PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING

 

Meeting Minutes

April 4, 2012

 

 

MEMBERS ATTENDING

 

William Anslow, Albany County

Melissa Ashline-Heil, City of Cohoes

Bradley Birge, City of Saratoga Springs

Frank Bonafide, NYS Department of Transportation R1

Robert Cherry, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Peter Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam

Frank Commisso, Albany Port Authority

Kevin Corcoran, Town of Glenville

Ross Farrell, Capital District Transportation Authority

Steve Feeney, Schenectady County

Rocky Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning Commission

Nadine Fuda, Town of Schodack

David Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee

Andrew Kreshik, City of Troy

Joe LaCivita, Town of Colonie

Patrick McCarroll, representing Michael Loftus, NYS Thruway
Authority

Barbara McHugh, Town of Clifton Park

Mike Morelli, Town of Bethlehem

Rosemary Nichols, City of Watervliet

Paul Reuss, Village of Menands

Dede Rudolph, City of Albany

Stephen Strichman, City of Schenectady

Joseph Teliska, representing Wayne Bonesteel, Rensselaer County

 

 

STAFF AND OTHERS

 

Ann Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jennifer Ceponis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Joe Cimino, Clough Harbour Associates

Mike Cooper, Bergmann Associates

Darrell Duncan, Albany County

Bob Hansen, Creighton Manning

Karen Hulihan, NYS Department of Transportation R1

Sandra Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee

Larry Mulvaney, NYS Department of Transportation R1

Chris OíNeill, Capital District Transportation Committee

John OíSullivan, City of Schenectady

Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee

Osvaldo Priotti, City of Rensselaer

Heidi Romines, NYS Department of Transportation R1

Carrie Ward, Capital District Transportation Authority

Ed Wolk, Capital District Transportation Authority

 

 

VISITORS ISSUES

 

David Jukins opened the meeting at approximately 9:34 AM.There were no visitorís issues.

 

 

 

 

ACTION ITEMS

 

ADMINISTRATION

 

Approval of the February 1, 2012 Meeting Minutes

 

Members approved the February 1st minutes.†††

 

TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM AMENDMENTS

 

SA217 (1757.36), Crescent Road Bike and Pedestrian Improvements

 

Barb McHugh explained that this project has experienced unanticipated cost increases related to unforeseen design requirements such as more guiderail.The project extends for 1.2 miles, encourages walkability and connects two towns, two crosswalks, residences, shopping, office buildings and an elementary school.Members approved the amendment as presented.

 

S175 (1755.37), CR 103 over Normanskill

 

Steve Feeney explained that two main contributors to cost increases for the project were the need to use costly micro-piles in the foundations and the need for two project inspectors.There was discussion about the maintenance and protection of traffic (MPT) for the project.It was explained that MPT costs were the subject of a previous TIP amendment, and were already addressed by the Planning Committee at a previous meeting.Frank Bonafide explained that although HBRR funding is tight, the fact that this project is ready to go makes it a strong candidate for this amendment.Members approved the TIP amendment as presented.

 

S189 (1758.06), New Traffic Signal at the Intersection of Providence Avenue and Hillside Avenue

 

This amendment was presented for information purposes; no action was needed because the cost change was less than $0.250M.

 

Ten Rail crossing Projects: R303 (1932.08), R304 (1932.24), R305 (1932.25), S210 (1932.26), R306 (1932.42), SA269 (1932.91), S211 (1933.18), S270 (1933.19), A534 (1933.20), RG40 (1T09.94)

 

Frank Bonafide explained that the rail crossings program is managed out of the Main Office, and there is one statewide pot of money that can only be used for rail crossing projects.The Main Office decided that these ten projects have a high statewide priority.Money was taken from a STIP set aside.Members approved the ten rail crossing project amendments as presented.

 

CERTIFICATION REVIEW

 

Dave Jukins explained that the Certification Review for CDTC is under way.Last week, FHWA and FTA met with CDTC staff.Several Planning Committee members stopped by, and others have been in touch with FHWA and FTA by phone.There will be another chance to comment once the draft certification report is released early this Summer.

