Glen St. Intersections Pedestrian Study – Final

The following text was extracted from the full report to facilitate screen reader technology. For the full report including diagrams and images, please refer to the pdf.

 

Final Glen St. Intersections Pedestrian Study

Memo To: Mr. Aaron Frankenfeld, Director Date: 12/23/2021
Adirondack/Glens Falls Transportation Council (A/GFTC)
11 South Street, Suite 203
Glens Falls, NY 12801

From: Barton & Loguidice, D.P.C. File: 1896.002.001

I. Introduction
A/GFTC and the City of Glens Falls initiated the Glen St. Intersections Pedestrian Study to evaluate
pedestrian circulation, pedestrian safety, and provide improvement recommendations to the
intersections of Glen St. at South St./Bay St. (Intersection # 1) and Glen St. at Sherman
Ave./Washington St. (Intersection #2). The study is administered through the A/GFTC
Transportation Planning and Engineering Assistance Program.

This Report summarizes the existing conditions of the two intersections, provides observations of
the intersection operations, and provides recommended next steps to implement improvements.

II. Existing Conditions
A site visit was conducted to observe and inventory existing field conditions. Video cameras were
deployed for one 24-hour, weekday period at each intersection to identify pedestrian traffic
patterns, safety concerns and/or vehicular conflicts, and any confusion that was observed when
pedestrians were accessing the intersection(s).

Glen St. at South St./Bay St.: This is a four leg signalized intersection with pedestrian signals that is
centrally located in the City of Glens Falls and surrounded by +local businesses, restaurants, and the
Crandall Library. Sidewalks are located on all intersection roadway approaches with sidewalk ramps
and crosswalks.

Glen St. (Rt. 9) is a mainline route in the east/west direction with one through lane in each direction,
a two-way left turn lane, and parking along each side of the street. Approaching the intersection in
the westbound direction, the parking lane and center median end 80 feet before the intersection to
allow for a dedicated right and left turn lane. The eastbound approach maintains a parking lane all
the way to the intersection with a through-right lane adjacent and the median ending/transitioning
to a left turn lane 130 ft. back from the intersection. Mid-block crossings are located 200 ft. and 330
ft. to the west and east of the intersection respectively.

The northbound South St. approach to the intersection features one travel lane in each direction
with adjacent parallel parking. A mid-block crossing with curb bump-outs is located 200 ft. south of
the approach. Just north of the bump-outs the northbound travel lane transitions into a left turning
lane and what was a parking lane becomes a through-right lane for shared movements.

Bay St. has a curbed median at the approach to the intersection with a monument and landscaping.
The southbound approach has a left turn lane and through-right shared lane. The opposing direction

is a single lane with no parking on either side.
Figure 2.1 – Glen St. at South St./Bay St. Intersection

The intersection is four way signalized with two mast arm signal poles located at the northwest and
southeast corners. There are ADA pedestrian signals/push buttons at all approaches with the
button for each direction mounted on the same signal pole with the heads above. Curb ramps were
previously installed to ADA standards at each corner of the intersection.

Glen St. at Sherman Ave./Washington St.: This intersection is located west of the South St./Bay St.
intersection. It is four way signalized for vehicles and does not include pedestrian signal equipment.
This intersection is also centrally located in the City of Glens Falls, surrounded by local businesses.
There are sidewalks on each corner of the intersection with curb ramps that do not meet current
ADA requirements.

Figure 2.2 – Glen St. at Sherman Ave./Washington St.
Glen St. (Rt. 9) is a mainline route in the east/west direction. The westbound approach consists of
one travel lane in each direction, a two-way left turn lane in the middle and no parking on either
side of the street. The two-way left turn lane converts to a left turn lane 175 ft. from the
intersection. The eastbound approach consists of one travel lane and parking lane in each direction.
The parking lane in the eastbound direction transitions to a right turn lane with the through-left lane
adjacent.

Washington St., the southbound approach, features a travel lane and parking lane in the
northbound direction and two travel lanes in the southbound direction that transition into a right
turn lane and a through-left lane on approach to the intersection. The northbound approach,
Sherman Ave., consists of two travel lanes (one in each direction) with no provisions for turning
lanes or on-street parking. An entrance to Stewart’s is located on the east side of Sherman Ave. with
the driveway in front of the stop bar on the northbound approach.

