PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING
July 2, 2014
Bill Anslow, representing Darrell Duncan, Albany County
Bradley Birge, City of Saratoga Springs
Frank Bonafide, NYS Department of Transportation-Region 1
Melissa Cherubino, City of Cohoes
Ross Farrell, Capital District Transportation Authority
Rocky Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning Commission
Michael Franchini, Capital District Transportation Committee, Secretary
Nadine Fuda, Town of Schodack
Stephen Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority, Chair
Andrew Kreshik, City of Troy
Robert Leslie, Town of Bethlehem
Barb McHugh, Town of Clifton Park
Randy Milano, City of Albany
Charles Moore, City of Rensselaer
Paul Reuss, Village of Menands
Tom Richardson, City of Mechanicville
Jeremy Smith, City of Watervliet
Joseph Teliska, representing Wayne Bonesteel, Rensselaer County
Michael Tengeler, representing Joe LaCivita, Town of Colonie
Michael Valentine, Saratoga County
Tony Vasil, Port of Albany
STAFF AND OTHERS
Tom Baird, Barton & Loguidice
Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee
Robert Cherry, NYS Department of Transportation-Region 1
Brian Cross, NYS Department of Transportation Region-1
Lauren Ellmers, Town of Glenville
Robert Hansen, Creighton Manning
Karen Hulihan, NYS Department of Transportation Region-1
Martin Hull, IBI Group
Christine Kingery, Spectra
Mark Landgraf, NYS Department of Transportation
Jack Madden, NYS Department of Transportation
Christina Minkler, CHA
Sandy Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee
Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee
Jeffrey Oswald, NYS Department of Transportation
Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee
Owen Shevlin, NYS Department of Transportation Region-1
Charles Tutunjian, Creighton Manning
Robert Wetmore, Capital District Transportation Committee
Steve Iachetta opened the meeting at approximately 9:35 AM. There were no visitors’ issues.
Previous Meeting Minutes – May 7, 2014
Members approved the May 7, 2014 minutes.
Presentation—NYSDOT’s Schenectady County Track Rationalization and Grade Crossing Elimination Project
Jack Madden from the NYSDOT Freight & Passenger Rail Bureau gave this presentation. A handout was distributed (attached). He explained that NYSDOT is asking CDTC for a letter of support for the Concept Plan. The Plan will reconstruct existing track and provide new track and improved service in the study area. The Plan would lead to the retirement of the Canadian Pacific Railroad line between the Schenectady Amtrak Station in Schenectady and Maple Avenue in Glenville by providing a preferred route for this service. The Plan would also lead to the retirement of the Pan Am Railways Rotterdam Branch in Glenville. Mike Franchini commented that this Plan will have many beneficial impacts on our members.
2013-18 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM PROPOSED AMENDMENTS
R175 (1754.51): ITS Upgrades at Two Locations on Broadway
Glenn Posca explained that the City of Rensselaer is no longer interested in advancing this project as documented in the letter included in the mail out. Staff is requesting approval to delete this project from the TIP. Members approved the deletion of this project from the TIP.
1760.06: NY 67 Bridge over B&M Railroad, Mechanicville
Frank Bonafide said that he would like to withdraw this amendment at this time since we are not ready with the bridge solicitation. Mike Franchini said that a bridge project solicitation will occur later this year. A list of priority projects will be developed by November. No action was taken.
1085.33: Safety Improvements on Hamburg Street (NY 146), Rotterdam.
Frank Bonafide said that New York State received HSIP funding as in the previous allocation. This project was awarded $5.0 million of HSIP funding through the FFY 2015-2017 Highway Safety Improvement Program by the Main Office; funding for this project does not count against the regional MPO allocation. The Region is proposing supplementing the HSIP funding with $3.25 million of NHPP funding, with an offset from RG117, State Pavement Set-Aside. Members approved the amendment.
Installation of Automatic Flashing Lights and Gates at Several Rail Crossings
Glenn Posca distributed a handout that documented changes in this amendment request since the mail out (see attached). Frank Bonafide explained that Rail Safety is a non-competitive fund administered in the Main Office. Members approved the amendment.
Mike Valentine raised a topic from a previous meeting and asked if CDTC should set a formal policy on offsets for TIP amendments. Mike Franchini explained that we don’t have a concrete policy on offsets; we rely on NYSDOT since they often have more information about funds available. Frank Bonafide explained that the program must consider constraints on the TIP as well as constraints on the STIP. If there is no requirement on the STIP side, we have room in the TIP while still being consistent with federal requirements. At the STIP level we don’t usually find out until we ask for authorization whether an offset is needed. Cash flow from bidding, high or low, is not discussed at the Planning Committee table, but NYSDOT must take it into account. Right now, we are seeing savings in project costs. Offsets are only an issue when the STIP is in need of balance. Frank said he would prefer not to keep a month to month ledger with the Planning Committee, and that the existing process is responsible and fair.
