Mar 6: Public Mtg For Greenbush Rd / Rt 303 Bypass

Greenbush Road is a lovely rural street to bypass the unsafe and unfriendly Rt 303 while traveling north toward West Nyack. It’s bucolic…until the street merges into Rt 303 for about two blocks, forcing cycling to “share the road” with cars traveling at 45+ mph. (Turns out the motorists aren’t too happy with that merge, either!). Greenbush Road reappears and continues its rural route after sharing about 1,300 hazardous and death-defying feet with Rt 303.

In 2003, 72 year old Robert Carl Pinckert was killed after being struck by a car near the intersection of Greenbush Rd and Rt 303 in Blauvelt. “He was under the truck. It was brutal,” said Orangetown Councilman Paul Valentine in the Journal News. His business, Valentine Electric, is adjacent to the crash site where Pinckert died. “From my office, I can see hundreds of bikers that come through this dangerous intersection every week. It was very important that we worked together to develop a solution.”

A bicycle bypass project through the woods of Blauvelt State Park adjacent to Rt 303 is being built with a $100,000 grant from the office of NYS Senator David Carlucci. Continue reading “Mar 6: Public Mtg For Greenbush Rd / Rt 303 Bypass”

PTNY Presents Orangetown Bike Network Recommendations

The Orangetown Bike Study, a five month effort which included input from more than 500 residents, will present preliminary findings and recommendations on Thurs 2/7 at 7p in Orangetown Town Hall. Bike study consultants Parks & Trails NY (PTNY) will detail a proposed bicycle network that connects schools, parks, village centers and neighboring communities via a mix of protected, striped and shared cycling facilities.

The Orangetown bike Study includes a mix of protected, striped and shared bicycle facilities to create a proposed network of bike routes to connect Orangetown’s villages, provide safe access to parks and schools, and to provide links to neighboring communities.

 

Continue reading “PTNY Presents Orangetown Bike Network Recommendations”

Street Beat: Nyack Chooses a Bicycling and Walking Partner

Fitzgerald & Halliday Inc (FHI), a firm with transportation, community design, environmental and stakeholder outreach skills, has been selected to design a bicycle / walk master plan that covers the three river villages and the Nyack School District. FHI will partner with Street Plans, an award winning planning and design practice based in New York and Miami with expertise in bicycle/pedestrian planning and “quick build” project implementation.

“We have a reputation as a walkable village. We are also a popular cycling destination,” said Nyack Mayor Jen White. “Through a generous grant from the New NY Bridge Community Fund, we will be able to harness the expertise of Fitzgerald & Halliday to design a transportation network that makes it easier to get around the villages without a car.” Continue reading “Street Beat: Nyack Chooses a Bicycling and Walking Partner”

Street Beat: Greater Nyack Bike/Walk Presentations, Nov 13 & 16

by Dave Zornow

Double utility polls, multiple signs, mailboxes and muni meters are among the issues that make walking on our sidewalks a challenge.

Seven nationally recognized firms with experience in creating transportation plans that make it easier to get around without a car will present their approach to the Greater Nyack Bike/Walk Master Plan on Mon Nov 13 and Thurs Nov 16 at Nyack Village Hall. Continue reading “Street Beat: Greater Nyack Bike/Walk Presentations, Nov 13 & 16”

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. Continue reading “Street Beat: Nyack Closed To NYC, NJ Cyclists, Mon-Sat Thru mid-Nov”

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.

Continue reading “Help Wanted: The Greater Nyack Bike/Walk Master Plan”

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.

 

 

 

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. Continue reading “Street Beat: Orangetown Bicycling — Counts”

Street Beat: What To Do If You Get Hit By A Car While Cycling

More than three-quarters of a million New Yorkers ride a bike regularly—250,000 more than just five years ago. It is estimated that over 450,000 cycling trips are made each day in New York City—triple the amount taken 15 years ago.Cycling in the City, NYC Department of Transportation

by Steve P. Knowlton

Bicycling is on the rise! More people than ever are bicycling, both as a means of transportation and for a healthy and fun workout. Unless you’re one of the very lucky folks that have access to a protected, car-free bicycle path very nearby your home, some of the time you will be riding on streets and sharing them with cars and drivers. And if you are using your bike for transportation on a regular basis, you’ll definitely be riding on the roads and streets. Continue reading “Street Beat: What To Do If You Get Hit By A Car While Cycling”