III. Site Assessment and Observations
Glen St. at South St./Bay St.:

1. Pavement striping – Existing striping is faded and not visible in some locations. Please see
Figure 3.1 below.
2. Curb ramps – Several of the ramps are showing signs of deterioration with damaged
sections of concrete, curb, detectable warning units, and ponding water, as shown in Figure
3.1. Several pedestrians with strollers were witnessed having a difficult time traversing the
existing ramps.
Figure 3.1 – Glen/South/Bay intersection striping and sidewalk ramp condition

3. Many of the pedestrians did not press the push button when crossing. This was more
common during non-peak hours or at early hours in the morning when vehicle traffic was
lighter. Many of these pedestrians would cross without hesitation, in some instances
caused conflict between vehicles with the green light having to wait on pedestrians.
Figure 3.2 – Pedestrians crossing without using the push button

Figure 3.2 was captured during the video recordings. The two pedestrians were attempting
to cross South St. without using the push button. The vehicle in the left turn lane had the
left turn green arrow but had to wait for the pedestrians to cross in this instance.

4. The pedestrian refugee island at the Bay St. crossing was also problematic causing people to
get trapped on the island for one of two reasons.
a. Some would stop to read the Civil War monument
b. Pedestrians traveling westbound (on Glen St.) that did not use the push button and
wait for the “walk” light; would begin to cross, and southbound vehicles would get
the green light, trapping them at the island.
Figure 3.3 – Pedestrians stopped in the Bay St. Median

5. There were numerous occurrences of turning vehicles having to stop and wait for
pedestrians in the crosswalk. In this scenario the pedestrians had the right of way with the
walk symbol activated while the same direction vehicular movement was green. The City
notified us of several public comments citing this same scenario where there was
heightened tension between the driver and pedestrian. The observations for this study did
not witness any frustrated or “road rage” type interactions. However, it is noted that this
could be a safety concern if there were an inattentive driver or pedestrian.
6. Several bicyclists were observed utilizing the sidewalk, sidewalk ramps, and crosswalks to
travel through the intersection.
Figure 3.4 – Bicyclists using the sidewalk

7. There were many instances of pedestrian confusion when looking for the push button to
cross South St on both sides of South St. At the southeast corner, the push buttons to cross
Glen St. and South St. are both located on the traffic signal pole that is adjacent to the Glen
St. crosswalk, this pole is 15 ft. away from the South St. sidewalk ramp which may
contribute to the confusion. At the southwest corner both push buttons to cross Glen St.
and South St. are located on the same pedestrian signal pole that is adjacent to the Glen St.
sidewalk ramp and 14 ft. away from the South St. sidewalk ramp.
Figure 3.5 – Pedestrians searching for the push button

Glen St. at Sherman Ave./Washington St.:

1. Pedestrian volume overall was lower than at the Glen St. and South St./Bay St. intersection.
2. Pavement striping – Existing striping is faded and not visible in some locations. Please see
Figure 3.6 below.
3. The existing curb ramps do not meet current ADA requirements. The ramps do not include
detectable warning units, there are drainage structures located at the base of the ramp, and
the positioning of the ramps do not line up with the crosswalk direction. Please see Figure
3.6 below for a close-up view of the south side ramps.
Figure 3.6

4. Pedestrians were observed to be hesitant to cross the street at this location. This appears
to be due to the lack of pedestrian signals to guide them. Pedestrians were observed to run
to cross the street when there was a gap in vehicle traffic and others would avoid crossing at
the intersection completely and defer to crossing mid-block.
5. There were numerous occurrences of turning vehicles having to stop and wait for
pedestrians in the crosswalk. The observations for this study did not witness any frustrated
or “road rage” type interactions. However, as noted at the other intersection in the study,
this could be a safety concern if there were an inattentive driver or pedestrian.
6. The existing signal system is operating satisfactorily. Longer queues of vehicles were
witnessed on Sherman Ave. and Washington St. as a result of separate phases being utilized
in the signal cycle in lieu of concurrent phases (which is currently restricted due to the one
lane approach of Sherman Ave.).
7. Pedestrians were observed to walk through Stewart’s parking lot and cross the street mid-
block behind the crosswalk. This crossing pattern is most likely due to the stop bar being
located behind the Stewart’s driveway.
Figure 3.7 – Pedestrians crossing at the Stewart’s driveway

IV. Recommendations
Recommended improvements to each intersection are provided below that will address the safety
and operational issues that were observed. Most of the recommendations are low cost
improvements that could completed by the City or through contracted services. The
recommendations are presented as standalone improvements that could be completed one at a
time or all at once, dependent on available funding.

Glen St. at South St./Bay St.:

1. Install Turning Vehicles Yield to Pedestrians (MUTCD # R10-15) signs on all intersection
approaches, see Figure 4.4 below. Overhead installation on the signal mast arm will be
most effective and should be placed in direct view of drivers in the left turn lanes.
Figure 4.4

An analysis of the existing traffic signal poles was completed based on the as-built record
plans. It was determined that the existing signal pole footings have enough moment
capacity to support the installation of these four (4) additional overhead signs on the mast
arms.

