Meeting Minutes

February 8, 2011







Melissa Ashline-Heil, City of Cohoes

Brad Birge, City of Saratoga Springs

Frank Bonefide, NYS Department of Transportation

Paul Cassillo, City of Schenectady

Rob Cherry, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Peter Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam

Ross Farrell, representing Kristina Younger, Capital District
  Transportation Authority

Steve Feeney, Schenectady County

Rocky Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning Commission

Michael Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)

Steve Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority

Andrew Kreshik, City of Troy

Joseph LaCivita, Town of Colonie

Patrick McCarroll, representing Michael Loftus, NYS Thruway

Rosemary Nichols, City of Watervliet

John Poorman, Capital District Transportation Committee (Secretary)

Paul Reuss, Village of Menands

Deidre Rudolph, City of Albany

Joe Teliska, representing Wayne Bonesteel, Rensselaer County

Tony Tozzi, Town of Malta




Dave Ardman, Barton & Loguidice

Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jennifer Ceponis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Shelly Johnston, Creighton Manning Assoc.

David Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee

Sandra Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee

Leah Mosall, Capital District Transportation Committee

Larry Mulvaney, NYS Department of Transportation

Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee

Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee

Deb Stacey, Capital District Transportation Committee





Chairman Franchini opened the meeting at approximately 9:40 am.  There were no visitor’s issues.








Approval of the January 5, 2011 Meeting Minutes


Members approved the January 5th meeting notes as written.




CDRPC Amendment to the 2010-12 UPWP


Rocky Ferraro summarized CDRPC’s request to reallocate $16,000 in funds from the Socio-Economic Information Line item to the Provision of Services Line item. This reallocation between line items is required because CDRPC decided to wait for the 5 year ACS to be published before performing in-depth Census data analysis and evaluation and has spent more time than expected on sustainable development issues.  Members approved the budget revision request.


2011-12 Linkage Project Selection


Sandy Misiewicz reported that an evaluation team consisting of staff from CDTC, CDRPC, CDTA and NYSDOT met to evaluate the five proposals were received under the 2011-12 Linkage Solicitation. Following adopted evaluation procedures, CDTC staff first screened the applications based on budget and scope to ensure that the funds requested for the proposed study would be adequate to meet its needs. Staff determined that the budgets of all five applications were appropriate.  However, it was noticed after the evaluation team meeting that the budget of the City of Albany project exceeded the threshold set by CDTC (which was $80,000 total) for implementation initiatives and should have been screened out prior to evaluation. CDTC gave the city an option to scale back the scope of the study, to keep it in line with funding maximums; the city opted to do so.  The team noted that all five submissions were strong proposals, reflected innovative ideas and they all represented implementation activities related to existing local planning work. Potential issues were noted on a few of the submissions and the team felt that clarifications on the town of Malta’s submission was required before the submission could be considered for funding.  Tony Tozzi and Caleb Stratton from the Town of Malta attended the Planning Committee meeting to address the concerns that were voiced. Caleb provided an overview of how the Linkage Study meshes with previous Linkage studies while implementing the Town’s Downtown Master Plan.  Members asked Tony and Caleb a few questions about the proposed Linkage proposal and were satisfied that it did not undo any of the work from previous Linkage studies in the town.


Sandy brought attention to the fact that the City of Albany was not timely in providing match for previous Linkage studies and that this concern would have to be addressed moving forward. Sandy identified two potential options for members to consider:


Option 1: Fund all projects with the exception of Albany with clarifications noted.  Funding the four projects leaves $28,000 in federal funds on the table.


Option 2: Fund all five projects with clarifications noted and accepting Albany’s budget revision.  This option will exceed the $200,000 reserved for the program even with Albany’s revision on the project budget; however, given the lower-than-anticipated demand for CDTC staff effort for Linkage, the $225,000 federal funding required to support Option 2 is not a major budgetary challenge to CDTC.


After some discussion, the Planning committee approved Option 2, provided that there is assurance that the city of Albany pays the local match at the time specified in the MOU.


