Capital District                                                                                              December 29, 2004

Transportation Committee                                                                                                           





DATE/TIME/PLACE: November 4, 2004, 2:30 PM; CDTC Offices


ATTENDANCE: Ralph Pascale (City of Cohoes); Bob Phillips (Saratoga County); Jack Reilly (CDTA); Dave Rettig (NYSDOT); Sandy Misiewicz (CDTC); John Poorman (CDTC).




The working group continued its review of the fact sheets that began at the previous meeting with particular focus on the Raleigh Durham Regional Transit Plan/Regional Rail Project.  Some of the themes that began to arise from the discussion of all the fact sheets include that the need for champions is vital, particularly elected officials.  Nearly all of the projects had someone that really pushed the initiative forward and made it happen.  Also, all of the regions reviewed in the fact sheets were facing much greater growth pressures than the Capital District faces.  Rapid growth can create the urgency for implementing big ideas.  And finally, in many circumstances, the efforts to pursue big ideas were part of a public policy choice.  Although many of the circumstances of other regions are not currently present in the Capital District, CDTC needs to play out the future long term scenario if things change.  Change would trigger the “what if” thought pattern and our work could lay the groundwork for that thought pattern. 


The discussion then turned to how this information might be presented to the public.  There was concern from the working group that CDTC present these big ideas in a way that is credible and does not damage CDTC’s reputation.  It was thought by the group that we need to be honest about what the big ticket items could mean in the Capital District.   Although it is hard to envision doing these kinds of projects under current circumstances, if the rate of growth increases things could change to make these big ideas more realistic.  For the public, it was decided to offer two scenarios: one would focus on the fact that here is where we are and that we need to meet existing needs and commitments and the second could pursue these big ticket ideas if the circumstances allowed them to be realistic.  The Albany Airport and the train stations could be examples. 


NEXT STEPS: CDTC staff will create a draft report for the working group summarizing all the work completed to date and what this means for the Capital District.  A working group meeting will be scheduled once members have had the opportunity to review and digest the material in the draft report.