Downtown Connector Progressing!

Tina Carton, Admin of Parks, Open Lands, Historic Preservation, and Sustainability for the City of Saratoga Springs, shared this update with guests at the ADK Sports Expo,  March 17-18, 2018.  Note that in developing the trail the City has split this section into what it calls the “Downtown Connector” (Described here)  and the “Downtown Extender” (which will connect down to the RR Run Trail and into Spa Park).

Downtown Connector: The City of Saratoga Springs is planning to construct a 1.66 mile multi-use trail from City Hall in downtown extending up High Rock Avenue to Excelsior Avenue and terminatingat the Route 50 Bridge over I-87 at exit 15. The trail will be a combination of off-road multi-use trails, sidewalks, crosswalks, on-road bike lanes, and transit stops in a manner that promotes safe, high-quality, alternate transportation choices.

Project Goals & Objectives: The Saratoga Greenbelt Trail Downtown Connector would bring a number of benefits to surrounding communities including: Encourage non-motorized transportation along the High Rock Ave/Excelsior Ave corridor from Lake Ave/Maple Ave to the new Route 50 path near I-87 exit 15 a length of about 1.66 miles by providing an uninterrupted safe connection between these two points. This will be accomplished by constructing a combination of off-road paths, on-road bike lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks, transit stops, and connections to existing infrastructure.

Greenbelt Trail Downtown Connector: The design will seek to avoid and minimize to the extent practical impacts to adjacent properties, historical features and environmentally sensitive areas while still accomplishing the project objectives.

The Downtown Connector Route: The project will make it safe for more people to walk and bike in our City providing health and economic benefits to residents, tourists and businesses. It will provide improved connections to key destinations such as High Rock Park, the Saratoga Springs Farmer’s market, shopping areas, neighborhoods, and other trail networks. It enhance the historic beauty of the area through the incorporation of historic LED lighting in High Rock Park, installation of benches and bike racks, as well as the addition of new street trees along the corridor. It will seek to avoid and minimize to the extent practical impacts to adjacent properties, historical features and environmentally sensitive areas while still accomplishing the project objectives.

Timeline & Next Steps: The Saratoga Greenbelt Downtown Connector Trail project is currently in the preliminary design and environmental review phase. The project timeline is illustrated here.


Around the Silo publishes history of SGT

-1Read the full story here!

Like a lot of great ideas, the Saratoga Greenbelt Trail (SGT) started with a sketch on the back of a napkin.  It was 2013, Douglas Meyer recalls, but he starts the story nearly ten years earlier when a work contact at National Public Radio suggested that he do a story as part of a personal trip he was planning to ride alongside the Tour De France. That would become his first moonlighting radio assignment, which led to a few others, including a story in 2006 about the Saratoga Mountain Bike Association. And that’s how he met another local cyclist, Jeff Olson, which sets the stage for the fateful lunch the two friends had seven years later at Maestro’s, the restaurant on Broadway fondly remembered by many Saratogians.

Firecracker4 Race Leads the Pack in Supporting the SGT!

The annual race that attracts approximately 4,000 runners each year will again be donating a portion of its proceeds to help accelerate the creation of the Saratoga Greenbelt Trail! Implementing what may become a model for others, the race organizers will donate one dollar from every entry to the trail effort. Their generous support reminds one of the famous line, ‘the path is made by walking,’ but in this case perhaps it is the path being made by running!

The race will begin at 9AM on July 4 at the Saratoga Springs City Center, with a course that heads down Broadway, out through the historic residential district and then back to the City Center.  Prizes will be awarded to top finishers, as well as for the popular “Run Your Colors” competition.  More information about the race can be found at their web site, or go directly to register online.  Please also consider volunteering at the race to thank them for their support of the trail effort.

Work begins on the City’s Complete Streets Plan!

Complete Streets Plan

Work is now underway on the “Saratoga Springs Complete Streets Plan,” which, “aims to improve safety, connectivity, and accessibility for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit users​ in our neighborhoods” in keeping with the city’s previously adopted Complete Streets Policy. The plan is being developed with support from the Capital District Transportation Committee, and being led by the firm of Alta Planning + Design, which also has been directly involved with the development of the Saratoga Greenbelt Trail.

Complete Streets incorporate​ the needs of all modes of transportation, from bicycling and walking to driving and transit. The project leaders noted that, “the plan’s data collection and analysis​ process, hands-on site visits, and community involvement will form an action-oriented plan that helps maintain and improve the healthy and active lifestyles currently ​enjoyed​ by Saratoga Springs residents and visitors.” The first public meeting was held on June 29, and additional public comments can be submitted via an online survey.