Meeting Minutes

December 5, 2007




Frank Commisso, Albany Port Authority

Todd Fabozzi representing Rocky Ferraro, Capital District
  Regional Planning Commission

Michael Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)

Jaclyn Hakes, representing Brad Birge, City of Saratoga

Bruce Hidley, City of Watervliet

Fred Howard, Rensselaer County

Steve Iachetta, Albany International Airport

George Leveille, Town of Bethlehem

Barbara McHugh, Town of Clifton Park

Marybeth Pettit, City of Rensselaer

John Poorman, Capital District Transportation Committee (Secretary)

Dave Rettig, New York State Department of Transportation

Tom Richardson, City of Mechanicville

Dede Rudolph, City of Albany

Phil Serafino, New York State Thruway Authority

Bernard Sisson, City of Schenectady

John Stangle, representing Denise Sheehan, Town of Colonie

Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon

Kristina Younger, Capital District Transportation Authority




Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee

Frank Bonafide, NYSDOT Region 1

David Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee

Lindsay Lefting, Bergmann Associates

Scott Lewendon, Clough Harbour

Mike Lyons, Town of Colonie

Raj Malhotra, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Peter Melewski, Bergmann Associates

Sandy Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee

Sree Nampoothiri, Capital District Transportation Committee

Scott Nowalk, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee

Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Paul Reuss, Village of Menands

Ian Ross, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Deborah Stacey, Capital District Transportation Committee

Steve Szanto, Creighton Manning

Cathy Woodruff, Times Union

Mike Wyatt, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1





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


Action Items




Approval of the November 7, 2007 Meeting Minutes


NYSDOT requested a change to the November 7th Meeting Minutes regarding the discussion of the Balltown Road Corridor Design study.  It was requested that the sentence stating that roundabouts were “dismissed due to ROW issues” be changed to “were dropped from consideration because of the physical constraints created by the Rexford Bridge, the pedestrian overpass near the bridge and the spacing of the Riverview Road and Aqueduct Road intersections”.  Members approved the November 7, 2007 Meeting Minutes with the change noted.





A492, R267, SA238 and SA 239


It was reported that only 80 percent of the project cost of these four enhancement projects appears in the current TIP.  This was an error due to the fact that the amounts shown are the non-matched amounts, rather than the matched federal aid amount.  Conse-quently, the project costs need to be increased by the match amounts for all four projects.  Addition of STP Enhancement Projects after approval by the state advisory committee requires Planning Committee action.  Members approved the amendments to these four projects as described in the handout.


A495 Route5: Rte 155 to Fuller Road


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.  NYSDOT provided additional information to members as requested at the November Planning Committee meeting.  NYSDOT and the City of Albany met last week to discuss this project.  The city expressed concern that they had to reduce the project limits on the Central Avenue project in their jurisdiction because of funding issues, while NYSDOT could decide to use “project savings” to expand the project limits of their project.  The city recently found out that the cost for the Central Avenue project within the city is lower than expected.  The city would like to extend the project limits of their project as well (from Everett Road to Quail) using the $2M that will be left over from the project that was bid.


After very lively discussion, it was determined that these two requests are very unique and should be entertained not as precedence, but as a one time request.  Members acknowledged that the Route 5 corridor is one of the most important corridors in the region and needs to be maintained, especially with the BRT project being developed.  Members approved the motion to extend the project limits of both A495 and A341 with the caveat that the approval will not set a precedent, and future requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Discussion Items





CDTC staff partnered with NYSDOT to progress a study of the Hudson River bridge crossings from Exit 21 of the Thruway up to the Saratoga County line; although the Patroon Island Bridge received the most analysis.  Bergmann Associates was hired to conduct the study of the bridge crossings.  Peter Melewski from Bergmann associates provided a brief overview of the study.  The New Visions growth scenarios were considered in the analysis of the bridge crossings.  Basically the study concluded that there is no pressing need to expand the capacity of the Patroon Island Bridge, which means that capacity will not be a factor in determining whether to rehab or replace the bridge.  The findings of the study will be finalized and published in a report for broader circulation.





$1.3 Million has been allocated to Region 1 for the Safe Routes to School Program. This program was developed to address walkability and bicycling concerns at locations within a 2 mile radius of K through 8 schools.  Schools, counties, towns, villages and cities are eligible project sponsors.  No local match is required for the projects, but those that provide local funding will receive higher evaluation scores than those that do not.  Workshops will be held locally to provide information about the program to potential sponsors.  Additional information about the program is available on NYSDOT’s website.





David Jukins prepared a PowerPoint to review this shared cost study funded by the association of NYS MPOs with the Committee. The presentation provided information about the study and demonstrated how well NYS has done in understanding the relationship between Land Use and Transportation.  A brochure was developed as part of the study, highlighting 10 of the best projects.  Two of the ten are located in the Capital Region.






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 has been 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.  The performance goal to double ridership was reached in 4 month, well in advance of the 18 month target.  FTA conducted their semi-annual review of CDTA earlier this week.   Work on the Route 5 BRT continues to advance.  An additional $1M in funding has been earmarked by Congresswoman Gillibrand for the BRT.


City of Schenectady


A public information meeting regarding the proposed redesign of Erie Boulevard was held on November 29th.  The proposed improvements to Erie Blvd were well received.  Scott Lewendon for Clough Harbor Associates gave a brief overview of the improvements proposed for Erie Blvd.  The project limits are from I-890 to the RR bridge north of State Street. Portions of Erie Blvd are 110’ in width, which makes it feasible to design a curvilinear boulevard with a landscaped median.  A Roundabout is being considered at the Ferry Street intersection. Driveways will be consolidated with many converted to rights in/rights out only. Erie Blvd will accommodate bicycles with either a shared lane or designated bike lane. A public meeting will be held in the Spring to unveil the final design recommendations.




There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.  The January Planning Committee meeting will be held on January 9th, not the first Wednesday, January 2nd.


Respectfully submitted,





John P. Poorman