Capital District Transportation Committee

Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force

Record of Meeting on August 12, 2008


Attendance: Salim Adler (NYSOPRHP), Martin Daley (Parks & Trails New York), Amy Jesaitis (NYSDOH), James Levy (WSA/Niskayuna Resident), Raj Malhotra (NYSDOT Region 1 Planning), Don Odell (Albany Bicycling Coalition), Henrietta O’Grady (Halfmoon Trails), Nelson Ronsvalle (Town of Halfmoon), Elaine Troy (NYSDOH), Jennifer Viggiani (Town of Clifton Park), Samuel Blanchard (CDTC Intern), Jamie Cepler (CDTC Intern), Jen Ceponis (CDTC), Jason Purvis (CDTC),


1.0   New Business


1.1  Erie Canal Towpath Connector Trail – The Towns of Clifton Park & Halfmoon have received a grant through the Transportation Enhancements Program to restore the towpath along the Erie Canal, connecting the towns, creating access to the Mohawk River, and linking to the Hudson Mohawk Bike-Hike Trail.  A presentation was made by J. Viggiani providing an overview and next steps in project development.   M. Daley asked if there is a management strategy for the trail in the works.  J. Viggiani responded “each town will be responsible for their part of the trail,” and that a maintenance strategy will be developed during the trail’s construction.


1.2  Saratoga Spa State Park Master Plan – The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is developing a Master Plan which will connect Saratoga Spa State Park to the area’s trails.  A brief presentation was given by S. Adler providing an overview of the project.   NYSOPRHP is accepting public comments regarding the park and its connections.  The greatest obstacle is connecting the Railroad Run trail with the State Park across RTE 50.  Alternatives were discussed and the Committee suggested that NYSOPRHP work with the Friends of the Rail Run group, Jeff Gritsavage and Jeff Olson to look at design alternatives for the crossing.  NYSOPRHP plans to continuing developing plans for the state parks which can be implemented and not just “sit on a shelf”.


1.3  CDTA/NYBC Transit and Bicycle Ridership Survey – The Capital District Transportation Authority has partnered with the New York Bicycling Coalition to issue a customer survey about the bicycle racks aboard CDTA buses.  Feedback will be used to monitor and improve the quality of this service.  Those interested in participating can access the survey online at:


1.4  Transportation Enhancement Program – J. Purvis gave an update to the group regarding applications received, the status of the evaluation process and approximate date of the evaluation completion.  The review committee will package the material and provide options for Planning Committee action at their October 1st meeting.  A prioritized list of projects is due to NYSDOT Main Office by October 6th. 


1.5  Spot Improvement Program – Applications are due on August 29th.  Information is available on the CDTC website (


1.6  Local Project Updates

A. Altamont Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan - Alta Planning & Design is working on the “existing conditions” for the Altamont Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.  Altamont will be including details regarding the plan in their upcoming Village newsletter. 


B. Albany Bicycle/Pedestrian Plan – The City of Albany Bicycle Master Plan has been submitted to the Contract Reporter and proposals are due August 29th.  The plan has already received a lot of good press and CDTC looks forward to working with the City and coordinating with the press to highlight the study. 


1.7  They just don’t get it – Streetsblog commented on the ban of bicycles near the site of the Democratic National Convention in Denver.  Bicycle advocates in the Denver area are disappointed in the treatment they have received from the Democratic National Committee in preparing for alternative transportation at the event. 


A NY Times article on Sunday, August 10 discussed the issues of both cyclists and motorists in their plight of sharing the road.  


1.8 Other New Business

1.8.1. Harvard Survey – The Harvard School of Public Health will be conducting a survey targeting areas on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Hike Trail.


            1.8.2. Rochester’s Safe Routes to School AssessmentsRochester will be selecting a consultant to conduct the assessment of 5 schools in the MPO planning area.  J. Purvis will coordinate with the Rochester MPO and ask for the results of the assessment to share with the Task Force.  E. Troy added that the City of Rochester has expressed interested in NYSDOH’s SRTS Program and Walking School Bus Program.


            1.8.3. AARP Complete Streets Survey – The AARP is conducting a survey amongst AARP-eligible persons to evaluated livable communities and mobility options.  Additional details are available on their website (


A. Clifton Park is working on a trail to connect their library with the school district.


B. The Town of Halfmoon will have bids open for the Crescent Trail in the near future.


C. NYSOPRHP is working to purchase the entire railroad right-of-way from Copake Falls to Chatham which will extend the Harlem Valley Rail Trail.  NYSOPRHP is in the process of doing an interim management trail plan for the corridor.


D. Don Odell has been selected to represent the Albany Bicycle Coalition on the Study Advisory Committee (SAC) for the Albany Bicycle Master Plan.


E.  E. Troy requested the June minutes be revised from “A video will be produced regarding the positive benefits of having children walk to school” to “there will be a discussion about the benefits of having children walk to school.”


F. A. Jesaitis announced that the NYSDOH Healthy Heart Program is accepting applications for the Healthy Eating and Active Living by Design program.  Applications are due October 13th and details are available on their website.


2.0  Upcoming Events


The next CDTC Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force meeting is scheduled for September 9, 2008 at 4:30 PM.  Other CDTC meetings open to the public: Planning Committee Meeting on October 1 @ 9:30 am.