OF THE 2006-08 UPWP


Key Direction


The concept of adopting a two-year UPWP was proposed for 2006-08 to allow UPWP development and TIP development to occur in alternating two-year cycles.  (UPWP development this winter, TIP development next winter, etc.).  SAFETEA-LU resolved the question of planning resources by providing CDTC a modest increase in funding.  This will allow CDTC to maintain an overall effort at roughly the same magnitude as in recent years.


There are few downsides to moving to a two-year UPWP.  Many of CDTC’s activities are ongoing and the UPWP description differs little from year to year.  Some activities, such as the Linkage program, would remain on an annual cycle and second-year Linkage programming and other changes would be treated as UPWP amendments when necessary.


The past year’s work effort (2005-06) has emphasized the following:


  • Completion of major technical effort regarding New Visions 2030 subjects by five working groups
  • 2005-10 TIP development and Air Quality Conformity determination of the TIP and Plan using the new 8-hour ozone standards.
  • Work on fourteen Linkage studies and related local planning activities.
  • Participation in and tracking of TEA-21 Reauthorization, NYSDOT Transformation and NYSDOT Master Plan development
  • Work on Transit Development Plan efforts
  • Completion of the Bus Rapid Transit Concept Study
  • Substantial data work with pavement condition, pedestrian treatment and bike LOS inventories and initiation of a regional off-state safety management system.
  • Completion (on behalf of NY’s MPOs) of the Colloquy on the Coming Transformation of Travel and the statewide Integrated Community and Transportation Design Study


For the coming two-year period, many efforts will continue and emphasis will shift slightly to:


  • Cooperative completion of a CDTC/CDRPC/CEG/SUNYA fiscal assessment of alternative growth scenarios
  • Completion of the Transit Development Plan
  • Completion of the New Visions 2030 update after extensive public dialogue
  • Review of SAFTEA-LU requirements and development of a consensus approach to deal with public participation, agency outreach, TIP and plan cycles and other issues
  • Adoption of a new public participation policy
  • Development of a new 2007-12 TIP (assuming that NY stays on a two-year cycle)
  • Solicitation and programming of a fourth round of Spot Improvements
  • Solicitation and programming of a new round of Enhancement projects
  • Initiation of a 2035 or 2040 New Visions process aligned with SAFETEA-LU requirements
  • Initiation of fifteen or more new Linkage studies, selected through two annual solicitation processes
  • Completion of the regional Safety Management System
  • A shift of freight activities to an annual workshop/conference
  • Extensive technical work ranging from traffic data, pavement condition data, trail users data, updates to the regional travel model, refinement of Commuter Register matching, and continued GEIS mitigation fee calculations


Highlights of the draft program are provided below.  The full UPWP agenda continues to be ambitious and demanding, particularly with the major work on New Visions 2030.


New Visions


CDTC gained some schedule latitude due to the August 2004 adoption of the New Visions 2025 amendment.  Over the past year, work by the five working groups has been completed and discussion documents are on CDTC’s website.  Next steps include circulating a summary document of this material, working through various means to add detail to the hypothetical big idea / big ticket initiatives from Working Group C, and updating CDTC’s estimates of resource availability and unit costs.  The detailed assessment of fiscal impacts of alternative growth scenarios will be conducted on a parallel track but may be able to dovetail with New Visions 2030 prior to its completion.  A late 2006 adoption of the New Visions 2030 plan is expected.


While the New Visions 2035 or 2040 effort will be the first to fully reflect SAFETEA-LU requirements for early participation of outside resource agencies (NYSDEC, EPA, SHPO, etc.), CDTC will make efforts to bring the New Visions 2030 work into compliance with SAFETEA-LU to the extent possible.


