Meeting Minutes

November 7, 2007





Judy Breselor, City of Troy

Peter Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam

Steve Feeney, Schenectady County

Rocky Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning

Michael Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)

Jackie Hakes, City of Saratoga Springs

George Leveille, Town of Bethlehem

Barbara McHugh, Town of Clifton Park

Phil Parella, representing Kristina Younger, Capital District Transportation Authority

John Poorman, Capital District Transportation Committee (Secretary)

Dave Rettig, New York State Department of Transportation

Tom Richardson, City f Mechanicville

Deidre Rudolpf, City of Albany

Phil Serafino, New York State Thruway Authority

Bernard Sisson, City of Schenectady

Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon




Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee

Frank Bonafide, NYSDOT Region 1

Richard Filkins, NYSDOT Region 1

Chris Getlouy, NYSDOT Region 1

David Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee

Pat Kemble, NYSDOT Region 1

Greg Meyers, NYSDOT Region 1

Sandra Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee

Sree Nampoothiri, CDTC Staff

Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Paul Reuss, Village of Menands

Jill Ross, NYS Thruway Authority

Deborah Stacey, Capital District Transportation Committee

Guy Tedesco, NYSDOT Region 1





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





Action Items




Approval of the September 5, 2007 Meeting Minutes


Members approved the September 5, 2007 Meeting Minutes with no changes.




Schedule for UPWP


John Poorman noted that the draft UPWP will be completed and distributed to Planning Committee members by the February 2008 Planning Committee meeting.  Many tasks will be added, some as an outcome of the New Visions 2030 Plan.  Because CDTC’s staff is small, tasks will be prioritized.  Committee members approved the proposed schedule for the 2008-10 UPWP.




2008-9 Evaluations


Eight applications for 2008-9 Linkage program funding were received by CDTC.  An evaluation team composed of representatives from CDTC, CDTA, NYSDOT and CDRPC met and developed a priority list which was previously distributed.  The evaluation team noted that the budgets for five of the studies were far too low based on sponsor desires and expectations for the proposed studies.  This has been a problem with previous Linkage Studies and has led to decreased interest by the consultant community.  The Evaluation Committee put forth two options: (1). Contact local sponsors to request additional local funds that would be required as match for the more realistic budget amount or (2). Fill budget shortfalls with Federal funds, keeping the ranking of the eight projects.  After lively discussion, members voted for Option 1 and approved the evaluation committee’s rankings of the proposals.  Members also concurred with the evaluation committee’s plan to address these problems in the next round’s solicitation.




SA206/A496 I-87 Bridge over the Mohawk River Replacement of Cables


NYSDOT is experiencing difficulty with an estimate for this project, but is certain that the amount currently budgeted in the 2007-12 TIP will not cover the cost of the project.  It is expected that the cost will be in the vicinity of $15.7M, not the $8.6M that currently appears in the TIP. The cables are in very poor condition.  The goal of keeping all three lanes on the bridge functional during construction is driving the cost up.  Letting is expected in February ’08.  If the addition of these monies creates a fiscal constraint issue, it is likely that NYSDOT will defer a project on I-87 in Essex County to achieve fiscal constraint.  Members approved the funding increase, based on the assumption that no project currently on CDTC’s TIP will be affected. 


A495 Route5: Rte 155 to Fuller Road, 2R Project


This amendment is for a request to extend the project limits from Fuller Road to the Albany City Line.  The extension of the project limits will not increase the budget of the project. Members expressed concern that information about the proposed amendment was not distributed prior to today’s meeting nor has it been discussed with the City of Albany or the town/village of Colonie.  The Advisory Committee that was formed when this project was first added to the TIP has not met since August and was not aware of this requested change before the beginning of this week. The Town of Colonie and the Village of Colonie are not represented at the table today.  The city of Albany stated that they are not prepared to vote on the amendment on such short notice.  The advisory Committee for this project is scheduled to meet on Friday November 8th.  It was noted that Planning Committee members should be notified of amendments such as these a week prior to the meeting (in the meeting material that is mailed to members)and should not be distributed on the day of the Planning Committee meeting. Members voted to table the action.  Members also agreed to meet on November 28th to re-visit the proposed amendment.




