Capital District Transportation Committee

Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force

Record of Meeting on April 21, 2009


Attendance: Jason Purvis (CDTC), Nelson Ronsvalle (Town of Halfmoon), Raj Malhotra (NYSDOT Region 1), Elaine Troy (NYSDOH), Jim Levy (WSA/Niskayuna Resident), Don Odell (Albany Bicycling Coalition), Jen Ceponis (CDTC), Todd Fabozzi (CDRPC), Mark Cashman (MHCC/LAB), Ivan Vamos (NYBC), Robert Cherry (NYSDOT Region 1), Dan Rain (FORT), John “Jack” Madden (FORT), Martin Daley (PTNY), Elizabeth Staubach (Albany County Executive’s Office), Devin Dalpoy (SSWAA/ Saratoga County Ad Hoc Trails Committee), Mike Lyons (Town of Colonie), Jen Clunie (NYBC), Audrey Ball (Town of Malta), Pat Kenneally (GPI), Jim Mearkle (Albany Coutny DPW)


1.0   New Business


1.1    Presentation--Albany County--Helderberg Trail – The proposed trail is approximately 9 miles in length with termini in the Village of Voorheesville and the City of Albany.  There will be parking lots along the trail at varying points, as well as at its terminus.  There are a total of 8 bridges along the trail, including a bride on New Scotland which has received substantial damage and has been recommended for replacement.  Replacing bridge structures violates the Railbanking agreement, but the county is trying to work out this issue. The purchase agreement between the County and the Railroad is currently going through.  The County has hired Greenman-Pedersen Inc. (GPI) to design the trail and they have already completed the survey and mapping and have begun the federal process.  A public meeting is schedule for June 17 at the Bethlehem Town Hall.  Information related to the trail project will be located at and all comments can be sent to Mike Franchini ( or Jim Mearkle ( 


1.2    Bicycle Education--update – CDTC and the City of Albany Planning Staff are working to together to develop a strategy to distribute information on bicycle safety within the City.  CDTC and the City have met with Jen Hogan from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) to coordinate efforts and brainstorm ides for graphics.  J. Clunie suggested CDTC look at New York City’s “Look” Campaign as a model, and using public service announcements which are free.  It currently unclear how the success of the campaign will be measured.


1.3    NYSMPO Conference – The annual New York State Metropolitan Planning Organization Conference is scheduled for June 4-5 at the Crowne Plaza in Albany, NY.  The conference program and registration form can be located on the NYSMPO website ( 


1.4    Transportation Enhancements Program (TEP) – Governor Paterson announced the award of federal funding for transportation projects through the TEP on April 2, 2009.  The Capital Region (not necessarily the “CDTC region”) received traditional TEP funding for two projects, West Brook Conservation Initiative (Lake George) and the Dix Bridge Rehabilitation Project (co-owned by Saratoga and Washington Counties).  An additional two projects received funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) including the Day Peckinpaugh Canal Motorship (currently stationed in Albany) and the Ticonderoga Train Trestle Conversion and Historic Trail Expansion (Ticonderoga).  There was less money awarded to the region this year than previous years and few projects within the CDTC region were chosen.  Overall, the announcement was disappointing because it revealed problems within the selection process and there were two few regionally significant bicycle and pedestrian projects.  NYSDOT and CDTC are working on scheduling a meeting to sort out the issues of the process and discuss how the program could be changed.  The Task Force discussed their discontent with the lack of transparency in the process and the state’s use of TEP funds for operation expenses.  Many of the project candidates from the CDTC region which were not chosen are eligible for the Energy Efficiency Block Grants from the Department of Energy and encouraged to apply.  More information on the grants can be found at, applications are due May 26.  Task force members are encouraged to write letters to their local politicians to encourage them to apply for these funds. 


1.5    Local Project Updates

1.5.1 Albany Bicycle Master Plan – The next public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 18 at the Albany Public Library Main Branch on Washington Avenue.  There will be a “drop-in” session to collect information, fill out comment forms, etc. between 5:00 – 6:30 pm followed by a workshop and presentation at 6:30 – 8:00 pm.  The Study Advisory Committee will be meeting within the next few weeks.  A connection between the Helderberg Trail and Corning Preserve will be explored.  Additional information and documents related to the study can be found at:  Comments may be emailed to:


1.6    They just don’t get it… - nothing to report.


1.7 Other New Businesses

1.7.1 New Agenda Items or ideas for future meeting discussion/presentation topics should be forwarded to Jason.


D. Haller was unable to attend the meeting but sent Jason a note to advise everyone that the Saratoga Healthy Transportation Network’s new website is up and running and you should check it out:


J. Viggiani was also unable to attend the meeting but asked Jason to pass on information about the Mechanicville Bimodal Project.  The Town of Clifton Park and Town of Halfmoon are trying to work with the railroad to make a connection between the Bimodal Project and the Zim Smith Trail.  J. Madden commented that this is a challenge as the railroads are very concerned about liability.  Project updates will continue as it progresses!


