Capital District Transportation Committee
Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force
Record of Meetingon October 10, 2000
Attendance: Herb Alfasso (MHCC), Mark Cashman (MHCC/LAB), Kevin McLaughlin (HRV Greenway), Don Odell (Albany County), Paul Russell (Town of Colonie), Bert Schou (CDTA), Elaine Troy (NYSDOH), Ivan Vamos (NYBC), Monique Wahba (City of Albany), Katherine Forster (CDTC)
Regrets: Don Robertson (NYSDOT - Region 1), Deb Spicer (NYSDOH)
1.0AGENDA AND MEETING NOTES REVIEW
There were no changes to the September Task Force meeting notes.
2.0UPDATE ON ACTION ITEMS
(May 11, 2000) CDTC staff will create a summary of the various municipalities' policies on bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. This will be a good exercise for the New Visions 2030 update. CDTC staff will revisit this in January when the second stage of the New Vision update commences.
(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. No action as of yet.
(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
3.1Bikes on Buses: The CDTA buses in Albany and Troy are equipped with the bike racks. CDTA is still working on the Schenectady buses. Some bus assignment problems are still happening with buses going out without racks. B. Schou requested that if the Task Force noticed any problems with the buses on the designated routes please write to CDTA. It is important to iron out all the problems. P. Russell noted that he had seen a Route 70 bus without a bike rack. Another difficulty for CDTA is that the bike rack is not easily recognizable. Bus riders at Crossgates did not know what the rack was for. The Task Force suggested that CDTA use a dummy bike on some of the routes to demonstrate how the racks are to be used.
In general the Task Force suggested working with the universities and other destination points to ensure that there is enough bicycle parking on campus, at the shopping centers and parks, etc. Also the Task Force recommends that all parking garages assign one space for bicycle parking as you can find under the Empire States Plaza.
3.2City of Albany's Transportation Policies: The Transportation Policies were handed out at the last meeting. M. Wahba was available at this meeting to answer any questions. The schedule remains the same with the policies to be presented as an agenda item at the Capitalize Albany Executive Committee meeting on October 18th, 2000. If there are any comments please send them to M. Wahba before this date.
M. Wahba updated the Task Force on the City of Albany's efforts to advocate for the inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian accommodations when the Livingston Avenue Bridge is rehabilitated. The Greenway is supporting the City of Albany study which includes engineering drawings for the bicycle and pedestrian accommodation on the bridge and may be able to help fund part of this effort. The touchdown in Albany is proposed to have switchbacks, which may not be the best for cyclists. It is important that as plans are progressed they do not exclude the possibility of accommodating bicyclist and pedestrians - this would include relocating the signal timing boxes as they encroach into the old wooden pedestrian crossing.
4.1CDTC Linkages Program: The Selection Committee met to discuss the proposals that were received for the Schenectady Urban Bike Route Master Plan. CDTC received ten proposals. The Selection Committee focused their discussion on the consultants that were ranked high by three or all four of the committee members. The top ranked proposals had good staff assigned to the project, bicycle project experience and were familiar with Schenectady. Edwards and Kelcey came out on top with a thorough discussion of the present situation and a detailed scope of what they were proposing to do. They also had Jeff Olson (former NYSDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager) on their team. Edwards and Kelcey was the only consultant that all four committee members ranked in the top four.
Edwards and Kelcey have been contacted and the project will be initiated soon. The first meeting of the steering committee shall be arranged as soon as the consultants are ready.
4.2Regional Bike/Hike Map & the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail Map: The map has been distributed to the various municipalities and some bike shops and tourist offices. In the spring, CDTC will distribute more maps as needed. Work on the Regional Bike-Hike Map will be started up again soon. CDTC's GIS staff, Teresa LaSalle has been working on a possible layout for the map with the urbanized area (Albany-Schenectady-Troy) on the front of the map and blow-ups of trails and Saratoga Springs on the back.
4.3CDTC New Visions 2030 Update: CDTC is receiving public comments on the update to the New Visions long-range plan until October 19, 2000. The New Visions 2021 long-range plan update is scheduled to be approved by the CDTC Policy Board meeting on October 19, 2000 at 3:00 pm. The public is invited to attend.
5.1Regional Trail Logo: CDTC is putting together a letter to propose the idea of creating a Regional Trail Logo for the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail. The letter will be sent to the various organizations that own and maintain the trail. CDTC is hoping to have a meeting with all involved organizations to discuss the possibility of a trail logo design contest. The meeting will also help in getting some consensus as to how CDTC can move forward on this project so that the logo will be unveiled and ready to be displayed on the trail next spring. Other parties who may be interested in promoting the trail or coordinating the trail with other statewide efforts, such as the HRV Greenway, NYS Canal Corporation, and the Chambers of Commerce for each municipality, will also be notified and asked to participate.
As mentioned before, CDTC has put aside some money for a trail logo design contest. It is hoped that this type of contest may help promote the trail to those living in the Capital District and allow some feelings of ownership by the public.
It was noted that we must not forget to get input from NYSDOT also because the on-road portion of the trail must conform to the MUTCD. It would seem to be best if the on-road signs could be consistent with the off-road signs but this may not be possible if we want to use a logo design. Also there needs to be thought towards directional signage to locate the trail - for example how to get from Route 9 to the Regional Trail. The signage guidelines that the Task Force worked on last winter will be very useful for this type of application.
The signage guidelines are still in the final phase of being approved. They were sent out to all municipalities in the Capital District for comments and the comments that were received are being incorporated into the final document, which will be presented to the CDTC Planning Committee.