Probable Cost to Implement = $1,000 Each x 4 Signs = $ 4,000. Installation includes bracket
and mounting hardware, bucket truck, traffic control, and sign panel.

2. Adjust the signal phasing and timing to include a Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI). A LPI is
typically a 3-7 second head start for pedestrians when entering an intersection with a
corresponding green signal in the same direction of travel. LPI’s are recommended at
intersections where high vehicular turning volumes come into conflict with higher volumes
of crossing pedestrians during their shared phase of the signal cycle. Coupled with
recommendation #1, the Yield to Pedestrian sign, these two items would increase driver
awareness of pedestrians at this intersection.
Source: National Association of Transportation Officials

Figure 4.3 – LPI Phasing Diagram

Probable Cost to Implement = N/A. The LPI can be implemented at no cost through
modifications to the signal phasing and timings.

3. Re-Striping the pavement would aid in guiding vehicles through the intersection and bring
attention to the crosswalks.
a. High Visibility Crosswalks should be installed at this intersection to provide
improved driver awareness of the pedestrian crossing locations. The crosswalks
include the addition of two transverse lines to the perpendicular ladder bars that
are on site currently as shown in the figure below. The pavement markings should
be Epoxy paint with glass bead for retro-reflectivity or retro-reflective thermoplastic
pavement marking tape.
Figure 4.1 – High Visibility Crosswalk Striping
Probable Cost to Implement = $ 10,000

b. It is suggested that all other intersection pavement markings are also replaced with
Epoxy based retro-reflective paint.
Probable Cost to Implement = $ 5,000

4. Provide an additional push button only pole at the southeast and southwest corners for
pedestrians looking to cross South St.
Probable Cost to Implement = $ 7,000. Installation includes standard push button, pole,
pedestrian crossing sign, conduit, and wiring.

5. Replace the existing pedestrian push buttons with Latching Pedestrian Push Buttons. The
Latching pedestrian push button assembly provides visual confirmation with a red LED light
that the button was activated and the call was placed to the signal controller. The button
itself can be fabricated with an arrow for direction of travel or even upgraded to include the
City logo or a theme for the area.
Figure 4.2 – Latching Pedestrian Push Buttons

Probable Cost to Implement = $900 Each x 8 locations = $ 6,000

6. Replace the existing static No Turn on Red signs with Overhead No Turn on Red Variable
Message Signs (MUTCD # R10-11), please see Figure 4.5. These dynamic signs provide a
dual benefit by allowing the no turn restriction when the pedestrian push button is
activated and also improves vehicular efficiency by allowing right turns when pedestrians
are not present. The signs are installed overhead in line with the right turn movement,
wired directly into the signal controller, and activated through the pedestrian push button.
When the push button is not activated, the sign is blacked out, allowing right turn
movements.
Figure 4.5

An analysis of the existing traffic signal poles was completed based on the as-built record
plans. It was determined that the existing signal pole footings have enough moment
capacity to support the installation of these four (4) additional overhead signs on the mast
arms, as well as the four (4) Yield to Pedestrian signs recommended in #1 above.

Probable Cost to Implement = $4,500 Each x 4 locations = $ 18,000. Installation includes
removal of existing signs, bracket and mounting hardware, new signs, and wiring to the
signal cabinet.

7. Reconstructing the curb ramps to provide new detectable warning units, address the areas
of ponding water, and provide a continuous smooth transition between the sidewalk and
road surface.
Probable Cost to Implement = $ 50,000. Installation includes excavation, subbase,
concrete, pavement restoration and grading, and detectable warning units.

8. Install Shared Lane Markings (also known as “Sharrows”) to notify vehicles and bicyclists to
share the roadway and help deter bicyclists from using the sidewalk.
Figure 4.6 – Shared Lane Marking
Probable Cost to Implement = $200 Each
Glen St. at Sherman Ave./Washington St.:

1. Install Pedestrian Cross Only on Green sign (MUTCD # R10-1).
Figure 4.8
Probable Cost to Implement = $ 100 Each x 8 Locations = $800

2. Re-Striping the pavement would aid in guiding vehicles through the intersection and bring
attention to the crosswalks.
a. High Visibility Crosswalks should be installed at this intersection to provide
improved driver awareness of the pedestrian crossing locations. The crosswalks
include the addition of two transverse lines to the perpendicular ladder bars that
are on site currently as shown in the figure below. The pavement markings should
be Epoxy paint with glass bead for retro-reflectivity or retro-reflective thermoplastic
pavement marking tape.
Figure 4.7 – High Visibility Crosswalk Striping