M. Cashman – The League of American Bicyclists offers a variety of bicycle education classes.  For more information check out their website:


R. Cherry – NYSDOT is currently working on making a pedestrian connection across NYS Route 50 in Saratoga Springs, near the Saratoga Springs State Park. 


J. Clunie – The NYBC is hosting a Traffic Skills 101 Class May 1-2 at the SUNY Albany Downtown Campus, 135 Washington Avenue between S. Lake and Robin Streets, Draper Hall Rm 147.  If interested, the course fee is $50 and you must RSVP to Claire Nolan via or (518)209-6477 no later than April 27th. 


P. Kenneally – GPI is working on the Geyser Road trail project which is a connection between Saratoga Springs and the Town of Milton along Geyser Road.  GPI is beginning another trail project in the Town of Wilton. 


N. Ronsvalle – A committee met to evaluate consultant proposals for the Mohawk Towpath Connection and chose Erdman Anthony.  An official announcement of the consultant selection is anticipated later in the week.


E. Troy – The NYSDOH Healthy Heart Program announced funding for 12 projects in NYS, 7 of which are bicycle and pedestrian related programs.  For the full list please visit:


J. Purvis advised the Task Force that Teresa LaSalle is continuing to work on the map update. 


2.0  Upcoming Events


The next CDTC Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force meeting is scheduled for May 12, 2009 @ 4:30 PM. 


2.1 May is Bike Month!

Check out some of these exciting Bike Month events in the Capital Region:


Grand Tour: Bicycle, Transportation & Trail Art Exhibit – May 1-22

The Upstate Artists Guild, 247 Lark St., Albany NY 12210 is hosting a bicycle themed art exhibit to benefit the Albany Bicycle Coalition and the New York Bicycling Coalition.  For more information visit or email


“Two Wheels Good” Bike Film Festival – May 8

The Sanctuary for Independent Media, 3361 6th Ave., Troy; 7 PM.  Collection celebrates all aspects of bicycle culture, from competitive mountain biking to urban “alleycat” racing to daily commuting, bike polo, and Critical Mass.  Selection includes a variety of filmmakers and spans genres from documentary to narrative, animation to sports, art & music videos. Co-sponsored by NYBC and Troy Bike Rescue; valet bike parking available.  Admission by suggested donation.  See for details and directions.


Bike to Albany’s Tulip Festival. – May 8 -10

A highly anticipated spring tradition, over 200,000 tulip bulbs will blossom into a sea of colors amidst of thousands of attendees Mother’s Day weekend in Washington Park.  The City of Albany is taking a step forward to promote green initiatives and reduce congestion on the roadways by encouraging attendees to RIDE, rather than drive, to the event.  Designated racks and valet bicycle parking and will be available at the Willett & Madison Ave. entrance and featured as part of the Tulip Festival Wellness Garden, promoting wellness of mind, body, spirit, and planet.   Steiner’s Sports will be on-hand to offer free safety checks and quick tune-ups to keep you rolling.  Visit for full schedule of activities.


VEER the movie – May 14

8PM.  The Spectrum 8 Theaters (Albany).   Special one-time screening of new documentary of the Portland, OR cycling community.  Sponsors include:  CK Cycles, Steiner’s Sports, The Downtube, The Dead Presidents Lounge, Bomber’s Burritos, Lark Tavern,,  $6/($5 for ABC members).  Membership is free and you can sign up at the door.  ABC will also be collecting $$ donations for the KONA AFRICA BIKE PROGRAM.  Note:  group ride leaving Washington Park @ 7:30 pm.


National Bike to Work Day – May 15

Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, individuals across the country are encouraged to commute to work by bike.  The Saratoga Healthy Transportation Network is sponsoring the “First Annual” Saratoga Bike To Work Challenge.  Companies with offices/workplaces in Saratoga County are encouraged to form Bike To Work Teams and compete for the highly coveted “The Gear Head Trophy.”  To register, go to  For more information and resources on bicycle commuting, visit


Saratoga Bike to Work Day Challenge – May 15th

Saratoga Healthy Transportation Network is sponsoring the first annual Saratoga Bike to Work Day Challenge. Companies with offices or workplaces in Saratoga County are encouraged to form Bike to Work teams for Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 15, 2009.

The coveted Gear Head trophy will be awarded to the employee group with the highest percentage of participation.  Register here:


Club Picnic, Ride and Swap Meet – May 16

10AM, Colonie Town Park.  The Mohawk Hudson Cycling Club invites all local cyclists & their families to come celebrate Capital Bike Month with the club and meet some new cyclists/friends.  Rides of varying categories (casual, tour, mountain bike); potluck lunch; post-ride swap meet.  Consult the Ride Calendar on for full details.


Capital District Ride of Silence – May 20

The Mohawk Hudson Cycling Club will lead a 12 mile, slow paces ride passing ghost bikes to honor cyclists killed or injured in collisions with automobiles in the Capital District.  The ride promotes a culture of safety awareness and mutual respect on the road.  Registration is free, a helmet is required and the ride will take place rain or shine.  Ride begins at 6pm at the Corning Preserve in Albany.


For your entertainment – How aware are you of cyclists?  Check out this British commercial from YouTube: