PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING
January 9, 2013
Melissa Ashline-Heil, City of Cohoes
Bradley Birge, City of Saratoga Springs
Frank Bonafide, NYS Department of Transportation R1
Peter Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam
Darrell Duncan, Albany County
Ross Farrell, Capital District Transportation Authority
Steve Feeney, Schenectady County
Rocky Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning Commission
Michael Franchini, Capital District Transportation Committee
Steve Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority
Patrick McCarroll, representing Michael Loftus, NYS Thruway
Randy Milano, City of Albany
Mike Morelli, Town of Bethlehem
Paul Reuss, Village of Menands
Tom Richardson, City of Mechanicville
Joe Teliska, representing Wayne Bonesteel, Rensselaer County
Michael Valentine, Saratoga County
Tony Vasil, Albany Port District Commission
Chris Wallin, City of Schenectady
Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon
STAFF AND OTHERS
Bill Anslow, Albany County
Richard Benko, Town of East Greenbush
Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee
Daniel Berheide, City of Rensselaer
Jennifer Ceponis, Capital District Transportation Committee
Robert Cherry, NYS Department of Transportation R1
Joe Cherubino, Town of East Greenbush
Christopher Desany, Capital District Transportation Authority
Bob Hansen, Creighton Manning
Karen Hulihan, NYS Department of Transportation R-1
Tom Johnson, T.R. Johnson Engineering
Dave Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee
Teresa LaSalle, Capital District Transportation Committee
Fred Mastroianni, Greenman-Pederson
Sandy Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee
Leah Mosall, Capital District Transportation Committee
Sree Nampoothiri, Capital District Transportation Committee
Rosemary Nichols, Interested Citizen
Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee
Jeff Pangburn, Creighton Manning
Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee
Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee
Jim Rivers, Greenman Pedersen Inc.
Gregory Roy, McFarland Johnson
John Scavo, Clifton Park
Regina Warner, Interested Citizen
Lisa Westrick, CHA
Ed Wolk, Capital District Transportation Authority
Steve Iachetta opened the meeting at approximately 9:35 AM. There were no visitors’ issues.
Previous Meeting Minutes – December 12, 2012
Mike Valentine commented that on page 3, for item B., the title should be “Beyond Preservation Project List”. With this change noted, members approved the December 12th minutes.
PRESENTATION ON THE TRANSPORTATION AND CLIMATE INITIATIVE(TCI) NORTHEAST ELECTRIC VEHICLE PLANNING STUDY
Jen Ceponis reported on the Georgetown Transportation and Climate Initiative’s (TCI) Northeast Electric Vehicle Planning Study. The Capital District Clean Communities Coalition (CDCC) has been working with TCI, NYSERDA and 15 other Clean Cities coalitions on this study since 2011. The Study is funded by a $1 million grant from the US Department of Energy Electric Vehicle Readiness Program. It focuses on 11 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States plus the District of Columbia. The objective of the study is to increase the number of electric vehicle and electric vehicle charging stations in the Northeast Network, develop partnerships between public and private sectors to expedite the transition toward a cleaner transportation system and assist in removing barriers that would slow the mass-market rollout of electric vehicles.
CDCC has been conducting outreach and research for the study over the past year through questionnaires, attending and speaking at events, and meeting with stakeholders. The study products include a literature review that looks at market barriers, electric grid impacts, plans for electric vehicle rollouts, and other issues specific to the Northeast; a variety of guidance documents on “Siting and Design Guidelines for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment,” an “Analysis of Current EV an EVSE Deployment,” an “EVSE Cluster Analysis,” a report on “EV-Ready Codes for the Built Environment,” and “EVSE Tool Kit; and outreach and education materials. The guidance documents highlight trends in EV ownership and how they are related to public policy on EVs as well as provide recommendations on the siting of charging stations, zoning code and permit requirements, etc. Local governments interested in developing a framework for EV-friendly codes and zoning within their local ordinance should contact Jen Ceponis (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information.
Rocky Ferraro commented that it will be important to raise awareness with planning boards so that these features can be incorporated into improvements. Jen said that she has been reaching out to local municipal planners. Chris Wallin commented that it can be difficult to dedicate limited parking spaces to electric vehicles for recharging purposes. Jen said that this issue has been considered in developing design guidelines, and electric vehicle only spaces are preferred.
PLANNING COMMITTEE OFFICERS NOMINATION AND ELECTION
Mike Franchini asked for nominations for Chair. Steve Iachetta was nominated. Members approved Steve Iachetta as Planning Committee Chair.
Mike Franchini asked for nominations for Vice-Chair. Steve Feeney was nominated. Members approved Steve Feeney as Planning Committee Vice-Chair.
REVISION TO THE 2012-14 UNIFIED PLANNING WORK PROGRAM
Mike Franchini explained that a UPWP budget revision was required, as presented in the mail out. Higher than expected charges due to staff assistance co-hosting the national AMPO conference and participation in statewide MPO working groups were cited. Members approved the budget revision.