Probable Cost to Implement = $ 11,000

b. It is suggested that all other intersection pavement markings are also replaced with
Epoxy based retro-reflective paint.
Probable Cost to Implement = $ 3,000

3. Install Turning Vehicles Yield to Pedestrians (MUTCD # R10-15) signs on all intersection
approaches, see Figure 4.4 below. Overhead installation on the signal mast arm will be
most effective. Due to the unknown foundation conditions and age of the signal equipment
an analysis of the moment capacity of the footings could not be completed. It is suggested
that these signs are installed on the signal poles or roadside rather than installed overhead.
If the traffic signal is replaced in the future, these signs can be relocated overhead.
Figure 4.9
Probable Cost to Implement = $1,000 Each x 4 Signs = $ 4,000.

4. Reconstructing the curb ramps to meet current ADA requirements, provide new detectable
warning units, relocate drainage structures, and provide a continuous smooth transition
between the sidewalk and road surface.
Probable Cost to Implement = $ 60,000

5. An additional intersection traffic study could be conducted to evaluate vehicle and
pedestrian operation at this intersection, including a pedestrian signal warrant analysis. The
study could also analyze the potential benefits of constructing a turn lane on Sherman Ave.,
increased optimization of the traffic signal, and improved pedestrian measures (such as
some or all of the individual items included above).

V. Public Comments
The Draft Study was advertised and available for review or download by the City of Glens Falls on
their website and Instagram account in addition to the A/GFTC website and Facebook account. The
Draft Study was open for public review and comment from November 4, 2021 through November
19, 2021. A/GFTC and B&L also provided an overview of the project, findings, and
recommendations at the November 3, 2021 City of Glens Falls Board of Public Safety meeting. The
comments received are summarized below:

1. Michael Lingle, via e-mail on November 10, 2021 – I met with the traffic safety committee
several years ago. I am a frequent walker. I told them that the crossing at Sherman and
Washington was dangerous. There is no crossing signal for pedestrians. The light allows
traffic from Washington to proceed down Sherman Westbound when the light is red for
Eastbound. How would a pedestrian know?
The site assessment and observations of the Glen St. at Sherman Ave./Washington St.
intersection in this report are consistent with Mr. Lingle’s experiences. The Sherman Ave.
and Washington St. phases of the traffic signal do operate separately as a result of the
singular southbound travel lane on the Sherman Ave. approach. The first recommendation
at this intersection is the installation of “Cross Only on Green” signs to provide guidance to
pedestrians here with the absence of pedestrian signals. The study also recommends an
additional engineering study of the intersection to evaluate the vehicular signal operation
and also warrants for pedestrian signal.

2. Discussion held during the November 3, 2021 Board of Public Safety Meeting – At the Glen
St. at South St./Bay St. intersection, could the countdown timers be added to the current
pedestrian signals?
Yes, this is a good observation noted by the public in attendance with the November 3rd
meeting. Pedestrian countdown timer signals could be added to the current signal system
at the intersection in addition to the other recommendations presented in this report.
Currently, each direction has a single 16” x 18” signal unit that displays the Hand/Person
figures. These units can be replaced with 16” x 18” combination Countdown and Pedestrian
Signal units, See figure 5.1. Many current pedestrian signal applications will include two
side by side 12” x 12” units for each direction of control, one unit displays the Hand/Person
symbols and the other is the countdown timer. These side by side units could be installed
here if a full scale replacement is undertaken by the City, although the singular combination
units will allow for a more economical upgrade with a direct replacement of the existing
signal heads.

Figure 5.1 – Existing Hand/Person Signal and Replacement Combination Signal
Probable Cost to Implement = $1,200 Each x 8 Signals = $ 9,600.

 

North Road Pedestrian Feasibility Study

Table of Contents
I. Introduction & Goals 1
A. Existing Conditions 1
1. Land Use and Community Context 1
2. Roadway Geometry 1
3. Roadside Conditions 2
4. Traffic Counts & Speed 2
5. Environmental Concerns 3
II. Evaluation of Alternatives 3
A. Widen Shoulders (Not Recommended) 3
B. Pedestrian Path 4
C. Shared Use Path 5
D. Path Alignment 6
1. East Side 6
2. Alternate Sides 6
E. Advisory Shoulder (Village Portion Only) 8
III. Cost Estimate 9
IV. Implementation & Next Steps 9
A. Grant Funding 10
Appendix 1 – Roadside Obstacles and Constraints A-1
Appendix 2 – Environmental Constraints A-2
Appendix 3 – Preferred & Alternate Alignment A-3
Appendix 4 – Detailed Cost Estimate A-4

