PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING

Meeting Minutes

November 4, 2009

 

 

MEMBERS ATTENDING

 

Melissa Ashline-Heil, City of Cohoes

Bradley Birge, City of Saratoga Springs

Wayne Bonesteel, representing Fred Howard, Rensselaer County

Peter Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam

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

Steve Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority

Barb McHugh, Town of Clifton Park

Mike Morelli, Town of Bethlehem

Rosemary Nichols, City of Watervliet

Marybeth Pettit, City of Rensselaer

John Poorman, Capital District Transportation Committee

Paul Reuss, Village of Menands

Joe Rich, Federal Highway Administration

Tom Richardson, City of Mechanicville

Jim Rivers, representing Bill Roehr, City of Troy

Deidre Rudolph, City of Albany

Phil Serafino, representing Bill Rinaldi, NYS Thruway Authority

Michael Valentine, Saratoga County

Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon

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

 

STAFF AND OTHERS

 

Don Adams, Creighton Manning

Frank Bonafide, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Jeff Buel, City of Troy

Paul Cassillo, City of Schenectady

Jen Ceponis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Joe Cimino, Clough Harbour Associates

David P. Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee

Fred Mastroianni, Foit Albertson

Sandra Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee

Larry Mulvaney, NYS Department of Transportation, Region 1

Sree Nampoothiri, Capital District Transportation Committee

Tom Owens, Albany Port District Commission

Susan Pedo, The Walters Group

Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Deb Stacey, Capital District Transportation Committee

Angelo Trichilo, NYS Department of Transportation, Region 1

Mike Wyatt, NYS Department of Transportation, Region 1

 

 

VISITORS ISSUES

 

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

 

 

Action Items

 

 

SPECIAL PRESENTATION

 

NYSDOT Report on the Design of I-87 Exit 3/4 (TIP A240)

 

Angelo Trichilo from NYSDOT provided information about the I-87 Exit 3/4 project.  The objective of the project is to improve access to the Albany Airport without impacting the already congested mainline. The project is meant to improve the connection between Wolf Road and the airport, replace the Albany Shaker Road Bridge over the Northway and to improve bicycle/pedestrian amenities along Wolf Road and to and from the Airport.  Four alternatives are being scrutinized:

1.    Upgrade Exit 4 ($23M + $2.0-17.0M ROW)

2.    Replace the bridges at Wolf Road and Albany Shaker Road and construct a modified diamond interchange with a connection to Marcus Blvd ($44.0M + $7.5M ROW)

3.    Construct a partial interchange south of Exit 4 and replace the bridges over Albany Shaker Road ($34.5M + $17.5M ROW) 

4.    Replace Exit 4 with a single point interchange, cul-de-sac Old Wolf Road and re-align the northern end of Wolf Road ($50.0M + $2.7-9.7M ROW)

 

NYSDOT will showcase these options to the public in the spring (2010); FHWA approval is required to add an interchange.  NYSDOT must demonstrate that an additional interchange will not degrade the function of the mainline.  NEPA and SEQRA are also required.  Once an alternative is agreed upon, construction will begin in 2013.

 

Steve Iachetta reminded members that the Albany airport is one of the few in the nation that does not have direct access from an interstate and that this lack of direct access could have negative economic impacts to the region.

 

ADMINISTRATION

 

Approval of the October 7, 2009 Meeting Minutes

 

Members approved the October 7th meeting minutes as written.

 

MPO Planning Agreement

 

The Planning Agreement in the previously distributed material is an elaboration of the agreement that was distributed to members at the August 5th Planning Committee meeting, as per a FTA/FHWA.  Two typos were identified—the word “it’s” in the first paragraph of the MOU should be “its” and the word “active” in the first paragraph on page 4 should be “actively”.  Members approved the agreement as corrected.  The agreement will be distributed to CDTC’s Policy Board and CDTA’s Board for approval.  NYSDOT Commissioner Stan Gee will be asked to sign the agreement.

 

Air Quality Conformity MOU

 

Chris O’Neill described the agreement between CDTC and A/GFTC regarding conformity activities.  Members approved the MOU between CDTC and A/GFTC and recommended the MOU for Policy Board approval.  Chris also described the results of the most recent Conformity Analysis that was necessitated because A/GFTC is updating their Long range Plan.  Members approved releasing the conformity analysis for public review.

 

Prospectus Update

 

John Poorman reviewed Part 1, 2 and 3 of the draft Prospectus. Part 1 of the Prospectus describes the CDTC Planning Approach.  Part 2 is the expanded version of the MPO Agreement and Committee Practices.  Part 3 will be brief description of CDTC’s planning commitments, potential new areas of activity and financial prospects.  The Prospectus will be complete and presented to the Policy Board in March 2010.  After some discussion about potential new roles for MPOs (as a result of a new transportation bill), identification of a typo on page 5 , #8 and a request for additional text on page 6, # 11, the members recommended that Parts 1 and 2 of this document (as revised) be presented to the Policy Board for action.

 

 

AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT

 

CDTC/NYSDOT Report on Project Implementation

 

Bob Hansen reported that some regions in the state have not obligated some of the local projects that were approved for ARRA funding.  It is not clear at this time if the Governor will redistribute the monies or wait until the official March deadline to do so.  If it turns out that there is more ARRA funds to program, NYSDOT will submit the Troy-Menands Bridge and possibly the Stewart Dam Bridge as potential replacements. 

