Public Participation Plan

DRAFT Public Participation Plan
Delaware Avenue Complete Streets Feasibility Study

What is the Delaware Avenue Complete Streets Feasibility Study?

The Delaware Avenue Complete Streets Feasibility Study is sponsored by the Town of Bethlehem to identify and analyze the feasibility of a full range of appropriate complete streets elements for Delaware Avenue between Elsmere Avenue and the Normanskill Bridge.

The potentially feasible future street designs and complete streets features to be identified through this study will balance the needs of all roadway users (drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users).  This balance will be achieved in a manner that enhances community quality of life, the local economy, and safety for all roadway users along this multi-modal and increasingly mixed use corridor and its adjacent neighborhoods.

This study will include corridor specific traffic operations and crash analyses, development of feasible alternatives based on a complete streets framework, and strong stakeholder and community based outreach, education and input.

The outcome of this study will be Delaware Avenue corridor improvement concept plans.

What is the Goal of the Public Participation Plan?

This Public Participation Plan (PPP) documents specific methods to engage, inform and educate the public about the Delaware Avenue Complete Streets Feasibility Study. The goals of the Public Participation Plan are to ensure clear information is provided to the stakeholders groups regarding the Project, and to facilitate “public” involvement throughout the study process and especially during development of alternatives and the study recommendations. In order to achieve these goals the PPP will create various opportunities to inform and engage the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), the Study Advisory Committee (SAC), stakeholders groups, business owners and residents in and adjacent to the Delaware Avenue study area and the general public.

Involvement of the public in this planning effort is critical to its success. The consultant will participate in two (2) public workshops and create project webpages to receive input as well as to inform citizens, staff, stakeholders, and other agencies about the study. It will be critical to provide ample and easily understood information regarding what complete streets are and are not, and the potential array of benefits as well as impacts.

Who makes up the Technical Committee, the Advisory Committee and Stakeholders groups? What are their roles?

The following “Committees” were established to work on various study tasks and to help guide the study process, striving to have diverse interests and agencies represented. There is some overlap of members on the TAC and the SAC which will enable good communication between the committees.

Technical Advisory Committee (TAC):  The TAC will guide the overall project, undertake project tasks as assigned, and will meet frequently to review progress.  This committee includes the following individuals with a good cross section of agencies represented:

  • Rob Leslie – Town Director of Planning
  • Ken Kovalchik – Town Sr Planner
  • Anne Benware – CDTC Project Manager
  • Dave Jukins – CDTC Sr Planner/Engineer
  • Rob Cherry – NYSDOT
  • Consultant team

Study Advisory Committee (SAC):  The role of the Study Advisory Committee is to guide the study and to review and give feedback on interim and final study products. Study Advisory Committee members include individuals from the following entities representing involved and interested agencies, residents and businesses.

  • Study Area businesses
    • Debbie Battaglia, Delaware Plaza
    • Mark Joseph Kelly, Main Square
    • Ed Kleinke, Kleinke Associates
    • John Phillips, Phillips Hardware
    • Jim Giacone, My Place and Co.
    • Tim McCann, Best Cleaners
    • Chris Frese, Frese’s Landscaping
    • Gregg Biche, Quality PM, Inc.
  • Study Area Residents and Civic Organizations
    • Ellie Prakken, Bethlehem Garden Club
    • Virginia Acquario, Bethlehem Garden Club
    • Wilma DeLucco, Delmar Progress Club
    • Scott Lewendon, Bethlehem Planning Board, Friends of the Rail Trail
    • Jeremy Martelle, American Legion-N.A. Blanchard Post No. 1040
    • Jennifer Kilcoyne, Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce
    • Maude Easter, Resident
  • Town
    • John Clarkson, Supervisor
    • Rob Leslie, Director of Planning
    • Brent Meredith, Highway Superintendent
    • Elizabeth Staubach, Economic Development Coordinator
    • Julie Sasso, Town Board
    • Paul Penman, Deputy Commissioner of Public Works/Town Engineer
    • Monika King, Senior Engineer
    • Kenneth Kovalchik, Senior Planner
  • Agencies
    • Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee
    • Dave Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee
    • Sam Wells, Capital District Transportation Authority
    • Ross Farrell, Capital District Transportation Authority
    • Martin Daley, Capital District Regional Planning Commission
    • Rob Cherry, NYSDOT Region 1
    • Audrey Burneson, NYSDOT Region 1

