CDTC has its origins in the old Capital District Transportation Study (CDTS), set up in 1965 through agreements between New York State and the four Capital District counties (Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady) and the 78 municipalities in those counties. The CDTC is composed of elected and appointed officials from each of the four counties; from each of the eight cities in the four counties; from the Town of Colonie; the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT); the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA); the Capital District Regional Planning Commission (CDRPC); the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA); the Albany Port District Commission; the Albany International Airport; and at-large members representing the area's towns and villages. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) serve as advisory members.
While its initial mission was to develop a long-range transportation plan for the area, CDTC's current efforts are much broader. The CDTC sets its own agenda for planning activities, and with a small professional staff funded primarily with FHWA, FTA and county funds devoted to this purpose, and with the assistance of other member agencies, it investigates issues critical to the future of the Capital District. CDTC's planning efforts are intended to be action-oriented, answering questions such as: "How will the expectations and role of the transportation system be different in the year 2015 from what they are today? What type of future development pattern should be encouraged through strategic transportation investments? How can the transportation system be managed or improved to enhance the quality of life, protect the environment and sustain economic vitality in the region? What are the financial requirements to provide the desired system and how can they be secured?"
CDTC's planning approach can be characterized by two words: Stewardship and Vision. Stewardship refers to the responsibility of CDTC (collectively) to care for that which has been entrusted to us, including existing transportation facilities and services, public resources, personal resources that are impacted by transportation decisions (like safety, comfort, aggravation, and convenience, in addition to dollars and cents), and natural resources. Vision refers to the responsibility of CDTC to look to the long-range future of the area and make sure that the transportation system works then as well as now. The goals of the Capital District's residents, businesses and communities must be incorporated into our plans and programs. An awareness of problems to be averted and the development of innovative ways to achieve the region's goals are important to achieving and maintaining a quality of life here.
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