Capital District Transportation Committee

Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force

Record of Meeting on October 18, 2005



Attendance:  Judy Breselor (Rensselaer County), Mark Cashman (MHCC/LAB), Lindsay Childs, (Guilderland Pathways), Dom De Cecco, Dave Gehrs (CDTA), Scott Lewendon (CHA), William Mackesey (Town of Clifton Park),  Kevin McLoughlin (Parks & Trails NY), Mary McNeill (NYSDOT Region 1), Don Odell (Albany Bicycling Coalition), Henrietta O’Grady (Halfmoon Trails), Deb Spicer (NYSDOH Healthy Heart), Elaine Troy (NYSDOH Healthy Heart), Ivan Vamos (NYBC), Michael Alba (CDTC), Teresa La Salle (CDTC), Jason Purvis (CDTC)




There was no September 2005 meeting held, therefore there were no minutes to approve.




2.1 Trail User Survey and Benefits Analysis 1997/98 documents available at  J. Purvis lead the group in a discussion of what trails should be included and what questions should be asked in an updated survey. In addition to the Mohawk-Hudson, the Zim Smith, the Uncle Sam and the proposed Helderberg Rail Trail, several neighborhood and State Park trails were suggested for inclusion. Discussion centered on how the collected information would be used and suggestions were made to look into what type of data other local and state agencies have collected regarding trails. Several members agreed to share data from existing community surveys. A draft summary of the proposed survey will be available for review prior to the November meeting.




3.1 MPO Bike/Ped Staff meeting/Shared Cost Initiative:  J. Purvis noted that Bike/Ped staff from MPO’s around the state met in Syracuse in September.  One of the main items of discussion was a shared cost initiative proposed to the MPO directors that would look at Bicycle Level of Service/Suitability, a statewide study to determine criteria that would fit each MPO, since MPO’s within the state vary in size and needs.  The proposal is currently under the review of staff directors.  If the proposal is approved, the MPO’s will coordinate with NYSDOT and their BLOS index.


3.2 Linkage Projects:  CDTC recently received APA’s Upstate Chapter Award for the Linkage Program.  This automatically puts CDTC in the running for the national award.  Linkage Status Update: Stillwater – Consultant selection ongoing, Berne – Still developing project scope, Route 4 East Greenbush – ongoing.


3.3 Safe Routes to School Workshop:    A Two day workshop “Safe Routes to School National Course” will be held November 16th and 17th in Goshen, NY. The workshop is free of charge and sponsored by the NYS MPO’s and Orange County.


3.4 Priority Network Level of Service and Infrastructure Index:  J. Purvis reported that CDTC interns have continued extensive work on the Index and have completed Albany and Rensselaer Counties.  Results will be available upon completion.


3.5 Other New Business: 


E. Troy noted that a 2 day meeting for NYSDOH contractors which will include 4 hours of training on Safe Routes to School will be held in Rotterdam on October 19th.  The course will use the Mohanesen School District as a model.


K. McLoughlin noted a Parks and Trails NY job opening for Program Director.


J. Purvis noted that on Wednesday, November 9th the Hudson River Valley Greenway will hold a workshop on Scenic Byway Nomination in Cairo, Greene County.


J. Purvis distributed a handout regarding new Greenway/Canalway Trail Signage.


M. Alba reported that he is participating in a Planning Studio Project as part of the University at Albany’s Graduate Planning Program.  This year’s studio is looking at a bike/ped project “The Purple Path” a loop around the Uptown Campus.  A pathway on the inner perimeter of the campus road is being proposed.


I. Vamos noted several recent letters to the Editor in the Times Union regarding pedestrian issues at the intersection of Albany Shaker and Wolf Roads.


I. Vamos also reported that NYBC met with several top NYSDOT Officials regarding the Transportation Bond Issue.  Overall the meeting was positive and DOT agreed to look into reconvening the Bike/Ped Advisory Committee which has been lapsed for 5 years.


K. McLoughlin also noted that Parks & Trails NY is supporting the Transportation Bond Act.


M. McNeill reported that there has been a slope failure on the Mohawk Hudson Trail adjacent to I-90 just east of Exit 26 of the Thruway.  The trail is still intact and the slope will be fixed over the winter.  It is being monitored by Schenectady County. 


M. McNeill also noted upcoming NYSDOT Training on November 3rd and 4th.


E. Troy provided a handout announcing neighborhood meetings for the City of Schenectady’s Comprehensive Plan.


D. Spicer noted that she recently attended a Walking for Health Conference that featured some innovative new products including a mat counter that can be used for trails and stairwells and walking shoes with springs on the bottom of the shoe for cushioning.


B. Mackesey reported that trail building in Clifton Park continues with construction on two community trails to occur in early 2006.  Eight foot wide trails will be constructed near the Van Patten Trail and Long Kill Park.


H. O’Grady noted that construction on the Zim Smith is slated for the Spring of 2006 and preliminary design is underway along the canal trail.


H. O’Grady also noted that the Mohawk Scenic Byway has been designated as a National Scenic Byway.


D. Odell shared questions from the Albany Bicycling Coalition.  One regarding the lack of signage at Bike Routes 9 and 5, which was deferred to NYSDOT, and concerns regarding the inconsistency of bike racks on CDTA buses, which was deferred to CDTA.


D. Odell noted that the Albany Bicycling Coalition is working on an in-city bike route and trying to determine whether it should focus on commuting or recreation.  Also, on Thursday, October 27th the Sanctuary for Independent Media will be showing a bicycling documentary, “Still We Ride” which focuses on the tensions in NYC between bicyclists and police.


L. Childs reported that the Guilderland Pathways Committee submitted their Master Plan to the Town Board.  The document is available on the Town’s website and Lindsay is accepting comments.





-        The next CDTC Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 15, 2005 at 4:30 p.m. at the CDTC Offices.