 

DISPOSITION OF UPWP COMMENTS

 

Dave Jukins reviewed comments received on the UPWP, including a comment from East Greenbush Police Chief Chris Lavin requesting more emphasis on traffic signals and intersection management. The CDTC response to Chief Lavin explained that CDTC efforts support operational improvements to signals; and that the Regional Operations Committee will be considering various regional activities related to signal improvements. Staff responded to all UPWP comments.

 

TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

 

TIP Update/New York Works Infrastructure Program

 

Dave Jukins explained that at the emergency meeting of the Policy Board (by conference call on March 9, 2012), CDTC endorsed the addition of two statewide projects to the STIP and TIP: RG122, Accelerated Pavement Preservation Program, and RG123, Accelerated Bridge Program.CDTC endorsement gives permission to the State to implement those parts of the bridge and pavement programs planned for the Capital District.Both projects represent statewide lists of projects that were not yet finalized at the March 9 meeting.Subsequently, lists of projects were finalized.A partial list of projects was included for information in the Planning Committee mail out.

 

Dave Jukins explained that although the process was different than normal, because of the urgency, a decision was made that the process used to approve RG122 and RG123 was the best approach. Frank Bonafide stated that NYSDOT staff appreciates CDTC support, and that projects were selected by Region 1.

 

A handout was distributed by NYSDOT at the meeting which provided a list of New York Works projects in the Capital District (a press release from the Governorís office).A second handout was distributed (an April 3, 2012 letter to John Poorman) which described TIP changes required for the Patroon Island Bridge Rehabilitation project.††

 

Dave Jukins stated that discussion was necessary about appropriate Planning Committee action for the Patroon Island Bridge project.Andrew Kreshik asked if full replacement of the bridge should be considered.Frank Bonafide explained that rehabilitation was the most cost effective approach.Dave Jukins explained that rehabilitation was consistent with the CDTC Hudson River Crossings Study, which found that capacity expansion of the Patroon Island Bridge is not needed and would not be appropriate.

 

Steve Feeney and Steve Strichman raised concerns about the Western Gateway Bridge project.They commented that bicycle and pedestrian access improvements should be incorporated into the deck reconstruction, and that the cost of such improvements would be minimal compared to the $18.105M project cost.Frank Bonafide said that he will check to see if the requested features can be, or perhaps already are, incorporated into the project.Dave Jukins stated that John Poorman had written to Commissioner McDonald expressing his concern that recommendations of CDTC Linkage studies should be incorporated NY Works projects wherever possible.

 

Brad Birge commented that complete streets legislation should be applicable to the Western Gateway Bridge, and that the capacity already exists on the bridge for bicycle and pedestrian improvements.Steve Feeney stated that the existing right of way should be large enough, especially if lane widths are reduced.Rocky Ferraro commented that failing to make these improvements now could mean losing a once in a generation opportunity.

 

Rosemary Nichols commented that sharrows and a bike lane should be included in the Congress Street Bridge.Frank Bonafide stated that sharrows are on hold for the State until a statewide policy is developed.

 

Frank Bonafide requested Planning Committee approval for the TIP amendment for the Patroon Island Bridge project as documented in the handout.He stated that this approval would be needed to allow for a thirty day public review prior to the Policy Board action on the amendment. Members approved the TIP amendment for the Patroon Island Bridge project.(Subsequent to the Planning Committee meeting, it was determined that Policy Board approval of the Patroon Island TIP amendment is not required, because CDTC thresholds for Policy Board action were not exceeded for this amendment.)

