CAPITAL DISTRICT TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE

PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETINGS

 

Meeting Minutes

September 7, 2005

 

 

MEMBERS ATTENDING

 

David Bailey, City of Troy

Geoff Bornemann, City of Saratoga Springs (Vice-Chairman)

Judy Breselor, representing Fred Howard, Rensselaer County

Mike Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)

Dave Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee

(Acting Secretary)

Rocky Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning Commission

Steve Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority

George Leveille, Town of Bethlehem

Phil Pearson, Town of Colonie

Marybeth Pettit, City of Rensselaer

Dave Rettig, New York State Department of Transportation, Region 1

Jill Ross-Schmelz, New York State Thruway Authority

Bernard Sisson, City of Schenectady

John Stangle, Village of Menands

Michael Valentine, Saratoga County

Kristina Younger, Capital District Transportation Authority

 

STAFF AND OTHERS

 

Joe Cimino, Clough Harbour & Associates

Tom Kearney, Federal Highway Administration

Shelley Lang, Capital District Transportation Committee

Sandra Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee

Chris O'Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Bill Roch, City of Troy

Deborah Stacey, Capital District Transportation Committee

 

VISITORS ISSUES

 

Chairman Franchini opened the meeting at 9:40am. There were no visitors issues, guest speakers, or special presentations.

 

Action Items

 

ADMINISTRATION

 

Approval of the July 6, 2005 Meeting Minutes

 

The minutes of the July 6, 2005 meeting were approved as written.

 

2005-06 UPWP Budget Revision

 

Dave Jukins directed members' attention to the budget table included in the meeting package. The revised budgets attendant to the Provision of Services tasks reflect the project balances after the 2004-05 closeout. Members authorized the changes.

 

Semi-Annual Progress Report

 

Dave Jukins directed members attention to the progress report. Mr. Jukins highlighted several items, including BRT progress, New Visions work, linkage studies, and continued successful data collection program using graduate student interns from the SUNYA Geogrpahy/Planning program. Mike Valentine noted that the Luther Forest Technology Park referenced under Committee Activities was incorrectly cited as 'Martin' Luther Forest. After a brief discussion about the report, members approved the progress report as amended.

 

 

TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

 

Section 5310 Applications

 

Deborah Stacey presented CDTC's review of the application for

Section 5310 funds to be used for the purchase of vehicles operated by non-profit agencies. There are four applicants requesting eight vehicles totaling $450,300 in matched funds. Special consideration was given to agencies that demonstrated high coordination effort. Responding to a question from Rocky Ferraro, Ms. Stacey noted that seven of the eight applicants received funding for 15 vehicles last year. Members concurred with the staff merit evaluation as presented for transmittal to NYSDOT.

 

TIP Project Scope Clarification

 

Dave Jukins noted that there were several minor corrections and clarifications to the approved 2005-10 TIP. Referring to the previously distributed material (and handouts) Mr. Jukins noted the following:

 

                       TIP Project RG100, Transit Pilot Service Set-Aside, is included in the TIP but was not included in the 'Listing of New Projects' in the narrative.

 

                       TIP Project R223, Troy Pedestrian Bicycle Trail, was obligated in November, 2004 but was not reflected in the TIP listings.

 

                       Descriptions of projects A242 and A243 (Slingerlands Bypass) were incorrectly stated and were modified to reflect the correct scope.

 

Regional Emissions Impacts of the 2005-10 TIP

 

Dave Jukins noted that Table 8, Air Quality Impacts of the TIP and New Visions, was revised to reflect analysis for a non-exempt Montgomery County project. This project had to be incorporated into CDTC's analysis because Montgomery County is part of the Capital District's non-attainment area. The changes to the values in Table 8 are very small and do not affect CDTC's conformity finding.

 

 

Members approved the clarifications to the TIP narrative and project listings, and the changes to the air quality conformity determination as presented. Because the type and scale of changes is small, the Planning Committee is authorized to approved these changes without separate Policy Board action.

STIP

 

On a related matter, Ms. Younger asked about the status of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. Mr. Rettig noted that the STIP was released to the public but Mr. Kearney noted that it was not yet posted on NYSDOT's website. The delay in posting the STIP on the web will likely delay federal approval of the STIP. Kristina Younger commented that a delay in federal approval would affect CDTA's ability to access federal funds.