2014-15 UNIFIED PLANNING WORK PROGRAM
Progress Report for the Period October 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014
Mike Franchini explained that two Progress Reports are required per year. The Progress Report provides a summary of key accomplishments. He highlighted some of the accomplishments, including evaluation of project applications for eight set-asides; three Linkage projects; two TEP projects; security planning; and others. Members approved the Progress Report.
TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES PROGRAM (TAP)
Mike Franchini distributed a list of project applications received by NYSDOT. Frank Bonafide said that they are reviewing the applications; some are not eligible. Region 1 will work with CDTC, A/GFTC and the rural counties to review the applications. They hope to have the review done by mid-August; submissions are due to the Main Office on September 10.
FHWA/NYSDOT ADA TRAINING
Anne Benware said that CDTC staff attended this training, and that it was really well done. Communities need to do self-evaluations. Many municipalities will need to do transition plans for their pedestrian facilities. Not knowing does not protect you from the requirements of the law. With a ten to twenty year plan, working toward compliance, you are consistent with the law. But without a plan, you may be forced into immediate compliance. Rob Cherry said that not having a plan does not alleviate potential litigation measures. Indiana has a template that Rob will make available.
Rocky Ferraro expressed concern that trail connections connecting neighborhoods that have a treatment such as crushed stones instead of pavements would not be compliant. He is concerned that this will discourage future pedestrian connections.
LOCAL BRIDGE WORKING GROUP REPORT
Rob Wetmore said that the RFQ for the bridge evaluation project has been released, with a due date of June 26. CDTC is looking to compress the schedule for completion of the project.
CARSHARE AND BIKESHARE UPDATES
Mike Franchini reported that Capital CarShare, incorporated as a nonprofit, has been established and will be launching in Albany this year. They have purchased two vehicles, and will purchase two more next week. Future expansion could include Troy, Schenectady and Saratoga Springs.
Mike Franchini said that four demonstration/trial weeks of Bike Share are scheduled for the summer as shown in the agenda (July 10, Schenectady Bike Share Week; July 20, Troy Bike Share Week; July 30, Saratoga Springs Bike Share Week; August 9, Albany Bike Share Week). Rocky Ferraro asked about bike helmets. Brad Birge said that Bikeatoga is supplying helmets in Saratoga Springs.
BIKE TO WORK DAY (MAY 16TH) WINNERS
Mike Franchini reviewed the winners for Bike to Work Day, as reported in the mail out enclosure. The longest ride was 60 miles round trip.
STATUS OF CMAQ PROJECTS (see enclosed)
Glenn Posca reported that three new projects were let. Mike Franchini distributed a handout that identified three projects that may be in risk of not being let by the deadline. These were A464, Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail: Phase 1 (Voorheesville to the Port of Albany); S187, Mohawk/Hudson Bike Trail Crossing at NY 5S; and S188, Erie Boulevard/Jay Street/Nott Street/Front Street Roundabout. Bill Anslow reported that project A464 just got through a major hurdle with Parks and Recreation and design approval is expected soon. Tom Baird reported that for S188, an obstacle was successfully negotiated with the Mohican tribe and the project will meet its schedule.
NYSDOT PROJECT DELIVERY SCHEDULE
Frank Bonafide distributed a handout (attached) that provided a status of project delivery. He said Karen and her staff have been working hard and they appreciate the cooperation received.
Glenn Posca said schedule information about projects added to the TIP from the set-asides is included in the package. There is a list of five things that can be done before October 1 prior to design obligation. In response to a question, Mike Franchini said there may be flexibility to move projects to 2016. Karen Hulihan said that if a project is designed in house Region 1 will need a design report that meets federal requirements.
STATUS OF PLANNING ACTIVITIES
Mike Franchini reported that CDTC has received three proposals for the Saratoga Regional Traffic Study. Four proposals have been received for the I-787 Livable Corridor Study. An RFP has been issued for Regional Freight and Goods Movement Study. An RFP has been issued for the New Visions marketing consultant. CDTC will co-host an Intersection Workshop on July 31 to better generate safety proposals.
Rocky Ferraro said that CDRPC is working on ACS journey to work data and has created TAZ level origin destination tables for the four counties plus the ten surrounding counties, summarized at the municipality to municipality level. Tables include the number of persons, as well as mode of transportation. A new GIS atlas is being created. A major update of the website is underway. CDRPC is looking at CSO communities land banking component.
Ross Farrell CDTA is conducting five public meetings for the River Corridor BRT; three have been conducted already, with downtown Troy and North Albany still to go. In August CDTA will propose a preferred alternative and ask for Planning Committee and CDTC Board approval.
Albany County Airport Authority
Steve Iachetta reported that $5 million in major runway rehabilitation is progressing. Passengers are steady. Low fare Jet Blue service is anticipated hopefully for January/February.
Albany Port District Commission
Tony Vasil reported that 185 people took part in Port Industry Day on May 1. The Port is having a good year, with a 60% increase in ocean going vessels and barges; and a 30% increase in tonnage.
Freight Advisory Committee
Mike Franchini reported that the next meeting of the Freight Advisory Committee will include a tour of the Port.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:30 AM. The next Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for August 6, 2014.
Michael V. Franchini