 

Frank Bonafide explained that other projects on the list do not require TIP amendments.He stated that the Northway Twin Bridges project does not require a TIP amendment, but rather requires CDTC approval to support the project, since it was already approved at the emergency Policy Board meeting on March 9.Glenn Posca expressed the opinion that if the project is to be shown as an individual project on the TIP, it requires an amendment approved by the Policy Board.Frank Bonafide said that it can be approved as an administrative modification.The Planning Committee did not want another emergency Policy Board meeting if it could be avoided.A motion was made to approve the Twin Bridges project and any necessary action by the Policy Board if required.The motion was approved by members.(Subsequent to the meeting, CDTC staff determined that Policy Board action is not required for the following reasons: the Policy Board approved this project as part of a list of projects on March 9, 2012; the CDTC TIP project selection guidelines do not address adding a project to the TIP from a Statewide project list already approved by CDTC; and the Planning Committee considered it preferable to act on its own to address the NYSDOT request for approval to place this project on the TIP. This action will be reported to the Policy Board at its next meeting.)

 

2013-18 TIP Update/NYSDOT Capital Program Update

 

Dave Jukins explained that because the STIP will need to be updated next year, CDTC must begin the process for a TIP update.Since Congress has not approved a new federal transportation bill, there is great uncertainty about how much funding will be available for the TIP update.NYSDOT and CDTC will need to make some reasonable assumptions about expected funding and proceed.Staff anticipates county level meetings about project status and costs, and estimates of future allocations to be developed this summer.NYSDOT is expected to update its Capital Program.Ozzie Priotti asked when there would be a chance to add new projects.Dave Jukins explained that theoretically that would be this update cycle, but it will depend on the allocations of federal funds.†††

 

FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION BILL AUTHORIZATION

 

The working assumption is that Congress may continue to continue extending the old bill through the end of the calendar year.

STATUS OF PLANNING ACTIVITES

 

CDRPC

 

Rocky Ferraro reported that CDRPC is proceeding with their efforts as the regionís Climate Smart Communities Coordinator under a program sponsored by NYSERDA.They will be developing greenhouse gas emissions inventory from a variety of sectors, building on existing efforts.Population forecasts are completed, and waiting for completion of age cohort forecasts, which are under way.

 

CDTC

 

Dave Jukins explained that staff would like to work with the Planning Committee to develop boiler plate regional projects that everyone is comfortable with that could be submitted on short notice when federal announcements for special funding programs occur.A potential example of such a project would be the CDTC greenways plan.This is a topic for future conversation.

 

CDTA

 

Ross Farrell reported that CDTA service planning continues, with Phase 2 of the Albany County restructuring under development.Five to six public meetings are anticipated.CDTA is planning changes to the Northway NX service.CDTA anticipates release of an RFP for the Washington Western Alternatives Analysis in May or June.The CDTA Park and Ride Study is near final approval.The new Morton Avenue bus route has been well received.

 

NYSDOT

 

Frank Bonafide reported that Region 1 staff would be moving to Wolf Road by Monday April 9th.He reported the following projects which were let:

 

        Clinton Avenue Viaduct, let at $20.7M

        Washington Fuller, let at $14.8M

        Route 378 over the Hudson Rehab, let at $9.0M

        I-87 Paving from the Twin Bridges to Exit 10, $8.3M

 

Rob Cherry reported on the I-87/US 9 Integrated Corridor Management Study.A public meeting was held in March, with good newspaper articles covering the meeting.The Study will identify ways to make the facilities operate more efficiently.NYSDOT and CDTC attended workshops in Malta for the Linkage Study.The Town has been receptive to NYSDOTís concern that development should be encouraged parallel to Route 9 rather than on Route 9 due to the high cost of reconstructing Route 9 as a main street.

 

New York State Thruway Authority

 

Patrick McCarroll reported that the Thruway project between Exit 23 and Exit 24 is under construction, with all traffic moved to the northbound side of the facility.Next year, the opposite side will be under construction.

 

Albany Port Authority

 

Frank Commisso reported that the Port is doing well, with tonnage and man hours both up.

 

Rensselaer County

 

Joe Teliska expressed thanks to Glenn Posca and the staff for helping with getting the Rensselar County bridge project out to bid.

 

Adjournment

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:20 PM.The next Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for May 2, 2012.The next Policy Board Meeting is scheduled for June 7, 2012.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

David P. Jukins

Acting Secretary