Today is the day to embrace "People Power" across the land.
That "People Power" is being expressed as "pedal power" - it is "National Bike To Work Day," celebrated annually coast-to-coast on the third Friday in May, which happens to be National Bike Month. The New York adaptation is "Green Your Commute Day" - it is being championed by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens.
Martens was up early this morning, brushing aside for one day the worries and woes about hydrofracking and other DEC issues. Martens biked down to Albany's Corning Preserve boat launch to greet Parks and DEC employees who kayak to work. Then he rode his vintage Mirage racing bike over to the 625 Broadway State Office Building parking garage, where he greeted fellow cyclers, state workers who commute by bicycle to a downtown that has struggled with well-publicized – and politicized — parking shortages for its massive downtown workforce.
Bike commuting has another champion in state worker Francis Sheehan, who regularly rides in on his custom trike - Sheehan praises Albany as a "bike-friendly" city. Commissioner Martens, who declined to comment on New York’s ongoing wait for a hydrofracking decision, agrees the entire Capital Region is a great place to bike - a way to save money, get fit, and be environmentally friendly.
At this hour, Martens is seeing off departing cyclists participating in a ride from Tri-Centennial park on Broadway and Columbia Street. Interested in biking? Martens says "Start simple!" Expect to see other local luminaries out cycling today, along with your friends and neighbors - several New York State Assembly members as well as Albany Common Council members will be riding bikes around Albany to celebrate alternative commuting day.
GREEN YOUR COMMUTE DAY CELEBRATION:
Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, May 17
Where: Tri-centennial Park on Broadway and Columbia Street (Albany, NY)
List of Activities:
- Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) will offer information about routes, schedules and commuting services. They will display a hybrid bus and show participants how to use bus bike racks.
- Broadway Bicycle Co. & Plaine and Son will hold a safety and maintenance clinic and take cyclists out for a lunchtime fun ride.
- Hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles will be on display.
- Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) will offer giveaways and feature information about downtown events and attractions.
- vRide will display a vanpool van and provide information on its services.
- Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) will offer carpooling and bicycle commuting information.
- NYSERDA will provide information on alternative transportation.
- DEC experts will tell you how to maintain and drive your car to achieve optimal fuel
- A downtown resident will give expert, informed advice on walking to and from work in downtown Albany.
- Participating Partners:
- State Department of Environmental Conservation
- State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
- Environmental Facilities Corporation
- New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
- Albany Parking Authority
- Downtown Albany Business Improvement District
- Capital District Transportation Authority
- Capital District Transportation Committee
- Broadway Bicycle Co. & Plaine and Son