New Report Shows Capital District Trails more Popular than Ever

Survey and count conducted by CDTC and PTNY reveals strong community support and 1.6 million annual visits to the Capital District’s trails. Read more.

Last fall, the Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) hired PTNY to conduct trail user counts for nine multi-use trails in the Capital District, which includes Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady Counties. The results of these counts are included in CDTC’s 2016 Regional Trail Perspectives: A Survey of Capital District Trail Facilities.

The results from the 2016 Capital District Trail User Counts demonstrate significant variability in usage levels, mode and gender split, and peak usage periods across all 22 locations counted. Lions Park in Niskayuna, near the center of a 35-mile stretch of the Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike/ Erie Canalway Trail, experiences the highest estimated annual usage, with approximately 263,757 visits to the trail occurring annually. “The study highlights the importance that regional trails have within each of their respective communities,” said Niskayuna Supervisor Joe Landry.

In addition to Lions Park, six other locations saw annual usage estimates exceed 100,000. For a full list of annual estimates at all 22 locations, take a look at the table below or check out our Interactive Usage Estimates Map, which not only displays each the annual estimate, but also includes gender and mode split.

Location

Annual Usage Estimate

Trail

Lions Park, Niskayuna

263,757

Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike/Erie Canalway Trail (MHBHT)

Barge Restaurant, Albany

202,839

MHBHT

Boat Launch, Albany

184,509

MHBHT

Hudson Ave., Bethlehem

164,073

Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail (ACHHRT)

Shaker Ridge Country Club, Colonie

152,685

Albany Shaker Trail

4th St Trailhead, Watervliet

128,388

MHBHT

Saratoga YMCA, Saratoga Springs

127,452

Railroad Run

Schenectady County Community College, Rotterdam

99,372

MHBHT

USS Slater, Albany

98,943

MHBHT

Colonie Town Park, Colonie

95,394

MHBHT

Kiwanis Park, Rotterdam

95,121

MHBHT

Goldfoot Rd, Round Lake

79,677

Zim Smith Trail

South Pearl St, Albany

66,924

ACHHRT

East Ave, Saratoga Springs

64,155

Spring Run

Excelsior Spring Ave, Saratoga Springs

63,102

Spring Run

Main St, Ballston

59,319

Ballston Veterans Trail

Shenantaha Creek Park

53,781

Zim Smith Trail

Admiral’s Walk, Cohoes

45,825

Delaware Ave/Black Bridge Trail

Nott St, Schenectady

41,730

MHBHT

Outlet Rd, Ballston

41,340

Ballston Veterans Trail

Garden Court, Troy

33,150

Uncle Sam Trail

114th St, Troy

20,358

Uncle Sam Trail


Male trail users represented 56% of overall usage while females represented 44% of users. This is similar to PTNY’s estimates of NYS Canalway Trail users from last year’s counts conducted at several locations across the 524-mile NYS Canalway Trail system where 54% of users were males and 46% were females. 51% of Capital District trail users were pedestrians, while 48% were bicyclists, and 1% were some other type of user, oftentimes a skateboarder or rollerblader. Pedestrians were also the predominant user type observed along the NYS Canalway Trail, where more than 64% were either walkers or joggers in 2016.

The most popular day of the week for trail usage in the Capital District was Monday followed by Thursday. Saturday was the busiest weekend day at more than half of the locations counted. The most popular time people use their local trail was between 12 and 6 PM on weekdays and between 9 AM and 3 PM on weekends.

The full report prepared by CDTC includes results of surveys of more than 500 trail users and over 100 adjacent residential property owners. The surveys demonstrated support for continued trail development.

PTNY also prepared a detailed trail count profile for each location. These profiles display the large amount of data collected during the count in an easy to read format that is consistent across all 22 locations.

According to Michael Franchini, the Executive Director of CDTC, “this project produced really valuable and informative data which we will use to develop our next regional greenway plan. Parks & Trails New York did a great job, using the latest bicycle/pedestrian counting technology; local governments and communities were very cooperative; and trail users and property owners were very responsive.”

Click here to learn more about the Regional Trail Perspectives report, and for more information about PTNY’s trail user count program visit our page.



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