CAPITAL DISTRICT TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE

 

Meeting Minutes

September 7, 2006

 

 

MEMBERS ATTENDING

 

Bill Bruce, representing Mayor Jerry Jennings, City of Albany

Ken DeCerce, representing Harry Guthiel, Saratoga County

Teri Egan, Town of Bethlehem

Steve Feeney, representing Susan Savage, Schenectady County

Michael Franchini, representing Michael Breslin, Albany County

Robert Griffith, Federal Highway Administration

Terry Hurley, Albany Port District Commission

Steve Iachetta, representing John O’Donnell, Albany County Airport

     Authority

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

Marybeth Pettit, representing Mayor Daniel Dwyer, City of
     
Rensselaer

Robert Phillips, Saratoga County, Vice-Chairman

Thomas Richardson, representing Mayor Anthony Sylvester, City of
    
Mechanicville

Beth Secor, Town of Schodack

Phil Serafino, representing William Rinaldi, New York State Thruway
     Authority

Bernie Sisson, representing Mayor Brian Stratton, City of
    
Schenectady

John Stangle, Town of Colonie

Linda von der Heide, representing Kathleen Jimino, Rensselaer
     County

Thomas Werner, representing Commissioner Tom Madison, NYSDOT

Kristina Younger, representing Ray Melleady, Capital District
     Transportation Authority

 

STAFF AND OTHERS

 

Phil Barrett, Town of Clifton Park

Will R. DeVoe, The Spotlight

David Jukins, CDTC Staff

Tom Kearney, Federal Highway Administration

Chris O’Neill, CDTC Staff

John Poorman, CDTC staff

Jason Purvis, CDTC staff

David Rettig, New York State Department of Transportation

Deb Stacey, CDTC Staff

 

OPENING REMARKS

 

Chairman McDonald opened the Capital District Transportation Committee meeting at approximately 3:05 p.m. and welcomed those in attendance to the CDTC offices. Members and attendees then introduced themselves.

 

 

ADMINISTRATION

 

June 1, 2006 Meeting Minutes

 

 

The minutes of the June 1, 2006 CDTC meeting were approved as written.

 

Administrative & Financial Standing Subcommittee Report

 

John Poorman reported that the Subcommittee has a meeting scheduled for September 23.

 

 

PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR

 

Chairman McDonald extended an invitation for visitors to address the board regarding agenda items.  There were no requests to speak.

 

 

SELF-CERTIFICATION

 

Mr. Poorman highlighted the previously-distributed eleven-page summary of certification material.  Members then approved Resolution 06-1 for transmittal to NYSDOT and federal oversight agencies.

 

 

NEW VISIONS PLAN AMENDMENT FOR THE ROUND LAKE BYPASS AND AIR QUALITY CONFORMITY REVISION

 

Mr. Poorman reviewed the previously-distributed material.  A revision to the official regional transportation plan is required in order to include the two-lane, 1.6-mile facility.  The project is considered a “community compatibility” project in CDTC terminology and is consistent with local plans.  It will be funded with state funds.

 

In addition, a series of intersection, access and internal road projects will be advanced with a variety of federal, state and local funds in the area of the Luther Forest Technology Campus.  CDTC has revised its air quality conformity assessment to include the impact of those projects and the Round Lake Bypass.

 

The air quality conformity determination and plan amendment have been submitted for public review.  Only a few comments have been received, regarding bicycle connections.  These connections are being pursued by the town and state, separate from the bypass construction.

 

Members approved the plan amendment and air quality conformity determination of the amended plan and of the revised 2005-10 Transportation Improvement Program (including projects listed for action below) by adopting Resolution 06-2.

 

 

SAFETEA-LU TRANSPORTATION ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM

 

Jason Purvis described the results of the recent round of Enhancement Program solicitations and evaluations.  CDTC approved twenty-three proposals from within the CDTC programming area.  Based on the results of a multi-agency review committee, the CDTC Planning Committee recommends a specific prioritization of the proposals.  The Planning Committee also recommends transmitting particular notes and concerns regarding particular projects as well as noting that the NYSDOT evaluation criteria favor projects creating new bike or pedestrian access over other projects.

 

Members approved the recommended priorities for transmittal to NYSDOT.