2010-15 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM AMENDMENTS
RG106 (1T10.05), Scenic Byways Block Funds
Frank Bonafide explained that the Scenic Byways Block Funds need to be put on the TIP; projects will be selected later. Members approved this TIP amendment.
A489 (1807.16), NY 913T bridge over the D&H ramp
RG37A (1807.47), TMC Operating Costs
S205 (1759.01), Sunnyside Road over Amtrak: Bridge Deck Repairs
R188 (1335.18), Rt. 40 over Hoosick River
Frank Bonafide presented the above four TIP amendments (A489, RG37A, S205, R188) as a group. He explained that they represent reductions or eliminations to balance the STIP through the end of September 2013. Members approved these four TIP amendments.
S192 (1758.29), Hamburg Street Sidewalk Connection
Peter Comenzo explained that the purpose of this amendment is to advance the design and construction of this project within acceptable timelines so that CMAQ funding can be utilized. Mike Valentine asked about offsets. Glenn Posca explained that the project is moving within the STIP. Karen Hulihan explained that an offset was provided. Members approved the TIP amendment.
S167 (1755.33), Oak St. over CSX: Bridge Replacement
Frank Bonafide explained that this amendment provides a schedule change to balance STIP funding. Members approved the TIP amendment. A handout was distributed explaining the amendment (attached).
2013-18 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM UPDATE
FFY 2013 and 2014 Projects on the existing TIP
Mike Franchini explained and reviewed the three project lists in the mail out. The first list includes projects which must be obligated by September 30, 2014. However, the 2013-14 projects are over-programmed by 20 to 30 million dollars for all of Region 1. Mike Franchini and Frank Bonafide will be working on this list before the next meeting to balance this list. In the meantime, anyone who knows of projects that will be deferred or removed or can be reduced in scope should let staff know to help in this process. Steve Iachetta commented that FAA and Albany Airport Authority Executive Management are discussing other potential funding sources for the access component of the Exit 3/4 Airport Connector project. Frank Bonafide pointed out that the access component of Exit 3/4 is not programmed in 2013-14.
Frank Bonafide said that he is focusing on local projects at this time because State projects have already been cut. Mike Franchini said that no action is needed today, but staff is hoping to have a proposal for action at the next Planning Committee meeting.
Projects in FFY 2014 and 2015 on the existing TIP
FFY 2015 and Post-TIP Projects on the existing TIP
Mike Franchini explained that the second list includes with construction after September 2014, but construction before September 30, 2014. Most of the funding is not available and won’t exist in the new TIP. The third list includes projects with all phases after September 30, 2014. Mike Franchini suggested that the Committee could consider putting these projects in the fifth year of the new TIP (2018-19) contingent upon funding increases. The fifth year is outside of the four year STIP period. This is consistent with the fact that these projects were originally programmed on the TIP contingent upon funding becoming available, since there was no new federal transportation bill approved at that time.
Frank Bonafide said that it was stated at that time that funding might not be available for 6 to 7 years, or even nine years. He said that one concern he has is that it would have to be clear that design for fifth year projects could not begin until it was certain that funding was available.
Rocky Ferraro expressed concern that even though MAP-21 funding remained flat, CDTC funding has declined because of national and statewide sub-allocations.
Steve Watts made a motion to move projects from the second and third lists to fiscal year 2018-2019. Frank Bonafide recommended that action should be deferred until the next meeting to give members a chance to review the lists. In the meantime, the lists can be reviewed and refined. After discussion, Steve Watts withdrew his motion. No action was taken on the project lists.
Frank Bonafide said that the final results of the review of Beyond Preservation projects are not available yet.
Set-Aside Programming Options
Mike Franchini reviewed the Set-Aside Funding Options Table included in the mail out. He explained that the NYSDOT guidelines indicate that CDTC should program 83% ($164.34M) of four year funding for preservation projects and 17% ($33.41M) for non-preservation projects. The proposed set-asides include preservation projects adding to $164.34M and non-preservation projects totaling to $33.41M. The set-aside approach will allow project sponsors time to develop the most competitive projects in each category. Projects will be solicited 12 to 18 months in advance, annually, and will be selected by CDTC.
Mike Valentine questioned whether the non-preservation funding should also go to preservation projects. Mike Franchini explained that CDTA has no access to preservation projects, and CDTA projects provide a valuable regional service. Ross Farrell explained that all of the CDTA projects listed have regional benefits and can’t be done otherwise.
Mike Franchini explained that RG41 was combined with RG103 resulting in one combined bicycle/pedestrian set aside. Joe Teliska asked if bike/ped projects can compete with bridge projects. Ross Farrell commented that transit/bike/ped projects have high cost-effectiveness and regional benefits. Mike Franchini explained that benefit cost ratios may not be high for small bridges. Steve Feeney commented that the funding levels being spent on non-preservation projects are small amounts and it may not be worth fighting over crumbs which are insufficient for bridge projects.
