Capital District Transportation Committee

Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force

Record of Meeting on March 5, 2002


Attendance: Judith Breselor (HRV Greenway), Mark Cashman (MHCC/LAB), Andy Labruzzo (Albany Co. EDCHP), Kevin McLoughlin (HRV Greenway), Doug Melnick (CDCG), Don Odell (retired, citizen member), Don Robertson (NYSDOT Region 1), John Stangle (Village of Menands), Elaine Troy (NYSDOH Healthy Heart), Teresa La Salle (CDTC), Jason Purvis (CDTC)



February 2002 minutes were approved.




3.1 Enhancement Applications: J. Purvis reported that there were some eligibility questions that caused a minor hold up in the process. However, the committee has come up with a prioritized list to be presented to CDTC's Planning Committee at the March 6th meeting. J. Purvis shared the top three projects with task force members. The top three are; 1) Glenville-Scotia sidewalks, 2) Zim Smith Trail, and 3) Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail improvements. The full list will be available after Planning Committee approval. J. Purvis stated that the rankings were based on the three subjective criteria elements as well as quantitative criteria, cost-effectiveness and geographic distribution. After CDTC's Planning Committee approves the list it will then go to the State review committee. The State review committee will inform CDTC of the final list by June 1st. Formal announcement of the final projects can probably be expected in late summer or early fall.

3.2 Regional Bike/Hike Map: J. Purvis stated that files have been provided to the printer. He asked members to email requests for map amounts for each organization. A final product is still expected by April. Updates will be produced over the next few years as CDTC's budget allows.



4.1 Greenways Grant for Regional Bike Trail: The RFP will be sent out to the contract reporter this week. Ideas and or input from task force members will be welcomed as part of the Regional Visioning aspect of the project. The goal is to coordinate the efforts of the following groups; Canalway Trail, CDTC's Bicycle Pedestrian Task Force, and the Intermunicipal Waterfront Committee.

4.2 SPOT Improvement Program: D. Robertson noted that 2 projects have been funded and are in process; Niskayuna trail repairs and Albany bike racks. Menands is ready to enter into a grant agreement for the Wards Lane project. Others that should be progressing soon are the Town of Colonie bike trail connection to Route 9 and Green Island sidewalk connection to Center Island. Two additional projects have been bundled into larger projects; the Saratoga Springs/CDTA Rail Station improvements and sidewalks on Station Lane and the Schenectady bike trail crossing at Nott Street. J. Purvis noted that CDTC solicited for these projects in 2000 and will be soliciting again this year sometime after April. CDTC and DOT need to follow up with communities that applied in 2000 that have yet to respond.

J. Purvis informed members that the $15,000 floor recommendation made by the task force last month may not be a cost-effective amount. If the base amount is less than $50,000, then the project may be able to be bundled with a TIP project. J. Purvis noted that the SPOT Improvement program is an attempt by CDTC and DOT to do regionally what a one municipality would attempt to accomplish. The SPOT Improvement program is sort of a mini enhancements program; it is small project oriented. J. Purvis asked members to comment on the $50,000 floor. Suggestions to improve the program included:

  1. Have a regional agency such as CDTC use funds to hire a consultant to complete the paperwork for the applicant communities.
  2. Perhaps this is not the right pool of money to fun such projects.
  3. Limit projects to three a year.
  4. Change definition of program or provide training for communities to efficiently complete paperwork.
  5. Reserve a portion of the funding to complete paperwork.
  6. Place more emphasis on the option of bundling. Meet with applicants to encourage bundling of projects. Encourage bundling by rewarding points for bundling.
  7. Provide estimates of administrative costs and or consultant fees to communities.

J. Purvis will share these recommendations and comments with John Poorman. DOT and CDTC will present suggestions to the April planning committee meeting for final decision.



5.1 Linkage Grants: J. Purvis noted that the upcoming planning committee meeting would also include UPWP approval, including Linkage grants. Many of the Linkage grants have a bicycle/pedestrian component.

5.2 City of Albany: Monique Wahba informed CDTC that the new pedestrian bridge would be opening on August 10th.

5.3 NYBC: Recent publication "Improving Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety", is a 92 page document featuring four counties in New York State, including Albany County. The publication is downloadable from the NYBC website. Printed versions are expected to be available in a month or two. Training is scheduled for May 1st 2002 in Albany.

5.4 NYSDOT: D. Robertson noted that there is a 164-page report available from the website titled, "Pedestrian Facility User's Guide. He also noted that the Sierra Club is sponsoring a Smart Growth Conference on Saturday, March 23rd, at the Arbor Hill Community Center. D. Robertson informed members that NYSDOT is being sued by the parents of the student that was recently killed in Cohoes. DOT is looking at the intersections of Ontario St @ 787 and Bridge Ave @ 787 and trying to come up with solutions such as lighting to improve the safety of these intersections.

5.5 HRV Greenway: K. McLoughlin noted that there will be a bicycle ride from the Hudson, NY area to Waterford, NY. They would like the cycling club to join the ride. The Greenway is trying to coordinate the ride with the august 10th opening of the pedestrian bridge in Albany.

5.6 NYSDOH: E. Troy announced that the NYSDOH Nutrition will be sponsoring a bicycle ride from Buffalo to Albany in the end of July, as part of their Eat Well, Play Hard campaign. Also, the NYSDOH will be sponsoring a one mile walk at 10:00 am Sunday, May 12th during the Tulip Festival. The Mother's Day Meander is free of charge.

5.7 Mohawk-Hudson Cycling Club: The next meeting will be held Monday March 11th at 7:30.