Capital District Transportation Committee
Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force
Record of Meetingon November 14, 2000
Attendance: Mark Cashman (MHCC/LAB), Dom Decceco, Richard Nussbalm, Don Robertson (NYSDOT - Region 1), Jannell Shaw (NYBC & NYPCA), Deb Spicer (NYSDOH), Elaine Troy (NYSDOH), Ivan Vamos (NYBC), Katherine Forster (CDTC)
Regrets: Don Odell (Albany County), Monique Wahba (City of Albany)
1.0AGENDA AND MEETING NOTES REVIEW
There were no changes to the October Task Force meeting notes. Additions to the agenda were: NYSDOH Train the Trainer Event and some items under New Business: the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail, CVS Pharmacy at Wolf/Sand Creek and the Neighborhoods Work Conference.
2.0UPDATE ON ACTION ITEMS
(July 12, 2000) D. Spicer indicated that she would add some information about the NYSDOH initiatives to the New Visions 2030 Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force summary. See Item 4.3.
(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.
3.0PROJECTS/PROGRAMS AND OTHER UPDATES
3.1Regional Trail Logo: K. Forster circulated a draft letter that CDTC will be sending out regarding the trail logo contest. If the Task Force has any comments please send them in as soon as possible. The letter will be sent out in a week or two, so that a meeting can be held in the month of December. The meeting will help gauge the interest of the various municipalities that own or maintain the Regional trail in creating a logo.
The contest schedule, contest announcement, qualifications, judges and prizes will also be discussed. The cost of a graphic designer and newspaper ads will be investigated. The Task Force suggested that if school children are involved it should be clear to them that their design will be touched up by a graphic designer. There should be no misunderstanding. It was also mentioned that there may be some copyright problems - some research into trademarks should be done.
3.2Pedestrian Postcard Update: The attitude survey of the new countdown signal on Wolf Road at the DEC building was completed. One hundred surveys were distributed from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm on October 25, 2000 and 52 were returned to CDTC. Many of the surveys had positive comments about the countdown signal. However, it was noted in many of the returned surveys that the difficulty in crossing the intersection was due to vehicles making left-hand turns out of the mall. Many cars do not yield to pedestrians crossing with the walk signal.
A summary of the results of the survey was distributed to the Task Force. CDTC will be sending a letter to NYSDOT with the results of the survey. The Task Force commented that it seemed that enforcement was lacking at the crosswalk. Many pedestrians and drivers do not fully comprehend the rules of the road. An all pedestrian phase may be a solution. In front of the Alfred Smith building, at Washington and Eagle there is a four-way stop signal phase so that pedestrians can cross diagonally. The intersection is not striped for diagonal crossing however and many pedestrians do not understand the phase. More education and enforcement is needed. The Task Force thought it would be good to involve The Governor's Traffic Safety Council. D. Robertson noted that the September ITE Journal had a Pedestrian Theme and some great articles.
3.3NYBC Governor's Traffic Safety Grant: CDTC received a letter from David Bullman identifying the selected crash sites for Albany County. This information was distributed to the Task Force. I. Vamos and J. Shaw from NYBC stated that the next step was site analysis. Crash data seems to be difficult to obtain for the sites. They asked that if the Task Force had any first hand knowledge of the selected sites and the problems pertaining to them that they share this information with NYBC.
Washington and Eagle is one of the chosen sites. R. Nussbalm mentioned that there is a problem with the four-way stop signal phase and left-hand turning traffic. The Crossgates Mall site is on Washington Avenue where people cross over the guardrail to cross the road.
Using the site analysis, NYBC will be producing a Best Practice manual that will be sent to counties statewide. This will be a solution sharing effort. A draft of the outline has been produced. If anyone wants to review it, J. Shaw can email the draft. NYBC is also looking into producing some public service announcements on vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian safety.
3.4NYSDOH Train the Trainer's Event: NYS Department of Health had another Train the Trainer event in Buffalo. They are planning on having one in the Albany-Syracuse-lower Hudson Valley area, if anybody is interested in helping host one of these events or has any suggestions for the location of another one. This event includes three days of training and finishes with a Pedestrian Road Show that involves the local community.
4.1Linkages Program: Schenectady Bike Trail Master Plan: The first steering committee meeting is being set up. It will be held on December 13, 2000. Members of the steering committee include: the City of Schenectady, Union College, YMCA, the Schenectady Chamber of Commerce, the Stockade Neighborhood Association, CDTA, DOT, DOH, Friends of the Mohawk-Hudson Bikeway, among others.
4.2Regional Bike/Hike Map: A copy of the Regional map was on display on the back wall. The urbanized area, which includes Albany, Schenectady and Troy and parts of Clifton Park, is shown on the front on the map. On the back there is blow-up of Saratoga Springs and some of the other bike trails in the area. The Task Force was asked to view it and make comments at the end of the meeting.
4.3CDTC New Visions 2030 Update: The New Visions 2021 Update was approved by the CDTC Policy Board at their meeting on October 19, 2000. There were few public comments and none received regarding the bicycle and pedestrian components. D. Spicer sent a paragraph to add to the Bicycle and Pedestrian report. Work on the 2030 update will continue in January.
5.1Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail: The Bethlehem Citizens for Pedestrian Safety and the Town of Bethlehem Pedestrian Safety Planning Group are eager to explore the possibility of acquiring the Voorheesville to Albany portion of the CP Rail line. CDTC made some inquiries with CP Rail. While CP Rail is not presently using this portion of the line, they are not considering to officially abandon it yet. The Town should check back with CP Rail at the end of 2001, to see if anything has changed.
There are a couple of options for the Town to proceed with in regards to its interest in the rail line. The Town could apply for an official rail banking status with the Surface Transportation Board (STB). The Town could also explore the status of its preferential rights in terms of the rail line. With preferential rights, the state or municipality gets rights to abandoned railroads if the deed does not automatically revert to the property owners.
Scenic Hudson was to fund the match in the now defunct Enhancement project. Perhaps they are still interested in helping. I. Vamos will talk to Scenic Hudson. NYPCA can offer technical services.
ACTION: I. VAMOS
5.2CVS Pharmacy at Wolf/Sand Creek: A new pharmacy is proposed at the corner of Wolf and Sand Creek Road. I. Vamos wanted to confirm whether the sidewalk on Sand Creek will be added with this project or with the NYSDOT Wolf Road project. CDTC contacted Rob Cherry, the project manager for the Wolf Road Reconstruction project. He confirmed that the sidewalk will be part of the Wolf Road project. A sidewalk will be added on Sand Creek from the Wolf Road intersection to the Hannaford entrance and to the bank entrance.
5.3Neighborhoods Work Conference: This conference is scheduled for Saturday November 18th from 9 am to 3 pm. The conference has been organized to create a plan for a more liveable City of Albany. There will be a Transportation session at 10:00 am to 10:50 am in which I. Vamos will be presenting. Please feel free to attend.