There’s been a huge spike in the number of Capital Region towns allocating monies for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.
I’m no Mommie but it’s hopeful to see what my own town, Bethlehem, is doing to encourage residents to bike, especially children.
The town put up these “Bike Route” signs between the high, middle and elementary schools throughout Old Delmar just in time for National Bike Month. Signs also indicate where the library, the Town Hall and the parks are.
Since 2005, there’s been an initiative called “Pathways To Homes, Hamlets and Healthy Hearts” with an Advisory Committee brainstorming ways to enhance safety and mobility. Between fixing up the cracks in the sidewalks, adding CDTA/CDTC bike racks to the area and the recent May 5th Bike Expo, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bethlehem receives an official “Bicycle Friendly Community” status.
There is also the new Albany County Rail Trail which is an abandoned rail corridor running nine miles from the Port of Albany to the Village of Voorheesville. The only portion currently open is the 1.9 mile stone and gravel stretch shifting through Bethlehem. Sadly though, it’s not a shared-use path. But with more funding, maybe someday it will be.
After speaking to Bethlehem Town Planner, Rob Leslie, I learned that the path has not one but two extremely steep embankments. Once the proper posts and guardrails are in place this old D&H rail line will make mountain biking a fun alternative to fighting traffic.
If you too would like to volunteer, donate or ‘friend’ the cause on Facebook, go to FORT, Friends of the Rail Trail.