Policy Committee Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Mitchell Suprenant (Chair) Supervisor, Town of Fort Edward
Ralph Bentley (Vice Chair) Supervisor, Town of Horicon
Sam Zhou Regional Director, NYSDOT Region 1
Ed Bartholomew Community and Econ. Development Director, City of Glens Falls
Frank Bonafide Planning and Program Manager, NYSDOT Region 1
Wayne LaMothe Director, Warren County Planning
Nadine Lemmon Tri-State Transportation Campaign
Scott Sopczyk Director, GGFT
John Strough Deputy Supervisor, Town of Queensbury
Steven Sweeney Division Canal Engineer, NYS Canal Corporation
Jeff Tennyson Superintendent, Warren County DPW
1. Welcome and Introductions: Chairman Mitch Suprenant opened the meeting at 11:10.
2. Visitors Issues: Nadine Lemmon spoke to the committee on behalf of New Yorkers for Active
Transportation (NY4AT), a coalition of advocates for bicycle and pedestrian transportation
improvements. This group was established to inform project selection stemming from funding
flexibility created by MAP-21. Nadine has been reaching out to MPOs to request adequate
funding for bike/ped projects. The group also wants better performance measures that would
make it easier to quantify the benefits of bicycle and pedestrian modes. Nadine suggests that
when projects are selected for the TIP, that those with bike/ped features get extra points. She
also recommended that the Policy Committee members actively support bike/ped issues.
Nadine noted that there are opportunities in other funding sources, like the Highway Safety
Improvement Program (HSIP), which could be used to fund bike/ped projects. The NY4AT
group is lobbying for DOT to create a Surface Transportation Program (STP) set-aside for
bike/ped projects. Nadine also asked about Complete Streets policies in the region, and
whether the MPO has adopted a Complete Streets policy. NY4AT is able to draft policies for
adoption by other agencies if requested. Aaron responded that A/GFTC usually includes
bicycle/pedestrian facilities with all large projects; however, routine maintenance /
preservation projects, which will now make up the majority of projects on the TIP, do not
include bike/ped as a matter of course. Also, our understanding is that Transportation
Alternatives money can be transferred by NYS to routine preservation projects, which would
further decrease funding available for bike/ped. Nadine noted that the A/GFTC set-aside for
bike/ped projects (Make the Connection program) is a great model for other MPOs. Aaron
stated that he will take the concept of a Complete Streets policy to the Technical Advisory
Committee. John Strough stated that he would also report on the Complete Streets policy
idea to the Warren County Safe & Quality Bicycling Organization. Jeff Tennyson stated that
Adirondack / Glens Falls Transportation Council
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the County is largely in support of Complete Streets, but has not passed a specific policy
because it is difficult to make Complete Streets without complete funding.
3. Administrative Items –
A. Personnel update – Aaron noted that A/GFTC has hired a summer intern that will be starting
on May 29 to assist with the LRP, our GIS architecture, and other projects. The position is
temporary and anticipated to sunset in the fall.
B. Urban Area Boundary approval (Resolution 13-4) – Aaron recommended that Chairman
Suprenant call a quorum of affected parties to facilitate voting on the resolution. Although
Saratoga County was not represented at the table, there has been consistent participation
from the County at Technical Advisory Committee meetings. In addition, the proposed
changes to the UAB in Saratoga County are minor. USDOT requires that any changes to the
adjusted urban area boundary be approved by the Policy Committee. Adjusted urban area
boundaries are based on the Census-defined urban area and then adjusted to geographical
boundaries. Chairman Suprenant called a quorum.
Motion to adopt Resolution 13-4
Motion: Ed Bartholomew Second: Ralph Bentley Motion Carried
4. Completed and Ongoing Staff and Consultant Activities – Aaron reported on the following
Draft Crossing Guard location assessment for the City of Glens Falls Police Department has
been submitted for review.
