OVERVIEW  OF  THE  UNIFIED  PLANNING  WORK  PROGRAM

 

 

The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) identifies transportation planning and programming activities which are to be undertaken in the Capital District during the upcoming year.  The intent of a comprehensive work plan is to coordinate all federally-funded transportation planning and transportation-related planning activities in the region.  Such planning activities are assisted by several federal sources of funding.  These include:

 

.     Federal Transit Administration (FTA):  Section 5303 (formerly Section 8) funds and Section 5307 (formerly Section 9) funds;

 

.     Federal Highway Administration (FHWA):  1% Planning (PL), Statewide Planning and Research (SPR) funds and Surface Transportation Program (STP), Congestion Mitigation / Air Quality (CMAQ) or other capital funds committed to planning efforts in the Transportation Improvement Program;  and,

 

.     Federal Aviation Administration (FAA):  Airport Improvement Program funds.

 

.     US Department of Energy funds supporting the Clean Communities Program    

 

It should be noted that NYSDOT has chosen not to report its Statewide Planning and Research (SPR) activities or its Statewide Transit Planning activities in the UPWP; these are documented separately. 

 

In addition to the required descriptions of tasks using federal funds, CDTC also describes contractual efforts with Albany County, Saratoga County and town of Colonie in the UPWP.  Further, CDTC's "Community and Transportation Linkage" Program has increased the amount of local commitment to coordinated regional / local, land use / transportation planning.  The 2002-03 UPWP reflects local cash totaling $137,500 to complement CDTC's commitment of federal funds to Linkage Program planning efforts and $100,000 in local contractual support of CDTC efforts..

 

Work efforts performed for each item listed in the UPWP is undertaken by the CDTC Staff, CDTC's participating agencies' staff, or by consultants.  The 2002-03 UPWP also includes over $437,500 in activities in support of and funded by the state's twelve MPOs. 

 

 

 

CDTC'S NEW VISIONS REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN

AND THE UNIFIED PLANNING WORK PROGRAM

 

The New Visions work grappled with long-term budgetary needs; generated twenty-five planning and investment principles and identified forty-three actions to assure a stable, balanced transportation system; and has raised the stakes regarding transportation and land use integration.  As a result of all this work, the CDTC cooperative planning effort in recent years has been directed by the broad vision of the plan.

 

A comprehensive analysis of 2030 issues will continue in the 2002-03.  In parallel, CDTC's Unified Planning Work Program continues to be directly explicitly by the New Visions recommendations.

 

The original New Visions plan in 1997 included forty-four specific recommendations for short-range planning efforts. The 2001-02 UPWP identified thirty-four recommendations that had been implemented in part or in whole by early 2000.  Six more were added to the list through work completed over the past year or reflected in the 2002-03 UPWP. 

 

The progress made in implementing the recommendations of the existing New Visions plan is a major source of encouragement and urgency apparent in the New Visions 2030 effort.

 

 

MAJOR THEMES

OF THE 2002-03 UPWP

 

New Visions 2030 and Quality Region Initiative

 

The effort toward developing a 2030 plan has continued over the past year.  The Travel Futures Task Force has continued to meet, reviewing traffic growth statistics, addressing issues of the varying needs of different segments of the travel market and exploring new approaches to dealing with the New Visions "risk assessment" requirement.

 

In February 2002, a new task force was launched to oversee a visioning exercise for the 2030 plan.  The effort implements the New Visions' recommendation for an update to the Capital District Regional Planning Commission's "Regional Development Plan".  Labeled the Quality Region Initiative, work will pick up intensity in the 2002-03 program year and material will be developed for public review and discussion by the end of the year.

 

The Finance Task Force will also reconvene in 2002-03 for critical aspects of the 2030 planning effort.

 

NY 5 Implementation

 

The NY 5 Land Use and Transportation Concept Plan was adopted by CDTC as a revision to the New Visions 2021 plan in October 2001.  During 2002-03, the Bus Rapid Transit / Street Design Committee will continue to meet to refine street section concepts and to help with the community-based planning of the NY 5 BRT system.  In addition, CDTC's zoning review project will be completed.  A broad-based NY5 Coalition will meet regularly to help facilitate implementation of study recommendations.

 

Linkage Program Year Three

 

The first two years of the Community and Transportation Linkage program have proven to be quite successful.  Several of the projects are already complete or nearly complete. 

 

The 2002-03 program will include ten new Linkage studies.  The new work represents approximately $380,000 in federal, state and local funding commitment to consultant work and CDTC staff support.  In February 2002, CDTC initiated a Community / Transportation Planning Group to coordinate these many efforts and comparable efforts funded outside the UPWP.

 

The range of Linkage projects reflects the commendable state of cooperative regional/local planning efforts.  Planning efforts include bike and pedestrian planning, urban neighborhood revitalization, suburban town center retrofitting, pre-development master planning for a major suburban area, urban truck / neighborhood compatibility planning , waterfront revitalization and intermodal center exploration. 

 

Rural issues, both for parking and pedestrian circulation in the Village of Hoosick Falls and historic Main Street planning in Charlton, are new to the Linkage program for 2002-03.  Other new initiatives for 2002-03 include examination of parking issues in the Mansion neighborhood of Albany; corridor development planning along US 9 & 20 in both Rensselaer and East Greenbush; pedestrian safety and circulation on NY 151 in East Greenbush; master planning in the Fort Hunter/Carman Road. area of Guilderland; corridor development planning along NY 67 in Ballston; a subarea study in the Weible Avenue / Gilbert Road. area of Saratoga Springs; and a Nott Terrace/Veeder Avenue conceptual streetscape plan in Schenectady.

