Capital District Transportation Committee

Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force

Record of Meeting on October 20, 2009


Attendance: Don Odell (Albany Bicycling Coalition), Elaine Troy (NYSDOH), Jeff Gritsavage (NYSDOT), Raj Malhotra (NYSDOT Region 1 Planning), Jason Purvis (CDTC), Todd Fabozzi (CDRPC), Michael Lyons (Town of Colonie), Paul Russell (interested citizen), Jim Levy (Wilbur Smith Assoc.), Devin Dalpas (Saratoga Co. Ad Hoc Trails), Jim Mearkle (Albany County), Nelson Ronsvalle (Town of Halfmoon), Katie Bronson (City of Albany)

1.0   New Business


Bicycle Education -- update  Work on the campaign is moving forward. Zone 5 is the design firm working with CDTC to take photos and develop the posters/graphics. There are 4 messages being developed. The intent of this campaign, since it is a new activity for CDTC, is to focus on the City of Albany and localize the message – primarily by creating graphics that feature well-known local landmarks. Distribution of the materials is the next step – definitely see ads being placed on CDTA buses and running a slideshow in local movie theaters. There are other methods being considered as well, but these are the current area(s) of focus. CDTC is also working to develop a webpage dedicated to this effort – that work is ongoing.


GTSC Highway Safety Conference  GTSC/Safety Conference was held 10/19-. There were a lot of TSB and enforcement-type people at the conf. The focus is primarily on enforcement, however there are some sessions on non-enforcement. Jason moderated a session on Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety that included speakers from the region and NYC. Jason passed-around a copy of a NYCDOT document showing bike/ped safety signage designs created by grade-school children that are having a very positive impact in the city where they have been placed.


CDTA Bicycle Parking ProgramCDTA has set-aside Transportation Demand Management funds to provide for bike parking (bike racks). The program is expected to roll-out in the spring of 2010. A preferred vendor has been selected (DERO) and CDTA and CDTC have worked with the company to select preferred bike rack designs – there will be several choices available for those wishing to just utilize the funds, but any design costing more than the grant can be chosen if the agency/private entity is willing to pay the increased cost above the grant allocation. For the public sector, racks will be fully funded up to $1000, for the private sector, it is a 50/50 match. Though there are several design options available, it is anticipated that most public sector racks will generally be the “standard” design.  The funds cover purchase only; installation will be the responsibility of the applicant.


Bike Map Update- The Mohawk-Hudson Map update process is nearly complete. The most recent work has been to find a picture to use on the. CDTC staff ended up choosing one that has nice fall color – Jason passed-around the picture for review by committee members – they all ooohed and ahhhhed.


Pedestrian Action Plan Training- FHWA recently spoke to the MPOs and NYSDOT to host Pedestrian Action Plan Training. A letter recently was distributed to elected officials. The training for the Capital Region will take place on November 17&18 at the DOT Region 1 building in Schenectady. FHWA is looking for municipalities to send a group that includes the town planner, DPW, law enforcement and administration, however there are still spaces available so if that can’t be arranged, the group was encouraged to register with whoever could attend. CDTC will be attending – the group assumed this meant Jason…he seems to want to get out of the office. The session is intended to assist communities in designing for pedestrians. Discussion ensued regarding the need to more seriously consider land use issues and design with new developments and the potential danger of retro-fitting existing developments with pedestrian infrastructure.


Local Project Updates

City of Albany Bicycle Master Plan – The final public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday October 27th at the Albany Public Library Main Branch at 7pm.


The consultant team of Elan & Greenman Pedersen was selected to undertake the study. A kickoff meeting is scheduled for November 2. The final product will incorporate input from a large group of stakeholders. This project is being considered “post-concept, pre-design” – essentially, the plan is to provide detailed conceptual designs that have been reviewed for general assurance that they can be built as shown – so there will be additional design-type review elements that go beyond typical conceptual planning studies..


They just don’t get it -- Nothing new was reported.


Misc. Discussion:

1) Jason is on a board organized by NYSHEPA to discuss implementation and policies to increase safety through transportation…yet another way for him to get out of the office.


2) Saratoga Springs School Issue – A committee was formed and developed a policy for review and consideration by the school board. The board implemented their own policy which Jason read aloud to the group. Discussion ensued regarding the ability of the school to dictate what children could or could-not do off of school property (i.e. ride to school) since they have essentially dictated that it is at their discretion whether or not a student can ride to school – depending on the school boards assessment of the safety of the child riding particular streets.


3) SRTS National Partnership – Justin Booth is the NYS representative to the National SRTS Partnership. Justin distributed a memo to NY SRTS committee members regarding an application recently released by SRTS National looking for states interested in building statewide projects & policies. The NY Bike Coalition was suggested as a good group to spearhead a campaign for NY. Currently, 82% of SRTS projects are obligated in NYS.


4) NYS Dept. of Health is holding a conference later this week regarding creating healthy communities for all New Yorkers. Jason will be attending and will share with the group what he learns next month – hmmm, out of the office again...the group wondered if Jason is ever actually in the office!


5) GTSC Conference – Jason passed-around three posters developed for Schenectady County through funding provided by NHTSA & GTSC…reminded the group once again that he is never in the office!


6) Nelson sent an email to Jason highlighting portions of the proposed new Surface Transportation Bill that should be of interest to the group. Jason distributed copies of the email and Nelson discussed his findings. The group thought the highlights were great and couldn’t wait to see the bill passed.


7) TIP solicitations have been released. They are due back to CDTC on November 9. These are for the out-years. Project justification packets are available online at the CDTC website.


8) A special thanks to Jim Levy for being the scribe for October’s meeting minutes.  His additional whimsy added a fresh perspective to the monthly notes.  In November, the group will vote as to whether to make Jim’s position as scribe permanent. 


2.0  Upcoming Events


The next CDTC Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force meeting is scheduled for November 10, 2009 at 4:30 PM