PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING
November 2, 2011
Melissa Ashline-Heil, City of Cohoes
Bradley Birge, City of Saratoga Springs
Frank Bonafide, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1
Robert Cherry, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1
Peter Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam
Todd Fabozzi, representing Rocky Ferraro, Capital
Regional Planning Commission
Ross Farrell, representing Kristina Younger, Capital
Steve Feeney, Schenectady County
Michael Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)
Steve Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority
Andrew Kreshik, City of Troy
Joseph LaCivita, Town of Colonie
Patrick McCarroll, representing Michael Loftus, NYS Thruway
Barbara McHugh, Town of Clifton Park
Mike Morelli, Town of Bethlehem
Rosemary Nichols, City of Watervliet
John P. Poorman, Capital District Transportation Committee
Paul Reuss, Village of Menands
Tom Richardson, City of Mechanicville
Dede Rudolph, City of Albany
Joseph Teliska, representing Wayne Bonesteel, Rensselaer County
Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon
STAFF AND OTHERS
Scott Baker, NYS Department of Transportation Main Office
Julie Barney, NYS Assembly
Richard Benko, Town of East Greenbush
Ann Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee
Jennifer Ceponis, Capital District Transportation Committee
Fred Erickson, Town of Sand Lake
Peter Faith, Greenman Pederson
Chris Franklin, Capital District Transportation Committee
Bob Hansen, Creighton Manning
Karen Hulihan, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1
David Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee
Monika King, Town of Bethlehem
Lowell Lingo, NYS Department of Transportation Main Office
Matt Mastin, Town of East Greenbush
Larry Mulvaney,NYS Department of Transportation Region 1
Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee
Jeff Pangburn, Creighton Manning
Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee
Osvaldo Priotti, City of Rensselaer
Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee
Heidi Romines, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1
John Stangle, Village of Menands
Mike Wieszchowski, Laberge Group
Chairman Franchini opened the meeting at approximately 9:35 am. There were no visitor’s issues.
2000-2005 LINKAGE MEDLEY PRESENTATION BY CDTC STAFF
CDTC staff gave presentations highlighting four CDTC Linkage studies to illustrate how Linkage studies are being used by communities. Sandy Misiewicz gave an overview of the Hoosick Street Phase II Corridor Plan. Implementation of a Hoosick Street zoning overlay district was one of the results of this study.
Dave Jukins gave an overview of the NY 7 & NY 2 Corridor Transportation and Land Use Study. This study resulted in a formal update of the Airport Area FGEIS. Exit 6 and the Wade Road Extension were built in harmony with this study. The service road plan is being implemented. Dave also discussed the US 9W Corridor Transportation Planning Assessment Study. This study recognized that due to funding constraints, we can’t afford to make the peak hour traffic work perfectly; the study focused on the whole day. Roundabouts were recommended on Route 9W especially at Feura Bush Road. A hamlet development concept was recommended around Wemple Road.
Anne Benware gave an overview of the Route 4 Corridor Study in East Greenbush. Sidewalks, bike lanes and traffic calming were recommended. Roundabouts were recommended at Route 151 and at Mannix Road. A new Linkage study will focus on site design guidelines for Route 4.
Approval of the October 5,2011 Meeting Minutes
Members approved the October 5th minutes as submitted.
Dave Jukins explained that the current self-certification is similar to the previous self-certification. The MPO host agreement is being negotiated with NYSDOT Main Office. CDTC is seeking exceptions to the NYSDOT guidelines to reflect the unique host relationship CDTC has with CDTA. The CDTC Prospectus was updated; a financial plan is still needed. Staff would base the financial plan on new federal legislation, but the schedule for Congressional approval of a new federal transportation bill is uncertain. Rosemary Nichols noted that the spelling of the word “roll” should be corrected to “role” on page 9 of the document. John Poorman noted that the new federal transportation bill is expected to demand more accountability from state departments of transportation with respect to performance measures. It is also expected to maintain a strong role for MPOs. Members approved the
CDTC Annual Self-Certification.
2010-15 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
Region One Program Update Status
Frank Bonafide distributed a handout that documented the Region One Capital Program that was submitted to the Main Office. He explained that the numbers are subject to review and revision. Projects being pushed back one year were highlighted in yellow. Projects being pushed back more than one year were highlighted in grey. The emphasis is on preservation. 70% of lettings are for preservation projects. The bridge to pavement ratio is 60/40, while the Main Office wants this ratio to be 50/50. Numbers were presented in federal dollars for the entire Region 1 area, not just the CDTC area. The Patroon Island Bridge could cost $140 M, which is about one and a half years worth of Region One’s letting program. The Region would like to request extra funding for the Patroon Island Bridge from the statewide allocations of funding. HBRR is a challenge.
