Meeting Minutes

December 4, 2008





Mark Evers, Town of North Greenbush

Steve Feeney, representing Susan Savage, Schenectady County

Michael Franchini, representing Mike Breslin, Albany County

Bruce Hidley, representing Mayor Michael Manning, City of

Charles Houghtaling, Albany County

Terry Hurley, Albany Port District Commission

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

Mayor Scott Johnson, City of Saratoga Springs

Joe Landry, Schenectady County

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

Joseph Rich, Federal Highway Administration

William Rinaldi, New York State Thruway Authority

William Roehr, representing Mayor Harry Tuntunjian, City of Troy

Brian Rowback, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Deirdre Rudolph, representing Mayor Gerald Jennings, City of

Debbie Shannon, representing Mike Stammel, Capital District
  Regional Planning Commission

Linda von der Heide, representing Kathleen Jimino, Rensselaer

Tom Werner, Saratoga County





Kevin DeLaughter, Town of Colonie

Michael Fleischer, NYS Thruway Authority

Bob Hansen, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Dave Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee

Michael Lyons, Town of Colonie

Kelly Mateja, Town of Colonie

Sandra Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee

Elizabeth Novak, NYS Thruway Authority

Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jill Ross, NYS Thruway Authority

Phil Serafino, representing William Rinaldi, NYS Thruway Authority

Ken Williams, Interested Citizen

Cathy Woodruf, Times Union




Chairman McDonald opened the Capital District Transportation Committee meeting at approximately 3:08 p.m. and welcomed those in attendance to the CDTC offices. Members and attendees then introduced themselves.





Chairman McDonald noted that this award is given in honor of Fred Field who served as CDTC’s Chairman for seven years. The award was established in 2003 and today is being presented to two individuals who best reflect Fred’s principles of fairness, responsibility, collaboration and innovation.  Chairman McDonald presented the 2008 awards to Bob Hansen, NYSDOT Region 1’s Acting Regional Planning and Program Manager and Kevin DeLaughter, Senior Planner with the Town of Colonie. 





September 4, 2008 Meeting Minutes


Members approved the September 4, 2008 meeting minutes as written.


Administrative & Financial Standing Subcommittee


The Administrative and Financial Standing Subcommittee met in early October and accepted the 2008 CDTC audit report.  No major issues were cited in the audit.  CDTC also signed an agreement with a consulting firm to provide actuarial services for GASB45 valuation of post retirement health care benefits. 


Appointment of Nominating Subcommittee


Brian Rowback, John Cunningham, Ray Melleady and Mike Stammel were appointed to the nominating subcommittee.





Ken Williams addressed the Board as a concerned citizen regarding CDTA’s proposed fare increase.  Mr. Williams stated that he is concerned with the higher fares and their impacts on Swiper Card holders.  He would also like CDTA to ensure that the service quality is improved with the fare increase. 





Michael Fleischer from the New York State Thruway Authority presented a PowerPoint on the Thruway Mobility and Modernization Study.  Cost increases have resulted in a decrease in the value of funds available to the Thruway and will decrease the projects delivered.  The study looked at the future of tolling on the Thruway and the alternatives available.  The study noted that 58% of frequent Thruway users (i.e. commuters) use E-Zpass while 84% of infrequent customers are using cash.  This indicates a need for continuation of a cash tolling option in the near term.  The study is looking at eliminating/reducing toll collection points and moving toll barriers to strategic locations on the Thruway mainline, possibly introducing free urban travel.  Policy Board members offered comments including the apparent conflict of trying to provide managed lanes while at the same time introducing free urban travel and it was noted that consideration should be given to congestion pricing. 





Joe Rich from the Federal Highway Administration presented a PowerPoint on the CDTC Certification Review findings.  He noted that CDTC continues to be an outstanding model of metropolitan planning.  It is unusual for MPO’s to have even three noteworthy best practices but CDTC has 12 best practices noted in the report.  Mr. Rich acknowledged CDTA’s successful hosting role and model collaboration efforts with CDTC.  The report identified several corrective actions and recommendations.  Chairman McDonald indicated that CDTC’s success is testimony to the strong partnerships that have been built through CDTC’s planning process and that the region is fortunate to have one of the best MPOs in the state.   





Safe Routes to School


Dave Jukins noted that four projects were selected for funding in CDTC’s planning area for the Safe Routes to School Program out of 11 applications.  They are the Bethlehem Orchard Street Ped Improvements (A504), Colonie Sand Creek Middle School Bike/Ped Program (A505), Shenendehowa Community Trails Network (SA248), and the Stillwater Route 4 Sidewalk Extension (SA249).  Although the first two projects could be added to the 2007-12 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) with Planning Committee action only, due to the higher cost of the second two (Shenendehowa and Stillwater) Policy Board action is required.  Members approved the amendment to add projects SA248 and SA249 to the TIP.



Saratoga Bus Garage Feasibility Study


Dave Jukins reported that CDTC received funds for a feasibility study of a bus garage in Saratoga County through Section 5309.  The project needs to be added to the 2007-2012 TIP.  Members approved the amendment to add this project to the TIP. 





Dave Jukins noted that the program update process has been bumpy thus far.  NYSDOT was forced into accelerating the program update outside of the normal MPO process which has resulted in the TIP update being behind schedule.  On the positive side, MPOs were invited to participate in the program presentations to the Commissioner for the first time and MPO concerns have been considered.  The core program will likely have a heavy focus on bridges as many have reached the end of their 50 year design life.  There is likely to be an overwhelming financial burden on the state if a strategy for rehabbing and reconstructing bridges is not put in place.  The TIP update process will be interesting as there are a number of challenging issues that need to be brought into the discussion. 





Capital District Regional Planning Commission


Deb Shannon reported that employment projections for the traffic analysis zones have been completed and are beginning to work on the case studies of local projects in the Capital Region. 


New York State Department of Transportation


Brian Rowback noted that due to the state’s budget bulletin, there are serious spending restrictions which limits what the Department can do right now.  It is a challenging time for NYSDOT.


Albany County Airport Authority


Steve Iachetta noted that the Airport is currently operating at a steady state despite slight reductions in flying and budget revenues.  About $4M in terminal improvements were recently completed.


Port of Albany


Terry Hurley reported that maritime business is strong and the Port is phasing the dock and wharf reconstruction. 



CDTC Staff


Dave Jukins reported that CDTC will continue to be working on the TIP update through the winter, that is up and running and that staff continues to work on Linkage Program studies.  A solicitation for new studies was recently completed and a funding recommendation will be brought to the Planning Committee in January 2009. 


Saratoga County


Tom Werner noted that Saratoga County’s annual Planning and Zoning Conference will be held on January 28, 2009 at the Saratoga Hilton.  Registration material is available on Saratoga County’s website and the conference is open to Planning and Zoning Board members throughout the Capital Region. 







The next meeting is scheduled for 3:00 pm, Thursday March 5, 2009 at the CDTC offices. 


There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 4:35 pm.


Respectfully submitted,





Brian O. Rowback