Capital District Transportation Committee

Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force

Record of Meeting on May 11, 2000




Attendance: Mark Cashman (MHCC/LAB), Henrietta O'Grady (Saratoga County Heritage Trails Committee), Don Robertson (NYSDOT - Region 1), Paul Russell (Town of Colonie), Bert Schou (CDTA), Ivan Vamos (NYBC), Katherine Forster (CDTC)




There were no changes to the April Task Force meeting notes.




(April 13, 2000)  B. Schou will find out who owns the Two Guys site.  (See Item 3.1)

(April 13, 2000)  B. Schou will bring a short video on the bike racks to the next Task Force meeting.   (See Item 3.2)

(April 13, 2000)  Staff will prepare a map to show to the Task Force at the next meeting.  (See Item 4.2)




3.1 Schuyler Flats Bike Trail: P. Russell was sent a newspaper clipping about the bicycle access over the Menands bridge.  B. Schou reported that the Two Guys property is owned by the private firm MLLC c.o. Vernando Inc. in Saddlebrook, New York.   John Stangle of the Village of Menands has indicated his interest in attending some of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force meetings.  He might be a good starting point for discussions regarding the bike trail/route continuing into the Village of Menands.  B. Schou will verify the address and then P. Russell can use this information to advance his project.



3.2 Bikes on Buses: The video on the bike racks was shown at the Task Force meeting.  It showed all the advantages to this type of bike rack and demonstrated how bikes would be placed on the rack.  CDTA intends to put together a panel with representatives from NYSDOT, CDTC, NYBC, MHCC to discuss permitting and the final route selection.


3.3 Spot Improvement Program: The CDTC Planning Committee met on Wednesday, May 3, 2000.  Staff reported to the committee that some of the municipalities decided that the federal aid program was not the best way to fund their project and therefore three of the projects had been withdrawn.  Others will be pursuing these projects by bundling smaller projects together or bundling their project with a TIP construction project.  The Planning Committee decided to fund the full list of projects.  It was noted that this could be used as a learning curve so that municipalities would be introduced to the federal aid program and its requirements.  NYSDOT will schedule an information meeting for the municipalities moving forward with their SPOT projects. 


It has not been determined how the Spot program would proceed next year.  It may somehow be tied into the TIP process.  I. Vamos mentioned that there were many needs in various communities and they may not be located where TIP construction projects are taking place.  It could be that the Spot improvement is on one street but tied into a construction project that is happening in the municipality but down a couple of blocks.  These two projects could still be bundled.


3.4 Second Chance CDTC Enhancement Program: The CDTC Enhancement Program process will be discussed at the Planning Committee in June.  There was a preliminary discussion at the planning Committee in May with comments regarding whether a resolicitation was necessary.




4.1 CDTC Linkages Program: Due to a full agenda this item was deferred until June.


4.2 Regional Bike/Hike Map: Due to a full agenda this item was deferred until June.




5.1 New York State Canal Cruise and Trek: The annual event will be taking place in July.  The trek will go from Albany to Schenectady on Saturday, July 9.  CDTC staff will be joining in and encouraged the Task Force to join if they are available that day.  Please register yourself and plan to meet CDTC staff at the Corning Preserve at 9:00 am.  The ride will leave the Corning Preserve at 10:00 am.  Cyclists will either have to plan to bike back to the Corning Preserve if they have parked their car there or plan on having someone meet them in Schenectady if they need a ride.




5.2 CDTC New Visions 2030 Update: A general discussion was held about the bicycle and pedestrian situation since New Visions was created.  While the Task Force felt that the spending levels for bicycle and pedestrian projects has increased there still was a lot to be done. Comments included:

-        NYSDOT needs to follow through more at the planning and design level (from policy).

-        Policies should relate more to the actual project selection and development by NYSDOT and local municipalities.

-        The results since New Visions may be a bit discouraging - there was a huge effort to make New Visions but where are the results, where are the walkable communities?

-        Additional cost for bicycle and pedestrian facilities is still seen as a nuisance.

-        Communities themselves would like sidewalks but are not willing to have parts of their property taken or to have businesses relocated.

-        There is still the assumption from some that nobody wants to walk so why are we building sidewalks?

-        Perhaps we should be looking into building multi-use trails rather than sidewalks in the suburbs (would this increase or decrease the cost?).

-        Multi-use trails may be just as costly - would need right-of-way, drainage issues

-        There is still the issue of the cost of maintenance for sidewalks/trails even if developers are willing to build them.

-        A large amount of development is going on in the suburbs (like Halfmoon) - what about the people who want to walk?  They are still forgotten.

-        It would be interesting to look at the municipalities policies and compare them: Guilderland, Colonie, Niskayuna, etc.

-        It would also be great to track the new sidewalks and trails being built (This is actually a proposal from Main Office DOT).


This summer CDTC staff will start looking into the various municipalities' policies and create a summary of the policies in the Capital District.  CDTC should contact Main Office DOT and see how the tracking is coming along for new trails and sidewalks.  This type of information would be good to know.





-        The next CDTC Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 8, at the CDTC office, 5 Computer Dr. West, at 4:30 p.m.

-        July 9, 2000: NYS Canal Cruise and Trek - Albany to Schenectady