GTC Planning Committee - Minutes

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Chili Town Hall

January 17, 2002


James Brady, Wayne County Highway Department

Joan Dupont, NYS Department of Transportation Region 4

Angela Ellis, Ontario County Department of Planning and Research

Steve Hendershott, Monroe County Supervisors Association

Paul Howard, Genesee-Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council (Chairman)

Terrence J. Rice, Monroe County DOT

Thomas Skoglund, Wyoming County Planning Department

George Stam, City of Rochester

David Woods, Livingston County Planning Department


David Cook, representing Don Riley, RGRTA

John Czamanske representing David Hartman, Yates County

Richard Garrabrant, representing William Leslie, NYS Thruway Authority

Paul Johnson, representing Rocco DiGiovanni, Monroe County Planning

Scott Leathersich, Monroe County DOT

Sharon Lilla, Wayne County Planning Department


Steve Beauvais, NYSDOT Region 4

Kristin Bennett, GTC Staff

Charlene Berry-Pickering, Town of Victor

Stuart Brown, Stuart Brown Associates

Mike Dollard, Town of Victor

Deborah Elliott, GTC Staff

Erik Frisch, GTC Staff

Steve Gleason, GTC Staff

Marvin Kleinberg, NYSDOT Region 4

Brian Lakeman, GTC Staff

Jack Richter, Town of Victor

Thomas P. Sheehan, NYS Canal Corporation

Rob Slaver, Jr., NYSDOT Region 4

Lisa Smith, GTC Staff

Kathy Spencer, Stuart Brown Associates

James Stack, GTC Staff

Phil Swanson, Town of Avon


John Accorso, City of Rochester

S. William Baker, US EPA

Philip Brito, FAA

Glenn Cooke, Seneca County

Donald Cooley, Orleans County

Stephen Ferranti, Member-At-Large, Monroe County

Glenn Guarino, Member-At-Large, Monroe County

Timothy Hens, Genesee County

John T. Hicks, NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Jonathan McDade, FHWA

William Smith, Monroe County Legislator

Larry Stid, City of Rochester

William Sullivan, Chief Legislative Assistant, City of Rochester

Clara Wallace-Douglas, FTA

(Vacant), Empire State Development

(Vacant), Member-At-Large, City of Rochester

1. Call to Order

Paul Howard called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m.

2.                 Public Forum

No public comment was offered.

3.                 Approval of Minutes

Terry Rice made a motion for approval of the minutes from the November 29, 2001 Planning Committee meeting; Richard Garrabrant seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.

Subsequent to approval of the minutes, Terry Rice identified the following additions:

        (Page 5, item d) NYSDOT and Monroe County expressed concerns during their review of the Inner Loop Study. The City agreed to address those concerns in the scope of work for the Preliminary Engineering phase of the project

        (Page 6, item 5c) A public meeting has been scheduled for the Mount Read Boulevard and English Road Intersection project which may result in scope changes based on public comments

4.                 Reports and Action on Old Business

a.       GTC Staff and Committee Reports

Steve Gleason reported on GTC Staff and Committee activities:

        Erik Frisch has joined the GTC staff as an Assistant Program Manager. Erik is completing his Masters Degree in Urban Planning at the University at Buffalo. His duties will include GIS, traffic modeling, and web site development and maintenance

        Jim Stack will be assuming Chris Downings position as Assistant Director while retaining responsibility for the TIP and UPWP

        Rich Perrin will be joining the GTC staff on January 21as Program Manager of Regional Development. Richs responsibilities will include long range planning, economic development, and goods movement issues

        GTC staff has been busy developing the UPWP and assisting NYSDOT in scoring the Transportation Enhancements Program applications

        Six public meetings were held for the Regional Trails Initiative in November and December. The consultant (Alta Transportation Consulting) is currently developing an interim report and draft recommendations

        The Rochester Amtrak Station Revitalization Study steering committee held its fourth meeting on January 16. The committee reviewed station alternatives and public comments. Steve noted the proposed Downtown Transit Centers Mortimer Street location was taken as a given when the station alternatives were developed. The consultant (Bergmann Associates) is developing the recommended alternative now

        The Gateway Park Road Plan study in Livonia is moving along nicely. A final report and Resolution will likely be presented at the February Planning Committee meeting

        The steering committee for Seneca County Transportation Study met January 14 to consider transit management options. The committee will meet again on February 4 to develop a recommendation for the Seneca County Board of Supervisors

        GTC staff is working on refining and consolidating performance measures for the Congestion Management System

        The Livingston County Access Management Case Studies are nearing completion. Presentations will be made to the Mount Morris Town Board (January 17), Avon Village Board (February 4), and to the Avon and Geneseo Town Boards (February 14). A final report and Resolution will be presented at the February Planning Committee meeting

b.      Participating Agency Reports


NYS Thruway Authority

Richard Garrabrant had nothing to report

Wyoming County

Thomas Skoglund had nothing to report


David Cook reported:

        The Genesee County Transportation Strategic Plan will be presented to the Genesee County Legislature on January 23

        Stuart Brown Associates has been selected to provide consulting services for the Wayne and Wyoming County Public Transportation Strategic Plans

        The Fare Structure and Circulator Route Studies have been completed

Monroe County

Terry Rice reported:

        A public meeting for the Elmwood Avenue reconstruction project will be held on January 31

        Staff is to move into the new RTOC (Regional Traffic Operations Center, formerly known as the A/TOC) in early February

        The County Highway Superintendents Association has completed the Local Design Services Agreement (LDSA). Fifteen consultants are listed in the LDSA

Paul Johnson reported:

        The surveys are out to municipalities for the Monroe County Land Use Monitoring project. The project should be completed in March

City of Rochester

George Stam reported:

        The City will receive an award from the American Public Works Association for the reconstruction of the Ford Street Bridge

        The Lake Avenue reconstruction project is continuing

        Site preparation work for the Port of Rochester project is complete. The recent CSX train derailment on River Street will likely have a negative impact on the project

        Design work for the reconstruction of the Elmwood Avenue Bridge over the Genesee River is nearing completion

        The study phase of the Center City Wayfinding Signage Study project is completed.

