PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING
January 23, 2013
Melissa Ashline-Heil, City of Cohoes
Brad Birge, City of Saratoga Springs
Frank Bonafide, NYS Department of Transportation R-1
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
Bruce Hidley, City of Watervliet
Steve Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority
Patrick McCarroll, representing Michael Loftus, NYS Thruway
Randy Milano, City of Albany
Mike Morelli, Town of Bethlehem
Russ Reeves, City of Troy
Paul Reuss, Village of Menands
Tom Richardson, City of Mechanicville
Joe Teliska, representing Wayne Bonesteel, Rensselaer County
Michael Tengeler, representing Joe LaCivita, Town of Colonie
Chris Wallin, City of Schenectady
Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon
STAFF AND OTHERS
Bill Anslow, Albany County
Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee
Daniel Berheide, City of Rensselaer
Jennifer Ceponis, Capital District Transportation Committee
Joe Cherubino, Town of East Greenbush
Christopher Desany, Capital District Transportation Authority
Bob Hansen, Creighton Manning
Karen Hulihan, NYS Department of Transportation R-1
Dave Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee
Sree Nampoothiri, Capital District Transportation Committee
Sandy Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee
Larry Mulvaney, NYS Department of Transportation R-1
Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee
Jeff Pangburn, Creighton Manning
Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee
Jim Rivers, Greenman Pedersen Inc.
John Scavo, Clifton Park
Barb Tozzi, City of Troy
William Trudeau, City of Albany
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 – January 9, 2013
Mike Franchini reported that Tony Vasil had sent a correction to the January 9th minutes. The Port of Albany tonnage has increased by 28% rather than 8%. With this correction, members approved the January 9th minutes.
2010-15 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM AMENDMENTS
A503 (1758.04), ITS Signal Improvements on New Scotland Avenue
A435 (1756.63), ITS Transit Signal Priority on Washington Avenue
The above two TIP amendments were discussed together. Bill Trudeau explained that the New Scotland Avenue project would upgrade signals, comply with MUTCD, and improve circulation and coordination for signals on New Scotland Avenue between Madison Avenue and Whitehall Road. Albany Medical Center and St. Peter’s Hospital are contributing to the budget. An additional $0.534 M is requested. Both projects have design approval. RG28 is proposed as an offset for both amendments.
Chris Desany asked how the offset using RG28 relates to the recent solicitation for CMAQ projects. Mike Franchini explained that the ITS project applications evaluated in the solicitation would draw down RG28, if approved. The two projects on this agenda item were not submitted for the solicitation because the costs were higher than the solicitation guidelines.
Frank Bonafide said that Region 1 is trying to spend all CMAQ funding, to not leave any CMAQ funding on the table. The advantage of the City projects is that they can be delivered in 2014. Mike Franchini stated that CMAQ funds have no status after September 30, 2014. Frank Bonafide said that we are over-programmed in total, and funding these projects could cause other projects with STP funding to not be spent. Frank Bonafide said that it is likely that not all projects on the CMAQ list will progress.
Steve Feeney said that his understanding was that we only had room for small projects. Mike Franchini distributed an updated list of CMAQ project status (attached). He pointed out that four ITS projects from the solicitation would total to less than $250,000. These could be paid for by four projects on the CMAQ status list that are not making progress (SA230, S143, S185, S186). Frank Bonafide pointed out that the four new ITS projects from the solicitation could be progressed as part of the new CDTC set aside for post-2014, just approved at the last meeting; whereas the two Albany projects are ready to go.
Karen Hulihan suggested that one option could be to phase the Washington Western project. If this was done, the second phase could be designed and ready to go at the last minute if CMAQ funds were available. Bill Trudeau said the City has considered a phasing plan in which all of the Western Avenue signals and the communications backbone would be included in phase 1; the whole project would be designed and phase 2 would be ready to go if funding became available.
Randy Milano made a motion to approve both Albany TIP amendments as offered. After discussion, he amended the motion to include approval of the TIP amendment for the New Scotland Avenue project (A503) as proposed in the mail out with a $0.534 M increase in funding; and approval of a phased implementation of the Washington Western project as described above, with no additional funding provided at this time for A435. Members approved the amended motion.
2013-18 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM UPDATE
List A - FFY 2013 and 2014 Projects on the existing TIP
List B - Projects in FFY 2014 and 2015 on the existing TIP
List C - FFY 2015 and Post-TIP Projects on the existing TIP
Mike Franchini explained and reviewed the three project lists in the mail out. List A includes projects which must be obligated by September 30, 2014. Some of these projects may not meet deadlines or may suffer from over-programming. Mike Franchini explained that List B includes projects with construction after September 2014, but other phases before September 30, 2014. Most of the funding is not available and won’t exist in the new TIP. List C includes projects with all phases after September 30, 2014.
Mike Franchini distributed a handout (attached) that presented a staff proposal to program the construction phase of List A projects that are not obligated by October 1, 2014 in the fifth year of the new TIP; program the engineering phases of List B projects in the fifth year of the new TIP; program the construction phase of List B projects and all phases of List C projects in the post-five year TIP. The fifth year is outside of the four year STIP period. This proposal 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.
