RECORD OF MEETING
BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN ISSUES TASK FORCE
DATE/TIME/PLACE: August 25, 1993, 5:30-7:30 PM, Albany County Office Building Caucus Room
IN ATTENDANCE: Brad Birge (CDRPC), Don Odell (Albany County Planning), Don Robertson (NYSDOT - Region 1 Planning), Joann Ryan (City of Albany), Bert Schou (CDTA), Maggie Vinciguerra (Hudson River Valley Greenway Communities Council), Steve Allocco (CDTC)
Committee Membership: Efforts to solicit the participation of additional parties were briefly discussed; a final attempt to expand citizen representation on the Task Force will be made this month.
Exploration of Issues and Options: As a followup to the discussions of the July 28 meeting, a handout grouping the various keywords or phrases raised at that meeting into five "themes" was distributed. These themes are as follow: pursuing a modal "fairness" or "equality;" intermodalism; tourism/recreation; institutional issues; and action tools. Also handed out was a summary of projected future motor vehicle travel conditions based on CDTC's Systematic Traffic Evaluation and Planning Model; the handout is intended to convey a sense of how growing traffic congestion will present opportunities for bicycle and pedestrian travel to "compete" on a travel time basis; however, it also indicates that there will be increased hazards to bicycle/pedestrian travel due to greater potentials for conflicts with motor vehicles.
The two meeting handouts, along with a slightly revised version of the summary of the July 28 meeting, are attached for members who did not attend the August 25 meeting.
The Task Force continued the last meeting's "brainstorming" of issues and possible means of improving the bicycle/pedestrian environment. The meeting was oriented towards filling four large sheets of paper, labelled "ISSUES," "GOALS," POLICY OPTIONS/POSSIBLE SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS" AND "NONBINDING SUGGESTIONS" with the appropriate concerns or tools. Between the products of this work (summarized on the attached pages) and those of the July meeting, it appears that the Task Force is generating a thorough set of issues with which to work, and a considerable number of actions to consider for recommendation. Due to the number and diversity of items raised to date, one of the key functions of the remaining meetings prior to December will be to see a "weeding out" or "restructuring" process in which issues are crystallized into a more concise set.
Due to the small turnout, the issue of selecting a Chairperson was again deferred.
Meeting/Logistical Issues: Some type of mailout or telephone survey may become necessary to establish a "most generally acceptable" combination of meeting time and location. Downtown Albany is very transit-accessible and proximate to large State employment centers, but summer vacations may have confounded the experiment of using a downtown location. Furthermore, a number of Task Force participants do not work in Albany. The Town of Colonie Community Center (see "next meeting" below) has the advantages of central location over downtown Albany and frequent transit service over the CDTC offices; thus, it was decided to try that location for the next meeting.
* CDTC staff to explore potential for soliciting attendance of Mohawk-Hudson Wheelmen members at future meetings through invitation in Bikeabout newsletter.
* Next meeting: Wednesday, September 22, 1993, 5:30-7:30 PM, at the Town of Colonie Community Center, 1653 Central Avenue, Colonie (westbound side of Central Avenue, across from Lake Electronics).
* Agenda to include: Some further brainstorming; working towards agreement on an authoritative "issues list;" starting to look more critically/pragmatically at possible actions to recommend.
RECOMMENDATION FOR PARTICIPANTS
As the group starts to close in on the components of the December "white paper" on future conditions, issues and possible solutions, it would be advisable for members to review the materials distributed and any other materials available to make sure their own "shopping lists" are put on the table for consideration. The September meeting could prove to be the last meeting "feeding" development of the December paper at which ideas would not be subjected to initial criticisms and/or possible rejections. While there will always be the opportunity for introduction of new ideas, the practical consideration of keeping with the schedule will require a progression in the workings of the group as well. Towards this end, any materials which members would wish other members to review can be sent to CDTC for duplication and distribution.
IDEAS/COMMENTS RAISED DURING MEETING
Four "topic areas" were focussed on during the meeting: issues, goals, policy options/possible system improvements, and "nonbinding suggestions." The aim of using these areas was to direct Task Force members' thinking along the lines of what will be required of the December reports. The contents of each group were as follow (in order of occurrence in discussions):
The overriding issues which should drive development of the bicycle/pedestrian component of the long-range Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).
a. The lack of a bicycle/pedestrian "system map" aside from the map of the Mohawk-Hudson Bikeway.
b. The need for safe bicycle parking.
c. The lack of publicity, both to encourage motorists to respect the rights of cyclists and pedestrians and to encourage travelers to consider non-motor vehicle travel.
d. Access to major facilities such as shopping centers, major employment sites, colleges/universities and recreational facilities.
e. The need for safe travel corridors during rush hours.
f. Inadequate signage/the need for signage programs.
g. The need to have traffic controls adequately accommodate pedestrian movements.
h. The need for better enforcement of traffic laws.
