Meeting Minutes

September 3, 2009




Steve Feeney, representing Susan Savage, Schenectady County

Michael Franchini, representing Michael Breslin, Albany County

Terry Hurley, Albany Port District Commission

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

Mary Ivey, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1, Secretary

Arthur Johnson, Saratoga County

Joseph LaCivita, representing Paula Mahan, Town of Colonie

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

Rosemary Nichols, representing Mayor Michael Manning, City of

Marybeth Pettit, representing Mayor Daniel Dwyer, City of


William Roehr, representing Mayor Harry Tutunjian, City of Troy

Phil Serafino, NYS Thruway Authority

Michael Stammel, Capital District Regional Planning Commission

Linda von der Heide, representing Kathleen Jimino, Rensselaer


Thomas Werner, Saratoga County

Kristina Younger, Capital District Transportation Authority




Don Adams, Creighton Manning

Frank Bonafide, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Thomas Carlo, Village of Schaghticoke

Steve Caruso, City of Schenectady

Timothy Collins, Interested Citizen

Pete Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam

Bob Hansen, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Dave Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee

Maryanne Mariotti, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan, Village of Green Island

Robert Mitchell, Town of Colonie

Dennis O’Malley, Consultant

Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee

John Poorman, Capital District Transportation Committee

Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee

Paul Reuss, Village of Menands

Deb Stacey, Capital District Transportation Committee

Peter VanKeuren, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Sean Ward, Village of Green Island




Chairman McDonald opened the Capital District Transportation Committee meeting at 3:00 pm and welcomed those in attendance.  Members and attendees introduced themselves.




June 4, 2009 Meeting Minutes


Members approved the June 4, 2009 meeting minutes as written.


Administrative & Financial Standing Subcommittee Report


The Administrative & Financial Standing Subcommittee met in August.  The A & F approved a minor line item change to cover printing costs associated with a bicycle education campaign that CDTC staff is working on with the city of Albany.  The A & F reviewed the results of the required assessment of liability of post retirement benefits.  The report showed that CDTC’s liability is modest over the next 10 years.  The A & F will meet again in November.




Chairman McDonald indicated that CDTC provides an opportunity for visitors to address items on the agenda. Timothy Collins, a CDTA and STAR bus rider addressed the board.  Mr. Collins is wheelchair bound and cannot get to church on Sunday’s because CDTA’s fixed route (and thus STAR) does not run within a half mile of his home or church on Sunday’s. Mr. Collins also expressed concern about the delay in constructing bicycle lanes on US Route 20; he believes that the bike lanes would allow him to operate his motorized wheelchair more safely.




Item A on the Agenda provides information on the changes that were made to the draft 2009-14 project listings since the August 5th Planning Committee meeting.


Item B requires action by the Board.  CDTC’s normal practice is to update the five year program every two years.  CDTC was well into that update process when the Federal Stimulus package was announced.  Efforts were re-directed to putting together a project list for the Stimulus funding.  It was decided to amend the last two years of the 2007-12 TIP to reflect the work that was done to update the TIP and to show any new projects in the 2009-14 TIP.  Members approved agenda items A and B.


Item C on the agenda if approved, would give NYSDOT the latitude to pursue FRA funding for the Ballston Spa Siding.  Members approved this motion.


Item D on the agenda, if approved, would delete the Western Gateway Speed Table project from the TIP.  The sponsor has determined that this project is infeasible.  Members approved the deletion.


Items E and F on the agenda increases the scope of these two projects.  It was determined that the scope expansion would be allowed if ARRA funds were available.  Members concurred with this willingness to amend the scope.



John Poorman reported that he is very impressed with the list of projects that the CDTC staff, CDTA, NYDSOT Region 1 and Planning Committee members agreed upon for the ARRA funding.  This was a time intensive effort and required many meetings and collaboration.  John pointed out that the $98 final package that was submitted to the Governor was a good mix of local and state projects.