Linkage Program Years Six, Seven and Eight


Over 40 Linkage studies have been initiated to date in 26 municipalities, making CDTC’s integrated transportation – land use / regional – local planning program one of the most extensive in the nation.  The CDTC Planning Committee selected nine of fifteen submissions for inclusion in the 2006-07 budget.  Including staff administration and technical work and technical participation by CDRPC staff, the new projects represent a commitment of over $500,000 in federal funds and over $260,000 in state, regional and local cash and in-kind services.   September 2007 solicitation will identify additional Linkage studies for the 2008-10 UPWP.  As part of the Linkage effort CDTC will review the progress of completed Linkage studies in terms of implementation and document any issues, concerns or success stories.  Particular attention will be given to the studies funded in the early days (2000 and 2001).  CDTC will document if a study has not moved forward, why not, and are there opportunities to get the ideas back on the table.


NYSDOT Transformation, Master Plan and CDTC’s Prospectus


A year ago, it was expected that NYSDOT Transformation would necessitate a modification to the CDTC’s Prospectus.  At present, there do not appear to be any major changes in NYSDOT’s participation or roles in CDTC’s process on the horizon.  A Prospectus update will finally take place with the effort more one of documenting all the existing roles, procedures, policies and practices in one place than one of defining new sets of responsibilities.




CDTC plans to initiate development of the 2007-12 in September 2006.  Under new federal law, the STIP will cover four (rather than three) years and must be updated at least every four (rather than two) years.  CDTC has a strong interest in continuing on a two-year TIP cycle to maintain credibility of the TIP.  Agreements with NYSDOT on a statewide basis are needed for this.  A four-year STIP coverage will also trigger a modification of CDTC’s existing policies which draw a distinction between the first three and last two years of the five-year TIP.  The new TIP will need to comply with requirements of SAFETEA-LU.


A fourth round of Spot Improvement Program projects will be solicited in the spring of 2006.  At some point in 2006, it is expected that NYSDOT will initiate a statewide solicitation for Transportation Enhancement Program projects – probably for two or three years’ worth of funds.  CDTC expects to do the solicitation locally and prioritize submissions as in the past.


Safety Initiative


The schedule for this work remains uncertain, due to continue difficulties with timely access to crash data.  CDTC staff has initiated a pilot effort at looking at local-system crash data on a systemic basis, beginning with Rensselaer County.  NYSDOT has been exploring ways of facilitating CDTC staff access to NYSDOT’s internal crash information systems for the past year.  Recently, data streams are beginning to work and CDTC staff has begun the technical work on the Rensselaer County data.  The effort will be extended to all four counties and integrated with NYSDOT’s state system analysis during the two-year period.  A major staff commitment may be needed to achieve this goal.


Operations Planning


For 2005-06, CDTC and NYSDOT agreed to jointly explore an ongoing regional operations committee and identify the potential scope of CMAQ-based regional initiatives to improve the quality of operations and inter-agency coordination.  Early meetings are expected before April 2006, and the committee will be in full swing through the two-year UPWP period.




The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) concept design study is complete.  The follow-up detailed design study will be initiated shortly.  CDTA has also successfully implemented its simplified fare structure.


The overall Transit Development Program (TDP) is well underway with coordinated work by CDTA, CDTC, CDRPC and consultants.  CDTA adopted TDP principles in 2005 and is working on defining future fleet needs.  Service concepts and fleet requirements should be completed in 2006


SAFETEA-LU also revises responsibilities for CDTC in the areas of Jobs Access / Reverse Commuting and similar services.  NYSDOT has the lead in a second phase of United We Ride efforts in Albany County.


STEP Model Upgrade 


The conversion from TMODEL2 to VISUM continues successfully.  Highway networks for a new 900-zone system established for the 2000 Census has been coded into VISUM.  2001 NHTS and 2000 Census data are being examined to confirm trip rates and trip lengths; indications are that underlying travel behavior (adjusted by socio-economic characteristics) has not changed substantially since CDTC’s 1983 home interview survey, lessening the urgency of conversion.  Conversion to VISUM will continue in two tracks – one as a continued refinement of the peak-hour based STEP model and one as an exploration of a multi-hour, trip chain model.  The latter will not replace the peak-hour model until all calibration and validation is completed – during the coming two-year period.


