Meeting Minutes

June 27, 2007




Brad Birge, City of Saratoga Springs

Judy Breselor, City of Troy

Peter Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam

Steve Feeney, Schenectady County

Rocky Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning Commission

Michael Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)

Steve Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority

Barbara McHugh, Town of Clifton Park

Marybeth Pettit, City of Rensselaer

John Poorman, Capital District Transportation Committee (Secretary)

Dave Rettig, NYSDOT Region 1

Joe Rich, Federal Highway Administration

Dede Rudolph, City of Albany

Phil Serafino, New York State Thruway Authority

Denise Sheehan, Town of Colonie

Bernard Sisson, City of Schenectady

Michael Valentine. Saratoga County

Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon

Kristina Younger, Capital District Transportation Authority




Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee

Frank Bonafide, NYSDOT Region 1

Sandra Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee

Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jim Rivers, City of Troy

John Stangle, Town of Colonie

Steve Szanto, Creighton Manning




Chairman Franchini opened the meeting with introductions at 9:35 am. There were no requests from visitors to speak to the Committee. 

Action Items




Approval of the June 15, 2007 Meeting Minutes


The minutes of the June 15, 2007 meeting were approved as written. 




Members were asked to review and consider approving the solicitation material for the Linkage Program included in the meeting mail out.  The material is basically the same as last year’s solicitation package except that the term access management was added to the strategy regarding improving street connectivity and reducing driveway conflicts to make it clear that access management plans are an eligible activity under the program.

The City of Rensselaer withdrew their project funds from the last round as the project would be repeating planning work already completed. 


As the next Unified Work Program (UPWP), covering 2008 – 2010, is being developed the issue of appropriate Linkage study scale and other issues will be revisited at least for the second year (2009 – 2010). Also to be considered at that time is the apparent intent by NYSDOT to engage in land use and transportation planning studies as there may be an opportunity to combine funding and coordination efforts with the possibility of being able to undertake a broader range and scale of studies.  


The Linkage Program package, as contained in the meeting mail out, including the proposed schedule, with the addition of $25,000 added back in from the City of Rensselaer and the paragraph regarding the Corridor Management Initiative (CMI) was approved by the members.




A.  Changes to the Draft TIP Listings


Updates to two projects included in the draft 2007 – 12 TIP were distributed in the meeting mail out and relate to projects A432 (HBRR) and SA229.  Action was not required.


B.  Evaluation of Proposed NYSDOT Projects


1.  Rt. 2:  Brunswick Town Line to Grafton State Park

2.  Rt. 5:  Central Avenue, from Rt. 155 to C.R. 156, Fuller Rd.        Town and Village of Colonie


The purpose of the evaluations was to provide some context against other projects evaluated during past TIP updates. 


Discussion began regarding the evaluation of the proposed Rt. 5 project in the Town and Village of Colonie. John Poorman acknowledged that there was a meeting held on June 22, 2007 among various parties to discuss the potential scope and other issues related to the proposed Rt. 5 project.  Dave Rettig reported that the meeting was attended by representatives from the Town and Village of Colonie, CDTA, CDTC and NYSDOT.  The purpose was to discuss the scope of the project.  At the meeting CDTA expressed disappointment that the initial project scope ignored both Bus Rapid Transit elements and recommendations from the Route 5 Corridor Land Use and Transportation Plan.  Dave Rettig stated that the proposed project is not intended to ignore those elements but is intended to address the specific issue of poor pavement condition, most notably rutting. 


Dave reported that the meeting produced a good exchange of information and that the group agreed to:  examine the area from curb to curb within the proposed project limits and determine what elements in addition to pavement rehabilitation could be incorporated into the project consistent with both Town and Village plans.  Denise Sheehan reminded the Planning Committee of the documented pedestrian safety problem, and expressed hope that it could be addressed within the scope of the proposed project.  Elements might include items such as pedestrian countdown timers at signalized intersections and other features to improve the pedestrian environment, and potentially re-striping lanes to improve the bicycling travel environment. 


It was pointed out that as redevelopment proposals come before the Town and Village there may be opportunities for driveway consolidations if there were an access management plan; there is a potential to incorporate such consolidations into the proposed project. 


There was concern expressed over the 10 to 12 year life of a rehabilitation project and that once the pavement was rehabilitated NYSDOT would not be coming back again to the corridor in this section.  NYSDOT agreed that they would design the project in such a way as to not preclude or foreclose on the ability to construct the queue jumpers or to further modify the roadway consistent with the Route 5 Corridor Study and subsequent local plans; NYSDOT agreed to work with CDTA to advance the queue jumper projects. 


It was pointed out that the City of Albany’s Central Avenue project is primarily a rehabilitation project and it’s design was required to incorporate BRT, pedestrian and bicycle accommodation features. 


