Architect of NYS Bike Route System and Founder of NY Bicycling Coalition Memorialized with “Rossi Junction”

May 25, 2022
Lou Rossi Memorial

Bicycle Rest Area in Downtown Albany Named in Honor of Late New York State Department of Transportation Director of Planning Lou Rossi

ALBANY, NY (May 25, 2022) A biking rest area in downtown Albany was dedicated to the man responsible for the creation of the New York State Bike Route System and founder of the New York Bicycling Coalition. The area just off of Quay Street in Albany will now be known as “Rossi Junction,” the area where three of the longest New York State bike routes meet by the Hudson River.

“Civil servants are the quiet heart of government administration, their work is rarely recognized,” said Richard Brustman, Lou Rossi Memorial Committee. “Lou Rossi was one of the best. Few in the broad bicycle community know of his contributions, but all owe him immense gratitude.”

The late Lou Rossi, who served as the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Director of Planning was remembered on Wednesday, May 25 as a professional, a friend and a visionary for the bicycle infrastructure in New York State. “Rossi Junction” will feature a plaque noting Rossi’s efforts and the junction’s significance. CDTA will place a CDPHP Cycle! station at Rossi Junction as well as a bike rack where cyclists can lock their bike and enjoy the beautiful view and landscape of the Albany waterfront area.

“We are proud to be part of such a well-deserved honor for Mr. Rossi.” said CDTA CEO Carm Basile. “Rossi Junction will be home to a CDPHP Cycle! station, where bicycling enthusiasts can rent a bike and take advantage of the beautiful bike trails that Mr. Rossi is responsible for creating. We are happy that we can contribute in a small way to mark this special occasion and give Mr. Rossi the credit he deserves.”

New York's huge infrastructure of bike trails, paths, and routes that we enjoy today didn't just materialize. In the 1990s, laws were enacted allowing the Highway Trust Fund to be used for bicycle and pedestrian needs. Rossi was an influence in opening the trust fund, and then became the driving force behind New York’s system of 21 signed Bike Routes. Rossi was also a founding member of the New York Bicycling Coalition, an organization that vigorously advocates to make cycling in New York friendlier and safer.

Assemblymember John T. McDonald III, RPh said "I am happy to join today as we dedicate this rest area to honor the late NYSDOT Director of Planning Lou Rossi. Our biking routes in New York have improved and expanded a great deal over the years because of the hard work of NYSDOT and many other partners. The dedication of this memorial is an opportunity to gather and reflect on the extraordinary service that Lou gave to the bicycling community."

“Lou Rossi used his voice to advance the interests of cyclists and bike-enthusiasts across New York State,” said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy. “A pioneer in the world of biking, naming the rest area where the confluence of three major bike trails meet after Lou is more than fitting. Thank you to the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and partners like the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) for their continued work on advancing bike safety and multi-modal transportation infrastructure.”

“Thanks to the hard work of advocates, policy makers, engineers and planners, New York State has come a long way in promoting bicycling for transportation, recreation, and health, “ said Leah Golby, Board President of New York Bicycling Coalition. “We owe so much of our progress to the energy and creativity of one of our founders, Lou Rossi.”

After Rossi passed away in 2020, colleagues at the NYSDOT decided to memorialize his immense contribution to bicycling with not only Rossi Junction, but they also established a fund for teaching bicycle safety to school children.