Capital District Transportation Committee

Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force

Record of Meeting on September 14, 2000



Attendance: Mark Cashman (MHCC/LAB), Craig Church (Vollmer Assoc.), Richard Nussbaum (Interested Citizen), Don Odell (Albany County), Bob Ostiguy (MHCC), Don Robertson (NYSDOT - Region 1), Paul Russell (Town of Colonie), Bert Schou (CDTA), Jannell Shaw (NYBC), Deb Spicer (NYSDOH), Elaine Troy (NYSDOH), Ivan Vamos (NYBC), June Zajaceskowski (Interested Citizen), Katherine Forster (CDTC)




There were no changes to the July Task Force meeting notes. Quality Communities Task Force was added to the agenda.




(May 11, 2000) CDTC staff will create a summary of the various municipalities' policies on bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. No action on this item has been done.

(May 11, 2000) CDTC staff will contact Main Office NYSDOT to see what the status is for tracking new sidewalks and bike trails.  E. Ophardt of NYSDOT was contacted regarding the Program Support System (PSS) which is NYSDOT's Financial Obligation Schedule Tracker.  E. Ophardt had planned to request adding certain items to the PSS to be able to track miles of built sidewalk and trail by the department.  However all 700 items on the PSS are under review presently.  Unnecessary items will be eliminated before any new ones can be added.  There is also one region that is not interested in adding another eight items at all.  It may take awhile to resolve this issue.  The PSS summary is done at the end of the calendar year so it would be best to add the new items in early/late spring.

(July 12, 2000) CDTC Staff will inquire into the future plans for the Linkage program.

CDTC Staff Director confirmed that there was interest to repeat this program in the next fiscal year.  More will be know in 2001.  The Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force will be informed of any program announcement.

(July 12, 2000)  D. Spicer indicated that she would add some information about the NYSDOH initiatives to the New Visions 2030 summary. No action as of yet.

(July 12, 2000)  CDTC staff will do a count on Delaware Ave for bicyclists while Delaware is closed.  CDTC staff performed the bicycle count on July 18 from 7:00 am to 9:00 am.  Twelve bicyclists were counted bicycling to Albany, with two bicyclists counted bicycling towards Delmar.  There were also nine pedestrians observed during those hours.  The Task Force suggested that another count be performed now that Delaware Avenue was open to traffic.



R. Nussbalm mentioned that the traffic was flowing nicely already with just one lane open in each direction and wondered if it was possible to restripe Delaware Avenue as a two-lane road with a center turn lane and bicycle lanes on either side.  D. Robertson felt that it was possible with the Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT).  This type of suggestion should be forwarded to NYSDOT Regional Director, Mr. Tom Werner for consideration.




3.1 Bikes on Buses: CDTA had their media event today for the new bike rack program - Catch a Bikeable Bus.  Presently the racks are mounted on Bus Route # 29 but they will be available on all of the chosen routes by early October.  Riding the bus will be free until the end of October if you use the bike racks.  Some other locations suggested by J. Shaw for advertising the newly available racks is at the Albany Medical Center, Albany Law School and other professional schools.  CDTA is trying to target the student population and will target all schools.  With CDTC being the one funding the CDTA bike rack initiative it was suggested that some of the organizations represented on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force write letters to the editor commending CDTA's Bike Rack program.



3.2 "Second Chance" CDTC Enhancement Program: In August, the CDTC Planning Committee decided upon the recipients of the Second Chance grant money.  The money was awarded to:

-        The Spring Run Trail (construction of trail running from downtown Saratoga Springs to just east of the Northway)

-        Ruhle Road Bridge (iron bridge to be installed in the Town of Malta)

-        The Downtown Schenectady Connection for the Mohawk-Hudson Trail (from Schenectady Community College to Washington Avenue).


NYSDOT is moving forward with the Spot Improvement Program.  The first action will be to confirm that Malta can receive the funding for signs, even though they were mounted before NYSDOT had everything approved.




4.1 CDTC Linkages Program: The RFP for the City of Schenectady's Bike Master Plan project has been advertised.  The deadline for proposals is September 20, 2000.  The selection committee, which is composed of a representative from OPRHP, the City of Schenectady, CDTC and a member of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force, will review the proposals and meet to decide on the consultant.  Elaine Troy volunteered to be on the selection committee for the Task Force as she is a resident of Schenectady.


4.2 Regional Bike/Hike Map & the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail Map: There is not much progress to report on the Regional map.  The Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail Map was received this week.  Ten thousand copies will be distributed around the Capital District - to the counties, municipalities, Chambers of Commerce, Department of Transportation, the Canal Corporation, Visitor's Centers and some of the local bike shops.


4.3 CDTC New Visions 2030 Update: Public comments on the draft New Visions 2021 will be received until October 19, 2000.  Late October the Policy Board will approve the New Visions 2021.  Starting in January, the four different Task Forces will work in more depth on the issues as they tackle the 2030 horizon for the long-range plan.




5.1 City of Albany's Transportation Policies: The draft policies were presented to the Mayor on July 18th who expressed his support and commended the Capitalize Albany Transportation Committee for its work.   Then they were distributed to the Capitalize Albany Executive Committee on July 19th and will be presented as an agenda item at their next meeting on October 18th.  Once the City has the Exec. Committee's support for the policies they can move forward with their adoption.  The City is uncertain exactly what form that will take.  It is assumed that prior to any formal adoption, there will be an opportunity for public review and comment.  If the Task Force has comments on the draft, please forward them to Monique Wahba at the City of Albany or contact her at 434-2532 ext. 26.


The City of Albany also has 10 bike racks and is looking for suggestions for the best places to put these racks.  Please contact Monique Wahba at the City (434-2532 ext. 26) with your suggestions.



5.2 Friends of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail Group: Jeff Edwards and Howard Halstead are forming a new group in the Capital District.  The trail group will meet on Wednesday, September 27 in Schenectady to discuss their mandate and goals and to see how many people are interested.  If any members of the CDTC Task Force are interested in joining this group please contact Jeff Edwards at  I.Vamos suggested that the new group come to a meeting at CDTC to discuss their agenda when they are organized.


5.3 CDTC's Web Site: The Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force information was updated on the web site.  A new page was added about the reprint of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail Map.  It describes the map and lists many of the locations where the map is available.  Check it out at the CDTC web site:


5.4 Quality Communities Task Force: This Task Force was established by the Governor last January to inventory key local, state and federal programs, gather public comment and develop recommendations designed to enhance local community development efforts throughout New York State.  This is the State's effort to address smart growth issues.  E. Troy has been working with this Quality Communities Task Force and suggests that if the CDTC Task Force has any ideas regarding the creation of bicycle and pedestrian friendly communities that they forward them to Commissioner Boardman. B. Schou and D. Robertson has some suggestions regarding the highway law in regards to sidewalks and engineering instructions in regards to maintenance for pedestrians and bicyclists during reconstruction that they will forward to the Quality Communities Task Force.


The final written report detailing the task force's findings and recommendations will be presented to the Governor by January 31, 2001.




-        The next CDTC Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 10, at the CDTC office, 5 Computer Dr. West, at 4:30 p.m.

-        Sept. 26-27, Albany, NYS Agency Partners' Waterfront Rediscovery Conference

-        October 27-28, Syracuse, NYPCA's Greenway & Community Trail Conference