Bicycling in the Hudson Valley

We are blessed with a beautiful landscape, and recreational cyclists converge on the Hudson Valley in the warmer months to enjoy our back roads and byways. But what about “every day” cycling, like commuting to work or cycling into town on an errand? Many of our small cities and towns are compact enough for those living nearby to get around by bike, yet it’s still rare to see people choose this mode of transportation.

As spring approaches, THVG will look at some of the factors inhibiting a wider adoption of bicycling for transportation in the Hudson Valley, as well as offer tips and advice on how to get around our area by bike. In the meantime, an article from this month’s Outside magazine looks at one of the major stumbling blocks—motorist-cyclist relations.

It’s an important hurdle to overcome, since it is well-known that safety goes up the more cyclists there are on the roads. From the article:

Few American cities have done a better job of getting people on bikes than Portland, Oregon, where around 7 percent of the population bikes to work and children cycle to school in huge “bike trains.” And yet, last year, like many recent years, no cyclist was killed. (By comparison, Tampa, Florida, a city where fewer than 1 percent of the population commutes by bike, had nine cyclist fatalities in four months in 2009.) Greg Raisman, a traffic-safety specialist with Portland’s Bureau of Transportation, says one key to getting people biking is providing infrastructure—actual or symbolic. The city features “bicycle boulevards” and bike-only traffic signals, and it’s planning new six-foot-wide bike lanes. It recently put some 2,100 “sharrows” bike symbols on 50 miles of residential streets. He says the symbols send messages to motorists and are, as many Portlanders have told him, changing “people’s mental maps of the city.”

4 Responses to Bicycling in the Hudson Valley
  1. Joanne
    February 19, 2011 | 3:56 pm

    Hello, I just wanted to say that Beacon, NY is a beautiful little city/ Town where, I think, there are a lot of people bicycling around town as a means of transportation. i have seen several commuters to Manhattan bicycle to the train station, even though there really isn’t enough bike racks for locking the bikes.

    Once the spring season comes I cannot wait to start biking, with my toddler children in tow, to the local parks and beautiful waterfall sceneries.

    Thanks for listening!

    • admin
      February 20, 2011 | 2:33 am

      Hi Joanne. You are right about the lack of bicycle parking at the Beacon train station. A local group, Bikeable Beacon, is looking for ways to get more bike racks placed around town; read the post Bike Racks for Beacon. In the 10 years I’ve been living in town, I have seen the number of transportational cyclists increase, a trend THVG would like to help accelerate. See you in the spring!

  2. Kevin
    February 24, 2011 | 5:58 pm

    yes indeed cycling should be a part of the overall transportation here in the Hudson Valley and in Beacon – we are just catching up with places like Seattle Washington – when there I got to ride 2 trailways the Burke Gilman RT and the Samish River Trailway and I was able to take my bicycle with me on the bus – the buses there have bicycle racks – the year? 1983

    I use,during the Spring,Summer and Fall,my bycycle as a ’2 wheeled SUV’ to go shopping to the library etc. on weekends I would go for a cycling adventure day ride – I have taken advantage of the wonderfull UCAT LINK bus from here in Poughkeepsie to go for rides starting from New Paltz or Rosendale – last year in the Fall I made several trips down to Beacon via Metro North train – have bike permit will travel – on one of my Beacon visits I had met a couple who were fellow ACA members – they hade taken the train to Beacon and would ride to Poughkeepsie to ride the Walkway,they then took the train from Poughkeepsie

    for more on cycling in the Hudson Valley please visit my bicycling in the Hudson Valley and beyond site at:

    Kevin Newman
    Poughkeepsie NY
    Adventure Cycling Association

    • admin
      February 24, 2011 | 6:40 pm

      Kevin, I hope we can tap into some of your local transportation knowledge here at THVG. I know you are active in one of my favorite ideas, the Beacon Spur Line. Glad you are cycling in the spring, summer, and fall, but don’t give up on winter!

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