The New York Times profiled New York’s Empire State trail this morning. The result of this commendable, ambitions effort to connect the state via multi-use trails via a “combination of protected paths, city streets, highway shoulders and country roads that pass by small towns and cities — offers views of wetlands, waterways, grasslands and mountain ranges. It is a showcase for New York State’s history and natural beauty.”
We could not agree more. It’s a gem. As the article’s author arrives in Albany only two sentences summarize the visit. “By the time the buildings of Albany rose up in the distance, it was good to see a city again. But the route skirts the capital, continuing on the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, the river on my right already narrower and more placid.”
While we realize this isn’t a hard hitting piece, nor is it a deep dive into every inch of the trail – it would have been ideal for the article to put into perspective the gap at the literal and figurative center – the Hudson crossing between Albany and Rensselaer. You can’t bike over the Dunn Memorial Bridge. It’s too steep, too dangerous. And a wholly uninspiring was to enter Albany. Cars and trucks screaming by, surrounded by chain link fence and trepidation of walking down those steep dog-leg ramps. There must be a better way, right?
Well there could be. And the article features not one but TWO photos of that way in the article. Care to guess? If this was a game show we’d be cancelled – it’s the easiest trivia question ever. The Livingston Ave. Bridge could be THE critical and literal link in this broken 750-mile chain. It could be majestic and welcoming and provide the entrance NY’s capital city deserves. But can we ever get there? There seem to be so many needless hurdles.