The option of phasing this project was introduced whereby the pavement project would be considered a first phase with a second phase competing for TIP funds at a future update.  This second phase would be intended to accomplish other needed roadway changes that would require going outside the curb to curb area such as driveway consolidation, shared access, etc. which would be of a more significant cost than the current proposed project budget.  Should the project compete in a future TIP update, the costs and benefits related to the first phase would be used in the merit evaluation. 


Kristina Younger added that CDTA acknowledges other member’s comments that this proposed project presents a dilemma in that poor pavement conditions negatively impact Central Ave corridor bus service and CDTA’s vehicles. CDTA seeks to be a partner with NYSDOT and the corridor communities.  CDTA will work to fast track the queue jumpers and transit signal priority projects and proposes that two years of the Corridor Management Initiative (CMI) funds be used to fund a corridor access management plan; having an access management plan for this section of the corridor as soon as possible would provide opportunities to incorporate access treatments into the proposed pavement project. 


After further discussion by members it was decided that all NYSDOT proposed projects would be addressed as a package.  Regarding the Rt. 2 project in Rensselaer County it was mentioned that since the proposed project scope included shoulder work that bicycle accommodations be incorporated there as appropriate due to the fact that Rt. 2 provides access to Grafton State Park.  It was also mentioned that with the B/C ratio for this rural project is less than what would be the norm for urban projects due to traffic volumes, however there should probably be special consideration for rural projects in recognition that since ISTEA the metropolitan area boundary and CDTC’s planning area correspondingly were expanded such that jurisdiction and responsibility for federal funding decisions is no longer NYSDOT’s alone but rather a more collaborative process.  Members expressed frustration with the fund switches but acknowledged if they are being told the federal funding cannot be used for anything else and if the switch is not made the projects will not get done it would be unwise to let the funding lapse.  However, this is acceptable only if there is a commitment from NYSDOT that this request for fund switches without open competition for use of federal funds will not happen again. 


A motion was presented as follows:


1) The two NHS (R254, S177) and three HBRR (A 431, A467, SA220) projects are recommended to remain in the first three years of the 2007-12 TIP as previously recommended by the Planning Committee. 


2) The two SDF-to-STP ( Rt. 2:  Brunswick Town Line to Grafton State Park and Rt. 5:  Central Avenue, from Rt. 155 to C.R. 156, Fuller Rd. in the Town and Village of Colonie)(and one SDF-to-HBRR) projects proposed by NYSDOT Region 1 for use of advance construction funds are recommended for addition to the draft 2007-12 TIP as requested by NYSDOT.  It is the intent of CDTC that this be the final occurrence of federal funding being made available solely for the projects of one sponsor.  (The first time this was done was for the NY 7 Reconstruction/Resurfacing project in Schenectady (S172) in June 2004.) 


3) It is recommended that CDTC submit its strong concerns on the conflict between CDTC’s principles and New York State’s use of advance construction funding to cover shortfalls in SDF funding for state projects.  The subsequent problems associated with this use of advance construction were substantial for CDTC as an institution and NYSDOT Region 1 as a key participant.


Additionally, the Central Avenue project was approved with the following understandings:


1) A design steering committee will be appointed that will have input into the project design.


2) NYSDOT will try to accommodate some New Visions/ NY5 Land Use and Transportation Plan / BRT / Village streetscape design features between curbs.  The project will not be re-scoped, but thoughtful consideration will be given to these features.


3) A second phase of this project can be introduced as a project candidate (without prejudicial status) at the next project solicitation.  The second phase could be for New Visions design features not incorporated into the project approved at the 2007-12 TIP Update (phase one), and would be evaluated along with phase one as one project.  The costs and benefits would be combined into one project for the purpose of evaluation and consideration against other candidates.


4) A ($230,000) Corridor Management Initiative project (RG 31) will be initiated to identify an access management plan for the NY 5 corridor.


Regarding Rt. 2, incorporate bicycle access to Grafton State Park.  Members approved the motion; Kristina Younger abstained.


Proposed Conversion of CMAQ to STP for the Traffic Management Center (TMC) 


A brief summary was provided detailing FHWA’s communication with NYSDOT that based on new guidance CMAQ money cannot be spent on the TMC operations after three years of funding the same project.  NYSDOT has proposed converting CMAQ funding to STP funds to support the TMC.  Members discussed that SAFETEA-LU allows such fund source conversions and that since the project is already on the TIP and works to maintain air quality and manage congestion in the region there is not an issue with a conversion.  However, Joe Rich offered that FHWA would likely be able to approve the continued use of CMAQ funds for the TMC due to the Capital District’s good history of making progress on managing congestion through the TMC and the fact that DEC is pursuing changing the designation of the region to that of an air quality maintenance area. Because CMAQ funds would support maintaining what the region is already doing, the discussion concluded that there would be no need to convert CMAQ to STP at this time.  No action was required.


Other/Upcoming Meetings


There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:35 am.


Respectfully submitted,




John P. Poorman