Draft crash analyses were submitted to the TAC in late March. These studies were completed
for Washington County and for the Town of Moreau. A similar effort for Warren County will be
undertaken once traffic count data is made available to staff.
Consultant selection for the Exit 17 Transportation / Land Use study is underway. Seven
proposals were received and have been distributed to affected parties for review and rating.
Reviewers have been asked to send their recommendations in by next week. If anyone is
interested in participating, please contact Aaron.
A crash analysis for Bay Street and Sanford Street has been commenced, using the on-call
engineering agreement with Clough Harbor Associates. Staff and the consultant have met
with the Chief of Police to kick-off the project.
The Bicycle and Pedestrian connection improvements for the Crandall Park/Fire Road/YMCA/
Kensington School area is underway. Kate is working with a small steering committee and
Creighton Manning Engineering, and the first meeting will be at the end of May.
Long Range Plan update work is still underway. It is anticipated that the new assistant will
help with data collection and public outreach.
Coordinated Human Services Transportation Committee- Kate has developed a scope for an
online mobility management site, which would show all available transportation services
based on location and user needs. This committee is meeting this week. Ed Bartholomew
asked to have a copy of the data concerning the transportation providers, to be included in
the City’s Community Challenge project.
WCSQBO – Kate has been working with this group on a series of maps for kiosks along the
Warren County Bikeway and Feeder Canal Trail, as part of the group’s “Bike exit” sign effort.
Upstate APA conference – Kate will be speaking about the Warren County Bike Plan at an
upcoming conference in the fall.
Capital District Regional Economic Development Council – Staff have been involved in the
Infrastructure Workgroup meetings, which are intended to help align the priorities of the
CDEDRC with various infrastructure group priorities, including transportation.
5. Greater Glens Falls Transit Update (Scott Sopczyk) Scott briefed the committee on ongoing
transit capital and operating projects, noting that overall ridership during the previous
calendar year was another record high and has increased this year as well. Also noted was the
ongoing efforts to enable SUNY Adirondack students to use student IDs to access GGFT
services. Jeff Tennyson inquired about GGFT’s process for auctioning retired vehicles, noting
potential interest in shuttle operations in Warren County. Ralph Bentley stated that a private
operator had attempted to provide similar services but was unable to comply with increased
A. Project Updates (major developments since March 2013)
1) Warren County: Jeff Tennyson gave the following project updates:
Beach Road – the hardscape will be installed next week, and the plantings put in after
Hicks Road – PS&E has been submitted, with an anticipated June let date
Lanfear Road Bridge – the contract for painting/maintenance has been signed
Crane Mtn Road – PS&E has been submitted, and ROW clearance is needed
Blair Rd – Creighton Manning has been awarded the design contract for the project
Grist Mill Rd – This was an ARRA project that was left open because the County is in
the process of disputing FHWA chargeback for micropiles. FHWA had identified a
discrepancy in documentation required for the Buy America Act. Warren County
originally held back funds from the contractor, but then received correspondence from
FHWA that indicated it was acceptable for the project to move forward. Ten months
later, the FHWA reversed their previous approval, and have charged back $30,000.
Since ARRA funding expires in September, it is important that this issue be resolved
soon. Jeff noted that DOT Region 1 has gone above and beyond to help the County in
working to resolve this with FHWA.
2) Washington County: Aaron noted that Washington County provided a written update, which
will be sent around to the members via email.
3) Saratoga County: not present
4) NYSDOT: Frank Bonafide gave the following project updates:
Route 197 over the Hudson: August letting date for element-specific work
Route 4 over the Champlain Canal: This is a deck replacement and other element-
Route 4/149 intersection: Design Approval received last week, and an offer has been
made to the property owner. Anticipated October letting date
Route 196 over the Feeder Canal: April/May letting for element specific work
Frank also expanded on the FHWA recent efforts to tighten control of projects. Many
Regions are in mediation for projects, over tiny details. These must be closed out by
Ralph Bentley asked about the status of pavement repairs Route 8. Frank noted that it
is on the radar screen, probably for the next 1-2 years.