 

 

2010-15 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM UPDATE

 

Screening, Merit Evaluation and Possible Process Changes—An annotated version of the handout entitled, “2010-15 TIP: Discussion Items for Possible Action” was included in the mailout material.  Each of the fourteen items was discussed in turn.  Members agreed with the options identified for items 1,2,4, 5,9,10,11 and 12.  Discussion on Items 3, 13 and 14 were tabled for discussion at the next Planning Committee meeting.  The first option described under item 6 was approved.  For item 7, it was decided to schedule a separate merit evaluation meeting so that projects could be discussed without taking action on the same day as the meeting.  Under item 8, it was decided that staff should continue to calculate the degree that the TIP projects address the priority network and provide this information to the Planning Committee for their consideration during the January 20th meeting.

 

Programming Targets—The document entitled, “Use of New Visions Budgets for Round One Programming Targets” was discussed.  Members agreed with the strategies outlined in the document.  Members noted that “not eligible for funding” in the comment column under # 9 in Table 1 should be removed.

 

Summary of the 2008 and 2009 New Freedom ProjectsDeb Stacey briefly described the New Freedom Program and CDTC/CDTA’s role in the program.  Two solicitations for New Freedom projects have been administered by CDTC staff to date (one in 2008 and one in 2009).  Very few agencies submitted proposals under the solicitation, probably because the match required for operating service is a 50/50 match.   The following three projects were approved:

 

¨      Catholic Charities of Schenectady County and the Schenectady County ARC will purchase, install, and maintain trip scheduling and dispatch software and coordinate trips between the two agencies.  Status—almost complete.

¨      Catholic Charities of Schenectady County requested funds to conduct a feasibility study of expanding weekend service to seniors, most of whom are frail and mobility challenged. Catholic Charities has done a lot of work on this project.  Status--Demand responsive accessible transportation service on weekends began on October 31, 2009.

¨      The city of Watervliet requested funds to purchase a 12-15 passenger accessible vehicle that would be used to start feeder transit service within the city, connecting senior housing to retail and recreational facilities.  The feeder service will connect to CDTA’s fixed route serve and will serve a limited section of Green Island. Status—the first advisory committee meeting was held on October 29, 2009. 

 

At the end of the second solicitation, approximately $342,600 in federal New Freedom funds remained un-programmed.  The RTCC asked CDTA to submit an application for the remaining funds to introduce an accessible taxi program in the Capital Region; CDTA agreed.  

 

CDTA is currently working out the particulars for an accessible taxi program.  As long as the legal details (such as medallions, driver training and drug testing) can be addressed, the remaining New Freedom allocation will be programmed.

 

Changes to Project Selection Procedures-Material on this item was in member’s packets.  This material was not discussed in depth at the meeting, due to time constraints.  The items listed in this material will have to be resolved before staff begins to evaluate the proposed TIP projects.

 

 

 

 

 

2009-14 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM AMENDMENTS

 

TIP Project R195—South Troy Industrial Park Road

 

TIP project R195 has been listed in the TIP for quite some time.  Approximately $900,000 in PE remains for the project.  The city would like a scope change to extend the southern boundary of the original project and examine a southern connection to the Troy/Menands Bridge.  The city recently acquired land near the bridge and believes that the industrial road should connect to Route 378 on the southern end.  The city also initially proposed that the $5.298M in construction be used for the southern end of the Road, and requested an additional $3.8M for construction of the northern section of the road.  Early in the discussions about this project, the city withdrew the request for the additional $3.8M for construction.  Rosemary Nichols voiced concern about the project’s potential impact on the Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway’s projects in the area (and a perceived lack of communication with the Gateway), and put a motion on the table to only consider the scope change for the PE piece, and not the construction piece of the project.  John Poorman indicated that a change in the study limits for construction would trigger a new conformity analysis, an activity that was just completed.  The next conformity analysis will be required when during the 2010-15 TIP Update and it would be best to hold off decisions regarding a scope change for the construction phase of TIP project R195 until we start to develop the draft 2010-15 TIP.  After some discussion, members voted to approve the scope change for the engineering phase only.

 

TIP Project SA221—Geyser Road Bridge over D & H Railroad

 

This amendment asks for an additional $584,000 for the construction phase of the project. There is a minor cost increase to this project for the PE Phase.  Approximately $40,000 in additional funds is required for the PE Phase. This project will be funded using ARRA funds.  Members approved the amendment, noting that the increase in PE must be shown.

 

 

Discussion Items

 

 

UNIFIED PLANNING WORK PROGRAM

 

2010-12 UPWP Development—Schedule, Budget and Emphasis Areas

 

In the interest of time, this agenda item was skipped.

 

 

Report on Bicycle Education Project

 

In the interest of time, this agenda item was skipped.

 

 

 

 

STATUS OF PLANNING ACTIVITIES

 

In the interest of time, this agenda item was skipped.

 

 

OTHER

 

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 1:05 p.m.  The next Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for January 6th 2010.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

John P. Poorman

Secretary