BETHLEHEM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Bethlehem is moving forward with plans to build a bicycle and pedestrian path after being awarded a $1.5 million grant. The trail will connect the Albany County Rail Trail and the Slingerlands commercial district on New Scotland Road.

Town officials plan for the multi-use path to begin on Kenwood Avenue at the traffic signal, connect with the rail trail, and then continue about a mile north along the Cherry Avenue Extension to New Scotland Road. Officials said this will provide a safe pedestrian and bicycling link between the neighborhoods along the rail trail and the commercial district in Slingerlands.

“More than 250,000 people enjoy the rail trail through Bethlehem,” said Town Supervisor David VanLuven. “This multi-use path will make it easier and safer for people to walk and ride to the many restaurants and businesses along New Scotland Road in Slingerlands.”

The town applied for the grant in Fall 2021, with support from the volunteer Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee and neighborhood residents. Officials said residents have been advocating in recent years to add a bicycle and pedestrian link to allow easier access between mixed-use commercial areas and residential areas.

Currently, officials said there are no safe pedestrian routes along Cherry Avenue Extension. The grant was awarded by the New York State Department of Transportation through its Transportation Alternatives Grant Program. The town will provide $392,385.