CDTC continues to gain experience with the micro-simulation tool, VISSIM.  The East Greenbush US 4 Linkage study was the first Linkage study to use the products of VISSIM modeling.  Recent consultant work for NYSDOT demonstrating a high-end visualization application of VISSIM will be pursued for CDTC use in helping meet SAFETEA-LU requirements for visualization tools.


Bike and Pedestrian Planning


CDTC will publish an updated regional trails map in 2006.  A major survey effort of users and property owners will be an effort in 2006, as well.  The survey will cover the Mohawk-Hudson trail and others as a repeat and expansion of the earlier survey.  An effort to capture trip purpose for users will be made for use in future market assessment.


Goods Movement


CDTC has maintained a Goods Movement Task Force for a decade, meeting quarterly in recent years.  In the coming year, CDTC will explore moving to an annual event – a conference or workshop on emerging issues.


Other Contractual Elements


In 2005-06, CDTC will continue to host the statewide MPO association staff contract at approximately $120,000.   CDTC will hold the $100,000 contract for the second phase of a statewide effort to seek to educate stakeholders and demonstrate methods of integrating community design and transportation system design.   Additionally, CDTC will hold the contract for a statewide study of analytical methods for bicycle and pedestrian treatments, with the goal of establishing statewide practice.


Other Ongoing and Follow-up Activities


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 system.  In the new UPWP, CDTC will explore formal matching software for the Commuter Register and seek greater awareness of the program as part of an energy contingency planning process.


Pavement Inventory:  The 2006 survey will include the 100% sample of Albany County roads, under contract.  Data bases will be fully moved to a GIS basis.  Inventory processes will be shifted to a GPS-based data collection system during the two-year UPWP period.


Traffic Volume Report:  A thorough update of the web-based traffic information is planned.


Clean Communities Program:  CDTC is the only MPO in New York to directly host the Clean Communities Program in its region.  This effort will continue.


I-87, Thruway Capacity, High Speed Rail Studies:  Further work on these subjects will be dovetailed into CDTC’s policies and plans.  Particular areas that need careful treatment relative to existing CDTC policy are concepts for widening the Thruway mainline between Exit 24 and 25 and any commuter rail concepts emerging from the High Speed Rail study.


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







The 2006-08 UPWP involves a significant commitment of financial resources for activities by NYSDOT, CDRPC, CDTA, and the CDTC Staff.

Fund Source Federal State Local Total
FHWA % Metropolitan Planning (PL) $3,589,696 365,771 31,666 2,238,217
STP Project Development tasks in UPWP 130,000 32,500 0- 162,500
CMAQ 932,000 46,500 116,500 1,095,000
2005-06 FTA Section 5303 50,000 9,375 3,125 62,500
2006-08 FTA Section 5303  284,515 53,347 17,782 355,644
New FTA Section 5307 240,000 30,000 30,000 300,000
Albany County & Town of Colonie 60,000 60,000
Municipal Linkage Funding 268,250 268,250
Federal Aviation Administration 5,000 1,667 6,667
Total $3,482,295 $537,493 $528,993 $4,548,778



Table represents actual effort.  Financial tables (see Appendix A) use some Albany County, Town of Colonie and Linkage cash match to supplement the local PL amount shown above to meet CDTC’s local match requirements.  FHWA PL funds have been increased by using carryover funds and unexpended balances from prior years.  A total of $330,000 of the PL amount represents funds pooled by the thirteen MPOs in New York to fund shared cost initiatives led by CDTC.


The nearly $400,000 in local cash participation in CDTC’s activities demonstrates the local value of the work effort.  This level of local cash participation in MPO planning activities is unparalleled in New York.