The late Mr. Rapp …
Bike Count – 5/21 & 5/23 – Volunteers Needed ~ Spring BIKE COUNT Dennis,
CONTACT FOR BIKE COUNT – Dennis Gaffney, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Albany Mayor’s Office of Energy & Sustainability will be conducting the 2019 spring bicycle count at strategic intersections within the City of Albany on Tuesday, May 21 and Thursday, May 23. In order to have a successful count, we need volunteers.
Our semi-annual bike counts provide the City with information about existing cycling demand and activity. By comparing bike counts over the years, the City is able to make more informed choices regarding future transportation projects and complete streets implementation. Please help us keep track of cycling trends in Albany by volunteering for the Spring 2019 BIKE COUNT.
The Spring 2019 BIKE COUNT will take place on Tuesday, May 21 and Thursday, May 23. There will be two shifts per day – 7:00-9:00 AM and 3:30-5:30 PM to capture cyclists commuting to and from work and school. The counts will be at these same strategic locations:
If you would like to participate in the spring bike count, please email Dennis Gaffney at email@example.com with your preferred time(s) and location(s), and phone number. Please also indicate if you can volunteer for more than one shift/location.
Dennis Gaffney – firstname.lastname@example.org – 518-434-5164 (office) or 518-281-7252 (cell)
Albany Bicycle Coalition, Inc.
127 S. Pine Ave.
Albany, NY 12208
March 6, 2019
RE: Town of Colonie Comprehensive Plan and Complete Streets
The Honorable Paula A. Mahan Supervisor
Town of Colonie
Colonie Memorial Town Hall
PO Box 508
Newtonville, NY 12128-0508
Dear Supervisor Mahan:
Thank you for hosting the February 27, 2019 meeting on the Town of Colonie Draft Comprehensive Plan. Because of the Town’s central location, connection to many bicycle trails, and proximity to the City of Albany, we in the Albany Bicycle Coalition are extremely interested in the direction the town will take especially as it relates to Complete Streets and to bicycle/pedestrian accommodations.
We provide our comments herewith.
From our own analysis of the plan and from several comments made at the meeting, we believe that the Town should engage the services of a planning consultant to (1) re-write the plan and (2) assess all the comments received making changes to the plan as needed. Candidates include Behan Planning and Design, Alta Planning + Design, and Planning 4 Places. While we agree that much work and thought has gone into the plan, in its present form it (1) sells the Town short and (2) risks discouraging engagement by Town residents.
We look forward to the opportunity to work with you and Town officials for a better Colonie.
Albany Bicycle Coalition Comments on the Town of Colonie Comprehensive Draft Plan – March 2019 –
#1 – Our recommendation is for the Town of Colonie to have a Complete Streets refresher and implementation training for their entire staff. This would include Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) members and Town Board members. This effort is a follow-up to the Complete Streets symposium conducted for town leaders by the Albany County Department of Health in fall 2016.
#2 – The Comprehensive Plan needs to reflect the Siena College survey desires from 2,000 Town of Colonie residents, which relate directly to Complete Streets for pedestrians, people on bicycles, and the mobility challenged.
Specific Section Comments
Pg. 59 and 66 – Improve mobility throughout the Town. This includes thoughtful investments in roads and highways to relieve significant impacts of traffic congestion and to enhance the safety and attractiveness of active transportation modes (walking and biking). Continue to expand and improve access to public transportation. Coordinate with our partners at Albany County, CDTC, CDTA, and NYSDOT in addressing these mobility issues.
RESPONSE: Should include neighbor and citizen groups and pedestrian/cycling advocate organizations.
RESPONSE: In the “Implementation Table,” we agree that this effort should have top priority for nothing is more important to the Town that safe and direct movement through and within it.
RESPONSE: As in the 2008 Pathways Plan, the Town of Colonie should include specific pedestrian and bicycle pathways either from the 2008 plan or from newer recommendations. This should include reference to the Capital District Transportation Committee’s Capital District Trails Plan – 2019 to ensure that the Town takes advantage of this growing network of trails/multiuse paths.
