Meeting Minutes

May 4, 2011





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

Todd Fabozzi, representing Rocky Ferraro, Capital District
  Regional Planning Commission

Steve Feeney, Schenectady County

Michael Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)

Steve Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority

David Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee

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

Paul Reuss, Village of Menands

Dede Rudolph, City of Albany

Joseph Teliska. Rensselaer County

Ed Tremblay representing Melissa Ashline-Heil, City of Cohoes

Michael Valentine, Saratoga County

Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon

Kristina Younger, Capital District Transportation Authority (Vice-




Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee

Patrick Bolton, NYSERDA

Jennifer Ceponis, Capital District Transportation Committee

John Coluccio, City of Schenectady

Christine Douglas, CHA

Ross Farrell, Capital District Transportation Authority

Shelly Johnston, Creighton Manning

Dick Lenseth, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Leah Mosall, Capital District Transportation Committee

Larry Mulvaney, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Sree Nampoothiri, Capital District Transportation Committee

Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Chuck Rappazzo, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Deb Stacey, Capital District Transportation Committee

Steven Stella, The College of Saint Rose

Jennifer Thorne, Capital District Transportation Authority

Michael Wieszchowski, Laberge Group





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




Patrick Bolton from NYSERDA provided a brief overview of the US Department of Energy (USDOE) funding program that is structured to accelerate the deployment of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure and charging stations.  USDOE is making $5.0M available for community-based efforts. Ten to fifteen awards will be made nationally, with minimum award amounts of $250,000 and maximum award amounts of $500,000.  The USDOE monies are to be used for planning and policy implementation for plug-in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.  Plans must address infrastructure deployment plans for light, medium and/or heavy duty plug-in electric vehicles. NYSERDA is considering submitting one application for the entire state, identifying local partners in each region.  NYSERDA would provide match which would make the application stronger since match is not a requirement.  Patrick mentioned that NYSERDA will also be announcing one or two Project Opportunity Notices in the near future for demo projects ($8.0M) and for an electric vehicle support contractor ($1.0M).  NYSERDA intends to submit a letter of intent to USDOE by the May 16th deadline and will work with area municipalities on a final application which is due June 13th.  Members asked Patrick to provide Deb Stacey a one-page summary of what information/support NYSERDA requires by the June 13th deadline.  Deb, as the Clean Communities coordinator, will forward this information to interested members.





Ross Farrell from CDTA prepared a presentation summarizing the findings of the recently completed Washington/Western BRT Conceptual Design Study. CDTA through previous work has identified three corridors, based on ridership that could benefit from Bus Rapid Transit.  CDTA just launched BusPlus along the Route 5 corridor; annual ridership on the pre-BusPlus Route 5 buses was near 3.5 million.  The two other corridors identified for potential BRT service were the Route 32/Broadway corridor with over 2 million annual riders and the Washington/Western corridors with over 2.5 million riders.


The Conceptual Design Study for the Washington/Western BRT looked at feasibility, economic opportunities, solutions to existing road network inefficiencies, stakeholder buy-in and funding opportunities.  Several route alternatives were developed with these criteria in mind.  Ridership forecasts were also developed.  Overall the study indicates that BRT in the Washington and Western Corridor will provide a number of benefits including improved transit service and travel options, support for urban revitalization and increased transit ridership with a limited increase in operating cost.  Alternative B2, providing a short busway and a new regional transit hub at Crossgates Mall would provide a level of connectivity that is not possible using the current configuration of the road system in the area.  This alternative would require the most investment (compared to the other alternatives) in capital costs, but would increase service and lower operating costs due to improved efficiencies.  The Resolution distributed to members is required for CDTA to move forward with developing a package to FTA on the Alternatives Analysis portion of the Federal Small Starts or Very Small Starts program to further advance the feasibility study of the Washington/Western BRT project.  Members approved the Resolution.








Approval of the April 6, 2011 Meeting Minutes


Frank Bonafide requested that the first sentence under NYSDOT (under Status of Planning Activities) be stricken from the notes. Chris O’Neill noted that the first sentence of the second paragraph under New Visions 2035 Maintenance Plan (page 4) referenced the wrong handout. Members approved the meeting notes with these corrections noted.


Year-End Budget Revisions


CDTC staff annually takes steps necessary to close out the fiscal year on March 31st, subject to Planning Committee approval and a subsequent annual audit.  Requested grant close-out revisions involve grant NY-80-X018 and NY-80-X019.  Specific detail is included in member’s mailout material.  Members approved the budget revisions.


