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Street Beat: Orangetown Bicycling — Counts

This summer seemed to bring a surge of cyclists to Orangetown and destinations to its north and west. But no one is quite sure.

Orangetown wants to quantify the bicycling surge. And they’re doing so with a little bit of help from an upstate non-profit and community volunteers who want to make cycling safer and easier in the town’s villages and hamlets.

Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart gives a history lesson to area cyclists on a bike tour stop at the Walkway of American Heroes.

At 7p on Sept 7, Orangetown will kick off the Orangetown Bike Study, with a meeting lead by led by Parks & Trails NY (PTNY) at Orangetown Town Hall. Community members, cyclists, parents, land use board members and business owners are invited to attend. The study is intended to document bicycling usage, map routes and help plan for tomorrow.

Why Study Bicycles?

“Orangetown is focused on enhancing the cycling experience for diverse users of Orangetown roads and paths. Bicycle infrastructure increases health, property values, tourism, local business opportunity , and economic development while decreasing air pollution and automobile traffic. Great strides are being made in street design to accommodate diverse ways of moving and demographics are changing (i.e. Millennials drive less and value walkable/livable/bikeable communities). Orangetown needs to stay on top of these trends in order to continue to thrive as a community.”

Source: Town of Orangetown

Communities across the country have seen that cycling brings benefits. Cycling tourism boosts local businesses. It’s a healthy form of exercise for kids, adults and seniors . And it doesn’t burn gas.

The Orangetown Bike Study is funded by a $40,000 grant from the New NY Bridge Community Benefits Program. The grant will be used to buy portable bike counters, manage the data collection, produce a report which includes recommendations for the future.

PTNY is New York’s leading advocate for parks and trails, dedicated since 1985 to improving New Yorkers’ health, economy, and quality of life through the use and enjoyment of green space. Over its 30-year history, the organization has played a part in the creation and promotion of more than 1,500 miles of greenways, bike paths, river walks, and trails including the D&H Canal Trail in Sullivan and Ulster Counties and the Genesee Valley Greenway. Since 1995, PTNY has worked in partnership with the NYS Canal Corporation to develop, maintain and promote the 524- mile (Erie) Canalway Trail System. Last year PTNY executed the NYS Capital District Transportation Council (CDTC) Capital District Trail Counts Study, to assess trail usage at more than 20 locations.

Volunteers Wanted!

The Town of Orangetown wants to know if they can count on you…to count bicycles.

The Orangetown Bike Study needs help from community volunteers to help with manual bike counts during the week of Sept. 10. If you are interested in helping out, you’ll need to attend a 45-minute training webinar planned on Sept. 6 at 12:30p. Email Vicki Caramante at vcaramante@orangetown.com if you would like to volunteer.

Volunteers will choose a time and location to conduct manual counts on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, and on Saturday or Sunday. Trail locations will be counted from 5-7p on weekdays and from 12n-2p on weekends. Road intersections will be counted between 4-6p on weekdays and from 12n-2p on weekends.

Count locations include the Esposito Rail Trail; the J.B. Clarke Rail Trail; Route 9W north of Sparkill; Route 9W south of Sparkill at Oak Tree Road; N. Middletown Road between Nanuet and Pearl River; Western Highway at Blauvelt Road; Route 303 at Oak Tree Road; the Convent Road/Sickletown/Gilbert intersection; Washington Street/Main Street/Old Tappan Road intersection; and the Pearl River NJ Transit Train Station.

In addition to the manual counting, automatic bike/pedestrian counters being placed at key locations around town for the same period of time.

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.

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