Meeting Notes

PIN 103422 

Central Ave from Rt 155 to Fuller Road  

June 22, 2007



From NYSDOT: Dave Rettig, Scott Nowalk, Geoff Wood, Frank Bonafide

From Town of Colonie  Denise Sheehan, Michael Lyons

From CDTA   Kristina Younger

From Village of Colonie    Mayor Frank Leak

From CDTC   Ann Benware, Glenn Posca



Dave Rettig opened the meeting with introductions and went on to describe the anticipated scope and costs of the project.  It was stressed that the project design had not yet been initiated and was in the internal discussion phase.


Frank Bonafide explained the origin of the project was as request by the Albany Co. Resident Engineer to correct severe rutting that had taken place along this length of Central Ave.  Deep rutting is preventing snowplowing crews from completely clearing snow and ice.  In warmer months, rain water puddles in the ruts/wheelpaths.


Kristina Younger strongly pointed out that the project evaluation sheet provided by DOT indicated the project would have no relationship to local land use and transportations plans.  Frank Bonafide explained that the initial thought was the work, due to a very limited budget, would be considered maintenance and had not planned to address more extensive land use and area transportation plans.  Kristina further pointed out that it had been agreed by the CDTC members that maintenance work would not be federally funded.  She voiced concern that DOT would move forward on this project without coordinating with the Town, Village or CDTA - all of which have plans for this major CDTC corridor.   CDTA does have two projects funded on the TIP for the construction of queue jumper lanes within the project limits.  Kristina had not been contacted regarding the project and is concerned that the maintenance project, if it does not include other proposed Village, Town of CDTA work, will preclude other work from becoming reality within the expected life span of the pavement (10-12 years). 


Denise Sheehan pointed out that the Town does have improvement plans for the corridor and hopes to be able to have some of those plans incorporated within the DOT project.  Denise and Kristina discussed the possibility of securing some corridor improvement funding from the CDTC TIP set-aside to undertake an access management study for the Rt. 5 Rt. 155 (New Karner Rd.) area.  Denise reiterated the hope that this maintenance project would not delay the incorporation of other context sensitive improvements for the expected pavement life.


Mayor Frank Leak raised the issue of pedestrian safety and the difficulty of one of his visually impaired constituents tripping on the ruts as he crosses the street.  Frank and Denise continued this topic pointing out the need for better pedestrian crossing lights, better delineated crosswalks and the need for pedestrian refuge considering that Central Ave. widens to approx. 100 feet near Colonie Center.  Mike Lyons brought up the need for bicycle accommodations and asked if it would be possible to incorporate bike lanes via re-striping Central Ave for narrower travel/turn lanes.


Dave Rettig pointed out that he had sincerely hoped to include the queue jumper lanes as a part of this project due to the fact that such an improvement would not be as constrained by budget as the rest of the capital work.  Unfortunately extensive utility relocations, the need for ROW takings, and a more complicated environmental process would severely delay the safety benefits of the originally proposed project.

  Dave also pointed out that the maintenance paving would not preclude other future work within the life of the new pavement.


Outcome:  DOT will coordinate with the Town and Village to incorporate their needs between the curbs (crosswalks, ped. refuge etc.).  We also agreed to look at count down timers.  We will coordinate with CDTA to do nothing to preclude the future building of the bypass lanes.  We agreed that CDTC should fund an Access management study for the corridor.  DOT will work with CDTA on the implementation of the queue bypass lanes.  The balance of the DOT capital work will be a curb to curb restoration of a smooth riding, rut free pavement with drainage improvements as needed.