RECORD OF MEETING
BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN ISSUES TASK FORCE
DATE/TIME/PLACE: Wednesday, November 30, 1994, 5:30 - 7:30 PM, Colonie Community Center
IN ATTENDANCE: Brad Birge (CDRPC), Bob Bump (Mohawk-Hudson Wheelmen), Emily H. Goodman (citizen member), Bob Kirker (Town of Wilton Highway Committee), Don Odell (Albany County Planning Department), Don Robertson (NYSDOT - Region 1), Bert Schou (CDTA), Steve Allocco (CDTC)
Note: Any handouts referenced in the summary are attached for those who did not attend the meeting. The summary generally follows the order of the agenda distributed at the outset of the meeting.
Task Force Housekeeping: Several handouts were distributed as followups to discussions at the October meeting: materials from the Urban Issues Task Force meeting at which NYSDOT gave a presentation on the I-787 pedestrian bridge, along with a letter from Ivan Vamos to Dick Maitino (Region 1 Director) in support of the proposal; copies of Don Odell's letter to Region 1 Design in regard to issues raised at the public meeting on the Route 20 project in Guilderland; and copies of the "Make Your Community More Bicycle- and Pedestrian-Friendly" document as approved by the CDTC Planning Committee on November 3. Also distributed for information was an article from a recent issue of the Urban Transportation Monitor on a 4.5 mile bike lane constructed along the Moorpark Freeway in California. A final note was in regard to past discussions of the possible abandonment of the Canadian Pacific Rail Voorheesville line, part of which (between Voorheesvile and the Port of Albany) was identified as a desirable bike/hike corridor, should it ever become available. CP Rail informed CDTC on November 30 that it will in fact be initiating abandonment proceedings, most likely beginning in January or February of 1995. The tracks will most likely continue to be used until October or November of 1995, when improvements are completed on the track line selected as the preferred alternative to this one for G.E. turbine shipping. CDTC, NYSDOT, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the Town of Bethlehem and other agencies will meet in January to figure out all the necessary details surrounding the purchase of this line as a transportation corridor preservation action.
NYSDOT Highway Design Manual -- Chapter 18 (Facilities for Pedestrians and Bicyclists): Don Robertson reported that Chapter 18 has been released in draft for review by NYSDOT divisions and regions; the draft manual appears to provide a good deal of detail on how to include pedestrian and bicyclist amenities once the determination has been made that they should be included, while leaving somewhat open to the discretion of the technical staff the issue of whether they should be included. CDTC staff will return to the TIP project review (see next section) to see what the Chapter 18 specifications might imply for the selected set of projects evaluated, with a particular eye towards the question of whether these specifications suggest different treatments from the FHWA guide, "Selecting Roadway Design Treatments to Accommodate Bicycles."
Pilot Projects from Transportation Improvement Program: The first draft results of the TIP review were distributed. (There are two documents contained in this review: the three-page "Draft Summary Listing," and the 19-page "Draft Discussion.") Task Force members are asked to review this material and come up with any suggestions in two areas:
* General content/categories of information: Additional types of information to include in the summaries.
examples: - major trip generators located near the project
- is the facility on the Regional or Priority Bicycle Networks? (for latter, see next section)
- jurisdiction (agency responsible for project implementation)
* Additional detail on desirable treatments or other concerns: Based on first-hand experience with cycling or walking in the vicinity of the project, either additional information on the nature of cycling/walking problems encountered or additional actions which would be desirable.
One important note is that about 80 percent of the projects examined in this review will be pursued by NYSDOT -- arguably the implementing agency in the Capital District most financially capable of "doing the most." Actions unworkable to them would likely not be realistic for local agencies either. Thus, it will be important for the Task Force to balance a desire to make significant changes in how bicyclists and pedestrians are accommodated on the roadway system with what NYSDOT feels can realistically be done. NYSDOT's insights on the treatments suggested in the TIP review should be given real weight as "reality checks" as the Task Force finalizes its Phase Two products over the next 2-3 months.
