NY Times Features the 750-mile Empire State Trail – but misses the gap in the the center

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.

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