I. Introduction & Goals
On behalf of the Town of Greenwich, the Adirondack/Glens Falls Transportation Council (A/GFTC), in conjunction with Barton & Loguidice, has prepared this Feasibility Report for a pedestrian connection along North Road to provide access to the Thunder Mountain Recreation Area. This stretch of roadway is a popular route for pedestrians and cyclists of all ages, yet there are no dedicated facilities to accommodate these activities.
The goal of this Feasibility Report is to provide an overview of existing conditions, a framework to evaluate alternatives, concept-level cost estimates, and information concerning funding opportunities and implementation. This information is furnished to the Town to guide further decision making; it is recommended that outreach to affected landowners, town residents, and the Village of Greenwich be conducted prior to moving forward with future planning, design, and/or construction.
A. Existing Conditions
This section contains general information about conditions which may affect the design and/or construction of pedestrian amenities. This information is provided only to inform the evaluation of conceptual alternatives and is not a substitution for a land survey.
1. Land Use and Community Context
The project study area includes the portions of Prospect Street/North Road located between Gray Avenue in the Village of Greenwich and the Thunder Mountain Recreation Area entrance within the Town. In this area the land use transitions from neighborhood-scale residential to a more agricultural/rural context.
As stated previously, North Road is heavily used by walkers, cyclists, joggers, and people using strollers (see Figure 1). The road connects to the main entrance to Thunder Mountain Recreation Area, a Village-owned and maintained facility which contains trails and a popular fishing spot. In addition, there is a farm/bakery stand on the west side of the roadway which has become a local destination.
2. Roadway Geometry
North Road is a town-maintained facility with a functional classification of a rural local road. The pavement width is approximately 20-22’ within the study corridor. The pavement is unmarked and the shoulders are grass turf. Slopes and curves along the corridor are gentle, providing long lines of sight for the most part.
3. Roadside Conditions
Roadside conditions vary widely within the corridor. Although there are long stretches of open field, in other areas pockets of forest or mature hedgerows are located 10’ or less from the edge of pavement. In addition, numerous utility poles, large trees, fences, mailboxes, stone walls, and built structures are located near the edge of pavement. See Appendix 1 for more detail. Any future construction must take into account the need to avoid or relocate these elements; coordination with adjoining landowners will be necessary.
In particular, there are three structures located relatively close to the roadway on the west side of the street. This includes two homes and a barn (see Figure 3.) Although it may be physically feasible to construct a path between these structures and the edge of pavement, this may result in an undesirable condition for both the path users and the residents of the homes.
4. Traffic Counts & Speed
Traffic volume and speed data was collected for one week between Thursday, August 19, 2021 and Thursday, August 26, 2021. The data was collected using two roadside radar Automatic Traffic Recorders (ATRs) that were located approximately 1,000 ft. and 1,750 ft. south of the Thunder Mountain Recreation Area entrance. It is noted that the farm/bakery stand is located between the two counters and was in operation during the data collection period. The traffic and speed data is summarized in Table 1.

