Meeting Minutes

July 1, 2009





Melissa Ashline-Heil, City of Cohoes

Bradley Birge, City of Saratoga Springs

Wayne Bonesteel, representing Fred Howard, Rensselaer County

Peter Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam

Frank Commisso, Albany Port Commission

Steve Feeney, Schenectady County

Rocky Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning Commission

Michael Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)

Robert Hansen, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Steve Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority

Jeff Lipnicky, Town of Bethlehem

Kate Maynard, Town of Wilton

Barbara McHugh, Town of Clifton Park

John Poorman, Capital District Transportation Committee (Secretary)

Paul Reuss, Village of Menands

Tom Richardson, City of Mechanicville

Deidre Rudolph, City of Albany

Phil Serafino, representing Bill Rinaldi, NYS Thruway Authority

Michael Valentine, Saratoga County

Kristina Younger, Capital District Transportation Authority (Vice-Chair)




James Allen, Buckeye Albany

Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee

Frank Bonafide, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Jennifer Ceponis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Rob Cherry, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Rich Filkins, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Shelly Johnston, Creighton Manning Engineering

David Kahlbaugh, Clough, Harbour Associates

Sandra Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee

Susan Pedo, NSI

Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Deb Stacey, Capital District Transportation Committee

Mike Wieszchowski, Laberge Group

Geoff Wood, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Cathy Woodruf, Times Union





Chairman Franchini opened the meeting at approximately 9:35 am.  There were no visitor’s issues.





Balltown Road Project Development


Rich Filkens from NYSDOT provided an overview of the long-range vision and proposed short term TIP actions planned for Balltown Road. The trigger for requesting this presentation was NYSDOT’s proposed project to improve the intersection of Balltown Road with NY146 and Blue Barnes Road.  Initially this project called for extending the WB left turn lane, but this is being reevaluated and will be pursued as a safety project.  NYSDOT is now concentrating on designing safety improvements for the intersection of Balltown Road with Riverview Road/Alplaus Avenue.  An interim solution has been put forward that would extend the NB right turn lane and add NB/SB left turn lanes at this intersection, and include drainage and pedestrian amenities.  NYSDOT has determined that the original Balltown Road project, which included widening and replacing the Rexford Bridge, is not affordable and that scoping needs to be revisited to identify more innovative, affordable solutions.  A meeting of stakeholders will be assembled to begin the re-scoping of this project.




Sandy Misiewicz described the NYSMPO Association’s Safety Assessment process and Guidelines.  The Safety Working Group was formed in 2005 to identify ways to integrate safety in the MPO process.  The Safety Working Group developed the brochure (distributed at the meeting) and a comprehensive guide that identifies the steps that must be taken to perform a safety assessment.  A “Cliff Notes” version of the guide was also developed.  The guide was field tested in three very different areas—NYC, Washington county and Elmira.  At CDTC, it is expected that this will be used as a training guide for municipalities and consultants and that the process will identify projects for CDTC’s safety set-aside.



Action Items




Approval of the April 29, May 6 and May 13th 2009 Meeting Minutes


The meeting notes from the Planning Committee that started on April 29th and ended on May 6th meeting were approved. 





Changes to Draft Project Listings since May 13, 2009


Members were directed to the information that was previously distributed regarding editorial changes to TIP listings (no action required) and Corrections to Actions already taken (action required).  Each item listed was discussed in turn, and the description of the TIP action was noted in the distributed material.  One additional handout was also distributed that noted additional editorial changes and corrections to actions already taken.  Additional information about several of the listings was provided during this discussion:

i.            Roundabouts—The wording “final design will be determined” will be added to this listing to show that a non-roundabout intersection project can be funded if AQ benefits result.

ii.        NY 2 Rehabilitation Project—several issues need to be sorted out regarding this project, but the project will be added to the TIP with a non-competitive fund source for now.

iii.    New Post Period Projects (handout)—These projects are shown in the post period with non-competitive fund sources and are shown to indicate that they are in the set of the “next projects to go forward” and that CDTC has made a commitment to these projects.


Members approved all of the corrections noted in the mailout material and in the handout that required Planning Committee approval.


