Bike lane frustrations felt on Capital Region roads

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Many cars are hitting the road for the July Fourth weekend and expect to see more pedestrians and bicyclists out there with them.

As we start the summer season, the Capital Region is preparing drivers to share the road.

The New York State Department of Transportation is in the middle of adding bike lanes to Van Rensselaer Boulevard shrinking four lanes down to two.

It’s a trend we are seeing across the Capital Region and bicyclists say it’s about time.

“It’s a fun way to exercise and get around the city,” Elder Miller said.

When the weather warms up, some prefer two wheels over four. A smooth ride becomes a bit rocky, on roads without bike lanes.

“A little bit, you have to watch out for cars more,” Miller said.

Fortunately for cyclists, road diets are becoming more common in the Capital Region.

Part of Madison Avenue, slimmed down to make room for bike lanes. Cyclists say it’s better for local business and traffic safety.

“That will really make it much more efficient to go through. It will also slow down speeds a little bit so were not risking having pedestrians hit when they are out crossing the street,” Robert Fullem, Founder of Downtown Bicycle Works, said.

Sending an important message ahead of the holiday weekend.

One that the New York DMV continues to push year round.  Enforcing pedestrian safety and reminding everyone on the road to see and be seen.

“Looking in crosswalks, looking for pedestrians, looking for bicyclists are equally as important to you as a pedestrian,” Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan said. “You have to be responsible in all things too, keeping your head out of your phone.”

Reactions are mixed on how drivers feel about this apparent ‘take over’ of the roads.

“I’m all for it,” Rochelle said.

“I think everybody should have the right to use public streets,” Bruce Girigorie said.

“It’s a lot. I think they should ride on the sidewalk,” Ashley said.

“I live in the City of Albany, so I drive all the time. I’m all for bike lanes and I think we need as many bike lanes as we can get,” Chris said.

When it came time to repave, on Van Rensselaer Boulevard, the Department of Transportation put the bike lane idea out to the public last year.

They are almost complete for the start of summer.

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