Clean ideas for people on the move.
Alternative fuel vehicles. Fuel reduction. How do you do it? Ride share, HOV lanes, regional transportation planning, traffic calming, walkable communities, buying local.
Any tips on tele-commuting, tele-conferencing, webinars? Do you promote safe routes, walking buses, no-idling policies? Share ideas for governments, communities and schools…right here.
Hudson Fjord Trail Proposed
Putnam and Dutchess County citizen groups and governmental agencies continue to work together to develop the Hudson Fjord Hike/Bike Trail – a separated multi-use 9-mile trail linking Constitution Island in Cold Spring to the City of Beacon Train Station. The riverfront towns of Philipstown and Fishkill, the City of Beacon and the Village of Cold Spring, Dutchess and Putnam counties, Scenic Hudson, Hudson Highlands Land Trust, The Open Space Institute and elected officials are working collaboratively with NYS Department of Transportation, NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation, and Metro-North Railroad. The project has also been featured in both the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Plan and the Mid-Hudson Sustainability Plan.
First reported on in the July 2008 issue of NYNJ Trail Conference Trailwalker, the goal of the project is to transform a portion of State Route 9D in the heart of the Hudson Highlands from a high speed thoroughfare into a multi-use, user-friendly recreational, tourism-oriented parkway that provides people with a stronger visual and physical connection with the Hudson River. This section of Route 9D links two of the region’s most significant historic communities, the Village of Cold Spring and the City of Beacon, and connects a number of important public resources, including Hudson Highlands State Park, Little Stony Point, and Mt. Beacon, all of which offer outstanding views of the Hudson River, Storm King Mountain and Bannerman’s Castle.
The road is heavily used in all seasons by people seeking to access some of the most outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities in New York State. In fact, the area has been named by Newsweek magazine as among the top ten best hiking destinations in the nation and the Breakneck Ridge trail currently ranks as the number one day hike in an online poll conducted by Trails.com. Yet due to the road’s design, the public—particularly bicyclists and pedestrians—cannot safely access these places from which to enjoy river views. The corridor is used by vehicles traveling along the highway at or above the 55 mph speed limit as well as by large numbers of hikers parking and walking along the unimproved shoulder.
At the northern section of the corridor, lies Beacon, which is rapidly emerging as a Hudson River artist hotspot. Cold Spring, deep in the heart of the Highlands, has a variety of antique, outdoor recreation, specialty shops, and cafes that attract many visitors from the NYC area. There will be important economic benefits of improved access and use of the Trail to local communities. In addition, Cold Spring boasts a rich history in a scenic setting nestled between the mountains and river that draws history buffs from around the nation.
With both communities well-served by Metro North rail service, the centers of population will have a green connection between them, and visitors will use it to connect to the communities and to nature. The Trail will accommodate all: hikers, bikers, seniors, those with disabilities. The area is already a destination for international travelers, and the Trail will make their trip easier and safer.
Add your name to our email list to learn more about how you can help support the Hudson Fjord Trail and regional bike and walking trails.
Complete Streets Comes to Rye
The City of Rye became the 6th Westchester municpality to pass a Complete Streets Policy on October 28. The policy is intended to promote the design of roads and streets that balance the needs of all users while incorporating community values such as environmental stewardship; scenic, aesthetic, historic and natural resource preservation; safety; security; mobility and individual freedom.
The policy applies to all roadway projects, including those involving new construction, reconstruction, repaving, or changes in the allocation of pavement space on an existing roadway and instructs planners to seek to enhance the safety, access, convenience and comfort of all users of all ages and abilities, including pedestrians, people requiring mobility aids, bicyclists, transit users and motorists.
In addition to design elements such as bike lanes, the policy promotes other treatments that can be used to make streets more complete including sidewalks, frequent and safe street crossings, median islands, accessible pedestrian signals, curb extensions, narrower travel lanes, and roundabouts.
Community investments in complete streets make good economic sense – as today’s home buyers are seeking walkable, more urban like communities where cars can be optional. To learn more about Complete Streets see our Complete Streets section. To learn how you can become an advocate for Complete Streets in your community, visit our Take Action section.
Spring Update: How Not To Get Hit On Your Bike.
Riding your bike more now that it’s getting warmer? You’re helping slow climate change and getting in shape while getting your groceries. Recents studies show that people who switch to bike commuting loose an average of 18 lbs in the first year. The keeping fit part is only useful as long as you don’t get mushed in the process. Dusting off the helmet is a one part of keeping safe on your bike.
Avoiding getting hit is arguably as important. Bicyclesafe’s concise, clear, and sometimes amusing, primer on How Not To Get Hit By Cars makes the case for keeping upright. It also gives you diagrams and strategies for safely sharing the road.
Dress for success, layer because it’s colder going downhill. Figure out how you are going to get the groceries back. If you have a rack bring bungees. An old milk crate or other sturdy box can help keep your purchases off the ground. Remember that thing that hang from your handlebars can get stuck in the spokes and throw you over the handle bars. (Personal experience talking here!)
Think about bike lights front and back. They are especially useful at dawn and twilight when everyone thinks they can see you and actually, mostly they can’t.
Go one more step in your community. Some progressive municipalities are calming traffic and creating safe cycling and walking paths by simple lane reduction. Hastings on Hudson’s Mayor Peter Swiderskiand the village’s brilliant conservation commision increased local transportaion opportunities with a few gallons of road paint. Their bike lanes were in use less than an hour after the paint dried. The paths link parts of the community formerly confined to cars to village’s downtown expanding the local business district, allowing residents to walk to the farmers’ market, library, and schools.
Move NY Campaign Seeks Interviews
From: Alex Matthiessen
The Move NY campaign (to modernize NY’s regional transportation system) is producing a video for the campaign that will be posted on the campaign’s website (launching in less than a month) and spread virally to the maximum extent possible. We have some good interviews but there are a few categories of commuter type we are missing so if you know any folks who fit one of the four descriptions below, please send us his/her contact info as soon as possible. This is their moment for 15 minutes of serious fame!
We are looking for interviewees for a video that would highlight the importance of New York’s transportation system, spotlight the stress and underfunding the system is currently experiencing, and the need for a new plan for funding the updating and expansion of the system.
We are looking for individuals who can speak on camera about how their lives and commutes are affected by the current problems with the system. Specifically, we are looking for the following “types”:
– A commuter who regularly uses the Throg’s Neck or Whitestone bridges who has no/few other options to travel between the Bronx and Queens, and is forced to pay increasingly high and unfair tolls.
– A “(Wo)Man with A Van”: a plumber, delivery guy, etc. who makes frequent trips into and out of the Manhattan Central Business District (south of 60th Street) and who would be able to testify to the increased revenues and numbers of trips s/he could make with if there was less traffic
– A taxi driver who could speak about the loss of revenue from sitting in traffic and how his business would be better if he could cruise through Manhattan easily, picking up and dropping off “fares” (passengers) faster.
– A Long Island Commuter: either (a) an LIRR commuter who could testify to the difficulty of accessing the CBD while the system was down after Sandy, or (b) a driver who could talk about how congested the roads and highways became after the storm because train riders were forced to drive.