Bicycle and pedestrian issues task force



DATE, TIME, LOCATION:  March 12, 1999, 4:00 - 6:00 PM, CDTC offices


PRESENT:  Kevin McLaughlin (Hudson River Valley Greenway), Don Odell (Albany County Department of Economic Development, Conservation and Planning), Don Robertson (NYSDOT – Region 1), Paul Russell (Town of Colonie Conservation Advisory Council), Ivan Vamos (New York Bicycling Coalition), Monique Wahba (City of Albany Planning Department), Katherine Forster and Steve Allocco (CDTC)


MEETING TOPICS: Updates on Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail maintenance; regional bike/hike map; draft "new players" outreach mechanism/mailing list; TEA-21 Transportation Enhancements Program; current highway projects.




Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail Maintenance


Group discussed draft letter (distributed at the meeting) to communities along the Trail inquiring about maintenance practices, determined that a one-page checkoff-type survey form would be better way of ensuring that responses can be considered against each other with consistent levels of detail to the responses.  Paul Russell and CDTC to develop conceptual survey form and pilot-test it on the Town of Colonie.


Ivan Vamos suggested that the cover letter should also include mention the Trail's importance to tourism and local recreation, to convey a sense of the Trail’ importance to the community.


Regional Bike/Hike Map


Work on an informational writeup on the effort to develop a new map (Action Item 1 of the November meeting record) is underway.


Printer of Mohawk-Hudson Trail map has gone out of business; to identify alternative means of getting map prepared, Katherine Forster has been working with printing broker CDTC uses for many of its public communications efforts.


At this writing, the basic approach to creating the map had been determined -- a combination of the printer's "scanning in" everything except the large NYSDOT base map, CDTC preparing a new base map using its GIS (completed), and indicating necessary changes to the text copy (e.g., current public officials' names)


Potential "New Players" Outreach/Prospects List


CDTC mailing list which would serve as the starting point for identification of potential new players in the Task Force is actually quite large, containing roughly 925 entries. CDTC staff to work to reduce the size of list to more manageable volume before passing it on to the Task Force at the April meeting.


One point which came up in reviewing the list is that while many names or organizations on the large list should indeed not be considered for the Task Force, many which at first glance might not be relevant are in fact -- for example, there has never been a highway superintendent, chamber of commerce representative or airport representative on the Task Force, but it could be argued that the perspectives of these sorts of people could be valuable.  Thus, as either an alternative to or a replacement for a list of potential members, there will be a list of "new member types" to consider.


TEA-21 Transportation Enhancements Program


$1 million was included in CDTC’s 1999-2004 Transportation Improvement Program -- and designated for program year 1999-2000 -- for “unsuccessful, highly-rated” Transportation Enhancements Program (TEP) candidates.


“Highly-rated” refers to how candidates fared in the CDTC staff evaluations of TEP candidates; there would not be a re-evaluation or a solicitation of other candidates for the CDTC funds, but rather the CDTC would likely simply “go to the ranked list” and fund roughly $1 million worth of projects which did not get funded through the TEP.


Don Odell and Monique Wahba briefly discussed early consideration of a joint city/county TEP project in Albany.  Project could turn out to include elements of the Albany Urban Bikeway concept originally developed a few years back in a SUNY/Albany Urban Design Studio class or some other concepts which have been brought into discussion for the downtown and Corning Preserve/riverfront areas.  Some of what is being considered along these lines could also turn out to be eligible for the Spot Improvement Program, once that program is up and running.


Current Highway Projects


Albany Shaker Road, Airport Area

p/u here


The basic “motor vehicle solution” being considered for this corridor is to create a new, four-lane facility designed to arterial standards as a way of getting from Route 7 to the Airport and on down tot he existing four-lane segment of Albany Shaker.  The bike/ped issue is that of how to provide bicycle and pedestrian access to the existing Albany Shaker Road development (the new arterial would be built on a new alignment further to the west, on the other side of the County Jail and other facilities currently fronting on the west side of Albany Shaker Road); in addition, providing a continuous route from Route 7 and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike/Hike Trail to Wolf Road is a concern which the Task Force has previously noted.


An alternative means of providing cyclists and pedestrians with both local access and a through route would involve development of a trail connecting two “dead-ended” parts of the existing Albany Shaker (it would be dead-ended in order to provide an extended “clear zone” for the Airport’s east-west runway).  The major concerns raised by project designers and developers to date to date regarding this



Route 4/Hudson Valley Community College



Ivan:  can we express the TF's concern re not accommodating students who walk across route 4 to and from HVCC?


Whitehall Road





Group brought current on projs w/potential b/p elements/ramifications







1.      Refinement of one-page writeup on bike/hike map update effort to continue.

2.      CDTC staff to work with printing broker to develop strategy for commissioning new Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail map with printing broker.

3.      CDTC staff to work with Paul Russell to draft one-page survey instrument for collecting information on Trail maintenance activities/budgets from municipalities with responsibility for M-H Trail maintenance.




4.      CDTC staff to present draft evaluation basis for Transportation Enhancement Program proposals to Planning Committee at its April 7 meeting.

5.      CDTC staff to refine its mailing lists of general interested parties, advocacy groups and the like to get a shorter list of bonafide prospects for participation in the revitalized Task Force.  Lists will be distributed at April meeting (see details below) for the group to review for additions and changes.

6.      Next Meeting:  Thursday, April 22, 1999, 4:00 to 6:00 PM, CDTC offices, 5 Computer Drive West, Colonie.