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Old 01-19-06, 07:06 AM   #1
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MUP engineers gone wild!

This is a unique way to bring a path up a hill. It is part of New York's Erie Canal Trailway which when finished will be 340+ miles long from Buffalo to Albany. It is just over half complete now. NY has for the most part done an excellent job on the trailway. The ramp is at Erie Canal lock 17 near Little Falls NY



I rode up and down on my touring bike, it is a bit tight with panniers on. I can't wait to try it on my tandem. There is a through option ( at the right of the picture)which is a steep ramp connecting each of the switchbacks.
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Old 01-19-06, 07:21 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by velonomad
I can't wait to try it on my tandem.


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Old 01-19-06, 07:38 AM   #3
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I'd be willing to bet that it was built that way to be ADA complient. They may not have gotten funded otherwise.
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Old 01-19-06, 07:49 AM   #4
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That'll be cool if they extended the trail from albany to near NYC.

At least they added the option of the straight path through that mess for us normal people who can walk under our own power.
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Old 01-19-06, 08:26 AM   #5
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Thanks Velo for the info.
I would like the ride the along the canal sometime but I can't see riding that, especially if others are using it.
I noticed the road at the bottom. Where does that lead? I might be inclined to use the road instead if it comes out at the same place.
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Old 01-19-06, 09:04 AM   #6
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Old 01-19-06, 09:34 AM   #7
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I'd be manualling all the way down the right side of that.
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Old 01-19-06, 11:12 AM   #8
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The only reason they would make a path that way is to make it wheelchair accessible. Also, if it were only for recreational use, they wouldn't have put the hand rails.

Imagine if they made the path straight up the hill and having to manually wheel a wheelchair up the slope. It would get pretty tiring, I would think.
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Old 01-19-06, 11:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by librarian
I'd be willing to bet that it was built that way to be ADA complient. They may not have gotten funded otherwise.
Yep. That's an accessible ramp. ADA and ANSI A117.1 compliant, and there may be local codes too.
Nothing to do with funding. It's in the builiding code and in the Federal law.
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Old 01-19-06, 12:00 PM   #10
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Yes it was designed to be ADA accessable. The through option is funky because you have these short steep ramps between the flat portion of the switchbacks that could possibly endo an unskilled rider.

This isn't the main trail just an access from the railtrail. There is an option to use the road you see under the bridge. You have to ride about 3/4 mile past to reach the road and then 3/4 of a mile back on the road to reach the kiosk at the bottom of the hill. I wrote the canal authority and suggested signage to alert riders to the road option. Lock 17 is the highest lock on the erie canal and is worth stopping to see.

Here is what the trail usually looks like

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Old 01-19-06, 12:20 PM   #11
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Here is what the trail usually looks like
[beautiful trails pics deleted]
If I had paths like that to work I'd never make it to work, I'd just keep riding and riding...

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Old 01-19-06, 12:29 PM   #12
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That'll be cool if they extended the trail from albany to near NYC.
That might happen eventually. The Harlem Valley Railtrail when complete is suppose to go as far as Chatham. I am told there is a couple of old railroad grades that could be used to build a trail from Chatham to Rennselaer(across the river from Albany). Currently the state and some paddling groups are developing a 160 mile "water trail" for canoes and kayaks from Waterford to Pier 40 in NYC
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Old 01-19-06, 12:34 PM   #13
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If I had paths like that to work I'd never make it to work, I'd just keep riding and riding...
Same here. That's beautiful.
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Old 01-19-06, 01:16 PM   #14
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the pedestrian/bike access bridge connecting the Berwyn and Berwyn Heights neighborhoods in College Park has something similar to that on each side (except more fenced in) as a "stairway" going up to the bridge

I'll post a picture if I can find one
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Old 01-19-06, 02:01 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by velonomad
Here is what the trail usually looks like
Reminds me very much of the Fahrrad Weg I rode for 5 years to and from Heidelberg for work. About 10 kms of the 17.5 km commute route was similiar except that the path surface was hardpacked dirt with very good drainage so that the surface was always good. It was part of the bike route from Heidelberg to Speyer as well farther south to the Black Forest. Went right by my house.
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Old 01-19-06, 03:54 PM   #16
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the dual track picture is part of a 10 miles section between Utica and Rome NY. The picture of the trail along side the canal is part of a continous 45 mile section from Little Falls NY to Amsterdam NY that was just completed. When New York builds the 6 mile section between Amsterdam and Rotterdam NY ( supposedly next year) connecting it to the Hudson Mohawk trail there will be over 90 miles of nearly continous rail trail.
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