PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING
October 3, 2012
Melissa Ashline-Heil, City of Cohoes
Brad Birge, City of Saratoga Springs
Frank Bonafide, NYS Department of Transportation R1
Rob Cherry, NYS Department of Transportation R1
Peter Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam
Darrell Duncan, Albany County
Ross Farrell, Capital District Transportation Authority
Steve Feeney, Schenectady County
Rocky Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning Commission
Michael Franchini, Capital District Transportation Committee
Nadine Fuda, Town of Schodack
Bruce Hidley, representing Rosemary Nichols, City of Watervliet
Steve Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority
Joe LaCivita, Town of Colonie
McCarroll, representing Michael Loftus, NYS Thruway
Barb McHugh, Town of Clifton Park
Randy Milano, City of Albany
Mike Morelli, Town of Bethlehem
Ozzie Priotti, representing Sarah Crowell, City of Rensselaer
Paul Reuss, Village of Menands
Tom Richardson, City of Mechanicville
Steve Strichman, City of Schenectady
Joe Teleska, representing Wayne Bonesteel, Rensselaer County
Tony Vasil, Albany Port District Commission
Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon
STAFF AND OTHERS
Bill Anslow, Albany County
Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee
Jennifer Ceponis, Capital District Transportation Committee
Joe Cimino, CHA Inc.
Fred Erickson, Town of Sand Lake
Shelly Johnston, Creighton Manning Engineering
Dave Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee
Christine Kingery, Spectra Engineering
Teresa LaSalle, Capital District Transportation Committee
Sandy Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee
Leah Mosall, Capital District Transportation Committee
Larry Mulvaney, NYS Department of Transportation R1
Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee
Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee
Jim Rivers, Greenman Pedersen Inc.
Chris Wallin, City of Schenectady
Steve Iachetta opened the meeting at approximately 9:31 AM. There were no visitors issues.
Previous Meeting Minutes
Members approved the August 1st minutes.
2010-15 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM AMENDMENTS
(1721.89), I-87 & Route 910F Repaving in Albany County
Frank Bonafide explained that this project involves paving the southern portion of I-87 and Route 910F (the section connecting the Northway between I-90 and Western Avenue). The project should be let in March 2013. A Policy Board approval of the amendment is required. Members approved the amendment.
RG23 (1808.42), Traffic Signal Set Aside for State Roads
Larry Mulvaney explained that this project will be deferred to the fifth year. FHWA has determined that HSIP funds are not available for this project without specific site studies to determine the need. Members approved the amendment.
RG37A (1806.60) Transportation Management Center operations
Frank Bonafide explained that TMC operations can no longer be funded with CMAQ due to an FHWA decision. The amendment removes CMAQ funding for the TMC and replaces it with STP Flex funding. In addition, the amendment reduces the FFY 2012-13 amount to $2.1 million due to completion of payments to the State Police for the NYSDOT portion of the new TMC building in Latham. Members approved the amendment.
SA239 (1757.79) Town of Milton Sidewalks and Curbs
Glenn Posca explained that this item is a correction for notification. The TIP will show a decrease in cost of $0.450M to reflect the actual amount of enhancement money awarded by NYSDOT. Therefore, STP-Enhancement funding showing on the TIP has been reduced from $1.7M to $1.25M. The Town will progress the project using mostly its own forces in order to implement the same project scope with the reduced federal-aid. Members approved the correction.
(1932.95) Seneca Street Rail Crossing, Schenectady
Frank Bonafide explained that this project will receive federal rail crossing safety funding and needs to be added to the TIP. The project cost will increase by $.050M. He explained that this funding program is controlled from the NYSDOT Main Office. Members approved the amendment.
FHWA EXPEDITED FUNCTIONAL CLASS REVIEW (UPDATING PRINCIPAL ARTERIALS TO NHS)
Frank Bonafide explained that MAP-21 (the new federal transportation bill) consolidated fund sources and requires the expansion of the National Highway System (NHS). The expanded NHS System became effective on October 1, 2012. All principal arterials that were not part of the NHS were added to the NHS system under MAP-21 requirements. Evaluation of adding other facilities to the NHS should consider the tradeoff that while increased funding options may be available, additional requirements could result as well.
Dave Jukins explained that CDTC staff examined options for locally owned facilities. Further analysis will be conducted next year, along with further consultation with members about tradeoffs regarding additional requirements when functional class is changed.
Rob Cherry commented that NYSDOT had a very short time period to make recommendations. Frank Bonafide explained that refinements in the future are not precluded.
CAPITAL DISTRICT AGE-COHORT POPULATION PROJECTIONS TO 2050
Rocky Ferraro gave a presentation on this topic. CDRPC has completed four-county population projections by age-cohort. CDRPC population projections indicate the fastest growth will occur in the suburbs, especially along the Northway corridor. There is an indication of stability and enhanced opportunity in the cities. The projections show the past trend of decline in persons per household stabilizing. As the baby boom generation ages, projections show increases in the following age categories: 55 to 64, 65 to 74, and over 74. The implications for planning are many.
UNIFIED PLANNING WORK PROGRAM
Cleaner Greener Communities Initiative
Chris O’Neill provided an update on CDTC staff activities related to this item. CDTC staff have participated in the Transportation Technical Committee and the Land Use and Livable Communities Technical Committee. There are eight technical committees. Each committee has prepared goals and initiatives in their topic area, with recommendations for higher priority initiatives. The executive committee will meet to discuss the work of the technical committees. A final report will be prepared in the coming months. The products to date have been consistent with and supportive of principles in the New Visions Plan.
Empire Corridor Rail Plan
Dave Jukins and Rob Cherry provided an update on the Empire Corridor Rail Plan. Alternatives are being evaluated for high speed rail and other improvements. Rob Cherry noted that draft products from the study are under FRA (Federal Rail Administration) review. CDTC is monitoring developments on pedestrian access for the Livingston Avenue Bridge.
Route I-87 Integrated Corridor Management Study
Chris O’Neill explained that the consultant developed a MIST Data Mining Tool that is nearing completion. The Data Mining tool will allow CDTC staff to analyze Transportation Management Center data for planning purposes, and will allow better planning for operations, an important component of Congestion Management. A VISSIM micro-simulation model has been developed for the Northway corridor which is under review. The consultant team is further developing recommendations for corridor improvements for review by NYSDOT and CDTC staff.
2013-18 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM UPDATE
Frank Bonafide handed out a summary of information about the 2012 Capital Program Update (attached) for the TIP/STIP update. He explained that there are still a lot of questions that will need to be answered. He explained that for the next two federal fiscal years (2012-2013, 2013-2014) there will be comparable funding, with an emphasis on preservation. In subsequent years, there will be large reductions in funding for Region 1. There is a possibility that CMAQ funding will not continue after our region becomes an attainment area for ozone, so the Department is recommending that projects not be programmed for CMAQ in the last three years of the new TIP. The Department will prioritize bridge projects which have a condition rating of less than 4.4 or are older than fifty years; and pavement projects which meet preservation criteria. Other projects in the last three years of the TIP can apply for “Beyond Preservation” funding, which will be a competitive program in which projects are selected in the NYSDOT Main Office based on comparison with other projects from around the State.
Mike Franchini explained that CDTC staff is still processing information and seeking answers to questions about the NYSDOT guidelines. Four county meetings were held in which project status was reviewed. Beyond Preservation projects will have to be re-evaluated. A listing of current TIP projects with funding in the 2014-15 FFY and Post Period was handed out (see attached). A copy of the Beyond Preservation application form was also handed out. Beyond Preservation project applications must be submitted to the regions by November 9. CDTC staff is available to help members with the project evaluation and application process as much as possible.
The possibility of holding a special Planning Committee meeting on October 24 was discussed.
Rob Cherry reminded members there is a qualitative section on the form for other factors to be considered. Frank Bonafide explained that for projects which are programmed for federal funding on the TIP, there is the possibility that they may not receive Marchiselli funding if preservation guidelines are not met.
Chris Wallin commented that this flips the tables for the City of Schenectady, which has had a practice of using City funds for preservation and federal funds for important street reconstruction projects.
STATUS OF PLANNING ACTIVITES
Mike Franchini explained that CDTC staff is focusing on the TIP update. Ongoing tasks include Linkage studies and the Northway ICM Study. Staff is preparing for the Linkage Program update for next year and the I-787 Study. Work on the New Visions update will be starting.
Jason Purvis reported that the second round of Training for Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety for Law Enforcement is scheduled for November 5th and 6th at the Harriman Campus. Dave Jukins commented that Planning Committee members speaking to law enforcement officials really helps to encourage attendance.
Rocky Ferraro reported that CDRPC will be developing population forecasts at the TAZ (traffic analysis zone) level. CDRPC has been working on the State Economic Development Council Metrics and Measurements Report, which was submitted to the Governor’s Office. Rocky is co-chair of the Committee.
CDRPC has been working on the Climate Smart Communities Program. It is focusing on 16 communities and six counties, including the four CDRPC Counties and Columbia and Greene Counties. The Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) project is progressing with the development of an RFQ, pending comments from NYS DEC.
Ross Farrell reported that the Northway Express service restructuring is underway. The Phase 2 Albany County service restructuring is scheduled for implementation in mid-November. Upcoming tasks include the Transit development Program update and the Washington Western BRT Alternatives Analysis. BusPlus ridership is up.
Frank Bonafide said that the Twin Bridges construction project is continuing, and that the weekend closure plan will be modified to allow opening at 12:00 on Sunday afternoon.
NYS Thruway Authority
Patrick McCarroll reported that the Exit 23 to Exit 24 construction project is progressing well and traffic will be back to the southbound side by November 15.
Albany Airport Authority
Steve Iachetta reported that passengers are up about 2%, while parking is up about 8%. 2012 Airport Improvement Program projects competitively bid and awarded this summer include about $7 million in airside safety and capacity as well as passenger terminal improvement projects.
Steve announced that the American Planning Association selected Broadway in Saratoga Springs as one of the top ten great streets in America, as part of its Great Places in America selections for 2012. Brad Birge expressed his appreciation to the whole region for all the support Saratoga Springs has received for planning and investment.
Albany Port Authority
Tony Vasil reported that in 2004-2006 the Port received CMAQ funding for Albany Express Barge Services. There is a new scrap facility opening on 18 acres at the Port. Activity is up 10% compared with last year.
Sandy Misiewicz stated that solicitation materials for the next round of the Linkage program will be available at the November Planning Committee meeting for review. Work is progressing on confirming existing HSIP project eligibility and evaluation procedures with Mike Doody of NYSDOT.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:42 PM. The next Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for November 7, 2012.