John Poorman stated that we are not in the middle of a TIP update and we must walk a fine line in reviewing the Region One Capital Program update. The schedule updates do not require a TIP update. But the Region One Capital Program update provides a context for considering TIP amendments. The table represents Region One’s best estimate of what moves forward and what gets delayed.
Frank Bonafide stated that without a new federal bill there must be some speculation about available funds, yet the program update attempts to be realistic, assuming somewhat less than a flat line in funding. John Poorman explained that there is a continuing dilemma--the PSS (Project Scheduling System) management tool changes daily as a working document, so we can’t keep the official, publicly vetted TIP/STIP consistent with the PSS.
Budget Estimates vs. Current Programming Status
Glenn Posca reviewed the CDTC table which summarized the Capital Program for the four county CDTC area. He explained that the table is a snapshot and needs fine tuning. Further reconciliation with NYSDOT numbers is necessary. Not including IM (Interstate Maintenance), the table indicates $18 million in under-programming for this fiscal year and a small amount of over-programming over three years. John Poorman explained that for the next meeting in January, CDTC staff will try to clarify the impacts of the Capital Program for CDTC.
TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM AMENDMENTS
T17 (1820.48), Transit Bus Replacement/Expansion
T70 (CDTA.13), NY 5 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Stations
T87, Washington Western BRT Alternatives Analysis
The above three TIP amendments were presented by Ross Farrell. These proposed amendments represent good news for CDTA, since they were required because CDTA received new FTA grant funding. In the State of Good Repair Program, CDTA’s bus replacement program was approved on the amount of $4.0M (federal)- $5.0M with match included. In the Livability Program, Completion of the NY5 Bus Rapid Transit project was approved in the amount of $5.5M (federal), $6.875M with match included. Lastly, in a project new to the TIP (but not to the UPWP), moving the Washington/Western Bus Rapid transit from a planning project to the Alternatives Analysis phases was approved in the amount of $400,000 ($500,000 with match). Members approved these three TIP amendments.
SA268 (1758.02), I-87 1R, Mohawk River to Exit 12
Frank Bonafide explained that longitudinal cracks are separating on this section of the Northway, and that 1R treatment will address this problem and provide needed maintenance. Originally programmed with SDF money, the Region has found the capacity to fund this project with Interstate Maintenance funding. The Region will realize a $3.5 million savings in IM due to award of Interstate Discretionary funds that were awarded for PIN 105158, Clinton Avenue Viaduct. John Poorman explained that it is CDTC practice to allow NYSDOT latitude in programming IM funding. IM funding can only be used on the Interstate system. Members approved this TIP amendment.
A502 (1758.02), Meads Lane/Van Dyke Road Intersection
Mike Morelli explained that the Town of Bethlehem had just received a copy of a letter from Rob Cherry to John Poorman. The letter states that, based on the amount of safety benefits for the project, NYSDOT and FHWA can not be supportive of increasing the expenditure of additional HSIP funding for this project. Mike Morelli requested that this item be tabled to give the Town more time to review the letter. John Poorman explained that the HSIP funding already programmed in the TIP for this project should still be available; but in considering the proposed TIP amendment, collectively the question should be asked, are there other safety projects more worthy of the additional HSIP funds being requested. Rosemary Nichols asked if the previous eligibility for HSIP would be changed. Rob Cherry stated that HSIP funding is appropriate at this location, but that additional HSIP funding is not appropriate from the Department’s perspective.
Chairman Mike Franchini stated that action on this item will be postponed.
R279 (1757.99), US 4/Mannix Road Roundabout
A table titled “CMAQ Deferrals in the 2010-15 TIP” was handed out. This table indicated that R279, the US 4/Mannix Road Roundabout, was deferred for two years at the May 2010 Planning Committee. The TIP currently shows construction for the project in 2014-2015. The deferral was approved because of fiscal constraints identified at that time. John Poorman explained that we have an incomplete picture of CMAQ funding availability. We still need to resolve the status of the transfer of CMAQ funds to STP funds to provide funding for the TMC (Transportation Management Center) approved by CDTC.
John Poorman handed out a safety table showing the six projects on the TIP currently funded with safety money. It was pointed out that the Region One Capital Program shows two safety projects moving from 2013-14 to 2014-15. These projects are R295, 21st Street Alignment, and SA258, North Line Road/Old Post Road/Malta Avenue Reconstruction. According to the Region One Capital program Table, an ending balance of $2.543 million in Safety (HSIP) funds will be available in federal fiscal year 2015. The CDTC budget estimates also show funding availability for Safety Funds.
Karen Williams stated that $250,000 in HSIP funding could be justified for the Mannix Road project.
Richard Benko stated that the Town of East Greenbush is ready to move forward with this project.
John Poorman stated that we have CMAQ money to allow the Mannix Road project to go at the programmed amount, but whether the Committee should increase CMAQ funding for the project is a question. Mike Franchini expressed concern about fairness to other CMAQ projects that were moved back.
Rosemary Nichols made a motion to table action on the Mannix Road project and the Saratoga Springs Ballston Avenue project to allow time to look at other projects for fairness. Brad Birge asked to have a chance to present the merits of the Ballston Avenue project before a vote on tabling both projects was held. Chairman Franchini allowed Brad Birge to proceed before entertaining a second of the motion to table action on both projects.
SA201 (1756.60), Ballston Avenue, from Union Street to Hamilton Street: Safety Improvements
Brad Birge presented information about this project. The City of Saratoga Springs is requesting an increase in funding of $577,000. The current project limits include the intersections of Ballston Avenue with Union Street and Hamilton Street. Safety concerns have been identified at the Ballston Avenue/Lincoln Street intersection, which is 360 feet southwest of Union Street. Fifteen crashes have occurred at the Ballston/Lincoln intersections. There is also a significant renovation of the Price Chopper which will affect operation of the intersection. There is also a significant amount of pedestrian traffic related to nearby senior apartments.
The motion to table action the Mannix Road and Ballston Road projects was seconded, and failed with two “no” votes. Next, a motion was made to defer action on the Mannix Road project, which was seconded and approved by members. Members then approved a motion to defer action on the Ballston Road project.
Brad Birge asked what information was still needed. John Poorman explained that more information was needed about how much safety funding was available and more information was needed about the benefit cost analysis used by NYSDOT to determine how much HSIP funding can be programmed for each project.
PRELIMINARY 2012 UPWP DISCUSSION
John Poorman explained that there are still a number of factors that need to be understood before developing the next UPWP. Whether or not the CDRPC application for the HUD Sustainability grant is approved will have a big impact on CDTC staff efforts. Another program that will affect staff efforts is the application for the Cleaner, Greener Communities Program. The City of Albany is submitting an application for this program on behalf of the eight counties in the Capital Region Economic Development Council area. If approved, CDTC staff will participate. Work on the development of a 2040 Regional Transportation Plan will be incorporated into the new UPWP, although CDTC has four years to develop the plan update. The pace of the effort will depend on a number of events. The next UPWP should include a significant effort on safety data analysis and planning. The need for consultant assistance has been identified. Finally, MPO funding levels are uncertain pending federal legislation. Staff will provide more information in January.
2012-13 Linkage Program
Sandy Misiewicz explained the staff proposal for the 2012-2013 Community and Transportation Linkage Planning Program. Funding will be reduced to $150,000 for consultant services. The program will be entirely focused on implementation activities related to existing Linkage studies or other completed local planning work. There would be a January deadline for applications, and a February review by the Planning Committee.
John Poorman asked for action to approve the concept presented. Rob Cherry asked what steps will be taken to ensure that planning studies are consistent with the NEPA process. Sandy Misiewicz responded that these concerns will be addressed in Linkage program studies. Members approved the concept for the Linkage Program as presented.
STATUS OF PLANNING ACTIVITIES
Todd Fabozzi noted that the HUD Sustainability grant application was submitted by CDRPC less than a month ago. An extensive consortium with local participants is an important feature of the application. He also explained that CDRPC has begun developing preliminary population projections based on the Census.
Ross Farrell reported that the Washington Western BRT Study is completed. November 13th and 14th will be the roll out of Phase 1 of the Albany route restructuring plan. Extensive public outreach has indicated that a majority of people support the plan.
Albany County Airport Authority
Steve Iachetta reported that the Albany County Airport Authority has completed an update to the five year Program, and has submitted a number of Consolidated Funding Applications (CFAs) for the Governor’s regional economic development initiative.
City of Watervliet
Rosemary Nichols reported that the City of Watervliet received three CDGB (Community Development Block Grant Program) projects.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 12:00 PM. The next Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for January 4,2012. The next Policy Board Meeting is scheduled for December 1, 2011.
John P. Poorman