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Challenge points out need to aid bicyclists

Travel has benefits, but difficulties noted

Gazette reporter Kathleen Moore has spent a week riding her bike to work and assignments in the area.
Photographer: Marc Schultz
Gazette reporter Kathleen Moore has spent a week riding her bike to work and assignments in the area.
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Schenectady Zoning Officer Steven Strichman is passionate about bicycling, but he never expected to find himself trying to turn through heavy traffic next to a highway entrance. But that’s where he ended up during this week’s bicycling challenge, an idea he created to investigate the possibility of bicycle commuting. Strichman said he would go everywhere by bike — or bus, if necessary — and avoid his car for a full work week. He challenged Gazette ...


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comments

hodgkinst
June 9, 2012
8:58 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

great coverage of an important quality of life issue

ChuckD
June 9, 2012
1:18 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Thanks for this coverage DG and thanks Mr. Strichman for your work. As a serious bike rider (some would say hard-core) since long before it was 'cool' or 'green', I'm very interested in accommodating cyclists.

While I don't think we'll eliminate all the unique challenges cyclists encounter on the road in our lifetimes, I would like to offer another approach to encouraging bike commuters: more accommodations at the end of the commute.

What prevents me from making the 10 mile ride into work is a lack of a place to securely store my bike and a place to change and clean up before work starts. In my vision a place like the downtown YMCA would offer bike lockers and maybe a special membership for bike commuters. I believe being centrally located, and the knowledge their stuff would be secure would encourage a lot of downtown workers to get on the bike and leave the car at home. Certainly the monthly cost for a discounted membership (shower and locker only?) and bike locker rental would easily be offset by the savings on keeping the car running, not to mention the less tangible health benefits.

What say you Schenectady? Do we not have enough cars in the city? Are you ready for the 21st century?

robbump
June 9, 2012
1:36 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Bicyclists don't really need special lanes, in most cases, you drive your bicycle like you drive your car - and that means moving left for a left turn lane when you're turning left, and staying in the thru-lane if you are not turning. When Strichman rode on the shoulder of Everett Road, he gave implied permission for all cars turning right onto I-90 to pass him.

Besides, that white paint used for bike lanes does little to stop cars or trucks; it can't even stop mosquitoes.

Those wishing to learn more about bicycle driving should visit http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/usa...

Some great examples of good and POOR bicyclist facilities are found at http://www.labreform.org/education/

Taxpayers are tiring of paying for SPECIAL facilities. When bike-path promoters such as Rail-to-Trails speak of all the special things they want built, my reply is:

"Bicyclists in NY have some of the best bicycling paths in the U.S., and we're even willing to share them with motorists. We call them ROADS."

The best cycling advocacy is Education. Worry more about what you put into new cyclists' heads than what you put ONto their heads. Work more on sharing roads than separate facilities. Just like in the 1954 court case involving schools, "separate is never equal".

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