Meeting Minutes

January 20, 2010





Melissa Ashline-Heil, City of Cohoes

Bradley Birge, City of Saratoga Springs

Wayne Bonesteel, Rensselaer County

Paul Casillo, City of Schenectady

Peter Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam

Frank Commisso, Albany Port District Commission

Kevin Corcoran, Town of Glenville

Todd Fabozzi, representing Rocky Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning Commission

Steve Feeney, Schenectady County

Michael Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)

Robert Hansen, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Joe LaCivita, Town of Colonie

Barb McHugh, Town of Clifton Park

Mike Morelli, Town of Bethlehem

Rosemary Nichols, City of Watervliet

Marybeth Pettit, City of Rensselaer

John Poorman, Capital District Transportation Committee

Paul Reuss, Village of Menands

Tom Richardson, City of Mechanicville

Jim Rivers, representing Bill Roehr, City of Troy

Deidre Rudolph, City of Albany

Phil Serafino, representing Bill Rinaldi, NYS Thruway Authority

Michael Valentine, Saratoga County

Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon

Kristina Younger, Capital District Transportation Authority (Vice-Chair)




Louis Acosta, Capital District Transportation Authority

Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee

Frank Bonafide, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Jen Ceponis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Virginia Hammer,  Pine Hills Neighborhood Association

Shelly Johnston, Creighton Manning Association

David P. Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee

Andrew Kreshik, City of Troy

Sandra Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee

Larry Mulvaney, NYS Department of Transportation, Region 1

Sree Nampoothiri, Capital District Transportation Committee

Christopher O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee

Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Deb Stacey, Capital District Transportation Committee






Chairman Franchini opened the meeting at approximately 9:35 am.  Virginia Hammer from Pine Hills Neighborhood Association addressed the committee.  Ms. Hammer voiced concern that the Madison Avenue project proposed by the City of Albany for the 2010-15 TIP, as written, would not be beneficial to the bicycling and pedestrian environment.  Ms. Hammer advocated that the project should include a “road diet” treatment, which would provide three travel lanes and a turning lane, rather than 4 travel lanes. 


Mr. Franchini thanked Ms. Hammer for her comments.






Approval of the January 6, 2010 Meeting Minutes


Deb Stacey informed members that she identified several typos after the meeting notes were mailed to members. Members approved the January 6th meeting minutes with those typos corrected. 


Bob Hansen noted that an unanswered question remained in the meeting notes regarding the Jericho Road project and offsets.  An offset is required; the Department plans to use ARRA funds for the offset.  The HBRR monies that were programmed for the Jericho Road project will be reprogrammed.


Update on Governor’s Budget and on ARRA Programming


Mr. Hansen reported that all of the Capital Region’s ARRA funded projects have been let; the funds must be obligated by March 31st. Some savings will be realized, but NYSDOT is waiting for guidance from the Governor’s office.


The Governor’s budget for transportation is essentially the same as last year’s (minus the ARRA funds) and is $90 M as an on-state system letting target for all of Region One.  The CHIPS program will be maintained at last year’s levels, while CDTA’s budget will be cut by an additional $250,000.





Before the programming discussion began, John Poorman reviewed the schedule for the 2010-15 TIP adoption.  Basically, the TIP needs to be complete by June, so that the STIP can be complete by October 1st.  If we are to have a final TIP in June, a draft document must by completed in March and circulated for public comment.  Air Quality conformity must be completed by June.  The 2010-15 draft TIP presented to the Policy Board in March will be in-line with the official programming figures (not yet finalized) and a list of projects for anticipatory funding will also be provided to the board in March.  This schedule is very ambitious and might require additional Planning Committee meetings.


In addition, John stated that there is a need to re-evaluate the “big-ticket” projects and other commitments shown in the post-14 column of the current draft TIP (the “post period”).  Some have been there for a long time.  The Planning Committee must reconfirm the feasibility, desirability and priority of these projects before establishing priorities for projects chosen from the current solicitation.  The post-14 projects with NHS or STP fund commitments are (with the approximate post-14 NHS or STP construction values):


1.    Exit 3 ($15M)

2.    Selkirk ByPass ($8M)

3.    New Karner Road ($16M)

4.    Watervliet Shaker Road Phase III ($6M)

5.    Alternate route 7 ($9M)

6.    Patroon Island Bridge ($27 M)

7.    Rural Rensselaer County Route 7 ($10M)

8.    US 9/Amtrak Rensselaer County ($12M)

9.    Route 50 Saratoga Springs ($13 M)


Questions such as priority (compared to the newly proposed projects) need to be addressed.  After some discussion, members approved a motion that directs staff to provide a narrative evaluation of these “post” projects at the next Planning Committee meeting.


