As the weather warms and more Americans turn to more outdoor recreation, May marks National Bicycle Safety Month and an opportunity to shine a light on best practices for motor vehicles and cyclists to share roadways, according to the state Department of Transportation.
“This is the perfect time of year to get outside, take a bike ride and enjoy the great outdoors in New York,” state DOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said in a statement. “To ensure safety, cyclists should always stay alert, wear a helmet, make sure to wear reflective clothing and use flashing lights, and follow the rules of the road. And for motorists, look out for bikes, never drive distracted, and please share the road.”
The DOT reminded New York drivers to pass bike riders as they would another motor vehicle, moving over into the adjacent lane when it is safe to do so, while calling on bike riders to do their part by riding with the flow of traffic and obeying street signs, signals and road markings. The department urged all to travel defensively by “trying to anticipate what others may do before they do it.”
New York features thousands of miles of bike paths, including 175 right here in the Capital Region, according to the release. From road crossings to bike lanes, there a plenty of instances when motorists meet cyclists on the road, however, the DOT also reminds both groups to be aware of pedestrians in order to ensure safe access to everyone.
Some popular trails in the region include:
Empire State Trail (Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail)
An 11-mile segment of the Empire State Trail, also known as the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, runs from the Corning Preserve in downtown Albany to Cohoes along the Hudson River.
Empire State Trail (Albany-Hudson Electric Trail)
Eleven miles of the Empire State Trail runs concurrently as part of the 36-mile Albany-Hudson Electric Trail, which runs from the city of Rensselaer to the city of Hudson.
Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail
A nine-mile trail that runs between the Port of Albany and Voorheesville along the former Delaware & Hudson (D&H) Railroad line.
Albany South End Multi-Use Trail
A 1.5-mile trail within the city of Albany that connects the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail in downtown Albany with the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail.
Zim Smith Trail
An 11.5-mile Saratoga County trail connecting Ballston Spa to Mechanicville, it is the only trail in New York to be designated a National Recreation Trail by the U.S. Department of Interior and National Park Service.
Empire State Trail (Champlain Canalway Trail)
A 12-mile segment of the Empire State Trail that follows the Champlain Canalway Trail, connects Fort Ann and Fort Edward in Washington County.
Warren County Bikeway
A 9.4-mile Warren County trail that connects downtown Glens Falls and Lake George.