PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING
April 6, 2011
Melissa Ashline-Heil, City of Cohoes
Bradley Birge, City of Saratoga Springs
Frank Bonefide, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1
Robert Cherry, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1
Peter Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam
Frank Commisso, Albany Port Commission
Michael Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)
Steve Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority
Andrew Kreshik, City of Troy
Joseph LaCivita, Town of Colonie
Patrick McCarroll, NYS Thruway Authority
Barbara McHugh, Town of Clifton Park
Michael Morelli, Town of Bethlehem
Rosemary Nichols, City of Watervliet
John Poorman, Capital District Transportation Committee
Paul Reuss, Village of Menands
Joe Rich, Federal Highway Administration
Tom Richardson, City of Mechanicville
Joseph Teliska. Rensselaer County
Michael Valentine, Saratoga County
Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon
David Ardman, Barton and Loguidice
Lee Ecker, Clough Harbour Associates
Fred Erickson, Town of Sand Lake
Shelly Johnston, Creighton Manning
David Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee
Kate Mance, Elan Planning and Design
Sandra Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee
Leah Mosall, Capital District Transportation Committee
Lisa Nagle, Elan Planning and Design
Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee
Michael Wieszchowski, Laberge Group
Ed Wolk, Capital District Transportation Authority
Chairman Franchini opened the meeting at approximately 9:40 am. There were no visitor’s issues.
PRESENTATATION ON THE
Lisa Nagle and Kate Mance from Elan Planning and Design prepared a PowerPoint overview of the Sand Lake Hamlet Linkage Study. The study area was divided into three areas, all hamlets of Sand Lake. The study came about as a result of the 2006 Comprehensive Plan which called for safer pedestrian access and linkages between and within the three hamlets (West Sand Lake Historic Hamlet, Averill Park and the Sand Lake Hamlet). The Linkage study goals addressed vehicle safety, pedestrian accommodations, and linkages between the three Hamlets. The consultant also looked at linkages beyond the three study areas and incorporated wide shoulders for bicycle access in the recommendations. The consultant offered a variety of recommendations for each sub area. Most included crosswalks, improved lighting and pedestrian access and trail connections. A roundabout was the preferred alternative for the Route 43/150 intersection. The consultants met with NYSDOT Region 1 to conduct a “reality check” once the improvements were identified. NYSDOT personnel were very pleased with this process. The final study report can be found on CDTC’s website.
Approval of the February 8, 2011 Meeting Minutes
Members approved the February 8th meeting notes as written.
Public Participation Policy
2010-15 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM AMENDMENTS
T77 Preventative Maintenance
CDTA described the amendment to T77. T77 involves Adirondack Trailways. The amendment does not include a change in cost, only a change in scope. The description should read, “ Capital Cost of Contracting”. This is an eligible Section 5307 expense. Members approved the amendment.
Corrections to Several Project Listings
While examining ways to provide an offset for project S175 (Pangburn Road Bridge over the Normanskill) some inaccuracies in engineering and construction amounts were found in seven listings. Basically, too much of the total project funding was shown as engineering and not enough as construction (10% of the construction cost was expected for all engineering phases). For the seven projects listed below, about 10% was programmed for both preliminary engineering and detailed design. Construction funds were under-programmed by the corresponding amount, as the project totals are accurate. In looking into the matter, CDTC Staff and NYSDOT Region One Staff agreed that between 12% and 15% should be used, rather than the 10% programmed. Correcting the funding for these projects, effectively increases programming capacity (and the ability to make offsets) in years two and three, by moving the funds from those years to outside the STIP period into the construction phase in year five. Even though the total amount of funding for each project will remain the same, funds will be moving from inside the STIP period to outside it. This type of schedule change requires Planning Committee approval. However, since these are corrections, and all phases will remain in the years they show now, there is no real schedule or funding change for any project.
Consequently, the amendment covers the following projects:
1) A523 (1759.14), Albany Shaker Road & Northern Boulevard: Reconstruction
2) R292 (1758.38), US 4, Couse Corners to Mannix Road: Corridor Improvements
3) S199 (1759.19), Lower State Street & Washington Avenue: Reconstruction
4) S200 (1759.18), Hamburg Street (NY 146), Curry Road to Caldicott Road: Corridor Improvements
5) S201 (1759.20), Broadway: Reconstruction and N. Westcott Sidewalk Only
6) S202 (1759.21), Upper Union Street, West City/Town line at Van Antwerp Road to NY 146
7) A similar change will be made to one project funded with NHS, R294 (1111.29), US 20 Reconstruction from US 4 to East Village of Nassau Line. That action will make $0.550M available on the TIP.