2011-12 Addendum to the 2010-12 UPWP


At its January 5, 2011 meeting, the Planning Committee reviewed an outline of proposed revisions to the second year of CDTC’s 2010-12 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). Significantly modified tasks included the Every Day Counts Initiative, the Census Data Task, GIS Support, the 2011-12 Linkage Program and Human Service Agency Planning.  The Planning Committee was also provided a synopsis of the proposed I-787 Integrated Corridor Study.  This $210,000 study would be funded with both PL ($110,000) and SPR or STP funds.  As of this meeting, NYSDOT is still uncertain of the funding source they will use for their contribution to fund the study.   


Since the budget for the approved 2011-12 Linkage studies is slightly higher than what is shown in the tables in the draft UPWP, members were asked to allow CDTC staff to redo the tables with this change.  After some discussion about the funding for the I-787 study, members approved the 2011-12 Addendum to the UPWP and gave CDTC staff authority to adjust the UPWP tables to reflect the increase in the 2011-12 Linkage Program line item.




Jobs Access and Reverse Commute Program


The Planning Committee approved the solicitation for JARC at its November Meeting.  Shortly thereafter, the solicitation for projects for 2011 JARC activities in was advertised with a due date of December 10, 2010. 


CDTA was the only organization to submit an application for funding.  A sub-committee of the Regional Transportation Coordination Committee (RTCC) rated CDTA’s application highly, and found no fatal flaws.  CDTA’s application focuses on continuing the successful JARC activities that they have been progressing since 1998, which is consistent with the 2007 Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan for the Capital District.  The activities include four trip planners at one-stops, a full-time mobility management coordinator, the Safety Net Brokerage and capital expenses to support the mobility management activities (such as educational/promotional brochures, materials and supplies, software, transportation).


For Federal Fiscal year 2011, a total of $330,729 of federal JARC monies was allocated to the Capital Region ($295,799 A-S-T and $34,950 Saratoga).  The CDTA proposal provides the appropriate match for each of the activities listed above.  The total matched cost of the 2011 JARC program, therefore, is $430,084 (with a total match of $99,355). The figure of $430,084 needs to be included in the 2010-15 Transportation Improvement Program for CDTA to proceed with their proposed JARC activities.


Members approved this change to the TIP Projects T66 and T66A to reflect this programming of FFY 11 JARC funds.


Round Two Review


CDTC’s 2010-15 TIP development involved a decision to program approximately $150 M in “anticipatory” revenues. The funding level was viewed as sufficient to entertain a wide range of candidate proposals with the intention of identifying a new generation of projects that reflect New Visions priorities. It was also intended to allow initiation of projects in early years of the TIP that would likely not be constructed until years six through nine if lower funding levels prevail, but would be more quickly advanced if higher funding levels materialize.


After addressing schedules, budgets and commitments to existing projects (including those listed for the “post period”), CDTC completed a Round One of programming of new high-ranking projects within a limited set of project categories. Round Two of programming was begun to consider other candidates and ensure that, overall, the 2010-15 TIP is balanced and equitable. Round Two was suspended by the Planning Committee in July, 2010 (an action affirmed by the Policy Board in September, 2010) after agreeing that a minimum of $20 M of a $57 M programming balance would be directed to pavement and bridges and that all new projects would be scheduled later than those already programmed. At that point, the Planning Committee determined that the urgency of identifying additional “out-year” projects was less than originally expected, given that no progress had occurred in Washington with regard to reauthorization legislation. With Policy Board concurrence, the Round Two programming effort was tabled for at least six months.


Six months have passed since the Planning Committee’s decision to suspend Round Two. It is likely that implementation of the first two years (2010-11 and 2011-12) of the 2010-15 TIP will face federal funding levels that are, at best, flat. It is unlikely that the full $150 M of “anticipatory” funding will be seen within the 2010-15 TIP period, given that reauthorization has not yet occurred.


With this background in mind, John Poorman posed four options for members to consider:



1. Truncate the 2010-15 TIP process. This would involve informing all sponsors that there will be no further consideration of their candidates at this time, and that they will be informed of any future opportunities to resubmit their candidates to CDTC.


