Capital District                                                                                                     April 19, 2004

Transportation Committee                                                                                                           





DATE/TIME/PLACE: April 15, 2004, 3:30 PM; CDTC Offices


ATTENDANCE: Ken MacIntosh (Senator Clinton’s office); Dave Rettig (NYSDOT); Jack Reilly (CDTA); Sandy Misiewicz (CDTC); John Poorman (CDTC); Shelley Lang (CDTC).




·       The meeting record from the first Working Group C meeting held on March 18th was accepted.


·       Shelley Lang briefly reviewed four of the new candidate fact sheets and the following questions or comments were raised by the working group:

  1. State Route 91 Congestion Pricing, California

a.      Why did the Orange County Transportation Authority buy the express lanes back from the California Private Transportation Company?

b.     Why are they charging for HOV3+ vehicles now?

c.      How do they know how many people are traveling in each vehicle?

d.     How are they enforcing the tolls?  Are they using photo enforcement?

e.      The issue of HOT lanes in California potentially being a parallel case to what could be done on the Northway was raised.

f.       The fact that the HOT lanes were privately built is significant.

g.      Dave Rettig provided two articles to the group highlighting toll lane issues in the U.S.

  1. AirTrain JFK, New York City

a.      The AirTrain does not seem feasible for the Capital District, because there are not any locations within the Capital District that have the volumes of people that exist in New York City.

b.     A key constraint is the unit cost of such a system.

c.      To be feasible in the Capital District, a more affordable technology would have to be pursued and it would have to be a part of a larger package of projects (such as commuter rail).

  1. Metromover, Miami

a.      Overall this automated peoplemover has been unsuccessful in downtown Miami.

  1. Regional Freeway System Reconstruction Study, Southeastern Wisconsin

a.      This study gives us a reference point of what other states are considering for a reconstruction plan.

b.     The controversy over this plan was mostly within the City of Milwaukee.  The region negotiated with the City to resolve their issues in order to move the project forward as quickly as possible.


·       Sandy Misiewicz then briefly reviewed the following two new candidate fact sheets:

  1. Inner Harbor, Baltimore

a.      The focus on the Inner Harbor has resulted in the rest of the city being ignored with substantial deterioration.  A lot of other cities have also experienced this.

b.     There are plans to redevelop the waterfront in Albany and Rensselaer near the Dunn Memorial Bridge and north, and Fort Orange in South Albany.

c.      CEG has a multimedia presentation, which shows an animated version of the proposed redevelopment in place along the Hudson River including the Fort Orange proposal.

  1. FAST Corridor Program, Seattle/Tacoma/Everett area in Washington State

a.   This package of projects was planned to enhance freight movement in the Puget Sound area by rail, truck, and sea in order for a state heavily dependent on international trade to remain competitive in the global economy.  There is some transferability to the Capital District.


·       John Poorman went over a Draft report of his comparative analysis of long range regional transportation plans in fourteen metropolitan areas, including the Capital District. 


·       The conclusion that John reached from his research is that most of the metropolitan areas project fairly significant decline in highway service despite high highway and transit investment, except in San Diego, Seattle, and Pittsburgh.

·       Albany does not have the local revenue stream that these other metropolitan areas in other states experience.

·       Are these plans realistic?




·       Each group member needs to prioritize the candidate projects from ones with the most promise to those with the least promise.  Highest priority should be given to those for which additional exploration by CDTC staff may offer the greatest insight for possible “big ticket” projects or “big idea” initiatives for the Capital District.  Please email Shelley Lang ( with your prioritized list BY FRIDAY, MAY 7th so that we can compile the results for the next meeting on May 13th.

·       Each group member also needs to critically examine the draft comparative analysis of long range regional transportation plans.  We will go over the group’s reactions to the comparative analysis at the next meeting.


NEXT MEETING: Thursday, May 13, 2004 at 3:30 PM, at CDTC.