Bike Albany Map Launches, Recap of Capital Region Smart Cities Forum

This week, I helped announce the launch of the new interactive BikeAlbanyMap, of bike routes through Albany funded with a project grant I secured through the Assembly.

The map app, developed by the Albany Bicycle Coalition in collaboration with Mohawk Valley GIS and Parks & Trails New York, shows cycle routes throughout Albany on mainly bike-friendly streets. The map concentrates on secondary roads, side streets, and bike-pedestrian paths. Major arteries are used only where necessary to make connections. Traffic density is indicated by color coding. Traffic advisories, where needed, are indicated by “caution” triangles.

Thanks to the partners for their work on the map, as well as Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan and Albany Common Councilmember Leah Golby for lending their support.

Capital Region Smart Cities Forum. Earlier this week, I sponsored a Smart Cities Forum at the Capitol with a capacity crowd in the Assembly Parlor – and a cross cutting discussion panel to promote smart savings and saving through energy savings, LED streetlight conversions, high-speed connectivity and related technology for public / private collaborations to harness the power of technology while saving funds.

Many thanks to those who participated - including the Public Service Commission Chair, Audrey Zibelman, and Mayors Gary McCarthy and Kathy Sheehan. In coordination with the New York Conference of Mayors, the event featured municipal leaders, business executives, and state officials. Cutting-edge technologies such as smart street lights and next generation high-speed connectivity are the wave of the future. Municipalities across New York State are discovering how these can be used to improve quality-of-life for residents while producing needed savings and increasing safety.

Oil Train Vapor Pressure letter to U.S. DOT update. Thanks in part to the 22 Assemblymembers who joined me earlier this month in our support of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman's petitionto require increased safety standards in the operation of high-hazard flammable oil trains by establishing a federal vapor pressure standard for crude oil shipped by intercity rail. Senator Chuck Schumer, who has helped push for stronger safety measures, announced earlier this week the Obama administration will initiate steps to study stricter flammability standards in crude oil transportation.

Environmental justice community impact grants. Governor Cuomo announced $3 million in Environmental Justice Community Impact Grants to mitigate environmental and public health threats in low-income and minority communities. This funding was included in the expanded Environmental Protection Fund in this year’s state budget. More than $3 million will be distributed to communities around the state, the most ever offered in a single grant round in the decade-long existence of the initiative. For more information contact the Department of Environmental Conservation's Office of Environmental Justice at 866.229.0497, or

Below are a few other notes and highlights that I’d like to share with you.

Career Comic Book: Creative Every Day. Creative Every Day - Tales of Art + Life Colliding is a comic book created by a Troy comic book artist and educator Ira Marcks to highlight and promote careers in the arts. It includes a variety of Capital Region creative professionals telling the stories of their diverse career choices.

Creative Every Day was inspired by a 2014 study by the Upstate Alliance for a Creative Economy (ACE), which revealed that the Capital Region has more than 30,000 creative sector jobs. The comic book will be distributed to more than 15,000 students in area middle schools, high schools, colleges, and community groups to ensure young people and their parents are aware of the wide spectrum of viable career opportunities that exist in the region. This project was inspired, produced and funded by the Workforce Development Institute (WDI).

Job Opportunities: New York State has setup a new job portal entitled Jobs Express, where thousands of private and public sector jobs are listed. Visit for more information on how to apply for these opportunities.

As always, for the latest news or for upcoming events, please visit my office online, on Facebook, on Twitter, or my Times Union blog. If you would like to reach my office, please feel free to send us a note.