David Jukins prepared a PowerPoint to review this shared cost study funded by the association of NYS MPOs with the Committee, but in interest of time, skipped the PowerPoint and distributed the written material instead.  Dave asked members to review the material at their leisure and suggested that members be prepared to ask specific questions about the distributed material at the next Planning committee meeting.






A tentative proposed schedule for competitive Set-Asides was distributed to committee members.  The 2007-12 TIP contains set-asides for Diesel Retrofits (RG102), Bicycle/Pedestrian Networks (RG103), Intersections, Queue Jumpers and Roundabouts (RG104) and Safety (RG105).  Members were asked for advice regarding the sequencing of the set-aside solicitations.  Members felt that it would be advantageous to solicit for all the set-asides at one time, with the possible exception of diesel retrofits, to afford municipalities a degree of latitude in determining which program to apply for.




Balltown Road Corridor Design Update


Richard Filkins presented information on the on NYSDOT’s planned short term improvements for Balltown Road at Aqueduct Road and Riverview Road. This is a $2.5M SDF project that will be let in June 2008.  Proposed improvements include additional of turn lanes and extensions of existing turn lanes.  Roundabouts were looked at but dismissed due to ROW issues. The Town of Clifton Park noted that the proposed improvements do little to improve bicycle and pedestrian access and safety.  This is a concern to the town and Planning Committee members. This area is heavily used by bicyclists.  In addition, a public park is proposed just north of Riverview Road in the Balltown Road corridor. 


Discussion of 511 Program


There was limited discussion under this topic since the request for a meeting with NYSDOT regarding the 511 program has been withdrawn for the time being.


Three Projects to be Split between Counties


Three projects appear on the 2007-12 TIP listings under one county, when in reality they should appear twice, once for each county that they are located in. The funding split is 50/50 between each pair of projects.  The projects are A496/SA206—I-87 Bridges over the Mohawk River; R246/SA244—US 4 over the Hudson river and A449/R276—NY 378 Bridge over the Hudson River Shore.  No action is necessary.


TIP Amendment Procedures Discussion


During the development of the 2007-12 TIP, a lot of TIP process questions were raised but not sorted out.  These issues need to be revisited.  Perhaps amendment procedures need to be tweaked.  CDTC staff will identify the issues and potential solutions and provide a document for members to react to.




CDTC Staff


The solicitation for the New Freedom Program has been drafted by CDTC staff and endorsed by the Regional Transportation Coordination Committee.  The solicitation is very similar to the one that was sent out for the JARC program.  The solicitation will be advertised via Legal Notices, on CDTC’s home page and will be mailed directly to Human Service Agencies that participated in the survey that was conducted in the Spring of 2007.  Chris O’Neill reported that the revised Transportation Conformity Determination for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy ozone non-attainment area was posted for public review and comment from October 2, 2007 to November 2, 2007. No comments were received.  Jason Purvis reported that he will discuss the Safe Routes to School program at the November 28th Planning Committee meeting.




The Fiscal Impact Study is complete.  The Center for Economic Growth produced a slick 4-page brochure highlighting the work of the study.  The brochure is being printed; copies will be available for widespread distribution shortly.




Ridership on the Saratoga Routes has more than doubled since the service was revamped this past summer.  CDTA staff are working on the 2008/09 Capital Budget.  Work on the Route 5 BRT continues to advance.


NYS Thruway Authority


The NYSTA is completing the roadwork between Exits 24 and 26 in preparation for winter.


City of Schenectady


A public information meeting regarding the work that will soon occur on Erie Boulevard is scheduled for November 29th.





An interim Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday November 28th at 9:30 am.  Three items will be on the agenda—TIP project A495, Integrated Design and the Safe Routes to School Program.


The mailout material indicated that the January Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for January 7th.  This date is in error; the January Planning Committee is scheduled for Wednesday January 9th at 9:30 am. 


There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:45 p.m.



Respectfully submitted,




John P. Poorman