North Road is a low volume road with an Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) less than 400 vehicles per day (vpd). The peak hours between the count locations were not consistent, but this is due to the relatively low roadway volume. A review into the hourly volumes revealed consistent hourly volumes in the 20 to 30 vehicle per hour range throughout the regular daytime hours, with the peak hour determined by only one or two additional vehicles.
Speed data was also collected at the two count locations, both within the posted 45 MPH zone. The 85th percentile speed represents the speed at which 85% of vehicles travel at or below. The 85th percentile speeds at the two locations were 42 and 45 MPH, respectively.
5. Environmental Concerns
To determine the likelihood of potential environmental impacts, the NYSDEC Environmental Resource Mapper was consulted. See Appendix 2 for the environmental overview map. The map indicates that there may be freshwater wetlands in the project area. These are located primarily on the west side of North Road along an unnamed Class C stream. This stream runs under North Road via a culvert, eventually connecting to the former reservoir on the Thunder Mountain Recreation site. The culvert, which runs diagonally under the roadway, extends a few feet beyond the edge of pavement. It is likely that an off-road pedestrian amenity would require an extension of the culvert. In addition, all wetlands within the project area will require delineation during project design. A NYS Freshwater Wetlands Permit is required for any physical disturbance within the designated wetland or within the adjacent area of a state protected freshwater wetland. The adjacent area usually extends 100 feet from the wetland but has been extended beyond 100 feet under unusual circumstances. Ideally, the proposed pedestrian amenity will minimize or avoid impacts to the wetland and stream.
The environmental resource mapper also indicates the possible presence of rare animals or plants within a portion of the study area. NYSDEC should be consulted during project design to determine whether a permit will be required.
To determine the presence of agricultural lands within the project area, the Washington County Real Property Service Web Map was consulted. There are several identified farmland parcels along North Road that are included in Consolidated Agricultural District 4, as shown in Appendix 2. Potential project impacts and property easements on farmlands will need to be identified during the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) process when the project design and construction is progressed.
II. Evaluation of Alternatives
For the purpose of this analysis, three bicycle/pedestrian facility types were examined. The factors which affect the feasibility of construction include right-of-way impacts (as measured by number of parcels affected), roadside obstacles, environmental impacts, and stormwater/drainage. In addition, the desirability of each alternative in terms of the pedestrian and/or cyclist experience was also addressed.
A. Widen Shoulders (Not Recommended)
The first alternative is to widen the roadway to create shoulders on each side, which would allow space for pedestrians and cyclists to travel without the need for drivers to veer into the opposite lane to pass them. This can reduce the likelihood of pedestrian and bicycle crashes. The FHWA “Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks” guide recommends a minimum shoulder width of 4’, though a width of 5-6.5’ is more desirable. To create a visual separation from the travel lane, the shoulders should be delineated, preferably in conjunction with rumble strips. To further enhance the visual separation, an 8” wide white stripe, or two 4” white stripes with an 18” buffer between them, can be used.
From a mobilization standpoint, widening the road would require coordination with every landowner in the corridor. Although the wider roadway will fit likely within the existing ROW, construction easements will be required for grading and drainage, utility poles and mailboxes will need to be relocated, and a significant number of trees will need to be removed on both sides of the roadway. This may cause major impacts to the surrounding community character and visual environment.
It is important to note that a shoulder is not a dedicated pedestrian or bicycle facility; it is considered part of the roadway. As such, vehicles may use the shoulder to pull over and park, blocking use by pedestrians and cyclists. In addition, increased roadway width is correlated to higher vehicle speed1. Widening the roadway may therefore lead to higher traffic speeds, which would be further detrimental to the pedestrian bicycle experience. For this reasons, wide shoulders are not recommended.
B. Pedestrian Path
The next alternative entails the construction of a 5’-wide pedestrian path (see Figures 4 & 5). These differ from sidewalks in that they are not immediately adjacent to the roadway and do not require a curb. Pedestrian paths are generally set back from the road and separated by a ditch, green area, or tree plantings. These paths can be constructed along, but not immediately adjacent to, a roadway. The recommended minimum separation between a pedestrian pathway and the roadway is 4’ (noted as the ‘furnishing zone’ in Figure 4); however, this can be reduced to as little as 2’ in constrained areas.2
Recommended pavement applications for a pedestrian path include concrete, stone dust, and asphalt. Asphalt in particular offers a level of design flexibility to create a meandering alignment which can easily wind around large trees, utility poles, and other constraints while providing an easy-to-maintain, durable surface.
It is important to note that this alternative does not specifically provide accommodation to cyclists; as with sidewalks, pedestrian paths are designed for use by pedestrians. However, there is no legislation that would prevent cyclists from using the facility. The pedestrian path could be useful for children and cyclists who are not comfortable riding in the travel lane; however, with only 5’ of pathway width, this could create conflicts with pedestrians using the path at the same time.
To support cyclists on North Road, a “Narrow Lane” bicycle warning sign (Figure 6) may be installed in conjunction with the pedestrian path.3 This will alert drivers to the increased presence of bicycles along this stretch of roadway.
C. Shared Use Path
A shared use path (also known as a multi-use path or sidepath) is an 8-12’ wide paved facility designed for use by both cyclists and pedestrians, as shown in figures 7 and 8. By providing a facility separate from non-motorized traffic, shared use paths create a low-stress experience and comfortable environment for users of every age and ability. A 2’ shoulder/clear zone is recommended on either side of the path to facilitate drainage and user safety; however, this may be reduced in constrained environments. In addition, the minimum recommended separation from the roadway is 5’. Recommended pavement applications for a shared use path include asphalt and stone dust.
This facility would face the same constraints as the pedestrian path regarding the location, with an additional constraint posed by existing stone retaining walls on the east side of the roadway. The stone walls are located approximately 8’-10’ from the edge of pavement. As such, there may not be room to fit a shared-use path between the wall and the roadway in this location while maintaining a buffer from the edge of the pavement. If a shared use path is desired, this constraint may be accommodated by reducing the width of the path in this location (with provision of appropriate warning signage) and/or providing a vertical barrier or rumble strips between the roadway and the path.
Since the shared use path is wider than a pedestrian path, it is likely that additional ROW acquisitions will be required, most likely for the majority of the approximately 25 parcels affected. In addition, the wider shared use path may require more extensive vegetative clearing. However, this option provides a comfortable experience for both cyclists and pedestrians, as both groups are fully separated from traffic.
D. Path Alignment
1. East Side
