Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Troy Transit Activists Offer Slate of Bicycle and Kayak Events This Week

TROY, NY (09/23/14) -- A group of transit activists are hosting a weekend long slate of bicycle and kayak related events in Troy.

"The PreRamble is a celebration of human-powered transportation in Troy," said organizer Jim Lewis. "Everyone should have access to the streets, not just those who drive but also those who can't -- or chose not to -- drive. Troy could be a lot more friendly to people who walk or cycle. We all love Troy, so of course we want it to be better."

The events kick off at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26 during Troy Night Out when organizers will work with volunteers to help chalk artwork in a downtown intersection and lay out ten blocks of temporary lane markings for bicycles. Those lanes will show cyclists what the soon-to-be-constructed Riverfront Trail will look like as they tour through streets and alleys on Saturday.

Lindsey Zefting, a traffic engineer working for Alta Planning+Design, will lead a group of volunteers to do these markings, which are intended to illustrate potential bike lanes and routes through Troy. Zefting is an RPI graduate who lives in Troy.

During Troy Night Out, city planning board chair Barb Nelson and the Alley Action Project will lead a volunteer team to create intersection art where two alleys meet First Street.

"These chalk murals will show how it is possible to mark where a bike path crosses a street," Lewis said. "Putting a trail through the alley is one good way to keep bicycles away from traffic. Placing artwork on the street where the alley crosses the street, is one way to alert motorists to the crossing.  It's important to remember:  the lanes are pretty safe, but accidents happen where you cross traffic."

The Saturday-long awareness campaign and event will also feature: museum tours, walking tours of historic sites and parks, a storytelling festival, concert, community meal and kayak rentals at the Ingalls Ave boat launch provided by Upstate Kayak Rentals. (See below for a full schedule of events.)  By signing up for the Ramble Challenge, a bike-to-work event to earn bike racks for Troy, participants get a chance to win a free kayak paddle.

Last year over 400 people participated in the first Pre-Ramble, with approximately 60 people on the bike tour  Organizers expect a much greater turnout this year.

"The Ramble Challenge"

An anonymous donor has promised $1,000 to pay for bike racks in Troy if 50 people bike to work during the week of Sept. 29 to Oct. 3. Participants can sign a pledge form at the Transport Troy booth at the Troy Waterfront Farmer's Market on Saturday, Sept. 7, or they can pledge via email by contacting Andrea Daley at: diyrestoreit@gmail.com.


On Thursday, October 2 at Noon, Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia will lead a free 45 minute bicycle tour around the city, leaving from Monument Square.


Volunteers for all aspects of the Pre-Ramble are sought. To volunteer, contact Jim Lewis at Jim Lewis 518-429-3909 jimmer@nycap.rr.com or report to the Transport Troy booth at the Troy Waterfront Farmers' Market.


The Collar City Ramble is the name of a proposed network of trails -- for bicycles, skateboards, hikers and those in wheelchairs or scooters -- connecting the Menands Bridge in South Troy to the Uncle Sam Bicycle trail in Lansingburgh. The proposed network of trails and paths also connects several historic, natural and business attractions throughout the city.

For information, visit: http://collarcityramble.com


Transport Troy is a group of community stakeholders with an interest in alternative transportation that formed during the winter of 2013. From that group, the mayor appointed a committee of eight people, the Transport Troy Citizens Working Group, charged with producing a report on alternative transportation for the city of Troy. Earlier this year, the committee submitted a 45-page report which included a Complete Streets Ordinance that was unanimously adopted by city council.

The committee also succeeded in getting a $1.4 million bond passed to fund the local map for a bicycle trail connecting existing trails in North and South Troy. The proposed route would begin initially with lane markings on existing streets, with off-street trails added in the future.

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