Capital District Transportation Committee

Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force

Record of Meeting on February 14, 2006



Attendance:  Terry Conway (PTNY), Scott Lewendon (CHA),William Mackesey (Open Space Clifton Park), Jim Mearkle, (Albany County DPW), Don Odell (Albany Bicycling Coalition), Joshua Poppel (NYBC), Deb Spicer (NYSDOH), John Stangle (Town of Colonie), Elaine Troy (NYSDOH), Ivan Vamos (NYBC), Michael Alba (CDTC), Teresa La Salle (CDTC), Jason Purvis (CDTC)




The minutes from January’s meeting were approved without changes. 



2.1 Cohoes Falls- Input on Outdoor Recreation Interests:  I. Vamos provided an overview of proposed trail systems in the vicinity of Cohoes Falls.


2.2 Survey Status:  J. Purvis noted that CDTC is moving forward and materials will be available for review at the March task force meeting.  The REI is expected to be advertised on April 3rd. CDTC has $40,000 for consultant services to help with the survey and will rely on staff and volunteers as well.  The scope identifies 12 locations on three existing trails; The Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, The Uncle Sam Bikeway, and The Zim Smith Trail.  The survey is anticipated to take place in May-August of 2006.  An Adjoining Residential Land Owner Survey will also be completed for all three trails.


2.3 Regional Greenway Concept:  J. Purvis reminded task force members of the planned upcoming workshop including a facilitated discussion by Jeff Olson on the Regional Greenway Concept.  The date and time is yet to be determined.  Invitations are expected to go out after April 1st.


2.4 Updated Regional Bike-Hike Map—Status Report:  T. LaSalle noted that the new map will feature detailed views of major trails as well as an overview of the four county planning area.  The new design is moving along and at this time a spring print is still planned.  It is expected that a draft will be available for review at the April task force meeting.


2.5 ADA Curb Cut Initiative:  J. Purvis noted that at the February Planning Committee meeting, a representative of the handicapped community presented concerns regarding ADA compliance for curb cuts within the Capital District.  He is currently working with the cities of Albany and Schenectady on securing funding to retrofit existing curb cuts.  M. Alba is researching ADA compliance for CDTC.


2.6 Other New Business


SPOT Improvement Program – J. Purvis noted that solicitation for projects will occur in May and be due in late June.  Once again 3 years will be funded at a time; $100,000 a year ($240,000 Federal).  The program is reimbursable and municipalities must front the money.  Funds are to be used for small scale bicycle and pedestrian capital improvements, not for planning.  There will be minor administrative changes to the process.


Enhancements – J. Purvis reported that CDTC has received the draft schedule for the next round of enhancements.  The guidebook is currently being produced by NYSDOT/FHWA and CDTC expects to begin soliciting in April or May of 2006.  In the past the MPO has sent a priority list to the Statewide Review Committee, which in turn sends a list to the Governor’s Office for final review.


B. Mackesey noted that the Clifton Park Trails Committee has been combined with the Town of Clifton Park Open Space Committee.  B. Mackesey also noted that he recently attended the Round Lake Eminent Domain Meeting regarding the I-87 Exit 11 Bypass which would impact the alignment of the Zim Smith Trail.  Relocation of a trail segment would possibly include relocation into a wetland area and may make part of the current handicapped accessible trail inaccessible.


D. Odell reported that the Albany Bicycling Coalition is focusing on an in-city bicycle network to connect downtown Albany with other Albany neighborhoods.


T. Conway of Parks and Trails noted that they will be sponsoring UTAP Training June 16th & 17th at Gilbert Lakes State Park.  Training will be facilitated by Carol Frasier of NYSDEC.  For more information visit the Parks and Trails NY website.


J. Stangle reported that the Town of Colonie has secured funding to pave a portion of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail that is currently gravel, from the Cohoes City Line to the Route 9 overpass.  This project was funded through the Spot Improvement Program and is listed on the current TIP as project A445.  J. Stangle also noted that the Village of Menands has received a grant to look into the extension of the Schuyler Flatts Trail across Broadway.


J. Poppel noted that NYBC has posted the schedule of events for Capital Bike Week (May 20th 2006) on their website.  J. Poppel also reported that Eric Ophardt of NYSDOT has been named the Interim Coordinator for the Safe Routes to School Program. 


J. Poppel expressed concerns regarding a proposal by the city of Albany to build a multi-use path less  than ¼ of a mile in length win the city’s Lincoln Park.  J. Poppel is concerned about the design and usefulness of the trail.


D. Spicer noted that Public Health Week 2006 will take place the first week in April.  This year’s theme is “Child Health and The Built Environment”.


J. Mearkle noted that the cost of sidewalks and shoulders is on the rise due to DEC storm water restrictions.




The next CDTC Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 14, 2005 at 4:30 p.m. at the CDTC Offices.