Meeting Minutes

April 5, 2006




Judy Breselor, City of Troy

Frank Commisso, Albany Port District Commission

Steve Feeney, Schenectady County

Rocky Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning Commission

Mike Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)

Bruce Hidley, City of Watervliet

Stephen Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority

Phil Pearson, Town of Colonie

Marybeth Pettit, City of Rensselaer

John Poorman, Capital District Transportation Committee (Secretary)

David Rettig, NYSDOT Region 1

Deirdre Rudolph, City of Albany

Bernard Sisson, City of Schenectady

Erin Thomas, City of Cohoes

Mike Valentine, Saratoga County

Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon

Kristina Younger, Capital District Transportation Authority




Robert Hansen, NYSDOT Region 1

David Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee

Teresa LaSalle, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jeff Lipnicky, Town of Bethlehem

Fred Mastroianni, Foit-Albert Associates

Sandra Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Deb Stacey, Capital District Transportation Committee

Steve Szanto, Creighton Manning Engineering

Maggie Zandt, Greenman-Petersen, Inc.




Chairman Franchini opened the meeting at approximately 9:40 am.  He welcomed members and guests who introduced themselves.  There were no requests from visitors to speak to the committee.


Action Items




Approval of the February 1, 2006 Meeting Minutes


John Poorman reported that it had been brought to his attention that discussion of the Hadley Linkage Study had been omitted from the minutes.  This will be added to a revised set of minutes.  The minutes of the February 1, 2006 meeting were then approved as corrected.




T77 and T73, Preventative Maintenance for Adirondack Trailways


Kristina Younger reported that this amendment provides for the continuation of the Adirondack Trailways project (administratively managed by CDTA) for the full five years of the TIP.  Mr. Poorman noted that the amendment also combines T77 and T73 into a single listing.  Members concurred with the request.


New Freedoms Transit Service


Ms. Younger noted that this is a new, although small, funding program in SAFETEA-LU not existing when the TIP was approved.  Projects must be solicited.  Mr. Poorman reminded members that the UPWP described the process for development of a regional coordinated plan for these funds, welfare to work funds and Section 5310 (private non-profit vehicles) through a CDTC-led effort.  Members agreed to add the new project to the TIP.  Due to the nature of the amendment, Policy Board action will be sought on June 1, 2006.


T66, Welfare to Work


Ms. Younger explained that this aspect of the set of amendments requested by CDTA reflects SAFETEA-LU’s conversion of Jobs Access / Reverse Commute (Welfare to Work) funds to a formula basis.  The amendment is necessary to support CDTA’s upcoming grant submission and also completes the programming of the funds for five years.  One portion of the project is based on the Albany urbanized area formula and a smaller piece on the Saratoga Springs’ urbanized area formula results.  Members approved the amendment.


T69 and T70, NY 5 BRT Vehicles and NY 5 BRT Stations


Mr. Poorman noted that this item had been listed in the agenda, but the material was inadvertently left out of the mail out.  Copies of the CDTA request letter were then distributed.  Ms. Younger reported that SAFETEA-LU provides earmarks for the BRT initiative on NY 5.  Because of this, CDTA proposes amending the project listings – switching the vehicle funding from formula (5307) to discretionary (5309) sources.  A similar change is proposed for the BRT stations.  For the station project, a portion of the funds is anticipated to come from earmarks that are currently not in the legislation.  For this reason, CDTC will show a decrease in total project cost for the T70 tabular listing, with the anticipated additional funds described in the narrative of the project listing.  (This is the approach used in projects such as the I-90 Exit 8 Phase II and the Exit 3 projects.)  Members concurred with these requests. 


All Other Section 5307 Projects


Ms. Younger reported that the passage of SAFETEA-LU, progress with the Transit Development Plan, and adoption by CDTA of a fleet replacement plan cause the need for this amendment.  As part of this action, CDTA will shift to a more continuous vehicle replacement plan.


While CDTA would prefer to wait until the TIP update, the upcoming FTA grant requires action sooner.  The gist of the amendment is to concentrate available FTA formula funds in the coming grant and beyond into a few projects:  T17 (Vehicle Replacement) T6B (STAR Bus Replacement) T11 (Passenger Facility Improvements, Enhancement only), T57 (Preventative Maintenance), and T76 (Saratoga Replacement Buses).  Members approved the changes.  Due to the nature of some of the changes (deleting federal funding entirely from some projects), action will be sought from the CDTC Policy Board on June 1, 2006.


