Capital District Transportation Committee

Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force

Record of Meeting on September 10, 2002



Attendance: Mark Cashman (MHCC/LAB), Lindsay Childs (Guilderland Pathways), Kenneth Kovalchik (Hudson River Valley Greenway), Andy Labruzzo (Albany Co. EDCP), Don Odell (retired planner), Don Robertson (NYSDOT Region1), Deb Spicer (NYSDOH), John Stangle (Village of Menands), Elaine Troy (NYSDOH - Healthy Heart), Jim Utermark (The Louis Berger Group, Inc.), Ivan Vamos (NYBC), Teresa La Salle (CDTC), Jason Purvis (CDTC)





August 2002 minutes were approved.





2.1 SPOT Improvement Program (Round 2): J. Purvis announced that of the seventeen proposals submitted, CDTC's Planning Committee approved the top eight projects, ranked by the evaluation team.  The eight projects total $236,987 in federal funds. J. Purvis provided members with handouts depicting the final rankings, including brief descriptions of the eight selected for funding. 

2.2 Greenway--Albany County Trail Meeting: On August 29th Albany County hosted a meeting facilitated by the Greenway to discuss trail gaps in Albany County.  The meeting was well attended (about 35 participants) including several members of the Bike/Ped Task Force.  J. Purvis noted that this meeting served as a precursor to the Crossroads Connection Study meeting to be held in October.  A. Labruzzo noted that meeting notes will be distributed to those who attended the meeting.  The Greenway will be updating their planning map.  The updated map may be distributed at a future meeting. 




3.1 Greenways Grant for Regional Bike Trail: J. Purvis handed out "Save the Date" flyers noting the Regional Outreach Crossroads Connections meeting to be held at the Village of Menands Firehouse on October 29th at 7:00 p.m. This meeting will focus on the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail corridor, between Menands and Cohoes.  E. Troy offered to expand the invitation to additional trail user groups. K. Kovalchik inquired about press releases for the event.  J. Purvis noted that he expects there will be some printed in local newspapers. J. Purvis noted that there will be a combined Bicycle Pedestrian Task Force meeting for October/November at this meeting.  J. Purvis mentioned planning a bike ride in early October, in place of the regular October meeting if members are interested.


3.2 Canalway Initiative: D. Odell provided attendees with a copy of the Canalway Trail Customer Satisfaction Survey.  D. Odell noted that the governor signed adopt-a-trail legislation, which the NYS Thruway Authority lawyers are looking at regarding insurance issues.  D. Odell reported that Howard Halstead, of the Friends of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail group, has been in contact with Kathy Matern, Town of Niskayuna Planner, regarding a new trail crossing near Knolls Atomic Laboratory.  The Friends of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail group are looking into producing a new brochure/ newsletter with a picture of the trail.  They will be meeting in late September to discuss funding for the project.  Possible funding ideas include advertisements, corporate donations, and raised member fees.  D. Odell noted that at the next Canalway meeting, the trail ownership/maintenance map will be addressed.  It was suggested that tax maps be used to verify ownership.  D. Robertson noted that tax maps are often too general for this use.  D. Odell noted that CDTC seems to have the most accurate data. CDTC would like to verify the accuracy of their data and will be bring a copy of the map to the next Canalway meeting. CDTC's map needs to be compared with NYS OPRHP's map.


3.3 Guilderland Pathways Committee: L. Childs noted that the Pathways Committee is seeking information regarding yearly budget expenditures on sidewalks in suburban towns.  The Pathways Committee is also seeking information on whether the communities construct the sidewalks with their own crews.  I. Vamos suggested that they contact the City of Albany for the information, since cities tend to have more sidewalk projects than towns.  J. Stangle shared some of the cost estimates the Village of Menands has received for 600 feet of 5 foot wide sidewalk.  J. Stangle noted curb cuts, drainage, and any other type of engineering will affect the cost.  D.  Robertson suggested that L. Childs contact the City of Saratoga Springs.  Several members suggested contacting towns in NYS outside of the Capital District, but cautioned that costs may be different outside of the Capital Region. 




4.1 Wolf Road Pedestrian Survey: J. Purvis noted that prior to the installation of the countdown pedestrian crossing signals on Wolf Road, CDTC surveyed pedestrians at 50 Wolf Road. (The former NYSDEC building)  J. Purvis noted that CDTC was considering doing a stand-alone survey, at a different Wolf Road crosswalk now that the signals have been installed for some time.  Many members of the task force felt that CDTC should wait until NYSDOT Main Office occupies 50 Wolf Road before another survey is taken.  However, many members, including CDTC staff felt that it would still be beneficial to conduct a survey in the near future even though the 50 Wolf Road building is unoccupied, rather than waiting until it is occupied.  The building will not be occupied for at least another year.  L. Childs inquired if there is an automated way to count how many times a pedestrian crossing signal is activated.  D. Robertson did not believe so, but agreed to check with DOT staff.


4.2 Wolf Road Countdown Signal Consistency: J. Purvis noted that CDTC staff has observed inconsistencies in the phases among signals at intersections along Wolf Road. D. Robertson agreed to look into the issue.


4.3 Trail Liability/Maintenance: J. Purvis noted that he is researching how other regions outside of New York State are handling trail maintenance and ownership issues. He will be meeting with Parks to discuss the issue.  D. Robertson suggested that Jason include NYSDOT Real Estate when he meets with the Parks Department. J. Purvis also noted that the Greenway Grant will be looking into the potential of group entity maintenance. I. Vamos noted that maintenance contracts are due for renewal and that trail maintenance issues are a problem statewide. 


4.4 Other New business: D. Spicer noted that NYSDOH is still awaiting announcements regarding recipients of the Healthy Heart Grants.  D. Spicer reported that she recently attended the Pro-Bike/Pro-Walk Conference in St. Paul, where the Rochester and Binghamton MPO's received grants for Bike/Pedestrian Planning.


K. Kovalchik noted that the Greenway is working on a 3-year project to create continuous linked byways, primarily for automobiles, to the Greenway and water trails.


J. Stangle noted that the Village of Menands Chief of Police has inquired about funding for the Bethlehem Crosswalk program.  J. Purvis and D. Robertson noted that the Town of Bethlehem funded most of the project.  D. Spicer noted that they received a small grant from the Health Department.  Members noted that John should contact the Town of Bethlehem for more information. 






-         The next CDTC Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 29, 2002 at 7:30 p.m. at the Village of Menands Firehouse.

Please note that the October and November meetings will be combined.