III.  PLAN APPRAISAL

 

TASK 3.77          New Visions 2030 / New Visions for a Quality Region

 

In 2000-01 CDTC completed the update to the regional transportation plan and adopted the New Visions 2021 Plan in October 2000.  The New Visions 2030 effort continued with a major emphasis on work of the Travel Task Force for the balance of the UPWP year., initiating serious investigation of the likely impact of major changes in demographics and technology expected in coming decades.  Using a 2030 planning horizon, a revised policy stance is expected to emerge from this work, allowing action on a 2030 plan in 2002 or 2003.  The Finance Task Force will also contribute to the New Visions 2030 effort.

 

The New Visions 2030 work will also explicitly draw from work conducted under the Management Systems, Infrastructure, Bike/Ped Planning, Freight and other tasks.

 

One element recommended in the 1997 plan and again in the New Visions 2021 Plan is the preparation of a "Regional Development Plan".  Over the past several years, both CDTC's New Visions efforts and CDRPC's efforts have laid down a solid foundation for this work.  In 2001-02, CDTC and CDRPC will jointly pursue a new initiative to develop "New Visions for a Quality Region".  This initiative will build from and expand the New Visions 2030 effort's planned  "Visioning Task Force" into the regional relationships between local development (its form and local orientation) and regional system issues (notably transportation). 

 

For 2001-02, the New Visions 2030 effort will be broadened and extended by the simultaneous pursuit of a New Visions for a Quality Region program.  The Quality Region program will be a two-year, joint CDTC/CDRPC effort to integrate several work efforts:

1.       CDTC's New Visions, New Visions 2021 and New Visions 2030 work

2.       CDRPC's GIS, Regional Profile, Suburban Development Review and Urban Development Review work.

3.       Linkage Program and other community-based efforts to reorganize local development patterns to foster a "sense of place", livability, economic health and transportation efficiency.

4.       Work by the Governor's task force on Quality Communities, and the products of  that statewide effort.

 

In 2001-02, CDTC and CDRPC will work with a "Visioning" task force to help weave these work efforts into a compatible statement of the context and issues related to the Capital District's long-range future.  The objective of the task force will be to articulate (much in the manner of the New Visions workbook and other outreach activities of 1995-96) the choices facing the region.  Approximately one year of outreach effort and numerous community-level visioning sessions will solicit public perspective.  This will culminate in appropriate revisions to CDTC's planning and investment principles and other planning guidelines to help direct both regional and local economic development, land use and transportation system activities.

 

In conjunction, the NYS MPO Association is hopeful that it will be able to initiate the planned shared cost study of the expected impacts on travel of demographic and technology changes.  A total of $100,000 is committed to this cooperative effort, and the interest of other MPOs from other states in adding to this total is being explored through the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO).

 

TASK 3.01          Safety and Congestion Management Systems

 

This task contains effort related to CDTC's regional Safety Management System (SMS). In 2000-01, new coordinate conversion processes were developed by CDTC and NYSDOT.  This allowed work on crash history analysis, starting with bicycle and pedestrian crash histories in Albany County. 

 

In 2001-02, CDTC will be undertaking a major staff effort regarding safety, which was identified as an important initiative in the New Visions long-range regional transportation plan.  The plan calls for the development of a regional Safety Management System (SMS).  It is meant to go beyond the traditional approach of identifying high motor vehicle crash locations by looking at pedestrian and bicycle crashes, the role that site design and roadway characteristics play in crashes, and ways to improve the safety of all road users.

 

The approach for the safety effort will be modeled after the development of the New Visions plan.  A Safety Advisory Committee will be created with representatives from each county, various federal, state, and regional agencies (including CDTA, NYSDOH, NYSDOT, and NYSDMV), the region's business community, neighborhood groups, and the police departments.  The committee will oversee and guide the safety management effort and will assist CDTC staff and the Planning Committee on the development of the work program.  Members of the advisory committee will also participate in a small number of task forces, which will focus on important issues identified by the advisory committee for further study.  CDTC staff responsibility will primarily be in the areas of research, data collection, and coordination of the task forces and advisory committee.  The task forces will develop products that provide guidance on project development and other issues related to safety.