Chris Wallin expressed concern about advancing design prior to funding commitment, and about scheduling design and construction in the same year. Mike Franchini explained that the main purpose is to establish a placeholder for these projects; however, this comment can be addressed. He said the proposal could be amended to put all phases of the List A projects which are not obligated by October 1, 2014 in the fifth year of the TIP; and deal with the scheduling issue at a later date.
Frank Bonafide commented that Region 1 will be down-scoping or eliminating some State projects, to be reported on at a later date. He also proposed an amendment to the staff proposal: eleven projects on List B that were originally programmed without funding identified should be programmed with all phases in the post five year TIP. The eleven projects are: A523, A524, A525, R292, R294, R295, SA258, S199, S200, S201, and S202.
Joe Teliska said that projects which are moved to FY18 or FY19 should have their costs inflated. Frank Bonafide agreed, and said this this is typically done using an index based on the construction price index.
A motion was made to approve the staff proposal, with two amendments as described above: the engineering phases of List A projects would be included in FY18; and the eleven List B projects cited by Frank Bonafide would have all phases programmed in the post five year TIP. Members approved the motion.
Mike Franchini distributed a handout (attached) with a list of projects that should be removed from the TIP based on sponsor requests. Members approved the motion to remove these projects from the TIP in the TIP update.
DOT Preservation Funding Proposal
Mike Franchini referred to DOT’s proposal presented on the last page of the mail out. He noted that the amounts for Beyond Preservation had already been approved at the previous meeting. Larry Mulvaney noted that the Region would like the remove the reference to RG28 from “RG28,37,37A,37B – TMC Operations, ITS, HELP”.
Frank Bonafide noted that there was $60.820 M indicated for local preservations needs. He said that NHPP funds will be mostly for State bridges, because most local bridges are not eligible.
Steve Feeney suggested that set aside solicitations should be for two years at a time to make planning and budgeting easier. Mike Franchini said he thought that that was a good idea, and it will be up to the Committee to decide.
There was a motion to approve the DOT Preservation Funding Proposal. Members approved the motion.
Next Steps – Approval and Public Comment Period
Mike Franchini reported that the proposed transit component of the TIP was just received and staff did not yet have a chance to review it. He said that in most cases, CDTC defers to CDTA on the transit portion of the TIP. He hopes to have the transit portion of the TIP ready for the next meeting.
Mike Franchini explained that Transportation Alternatives, HSIP, Beyond Preservation, and Rail Crossing funding will be added later. Frank Bonafide explained that Region 1 does not control these funds. A new round of enhancement projects is expected this summer, using carryover funding from before MAP-21. Larry Mulvaney pointed out that Scenic Byways and Recreational Trails may also need to be added later.
Mike Franchini explained that public comment will be after the March 7th Policy Board meeting.
Mike Franchini described the brochure on the table that was produced by the New York State Association of Metropolitan Planning Organization (NYSAMPO). The brochure provides valuable information about complete streets.
Mike Franchini said that the CDTC Complete Streets Working Group is being formed to review preservation projects for the potential incorporation of complete streets improvements. So far, members include Carrie Ward, Steve Feeney, Brad Birge, John Scavo, Mike Morelli, Rocky Ferraro, Jason Purvis and Anne Benware. Frank Bonafide said that someone from NYSDOT will participate.
STATUS OF CMAQ PROJECTS
The status of CMAQ projects was discussed earlier in the meeting. Steve Iachetta asked about the status of air quality conformity. Chris O’Neill explained that after July 20, 2013, our area will no longer be designated as a non-attainment area for ozone. We will be in attainment and will no longer need to complete an air quality conformity determination, and this also is the reason we will not be eligible to receive CMAQ funding after September 30, 2014. The 2013-18 TIP official approval date will be after July 20 so that a conformity analysis will not be needed for the current TIP update.
HSIP SOLICITATION RESULTS
Sandy Misiewicz reported that over $42M of HSIP projects were selected from the FFY13 solicitation. A handout was provided summarizing the results. No projects from Region 1 were selected. There was a short time frame for this round, because projects had to be let by October 2013. More time will be available for the next round for the FF14 solicitation, and Sandy will be able to provide more information for the next round in the near future.
NYSDOT PROJECT DELIVERY SCHEDULE
Frank Bonafide explained that a handout was not available this month. He reported that out of eleven NYSDOT regions, Region 1 was ranked second best for on time delivery of State projects. On the local side, Region 1 was ranked fourth best, delivering 46% of projects on time. He said there is much room for improvement.
Steve Iachetta reviewed upcoming meetings. Mike Franchini reported that staff is working hard to prepare for the April 24 CDTC Freight and Fuels Conference. It will highlight two very important planning areas for CDTC, and is intended to reinvigorate the freight task force. The conference will be held at the Albany International Airport.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:53 PM. The next Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for February 6, 2013.