Here's a brief update of my life over the past 5 months:
I was sad to learn about hip hip hoo-Ray's sudden departure from CDTA and hopeful when the Board appointed long-time CDTA employee Carm Basile to lead the transit agency,
I managed to squeeze in a few bus, bike and car adventures away from the 10th ward,
my daughter hand-standed her way through the summer of campaigning,
the yearly battle against the crows began,
the trees turned all kinds bright colors
Now the branches lay bare, and they are perfect perch for the crows we love to chase away.
It must be November.
Albany's first bicycle master plan is complete. If you haven't yet submitted comments - do it now -- today is the last day to submit -- until 3 p.m., according to the new Bike Blog on the TU website.
Submit your comments here:
City of Albany
Department of Development and Planning
21 Lodge Street, Albany, NY 12207
Phone: 518-434-2532 x33
My friend Barry only rides on the sidewalk in Albany for safety reasons. As a pedestrian, sidewalk cyclists drive me crazy. Barry says he is very careful when he approaches a pedestrian from behind so as not to startle them. I haven't yet mastered that art, but there are times when I find the only way I'll get to my destination safely is by riding on the sidewalk as well.
A few months ago, I was speaking with an old friend who is part of this bicycle master plan process. I fessed up that while I know I'm not supposed to, I will sometimes ride my bike on the sidewalk because it's just too scary to ride on the street. He then told me about a poster he had seen and said to me, "Oh no, Leah - Don't be that guy!"
I didn't realize until my friend Brian sent me this article that in the world of cyclists, there is a big debate about sharing the road with cars vs. designated cycling sections.
For me, it's about feeling safe. This past Sunday morning, at 9 a.m. when traffic was slow, I was running an errand on my bike and I felt safe to ride on the street. I was riding with my left arm stretched out signaling as I approached the intersection to make a left turn from S. Main to Myrtle Avenue. A motorist behind me thought that it would be a good idea to go into the oncoming traffic lane to pass me immediately before I made my left turn.
Screech of brakes.
He managed to slow his vehicle and not hit me as I made the left turn and didn't lose my balance. Phew.
After my heart settled back into my chest and I was peddling home, I thought to myself, "Does this guy really not know his hand signals???"
The folks in the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association have been advocating for changes to Madison Avenue to be part of the Bike Master Plan. I would love to see the Madison Avenue traffic calming plan implemented as an early part of the bicycle master plan -- it would improve walkability, traffic safety and bicycling in my neighborhood.
Until we do something to calm the traffic, I'll continue to be "that guy" ... riding my bike along the sidewalk on Madison.