Capital District Transportation Committee

Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force

Record of Meeting on January 9, 2001

 

Attendance: David-Iman Adler (NYPCA), Kevin McLaughlin (HRV Greenway), Karen Nolan (GTSC), Don Odell (Albany County), Don Robertson (NYSDOT - Region 1), Bert Schou (CDTA), Deb Spicer (NYSDOH), John Stangle (Village of Menands), Elaine Troy (NYSDOH), Ivan Vamos (NYBC), Katherine Forster (CDTC)

Regrets: Paul Russell

1.0 AGENDA AND MEETING NOTES REVIEW

There were no changes to the December Task Force meeting notes. Additions to the agenda were: NYSDOH Activities, Altamont Main Street Reconstruction Project and Menands Application for the Recreational Trail Grant.

2.0 UPDATE 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 has not been able to talk to Scenic Hudson yet.

(December 12, 2000) B. Schou will lend his Clearinghouse books that give details about bike trails and parks for each county. B. Schou will drop them off at CDTC this week.

(December 12, 2000) D. Robertson will identify the owners of the Regional Bike-Hike Trail, so that CDTC staff can create an ownership map. D. Robertson to give the completed map to CDTC staff next week.

3.0 PROJECTS/PROGRAMS AND OTHER UPDATES

3.1 Regional Trail Logo: Representatives from Parks, NYSDOT, the Albany County Convention and Visitor's Bureau, and the Town of Colonie and Schenectady County attended the meeting. Due to the low turnout of the municipalities, CDTC will canvass the various municipalities by phone in regards to their interest in creating a trail logo. The two municipalities present were interested in the idea but the primary question was how would this be implemented. It was felt that if the implementation were simultaneous through out the various municipalities the signs would have a much larger effect.

D. Adler suggested that CDTC contact the Canal Corporation in regards to the possibility of twinning the new logo with the Canal logo. He thought that there might be an opportunity to have the Canal Corporation donate the signs. D. Odell suggested that the Albany County Waterfront meeting this Thursday might be another opportunity to address the various municipalities on the trail logo. He suggested contacting Jaime Reppert.

ACTION: CDTC Staff

3.2 Pedestrian Postcard Survey Update: CDTC staff sent the letter summarizing the survey results to the Director of Planning and Development at NYSDOT-Region 1. Mr. Carlson forwarded the letter to NYSDOT staff including D. Robertson. NYSDOT will look into possibility of all-red phase or a leading interval for pedestrians. NYSDOT would like to study this a bit by looking into crash data and other information. The yield to pedestrian sign cannot be used at a signalized intersection. There is a possibility that some could be installed leading up to the traffic light in the mall. The letter was also sent to Main Office NYSDOT to raise awareness of the need for traffic law education. With the Wolf Road reconstruction, there may be an opportunity to install more countdown signals on Wolf Road. B. Schou suggested that the Sand Creek intersection would be a good candidate.

3.3 Schenectady Urban Bike Route Master Plan: The first Steering Committee meeting was held on December 13, 2000. CDTC staff distributed the notes from the Steering Committee meeting to the Task Force. The consultant led the Steering Committee through an issue identification exercise using two maps - one of the primary focus area and the other of the City of Schenectady (with the Priority Bicycle and Pedestrian Network). The consultant's next task is to study the area and come up with some preliminary recommendations for bike routes in the downtown area. The next Steering Committee meeting was scheduled for February 15, 2001 at 2:30 pm at City Hall.

K. Nolan suggested that if it hadn't been brought up at the Steering Committee meeting that the consultant take into consideration the demand for bicycle commuting to the two new office buildings downtown that are being constructed.

3.4 Bike Racks on Buses: Some suggestions regarding promotion of the bike racks on buses from a list serve were distributed to the Task Force. The Task Force thought the suggestion to put a dummy bike on the rack so that people will know what they are for was a good one. It was proposed that CDTA do this in the late winter before there is a demand for the racks this spring. Other suggestions from the Task Force was to tie the promotion of the bike racks into other events such as bus rodeos, Park festivals, ACTSAC bike rodeos, Trail events (where the bus routes could be promoted), Bike to Work week and college orientation week in the fall. D. Odell observed this fall that on Routes 10 & 12 there were almost no racks available. He estimated that only every 3rd or 4th bus had a bike rack.

CDTA is still looking for any information about the program's performance. Martin Hull has asked that he receive these comments in writing. B. Schou also suggested that the Task Force send the information to Carm Basile in Public Relations.

ACTION: CDTC Task Force

3.5 NYSDOH Activities: NYSDOH has two upcoming events: there will be a video conference on March 22 at 12:00 pm with Mark Fenton (editor of Walking magazine) and another Train the Trainer event in Syracuse from April 23rd to 25th, 2001. There is no charge for the workshop. Please contact D. Spicer for more information.

4.0 ONGOING TASKS

4.1 Regional Bike/Hike Map: An updated version of the map was printed. The Saratoga Heritage Trails Committee will help with the Saratoga County map inset on the back of the map. Some verification of trails and parks will commence with the use of the Clearinghouse books.

ACTION: CDTC Staff

4.2 New Visions 2030 Update: The second part of the New Visions is to be commenced this year. CDTC staff distributed the questions that the Task Force is to consider for the 2030 report. Some in depth study will be done this year by staff on the effects of certain trends. The Task Force will be discussing these questions at an upcoming meeting.

4.3 Education and Enforcement Campaign: A meeting to brainstorm about the need for an education and enforcement campaign in the Capital District on the crosswalk "yield to pedestrian" law will be held January 26, 2001 at the next ACTSAC meeting. ACTSAC has representatives from various police departments so this will be a very good opportunity to discuss the enforcement component. Everyone is welcome to attend.

5.0 NEW ITEMS

5.1 Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area - Draft Management Plan: The draft management plan discussed the many cultural, historical, environmental, agricultural, scenic and recreational opportunities along the Hudson corridor. There have been various public meetings to present the plan (the one in our area was in Troy earlier this month). Comments from the public are welcome. There is one million dollars available a year to further this management plan. The funding is not for capital projects. It is intended to aid in building partnerships, developing projects, and other similar efforts. It can be used for signage, especially interpretive signage.

I. Vamos commented on some parts of the transportation section. He noted that the comments on the vision for the Hudson Valley do not mention bicycle and pedestrian opportunities. He felt it was important to include the following information: the Metro-North carries bikes, the signed Greenway bike route, bridges that are accessible to bicycles and elements that are desired to create "walkable hamlets". He will submit these in writing.

5.2 Altamont Main Street Reconstruction Project: B. Schou displayed the design drawings of the Main Street & Maple Avenue reconstruction project. It is well done with bulb-outs, pedestrian crossings, and sidewalk repairs. It seems very context-sensitive. If anyone else would like to comment on the design drawings contact George Hodges, the project manager at 473-6375.

5.3 Menands Application for the Recreational Trails Grant: The Village of Menands is working on a trail system near Van Reseller, near the entrance of the school. They want to further refine the system and see the Trails Grant as an opportunity to do so. They plan on having a meeting in a couple of days and J. Stangle came to the Task Force meeting to gather any information on the grant program that the members might be able to give him.

I. Vamos felt that the grant program will be highly competitive and any applicant should be aware that with only 1.5 million there is only a small amount of money to be divided up. The Task Force also suggested that the Village contact the grant program administrator for suggestions.

6.0 UPCOMING EVENTS