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Oct 21: Pearl River –> Piermont

This ride starts in Pearl River (No. Middletown Rd), we ride through Orangeburg and head into Piermont before riding into New Jersey and back to Pearl River. We will probably stop for coffee at the Dunkin Donuts in Orangeburg before returning to Pearl River.

Meet in the municipal parking lot behind the Neighborhood Pharmacy (across from King Kone). Pace & Terrain – Pace = C; Terrain = 2 or 3

Route – Local roads into Piermont and then Rt. 501 into NJ and local roads back into NY (more…)

Street Beat: Nyack Closed To NYC, NJ Cyclists, Mon-Sat Thru mid-Nov

NJ Mostly Closed to East Rockland Cyclists, too.

Nyack, Oct 12 — The end of the bicycling season has come early to Nyack businesses that depend on cyclists from North Jersey and New York City to sell their baked goods and bike maintenance services. Business seems to have fallen off since River Road in South Nyack was closed near the Tappan Zee Bridge on 10/10.

Two possible detours that cyclists can take to avoid Route 9W between Nyack and Piermont during TZB demolition: The Esposito Rail Trail and South Blvd / Tweed Blvd.

Cyclists can pass through the construction site where the Rockland County landing of the bridge is being demolished once an hour during the week and every 15 minutes on Saturdays until work is completed in mid-November. The ill-conceived plan assumes that cyclists would just wait without taking into consideration the likelihood that some riders would take the car/truck detour on Route 9W. In formulating the plan, New NY Bridge officials never spoke with any cyclists who actually use that route, instead relying on input from the smallest bicycle club in the area that have two board members that don’t ride bicycles. It also relied on an the assumption that most cyclists who ride the popular 9W to River Road to Nyack route belong to a cycling club. It never made sense to think cyclists would wait as much as two hours (out and back) to ride through the construction site. And based on the empty tables outside of the Runcible Spoon bakery since Tuesday, they aren’t.

In addition to limiting northbound traffic, Nyack area cyclists are limited to the same restrictions if they want to ride south to Piermont, the Clark Rail Trail in Sparkill, or North Jersey. (more…)

10/14: Orange Heritage Trail / Onion Fields

Let’s meet up at 8:30a at the Monroe, NY Park & Ride Lot “B” on Sat 10/14 and ride the Orange Heritage Rail Trail and the Onion Fields route through Orange County.

Here’s the meet up point: Monroe Park & Ride Lot “A”

Also, you never know who you might see in Orange County. This route (I believe) passes by an animal sanctuary, where you might get to meet this fella — the mascot and logo for the Orange County Bike Club!

PAY ATTENTION TO THE FORECAST: It looks like the day *may* start out cloudy with a few drizzles. However, before you bail, check the Monroe NY forcecast. It looks a bit more hopeful than what you might see out your window in Rockland County for 830a on Saturday!

Remember to bring your helmet, water bottles, a snack and tire fixin’s.

Here’s the turn by turn route map for this (up to) 47 miles route: (more…)

Bicycles Beware of Nyack River Road Closure, But Don’t Detour on 9W!

The Old TZB is now closed. What comes next? Four weeks of cycling and automotive misery, if your regular route on two or four wheels includes Piermont Ave/ River Road.

On Oct 6, the Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC) shifted the last four lanes of traffic from the original 1955 Malcom Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge to the new cable-stay Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. What’s next? TZC will now tear down the Malcolm before connecting the south span of the Mario to the I-287 portion of the NYS Thruway.

Demolition of the landing in Rockland begins on Tues Oct 10. TZC will be at it six days a week (M-Su). Cars will be detoured on to 9W. Bicycles should NOT follow this detour, as it’s a dangerous and contentious route — including a stretch where a Pomona, NY recreational cyclist was struck and killed  in June, 2012.

Bicycles, Hurry Up And Wait (But Don’t Detour on 9W!)

On a busy summer weekend, as many as 5,000 cyclists will ride from North Jersey and New York City to Nyack and points north principally using this route. It’s not the summer, but it’s still a popular route — as witnessed by the throng of cyclists who rest and resuscitate at the Runcible Spoon Bakery on fall weekends. Thruway officials will let cyclists get through once an hour during the week and as frequently as every 15 minutes on Saturday. Which has implications for local businesses than depend on that traffic (prediction: no cyclist is going to wait 15 minutes much less an hour to get through. They will find an alternate route or turn around).

There is one safe alternate route that bypasses the demolition, the backups and all of the traffic. But for some inexplicable reason, New NY Bridge officials won’t endorse it or mention it in their press releases or email blasts. The Esposito Rail trail, albeit limited to hybrid or mountain bicycles, is a great N/S alternative that locals use that runs through the woods. Local cyclists have asked the New NY Bridge’s help to get the word out — but the agency has essentially said, “not our job.”

Cycling advocates fear that riders from NYC and North Jersey will use the 9W detour between Nyack and Piermont rather than wait to get through the demolition site. When members of the Rockland Bicycle Club met with Thruway officials on Oct 3 urging them to discourage cyclists from taking this detour because it includes a dangerous stretch of 9W where recreational cyclist Janet Martinez was struck and killed in June 2012, officials said they would not be highlighting this issue in future announcements to the news media. A spokesperson for the New NY Bridge confirmed on 10/5 that the New NY Bridge had no plans to issue any advisories regarding safe alternate cycling detours, nor did they plan to issue any warnings about bicycling on 9W during the Rockland TZB landing demolition.

