Capital District Transportation Committee

Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force

Record of Meeting on April 10, 2001


Attendance: Mark Cashman (MHCC/LAB), Kevin McLoughlin (HRV Greenways Conservancy), Don Odell (Albany County), Don Robertson (NYSDOT - Region 1), Bert Schou (CDTA), Holly Sullivan (HRV Greenways Communities Council), Elaine Troy (NYSDOH), Ivan Vamos (NYBC), Katherine Forster (CDTC)

Regrets: David-Iman Adler, Deb Spicer


There were no changes to the March Task Force meeting notes. CDTC Spot Program & TEA-21 Enhancement Program and Right-Turn of Red Research were added to the agenda.


(September 14, 2000) The Task Force requested that another bicycle count be done now that Delaware Avenue was open to traffic. No action as of yet - this should be done Spring 2001.

In February the Task Force was discussing a sign seen near the Albany Memorial Hospital that read "This is a Walkable Community". Terry Powers from the Healthy Heart Coalition confirmed it was an initiative of the Coalition. Currently in the area, they have the one at the hospital and four other signs at: Beltrone Living Center, American Heart Association (off New Karner Rd.), Everly Cromwell Community Center and Corporate Woods. Walking maps are available for each location.


3.1 Greenways Grant for Regional Bike Trail: The Greenways funding was approved for both the County of Albany ($10,000 with match) and CDTC ($20,000 with match) to study the bike path, explore alternatives and foster regional discussions and cooperation in terms of the trail. The County will be receiving a letter in a few days regarding the Greenways Communities Council's role. The funding for CDTC is tentative until approved by the CDTC Planning Committee. CDTC and Albany County will work together to determine the best approach for their studies. The CDTC Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force and Waterfront Committee will help define the action plan. There has been some interest from other organizations in this study including the Canalways and the Broadway Corridor group.

3.2 Schenectady Urban Bike Route Master Plan: The first public meeting on Thursday, March 22 was well attended. Over 30 people showed up and there was some media coverage. The meeting started with a small presentation and then there were breakout groups to discuss the actual routing of the bike path and favorite bike routes used in the City. The second public meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, June 7, at 7:00 pm at the Community College. The next steering committee meeting is April 26 to discuss bicycle design and amenities.


4.1 Regional Bike/Hike Map: CDTC has used the Clearinghouse Books to identify parks in Saratoga, Schenectady, and Albany counties. This information will be input into the GIS system and Rensselaer County will be done this month.


4.2 Education and Enforcement Campaign: At the meeting on March 20, local efforts were discussed. After the meeting, NYSDOH offered some help and funds to Bethlehem so that they can do some work this year on their education campaign, which would include some newspaper ads, billboards, flyers and fund some of the equipment needed. The funding has been approved and a letter is going out to NYS Health Officials confirming the details of this project.

NYBC has made a bicycle safety video with some of the GTSC grant funds. If anyone has a venue to show these videos, contact Ivan Vamos. He provided a copy to the NYSDOH. It was suggested that the MHCC might be able to use the video in conjunction with the efforts of their safety committee (John Borel is the Education & Safety Committee leader).

4.3 CDTC's Bicycle Signage Guidelines: The City of Albany submitted some additional comments. The guidelines will be on the CDTC Planning Committee's May agenda for approval. After approval they will be sent out to all the municipalities.


4.4 NYSDOH Initiatives: The second planning meeting for the NYSDOH Pedestrian Conference was held April 6. The date for the conference has been chosen: Thursday November 8- Friday November 9 in Glens Falls at the Queensbury. There was some brainstorming at the meeting regarding the conference title. This is needed to be able to start advertising for the conference. At the next meeting on May 2, 2001 the committee will discuss topics and speakers. If you have any suggestions, please contact D. Spicer.

The Schenectady Pedestrian Road Show will be held on June 13 for a half-day event - lunch will be provided. Jeff Olsen will present. It will be held in the McChesney room at the Library or at the YWCA. A specific intersection to target hasn't been decided on, although they have three in mind. For more info contact Liza Miller at the YWCA at 374-3394.

There are still some spaces left for the Train the Trainer event in Syracuse that will be held on April 23-25. Contact D. Spicer if you are interested in attending.

4.5 CDTC Spot Program and TEA-21 Enhancement Program: The next round of the Enhancement program will be announced later this year. NYSDOT sent around a memo to the program coordinators and the MPO's regarding the schedule and the need for input on the program and workbook. This will be a good opportunity for CDTC staff to suggest some revisions to the rating/evaluation system. CDTC plans to evaluate the projects differently this year. More consideration will be given to safety, cost effectiveness and local projects.

The CDTC Spot Program is being administered by NYSDOT. The individual grant agreements are ready to be sent out. We are just waiting for some details on the NEPA evaluation and the required scoping memorandum/design report. Small federal funding grants like this are very difficult to administer through the NYSDOT. There will have to be some thought as to how to go about the Spot program in the next funding round. It was suggested that CDTC offer a financial incentive to encourage joint projects next time. These might be easier to administer.


5.1 Schuyler Flatts Cultural Park: P. Russell could not attend tonight's meeting so the topic will be postponed. B. Schou found a web site that prints aerial photos of any area in the U.S. He brought a couple of printouts of Schuyler Flatts. I. Vamos passed around some photos of the park taken last year at a clean-up/site inspection event.

5.2 Right-Turn on Red Research: The Task Force has discussed before the danger of cars not coming to a full stop before they turn right on a red light. B. Schou has done some research on this problem and he distributed two studies on this subject to the Task Force. There are not many engineering solutions to this problem. The ones that are recommended are high visibility signs, pavement markings to warn pedestrians and advance stop bars. But are these effective over the long term? The driver's responsibility is to come to a full stop and yield to oncoming cars and pedestrians. One way to get the driver's attention is to step up the enforcement of this problem.

The Guilderland Police are going to be holding an Aggressive Driver's Campaign in the next few weeks. They will be targeting a few problem spots (one is Route 20) and will hold media announcements before hand. B. Schou noted that this would be a good opportunity to add a couple of pedestrian safety concerns to this targeted enforcement. He will approach the police department with some suggestions. There was a question as to whether there is Quality of Life policing in Guilderland? This would be another opportunity to involve the police in targeting some pedestrian safety concerns especially if there were some specific locations suggested such as a local school or near a senior citizen's retirement facility.