 

Safety Initiative

 

The staff expects to progress a major safety initiative for 2002-03 in the area of safety.  CDTC has been working for the past several years with NYSDOT to develop a GIS-based crash data transfer process.  In parallel, the staff has been collecting data on "pedestrian friendliness" features, including inventory at 400 intersections; "red light running" data and "yield to pedestrian" data.

 

As soon as data permits, the effort will be modeled after the New Visions work, complementing significant technical evaluation of crash data with a task force approach.  Task forces will explore land use and highway design considerations, law enforcement practices, and safety education needs.  Work will be coordinated with local highway safety boards and others.  The schedule for this effort is still uncertain due to inconsistencies in the quality and timeliness of GIS-based crash data

 

Development of a New Regional Model

 

During 2001-02, CDTC purchased an advanced software package to allow CDTC to move from its TMODEL2-based modeling system.  Initial efforts with the new VISUM software are already underway.  During 2002-03, work will include refinement to geographic detail (900 zones) and initial work on a detailed transit model.

 

Transit System Exploration

 

The Transit Service Standards Study included as a CDTA lead activity is now considered a Transit Service Design Guidelines effort and will continue in 2002-03 with further refinements.  Modeling refinements will take place as part of the new model development.  A Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) development effort will occur as part of the NY 5 BRT / Street Design Committee work.  An effort to collect extensive baseline data on transit usage will be carried out in 2002-03.

 

Other Contractual Elements

 

The 2002-03 UPWP includes providing support to the NYS MPO Association ($125,000, using statewide pooled funds).  CDTC has also volunteered to hold the contract for a statewide effort to seek to educate stakeholders and demonstrate methods of integrating community design and transportation system design.  This contract will run $125,000; it is expected that a request for proposals will be published in March 2002.  CDTC will also hold the contract for a follow-up effort for training, pegged at $100,000 statewide.

 

The CDTC/NYSDOT Public Relations Training and Assistance Program ($50,000) has not been initiated yet, but discussions are focusing on holding two 40-person training workshops on context sensitive design/community involvement in 2002.  This budget will be rolled over into 2002-03. 

 

"Physical Implications of Available Long-Range Northway Options" (formerly referred to as the Pre-MIS Northway Study) has been deferred, pending the results of the I-87 Corridor Study (led by NYSDOT) funded through the FFY03 Transportation Appropriations Bill.  CDTC will participate in that study. 

 

Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Update

 

In late 2002, CDTC will initiate the development of the 2003-08 TIP.  Action on the TIP is scheduled for May 2003.

 

Ongoing and Follow-up Activities

 

Bike/ Pedestrian Planning:  The task force continues to meet monthly; the staff recently completed a regional trails map and will distribute 10,000 copies.  CDTC will continue to provide ample staff and financial support to these activities.  The task force will also participate in the New Visions 2030 "visioning" work.

 

Goods Movement:  The task force continues to meet and identify technical work.  Integration of the task force into the New Visions 2030 travel task force discussions will be an emphasis in 2002-03.

 

Arterial Management:  The staff will work with stakeholders in updating the New Visions arterial management tools, capacity guidelines and community compatibility indices.

 

Air Quality:  Work to help NYSDOT and NYSDEC pursue designation of the Capital District as a "maintenance area" will be included in the UPWP.

 

Greenways Contract:  CDTC will complete its small consultant effort with Greenways funds to identify ways of closing "gaps" in the bike trails in Albany County.

 

Clean Communities Planning:  CDTC will continue to facilitate work of the Capital District Clean Communities coalition, under contract to the NYS Energy Research & Development Authority and US Department of Energy.

 

REVEST, Champlain-Hudson International Trade Corridor:  These collaborative efforts will continue; the trade corridor work is now called the "Quebec - New York" Trade Corridor and the corridor coalition will be engaged in the I-87 planning effort.

 

TDM, Access Transit Support:  CDTC staff will continue to assist CDTA in both expanding the regional TDM/transit pass program and in developing the Access Transit brokerage.  The internet-based Commuter Register program will continue.  In 2001-02, CDTC and CDTA successfully completed a pilot TDM effort with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), providing financial incentives to employees at the new downtown work site to use transit.  In 2002-03, the success will be fully documented and new pilot programs sought.

 

Thruway Capacity Analysis:  CDTC staff will participate as a subcontractor in technical analysis of main line capacity issues on the New York State Thruway in the Capital District.  The study will examine options for a high speed EZ-Pass connection between the Northway and Thruway southbound among other subjects.

 

Statewide Activities:  The NYSMPO association plans to complete its statewide investigation of transportation financing needs in 2002-03.  Other candidate shared-cost projects include various staff training exercises, work on policy issues for the TEA-21 reauthorization discussions in Washington, and phase 2 of a statewide data collection development effort.

 

Other:  Major effort will continue to be devoted to data collection, support to Albany County and the Town of Colonie and expansion of CDTC's internet information services.  Support to CDRPC's GIS and RDP efforts will continue.