Meeting Minutes

August 3, 2011




Melissa Ashline-Heil, City of Cohoes

Bradley Birge, City of Saratoga Springs

Frank Bonafide, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Paul Cassillo. City of Schenectady

Robert Cherry, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Peter Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam

Sarah Crowell, City of Rensselaer

Michael Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)

Steve Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority

Andrew Kreshik, City of Troy

Joseph LaCivita, Town of Colonie

Patrick McCarroll, representing Michael Loftus, NYS Thruway

Barbara McHugh, Town of Clifton Park

Mike Morelli, Town of Bethlehem

Rosemary Nichols, City of Watervliet

John P. Poorman, Capital District Transportation Committee


Paul Reuss, Village of Menands

Dede Rudolph, City of Albany

Joe Teliska, representing Wayne Bonesteel, Rensselaer County

Tony Tozzi, Town of Malta

Mike Valentine, Saratoga County

Kristina Younger, Capital District Transportation Authority





Ann Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jennifer Ceponis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Joe Cimino, Clough Harbour Associates

Shelly Johnston, Creighton Manning

David Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee

Monica King, Town of Bethlehem

Teresa LaSalle, Capital District Transportation Committee

Sandra Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee

Larry Mulvaney, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Tom Murley, Town of North Greenbush

Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee

Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee

Heidi Romines, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

John Stangle, Village of Menands

Carrie Ward, Capital District Transportation Authority

Mike Wieszchowski, Laberge Group

Karen Williams, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1




Chairman Franchini opened the meeting at approximately 9:37 am.  There were no visitor’s issues.




CDTA Route Performance Report


Kristina Younger gave a presentation on the CDTA Route Performance Report.  The report documents ridership and productivity, previous service changes and plans for next year’s service changes.  CDTA’s routes are classified into the following categories: trunk, express, neighborhood, shuttles and rural.  Major service changes have been successful and include the Schenectady County Route Restructuring (an 18% increase in ridership) and the BusPlus and NY5 corridor improvements (a 12% increase in ridership).  A majority of routes are above or near thresholds, but the lowest performing routes have been eliminated or will be eliminated.  Phase 1 of the Albany County restructuring is in progress, focusing on Albany and the suburbs.  Extensive public participation has been part of the process.  Rollout is expected in the fall of 2011.


Improvements to BusPlus are expected in the fall of 2011 and include: queue jumpers at Wolf Road and New Karner Road; real time bus displays and transit signal priority.  CDTA will update the TDP (Transit Development Program) in the coming year.







Approval of the July 6, 2011 Meeting Minutes


Several changes were noted for the July 6th meeting notes as written.  Mike Morelli commented that Rob Leslie should be shown as having represented the Town of Bethlehem on July 6th.  Frank Bonafide commented that for the references to staff that will be leaving NYSDOT due to layoffs, the wording should be changed from “will be” to “could be”.  Rosemary Nichols noted that the last sentence of the first paragraph on page 5 should be corrected.  The following wording was suggested: “…provide an overlay to the entire roadway.”  With these corrections, members approved the July 6th minutes that were submitted.    




Proposed Offsets to Maintain Fiscal Constraint


Frank Bonafide explained that NYSDOT Region One staff and CDTC staff have been working to produce a list of projects requiring offsets for the STIP and a list of projects that may be able to provide those offsets. A list of changes from the mail out were discussed that did not require Planning Committee action.  Three projects required Planning Committee action to reduce funding: Stewart Dam Road, South Troy Industrial Park and Erie Boulevard.  The changes to these projects, as presented in the mail out, were approved by Committee members. 



Frank Bonafide explained that these efforts are in response to a new level of scrutiny by FHWA and are needed to make sure that funds are not left on the table and potentially lost.  Greater oversight and attentiveness to projects is needed by all.


Glenn Posca explained that additional project funding changes may be required to prevent leaving money on the table before the end of the federal fiscal year on September 30.  But since the next Planning Committee is in October, after the end of the federal fiscal year, it would not be feasible to come back to the Planning Committee in time.  After discussion, a motion was made to authorize any TIP/ STIP amendment to be made as necessary by staff to preserve resources, with actual project issues to come back to the Planning Committee for ratification.  The motion was approved by Committee members.   