One item, not on the agenda, was briefly discussed.  CDTA submitted an application to fund the remaining capital items for the BRT under the Transportation Investment Generating Recovery (TIGER) Program.  The BRT project meets all the TIGER program requirements-- innovation, partnerships, land use/transportation coordination in an area of economic need and livability/ sustainability/energy savings.


The last full TIP solicitation was conducted in 2002.  Although funding targets are up in the air, CDTC should be poised with a list of projects in the event that the region receives additional monies under the next highway bill.  The draft TIP solicitation letter is included in member’s packets. The ballpark funding availability will be in the $100M range.  Staff is currently updating the Project Justification Package and TIP project evaluation criteria.  Staff will conduct workshops in each of the four counties within the next few weeks.  Candidate projects must be submitted by November 9.  Members approved the letter and the TIP update schedule.


NYSMPO SHARED-COST STUDY-An Assessment of NYS MPOs During the TEA Era


David Jukins reported on this study.  With another surface transportation authorization act and the potential for major federal program changes on the near-term horizon, the New York State MPOs determined that it was an appropriate time to debrief their members and policy partners regarding the progress made in metropolitan planning during the TEA era. To this end, the Association of New York State MPOs (NYSMPO) authorized a self-assessment survey of all the New York State MPOs. In general, the report suggested that New York’s MPOs have met the challenges offered by the TEA legislation.  The TEA era led to real and substantial changes to metropolitan planning in New York, especially in the areas of freight planning, bike/ped design, land use, and safety.  CDTC was noted as exemplary in several categories.




Port of Albany


Terry Hurley reported the Port is continuing Phase 1 of dock and wharf improvements and is looking for monies to complete Phase II.  There has been a downturn in Port Activity, but the Port wants to be well positioned when the economy turns around.




There have been a number of recent staff changes at CDTA.  Ray Melleady has accepted a job in the private sector; Carm Basile is the acting director.  CDTA has experienced a decline in ridership since the fare was increased; however, the ridership declines have not been proportionately distributed.  CDTA will analyze the ridership trends and adjust schedules. 


Albany Airport


The Albany Airport has been cited by USEPA as a model airport for water quality measures.  The Authority is working on their five year plan and is pursuing runway asphalt rehabilitation.  Enplanements are down about 5-7%.




CDRPC is gearing up for extensive Census work.  CDRPC will work with CDTC staff on some of the initiatives.


CDTC Staff


CDTC staff is working on the Draft Metropolitan Planning Agreement. This is a brief agreement that defines the role of the NYSDOT and CDTA in the MPO process.  The roles outlined in the agreement are nothing new; the requirement for a written agreement is now required by the FTA.    This agreement will be available for Board review at the December 2009 Policy Board meeting.  Work on the NYSDOT/CDTC operations initiative will be handled during the TIP update.




Mary Ivey reported that Stan Gee asked NYSDOT to reach out to as many groups as they can to discuss the department’s core program and budget limitations.  The goal is to convey a message of dire need and urgency; and to garner support for additional funding.  Bob Hansen provided a PowerPoint presentation that summarizes the Department’s message.  A copy of the slides was distributed to members.  Bob delivered this presentation to local NYS Legislature representatives recently.  Bob described the region’s highway and bridge needs, and attendant funding shortfalls.  The department has been hit hard by inflation; inflation has totaled $2.2B over the past five years, which has decreased the number of projects that could be obligated.  Gas tax revenues have also declined, diminishing the Department’s budget further.  Bob provided some alarming statistics.  For instance, when a pavement rating goes from fair to poor, repair costs increase by 400%.  When a bridge sufficiency rating declines to below 50, weight and lane restrictions are often required, and in some cases, bridges are closed.


Members agreed that the presentation was an eye opener and should be widely disseminated. Some discussion ensued.  Some members feel that the public would vote for some sort of tax increase or fee, if they were aware of the dire condition that our state roads and bridges are in.




There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 4:50 pm.  The next meeting is scheduled for 3:00 pm, Thursday December 3, 2009.


Respectfully submitted,






Mary Ivey