It is recommended that the location of a pedestrian or shared use path should reduce the need for users to cross the street to access the facility. NYSDOT notes that in cases where paths or sidewalks are located across from residences, “Pedestrians may cross where drivers of vehicles do not expect them, but rather where it is more convenient for the pedestrian to access the sidewalk. For example, a pedestrian originating from a residence on the side of a road without pedestrian facilities may opt to cross midblock rather than travel along the roadway to reach an intersection in order to cross and access the sidewalk.”4 As noted above, although traffic volume is light, vehicle speeds in the corridor can reach 45 mph. This further underscores the need to reduce unnecessary pedestrian road crossings as much as possible from a safety perspective.
Given that the residential development along North Road is not evenly distributed, the pedestrian path is recommended to be located on the side of the road which could be accessed by the most residents – in this case, the east side. This will require coordination from approximately 25 landowners. This option also avoids potential conflicts with the structures and wetlands on the west side of the road. To further reduce the potential for uncontrolled pedestrian crossings, the Town could consider adding a dedicated crosswalk leading to the farm stand/bakery, as it is a pedestrian generator within the corridor.
2. Alternate Sides
As noted above, the recommended alignment of either a pedestrian or multi-use path would be along the east side of the roadway. However, if there is an unsurmountable constraint (for example, needed ROW cannot be acquired, or a physical/ environmental obstacle cannot be mitigated), it may be necessary to locate a portion of the facility along the west side of the road. As discussed previously, there are several constraints on the east side of North Road, including ROW, fencing, retaining walls, and others. To determine the potential ROW impacts, the Washington County Real Property Services Parcel Viewer was reviewed. It is noted that the public highway boundary is not centered on the roadway (see Figure 9). This may be due to alignment errors between the digital parcel lines and the available aerial photography; in the absence of other data (such as a survey), this apparent offset is assumed to be accurate for the purposes of this report. A survey would be required to determine the actual available ROW on either side of the roadway.
With the possibility of constrained availability of public ROW, the west side of North Road was investigated as an alignment option for the path.
While the east side option provides the more desirable connection to Thunder Mountain Recreation Area by reducing the need for pedestrian crossings, due to construction and ROW constraints it may be necessary to align the path on alternating sides of the road, beginning on the east side and then crossing to the west. In this case, the path would begin on the east side of Prospect Street at Sloan Drive, avoiding the residences which are close to the road, then would cross North Road at the northern intersection of Queens Gate Drive. This would require a marked crosswalk. The path could then continue along the west side of the road, ultimately crossing back at the entrance of Thunder Mountain Recreation Park, again using a marked crosswalk. Both the preferred and alternate alignments are shown in Appendix 3.
E. Advisory Shoulder (Village Portion Only)
As noted above and on the map in Appendix 1, there is an existing stone wall located along a residential driveway just north of the Gray Avenue intersection. This feature presents a constraint to the construction of a path; as such it is recommended that any off-road path facility should begin at the intersection of Sloan Drive.
However, this leaves the section of Prospect Street between Sloan Drive and Gray Avenue without any accommodation for cyclists and pedestrians. A potential solution would be to create a facility known as Advisory Shoulders (see Figures 10 & 11). This treatment is only suitable for roadways with vehicle speeds of 35 m.p.h. or less; as such, it could be located only within the Village 30 m.p.h. speed zone.
Advisory shoulders demarcate space for bicyclists and pedestrians on a roadway that is otherwise too narrow for other options. The shoulder is delineated by pavement marking, creating two 4’ – 6’ wide shoulders with a 10’ – 13.5’ center lane. Motorists may enter the shoulder when no bicyclists or pedestrians are present and must overtake these users with caution due to potential oncoming traffic. It should be noted that advisory shoulders are a new treatment type in the United States. To install advisory shoulders, an approved Request to Experiment is required as detailed in Section 1A.10 of the Manual of Unified Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).
This alternative could be used as an interim solution to provide a bike/ped facility within the Village to connect to an off-road pedestrian or shared-use path as described previously. Given that the Village recently paved Prospect Road, the advisory shoulders could be implemented (pending FWHA approval) simply by adding pavement markings to the roadway. This alternative could be located along Prospect Street between Gray Avenue and Sloan Drive, or it could extend further south on Prospect Street to the intersection of Cooper Street. It is not recommended to extend south past Cooper Street due to sight distance constraints.
III. Cost Estimate
Planning level cost estimates were prepared for each alternative, summarized below in Table 3. For the detailed cost breakdown, see Appendix 4. The estimate also includes project “soft” costs for the survey, design, construction inspection, and ROW (easement) phases that would be required through the state or federal aid grant programs.
The cost estimates were prepared assuming the project would be funded through a federal or state grant and constructed through a traditional design-bid-build process. Typical grant programs through NYSDOT or the NYS Consolidated Funding Application range from 50-80% project funding; as such, the potential cost to the Town has also been included in Table 3 in the event that grant funding is procured. In some cases, the local match may be cash or in-kind labor.
IV. Implementation & Next Steps
This report was prepared to outline the physical feasibility of the various alternatives for a bicycle/pedestrian facility. It is recommended that, should the Town decide to pursue design and construction, a robust public outreach effort should be commenced. As noted above, both the pedestrian path and shared use path alternatives will require extensive coordination with the residents of the adjoining parcels. Although in some cases the narrower pedestrian path may be accommodated within the existing ROW, some residents and landowners may choose to grant additional easements to reduce the need to remove large trees or landscaping features. In other areas, additional ROW may be needed to allow for proper grading and drainage. Once the path is constructed, residents may have concerns about ongoing maintenance, for example concerning snow removal in the winter.
As such, reaching out to residents in a proactive manner is a crucial element of the process. In addition, demonstrating community support for the path may increase the favorability of the project from a grant funding perspective. On a related note, coordination with the Village will also be necessary for the portions of the corridor located in that jurisdiction.
A. Grant Funding
There are a variety of funding sources for pedestrian/shared use path design and construction. When seeking funding sources, it is important to consider funding minimum/maximums as well as any stipulations regarding local match and funding procurement, project deliverability, and any requirements specific to the funding program. In addition, the grant sources listed below are reimbursement programs; the Town must first-instance project costs before funds will be disbursed.
Potential Funding Sources
Notes*
Hudson River Valley Greenway: Conservancy Trail Grant
* Trail Construction: Up to $75,000
* Trail Design or planning: Up to $40,000
* 50% local/non-state match, in-kind allowed
OPRHP: Recreational Trails Program
* Trail development/construction: Min. $25,000, max $250,000
* Property acquisition is allowed in ask
* 20% local match, in-kind allowed
NYSDOT Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)
* Project Design/Construction: Min. $500,000, Max $5M
* 20% local match
* Federal aid procedural requirements apply
A/GFTC Make the Connection Program
* Trail Design Only: Min. $20,000
* Trail Construction or Design & Construction: Min. $60,000
* 20% local match
* Federal aid procedural requirements apply
*Grant requirements subject to change

