Regional Operations Committee

TUEsday, February 20, 2007

1:30 PM


CDTC OFFICE: One Park Place,  Albany, NY



Tom Werner (NYSDOT, Region 1)

Mike Schauer (FHWA)

Dave Rettig (NYSDOT, Region 1)

Dan Howard (NYSDOT, TMC)

Mark Kennedy (NYSDOT, Region 1)

Ray Engel (NYS Thruway)

Kristina Younger (CDTA)

Thomas Hefferman (Town of Bethlehem Police Dept)

Rocky Ferraro (CDRPC)

John Stangle (Town of Colonie)

John Pingelski, Jr. (Town of Halfmoon)

Judy Breselor (City of Troy)

Mark Balistreri (Rennsselaer County Public Safety)

Ken Holmes (Town of Schodack)

Erin Thomas (City of Cohoes)

Jim Sanders (Schenectady Police Dept)

Michael Franchini (Albany County)

Steve Iachetta (Albany County Airport)

Chris O’Neill (CDTC)

Jason Purvis (CDTC)

Sree Nampoothiri (CDTC)



Welcome and Introductions

Following introductions, Jason Purvis welcomed the group, provided a brief explanation of the origins of the idea of Regional Operations Committee, and laid out the expectations for the meeting. 


Explanation of the Regional Operations Concept

The idea originated from Mr. Tom Werner, Director, NYSDOT Region 1.  This committee is intended to create a platform for operations/ planning people from federal and state transportation agencies, local MPO, regional planning agencies, highway and transit agencies, airport and port, various local jurisdiction, and law enforcement agencies to coordinate and integrate various traffic and transportation operations activities in the capital region.  These exchanges are expected to mesh the operation with the planning process.  This kick-off meeting is supposed to detail out what can be achieved by this committee, what should be the modus operandi, who should be the participants, and various topics to be discussed, etc.


Presentation on Management & Operations and Congestion Management Process (CMP) Guidance Development

Dave Rettig began the meeting with a presentation on a guidance prepared by the FHWA on management & operations and CMP at the Federal level.  Salient points are:

  • SAFETEA-LU requires transportation planning process to address congestion management through effective management & operations in order to achieve performance improvements.  Regional motivators supported by transportation agencies and MPO include recurring and non-recurring congestion, safety, connectivity, goods movement, system reliability, etc. 
  • Need to proactively incorporate management & operation in the long range planning
  • Need to advance fundamental shift from project-oriented approach to objectives-driven planning process and outcome-oriented performance measurement
  • Need to link CMP to the Plan by using performance measures
  • Advance a mix of operational strategies and projects across multiple modes
  • Articulate specific and measurable regional operations objectives in the Plan
  • Develop performance measurement indicators and monitor the system regularly
  • Identify and analyze problems and develop strategies
  • Collaborate and coordinate with all operations and management stakeholders

Some topics that generated discussion/comment are:

  • CDTC has already developed some performance measures and analyzed the system performance on the interstate highways using MIST data.  The results have been included in the CDTC long range plan (New Visions)
  • Need for collaborative approach to achieve consistency on signal technology and maintenance across jurisdictions
  • Need for training to be on the same page on technology and reporting
  • Need for coordination of interstate, state, and local routes during detours, particularly using ITS technologies
  • Need to give priority to incident delays


Overview of NYSDOT Transportation Management Center (TMC)

Dan Howard presented the status of TMC, which was started eight years ago and situated at the Troop G headquarters in Harriman Campus. Salient features are:

  • DOT administered including field inspection of equipments
  • 29 CCTC’s, 60 movable VMS, 8 permanent VMS, 26 speed detection stations (MIST), 13 new TRANSMIT sites (13 on highways, 13 on thruway), 2 permanent HAR, 2 portable HAR, 4 HELP trucks (3 on highways, 1 on thruway), 2 portable smart zone units
  • Coordinates with 911


Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Provisions for Operations and Management

Chris O’Neill presented the current funding provisions within CDTC’s TIP.  Salient features are:

  • CMAQ is the main source at present (approximately $29.5 M)
  • CDTC is unique among MPOs to use CMAQ for operations, particularly for TMC
  • Traffic signal set aside through STP



Discussion on Safety Implications

Major points raised were:

  • Need for power generators to deal with power outage situations
  • Need for coordination of local signals with the state signals
  • Need to decide priority locations for signal coordination


Next Steps

It is concluded that the committee would develop clear-cut objectives for the group and identify a ‘facilitator.’  The participants of this meeting should have a discussion within their respective agencies to identify the right person to the committee.  It is necessary to have policy, operations, and technology people involved.  Jason Purvis is to find out from other MPO’s about practices statewide.  A date for the next meeting will be finalized later.