Pg. 59 – Establish a point person at the Town for transportation issues – this person would be responsible for coordinating with partners at CDTC, CDTA, Albany County, and NYSDOT.
RESPONSE: The Town of Colonie should designate this person as responsible for the Complete Streets implementation.
Pg. 59 – Utilizing the Albany Shaker Road Corridor Study as a model, undertake land use / transportation studies for targeted corridors – especially those where neighborhood quality of life and thru traffic concerns appear to conflict.
RESPONSE: The Albany-Shaker Rd. study is not a desirable model as it seemingly ignores that this route is a major thoroughfare for people on bicycles and on foot.
Pg. 59 – Work with CDTC to develop and disseminate information about “Complete Streets” and the benefits that this approach provides for all users of the transportation system, including automobiles. As one of the core features of New Visions 2040, the region’s long-range transportation plan, complete streets will continue to be a focus of the region’s transportation investments in the coming years; and therefore, more dialogue about this approach and how it can be applied in Colonie would be beneficial.
RESPONSE: Why are motor vehicles singled out and an inclusion when it is clear that most roads in the Town of Colonie are already car-centric? All modes should be listed as “included” or none.
Pg. 59 – Incorporate “Complete Streets” design concepts and guidelines into the next Zoning Code update.
RESPONSE: Yes, Complete Streets should be include in the Zoning Code but progress on Complete Streets should commence immediately for any roadway treatment including resurfacing or re-striping.
Pg. 64 – Cooperate with the Villages of Colonie and Menands, the school districts, and other neighboring and regional municipalities, agencies, and organizations on issues of mutual concern. Look for opportunities to share services when appropriate.
RESPONSE: Within this objective should be provision for safe and direct movement for people on bicycles and on foot from one municipality to another to enhance the attractiveness of the Town of Colonie and to encourage non-motor vehicle commuting/recreation.
In January 2019, the Capital District Transportation Committee – the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Albany-Rensselaer-Saratoga-Schenectady metropolitan areas – released its final plan for the four-county trail master plan.
Capital Trails-New York is an overall branding and area designation. Individual trails within the system will retain their own identity much as is the case with the statewide Empire State Trail network. The advantage of this approach is twofold – it will attract newcomers – tourists and new residents – to the area and will encourage those with allegiance to a local trail to continue their involvement.
The complete plan is here – www.cdtcmpo.org/trails
CDTC developed this plan as a toolbox for local governments, trail advocates, and organizations. CDTC cannot implement the plan because it cannot initiate capital programs. The economic data, maintenance case studies, and branding plan provide the spine for cities and towns to create their own trail and/or Complete Streets plans to connect to the system. These data also will help in competing for funding and offer ideas for local friends groups to promote trail projects, advocate for trail connections, or support an existing trail and a marketing strategy to attract private sector support and champions.
Since this plan will drive development of trails for years to come, it is imperative that you be familiar with it. While the plan is packed with interesting and valuable information, you should check the pages that refer to your area:
In each such section, you will find a trail map and detail description of each trail and its features.
If this plan is to reach its goal of 148 miles by 2020 and 289 miles after full implementation and for the region to benefit economically and socially from a trails network, you will need to get involved in supporting your municipality and advocacy groups in pushing for completion – trail by trail.
Pages 81-104 provide case studies of what people (like you) were able to accomplish. Starting with our own Friends of the Rail Trail and the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail, these case studies relate how great success was achieved but also how important was involvement by the citizenry. The studies are loaded with how-to tips.
As a side note, we in the Albany Bicycle Coalition were pleased to see the Albany-Colonie Connector adopted as Supporting Trail #14 as one of the key connectors between Guilderland, Albany, the Village and Town of Colonie, and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail at Lions Park. See page 33. This connector ties in with the Albany Loop (Core Trail “C,” pg. 29), Patroon Greenway (Core Trail “D”), Shaker Trail (Supporting Trail #13), and the University at Albany Purple Path. The Albany Bicycle Coalition has promoted this connector and has reached out in this effort to municipal leaders and local NYS Assembly members.