The changes in behavior, transportation planning approaches and resulting opportunities for bicycle/pedestrian travel towards which the RTP should work.
a. Promote traveler awareness of bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
i. Unleash latent demand1 for bike use, walking.
b. Promote motorist awareness of and respect for cyclists'/pedestrians' rights.
c. Develop a more thorough inventory of facilities, "trouble spots" (including a sidewalk inventory).
d. Create safer, more direct links to employment centers.
e. Foster greater citizen/local government participation in system evaluation, problem identification, development of solutions.
3. Policy Options/Possible System Improvements
Tools which could be used either in CDTC's RTP/TIP (Transportation Improvement Program) development or in developing a regionwide "compact" aimed at adopting certain standards or procedures which would enhance the bicycle/pedestrian environment. It should be noted that the main focus of the current RTP update is to shape approaches for CDTC's Central Staff and Planning/Policy Committee efforts; for the options or tools which would require some kind of regionwide compacts, CDTC could serve as a facilitator for discussions among representatives of the various Capital District municipalities.
a. Regional bicycle/pedestrian issues newsletter
b. Creation of a "clearinghouse" for bicycle/pedestrian information and promotional efforts
c. Greater coverage of transit stops with bicycle racks
d. Make the broadcasting of public service announcements (including those promoting bicycle awareness/use) an element or requirement to be considered when cable companies' license renewal applications are considered (free publicity/)
e. Include thorough consideration/documentation of bicycle/pedestrian issues in project development prior to TIP submission.
f. Possible Enhancement Program proposal: facilities inventory/planning study.
g. Regional standards for shoulder width/construction type based on functional classification and/or proximity to high trip generation sites (e.g., workplaces, residential subdivisions, shopping areas)
h. Corridor preservation/right-of-way purchases for future trails.
i. Introduction of traffic calming techniques -- traffic control and street design tools for reducing motor vehicle volumes and travel speeds and increasing bike/pedestrian safety.
j. Provision of separate stop lines or signals for bicycles/pedestrians at major intersections.
k. Add protected bicycle/pedestrian facilities to the most direct links on the existing arterial system (e.g., Routes 9 or 85).
4. "Nonbinding Suggestions"
Options which would not be likely to require official CDTC action or the development of any legal agreements among or between municipalities. The suggestions are a "shopping list" of ideas which CDTC could pass on to local governments or pursue itself. These concepts would further the goals of greater information on conditions and greater opportunities for safe bicycle/pedestrian travel.
a. Use Times-Union sports section pieces on outdoor activities to promote bike use or use of bicycle facilities.
b. Bicycle patrol officers' coalition.
c. Advise local governments regarding possible zoning ordinance requirements which would enhance the bicycle/pedestrian environment (e.g., distribution of model ordinances).
d. Develop and distribute street design/marking guidelines.
e. Develop and distribute "bicycle/pedestrian-friendly" traffic control guidelines.
f. Take advantage of opportunities to have student groups/"team project" classes do field inventories.
g. Encourage local radio/TV stations to broadcast public service announcements promoting motorist awareness of bicyclists/pedestrians.
h. Develop a regional greenway corridor plan (complement Hudson River Valley Greenway Plan).
i. Public relations efforts using public officials to promote bike use, walking.
TO: Brad Birge
FROM: Steve Allocco
DATE: August 30, 1993
RE: August 25 Meeting Summary Material for Review
Enclosed please find a draft summary of the August 25 meeting. I've reproduced the items we put on the plotter paper, along with adding a little narrative in an attempt to capture the essence of the meeting and throwing a few ideas in (see the "Recommendations for Participants" section of the meeting summary, for example) I'd appreciate your reviewing this material and suggesting any changes before I send it out to the other Task Force members.
Just a reminder: per our decision at the end of the meeting, I've reserved a meeting room at the Colonie Community Center for Wednesday, September 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM.
Thanks again for a very productive meeting.
1"Latent demand" is defined as demand which is not currently reflected in use of a mode of travel or of a facility. People who would bike to work if a safe route or workplace showers were available but currently drive to work would be an example of latent demand for bicycle travel.