Capital District Transportation Committee

Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force

Record of Meeting on December 14, 2010


Attendance: Don Odell (Albany Bicycling Coalition), Jason Purvis (CDTC), Jen Ceponis (CDTC), Todd Fabozzi (CDRPC), Carrie Ward (CDTA), Mike Lyons (Town of Colonie), Susan Olsen (NSYDOT Reg. 1), Jeff Gritsavage (NSYDOT), Ed Tremblay (City of Cohoes), Rob Leslie (Town of Bethlehem), Nelson Ronsvalle (Town of Halfmoon), Elaine Troy (NYSDOH), Mary Harding (NYSDOT), Jim Levy (WSA), Gina Gillooley (NYSDOH)


1.0   New Business

1.1 Mid-block crossings (S. Olsen) – Crosswalk placement and design guidelines, as per NYSDOT, were discussed as relative to the suggested midblock crossing on Sand Creek Rd between Hannaford Plaza and 1 Park Pl.  According to NYSDOT, installing a marked crosswalk is dependent on pedestrian and vehicular volumes, vehicular speed, etc.  In this instance, it may not be appropriate to install a marked crosswalk since there is one located a half block away at Wolf/Sand Creek Roads but should be explored further.


R. Leslie asked about the use of rectangular rapid flashing beacon.  It is currently not widely used in the Capital Region but J. Gritsavage said, with the NYSDOT Green Lites program it will be endorsed and encouraged. 


1.2 Livingston Ave Bridge  - Comments are still being collected by NYSDOT.  Please address all letters to Richard Filkins, Project Manager, NYSDOT Region 1, 328 State St., Schenectady NY 12305. 


1.3 Bethlehem Bike/Ped Prioritization

             1.3.1 Town Board acceptance – the prioritization matrix was presented to the Bethlehem Town Board at the end of November and approved.  Board passed a resolution to use and passed a resolution to review the bicycle and pedestrian network annually. 

            1.3.2 Next Steps – The various different departments, including the Town Board, are being directed on how to use the prioritization and evaluation matrix. 


S. Olsen and M. Lyons recommended Town conducts a GEIS to collect mitigation fees from developers which could help finance bicycle and pedestrian projects in the Town.


1.4 Capital Coexist – The campaign would like to expand its educational materials to possibly included more web-based products (i.e. video)


1.5 Local Project Updates

1.5.1 Albany Education District Enhancement Study – Draft report is currently being reviewed by CDTC, City of Albany planning staff, St. Rose and UAlbany.  Preliminary recommendations include bicycle and pedestrian improvements throughout the study area, amenities such as benches, trash receptacles and pedestrian-scaled lighting, and design guidelines to make the area more vibrant and safe. 


1.5.2 New Scotland Hamlet Master Plan – CDTC and the Town, in coordination with stakeholders, hope to develop a land use plan, proposed zoning and design guidelines to create a walkable hamlet area at the NYS 85/85A intersection area.  Connections to the Albany County Rail Trail will be explored.  The REI went out in November and nine proposals were received and are currently being evaluated.


1.5.3 Delaware Avenue Hamlet Enhancement Study – The Final Report is being reviewed by CDTC and Town of Bethlehem planning staff.  There will be a final Study Advisory Committee in the near future.  The Town received a supportive letter from the Albany Bicycling Coalition which also recommended the Town use “Bikes May Take Full Lane” sign instead of “Share the Road.” 


1.6 “They just don’t get it….” – It has been reported that AAA is advocating to eliminate the Transportation Enhancements Program in order to limit the spending of federal transportation funds on bicycle and pedestrian projects.  See Rails to Trails story and efforts to stop this here:


1.7 Other New Business

1.7.1 Safe Routes to School mini grants – Applications were due Nov. 9 and recipients will be notified by Dec. 17. 


1.7.2 Transportation Enhancements Program + Safe Routes to School – $20M has been allocated to the programs statewide. NYSDOT and MPOs will provide application support throughout the process in order to level the playing field for municipalities with fewer resources.  The solicitation timeline will be dependent on new commissioner appointment.


E. Troy recommended lots of promotion and advertising at all levels so schools know they can and should apply. 


M. Harding said non-infrastructure projects require the “5 Es” and sponsors will be required to submit before and after reports on projects.  A minimum of 10% and a maximum of 30% of funding will be committed to non-infrastructure projects. 


There was a lot of discussion around the table about NYSDOT and GTSC partnering to use the non-infrastructure SRTS funds.  Questions were raised about GTSC’s connectivity to the municipalities and how the contracts would be executed.


T. Fabozzi suggested there be an education component for school districts to understand land use / site location implications.


J. Purvis will keep committee updated on SRTS and TEP program development.


1.7.3 CDTA Bike Rack Program – CDTA will announce solicitation for applications in beginning of January.  Check CDTA, CDTC and Capital Coexist websites for details.  Non-profits and government agencies can receive up to $1,000 and private businesses can receive up to $500 for new bike racks, bike lockers or bike shelters.  Bike lockers and shelters are new to the program in 2011. 


1.7.4 R. Leslie announced that the Albany Country Rail Trail is under funded and the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy (MHLC) is looking for partnerships to work with county to get sections of the trail opened as-is.  Bethlehem is looking and maintenance and improvement costs. 


1.7.5 E. Tremblay announced that the Delaware Avenue trail project is moving ahead; over 25 firms picked up bid packages and the City is hoping for a good price.  The project should be complete by July 2011.  TEP and canal grant money will fund connection of trail to old Erie Canal through Cohoes and to Cohoes Falls/Mohawk Hudson Bike Hike Trail/ Delaware Ave Trail.


1.7.6 J. Purvis announced that CDTC was invited to a meeting with Senator Gillibrand’s staff regarding the Stafford Road and Mohawk Hudson Bike Hike Trail crossing.  Gillibrand asked the group to look at projects that have been in the queue, related to the trail corridor, for awhile and begin to think about how we can overcome existing obstacles to complete them. 


1.7.7 E. Troy announced new NYSDOH programs. One is an integrated school policy grant that would examine what policies are in place to make schools healthier by working with school boards.  E. Troy stressed the importance of SRTS-type of initiatives and projects in these programs.  NYSDOH is also starting a Healthy Places program as part of the Creating Healthy Places Coalition.  This program intends to promote trails, building community gardens, and promoting Complete Streets policy. 


1.7.8 G. Gillooley announced that Herkimer County is going to work on Pedestrian Action Plan Workshops with NYSDOH.


1.7.9 N. Ronsvalle shared concept renderings, plans and details on Halfmoon’s Exist 8 Crescent Road Trail.  The road is currently not designed appropriately for bicycle and pedestrian use, yet bicycle and pedestrian use is heavy along corridor.  The project is a TIP project that is a partnership between Clifton Park and Halfmoon.  The budget is tight so the Towns are working on it piece by piece. 


T. Fabozzi made a recommendation regarding the presentation of the trail concept illustrations – do not abstract ped projects from surrounding development because these types of projects need to be looked at more holistically and in the context of all of their connections. 


2.0  Upcoming Events – Next Bike-Ped Meeting is scheduled for January 11, 2011 at 9:00 AM