Capital District Transportation Committee
Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force
Record of Meetingon December 12, 2000
Attendance: David-Iman Adler (NYPCA), Herb Alfasso (MHCC), Charlie Alonge (Governor's Traffic Safety Committee), Mark Cashman (MHCC/LAB), Craig Church (Vollmer Assoc.), Dom Decceco, Don Odell (Albany County), Don Robertson (NYSDOT - Region 1), Bert Schou (CDTA), Jannell Shaw (NYBC & NYPCA), Deb Spicer (NYSDOH), Elaine Troy (NYSDOH), Katherine Forster (CDTC)
Regrets: Monique Wahba, Ivan Vamos
1.0AGENDA AND MEETING NOTES REVIEW
There were no changes to the November Task Force meeting notes. Additions to the agenda were: 3.4 NYBC Governor's Traffic Safety Grant; 4.2 Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail Land Ownership Map; 5.3 Email on Bureau of Land Management's New Policy; and 5.4 "Greenway and Trails: Bringing Economic Benefit to New York" Publication.
2.0UPDATE ON ACTION ITEMS
(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.
(November 14, 2000) I. Vamos to talk to Scenic Hudson about the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail. I. Vamos was not at the December meeting to give a report.
3.0PROJECTS/PROGRAMS AND OTHER UPDATES
3.1Regional Trail Logo: The different municipalities and organizations who own or maintain the trail have been invited to a meeting on January 4, 2000. If there is interest by the municipalities to create a logo then the logo design contest will go forward. At that time CDTC would like to involve other organizations to help organize and promote the contest. It was suggested that some of the pictures that were taken on the trail should be used as examples of the confusion with so many different signs. Also some examples of regional trail logos could be shown.
3.2Pedestrian Postcard Update: The letter to NYSDOT on the pedestrian postcard survey is being drafted. The letter will include the Task Force's recommendation for a "yield to pedestrians" sign at the intersection.
To further last month's discussion about education and enforcement, the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) was invited to the CDTC Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force meetings. Mr. Alonge was here on behalf of the GTSC. He highlighted some of the activities his organization have been involved in and reminded the Task Force to keep in mind the three E's: engineering, education and enforcement to achieve success. The GTSC have had two successful programs that could be emulated for the yield to pedestrian issue. The first is Operation Safe Stop in which they remind vehicles to stop for school buses. The other is Life Savers where they remind vehicles to comply with railroad crossings signs. They have received media attention for these events. A good way to sell the police on these enforcement days is to look beyond the ticket. There have been many arrests of drug dealers and felons because of routine stops for minor violations during these events. Another suggestion was to invite a state police officer to sit on the Task Force (someone from the traffic safety operations).
NYBC is working with the Albany County Traffic Safety Awareness Committee (ACTSAC) and through them they are enlisting the help of police officers to review their Statewide "Best Practices" manual. Another problem is that many people do not stop completely when rights on red are allowed. Cameras are being used for red-light running violations. This may be another idea to pursue. CDTC staff will follow up with GTSC, ACTSAC, CDTA, NYBC, etc. to brainstorm about how to go about creating an education and enforcement campaign in regards to the yield to pedestrian issue.
ACTION: CDTC STAFF
3.3Schenectady Bike Trail Master Plan: The first steering committee meeting will be on December 13, 2000 at the CDTC office. The consultants Edwards and Kelcey have obtained GIS data from Albany County to help with the analysis of the primary study area which they will present at the meeting. The main focus of the first meeting will be to identify the main issues regarding the bike trail and bicycling in Schenectady.
3.4NYBC Governor's Traffic Safety Grant: The outline and introduction for the Statewide Problem Solving Manual for Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety that NYBC is working on was distributed to the Task Force. If anyone has any comments please send them to NYBC before the deadline of January 12, 2001. Their goal is to make this document available for mid-spring of 2001.
ACTION: CDTC TASK FORCE
4.1Regional Bike/Hike Map: The Task Force again discussed the Regional map mounted on the back wall. The urbanized area, along with Saratoga County will be cropped so that more detail can be shown; the legend will be smaller; and symbols will be used on the parks that are too small on the map for detail about the trails. Also a list of phone numbers will be included on the back so that those interested can call up to obtain a detailed map of the area. B. Schou will lend his Clearinghouse books that give details for each county.
ACTION: B. SCHOU & CDTC STAFF
4.2Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail Land Ownership Map: D. Robertson has been helping CDTC staff identify the owners of the Regional Bike-Hike Trail. Some of the sections of the trail are very convoluted. For example west of the City of Schenectady there are at least five owners: the County, General Electric, NYSDOT, the Canal Corporation, and the Town of Rotterdam. This will be a great reference tool for various organizations. It was also mentioned that the City of Albany has been interested in purchasing at least part of the trail (the Corning Preserve) but a land transfer may take awhile.
ACTION: D. ROBERTSON
5.1Recreational Trails Program - 2001 Grant Opportunity: The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has sent out information about a grant opportunity for recreational trails. For more details call Mr. Robert Reinhardt at 518-474-0415 or check on their web site www.nysparks.state.ny.us/grants/TrailProgram.html. CDTC will be sending out a letter notifying the various municipalities (using the same mailing list that is used for the Enhancement Program) in the Capital District of the grant opportunity. The deadline for applications is February 28, 2001.
5.2Supplementary Pedestrian Crossing Channelization Device (SPCCD): The SPCCD device is a sign that is mounted at an unsignalized crosswalk in between the lanes of traffic that warns vehicles that they must yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. These devices have been used in Saratoga and now Bethlehem is requesting to use them. Towns and villages need a permit from NYSDOT if they are going to be put on a state highway. The traffic department can issue the permit. The New York State MUTCD was updated to include these SPCCD's a couple of years ago.
The device is especially effective in areas where the speed is low. It is doubtful that they would be effective on five-lane roads such as Wolf Road. They have also been used in other areas such as Lake George and Glens Falls. The Task Force suggested that this information should be passed on to the various municipalities in the Capital District so that SPCCD's could be considered as a viable alternative. This could be part of the brainstorming that CDTC does with ACTSAC and other organizations about an education and enforcement campaign.
ACTION: CDTC STAFF
5.3Email on Bureau of Land Management's New Policy: An email was received from J. Shaw about an opportunity to review the new draft policy for the Bureau of Land Management. The policy proposes to classify bicycles with motorized off-road vehicles and regulate them in the same manner. The deadline for comments is January 3, 2001. The draft policy can be found at www.blm.gov/ohv/index.htm.
ACTION: CDTC TASK FORCE
5.4"Greenway and Trails: Bringing Economic Benefit to New York" Publication: NYPCA has written a new eight page publication that highlights the economic benefits that trails bring to the area. The brochure is a great tool to encourage businesses and local organizations to invest in local trails with quotes from many New York State companies that have already shown their support. There are many local examples and statistics to show the positive effect trails can have on communities. The publication is available by calling NYPCA at 434-1583.