Tuesday, October 27, 2009

bike plan again

As expected, the final presentation of the Albany Bicycle Master plan was disappointing. I'm not sure whether the organizers wanted to limit attendance or are just inept (and am not sure which bothers me more) but they didn't announce the meeting until last week and didn't release the plan until today, so no one could read it before the presentation. Not that it would have mattered anyway, I suppose, since they again refused to allow questions or comments from the audience. (I was tempted to stage an uprising but was unsure of my support.)

A few things will be implemented in the next year or so. They're entirely inadequate but I didn't think they were going to even pretend that this process was going anywhere. This spring: an education program. Woo-hoo. We'll see what this looks like, and hopefully it will be more focused on drivers not killing people than bicyclists being irritating to drivers. Also, CDTA is going to assist businesses and municipalities in bike rack installation and include bike racks along the bus rapid transit line between Albany and Schenectady.

The big exciting finale: sharrows along a few disconnected streets. Sharrows are pavement markings with pictures of bicycles and arrows, intending to inform drivers that bicycles are in fact allowed on the road. Maybe they're better than nothing, but they risk giving the impression that bicyclists aren't supposed to be on the roads without them. (Bike lanes can be problematic in this way too, but at least with them the cyclists are getting something out of it.) And white paint is apparently very expensive 'round these parts because they're only putting them in a few random places. (Well, presumably they're not random and are streets that are being worked on- Delaware Avenue is one- but the final effect will be disjointed. And given how hard the City finds it to keep even lane markings painted, I wonder how long they'll be maintained.) Perhaps we need to just go in and paint our own, like these folks?

There are going to be actual bike lanes on Clinton Avenue but only for a few blocks.

The reports is at (100-page pdf) and comments can be directed to AlbanyBikePlan@cdtcmpo.org.

Biking ten miles in the rain after dark was thankfully not a total waste of time. It is a nice night despite the drizzle and a fox crossed Delaware six feet in front of me.

No comments: