Meeting Minutes

October 1, 2008





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

Todd Fabozzi, representing Rocky Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning Commission

Steve Feeney, Schenectady County

Michael Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)

Robert Hansen, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Barbara McHugh, Town of Clifton Park

Marybeth Pettit, City of Rensselaer

Andrea Poley, representing Bill Roehr, City of Troy

John Poorman, Capital District Transportation Committee (Secretary)

Dede Rudolph, City of Albany

Phil Serafino, representing Bill Rinaldi, NYS Thruway Authority

Bernie Sisson, City of Schenectady

Mike Valentine, Saratoga County

Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon

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




Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee

Kathleen Bronson, City of Albany

Pat Campbell, Capital District Transportation Authority

Jennifer Ceponis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Rob Cherry, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Christina Douglas, Clough Harbour & Associates

Tom Johnson, Creighton Manning

Shelly Johnston, Creighton Manning

David Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee

George Leveille, Town of Behtlehem

Larry Mulvaney, NYS Department of Transportaton Region 1

Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee

Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Deborah Stacey, Capital District Transportation Committee

Michael Wieszchowski, Laberge Group

Karen Williams, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1





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




Tom Johnson from Creighton Manning Engineering (CME) attended the meeting to provide a brief overview of the Van Schaick Island Transportation and Revitalization Plan Linkage Study. The purpose of the study was to ensure that growth along Ontario Street would reflect the vision for the corridor while maintaining the function of Ontario Street as a regional traffic conduit. The study had several goals - advance waterfront revitalization, develop a traffic management plan, identify transit nodes, identify links to bike/hike trails and enhance the commercial activity of the area. three alternative development scenarios were developed: low, medium, and high density. Three public workshops were held to discuss the study goals and alternative development plans. Alternative 3, the high density scenario, was chosen as the preferred plan.  Several benefits to this type of land use plan were identified, including increased transit ridership which reduces driving and traffic congestion, greater availability of services close to home, healthier lifestyle with more walking, and air quality benefits associated with fewer vehicle trips.



Action Items




Approval of the August 6, 2008 Meeting Minutes


The meeting notes from the August 6th meeting were approved as written.




Jason Purvis reviewed the material that CDTC staff prepared for the 2009-10 Linkage Program.  The draft solicitation distributed to members identifies several proposed changes to the program.  The first change recommends that funding minimums and maximums be specified, given that there is little consultant interest in spending the time to prepare a response to studies that cost less than $30,000.  The new guidelines also propose that staff review the study scopes to confirm that the budget is in-line with the scope.  Members approved these changes and also noted that funding for this program might be cut based on proposed cuts in CDTC’s PL funds.  Members requested that the solicitation specify that CDTC has the right to pull funding in this event.





SAFETEA-LU Transportation Enhancement Program


Twenty eligible Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) proposals were received.  An evaluation team with representatives from NYSDOH, NYSDOS, CDRPC and CDTC was formed to evaluate the projects using the criteria approved at the May 2008 Planning Committee meeting.


Based on overall ratings, the evaluation committee packaged three options for Planning Committee consideration.  Option 1 prioritizes the list based on cost effectiveness and overall rank.  Option 2 prioritizes the list strictly by overall rank.  Option 3 places the proposals in eligibility categories.


Bob Hansen mentioned that NYSDOT Region 1 would be submitting separate rankings and would abstain from any vote the Planning Committee put forward.  This statement initiated a lengthy discussion about the appropriateness of this approach.  John Poorman reminded NYSDOT that the Department is a member of CDTC’s Planning Committee and as such, should not submit rankings different from CDTC. Members voiced the opinion that these types of issues should be reconciled at the Planning Committee table.  However, since this discussion also involves the NYSDOT Main Office, members requested that John Poorman and Bob Hansen schedule a meeting with the NYSDOT Main office to discuss the concerns related to this “dual” evaluation process. 


