Capital District Transportation Committee

Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force

Record of Meeting on December 3, 2002



Attendance: Judy Breselor (Hudson River Valley Greenway), Mark Cashman (MHCC/LAB), Dom De Cecco (retired), Andy Labruzzo (Albany County Planning Dept.), Don Odell (retired planner), Ralph Pascale (City of Cohoes), Barbara Quint (Guilderland Pathways), Deb Spicer (NYSDOH), John Stangle (Village of Menands), Elaine Troy (NYSDOH - Healthy Heart), Jim Utermark (The Louis Berger Group, Inc.), Ivan Vamos (NYBC), Teresa La Salle (CDTC), Jason Purvis (CDTC)





September 2002 minutes were approved.





2.1 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Update: J. Purvis announced that the TIP is currently being updated for 2003 - 2008.  About 50 proposals have been received, totaling $400 million in requested funds. 8 of the projects were bike/ped specific projects. The TIP will most likely be presented to CDTC's Planning Committee at the February meeting.  There will be three rounds of funding.  $50 million in the first round, $25 million in the second round, and a minimal amount of $5 million in the third round.  $20 million will be left on the table as a buffer.  I. Vamos suggested that project proposals that include Bike/Ped amenities be prioritized.


2.2 Community & Transportation Linkage Program): J. Purvis noted that Linkage grant solicitations are due on December 20th.  The grants require a 75/25 cash match.  There is $200,000 available in consultant funds and $100,000 available in CDTC staff funds.



2.3 SPOT Improvement Program: J. Purvis noted that NYSDOT requested proposals from CDTC.  NYSDOT is verifying projects vs. project intents.





3.1 Greenways Grant for Regional Bike Trail: J. Purvis reported that Clark Patterson Associates has begun preliminary designs and should have a product in January or February.  The next meeting will be held in either Cohoes or Watervliet.  There is some questions regarding ownership of the Watervliet section near the Hudson River.  D. Odell noted concerns regarding connections west from Cohoes.  J. Purvis noted that west connections will be mentioned in the study, but there is not enough funding in this study for preliminary designs of such connections.


3.2 Canalway Initiative: D. Odell provided attendees with a summary of the November 4th Mohawk Hudson Regional Canalway Trail Group Meeting.  John Dimura of the Canal Corp.  reviewed and explained the Design, Maintenance and Management Guidelines for the canal trail.  J. Dimura reported that the Champlain Trail Concept Plan was issued on October 1st.  He also noted that the County of Saratoga is interested in selling some parcels on this right-of-way.

D. Robertson noted that a SPOT Improvement project proposed to connect Route 9 to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, has been dropped by the Town of Colonie.  Phil Pearson of the Town of Colonie agreed to discuss this matter with Paul Russell of the Town of Colonie.

Kevin Delaughter, Town of Colonie, reported that the town has received a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) grant from the NYS Department of State.  I. Vamos reported that New York Rivers United has compiled a list of damaging activities to the Hudson River Waterway and the necessary remediation required to correct these impacts and improve the quality of the river.  I. Vamos urged task force members to review the list and provide comments to the NYSDEC.  Lastly, there was some discussion regarding the City of Schenectadys' intent to sell land to Union College.  This is related to an effort regarding the right-of-way preservation of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail.



3.3 Guilderland Pathways Committee: B. Quint reported several developments.  The Sidewalk law was passed on October 15th and will go into effect on April 15th 2003.  There was one major change; all town roads are exempt from the law.  Requests for sidewalks on town roads can be submitted and reviewed through a special process.  The Committee is presently working on consideration of four town roads.  Three new members are expected to be appointed to the committee by the Town Board after the New Year.  J. Purvis requested that CDTC be notified of the next Pathways Committee meeting.  B. Quint also noted that the town voted to join the Hudson River Greenway.  The town is working with Bethlehem on an intermunicipal trail. The Sidewalk Master Plan will be submitted after the 1st of January. 




4.1 Don Robertson's departure: J. Purvis noted that Don has transferred to the NYSDOT's regional office in Binghamton.  J. Purvis will be sending Don a thank you/recognition letter on behalf of the task force.  J. Purvis also noted that Don's email address will remain the same.  Several task force members inquired as to whether CDTC could request that a staff member from NYSDOT be in contact with the task force.  J. Purvis agreed to follow up on the issue.


4.2 City of Troy: J. Purvis provided attendees with a status report on the Troy Bike Trail.  The city has a program called "Green Bikes" which is a bicycle recycling effort that lends repaired bikes to citizens.  The group is looking for volunteers to fix bikes.  For more information check out


4.3 Railroad abandonment: J. Purvis noted that the Helderberg Rail line from Voorheesville east to the Port of Albany may be abandoned in the next year.  The railroad will be removing the tracks, but there is no sign of land abandonment at this time.  Once abandonment occurs, the preferential rights process begins.  Municipal agencies from the State down have the first opportunity.  Albany County is revisiting the application document that was submitted and approved for ISTEA funding in 1996 regarding a rail trail at this location.


4.4 City of Albany portion of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail - J. Purvis noted that the City has purchased the Bike Trail form NYSDOT between the Dunn Memorial Bridge and the Livingston Bridge.  The City eventually plans on purchasing the remaining portion within the City limits.


4.5 General Bike/Ped Info (articles, email, findings) - J. Purvis reported that the new Sidewalk Law requiring motorists to yield to pedestrians in both sides of the crosswalk will take effect on January 19th 2003.  D. Spicer inquired whether there was any planned educational initiative.  J. Purvis noted that Eric Ophardt at NYSDOT would probably be the best person to contact regarding education pertaining to the new law.  E. Troy agreed to look into the issue and forward any information to the task force.  D. Spicer noted a safety (accident) study at marked vs. unmarked crosswalks that she will send to Jason.  J. Purvis noted an email from D. Robertson and Jim Ercolano ( NYSDOT) regarding exemplary bike/ped web links.  J. Purvis noted that the AASHTO Bicycle Facilities Manual is now available on the web at  J. Purvis referred to a hand out citing the most dangerous and safest cities for pedestrians.



4.6 Other New business: D. Spicer talked about the Active Living by Design funding source.  Proposals are due in January 2003 and are available for planning funds only.  D. Spicer also mentioned an additional grant available for adults 50 years and over regarding physical activity. 

R. Pascale noted that the Open Space Project is proceeding with acquisition of the D&H Railroad Bridge in Cohoes and that the city has applied for a NYS Parks trail grant.





-         The next CDTC Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 14, 2002 at 4:30 p.m. at the CDTC Offices.

Please note that the date has been changed from January 7th to January 14th.