Schenectady County

Rendezvous traffic jam in hills

Hordes of cyclists motor to annual rally.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Amanda Gardiner sighed as she gazed out at the collection of RVs and trucks idling by her Batter Street home early Thursday evening.

In 11 years living out on Mariaville Lake, she had never seen such traffic snarls for the annual Harley Rendezvous. Heavy rains during the week muddied a field near the event entrance and forced organizers to slow the procession of motorcyclists and campers filing through the security check at the Indian Lookout Country Club.

“From 5 a.m., on there’s been traffic,” she said from her front porch, as she tapped on a laptop.

The carnival-like atmosphere slowly passing in front of Gardiner didn’t bother her. Aside from the occasional vehicle blocking her driveway, she had no problem with the colorful brigade of Harley Davidson aficionados winding into the event.

They remained spirited throughout the wait, even though many had idled for hours. Some drank beer along side the road, while others grabbed a few minutes of shut-eye on the seats of their bikes.

Deputies with the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Department said traffic backed up nearly two miles along Mariaville Road. Yet they said traffic seemed to be orderly and they hadn’t experienced many problems.

Organizer Frank Potter was apologetic for the traffic disturbance, which he said was the worst in more than a decade. Though his neighbors and authorities had grumbled about the congestion, he said there was little he could do to speed things up without compromising safety at the event, which is now in it’s 30th year.

“Unfortunately, it causes a traffic jam,” he said from the country club.

Potter said the field had dried significantly throughout the day and that most of the traffic snarls would be contained by nightfall. The rendezvous is expected to draw more than 6,000 people this year.

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