Meeting Minutes

May 19, 2005




Steve Bland, Capital District Transportation Authority

Mary Brizzell, Town of Colonie

Willard Bruce, representing Mayor Gerald Jennings, City of Albany

Ken DeCerce, representing Mary Ann Johnson, Saratoga County

Steve Feeney, representing Susan Savage, Schenectady County

Michael Franchini, representing Michael Breslin, Albany County

Charles Houghtaling, Albany County Legislature

Terry Hurley, Albany Port District Commission

Art Johnson, Town of Wilton

Mayor John T. McDonald III, City of Cohoes, Chairman

Marybeth Pettit, representing Mayor Mark Pratt, City of Rensselaer

Robert Phillips, Saratoga County, Vice-Chairman

Jill Ross Schmelz, representing Don Bell, NYS Thruway Authority

Mike Stammel, Capital District Regional Planning Commission

Linda von der Heide, representing Kathleen Jimino, Rensselaer 

Tom Werner, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1, representing

   Commissioner Joe Boardman, Secretary




Carm Basile, CDTA

Elizabeth D’Ettore, interested citizen

Jeff Lipnicky, Town of Bethlehem

Rodrigo Marion, CDTC staff

Tom Marois, CDTA

Sandy Misiewicz, CDTC staff

John Poorman, CDTC staff

Jason Purvis, CDTC staff

Jack Reilly, CDTA

Dave Rettig, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Carey Roessel, CDTA

Cliff Thomas, NYS Department of Transportation

Kristina Younger, CDTA





Chairman McDonald opened the Capital District Transportation Committee meeting at approximately 3:10 p.m. and welcomed those in attendance to the CDTC offices. Members and attendees then introduced themselves.  Tom Werner introduced Cliff Thomas who has been named Director of the Office of Central and Northeast NY Transportation Strategy for NYSDOT.  Cliff spoke briefly to members about NYSDOT’s Transformation effort and its shift into implementation.





Chairman McDonald extended an invitation to guests to address any items on the day’s agenda.  Elizabeth D’Ettore spoke to members about proposed transit service reductions.  She introduced herself as service coordinator at the Diamond Rock facility, where they have been notified by CDTA that they will lose scheduled service.  She requested at least two times a week service.  Steve Bland responded that service cuts will be instituted on the coming Monday, responding to ridership and fare recovery that is only 25% of comparable services.  He stated that CDTA has been working with the counties for six months to consider options.  He offered to explore options further in the future.





March 24, 2005 Meeting Minutes



The minutes of the March 24, 2005 CDTC meeting were approved as written.


Administrative & Financial Standing Subcommittee Report


John Poorman reported that the Subcommittee has not met since March and plans to meet in September.




Mr. Poorman walked members through the ten-page question and answer document providing the background for CDTC’s self-certification resolution.  He reminded members that CDTC must approve a self-certification statement prior to adopting the 2005-10 Transportation Improvement Program.  Members commented on the favorable statements in the certification material and approved the self-certification statement through Resolution 05-02.





Chairman McDonald reminded members that the Fred Field Award was established upon Fred’s retirement from public service to recognize when appropriate “the individual, organization or project in the Capital Region that best reflects Mr. Field’s principles in the area of transportation and community planning and implementation.” 

The 2005 presentation results from the review of many worthy candidates.  There are many individuals, groups and projects in the Capital District today that reflect Fred’s characteristics.  This year, the selection committee chose to honor the CDTA Saratoga Springs Train Station project as a clear match with the criteria established for the Fred Field award.


John Poorman reviewed the history and details of the project with members.  Key aspects warranting the award are the close cooperation between CDTA and the community; the hard work necessary with the railroads; the creative design and incorporation of local themes; and the completion of the project on time and on budget.  Mr. Bland and Kristina Younger received the award on behalf of CDTA.  Mr. Bland cited that the project’s success was directly due to Ms. Younger’s efforts.





Mr. Poorman summarized the activities that had transpired since the Policy Board authorized release of the draft 2005-10 Transportation Improvement Program in March.  Public comments have been received and reviewed; air quality conformity information has been prepared, reviewed and revised; and the Planning Committee has completed the programming of the full budget of anticipated funds.  Approximately $7.4 M in CMAQ funds remained available in March for programming after the public review period.


As a result of Planning Committee recommendations, the draft 2005-10 TIP now includes A464, Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail: Phase 1; A465, Guilderland Center Pedestrian Safety; A462,           Queue Jumper at the Intersection of Central Ave. and New Karner Rd; A463,Queue Jumper at the Intersection of Central Ave. and Wolf Road; RG100, Transit Service Pilot Program; and A461,Intersection of Fuller Road and Washington Ave.  All but the last of these will use CMAQ funds; a combination of NHS and developer funds are programmed for the Fuller/Washington project.


After further discussion, members approved the revised draft 2005-10 Transportation Improvement Program by means of Resolution 05-03.  The resolution authorizes the incorporation of the first three years of the TIP into the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program which will be submitted to NYSDOT prior to October 1.





Mr. Poorman briefly updated members on the continuing conference committee discussions.  House and Senate conferees have narrowed the range of conflicts, but a date for final passage is still unclear.  Congress passes brief extensions of TEA-21 as necessary; TEA-21 expired nearly two years ago.


Details of the Transportation Bond before state voters this fall are still unclear.  Work drafting a Memorandum of Understanding is still ongoing.  Mr. Thomas reported that discussions have been positive so far, with strong upstate / downstate agreement.





Capital District Transportation Authority


Mr. Bland reported that CDTA plans this month to adopt policy principles to guide the Transit Development Plan.  CDTA also has a facilities master plan in development, which will involve relocating some staff to the Rensselaer station.  He also took time to recognize Jack Reilly who is retiring from CDTA after many productive and successful years of service.  Mr. Reilly responded with appreciation for the recognition and thankfulness for the opportunity to work over the years with many in attendance at the meeting.


Capital District Regional Planning Commission


Mike Stammel reported on CDRPC’s work on the inter-municipal Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) project, additional efforts on the alternative growth scenarios work and involvement in the Harriman Campus Linkage study.


New York State Thruway Authority


Jill Schmelz reported that the Thruway Authority has implemented the toll increase and that the transition went smoothly.  The construction season is beginning and Interchange 23 is receiving an interim project.


New York State Department of Transportation


Tom Werner reported that Bill Logan has retired and Mark Kennedy is serving as acting Regional Traffic and Safety Engineer.  The $70 M I-90 reconstruction continues with work finalizing part 1 and the beginning efforts on part 2.  Contactors are finishing up Rt 7 work in Brunswick.  Upcoming projects include the I-87/ Rt 67 project, Kinns Rd. overpass, a STAR program project at Rt 67 and Eastline Rd., and the Exit 9/146 ramp.


Albany Port District Commission


Terry Hurley reported that 2005 is proving to be a good year; imports and exports are both up.  The port is expecting that the Thruway toll increase and gas prices may stimulate more demand.





The next meeting was tentatively scheduled for 3:00 pm, Thursday October 20, 2005 at the CDTC offices.  There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 4:15 pm.



Respectfully submitted,





Thomas C. Werner