2. Table Rounds Two and Three. This would involve informing sponsors that CDTC will not be considering remaining TIP candidates until federal funding levels are better known, but that consideration of remaining TIP candidates would be among the first CDTC programming activities at that time.


3. Complete Rounds Two and Three. This would involve returning to the Planning Committee discussions over the compelling arguments for each of the remaining candidates, within the broad funding framework set before the subject was tabled. Projects selected for programming through this effort would be subjected to public review and comment as draft amendments to the TIP/New Vision Plan.

4. Abbreviate Rounds Two and Three. This is essentially a hybrid between options 1 and 3. CDTC would inform sponsors that it plans to complete its programming effort from last year, but that given the delay experienced with reauthorization, CDTC must reduce its estimate of “anticipatory” TIP resources. A lower estimate somewhere $10 M and $25 M would be used in place of the previously-determined $57 M balance and then the process outlined in option 3 would take place


After lively discussion, members approved Option 2.



TIP Project S175 Pangburn Road Bridge over Normanskill


Schenectady County is proposing the amendment to the TIP due to a cost change resulting from their inability to completely close the Pangburn Road Bridge during construction.  The bridge cannot be closed due to the fact that a number of other highway/bridge construction jobs will be occurring in the vicinity of the project, impacting the public’s travel routes. Instead of closing the bridge, the County proposes to maintain one lane of traffic during construction. This would increase the cost of construction by $.604M. The total proposed increase is $.578M due to a decrease in engineering costs of $.026M. The county is willing to delay another County Bridge replacement job (TIP Project S203 – Van Vorst over Alplaus Kill) to provide an off-set if necessary.


There was some discussion mainly by NYSDOT regarding the need for an offset and if the proposed delay of TIP Project S203 would satisfy the requirement.  Members approved the motion to increase the budget of TIP project S175 and to use project S203 as an offset as necessary (if eligible).



Discussion Items




CDTC staff prepared updates for each topic area addressed by the New Visions 2030 Plan.  The updated summaries, identifying what the 2030 Plan said, what has happened since that plan was adopted in 2007 and what the plans are for the 2040 New Visions Plan were distributed to Planning Committee members in their mailout material.  Using PowerPoint slides, Chris O’Neill briefly reviewed the major points within each topic.  In response to a question, Chris noted that the new census data will not be incorporated into these summaries but that the new data will be looked at and analyzed for the 2040 update which is scheduled to begin this fall.






Eighteen of the twenty-one ARRA projects are complete or mostly complete.  During 2011, oversight of local projects will occur within the design unit.  The Glenridge Road project will be let on March 17th.  The I-87/Route 9 Corridor study is beginning to move forward.




CDRPC staff posted MCD data summaries from the American Community Survey (ACS) data on their website.  The ACS replaced the long form that used to be conducted during the decennial Census. CDRPC will compare the five year ACS to the 2010 Census data that will be released in March.  The ECOS Sustainable Development Conference will be held on Friday March 4th at Union College.  Registration is open until February 21st.




The Governor’s proposed budget did not impact transit as much as was anticipated, in fact, CDTA’s budget could increase slightly. The roll out of Bus Plus (Route 5 BRT) is scheduled for April 2011.  Schenectady County ridership has increased by almost 20% since the route restructuring took place.  CDTA is conducting public outreach for route restructuring in Albany County and hopes to achieve similar increases in ridership.


Albany County Airport Authority


Steve Iachetta circulated pictures from President Obama’s visit in January.  Northwest Airlines and Delta Airlines recently merged, increasing capacity. Service to Boston has been restored through a contract with Cape Air.  A direct connection to the Economy Parking Lot from Exit 5 will be open soon.  The Airport will receive ARRA funding through Clean Cities to purchase a replacement CNG shuttle vehicle to service the Economy Parking Lot.


City of Watervliet


The Route 32 Linkage Study is now complete.  It will be posted on CDTC’s and the city’s websites.  The city submitted their Comprehensive Plan to Albany County for their review.  The plan should be adopted by the city council within the next few weeks.




The mapping of the TIP projects available on CDTC’s website has been updated using a Google interface.


There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:50 a.m.  The next Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for April 6, 2011.



Respectfully submitted,





John P. Poorman