A short discussion regarding TIP Set-asides followed.  Members approved the motion to replenish the set-asides.


Round One Programming


Round One programming is traditionally dedicated to categories in the New Visions Plan that are under-represented in the TIP.  These are Highway Rehabilitation, Highway and Bridge Maintenance, ITS, Goods Movement and Community Compatibility/Economic Development.  Traditionally, all projects are eligible under Round Two.


The projects shown in the table entitled, “Summary of Candidate Projects Filtered then Ranked by Merit for Round 1” shows all of the newly proposed projects.  Projects above the dark line in each funding category pass the Round One Screen and are ranked according to the B/C ratio.


Members discussed the pros and cons of using $100M as the programming target vs. $150M as the programming target.  Since these are just targets, members decided that it would be worthwhile to have a “larger” list of projects ready to move forward (in the post 2015 column), so that when additional funding becomes available, the region will be well poised to move projects.  Members approved the motion to use a $150M scale, making $75M available for Round One programming--$65 M for Highway Rehabilitation projects, $5M for Highway and Bridge Maintenance projects, $2M for ITS projects, $1M for Goods Movement Projects and $2M for Community Compatibility/Economic Development projects.  This would leave $75M for Round Two (and 3) project selection.


Looking at the list, with the Round 1 programming targets in mind, members identified the projects (above the line) that fit the budget in each category: 


Highway Rehabilitation-- Members approved the first six projects on the list, skipped project #17 (because the cost exceeded the remaining budget), and approved the 8th and 10th projects (#’s 64 and 68) on the ranked list. NYSDOT clarified that staffing is an issue for the local projects (#1, 28, 61, 59, 64 & 68) on the list, and that the sponsors need to be aware that they will have to locally administer the project and bond the project, as the funds are reimbursed.  Members approved the motion to add these projects to the Round One funding list, but to first confirm with the sponsors that they are aware that they will have to locally administer the project and pay for the job up front, before being reimbursed.


Highway and Bridge Maintenance—Project #80 ($4.2 M for Pavement Maintenance Set-aside) fits within the $5M target; members approved this project for Round 1 funding.  The bridge maintenance candidate is eligible for HBRR funding and does not have to compete for STP/NHS/CMAQ competitive funding.


ITS—None of the ITS projects above the line on the ranked list fit within the $2M budget.  Members discussed the option of funding a first year phase of one of the projects, but decided to table action and leave the $2M for Round 2 funding.


Community Compatibility/Economic Development—Only two projects are above the line in this category, and both are expected to cost $16.5M.  Members decided to table action and leave the $2M for Round 2 funding.


Goods Movement—Project #82 under regional set-asides is the only Goods Movement project on the list.  Members approved $0.6M for the goods Movement Set-aside.


Tom Richardson questioned the status of the South Street project (#50 under the Pavement Category).  Mechanicville has already initiated the engineering study for this project as it is a safety concern.  The project was initially funded with the safety set-aside with a cap of $500,000 but the city has found that $3.2M in roadwork needs to be done to make the street safe.  The safety concern was not crash related, but rather the slope of the road and sidewalk, making it a safety issue for pedestrians and bicyclists.  The road is used by school buses and the sidewalks by school children.  If this project competes for Round 2 funding (or even Round 1 funding), the road will have to be closed because the needs are growing and the road needs to be fixed in the short term.  Tom asked if this project could be added as an amendment to the existing TIP, rather than compete in Round 2 for the 2010-15 TIP Update.  After lengthy discussion, both for and against this action, members approved the action to treat this as an update to the listings of the draft 2009-14 TIP.  Mike Franchini abstained from the vote.




There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.  The next Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for February 3, 2010.


Respectfully submitted,





John P. Poorman