 

 

Discussion Items

 

 

 

NEW YORK TRANSPORTATION BOND STATUS

 

Mr. Rettig reported on the status of the Rebuild and Renew New York Bond Act. He indicated that revenues from the bond will not be a windfall for special projects; rather, most of the money will be going toward state-of-good-repair type projects. Mr Rettig reported that the money is to be split between the MTA that runds New York City's public transit system, and bridge and road work. Notable projects in the Capital District include lock and dam rehabilitation, additional funds for the I87 Exit 6 reconstruction, I-890 and I-87 rehabilitation, CSX/Amtrak improvements, CDTA clean fuel buses, and others. Several members expressed concern over the lack of a campaign to drum up support for the measure. Members expressed interest in communicating CDTC's support for the Bond Act through a Policy Board resolution.

 

SAFETEA-LU FOR CDTC

 

Referring to the previously distributed memorandum prepared by John Poorman, Dave Jukins spent a few minutes highlighting some of the key aspects of the new transportation bill and what it means for the Capital District. Tom Kearney reported that FHWA is working feverishly on rulemaking to guide implementation of the law's new planning provisions. Mike Franchini noted that information on the SAFETEA-LU is posted on www.taxpayer.net/transportation/safetealu and on NYSDOT's web site at www.dot.state.ny.us.

 

NEW VISIONS 2030 STATUS

 

Sandra Misiewicz reported that the work of the five working groups is nearing completion. Work on evaluating the transportation implications of alternative growth options, big ticket responses to expressway needs, and budget issues continues. The newly formed financing task force will be meeting shortly.

 

 

STATUS OF PLANNING ACTIVITIES

 

CDRPC

 

Rocky Ferraro reported on New Visions Working Group A progress. The Group is working in the fiscal implications of alternative growth scenarios and demographic changes. CDRPC expects to partner with CEG, SUNYA, and CDTC using a $50,000 grant from NIMO to evaluate the fiscal impact of alternative growth scenarios.

 

 

 

CDTA

 

Kristina Younger reported that CDTA has seen modest ridership gains since the simplified fare structure was put in place. The sense at the moment is that many are not new riders but existing riders who use the service more frequently.

In response to a question about the impact of fuel prices, Ms. Younger indicated that gas prices spiked an interest in transit but that it has yet to translate into an increase in ridership.

 

Kristina noted that orders for bus shelters from the 2005 Shelter Program will be arriving in the coming weeks. Progress on the Transit Development Plan continues, moving the Saratoga Springs plan to the next level. CDTA is also working on a proposal to try to get the Albany County Medicare service contract back.

 

Kristina noted that because the Amsterdam city transit system is going bankrupt, Montgomery County asked to join CDTA; discussions are ongoing.

 

NYSTA

 

Jill Ross-Schmelz spoke about the Thruway's multi-year capital program in the post-toll increase environment. No significant changes are expected for the Capital District program.

 

Albany County Airport Authority

 

Steve Iachetta noted a modest three percent growth in emplanements, smaller than other large upstate airports. Construction of the terminal expansion and runway extension are going well. Mr. Iachetta announced that the Airport was one of two airports awarded a $4.3 million grant under the Voluntary Airport Low Emmission (VALE) Vehicles program to support acquisition of electric ground support vehicles and CNG shuttle buses, and installation of electric and CNG charging stations. Members reacted positively to this announcement.

 

NYSDOT

 

Dave Rettig noted that the I-90 work is wrapping up for this construction season; CSX bridge work will begin next year. Mr. Rettig indicated that Exit 12 work is also going well, despite a small dispute over right-of-way with the horse farm owner. Dave mentioned that a design choice for Exit 6 is expected by the end of the month; he noted that Region 1 will be working with CDTC staff (Chris O'Neill) to develop alternative detour plans for different closure options. More aggressive closure would shorten construction disruptions and keep project costs down.

 

 

BIDS & LETTINGS

 

Dave Rettig distributed a list of bids and lettings. There were no lettings in July and August. Upcoming bids included the Route 2 bridge over Poestenkill (R106) and the Route 7/Schenectady Crosstown repaving (S172).

 

 

 

OTHER

 

Kristina Younger announced that CDTC's Linkage Program was recognized by the upstate section of the American Planning Association (APA), winning the Association's Outstanding Planning Award for a Program. Winning this award automatically qualifies CDTC for a national APA award.

 

The next Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for 9:30am on October 5, 2005. There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:30am.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

 

 

David Jukins

Acting Secretary