Capital District Transportation Committee
Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force
Record of the Meeting on January 10, 2012
Attendance: Daniel Marcus (Lighting Research Center), Brittany Wood (Lighting Research Center), Ed Tremblay (City of Cohoes), Jen Hogan (GTSC), Linda Von der Heide (Rensselaer County), Tom Johnson (Barton & Loguidice), Mary Harding (NSYDOT SRTS), Mellissa Chinigo (Glens Falls Hospital), Carrie Ward (CDTA), Mike Lyons (T. Colonie), Jim Levy (CDM Smith), Susan Olson (NYSDOT RI), Sam Piper (CDTC), Jason Purvis (CDTC), Don Odell (Albany Bicycling Coalition), John Stangle (VOM), Brian Kehoe (NYBC), Rob Leslie (T. of Bethlehem)
1.0 New Business
D. Marcus, graduate student from the Lighting and Research Center – seeking to research ways to improve lighting for bikers, looking for feedback on how to move forward with the project. Also, is willing to collaborate with any town or municipality that feels that they could benefit from research into these issues.
D. Marcus would like to know if there are problems with lighting safety for bikers, and if there are ways that the lighting can be improved. Currently, he feels the standards do not address bikers being seen by vehicles and the biker’s own ability to see at the same time. Notes that there is a growing use of bicycles and bike share program. Therefore, he feels that this area of bicycle lighting could be a big opportunity.
· Asking if the bike share bikes have the right type of headlight – can we overcome a safety issue?
· RPI would like to better understand bike and pedestrian issues, and would like to know how to better research lighting issues for bikers.
M. Lyons said in Colonie the distance between signalized areas is large, causing there to be too few cross walks.
· There is street lighting, and from pedestrian perspective you can see alright, but as a motorist you cannot see the person very well.
· You have the perception that you are seen as a ped, but the motorists cannot see you
D. Marucs: What RPI started to think about:
· Bikes and Peds need to be thought of independently, their needs are different
o Should we be addressing the issues of putting lighting on the actual biker
o Can street lighting be improved to help riders see and be seen
Suggestions by the Task Force:
· Reflective cords
· Put lighting on the wheels of bikes
· Headlight widths on cars are regulated, why not regulate bicycle lights?
· Strobe light conversation-
o Lights on bikes are important, but can be too bright
o Consistency in bike lighting would help to distinguish it from other vehicles
· One Place to commence research is to determine what is needed in terms of size, intensity, and speed of the strobe
· Advancement in lighting, people are not used to seeing such bright lights
· Research how to better illuminate the back of the bike as the car is approaching
· Tires could be made with white reflectors
· Contrast problem, sometimes the bikers light is drowned out by the florescent lights of stores
o Red lights, if you have brake lights you have the potential of losing the biker in the traffic flow
o D. Odell says that he is more comfortable biking on a street that is well light (such as Central Ave) and he never has any issue with people not seeing him because the lights are too bright. Too much lighting, he feels, is not a problem.
· Bottom line, is that you want to be seen when you are on a bicycle. Research should not focus on illuminating the road ahead of a biker (D. Odell - in an urban area, the street lights sufficiently light the road) The most important thing is to make the biker be seen.
· Two research patterns –
1. Make the biker seen by overhead street lights
2. Make the biker seen by lights on the biker/bike
Discussion of which side of the road to ride on
· Cyclist need to travel with the flow of traffic
· Study citied which concluded that the most accidents were caused by bikers riding against the flow of traffic
1.2 Bike Rack Program
1.2.1 Bike Rack Solicitation
C. Ward - 2012 solicitation, applications due by 5:00 Feb 17. Will award up to $1,000 for agencies (public/Non-profit) 50/50 cost share to purchase a bike rack
D. Odell - Albany Bike Coalition appreciates the bike racks, says it is a marked improvement
J. Purvis – discussion of Spot Improvement Program and CMAC funding – trying to get the funding reinstated so that CDTC can use the funds for small scale bike planning
· May be an easier sell because it can take away some of the administrative hangups
C. Ward – wants to wait to see what the requests for bike racks are this year. She believes that the demand has reached its capacity (most of the people who desired bike racks contacted CDTA last year. Last year, they received $35,000 in requests)
1.3 CDTC website translation
J. Purvis - on the CDTC website we now have language translator (provides access to non-English language speakers). He encouraged Task Force members to explore this new feature.
1.4 Enforcement Training
J. Purvis – Intro. letter went out last week: basically “Here’s what we are going to do, we would like you to participate”
· In cooperation with the traffic safety board, CDTC and municipalities helped to determine who should be contacted within the different departments in regard to this initiative.
· The contacts should have received the letter by this date
· The best way to go about following up is to call them and ask if they go it or not. Contact J. Purvis if the intended recipient has not yet received the letter.
1.5 Regional Map
J. Purvis – Please stay tuned for the update of the regional map
· Ideal would be to have a map in a printable format as well as an electronic version.
o This would allow people to print out particular areas of interest, without having to print out the entire map
1.6 Local Project Updates/Attendees Update
B. Kehoe – NYBC has a new website, encourages members to check it out and offer him any suggestions
E. Tremblay - just trying to move all his projects forward
· J. Purvis inquired about the happenings surround the recent fatality on the black bridge.
· E. Tremblay’s Response – currently in planning stage: still needs to work w. DOT, still needs to get a contract; bottom line he hopes to have it completed by years end
· Petition- majority of people who signed the petition were not familiar with the project. People in the area have been responsive to the issue.
J. Hogan – NYC DOT did implement a Be Seen campaign. Next Task Force meeting will further discuss this
M. Harding – Waiting for exec approval for safe routes to school. Hope to have announcement by Feb.
Ivan – Governor’s State of the State – notes that the report delineates a very ambitious infrastructure program.
· Currently, it remains unclear how it will play out. Would like to rehab 2,000 miles of roads and bridges.
· Exciting things are ahead if we can figure out how to fund it.
· This is an early heads up to a long process that will take place as we move forward
· B. Kehoe Question: How does a citizen communicate their desire for more bike ped within a bond measure?
· Ivan’s Answer: at the ‘eye level’ ;the agency level, or to the governor’s office itself is the best route
o OP ED pieces and letters to the editor are effective means of communication.
M. Chinigo –
· Plans on starting a bike rack program in Glens Falls area
B. Kehoe – Synopsis of Livingston Avenue Bridge Meeting - Rensselaer Train Station Meeting – many elected officials were in attendance, which was a really positive thing. There was a county legislator and a mayoral candidate. Good discussion. Since, city of Albany has passed a resolution to secure a ped facility on the bridge. NYBC has created a Facebook Page for this and included information about the issue on their website which includes resources and talking points. He encourages those who are interested to get onto the web pages. Right now, laying the groundwork; in the end what we need is for Congress and US senators to intervene (the decision will ultimately be made at the federal level)
R. Leslie still hesitant to openly admit he is familiar with Justin Beiber’s music.
2.0 Upcoming Events
Meetings Open to the Public:
NEXT CDTC BIKE & PED TASK FORCE MEETING: February 14, 2012 9:00 AM