One option which may increase the chances of receiving a significant award, such as the Transportation Alternatives Program, is to leverage a smaller grant, such as the Hudson River Valley Greenway, to begin the survey/design process. This would enable the Town to determine the exact ROW constraints and create a more robust cost estimate. In addition, leveraging more than one funding source can be an advantage on grant applications.

Draft Glen Street Intersections Pedestrian Access Study

Draft report assessing pedestrian access issues at the intersections of Glen Street / Bay Street / South Street and Glen Street Washington Street / Sherman Avenue in Glens Falls, including suggested mitigation efforts for municipal consideration.

TIP amendment request – NYSDOT regional paving projects

Draft TIP amendment request, approved by the A/GFTC Planning Committee for public comment, from NYSDOT seeking an amended project listing to A/GFTC TIP Project # REG 117 to add $6.900M in additional funds to support pavement rehabilitation and repairs for 5 sections of State highways within the A/GFTC area.

 

 

Draft Chestertown Pedestrian Improvements Report

Conceptual report commissioned by A/GFTC and prepared by Creighton Manning on behalf of the Town of Chester to assist the Town in identifying potential pedestrian improvements to connect the hamlet area southward to the Chester-Horicon Health Center.

TIP Amendment Request – I-87 over Route 9 bridges, Town of Lake George

The New York State Department of Transportation has requested an amendment to the Transportation Improvement Program to add $10.325M in additional Construction and Construction Inspection programming to facilitate the project to replace the two bridges carrying Interstate 87 over Route 9 between Exits 22 and 23 in the Town of Lake George. The specific amendment request is attached to this post. Amendment requests of this fiscal scale require that the public be provided with an opportunity to review and comment prior to A/GFTC Policy Committee consideration for approval. Comments will be accepted through July 15, 2021 and may be transmitted in writing by email to aaron@agftc.org, conventional mail to A/GFTC, 11 South Street #203, Glens Falls, NY, 12801, or by utilizing the Contact Us module of this website.