The total engineering for each project becomes 13%, rounded up slightly. This results in $2.470M STP-Flex moving to the fifth year of the TIP. Members approved the amendment to the TIP. It was noted that this discussion resolves the uncompleted discussion about finding offsets for the Schenectady County project (Pangburn Road); moving another Schenectady County project to another year does not help, so the project was left as is.
Chris O’Neill briefly reviewed the major points of the material in member’s packets. The New Visions 2035 “Maintenance” Update is required by October 2011. An outline of the report was presented. The Update basically validates the existing plan and extends the planning horizon to 2035. A comprehensive 2040 plan update will follow beginning in 2012 and could last several years.
Chris distributed a summary of the New Vision’s Demographics and Performance Measures document. This summary will appear in the Appendix of the Maintenance Plan. Basic 2010 Census numbers are consistent with CDRPC forecasts for 2030 and 2035. Further in-depth refinement of forecasts will be undertaken for the 2040 plan update. The CDTC travel demand model is consistent with data on travel growth. New Visions traffic growth assumptions and the plausibility of achieving the plan’s objective of tempering the rate vehicular traffic growth are still valid. To date, data support CDTC’s New Visions long-range traffic forecasts. In summary, the updated information reaffirms the validity of CDTC’s understanding of the land use, demographic and travel behavioral context that provided the foundation for New Visions 2030.
Chris also reported that CDTC staff will be part of a statewide Smart Growth group that has been formed recently. The first meeting of this Group is next week.
2010-15 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
Revision of the Bike/Ped Project Cost Cap
CDTC members previously voted to cap the cost of Bike/Ped projects. This cap, unlike other projects in the TIP is a firm amount, and affords no adjustments for cost increases. Project sponsors must bear the cost of material and labor increases. This policy will be revisited in May. Members provided some comment at the table, but requested that CDTC staff identify several options to serve as a starting point for discussion at the May Planning Committee meeting.
High Speed Rail Project Status Report
Chris O’Neill has been participating on the High Speed Rail Task Force. At the last meeting, the consultant shared the modeled results of ridership projections; the model indicates that there could be as much as a 50% increase in ridership between Albany and Buffalo. Dave Jukins reported CDTC’s involvement in two other rail initiatives. The first concentrates on the pedestrian feature of the Livingston Avenue Bridge. CDTC was invited to submit comments on the importance of this pedestrian connection. Dave is also involved in a bi-state (NY & VT) passenger rail study that just started. The consultants for this study are investigating options to improve service in Vermont and to connect to Albany through Mechanicville.
STATUS OF PLANNING ACTIVITIES
CDTC holds the contract for the NYSMPO Association’s On-going Support. Staffs from the NYS MPOs are reviewing consultant proposals. A selection will be made shortly. The Capital CoExist logo and material is being more widely disseminated. The Bike/Ped Task force has asked Jason to report on their work to the Planning Committee on a regular basis. Other CDTC staff are involved in several Task Forces similar to the Bike/Ped Task Force. Staff will begin to prepare a status report on the Task Force activity much like the Linkage Status that is currently distributed to members. CDTC will be hosting a webinar that reviews the highlights of the newly published Highway Capacity Manual. The first one is schedule for Tuesday April 12th at 1:00 pm.
NYSDOT is being pressured to make sure that all local and state project schedules are accurate. A Study Advisory Committee meeting for the I-87/Route 9 Corridor Study will be held in late April or early May.
CDRPC staff recently received the 2010 Census Data and has been preparing summary tables. The summarized data has been posted on their website. The Capital Region experienced a growth in population between 2000 and 2010. Population in all of the region’s cities grew over the decade. The Capital Region is the only region that has witnessed a growth in population in every decade sine 1900, yet population has only doubled since 1900.
CDRPC recently submitted an application to NYSERDA under the Climate Smart Communities Coordination PON. If approved, CDRPC will begin a Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the Capital Region. After the inventory is completed, CDRPC would then prepare a strategic climate plan and conduct outreach for the plan. CDRPC should be notified of their status of grant approval (or denial) sometime this summer.
Bus Plus (Route 5
CDTA will be conducting public outreach for route restructuring in Albany County in May. The CDTA Board adopted a balanced budget, which required contractions in staffing, holidays and salaries.
The second round bike rack program application process has ended. All applications will be approved, as long as each project passes screen.
Albany County Airport Authority
Steve Iachetta reported that the direct connection to the Economy Parking Lot from Northway Exit 5 is now open. The Airport received ARRA funding through Clean Cities to purchase a replacement CNG shuttle vehicle to service the Economy Parking Lot.
NYS Thruway Authority
Reconstruction on the Thruway between Exits 23 and 24 has begun.
Phase 2 of the Wharf Improvement Project is starting up again. Tonnage was up during the first quarter.
There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:55 a.m. The next Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for May 4, 2011.