Capital District Transportation Committee

Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force


Record of Meeting on November 18, 4:00pm



Attendance: Barbara Abrahamer (NYSDOT - Main Office), Stephen Feeney (Schenectady County), Chilton Latham (Interested Citizen), Steven Marsh (Interested Citizen), Kevin McLoughlin (HRV Greenway), Don Robertson (NYSDOT - Region 1), Paul Russell (Town of Colonie), Bert Schou (CDTA), Deb Spicer (NYSDOH), Ivan Vamos, (New York Bicycle Coalition), Katherine Forster (CDTC)


Regrets: Dominick DeCecco (Albany County Legislator), Don Odell (Albany County Dept. of Economic Development, Conservation and Planning), Monique Wahba (City of Albany Planning Department)




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




(September 16, 1999) D. Robertson to invite someone from DOT who deals with signage issues to the next Task Force meeting.  (See Item 3.1)

(September 16, 1999) Staff to summarize the results of the trail maintenance survey for a future meeting.  (See Item 3.2)

(October 26, 1999) D. Robertson will verify the correct wording for the On-Road Signage portion.  The Task Force members would like to explore different types of signs (sizes, colors, and different types of materials) at the next meeting.  (See Item 3.1)

(October 26, 1999) CDTC staff and DOT staff will sit down soon to discuss procedures for the Spot Improvement and CDTC Enhancement programs.  (See Item 3.3)

(October 26, 1999) P. Russell will bring a map re: proposed Bike Path from Schuyler Flats to the next meeting.  Map was not available for the November meeting.




3.1 Draft of Bike Signage Guidelines: Discussion was on three topics:


Sign maintenance and replacement

If the Bike Signage Guidelines are to recommend specific signs for the Capital District, many current bicycle signs may have to be replaced at some time.  Therefore maintenance and replacement guidelines should be added for the Regional Bike Trail and the Capital District.  All of these guidelines concerning bicycle signage must be developed in co-operation with all the municipalities in the Capital District.


Some kind of an incentive could be offered, so as to encourage the different municipalities to use a common sign (especially if it means replacing signs).  Perhaps the two counties could be responsible for having a pool of replacement signs available.  What also must be kept in mind is that the installation fees for the sign is the prohibitive cost not the cost of the sign itself.


A regional or county maintenance system could be organized using CDTA's system of numbering every sign they put up.  Also, Albany County has a sign inventory computer program that could be duplicated for these efforts.


The Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)

B. Abrahamer, MUTCD specialist for NYSDOT attended this meeting with D. Robertson.  The on-road section of the Bike Signage Guidelines was revised with information D. Robertson sent to CDTC.  B. Abraham explained that the state MUTCD must be followed unless the situation is not covered in the manual.  Federal guidelines are used by states without their own MUTCD.  The state revisions for bicycle route signs will be added to the MUTCD next summer.  It will have five different on-road bike route signs rather than the three that were available before.  With these new signs, there will be more choice available to sign on-road portions of a larger trail or other on-road routes that municipalities want to identify.  There are two choices for signing the on-road portion of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike trail within the NYSDOT guidelines.


Tourism or Traffic Signs

A suggestion was given that the Tourist Oriented Directional Signs (TODS) program might be used to inform people how to get to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike Trail.  B. Abrahamer noted that this type of sign is supposed to be used to bring people to a discrete point not a linear facility.  It may be however be possible to use it for a parking facility beside an entrance to the bicycle trail.  The question that needs to be answered is whether the signs are for traffic or tourism.  CDTC staff will look into this possibility.


Schenectady County is planning to incorporate the Canal logo into signs they put up for the Mohawk-Hudson Bike Trail and to sign cross streets and distances for their portion of the regional trail.


It was suggested that a time line for the signage guidelines might be needed so that this project can coincide with other initiatives including the Albany County's Waterfront initiative, trail construction projects and grant opportunities.  The Greenway's Small Grants Program will be seeking proposals soon.


3.2 Bike Trail Maintenance Survey: The last survey was received.  Staff will summarize the surveys for the next meeting.  An ownership map will be created next.



3.3 Spot Improvement Program: CDTC staff and DOT staff met to discuss procedures for this program.  There are some questions about implementation and administration that have to be ironed out.  This is because the Spot Improvement Program will be providing federal funds and therefore requires certain federal reporting.  Another specific question lies in the funding thresholds.  CDTC will provide write-up for this program and the CDTC's Enhancement Program for Task Force review.





No new items were introduced.



NYBC's Governor's Traffic Safety Grant:

A meeting was held in Albany County to introduce the project.  NYBC is very closing to choosing the three counties they want to work with in New York State.


Reconstruction of Wolf Road:

NYSDOT has not convened a meeting regarding the Wolf Road bicycle provisions.  Tom Werner has however had discussions with some organizations directly to gain their insight into the matter.


CDTA's Bikes on Buses

B. Schou gave an update on this project.  He would prefer to outfit 100% of their bus fleet with the racks.  This would make scheduling buses easier than if only part of their fleet had racks.  The Access to Jobs program would benefit from bike racks on buses also.  CDTA is now in the process of determining how to promote the program.  CDTA will endeavor to bring some information on this program to the next meeting.





-        The next CDTC Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force meeting is scheduled for Friday, December 17, at the CDTC office, 5 Computer Dr. West, at 4:00 p.m.