 

 

2005-10 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM AMENDMENTS

 

A289, Grade Separation of Lincoln Avenue and Amtrak

A342, Morris/Cordell Grade Crossing Consolidation and Separation

 

Tom Werner explained that these projects were to be funded with CMAQ funds associated with the High Speed Rail Initiative.  With that effort on hold, it is necessary to defer the grade crossing projects.  NYSDOT plans to invest in less-expensive safety features at the crossings in the meantime.  The proposed TIP action officially deletes the two entries from the five-year TIP.  Members approved the amendment.

 

S160, Mohawk-Hudson Bike Trail

 

Mr. Poorman noted that this action is necessary because the project “rolled off” the TIP before its funds were obligated.  CDTC action is required to allow NYSDOT to show the project on the current Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).  Members agreed to the amendment.

 

A476, Siena College Perimeter Loop Road

 

Mr. Poorman noted that policy action on this project was omitted from the June agenda.  The project has not been delayed by this oversight, but the full budget for the project must be approved by CDTC.  Members approved this amendment.

 

 

 

S161, Glenville and Scotia Sidewalks

 

This amendment is required because of the escalating project cost and the inability of the project sponsors (Scotia, Glenville and the Scotia-Glenville School District) to absorb the increase.  The action is to delete this project from the TIP.  Mr. Poorman noted that this is unfortunate; the project had been funded because it was CDTC’s top Enhancement priority in a previous round.  Members approved the amendment.

 

SA225, SA227 & SA228, Commercial Access Improvements; Round Lake Gateway

 

Mr. Poorman reported that this amendment programs some of the earmarked funds in SA225 to specific improvements – a gateway project at US 9 and George Street; and Cold Spring Road reconstruction.  A balance of $2.231 M remains in SA225.  Members approved the amendment.

 

SA229, Stabilizing of Brookwood Road

 

Ken DeCerce reported that federal funds have been specifically earmarked for rehabilitating this east-west facility in Halfmoon. Members approved the amendment.

 

 

REGIONAL OPERATIONS COMMITTEE STATUS REPORT

 

Mr. Werner reported on the status of the planned effort to create a regional operations committee.  After discussion between Region 1 and CDTC staff, a letter will be sent to CDTC Policy members and others to name an individual to participate in an initial meeting of a new operations group.  The group will explore options, including the use of CMAQ set-asides for improved integration.

 

 

2007-12 TIP UPDATE STATUS REPORT

 

Mr. Poorman reported that CDTC and Region 1 staff are comparing resource and expenditure numbers for a starting point for the update.  There appears to be some new money on the table, mostly to be used for cost adjustments for existing projects or for additional phases of existing projects.  It is likely also that there will be CMAQ funds available, and perhaps a limited Safety program.  Further material will be available at the CDTC meeting in December.

 

STATUS OF PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION ACTIVITIES

 

Capital District Transportation Authority

 

Kristina Younger reported that CDTA has awarded $750,000 in Bus Rapid Transit contracts; has initiated station design work in Schenectady; expects its first Gillig buses in May 2007; and is working on a statewide project to train mechanics at community colleges.

 

 

New York State Thruway Authority

 

Phil Serafino reported that two new traveler information systems were introduced in August:  Transalert on the web and a 1-800 number for traffic conditions.  E-ZPass expansion continues with additional 20 mph lanes.

 

New York State Department of Transportation

 

Tom Werner reported that Columbia County has been added to the list of counties in Region 1.  Regarding the progress of existing projects, the last I-90 piece should be completed in November; I-87 Exit 12 is way ahead of schedule; Route 7 Crosstown Arterial reconstruction is progressing; the Kinns Rd. (I-87) bridge is now open; an alternative has been selected for the I-87 Exit 6 bridge replacement; and the I-87 Exit 5 bridge and Slingerlands Bypass are among projects scheduled for let this summer.

 

Albany County Airport Authority

 

Steve Iachetta reported that non-stop service to Tampa begins October 28; that air cargo traffic continues to grow; and work on paving and drainage and a light jet service center continue.  The airport is also involved in two pilot programs – one for diesel retrofits and another for the registered traveler program.

 

CDTC Staff

 

Mr. Poorman briefly mentioned that the Colloquy results were highlighted at a national conference on the future of the MPO and that a regional trail survey has been completed this summer.  A number of Linkage studies are underway.

 

Local Planning and Implementation

 

Mr. DeCerce commended the CDTC staff for its work on the recent Halfmoon Linkage study and noted that the study recommendations are to be adopted at the next Town planning meeting.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

The next meeting was tentatively scheduled for 3:00 pm, Thursday December 7, 2006 at the CDTC offices.  There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 4:10 pm.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

 

Thomas C. Werner

Secretary