The three evaluation options put on the table were also discussed in detail.  Members made the motion to approve Option 2 using the straight rank of projects and forwarding this list to the Main Office.  The  motion was approved, with NYSDOT abstaining. Members also made a formal motion to further explore the dual evaluation process that NYSDOT Region 1 and CDTC appear to be using.  This motion was approved.



Amendments to the TIP


Several amendments to the 2007-12 TIP were noted in the materials distributed to members.  The first amendment, S140 Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike trail was erroneously removed from the TIP during the last update because CDTC was told that it had been complete; in actuality, the city of Schenectady is planning on moving this project forward now. Projects A440 and A432 have cost changes over the minimum required for Planning committee action. Members approved all three amendments. 


A list of TIP projects (items E through L in the agenda under TIP) are listed because NYSDOT is proposing schedule changes as “offsets” for rollovers for projects with funds in the committed period that will be obligated in the first period instead).  Members approved the projects listed as offsets—A345, SA123, R198, R240, R242, A435, R255 (items E-L, minus K on the agenda; Item K was withdrawn by NYSDOT).  A general discussion regarding offsets and the need to balance the TIP by year and funding source followed. CDTC will aim to process all offsets in the draft TIP in March 2009 rather than process them one at a time.  Over 125 projects have been identified by NYSDOT for offsets.



Discussion Items




Jason Purvis reviewed the list of safe routes to School Projects that were funded under the 2008 solicitation.  Six projects were approved for funding—all five projects that Safe Routes to School  Evaluation Committee recommended for funding were approved and one project form the lowest ranked group of projects was approved.  This latter project, an infrastructure project submitted by the Town of Colonie, was funded by NYSDOT because 10% of the safe routes to school projects must be infrastructure projects.  Two projects exceed $250,000 in cost, which means that CDTC’s Policy Board must take action on these two projects.  CDTC’s Planning Committee can ask the Policy Board to delegate action to the Planning Committee because these projects are being funded from a specific pot of money, carved out only for Safe routes to Schools projects.  Members approved the motion to add the six projects to the TIP.




2009-14 Program Update


County level TIP Meetings--Meetings have been held with county representatives, CDTC staff and NYSDOT staff in each county to provide project sponsors an opportunity to discuss project specifics and implementation timelines.  Meeting notes that summarize the status of each project on the current 2007-12 TIP were distributed to Committee members in the mailout material.  Similar meetings will be held with CDTA, the Thruway Authority and the Canal Corporation.


Order of Magnitude Analysis--An order of Magnitude Analysis needs to be performed, but first CDTC needs to know if there is any programming capacity.  A portion of the eight county Region 1 allocations need to be distributed by formula to the CDTC Planning area.  NYSDOT is working on new formulas that will likely be by lane mile based rather than VMT and population based.  This could result in a net reduction to CDTC.  CDTC cannot proceed with its update to the 2007-12 TIP until the allocations are provided.


Revised Schedule—Funding Levels are needed by the November Planning Committee meeting to determine if new projects can be entertained.  If numbers are available in November, it will be possible to have a draft TIP by March 2009.


Spot Improvement Program


Jason Purvis reviewed the table that was previously distributed that identifies the 13 projects that were submitted under the Round 5 Spot Improvement program. The sum of the costs of the 13 proposed projects ($798,892 federal) exceeds the funding availability.  There are some questions regarding eligibility.  An evaluation committee will be formed to first address eligibility and second to revaluate and rank the projects.  A ranked list will be prepared for Planning Committee review.


Bids and Lettings


The City of Troy Signal Project was bid and came in closer to the TIP amount than expected.







Ridership is up 22 percent.  The Authority is facing a $10M deficit.  The authority will likely raise fares from $1.00 to $1.50 in April 2009 and to $2.00 in April 2010.  CDTA has a hiring freeze, is reducing vehicle hours by 4.5% and will for the first time, use capital reserve funds to help cover operating expenses.




There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:35 p.m.  The November Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for November 5th.


Respectfully submitted,





John P. Poorman