Cycling the Erie Canal Tour Kicks Off with Economic Development Announcement at Noon in Lockport
Albany, NY (July 8, 2012)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that members of his cabinet and senior staff joined with more than 500 cyclists from around the country for the 14th annual Cycling the Erie Canal event, a 400-mile bicycling tour along the route of the Erie Canal from Buffalo to Albany.
The eight-day tour starts with an economic development announcement at Noon today at Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises at 210 Market Street in Lockport. During the tour along the Canal corridor, senior members of the Governor's administration – "Team New York" – will highlight the beauty, history, culture and recreational appeal of the State Canal System and the Canalway Trail, while also stopping in communities along the way to announce the launch of NY Works projects and other important economic development initiatives.
"The beauty, history and richness of the iconic Erie Canal have made it a popular destination for New Yorkers and visitors alike, and the corridor remains a vitally important economic development engine for Canal communities in upstate New York," Governor Cuomo said. "For more than a decade, this bike tour has given cycling enthusiasts from across the nation an opportunity to celebrate the legacy of Erie Canal and take in the many beautiful sites across Upstate New York. I am pleased that senior members of my administration will have the opportunity to pedal some miles while also connecting with New Yorkers in communities across the state and highlighting how the NY Works program is helping projects get off the ground to fuel our state's economic comeback."
Howard P. Milstein, Chairman of the New York State Thruway and Canal Corporation, said, "New York’s Canal System and Canalway Trail are major economic engines for communities all along the Canal corridor. We look forward to hosting this exciting event on the Erie Canalway Trail, and continuing to build a better economic future for upstate New York on the solid foundation of our rich heritage and the unparalleled beauty of the Canal."
Brian U. Stratton, Director of the New York State Canal Corporation, said, "As demonstrated by the success of the annual Cycling the Erie Canal event, the Erie Canalway Trail is an important economic development engine for upstate New York. With over 500 cyclists from 35 states – as well as international representatives from as far away as Great Britain – participating in this year’s tour, we are eager to highlight the beauty, history, and culture that New York’s Canal corridor has to offer."
Robin Dropkin, Executive Director of Parks & Trails New York, said, "We are proud to work with Governor Cuomo and the Canal Corporation to promote New York State, especially our wonderful Canals and Canalway Trails. The 14th annual Cycling the Erie Canal tour provides a great opportunity for every age and ability level to enjoy the best New York State has to offer. A bike tour along the Erie Canal is the perfect way to experience summer in New York State!"
Members of the Governor's cabinet and senior staff who will participate include:
Brian U. Stratton, Director of the Canal Corporation
Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation
Courtney Burke, Commissioner of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities
Kenneth Adams, President and C.E.O. of Empire State Development
Joseph Martens, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation
Gil Quinones, President and C.E.O. of the New York Power Authority
Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner and C.E.O. of New York State Homes and Community Renewal
Sam Hoyt, Senior Vice President for Regional Economic Development at the Empire State Development Corporation
Barry Sample, Deputy Director of State Operations
John Maggiore, Chief of Staff to the Lieutenant Governor
Leslie Leach, Governor’s Appointments Secretary
During the bike tour, Governor’s Cuomo’s senior staff and cabinet members, as well as other Cycling the Erie Canal participants, will have the opportunity to participate in guided tours of the Canal, historic sites, museums, and attractions such as the Women’s Rights National Historical Park, the Montezuma National Wildlife refuge, Fort Stanwix National Monument, and the Erie Canal Museum. The tour concludes at the Corning Preserve in Albany on Sunday, July 15th.
The Erie Canalway Trail is a multi-use trail, designed to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, and cross-country skiers. According to a 2011 report prepared by Parks & Trails New York, an estimated 1,733,504 people use the Erie Canalway Trail each year, contributing to the Canal System’s overall annual economic impact of nearly $380 million. More than three-quarters of the 348-mile Erie Canalway Trail from Buffalo to Albany is now completed. For more information, please visit www.ptny.org/canalway.
The New York State Canal Corporation is a subsidiary of the New York State Thruway Authority. In 1992, State legislation transferred the Canal System from the New York State Department of Transportation to the Thruway Authority. Canal operating and maintenance activities are supported by Thruway toll revenues.
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, and technical assistance to communities, bicycle tourism promotion, and bicycle tours such as Cycling the Erie Canal. For more information on the programs administered by Parks and Trails New York, please visit www.ptny.org.
For more information regarding events, recreation and vacation opportunities along the Canal System, please visit www.canals.ny.gov or call 1-800-4CANAL4.