Meeting Minutes

June 2, 2011




Josephine Ashworth, Town of North Greenbush

Steve Feeney, Schenectady County

Rocky Ferraro, representing Mike Stammel, Capital District
  Regional Planning Commission

Michael Franchini, representing Michael Breslin, Albany

Terry Hurley, Albany Port District Commission

Steve Iachetta, representing John O’Donnell, Albany County

  Airport Authority

Mary Ivey, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1,

Mayor Scott Johnson, City of Saratoga Springs

Andrew Kreshik, representing Mayor Harry Tutunjian, City of

Joe LaCivita, representing Supervisor Paula Mahan, Town of

Michael Loftus, New York State Thruway Authority

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

Rosemary Nichols, representing, Mayor Michael Manning, City

Tom Richardson, representing Mayor Anthony Sylvester, City

Linda von der Heide, representing Kathleen Jimino,
Rensselaer County

Tom Werner, Saratoga County

Kristina Younger, representing Carm Basile, Capital
  District Transportation Authority




Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee

Frank Bonafide, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Ross Farrell, Capital District Transportation Authority

David Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee

Sree Nampoothiri, Capital District Transportation Committee

Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee

John Poorman, Capital District Transportation Committee

Ken Williams, Interested Citizen




Chairman McDonald opened the Capital District Transportation Committee meeting at 3:05 pm and welcomed those in attendance.  Members and attendees introduced themselves.



Approval of the March 3, 2011 Meeting Minutes


The March 3, 2011 meeting minutes were accepted with a correction noting that Rosemary Nichols was in attendance at the March 3 meeting.


Administrative & Financial Standing Subcommittee Report


John Poorman gave a report on the A&F Standing Subcommittee meeting of May 10, 2011.  The A&F Standing Subcommittee amended and updated the relationship between CDTA and CDTC by increasing the annual financial compensation amount for CDTA host agency services from $45,000 to $60,000.   


The A&F Subcommittee also started a discussion on staff continuity and transitions related to staff retirement plans.





Chairman McDonald indicated that CDTC provides an opportunity for visitors to address items on the agenda.  Ken Williams spoke about the importance of national transportation issues.  He cited the recent bus accident in Virginia.  He said that a good national transportation system is needed, and more funding is needed for Amtrak and for highways.





John Poorman presented the updated CDTC Public Participation Policy.  He explained that the current draft addresses comments received from the Planning Committee.  The existing Public Participation Policy was adopted in 2007.  Existing policies will continue.  The revised version clarifies that the CDTC TIP amendment procedures are consistent with federal guidelines released by FHWA.  This document also reaffirms CDTC’s social media policy. The draft will be available for public review and will be adopted in September.  Members approved the Public Participation Policy document as presented as a draft for public review.





Deb Stacey presented the draft 2011 Coordinated Public Transit Human Services Transportation Plan.  The plan is required to document coordination of services and must be updated every four years.  The first plan was approved in June 2007.  The plan identifies progress made since 2007, as well as areas that still need progress.  One area in which significant progress has been made is the New Freedoms program.  An internet survey is planned as part of the next phase of New Visions.  Members approved the 2011 Coordinated Public Transit Human Services Transportation Plan as a draft for public review, with final approval anticipated at the September 1 meeting of the Policy Board.




New Visions 2035 Plan Update


The draft New Visions 2035 Plan Update was presented.  The update summarizes changes by subject area since 2007, updates the planning horizon to 2035, and reaffirms the New Vision Plan, including its planning and investment principles and strategies and actions.  The update also presents potential topics for further development during the next update, which will be a more comprehensive update over a three year period.  A comment was made that the plan should mention the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the importance of the partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).  Members approved the draft New Visions 2035 Plan Update for public review, with final Plan approval anticipated at the September 1 Policy Board meeting.  Members authorized the staff to make any technical changes required to the Air Quality Conformity Statement based on comments received from the ICG (Interagency Coordinating Group), and to then release the New Visions 2035 Plan Update for public review on June 13.


Washington Western Bus Rapid Transit Resolution


Ross Farrell of CDTA presented the results of the

Washington Western BRT Concept Design Study.  The study

indicates that a BRT system would be feasible in the Washington Western corridor, and that one alternative (2B) would decrease operating costs.  CDTA would like to initiate the Alternatives Analysis portion of the Federal New Starts process.  Members approved a resolution adopting the principles of the Washington Western BRT Concept Design Study as a refinement to the New Visions 2030 Plan for the corridor and supporting the Authority’s efforts to initiate Alternatives Analysis.  





