Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Another RFP

The DRI Committee still has not decided which firm will undertake the restoration and renovation of Promenade Hill, but in the meantime, another RFP has been issued. This one for what is being called "BRIDGE District Connectivity Improvements." The project combines what was originally two DRI projects: "Implement Complete Street Improvements" and "Improve the Safety and Aesthetics of Cross Street and the Second Street Stairs." The RFP (request for proposals), which can be viewed here, identifies the following "Priority Projects" and "Secondary Projects."

Reading these lists introduced me to a new term: bike sharrow. The word sharrow is a portmanteau word, combining "share" and "arrow." This symbol painted on the roadway is a sharrow.

It doesn't mark a designated bike lane. Instead it indicates that a lane is to be shared by bicycles and automobiles. This article, found in Bicycling, provides a useful discussion of bike sharrows: "No, Really, What Are Sharrows Good For?"

Another thing learned from reviewing the RFP is that the plans for the Second Street stairs have been scaled back. Originally, this elegant and fanciful re-imagining was offered for the stairs connecting Allen Street to Cross Street.

The RFQ contains more realistic aspirations for the stairs, which involve widening them and adding more adequate handrails, a bike ramp (for walking your bike up or down the stairs), bike racks, and resting spots.

A site visit for those interested in submitting proposals has been scheduled for Tuesday, August 13. The deadline for submitting proposals is Tuesday, August 27.


  1. > Subject: NYS Town Planning Boards
    > Good day Phil. I hope you are enjoying the summer and beating the heat.
    > You may not know this, but I have served on the Town of Colonie-Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) since 2012. During that period I have attended my share of Planning Board meetings (as part of our responsibility as CAC members is to “advise” the Planning Board on a variety of issues including plantings, and advisability of building near wetlands, streams and hillsides). I do believe that the TOC CAC has been more and more successful over the last few years in presenting comments and arguments to the Planning Board (and the town designated engineers and developers) that influenced the direction of many a planned development toward a more sustainable and environmentally sound direction. But it has been a challenge.
    > My purpose in relaying this to you, is that in following the local news of developments in the TOC and other towns in our region and around NYS, it has become apparent to me that there are many instances of planning boards becoming too close with the developers pushing this or that project. Yes, citizens are given a chance to speak out at meetings, but often it is not until this or that project has evolved to the point of concept acceptance, instead of earlier on, in the planning stages. In addition, many of the citizens appointed to the planning boards are not well versed in basic environmental and sustainability concepts….and are led along by developers, and thus reach conclusions on developments which are not environmentally sound.
    > I believe that changes need to be made statewide to the way planning boards operate, to provide citizens with more and earlier input. Changes also need to be made in the way planning board members are chosen and probably most importantly, those appointees need additional annual training in environmental and sustainability concepts. I hope that you will consider this and share with your fellow legislatures as I know that we can do better.
    > Thank you.
    > Don Allard

  2. After a consultant stole $16,000 from our own Conservation Advisory Council, the CAC "agreed that the [Natural Resource Inventory] should be brought to the public when the maps are done" and not before (CAC Minutes, 7/3/18).

    But when the NRI neared completion, the public had to complain to the NYSDEC that the CAC was cheating residents of their contractual right to review the product.

    Naturally, the state ensured that the CAC honored the terms of its contract, but after our corrections were submitted - the kinds only locals can make - the CAC Chairman informed residents that the money with which to make any changes had finally run out.

    Fortunately for Hudson we'll soon have a new CAC Chairman, hopefully someone who can rise above the bait-and-switch tactics.

    For a crazy variation of the above, many still remember how city attorney Cheryl Roberts - who's now hoping to become a Supreme Court candidate! - recycled numerous public comments about a superseded proposal to apply to a brand new proposal that was universally despised.

    At the City website you'll still find our praise meant for the initial zoning scheme reappropriated in support of Roberts' disastrous "Core Riverfront" corridor through the South Bay. (This was only one of her obscene manipulations which voters will hear more about in the coming months.)

    Mr. Allard's warnings are worth repeating, "Yes, citizens are given a chance to speak out at meetings, but often it is not until this or that project has evolved to the point of concept acceptance, instead of earlier on, in the planning stages."