TIP Update, Schedule and Solicitation Proposal


NYS will not be updating the STIP in 2009, but will be waiting until 2010 to do so.  CDTC has made a commitment to completing the 2009-14 update, given that much of the work has already been completed.  Staff suggests that the Planning Committee and Policy Board seriously consider the following approach or a variation to it as an alternative to completing the 2009-14 TIP in a traditional fashion.  The suggested approach both preserves the value of work completed to date and also allows CDTC to solicit for the next set of projects with an adequate amount of time:


1. Estimate a working budget target for “competitive fund sources” for the 2009 through 2015 programming period. 

2. Undertake a full CDTC TIP solicitation, evaluation and programming exercise as intended by New Visions. 

3. Amend the current STIP to reflect the project listings of the 2009-10 and 2010-11 years of the draft 2009-14 TIP.  These amendments would give status to the work done by the Planning Committee over the past six months without requiring a wholesale adoption of the 2009-14 TIP. 

4. Use the draft 2009-14 TIP and the prioritized list of new projects as the building blocks of a draft 2010-15 TIP. 

5. Reconcile the draft to new legislation, new NYSDOT allocations, etc., and release the draft 2010-15 TIP in March, 2010.

6. Adopt the 2010-15 TIP in June, 2010 for inclusion in the new STIP.


The Planning Committee embraced this approach and approved the motion to approve all the changes that have been made to the TIP so far for presentation to the Policy Board and to reflect the updated TIP in the last two year’s of the STIP.



Fiscal Constraint and the 2009-14 TIP Update


A summary was provided in the previously distributed material that describes the fiscal constraint issues that NYSDOT and CDTC face.  In interest of time, NYSDOT will meet with CDTC staff to identify actual over/under programmed funding by fund source.





Report on Stimulus Funding and Programming


CDTC has identified $98.1 M in projects eligible for Stimulus Funds.  Projects totaling about $92M have been certified by the Governor’s office.  Two small projects have been rejected—one in Saratoga County and one in Albany County. The Zim Smith needs and amendment to add it to the TIP to be eligible for ARRA funding (see below).  The Albany Port and Bio-Fuels projects are seeking dollars beyond the $98M. 


TIP ARRA Amendments


Zim Smith Phase 2—members were under the impression that this project was already added to the TIP, since it was approved for ARRA funding at an earlier meeting and presented to the Policy Board. Members approved the motion to include the Zim Smith Phase 2 Project as an amendment to the existing project.


CP Rail Ballston Spa Siding—This project would construct a second main track between Ballston Spa and Saratoga Springs to improve operations into the Saratoga Yard and the Saratoga Springs Amtrak Station.  The funding source—FY 09 USDOT Appropriations Act for intercity and high speed rail projects, is a FRA administered competitive source with many guidelines.  NYSDOT believes the Ballston Spa siding project fits all the criteria.  Members approved the additional of this project to the TIP, with this fund source listed.


TIGER Discretionary Grant Program


The ARRA includes a discretionary transit program, labeled Transportation Investment Generating Recovery (TIGER).  The deadline for applications is September 15th.  The size for individual projects will range from $20M to $300M, but not state will receive more than $300M.  Geographic balance will be a criteria for funding awards.  It is proposed that the CDTC put forth the BRT project for consideration, since it meets all the criteria, and is “shovel ready”.  Discussion about putting forth the statewide canal project and/or the Downtown Intermodal Station as projects, but only the state can propose the former, and the Downtown Intermodal Station is not shovel ready.  BRT is clearly the strongest candidate, and submitting a list would dilute the changes for the BRT to be funded.  Members approved the strategy to put our best project forward, which in this case, is the BRT.





SA220—Stewart Dam Bridge over the Sacandaga and SA221—Geyser Road Bridge over the D&H RR


Both of these projects were deferred to make room for the Batchellerville Bridge project.  The bridge is currently being inspected and if it is red flagged repairs might have to be preformed immediately.  Members deferred acting on the two amendments until the august meeting, when the state will have a clearer picture of the issues regarding the Batchellerville Bridge.





In the interest of time, this agenda item was skipped.



The next Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday August 5th at 9:30am. 

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m. 


Respectfully submitted,







John P. Poorman