Annual Canalway Trail Traffic More Than 150,000 at locations in Capital District Albany, N.Y. - The New York State Canal Corporation and Parks and Trails New York today announced the availability of Who's on the Trail? The Erie Canalway Trail User Count 2009, a detailed report that found that annual traffic on the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail section of the Canalway Trail at several locations in the Capital District is as high as 174,000 people. The 2009 Trail User Count, prepared by Parks and Trails New York for the Canal Corporation, was conducted to provide information on the number and types of users at several different locations along the Canalway Trail within Schenectady and Albany counties. Carmella R. Mantello, Director of the Canal Corporation, said, "The Canalway Trail provides multiple tourism and recreational opportunities, as well as an economic boost to hundreds of canal communities. The volunteers who conducted the trail counts this year along the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail did a superb job, and I would like to thank them for the countless hours of work that went into collecting this important information. We would like to commend Parks and Trails New York for their continued partnership and ongoing efforts to support and enhance this recreational, tourism and economic asset." Robin Dropkin, Executive Director of Parks and Trails New York, said, "This year's count again confirms the growing popularity of the Erie Canalway Trail. It's clear that visitors and residents are discovering that walking or cycling the tranquil, traffic-free trail is a perfect way to experience the magic of the canal and the warmth and charm of the historic communities along its length." During six weeks in July and August 2009, volunteers stationed themselves at four locations situated along the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail portion of the Erie Canalway Trail within Schenectady and Albany counties at the same time of peak use, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., each weekday. In total, 49 counts were conducted. The data collected was used to produce annual traffic estimates of nearly 174,000 users at the Niskayuna Trail Station. Parks and Trails New York and the New York State Canal Corporation followed a procedure developed by Dr. Greg Lindsey of Indiana University for conducting the count and calculating estimates of annual trail traffic. Dr. Lindsey has spent many years studying trails in the Indianapolis area in order to streamline the counting process while improving its validity and predictability. The results indicated that 53 percent of trail users were bicyclists, 30 percent were walkers, 12 percent joggers, and four percent in-line skaters. Counters also noted that 65 percent of all bicyclists counted were wearing helmets. The trail count information can be used in trail design and management to help determine trail surface and width, to factor whether stop lights at intersections are warranted and in determining mowing frequency. Trail counts can also be used regarding trail funding decisions and in marketing activities. To download a complete copy of Who's on the Trail? The Erie Canalway Trail User Count 2009, please visit Parks and Trails New York's website at http://www.ptny.org/pdfs/canalway_trail/user%20counts/2009.pdf. The New York State Canal System is comprised of four historic waterways, the Erie, the Champlain, the Oswego and the Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Spanning 524 miles across New York State, the waterway links the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes and the Niagara River with communities rich in history and culture. The New York State Canal Corporation is a subsidiary of the New York State Thruway Authority (Authority). Since 1992, following State legislation transferring the Canal System from the New York State Department of Transportation to the Authority, Canal operating and maintenance activities have been supported by Thruway toll revenue. For more information regarding events, recreational and vacation opportunities along the Canal System, please visit http://www.canals.state.ny.gov/ or call 1-800-4CANAL4. Parks and Trails New York is the only statewide nonprofit organization working to expand, protect and promote a network of parks, trails and open space across New York State for all to enjoy. Its work includes advocacy, outreach, technical assistance to communities, bicycle tourism promotion, and bicycle tours such as Cycling the Erie Canal. For more information on Parks and Trails New York, please visit http://www.ptny.org/.
The New York State Thruway Authority/Canal Corporation offers a free email service called TRANSalert to its customers via email or text messaging to inform them of major incidents and emergencies that may affect travel on the Thruway or navigation on the Canal System. To sign up for the Canal TRANSalert service, customers can visit the Corporation's website at www.nyscanals.gov/tas/. To sign-up for Thruway TRANSalerts please visit the Authority's website at www.nysthruway.gov/tas/.
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