RECORD OF MEETING
DATE, TIME, LOCATION:
PRESENT: Don Odell (Albany County Department of Economic Development, Conservation and Planning), Don Robertson (NYSDOT – Region 1), Paul Russell (Town of Colonie Conservation Advisory Council), Bert Schou (CDTA), Ivan Vamos (New York Bicycling Coalition), Monique Wahba (City of Albany Planning Department), Paul Winkeller (New York Bicycling Coalition), Steve Allocco (CDTC)
MEETING TOPICS: Interim
reprint of Mohawk-Hudson Trail map; trail maintenance survey form; attracting
new participants to the Task Force; TEA-21 Transportation Enhancements Program;
Capital District Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Deployment Program
proposal with bike/ped implications; DMV accident data representation on CDTC's
Interim Reprint of Mohawk-Hudson Trail Map
Steve reported that Katherine
Forster had made considerable progress in resolving the details of publishing a
reprint of the Map, including securing a number of cost estimates and getting a
handle on the necessary logistics for preparation of edits to the text and/or
the map panels. Steve also reported that
With regard to map content, it was suggested that the trail section Watervliet has been planning should be included in the map, perhaps with a dotted "proposed" line; in addition, the extension of the trail from its west end in Rotterdam should also be represented. With regard to the former, CDTC can either include the proposed trail in the first reprint or add it to future editions (see italicized note below); as for the latter, CDTC will confirm the placement of the extension with Steve Feeney of Schenectady County Planning and illustrate it accordingly.
The group had a number of other suggestions for either corrections or additions, which CDTC will determine the best way to present.
The reminder was raised that
navigation along the Trail was one of the concerns more frequently raised by
Trail users during the 1996-97 survey effort; in response, it was suggested
that once the new map is printed, it would be helpful to get a small quantity
of unfolded maps which could be laminated and/or mounted behind plexiglass for
display at kiosks and signboards along the Trail. As one example of where these signs could be
mounted, the Mohawk Valley Heritage Corridor Commission will be erecting kiosks
at several locations in its corridor, including at Lock 7 in
Since the meeting, CDTC has done additional work on computer-based preparation of the map for reprinting including development of an in-house means of editing the map, so as to reduce production costs and ensure the ability to reflect changes in the trail system as they occur. Thus, given the likelihood that this first reprint run of 10,000 copies will not last for more than two years, it should be acceptable to not reflect any "proposed or planned" improvements until funding has in fact been secured for them.
Trail Maintenance Survey Form
Paul Russell investigated Trail
maintenance practices in the Town of
· Checks the trail two to three times a week
· Trims trees and brush in the fall and spring
· Repairs control gates and park benches as needed
· Occasional shoulder repairs
· Bridge repairs
· Asphalt repairs
· Mows grass areas adjacent to the Trail weekly during season
· Blows leaves off the Trail daily during season
· Maintains parking areas
· Maintains signs
Occasional drainage work (
Converting these elements to a "frequency" basis might produce the following survey form:
Activity Daily Weekly Monthly Seasonally Annually Request (specify) Notes
General examination ! ! ! ! ! ! __________ __________
Trimming trees/brush ! ! ! ! ! ! __________ __________
Repairing control gates/
park benches/other installations ! ! ! ! ! ! __________ __________
Shoulder repairs ! ! ! ! ! ! __________ __________
Bridge repairs ! ! ! ! ! ! __________ __________
Asphalt repairs ! ! ! ! ! ! __________ __________
Mowing areas adjacent to Trail ! ! ! ! ! ! __________ __________
Blowing leaves off the Trail ! ! ! ! ! ! __________ __________
Maintaining parking areas ! ! ! ! ! ! __________ __________
Maintaining signs ! ! ! ! ! ! __________ __________
Occasional drainage work ! ! ! ! ! ! __________ __________
A full-sized survey form draft will be distributed at the June meeting.
Attracting New Participants to the Task Force
Steve reported on the CDTC review of its master mailing list, noting that the major finding was not so much that there were particular individuals whose participation should be solicited, but rather that there were several types of professions or affiliations which would be helpful to have involved in the Task Force's work, such as the following:
Advocates for the disabled Law enforcement/public safety
Chambers of commerce Neighborhood associations
Colleges and universities Pedestrian advocates
Elected officials Planning board members
Environmental advocates Real estate developers/office park operators
Highway superintendents/public works School officials
commissioners Senior citizens' groups
Covering a couple of these possibilities, it was suggested that the Schenectady Police Department's bike patrols might be a good source of a public safety representative, in addition to addressing the lack of any other Schenectady County-based participants, and that a retired NYSDOT Main Office employee known to "ride everywhere" would be a possible advocate representative. Subsequent to the meeting, Don Robertson took the representation issue up with Jim Ercolano of NYSDOT's statewide bike/ped program office, and forwarded to CDTC an e-mail from Jim with the names of a few additional prospects.
This said, perhaps it would be desirable for the people on the mailing list to review the above list of "person types" with an eye toward identifying people they know who might be willing to represent these perspectives on the Task Force.
TEA-21 Transportation Enhancements Program
Steve distributed the CDTC staff-developed basis for evaluating Transportation Enhancements Program (TEP) proposals. He noted that while this basis still needed to be formally approved by the Planning Committee at its May 5 meeting, that group was comfortable with the basic approach set forth in the handout; in the interest of accountability, they wanted to see some clarification of how, for example, a proposal might get ten points for "size of matching share" as opposed to five, or two, or none.
Based on the number of inquiries, concept discussions and other contacts CDTC has had regarding the TEP to date, it would be very surprising if less than 15-20 proposals end up being submitted in the CDTC region; in fact, there does exist some possibility that there will be far more than 20.
The evaluation basis was approved by the Planning Committee on May 5,
and has since been shared with NYSDOT and the other
Capital District ITS Deployment Program Proposal
This proposal was briefly discussed to give the Task Force a "heads up" on a pursuit in another programmatic area with potential bike/ped implications. (Intelligent Transportation Systems, or ITS, is in a nutshell the systemic application of technology and human resources to transportation system management.) In a joint effort, NYSDOT Region 1, CDTA and CDTC prepared an application to USDOT's ITS Deployment Program for a project which would integrate several existing and planned ITS installations so as to create a whole whose benefit which is more than that of the sum of its parts.
Among the elements of the proposal, called ITS Faster, is the coordination and interconnection of signals in several arterial corridors; this can provide more opportunities for protected pedestrian crossings. As Page 96 of the New Visions Plan noted:
than optimizing signal timing for maximum traffic flow, signal system design
can be developed that allows for efficient traffic progression at travel speeds
that are compatible with pedestrian, bike and transit movements. This may provide for a win/win outcome. For example, assume PM peak hour travel
In addition to potentially "freeing up time" for pedestrian phases at signalized intersections, ITS Faster will increase the tendency for vehicles to platoon (that is, to more frequently move as a group and less in a random distribution), making traffic more predictable to pedestrians and increasing the frequencies at which acceptable gaps in traffic will occur for pedestrians crossing midblock and at uncontrolled intersections.. This will reduce the probabilities of motor vehicle-pedestrian crashes. ITS Faster also includes traveler information services (including transit schedule and status information and construction project information) which will benefit people who bicycle or walk for all or part of their trips.
The proposal states that as part of the effort to ensure that ITS Faster benefits as many stakeholders in the transportation system as possible, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Issues Task Force will be regularly briefed on ITS Faster and on Capital District ITS activities in general, with any Task Force's concerns and/or recommendations for making ITS Faster as beneficial as possible to cyclists and pedestrians relayed back to the project team.
The ITS Faster proposal was endorsed by the CDTC Planning Committee at its May 5 meeting.
DMV Accident Data Representation on CDTC's
Paul Winkeller, formally of the
Albany Service Corps and currently working with the New York Bicycling
Coalition, discussed a contract opportunity set forth under the auspices of the
Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) under which pilot "community
safety campaigns" would be funded in three communities
("communities" defined for the purposes of this program as
counties). Among the elements of the
safety campaigns could be accident tracking using geographic information
1. CDTC staff to continue working on edits to Mohawk-Hudson Trail map for interim reprint.
2. CDTC staff to prepare trail maintenance survey form based on Paul Russell's investigations, and distribute form at next meeting.
3. Mailing list asked to review list of "potential new member types" for prospects.
4. CDTC staff to continue development of fact sheets on Task Force mission and regional map development effort.