B. Amendments and Modifications – Aaron noted that the SRTS projects in Warrensburg and Fort
Edward were added to the program. He also noted that A/GFTC is expecting a request for
additional funding to the Make the Connection Program from the Town of Warrensburg. This
would offset cost increases to the SRTS project resulting from a change in federal policy
regarding use of in-kind services. Chairman Suprenant asked if this policy change would also
affect Fort Edward, who received SRTS funding as well. Kate replied that it is unlikely, but
that she could check and confirm that.
C. 2014-18 Transportation Improvement Program and 2013 Self-Certification
1) Aaron explained that Resolution 13-5 approving Self-Certification is required in conjunction
with the TIP; this document states that the MPO is following established federal policies and is
not engaged in programmatic discrimination.
Motion to approve resolution 13-5
Motion: LaMothe Second: Bartholomew Motion Carried
Aaron then summarized Resolution 13-6 to approve the TIP. The draft TIP was approved for
public comment by the TAC at its March meeting; public comment period has closed with no
comments received. The TIP is $91.319M, the smallest capital program since 1991. There is
about $45M in bridge and pavement preservation projects. There will be annual solicitations
for maintenance and repair projects starting in the 2nd year of the new program. There are
no major capital replacement projects beyond 2015 except for CR 113 over the Batten Kill.
Motion to approve resolution 13-6
Motion: Lamothe Second: Bartholomew Motion Carried
D. Update on STEP solicitation: Aaron reported that, after proposals were received for the
Statewide Transportation Enhancement Program, the Region and MPOs ranked the proposals
and submitted a short list to the Main Office. Since then, the MPO received a letter stating
that the list of projects submitted by each Region would not be awarded funds in the short
term, but would serve to inform future funding decisions in the future. The NYSMPO
Association has attempted to determine what has happened to the funding which was slated
for the program, but has not heard any clear answers. Sam Zhou noted that the Regional
Directors received the same letter at the same time. The Region’s inquiries have determined
that the current Main Office policy is that future funding levels are not as firm as previously
hoped; therefore, rather than build up false hopes, they have decided to delay awarding
funding for these projects. Frank noted that the Region understands full well how much work
goes into the solicitations and the proposals. He also reported that the previous Beyond
Preservation solicitation has been awarded. Of the 33 projects submitted by Region 1, funding
has been awarded for design-phase only for two projects, including the Rexford Bridge.
E. Transportation Enhancements Program: Aaron reported that program materials were sent out
to the committee members and call chief elected officials about a week ago. The funding
eligibility has been narrowed from 12 categories to 5, including bike/ped projects, rails to
trails, landscaping and beautification, scenic or historic highway corridors, and environmental
mitigation of highway runoff. DOT is requiring all potential sponsors to attend a Federal Aid
101 workshop and a Transportation Enhancements workshop. There will be a combined event
for both on June 11 at the Crandall Library. Sponsors that attended last year’s Federal Aid
101 workshop do not have to attend another one. Frank noted that there is also a workshop
being held in Albany, and that some workshops will be available as a webinar as well. The
application deadline is August 16; awards are listed for October. Regional awards are
anticipated to be in the $2-3 million range.
7. Other Items:
Steve Sweeney reported that he is retiring from the Canal Corporation and this is his last
Ed Bartholomew reported that noted expert Jeff Speck will be coming to Glens Falls on May
23, at 6:30 in the Queensbury Hotel, to give a talk about walkability issues.
John Strough reiterated the priority of the WCS&QBO to have the shoulders of Route 9L
repaired and widened. Sam noted that he had received a call from Betty Little and was
making plans to tour the roadway in the near future.
8. Next meeting is scheduled for November 20.
Motion to close the meeting
Motion: LaMothe Second: Sweeney Motion Carried Meeting adjourned at 12:20