Request by the Town of Bethlehem to Remove the Cost Cap on Existing Safety Projects: A502 Meads Lane/Van Dyke Road Intersection


Mike Morelli explained that the Meads Lane Van Dyke Road intersection has many difficult features including a 15% grade and difficult turning geometry.  Vehicles, especially school buses, avoid the intersection.  Monica King also presented information about the project.  Originally the Town of Bethlehem intended to develop this project with in house resources, but the Town has decided to use consultant assistance in developing this project.  Unanticipated environmental issues will need to be addressed. 


Planning Committee members first addressed the cap on safety projects.  When this project was originally added to the TIP as a safety project, the Planning Committee decided to require a cap on safety projects to encourage smaller safety projects.  Some of the projects were subsequently determined to be ineligible for safety funding. There was a motion to remove the cap for all safety program projects, and to require all safety projects that request an increase in funding over the cap to be evaluated by the Planning Committee, even if the project would otherwise not need a TIP amendment.  The motion was approved by Committee members.


After the cap was removed, there was discussion suggesting that a TIP amendment was not needed immediately, given the number of funding issues that need to be addressed on the TIP in the coming months.  There was a motion to defer action on the TIP amendment for this project until an update can be prepared on other safety projects previously capped.  The motion was approved by Committee members.  Staff was directed to prepare appropriate information on this topic for the Planning Committee.


R240 (1755.20) Brookside Avenue over Wynantskill


R198 (1754.70) New Sidewalks on the east side of Brookside Avenue


The above two items were presented and discussed together.  Tom Murley presented information about both projects.  The bridge is in bad shape and needs replacement.  The sidewalk is very important for connectivity.  The current proposed TIP Amendment retains the original scope and will construct a flush sidewalk without any curbing, drainage or road paving work.  The sidewalk was considered to be equivalent in scope to the asphalt treatment originally mentioned in the TIP.


Because an offset for the bridge project had been identified as requested, the Committee made a motion to approve the bridge project (R240) amendment.  The motion was approved by Committee members.


Glenn Posca explained that if the current amendment for the sidewalk project would not change the scope, Planning Committee action would not be required for the level of funding changes being requested, based on TIP amendment guidelines.  A motion was made to approve the amendment for the sidewalk project (R198) as presented.  The motion was approved by Committee members.



SA256 (1935.61), Canadian Pacific Railway’s Ballston Spa Siding


This item was discussed, but no Planning Committee action was required.  Rail stimulus funds were added to the TIP pending approval from FRA.  The amount approved is lower than the TIP amount.


NYSDOT Proposal to Delay Engineering for Projects Added to the 2010-15 Update


Frank Bonafide explained that Region 1 is proposing to move preliminary design funds for new projects that were added to the TIP during the 2010-15 TIP update, as described in the mail out.  The rationale is that funding expectations are currently much lower than was anticipated.  Beginning engineering work on a project when anticipated funding is not available in the five year program could raise false expectations. 


John Poorman explained that CDTC is still committed to the projects in the TIP, but that if funding is less than expected, the new projects may have to be delayed to the post five year period.  One option could be for individual project sponsors to initiate projects with their own funding.  No action was taken on this item.


TIP Update Discussion


John Poorman reported that discussions are taking place with NYSDOT regarding how best to deal with anticipated funding levels and the TIP.  There is great uncertainty over what Congress will do regarding a new transportation bill.  NYSDOT Main Office would prefer that the MPOs not do a formal TIP update, but instead have the MPOs update the existing TIPs with individual project amendments to reflect current anticipated funding levels.  CDTC staff feels that this approach would be burdensome and would prefer to have CDTC amend projects as they are ready and manage the program dynamically on a month to month basis.  Discussions are continuing.


Federal Transportation Bill Reauthorization Report


John Poorman reported that both the House and the Senate have produced outlines of transportation bills.  The House proposal would reduce funding, while the Senate proposal would maintain existing funding levels for two years. 


New TDM Initiative for 2011: Capital Region Car Share


Jen Ceponis reported on this initiative.  A Summit was organized in May 2011 to discuss the concept of car sharing in the Capital Region.  In response to the feedback received, an RFQ for planning services to start a car sharing operation in the Capital region is being prepared and is anticipated to be released in August 2011.  The study will be funded through a regional TDM set-aside administered by CDTA.  The project has a budget of $5,000 for planning services.




There being no time to complete the remaining items on the agenda, the meeting was adjourned at 12:35 PM.  The A & F meeting has been postponed.  The next Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for October 5, 2011.  The next Policy Board Meeting is scheduled for September 1, 2011.


Respectfully submitted,





John P. Poorman