No bike lanes for Route 86

— During their April 10 meeting, Jim Morganson asked North Elba Town Board members whether they had received any feedback or information regarding bike lanes on Route 86 or Old Military Road.

Supervisor Roby Politi said he had received a letter from the state Department of Transportation (DOT) commissioner in 2011 saying that the state would be resurfacing Route 86 between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid and between Lake Placid and Wilmington.

“Kudos to them,” Politi said, giving credit to Commissioner Joan McDonald and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “I’d like to think that the commissioner of transportation responded to the quotes about the Ho Chi Minh trail ... It was pretty bad. But I think that when they drove over it, they too recognized the severe condition of that roadway.”

Town Board members passed a resolution requesting the state of New York to have a designated bike lane when resurfacing Route 86 between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid.

But DOT spokesperson Carol Breen told the Valley News April 17 that the 4.3-mile Route 86 repaving project from Saranac Lake to the Old Military Road in Lake Placid will not include bike lanes. The work will begin in May and is expected to take three weeks to complete.

As part of the NY Works Program, the governor announced April 3 that the 12.1-mile stretch of Route 86 between Lake Placid and Wilmington to the intersection of Route 431 will be resurfaced this year. The project will start this summer and finish be completed by the fall. The contract is worth $3,539,030. The top layer of asphalt will be removed and replaced with new pavement.

“The project does not include reconstructing the road or building bike lanes, which would add significant cost to the project,” Breen said. “We are going to create additional room on the shoulder by reducing the travel lanes to 10 feet in width from their current 11 feet.”

Restriping the lanes will provide an extra foot of shoulder room for bicyclists, according to Breen.

“The shoulder width varies along the route, but average shoulder width will be 4 feet once the project is completed,” Breen said.

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