2011 Coordinated Public-Transit Human Services Transit Plan


Deb Stacey reported that the SAFETEA-LU guidelines require an update to the Coordinated Public-Transit Human Services Transit Plan every four years.  The last Coordinated Plan was adopted in June 2007.  The first Plan documented the coordination activities that CDTC and CDTA undertook since the early 1980’s.  A lengthy survey of human service agencies was conducted in 2006 and the results were integrated in the 2007 Coordinated Plan.  The 2011 Update to the Plan basically documents what has occurred since the 2007 Plan was adopted.  Many creative initiatives were funded through the New Freedom Program since 2007.  Great strides have been made in orchestrating communication between the region’s human service agencies.  A streamlined version of the 2006 survey will be conducted this summer with the aid of United Way.  The results from the 2011 Survey will be incorporated into the 2011 Coordinated Plan as an addendum when staff works on the 2035 New Visions Plan.  Members approved the 2011 Coordinated Public-Transit Human Services Transit Plan as written.





Public Participation Policy


Jason Purvis reviewed the major points in the previously distributed write-up on CDTC’s Public Participation Policy.  Briefly, the Public Participation Policy, required under SAFETEA-LU, now includes a formal social media policy, and has established website and public review guidelines for the Long Range Plan, UPWP, TIP, and Linkage Program.  As directed by committee members, the Policy was modified to include a section on Title VI and Limited English Proficiency. Equity Analysis is performed when reviewing TIP candidates and will continue to be addresses in this manner.  The Planning Committee approved the amended version of the Public Participation Policy Document.


New Visions 2035 Maintenance Plan Update


Chris O’Neill distributed a summary of the initial findings of the Air Quality Conformity Determination for 2035.  Chris is waiting for data from NYSDOT for Montgomery, Greene and Schoharie counties.  A final version of the air quality statement will be presented to the Policy Board at the June meeting.  Members approved the release of the Air Quality Conformity Statement to the Policy Board.


Chris O’Neill distributed a two page handout highlighting some text changes that were made to previously distributed status briefs on the individual topic areas of the New Visions 2035 Plan Update. Chris noted that the Status Brief on Infrastructure was re-drafted at the request of NYSDOT to include a discussion on bridge deck area deficiencies.  An executive summary addressing each of the individual topic areas was included in members’ mailout material.  The summary highlights accomplishments and the proposed focus for future work.  Staff plans to add graphics and will present the summary document and individual topic papers to the Policy Board in June.  Some additional tweaks will be required, such as adding information on CDTA’s Small Starts initiative (discussed today) and a few other minor accomplishments that have occurred since the Topic papers were drafted in January.  Members approved the material for Policy Board review.





Project RG96 Recreational Trails Project


NYSDOT explained that this project includes several trail improvement projects funded by FHWA recreational trail grants funneled through the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.  The actual grants awarded to Capital Region recipients exceeded the amount originally programmed on the TIP.  This amendment adjusts that TIP amount to the correct allocation.  Members approved the amendment.


Review 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.  At the May Planning Committee meeting, members requested that CDTC staff identify several options to serve as a starting point for discussion about this topic.  Staff developed a few alternatives.  These alternatives were discussed at length by members, and a few modified alternatives were proposed and discussed.  Most members gravitated toward Option 2 – remove the firm cap on existing and future bike-ped projects on the TIP and consider cost and scope changes on a case by case basis, similar to how other non-bike/ped projects are currently treated in the TIP.  This opened up a broader discussion regarding scope and budget changes for all TIP projects.  Members approved option 2 with one abstention, but requested a broader investigation of policies regarding requests for scope and budget revisions for all projects.


Project A437—Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail


The City of Cohoes submitted a lengthy explanation motivating this TIP amendment; this letter was distributed to members in the mailout.  Briefly, a large portion of the construction dollars for this project were used in design, as bridge drawings needed to be re-created.  Actual construction costs have not escalated much.  The new TIP amount needs to be increased to $790,000 (from $390,000); members approved this revision with the stipulation that an offset must be found.





Due to time constraints, this section of the Agenda was skipped.


There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:15 a.m.  The next Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for July 6, 2011.  A Policy Board meeting will be held on June 2nd.


Respectfully submitted,





John P. Poorman