Local leaders want a Rensselaer-Troy bike path

Local leaders want a Rensselaer-Troy bike path

City and county government officials want to build a bike path that would link new waterfront development in the city of Rensselaer to the extended Uncle Sam Trail in Troy.

Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin mentioned the potential trail at a press conference related to Troy’s seawall repairs earlier this month, prompting U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer to express support, the Times Union reported.

“I figured I had the senator right there, might as well put in a pitch for it,” McLaughlin told The Alt in a recent interview. “It seems like, ‘Oh, it’s just a bike trail,’ but it’s so much more than that. It’s really the beginning of much more development” along the Hudson River. People could use the trail to commute to work on electric bikes, McLaughlin said.

Deputy Mayor Monica Kurzejeski told The Alt that a consolidated funding application will be submitted to the state this year for planning and construction document money for the potential bike path. Construction funds could be sought from the feds, she said.

There’s already a paved road to the county’s wastewater treatment plant at the foot of Water St. near the Collar City’s southern tip, the deputy mayor said.

Officials from Troy and Rensselaer, along with “community stakeholders,” met earlier this month “to discuss ways to better connect Troy’s existing bike trail network with additional towns and villages in Rensselaer County,” John Salka, a spokesman for Troy Mayor Patrick Madden, said in a statement. “The Administration is optimistic that available grant funding can be obtained to study the feasibility of connecting Troy’s municipal trail segments—including the rapidly growing Uncle Sam Trail and planned esplanade along Troy’s waterfront—to neighboring communities.”

The town of North Greenbush “fully supports” a bike path, supervisor Lou Desso told The Alt.

Charles Moore, the city of Rensselaer’s director of planning and development, said in an email that “it’s an ideal time to search out funding” to link the two cities. Rensselaer just won a $1.3 million grant to connect a new waterfront development by U.W. Marx to the city’s boat launch at Forbes Ave.

“We are just beginning design on that and hope to go out to bid for construction next year,” Moore said.

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