 

In the context of the New Visions 2030 exercise, CDTC will revise its CMS principles and its articulation of critical congestion corridors.  CDTC and NYSDOT will work together to try to develop procedures for the "tradeoff analysis" specified in CDTC's congestion management principles.  The tradeoff analysis is required in considering capacity aspects of highway projects, particularly infrastructure reconstruction projects.  CDTC also remains committed to examining the actual congestion relief benefits achieved from CMS projects; much of this work, however, will need to wait until such projects as Albany-Shaker Rd. are implemented in coming years.

 

TASK 3.02          Air Quality Planning

 

New York State has requested reclassification of the Capital District as a "Maintenance Area" for Ozone.  CDTC will assist with any documentation of air quality plans required for the US Environmental Protection Agency to concur with this request.

 

Work in 2001-02 will include completion of air quality conformity determination for the 2001-06 TIP and New Visions 2030 plan.  CDTC will also respond to any change in air quality attainment status that results from EPA's adoption of revised eight-hour standards. 

 


TASK 3.05          Infrastructure Planning

 

The New Visions 2030 outline triggers the need to review long-range state and local infrastructure financing.  Staff activity will include examination of the components of recently-experienced increased unit costs for infrastructure work and estimation of the long-range fiscal impacts of these higher costs.

 

TASK 3.06          Goods Movement Planning

 

During 2000-2001, quarterly task force meetings continued under CDTC sponsorship.  These have been successful in engaging the freight community in a continuing fashion on regional issues, TIP development and the New Visions planning. 

 

Regular meetings will continue in 2001-02, including a particular focus on contribution to the New Visions 2030 effort. 

 

TASK 3.09          Physical Implications of Available Long-Range Northway Options (formerly called the Northway "Pre-MIS")

 

This is a strategic activity using consultant assistance, at a $100,000 budget. Without compromising the ability for NYSDOT to complete the design of the Exit 3 / Exit 4 interchange project, this contractual study will be directed to clearly define the physical requirements of specified service alternatives (e.g., " one EZ-Pass lane in each direction with access below Exit 8, at Exit 7 and Exit 1").

 

 

TASK 3.10       I-87 / Champlain-Hudson Trade Corridor Planning

 

During 2001-02, CDTC and its partners will review the previously-documented overall trade corridor and border crossing development strategy and the "S/E/T" corridor plan describing current plans and multi-modal transportation commitments between Albany County and the Canadian border.  The plan totals nearly $1 billion, the majority of which is committed in current five-year programs.  Priorities for pursuit of Border Crossing Initiative /  National Corridors Program funding will be reviewed and modified.  Coalition meetings will continue; new funding applications submitted; and revised documents will be produced if appropriate.

 

TASK 3.11       REVEST

 

The second edition of the REVEST document was published in April 2001 and the REVEST working group continued to meet during the year.  Progress toward implementation of the REVEST initiative continues, with additional funding secured during the year for the Rensselaer Amtrak station and Scenic Train elements.  The Governor's budget submission for 2001-02 includes additional funding to help the Commuter Rail demo and the Schenectady Amtrak station projects.

 

During 2001-02, the REVEST working group will continue to meet to monitor and help guide the pursuit of the various REVEST elements.

 

TASK 3.12       Transit Service Standards Study

 

This effort will be conducted as a CDTC project using CDTC, CDTA and CDRPC staff resources as well as modest consultant use.  The effort will seek to provide guidelines for appropriate transit treatment throughout the region, based upon development densities, corridor orientation and available funding.  The study will build upon the core route rescheduling effort to provide the basis for CDTA's operations plan in coming years.  The Transit Futures Task Force from the New Visions effort will be reactivated to assist CDTA and CDTC with the long-range direction for this effort.

 

Due to CDTA's heavy work load in 2000-01, this task will roll over into 2001-02.

 

TASK 3.86          Continuous Aviation System Planning Project (CASPP)

 

2001-02 activity by CDRPC will include an economic impact analyses for the Albany International Airport and the Schenectady County Airport.