In their defense, it might be impolitic for a NYS Thruway project to say that 9W, a NYS DOT roadway, is unsafe for one of the modalities which is entitled to share that road. That said, when safety is concerned, it would be nice to think safety would supersede politics.

This is the last lap of a multi-year, multi-billion dollar infrastructure project where the New NY Bridge has done an exceptional job of community outreach and accommodation — until this week. Countless hours of planning went into coordinating bus re-routes and how fire and ambulance personnel will respond during the weeks when River Road will be closed. Couldn’t they have spent just a little more time thinking through such an obvious conflict?

Cycling is a growing constituency in the lower Hudson and New York State. Governor Andrew Cuomo has dedicated $200 million in the 2017-18 state budget to create the 750 mile Empire State Trail, which, when completed, will be the largest state multi-use trail in the country stretching from the Battery in NYC to the Canadian border and from Albany to Buffalo. Also, there’s no question that the soon to be named Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is the favorite infrastructure project of Governor Andrew Cuomo. You would think that two of the governor’s state agencies could find the time to meet and work through the nuances of communicating the serious safety implications caused by this month long detour, especially considering the death of a cyclist on this road was likely caused by bad communication (Family of Cycling Fatality Says ‘Fix The Signs’, 7/5/2012). But alas, that is not the case.

 

Street Beat is a weekly feature on Nyack News And Views covering streets, sidewalks, cycling, mass transit and safety. Sponsored by Velo Bistro Wine Bar, Weld Realty and Bike Nyack.

Help Wanted: The Greater Nyack Bike/Walk Master Plan

Nyack, Oct 3, 2017 — The Village of Nyack has received a grant to create a “Greater Nyack Bike/Walk Master Plan” for the Nyack Schools district and the three Nyack river villages. The village has received a number of responses to its RFP for this project. Community members are invited to join this committee to help select a vendor and provide input to the chosen consultant once the project gets under way. The goal of this plan is to improve safety and create better connections:

Nyack bike walk master plan, Esposito Trail

  • between neighborhoods and local destinations (downtown, Nyack Beach State Park, Palisades Center, public transportation, etc) for walking and cycling.
  • to best manage the increased foot and cycling traffic that will occur after the new Mario M Cuomo Tappan Zee Bridge Shared Use Path opens for joggers, walkers, cyclists and tourists in 2018.
  • for students and parents to get to and from Nyack Schools.

Committee members will be invited to attend presentations from each of the vendor finalists in early November, 2017.

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Nyack South Franklin Bike Path Plans — 9/28/2017 VB Presentation

Nyack TAP Project S Franklin Bike Path Update, 8/28/2017Nyack, 9/28/2017 — The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) committee for the Village of Nyack updated the village trustees on plans to construct a bike lane on South Franklin Street in 2018. Although this project will coincide with the opening of the new Mario M. Cuomo Tappan Zee Bridge Shared Use Path, it’s value is more than just a tourist attraction. It is being designed as a safe, car-free route that residents, bicycle commuters, recreational cyclists and families with kids and reach destinations on two wheels without fear of sharing the road with vehicles with four wheels.

It is not expected that this route will be used by the experienced road cyclists who now visit the village via Piermont Road and River Road. They will continue to use those routes as the design of the new path and the expected traffic will implicitly limit how fast roads cyclists can travel.

Click here to see the full presentation.

 

 

 

Sept 30: The All Rockland “Hi Tor Hi-Ho”

Ride Master Mike Hays will lead the way this Saturday with this Ride Around Rockland — in reverse.

The twist is that we’ll tackle Hook Mountain on the way out instead of the way back. Mike promises a few additional tweaks, too. Estimated mileage is about 34 miles with about 1,800 feet of climbing.

Just a heads up: this is the last scheduled Sat Bike Nyack ride of the season! There may be a few more, weather and fall schedules depending, but the “reliably every Sat morning” thing goes on hold until the spring. :>) Join us if you can!

HaysToHiTor

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Sept 23: Two Bridges Across The Hudson

Time for another road trip. Note the different start time and location as we travel to Bear Mountain for the Two Bridges Ride, which includes Hudson River crossings on the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge and the Bear Mountain Bridge.

We will meet up at 8a at the Bear Mountain State Park parking lot near the carousel. The ride proceeds north on Route 9W to Route 218, back onto 9W to the Newburgh waterfront, over the bridge, then we return all the way on Route 9D, returning to the parking lot after crossing West on the Bear Mountain Bridge.

There’s one epic climb up to Storm King; we’ll cover about 2,600 feet of elevation for the day.  We will stop for refreshments in Beacon, and regroup as needed.  You should also bring water and a snack.

Pace & Terrain – Pace = B-;  Terrain = 2 or 3

Start/End point – Bear Mountain State Park carousel parking lot.  Take the Palisades Pky north to the Bear Mountain Bridge traffic circle.  Take the first turn onto Route 9W south.  Then take the right fork onto Seven Lakes Drive.  The parking lot is ahead on the right side.  Since this is a state park, they will charge to park after 8a so arrive before then to avoid the parking fee.

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Sept 16: Westwood (NJ), Ho!

BN_NyackToWestwood

It’s Destination Westwood this Sat morning. We’ll meet up at Nyack Memorial Park at 8:30a for a 25 mile spin to Westwood, NJ. 

Westwood has a quaint downtown, a central park with a gazebo and its own stop on the Pascack Valley line of NJ Transit. It also straddles the banks of the Hackensack River, but to be honest, its old banks located in historic buildings are more impressive than the Hackensack, which is more of a creek than a river as it passes through Westwood.

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