Mohawk Towpath Byway Trail Link


Bob Hansen described this project as emerging from the NYSOPRHP process, from projects submitted by byways committees.  Steve Feeney asked for further information on the process; Dave Rettig indicated he would provide this.  Rocky Ferraro offered the observation that the planned paving of the trail will change the setting, both in terms of visual appearance and potential bike / ped conflicts.  Members then agreed to add the $0.038 M project to the TIP.


A471 and A474, Port of Albany Rehabilitation


Mr. Poorman reported that the action taken at the last Policy Board meeting to create A474 to handle the recent earmark for the Port of Albany should have been treated more accurately as an amendment to existing project A471.  Members approved the combining of the two projects into one listing.


Siena College Perimeter Loop Road


Mr. Hansen reported that Region 1 has been working with Siena College to understand and help refine the concept for this SAFETEA-LU High Priority Project (earmarked fund project).  Discussion ensued regarding the lack of a public sponsor, limited scope details and an uncertain status within town of Colonie’s required actions.  Members agreed to table the item to allow further refinement prior to TIP action.


SA225, Commercial Access Highway Improvements


Mr. Hansen described the status of this project which earlier had been added to the TIP for engineering phases to define the project(s).  At this point, a determination has been made in cooperation with the town of Malta to assign a portion of the earmarked funds to two intersections – constructing roundabouts at Fox Wander West and Hermes Road intersections with Dunning Street.  Additional locations will be identified in the future for the use of the balance of the funding and brought back to CDTC for action.  Members approved the addition of these two projects to the TIP.  Due to the nature of the action, Policy Board approval will be sought on June 1, 2006.


I-890 Reconstruction


Dave Rettig explained that the schedule for this project must be deferred due to more pressing Interstate rehab needs in the northern part of Region 1.  Discussion ensued regarding the research by the CDTC Transportation Finance Task Force and its implications for the affordability of reconstruction projects such as this one.  Discussion also took place regarding residential construction within noise areas adjacent to Interstates.  After discussion, members concurred with the request.





Jason Purvis described the options available for CDTC’s fourth Spot Improvement Program solicitation.  There are a few administrative changes, and the evaluation criteria will include consideration of recommendations of Linkage studies for the first time.  Members concurred with the revised approach and agreed to solicit three years’ worth of projects in this round.  They discussed the schedule options, and agreed to authorize a solicitation effort after the Enhancement program.  Material will be distributed in July, with an application deadline of September 28.  Planning Committee selection of projects is scheduled for November.





Mr. Purvis also summarized the proposed approach to the Enhancement Program.  NYSDOT will be soliciting approximately three years’ worth of projects in the near future.  CDTC will be responsible for prioritizing projects (after NYSDOT confirms eligibility) by September 1.  CDTC staff proposes some modifications to the CDTC evaluation process to address concerns from the last round (2002).  The “overall impressions” and “feasibility” ranks are proposed for deletion; concerns had been expressed that these ranks were too subjective.  Cost effectiveness will be presented differently, by grouping projects by cost.  After discussion, members approved the revised evaluation process and schedule.  The schedule will require a mid-August Planning Committee meeting and action by the Policy Board on September 1, 2006.









Discussion Items







Mr. Poorman noted Dave Rettig and he have been involved in discussions with NYSDOT main office, CDTA and the Thruway Authority about a possible Integrated Corridor Management (ICM)application for I-90 or I-87, and in discussions regarding initiating the regional operations committee.




Mr. Ferraro reported that the fiscal impact study is underway with interviews expected this spring.  A contract with the Capital District Trade Strategies group has been signed for the Foreign Trade Zone marketing and development.




Ms.Younger reported that the CDTA board adopted its budget, topping $60 M.  Fit-up of the Rensselaer station for CDTA staff is expected by the end of March.  CDTA is still without a contract with the labor union.




Mr. Rettig reported that Region 1 will be submitting a Slingerlands Bypass TIP amendment next month to deal with project costs and the right-of-way cost impact of rezoning the property to commercial.


Albany County Airport Authority


Steve Iachetta reported on progress on six grant applications for the aviation portion of the Bond act.  The roundabout on Watervliet Shaker Rd is one.  He also restated the Airport’s support for Exit 3.  He noted that $23 M in revenue bonds is going out soon.





Bids and Lettings


Mr. Hansen reported that a traffic signal regional project was let.  The only April-May bid scheduled is I-87 Northway / WSR bridge replacement (part of A370).







The next Planning Committee meeting was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on May 3, 2006.  There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:50 a.m.



Respectfully submitted,





John P. Poorman