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Bike lanes in Spa City moving forward

Bike lanes in Spa City moving forward

An engineering study will be done concerning the safety of adding a bike lane on Lake Avenue
Bike lanes in Spa City moving forward
Saratoga Springs resident Joanne Klepetar, with Bikeatoga, speaks during public hearing Monday.
Photographer: Erica Miller

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The City Council voted to move forward with an engineering study regarding adding bike lanes along Lake Avenue and to implement a stricter noise ordinance in the city during the week. 

The city's Complete Streets Plan, which was adopted by City Council in December 2016, included the addition of a bike lane along Lake Avenue — from Broadway to Weibel Road — as well as eight other city streets. 

At a public hearing at the City Council's Monday meeting, more than a dozen people spoke in favor of adding bike lanes to city streets

Bill Boehmke of Sustainable Saratoga said adding a bike lane on Lake Avenue will encourage biking in the community. 

"Residents and visitors will be encouraged to reach their destination on bikes rather than by car, which will reduce pollution and strengthen the economy," he said. "We believe that well-designed bike lanes are a huge benefit for the entire community and will make Lake Avenue safer for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

"We support the city as they move forward with designing the bike lanes."

Representatives from Bikeatoga read a statement on behalf of the organization, which aims to make biking safer, accessible and more convenient in Saratoga Springs. 

"Over last 10 years, we've donated over 1,000 bikes to community members, so we support bringing more transportation options and we understand that safety is paramount," the representative said. "City Council has supported accommodations for all modes of transportation and we applaud City Council for approving the Complete Streets plan.

"It's a no brainer for City Council and we urge them to provide safe bike lanes."

Jenn Hunt Dempsey, communications director at the Waldorf School, said the school supports the bike lane on Lake Avenue. 

"Many of our faculty and student population bikes to school, and we welcome improving infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists," she said. "It will be very helpful to have a bike lane on Lake Avenue."

Erin Maciel, landscape architect with Saratoga Springs-based CLA Site, will be involved in the design of the bike lane on Lake Avenue. She was appointed to the Complete Streets Advisory Board at Monday's meeting.

"I'm encouraged by how supportive the community is, because not all communities are as supportive," she said. 

Maciel said the community would have the opportunity to have input in the design of the bike lane. 

"People are already biking and want to use the lane, so we're going to see how we can make it as safe as possible," she said. 

Those who want to give their input on the Lake Avenue bike lane should attend upcoming meetings of the city's Complete Streets Advisory Board, Maciel said. 

The City Council voted on Monday to accept a grant for up to $50,000 for a survey, engineering study and installation of bike lane signage from the state Department of Transportation. 

Commissioner of Public Safety Peter Martin said he the installation of bike lanes could happen in the city next year. 

Noise ordinance

The City Council also passed an ordinance lowering noise downtown from 90 to 85 decibels on the weeknights and maintaining the current 90 decibel limit on the weekends. 

Martin said the noise ordinance was prompted by complaints from Eastside residents who cannot sleep or enjoy their homes peacefully. 

Dillon Moran, a Saratoga Springs resident, musician and co-owner of Druthers Brewing Co., said he understands all sides. 

"It makes sense to do it during the week, because that's when most of us work and people want to be able to sleep," he said. "But it will also have a negative impact on businesses who are attempting to make money during the busiest time of the year." 

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