Priority Bicycle Network: A first-draft network for bicycles was presented. The Priority Network identifies those facilities on the 1,000+ mile Regional Bicycle Network which would be deemed "most critical" -- those which should be seen as the "bare minimum" set which the Capital District should work towards making more bicycle-friendly. It could also be suggested that the importance of these facilities justifies a higher level of accommodation than either the FHWA Group A or Group B/C suggested treatments would indicate, as it is often on these priority facilities that the main barriers to safe, comfortable cycling are found -- people may be willing and safely able to ride on local, lower-volume roads on either end of their trip, but it can be the portion of the trip on the major facilities which is most daunting.
As the term is applied to the Network, priority facilities...
* ...have few practical alternatives nearby (as any alternate routes would add significant length to a trip)
* ...are parts of major travel routes -- they connect major activity centers with each other and are the most critical parts of connections between these activity centers and major residential areas
* ...are accessible to residential areas via local (non-through), lower-volume roads
* ...thus, they have high potential for use as bike routes, with the proper accommodations
The first-cut Priority Network attempts to balance route directness with minimizing barriers to safe travel. As the panels below show, the result is analogous to a rope which is fraying at either end: the intact section is the priority link, which hosts any of a number of typical barriers to be mitigated, while the frayed ends are local, non-priority facilities accessing it.
Task Force members offered comments and suggested a number of additions to the network. Copies of the draft network map will be sent out in advance of the December meeting; the attached 11" x 17" foldout which follows gives an indication of how Regional Network facilities in the Colonie/Guilderland area would be prioritized. As CDTC staff continues work on cost estimation and applying some of the performance measures discussed a while back, the eventual Priority Network will be the basis for this work, and not the entire Regional Bicycle Network. The RBN will serve as the area's overall plan, identifying all the desired bicycle routes.
Vision Statement: Deferred to next meeting. Ideas for possible statements should be sent to CDTC by about December 20, to be included in a mailout of preparatory materials for the December 28 meeting.
* CDTC to:
* Modify Priority Bicycle Network map based on group suggestions; tally total mileage and miles by responsible agency; get map duplicated for distribution.
* Continue work on cost estimation based on FHWA and NYSDOT Highway Design Manual Draft Chapter 18 bicycle treatments.
* Continue work on packaging the Task Force's Phase Two products into a draft plan document.
* Task Force members to :
* Review draft discussion of possible bicycle/pedestrian components of 1994-99 TIP projects, with the aim of developing suggestions on:
* additional general information on project locations which would be useful (e.g., nearby trip generators, responsible agencies, etc.)
* additional actions which would be desirable at the locations listed, based on personal experiences or shared "war stories"
* Develop thoughts on "vision statement" on what the Task Force wants the Capital District bicycle/pedestrian environment to be like in the year 2015; get any thoughts along these lines to CDTC by December 20 or so to be included on list of ideas mailed out prior to next meeting
* Next Task Force meeting: Wednesday, December 28, 5:30 - 7:30 PM, Colonie Community Center, 1653 Central Avenue (across from Lake Electronics). Meeting agenda to include:
* vision statement development
* continued discussion of Priority Bicycle Network; approval if possible
* continued discussion of TIP project review document
TO: Members of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Issues Task Force
Other Interested Parties
FROM: Steve Allocco
DATE: December 5, 1994
RE: November 30 Meeting Summary; Details on Next Meeting
Enclosed please find a summary of the November 30 meeting. For those of you who did not attend, handouts from that meeting are also provided.
One early correction to the record: the first paragraph on Page 3 indicates that an 11" x 17" foldout comparison of the Regional and Priority Bicycle Networks is attached; as our copier is currently having some difficulty with paper that size, we ended up going with 8 1/2" x 11". Apologies if the result is difficult to make out in spots; we're planning to get full-size copies of the draft Priority Bicycle Network out in advance of the next meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, December 28, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Colonie Community Center, 1653 Central Avenue, Colonie (across from Lake Electronics). At this meeting, we will pick up with the items listed under "Action Items" in the meeting summary. If you will not be able to make it to the meeting, please feel free to call, fax or write to let me know of any ideas or questions you may have. Hope to see you then.
Enclosure(s, for 11/30 meeting non-attendees)