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Hudson Valley adds infrastructure for bikers

Sep 22, 2023 1:01 am

Michael Frank reports in the Times Union about how some places in the Hudson Valley are becoming more bike friendly. In 2019, for instance, the state connected the Empire State Trail, a 750-mile cycling and walking trail, to the Walkway over the Hudson, through the town of Lloyd and into New Paltz. New Paltz Town Supervisor Neil Bettez said, “No question, it’s been a huge boost.... Everyone in the village’s home value went up.” Todd Littman, executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute in British Columbia, cites a 2023 National Association of Realtors survey that shows 42 percent saying they’d pay more for a home in a bike-friendly neighborhood. Kingston now has a major plan to improve its bikeways, and Poughkeepsie’s new Northside Line connects the Walkway to Marist College and the Hudson Heritage shopping development. And New Paltz is adding a route through town that separates walkers and cyclists from cars. The Dutchess County Transportation Council's studies have recommended adding bike laned on parts of Route 9 near Rhinebeck. In Kingston, a Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan was unveiled in July, but it uncovered some of the city's problems, saying one designated bike route, "has no markings. Bicyclists have to share a tight roadway with high-speed traffic coming from/approaching the Thruway.” Emily Flynn, Kingston’s director of health and wellness, said, “The more we do these projects, the more people will use them.... Ten years ago there was pushback, but I’m not hearing that now.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.