The goal of these committees is to share technical information, provide input on public outreach materials, enable informed decision-making, help shape the draft and final study recommendations, and provide overall guidance on the study as it progresses.  The SAC members and interested stakeholders may be asked to assist in notifying citizens and community groups living and/or working in the study area about the public meetings and the study in general.  This is important to get the broader community engaged with the study. By helping to distribute flyers/announcements and speaking to members of the community about the study, the SAC and interested stakeholders will help further promote public involvement to individuals that were not reached through other means.

What communication methods will be used to involve stakeholders and how will they be implemented?

 

Meetings

 

Technical Committee Meetings:  Frequent Technical Committee meetings will be held as needed to review progress.

Advisory Committee Meetings:  Five (5) SAC meetings are planned – 1) Kick-off, 2) Operational and Safety Analysis, 3) Review Public Input/Draft Alternatives, 4) Evaluation of Alternatives, and 5) Public Comment/Recommendations.

Stakeholder Meetings:  Stakeholder meetings will be by invitation and will be focused on key stakeholders needed for direction or from whom “approvals” are needed.   If it is determined by the TAC that specific stakeholders require unique outreach, then a separate meeting and/or opportunity for engagement will be facilitated.  For example, this could include contact with the Albany Water Board and Albany County regarding access to the rail trail.

Public Meetings:  There will be two public meetings to obtain input from the public at large.  These will be widely publicized to maximize attendance.  The consultant will facilitate these meetings.  Members of the TAC will be asked to participate. SAC members will be encouraged to attend.  It is expected that the public meetings will be held at the Town Hall, which will be confirmed.

  • Public Meeting 1: Public Meeting 1 will be used to introduce the project to the general public, and solicit input on issues and ideas.  Specific techniques used at the first public meeting will be confirmed with the TAC and will likely include:
    • Publicity: Flyer, Project Website, Town Website, email, Town notices/outlets,

Press Release

  • Welcome Station: Sign-in / Fact Sheet pick-up / Comment Sheet
  • PowerPoint: Study overview, purpose and existing conditions, “What are

Complete Streets?”

  • Presentation Boards: Study goals and objectives, Existing Conditions, “What are

Complete Streets?”, Road Diets: Definition and Potential Benefits

  • Activity: Break-out groups (Issues and Ideas)
  • Close: Summary / Report back / Next Steps
  • Public Meeting 2: Public Meeting 2 will be used to present the results of the alternatives analysis and the status of the draft study recommendations and will use similar Publicity, Welcome Station and PowerPoint presentation formats to Public Meeting 1.  Feedback on the alternatives will be the focus of this second public meeting.  The consultant will prepare poster size visuals of the corridor study area, graphics illustrating the alternatives and their various complete streets elements, maps and associated pertinent data/material related to the evaluation and multi-modal performance results, highlighting any needed trade-offs. Specific techniques used at the second public meeting will be confirmed with the TAC and the SAC.  A ranking exercise is expected.

Additional Techniques

Project Website:  The Project web material and a web site will be created by the Consultant.

Social Media:  CDTC and the Town will use Facebook and Twitter to advertise public meetings and other input opportunities.

Newspaper Articles: Press Release to Spotlight Newspaper

Public Notices:  Town / CDTC normal public notice channels will be used.  The consultant will provide materials.

Email:  After the stakeholder list is confirmed, communication will be primarily by email.