain biking trails around the Capital District.

Plotting a path for the Albany waterfront bike trail connector

Albany waterfront connector meeting section3 cropped

A paved section of the Albany County's Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail recently (officially) opened from Slingerlands to Albany's South End neighborhood. That end point on South Pearl is just about two miles from where the Mohawk-Hudson Hike-Bike Trail picks up along the Albany riverfront.

And that proximity, of course, prompts the idea: Hey, maybe these should be connected in some meaningful way, right?

The question of how that make connection happen is at the center of the Albany Waterfront Connector project. And Thursday night there was a public meeting laying out some of the possible options.

Here's a quick look.

(there's more)

Talking about making a connection at Albany's waterfront

albany waterfront connector meeting posterThe project aiming to connect the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail and the Mohawk-Hudson Hike-Bike Trail in Albany's South End has a public meeting lined up for June 2. The purpose of the event will be to gather comments from the community about the creation of the trail connector.

There's been a lot of work going on recently with both of these bike/hike trails. The paved segment of Albany County's Helderberg Hudson trail between Delmar and the South End will officially open this month (it's been unofficially open for a while). And the city of Albany has a $5 million project under construction to upgrade pedestrian and bike amenities along the Mohawk-Hudson trail along the Hudson riverfront.

So this connector project is about figuring out the best to link these two trails. As Kate Lawrence, a senior planner and sustainability coordinator for the city of Albany, told us recently: "With [the waterfront connector] study what will be important is to get feedback from people in what they want to prioritize for that multi-use path because there will be a few options available." Among those options will be deciding the route of the connecting path, whether it bypasses or goes through the neighborhood, and how it negotiates I-787.

The public workshop is Thursday, June 2 from 5-7 pm at the Howe Branch of the Albany Public Library (105 Schuyler Street). There will be a project open house from 5-5:30 pm, a presentation from 5:30-6:30 pm, and the open house will continue from 6-7 pm.

(Thanks, L!)

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

A quick recap of the week

Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA: + Eric asked about the experiences families have had with Albany schools -- and... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

It's Memorial Day weekend. Time to fire up the barbecue grill and kick off the unofficial start of summer by doing fun stuff. This week... (more)

A few bits about that big, new mural going up on the side of the Quackenbush Garage in Albany

Maybe you've noticed the new mural going up on the south face of the Quackenbush Garage in downtown Albany. Here's what's up with that, along... (more)

A restaurant for regular group meetings?

Anne emails: I am a member of a service group that meets 2 evenings a month, during the week. We are looking for a restaurant/food... (more)

New York State city and town populations 2016

The Capital Region has some of the state's fastest growing towns in terms of population percentage change. That's one of the bits from new population... (more)

Recent Comments

I've found that anecdotes from neighbors, friends, or internet "strangers" can only take you so far. If you haven't already, I strongly recommend you get out there and visit these schools during the school year, during the school day to get a feel for things. In the last few months, my wife and I have made a series of visits to our local elementary, middle + high-school. During those visits, we had the chance to talk to multiple teachers and see the kids "in action". It was very VERY telling in a lot of ways - both good and bad.

A few bits about that big, new mural going up on the side of the Quackenbush Garage in Albany

...has 5 comments, most recently from Jamie

Fields Sculpture Park at Omi 2017

...has 3 comments, most recently from Jamie

A restaurant for regular group meetings?

...has 6 comments, most recently from Jamie

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 3 comments, most recently from JK

Where to get an Apple laptop fixed?

...has 8 comments, most recently from Greg