You might have noticed bike lanes painted south of downtown Troy near the waterfront, part of the ongoing Uncle Sam Trail extension project that the city announced in late April. When completed, the trail will connect the base of the existing Uncle Sam Trail at Middleburgh St. in the North Central neighborhood to the Menands Bridge in South Troy.
The city has painted a two-lane bikeway on the side of the street closest to the river that extends south from the State St. parking garage, running along Front St., turning right at River St. (near the Congress Street Bridge’s southbound exit ramp), and cutting across Adams St. to again turn right at First St.
Here’s a map of the full extension’s route, including this below-State-St. section, provided to The Alt by the mayor’s office recently:
The Alt contacted the mayor’s office this week to ask about several issues with this section of the project we’ve observed.
On Wednesday night around 9 P.M., we saw a car exit the Congress Street Bridge and travel that entire stretch of River St. within the bikeway, perhaps under the impression that the path is a lane for vehicles.
Farther south, parking-related signage, as of Thursday night, still had not been removed from a stretch of First St., and at least four cars were parked in the southbound bike lane. The Alt has also observed cars parked in the same section of the bike path—on First St. between Jefferson and Adams—on May 19, 20, 27, 29, and 30.
Asked about these observations, John Salka, a spokesman for Mayor Patrick Madden, said the “southern extension of the Uncle Sam Trail is still under construction” and that the “final phase of the project includes the addition of new street signage and removable bollards to delineate traffic lanes and ensure the safety of riders using the trail.”
The city anticipates completing this final phase “in the next few weeks,” Salka said.
“As with any transportation project, there will be a period of adjustment for motorists following the completion of the trail extension but we are pleased with the progress thus far to expand our City’s alternative transportation network and better connect our diverse neighborhoods throughout the community,” the mayoral spokesman said.
One longtime advocate for the extension, Barb Nelson, now executive director of TAP, a nonprofit architecture and urban design firm based in Troy, also told The Alt that she is pleased with the city’s progress.
“It’s a great accomplishment after having worked for this kind of thing for so long,” Nelson said.