For Immediate Release: More than 40 Organizations Call for Bicycle and Pedestrian Access on the Livingston Avenue Bridge

Groups Highlight Social, Environmental, Health, and Economic Benefits of Critical Link between Albany and Rensselaer

Albany, NY —The Livingston Avenue Bridge Coalition and 40 organizations representing thousands of New Yorkers submitted comments to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) today calling for an update of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Empire Service Corridor, the high speed rail program that includes the Capital Region’s Livingston Avenue Bridge. Local, state, and regional organizations ranging from the New York League of Conservation Voters to the Albany Chapter of the NAACP demonstrated their commitment to restoring this critical link in the Capital Region’s bike and pedestrian network when the Livingston Avenue Bridge is rebuilt or replaced as part of the High Speed Rail Empire Corridor Program.

“Despite the research and foundation of support from the community at large, the lengthy DEIS makes no mention of the replacement Livingston Avenue Bridge’s potential walkway. Advocates are asking NYSDOT to incorporate findings of the existing transportation and land-use studies and plans relating to the Livingston Avenue Bridge and walkway, hear out the community and municipal supporters for the walkway, and conduct a Title VI and Environmental Justice Analysis of the scenarios, specifically identifying potential mitigation measures for Environmental Justice Areas surrounding the Livingston Avenue Bridge,” said Livingston Avenue Bridge Coalition founder Martin Daley.

“There is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rebuild the Livingston Avenue Bridge with a bike and pedestrian walkway that must not be missed,” says Nadine Lemmon, Albany Legislative Advocate, with the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

Josh Wilson, Executive Director of the New York Bicycling Coalition, adds, “For nearly a century a walkway on the Livingston Avenue Bridge made it possible for people to easily and safely cross the Hudson between Albany and Rensselaer on foot or by bike. This is our chance to restore a critical connection between these two communities.”

The current Livingston Avenue Bridge was constructed in 1902 with a pedestrian walkway that provided safe and simple access to both sides of the Hudson River. The Walkway, having suffered from years of neglect, was closed decades ago, but advocates across New York State see the clear social, environmental, health, and economic benefits of reestablishing the connection.

The Livingston Avenue Bridge offers an extraordinary opportunity to better integrate New York’s rail system with the state’s expanding network of multi-use trails, not only contributing to a multi-modal transportation system but promoting trail-related tourism,” says Robin Dropkin, Executive Director of Parks & Trails New York.

Peter Fleischer, Executive Director of Empire State Future, adds, “We urge that the Livingston Avenue Bridge be reconstructed in such a way so as to include pedestrian, wheelchair, and bicycle access. The state’s Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act encourages this, public health concerns would benefit, and community development would be enhanced.”

The Walkway has the support of seven Albany neighborhood associations, as well as the Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations (CANA). “A Walkway on the Livingston Avenue Bridge is consistent with our vision to support Albany in its development as an urban center with a focus on the highest possible quality of life,” says Howard Stoller, CANA chair.

Both Albany County and the City’s Common Council passed resolutions of support of the re-establishment of the walkway and highlighted the benefits of restored access in several state and federally funded plans including the Albany 2030 Comprehensive Plan (2011), Albany Master Bike Plan (2009), and the Patroon Creek Greenway Plan (2004).

The Walkway has also received significant support from Rensselaer County and the City of Rensselaer – both passed resolutions of support. Local planning studies that acknowledge the Walkway include the City of Rensselaer Local Waterfront Revitalization Program Update (2011) and the Rensselaer County Trail from the Livingston Ave. Bridge to the Troy-Menands Bridge (2004).

To read the sign-on letter, click here. For more information on the Livingston Avenue Bridge Coalition, visit The Empire Service Corridor’s DEIS can be found here.

Co-signers on the NYSDOT Comment Letter and in support of the Livingston Avenue Walkway:

Livingston Avenue Bridge Coalition

Parks & Trails New York

Tri-State Transportation Committee

New York Bicycling Coalition

Capital District Community Gardens

Empire State Future

The Stakeholders

New York League of Conservation Voters

NAACP, Albany Branch

Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy

Save the Pine Bush

Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations

Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association

Pine Hills Neighborhood Association

Center Square Neighborhood Association

Delaware Avenue Neighborhood Association

Arbor Hill Neighborhood Association

South End Neighborhood Association

Hudson Park Neighborhood Association

AVillage, Inc.

New York State Transportation Equity Alliance

Champlain Canalway Trail Working Group

South End Improvement Corporation

The Free School

Albany Community Land Trust

Mohawk-Hudson Cycling Club

Grand Street Community Arts

Albany Kayak Club

Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region

Friends of the Rail Trail

Canalway Trails Association New York

Collar City Ramble

Albany Bicycle Coalition

Utica Bike Rescue

Long Island Greenways and Trails

Troy Bike Rescue

Crailo State Historic Site

Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site

Community Development Alliance of the Capital Region

UAlbany Students for Sustainability

Reclaim Our Waterfront


Check us out online / View the petition / Read the sign-on letter / Follow the effort on Facebook


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *