Capital District Transportation Committee
Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force
Record of Meetingon March 6, 2001
Attendance: Mark Cashman (MHCC/LAB), Jennifer Hogan (GTSC), Kevin McLoughlin (HRV Greenways Conservancy), Don Odell (Albany County), Agnes Rapoli (NYSDOT), Don Robertson (NYSDOT - Region 1), Peter Sleasman (Canal Corp.), Deb Spicer (NYSDOH), John Stangle (Village of Menands), Holly Sullivan (HRV Greenways Communities Council), Elaine Troy (NYSDOH), Ivan Vamos (NYBC), Katherine Forster (CDTC), Jason Purvis (CDTC)
Regrets: Paul Russell, Bert Schou
1.0AGENDA AND MEETING NOTES REVIEW
There were no changes to the February Task Force meeting notes. NYSDOT Conference was added to the agenda.
2.0UPDATE 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 - this should be done Spring 2001.
(February 6, 2001) NYSDOT staff and CDTC staff plan to observe the 50 Wolf Road intersection after the change to the signal timing has been made. The leading pedestrian interval was implemented and seems to be working well. It will be observed again in the spring when there are more pedestrians using the crosswalk.
3.0PROJECTS/PROGRAMS AND OTHER UPDATES
3.1Regional Trail Logo: After discussing the Regional Trail Logo with Jaime Reppert of the Albany County Waterfront Committee it was decided that creating a Regional Trail Logo would be premature considering some of the initiatives that Albany County is undertaking. One of these proposed initiatives would be a joint project with CDTC, if Greenways funding is approved to study the bike path and explore alternatives.
Some of the components of this project may be: inventory of signage, pavement markings and proposals for improvements; exploring the function of the trail as a regional corridor; and/or a gap study with creative proposals for links. Some of the areas that need to be studied in depth are Coeyman's, the links around the Menands bridge and Cohoes (where many of the trails converge). The grant proposal is due March 21, 2001.
3.2Schenectady Urban Bike Route Master Plan: At the second Steering Committee meeting on February 15, the Committee discussed routing and alternatives for the bike path. The first public meeting will be March 22 at 7:00 pm. The Task Force was asked to get the word out and to attend the meeting. The second public meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, June 7, 7:00 pm, the location to be determined. Work on the Bicycle Design Guidelines and the Level of Service data gathering and analysis will begin soon.
4.1Regional Bike/Hike Map: Work will be done with the Clearinghouse Books this month.
ACTION: CDTC Staff
4.2Education and Enforcement Campaign: At the meeting on February 28, the discussion focused on the ambiguity of the crosswalk law. It is difficult to enforce because the vehicle is only required to yield and only to a pedestrian in his half of the roadway. The steps to change this law will be researched. Another suggestion was to find a "model" law: one that works well and is easy to enforce. At the next meeting on March 20, the Washington video will be shown, which describes their enforcement efforts.
4.3CDTC's Bicycle Signage Guidelines: The finalized draft was circulated to the Task Force. It incorporates all the comments received last year from the various municipalities and those of the Task Force. If there are any other changes proposed by the Task Force, please send them to CDTC. The guidelines will be on the CDTC Planning Committee's agenda this spring for approval.
ACTION: CDTC Task Force
5.1Bicycles on the Amtrak Adirondack: Amtrak is planning on doing more marketing efforts to promote their bicycle service. An Amtrak customer can reserve a spot on the baggage car for their bike at no extra cost. Twenty bikes can fit on the baggage car and the bicycles do not need to be boxed. They plan on targeting New York City to encourage tourists to travel Upstate with their bicycles. Amtrak has partnered with Canals and NYSDOT on this project.
One way to increase the visibility of the bicycling options upstate is to design new maps of the canal trails and other trails close to the Adirondack route. There could be a series of these maps that have the same design and layout for ease of use. They are also interested in how to connect with the Rensselaer Train Station and how to direct cycling tourists through the downtown area of the City of Schenectady.
The Task Force suggested that Amtrak may want to target those going for weekend bike rides such as the Five Boroughs ride and the Montreal bike tour. Amtrak does offer a special discount to those tours. Another way to keep on top of what is going on in this area is to be involved in the Greenways grant and the Schenectady Bike Master Plan project. Details were given to Amtrak on the status of those two projects.
5.2Schuyler Flatts Cultural Park: The Town of Colonie had a public meeting last month regarding this project. J. Stangle felt that the ideas were well received by public. Menands is interested in tying in some bike trails to Schuyler Flatts & the City of Albany. There are some wetlands between 787 & Broadway that could possibly be a bike-recreation area.
5.3NYSDOH Initiatives: The first planning meeting for the NYSDOT Pedestrian Conference will be this Thursday (March 15) from 10:00 - 12:00 pm. Anyone on the Task Force who is interested in helping the NYSDOH organize the conference is invited to attend. Contact D. Spicer for more details about the meeting. There are tentative plans for a date in September. They would like to find a walkable downtown/community for the conference location. Part of the event may be a training session on traffic calming and/or law enforcement.
The Schenectady Pedestrian Road Show is in the planning stages also. NYSDOH has identified two dates: either June 13 or 14 for a half-day event. It will be hosted by the Schenectady County Healthy Heart coalition which is run by the YWCA. They are hoping to have Jeff Olsen present. They will be working with city planning to identify possible problem site to study. Could dovetail with masterplan for the bike path in the City. For more info contact Liza Miller at the YWCA at 374-3394.
Also, on May 13, 2001, NYSDOH is sponsoring a walk as part of the tulip festival. Contact E. Troy for more details.
5.4NYSDOT Conference: D. Robertson gave details on the Landscape Architecture and Environmental Analysis Annual Meeting. It will be held in Saratoga from March 27-29, 2001. Please call Mark Woods at 457-4460 for further details.