Review of the Firm Cost Cap on Bicycle and Pedestrian TIP Projects


John Poorman explained that after discussion, staff analysis, and review spanning several meetings, the Planning Committee recommended removing the firm cap on existing and future bicycle and pedestrian TIP projects.  The Planning Committee’s recommendation was based on a desire for consistency with other project types.  Members approved the Planning Committee recommendation as presented.




“The Transportation, Community, and System Preservation (TCSP) Program is a comprehensive initiative of research and grants to investigate the relationships between transportation, community, and system preservation plans and practices and identify private sector-based initiatives to improve such relationships” (FHWA website).  Frank Bonafide explained that Region 1 received 11 responses to a solicitation for proposals; there were 51 responses statewide.  $61 million are available nationally, 8% to 10% of that funding could go to New York State.  A good mix of projects were received.  FHWA is reviewing the list to evaluate eligibility.




John Poorman explained that discussions on the federal transportation reauthorization bill are active in both the House and the Senate with their respective transportation committees hoping to introduce draft bills in late June.  The administration has previously asked for large increases in the federal program.  Due to budget concerns and lack of political will to raise revenues, the proposed House bill would provide an effective 30% reduction from current funding levels.  A six year bill programming 30% less would represent a major exit of the federal government from its role of managing the national transportation system.  The Senate proposal centers on a shorter time frame of two years to hold funding to current revenues.  A positive note is that all parties think highways, transit and metropolitan planning are important.






Kristina Younger explained that in cooperation with NYSDOT, the funding package for the Schenectady Rail Station, double tracking from Schenectady to Albany, and 4th track at the Rensselaer Station is now complete.  The cooperation from NYSDOT High Speed Rail and Region 1 has been phenomenal. 


The BusPlus rollout has been a success; early ridership indicators have been positive.  The New Karner Queue Jumper project starts next week.  The Albany State Street project has started and stations and stops are moving.  The first electronic display will be going up in two weeks.  The first security camera in Schenectady will be turned on next week.  Some local schedule adjustments will be coming soon.


The Albany County route restructuring process is underway.  Trunk routes will get more service (expanded span and frequency).  Most changes will occur on the neighborhood routes.  Outreach will be during the Summer, implementation will be during the Fall.   




Rocky Ferraro reported that the 2010 Census first and second wave of results have been released and posting of the third wave of results will be on CDRPC’s website soon.  Population increased in the four county area by 5,530.  All eight cities in the Capital District grew since 2000, and for the first time since 1950, all three large cities grew in the past decade.


The Combined Sewer Overflow Study held a public meeting on June 1.  The long term control plan will be submitted to NYSDEC on June 30.  The cost for plan implementation is $110 million.  An inter-municipal shared services grant will likely be sought to assist with implementation.  Mayor McDonald praised CDRPC for their work on this and indicated it would be a good candidate to receive a shared services grant.


CDRPC will lead a full day training session for local municipal planners on June 15.


NYS Thruway Authority


A new Chairman has been nominated by the Governor.




Mary Ivey reported that the Glenridge Road project was awarded yesterday and work will begin this summer.  The Route 9P ribbon cutting was completed; the project took 262 days from start to finish.  The Dunn Memorial Bridge work is starting, and will be finished in 2012.


Albany Airport Authority


Steve Iachetta reported that the Airport purchased a new CNG bus, thanks to the Clean Cities Group. Bids were open on a $4.2 million runway paving project and were 25% less than estimated.




Albany Port Authority


Terry Hurley reported that Port business is being maintained during construction which should be completed by the end of the 3rd quarter.




Dave Jukins reported on CDTC staff activities.  The

I-87/Route 9 Integrated Corridor Management Study is underway, in partnership with NYSDOT.  CDTC staff is participating in the NYSDOT High Speed Rail Study and the Mohawk-Erie Multimodal Transportation Corridor Study.  Staff has updated the highway condition inventory for locally owned roads and is gearing up for the two year full condition inventory.  Staff will attend Congressman Tonko’s Mighty Waters conference.  Public meetings will be held next week for the Clifton Park Linkage Study. 




There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 4:55 pm.  The next meeting is scheduled for 3:00 pm, Thursday September 1, 2011.


Respectfully submitted,





Mary E. Ivey