Mike Franchini recommended that municipalities should commission engineering work to determine best repair strategies for bridges. He said that CHIPS funding can be used for bridges and capital projects and this can represent a better strategy than using CHIPS funding for paving. There was a discussion about finding ways to streamline cost for federal aid projects. Mike Franchini said that CHIPS funding can be more cost-effective than federal funding.
Frank Bonafide asked that action be postponed on the set-aside projects listed under “Fund as Preservation” to allow NYSDOT time to refine the amounts in RG125 and RG126. Members approved a motion to include the fourteen set-aside projects listed under “Fund From Capital Funding” totaling $33.41M. Rensselaer County abstained.
Next Steps – Approval and Public Comment Period
Mike Franchini asked the members if the schedule for the TIP should be extended, which would require an additional Policy Board meeting. Members preferred to keep to the existing schedule and agreed to have a Planning Committee meeting on January 23rd.
FEDERAL CERTIFICATION REVIEW OF THE CDTC TRANSPORTATION PLANNING PROCESS
Dave Jukins explained that the federal certification takes place every four years. CDTC passed with flying colors. All corrective actions noted in the 2008 certification have been successfully addressed. No new corrective actions were required. Recommendations included improving the CDTC website, improving project selection for smaller communities, and outreach to neighboring rural counties to help with emergency planning. Mike Franchini noted that the word “exemplary” was used several times.
COMPLETE STREETS DESIGN IN PRESERVATION FIRST PROJECTS
Mike Franchini reported that there is interest by a number of members in incorporating complete streets features into preservation projects. The Western Gateway Bridge represents good success in this regard. He recommended the formation of a CDTC working group to review preservation projects for the potential incorporation of complete streets improvements. Rocky Ferraro commented that this was an excellent idea, and that opportunities for private sector funding of complete streets features should also be considered.
Frank Bonafide recommended that moderation, fiscal constraint, and responsibility for maintenance should be considered. Mike Franchini asked for volunteers for the Working Group. Brad Birge, Steve Feeney, Mike Morelli and John Scavo volunteered. Mike said that anyone else interested should contact him.
BEYOND PRESERVATION SOLICITATION RESULTS
Frank Bonafide reported that results have not been received yet.
CMAQ SOLICITATION RESULTS AND STATUS OF CMAQ PROJECTS
Dave Jukins distributed a handout (attached) that summarized staff review of the CMAQ projects received from the recent solicitation. Five bike/ped projects and three ITS projects were submitted. The applications were reviewed for consistency with the New Visions Plan, and all were found to be consistent with the Plan and with Linkage studies and other planning studies. Based on analysis, the Malta signal project at Exit 11 was found to be not eligible for CMAQ funding, because in the short term, total delay and emissions would increase at the intersection with the project; this is because through traffic that currently is free flow would need to stop for the signal. All of the bike/ped projects scored well using the TIP evaluation methodology.
Mike Franchini distributed an updated table showing the status of CMAQ projects (attached). Glenn Posca explained the table. CDTC staff will continue to monitor CMAQ project status on a monthly basis. With regard to the CMAQ solicitation results, Mike Franchini said that members could decide at the next meeting whether to program some of them. Frank Bonafide expressed concerned about overprogramming.
HSIP SOLICITATION RESULTS
Sandy Misiewicz said that there were no results to report.
NYSDOT PROJECT DELIVERY SCHEDULE
Karen Hulihan distributed a handout (attached) that summarized project status of projects with respect to delivery schedule and reviewed the results. Frank Bonafide stated that they will continue to handout these status reports to encourage improvement in performance.
STATUS OF PLANNING ACTIVITIES
Sandy Misiewicz distributed a handout (attached) summarizing four applications received for Linkage Studies.
Jason Purvis handed out a press release that summarized the results of the Safe Routes to School funding awards. MPOs and Regions were involved in the review. Mike Franchini said that the Capital District did well in the awards.
Rocky Ferraro reported population and household forecasts at the traffic analysis zone (TAZ) level are complete and are being reviewed. NYSDEC comments on the Combined Sewer Overflow Project are being reviewed and discussed.
Ross Farrell reported that in addition to the BRT and TDP work, CDTA is working on an upgrade to the fare collection system.
Patrick McCarroll reported that two lanes are open in the southbound direction between Exits 23 and 24 on the Thruway in preparation for Spring construction work.
Albany Port District Commission
Tony Vasil reported that the number of vessels at the Port increased by 21% in 2012 compared with 2011. Tonnage increased by 8%. January is starting strong. There has been a great deal of real estate/industrial activity.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 12:35 PM. The next Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for January 23, 2013.