        The Inner Loop Phase 1 project is complete. The City is developing the scope of work for the Preliminary Engineering phase of the project

Monroe County Association of Town Supervisors

Steve Hendershott had nothing to report

Livingston County

David Woods reported:

        The Triphammer Road Bridge (a plastic bridge) has been installed and is open to traffic

        The steering committee formed to work with RGRTA on implementation of the Livingston County Transportation Strategic Plan recommendations is progressing its efforts

Ontario County

Angela Ellis reported:

        A CATS Bus System Study meeting will be held in February to discuss findings and recommendations

        Ontario County is in deliberation with FTA about the Countys proposed joint transit/ highway department facility. The County would like to progress the project soon

Wayne County

Sharon Lilla reported:

        A recommendation for a consultant to design the proposed Lyons Amtrak Station will be presented to the County Board of Supervisors on January 22. A ridership survey is also being prepared concurrently

Jim Brady reported:

        The new Maple Avenue Bridge in Palmyra reopened to traffic on December 21

        The Bear Creek Bridge reconstruction project is proceeding. Property acquisition is being completed at this time; the project will be put out to bid in February

Yates County

John Czamanske had nothing to report. Steve Gleason noted that GTC staff has developed a scope for the Route 14A Corridor Study that GTC staff will be forwarding to NYSDOT-Region 6 staff for comment


Paul Howard distributed a report summarizing GFLRPCs progress on UPWP projects. He also reported:

        A Regional Tourism Signage Study meeting was held on January 16 with representatives from area Tourism Promotion Agencies, NYSDOT, the City of Rochester, Greater Rochester Visitors Association, and GTC. A draft report will be completed in February

        Paul recently met with the Federal Aviation Administration to discuss the economic and security impacts of the September 11th attacks on general aviation airports

c.       Any Other Old Business or Announcements

GTC distributed the 2002 GTC Board and Planning Committee meeting calendar.

5. Planning Committee Action Items

a.       Approval of Draft 2001-2002 Transportation Enhancements Program (TEP) Project Priority List for 30-Day Public Review (NYSDOT & GTC Staff)

Steve Gleason presented a brief explanation of the Transportation Enhancements Program. He noted that nineteen applications were received (one was subsequently withdrawn). Steve Beauvais (NYSDOT) and Kristin Bennett (GTC) scored the remaining 18 eligible projects according to criteria developed by NYSDOT-Main Office. He stated the Planning Committee was being asked to approve the Project Priority List for a 30-day public review (January 21 February 20, 2002).

Joan Dupont noted that NYSDOT-Region 4 and GTC sponsored two informational workshops this summer to assist potential applicants. Applicants were also given the opportunity to have drafts of their applications reviewed by Steve Beauvais and Kristin Bennett. She noted that the ratings were close because there were many strong applications. Joan also reminded the Committee that the regions rankings are only advisory in nature. The state-level Transportation Enhancement Advisory Committee (TEAC) will make the final decisions about which projects receive TEP funding.

Paul Howard questioned whether the highest-ranked applications were geographically balanced. He noted that the State committee might take this into consideration.

Terry Rice asked how much money was available for TEP projects in our region. Steve Gleason and Joan Dupont noted that NYSDOT-Main Office will not provide an estimate or a specific allocation to the regions.

George Stam expressed concern that the proposal rankings do not reflect the needs of the more densely populated communities in the metropolitan area. Joan Dupont suggested that the Committee consider the geographic spread of funding since the program began. She noted that projects in Monroe County have received 54% of the available TEP funding in the past.

George Stam stated that the ranking criteria do not adequately consider the number of people who would benefit from a proposed project. Paul Howard added that there should be some assessment of population served. Kristin Bennett noted that not all of the applications contain information or analysis on the size of or impact on the population to be served. Joan Dupont added that the ratings were based on the information that was provided in the applications.

Tom Skoglund stated that it can be difficult for rural counties to even develop projects to be submitted. John Czamanske asked if additional planning assistance could be provided to the rural counties to help develop possible projects. Joan noted that a second phase of Regional Trails Initiative has been proposed for the 2002-2003 UPWP to cover all the non-TMA counties. This project may help rural areas of the region develop trail-oriented projects.

Sharon Lilla noted that all potential applicants received a tremendous amount of technical assistance from NYSDOT and GTC staff during the TEP process. She added that she felt the evaluation criteria was applied evenly to the applications and that it is incumbent upon applicants to respond to the criteria. Steve Beauvais reiterated that this is an extremely competitive program with the region typically getting funding for 1 out of every 7 projects submitted.

Paul Howard asked whether applicants could make changes to their applications during the 30-day review period. Steve Beauvais replied that they could. Steve Gleason noted that applicants could only make design-related adjustments to their original applications, not scoping adjustments.

David Cook asked whether the GTC region has a representative on the TEAC. Joan Dupont responded that she is unsure who is on the committee but will inquire.

George Stam noted that the City has a few questions about how the applications were rated. They will raise these questions with NYSDOT and GTC staff during the 30-day review period. Joan stated that if any applicant wants to review their projects evaluation, NYSDOT and GTC staff would meet with them upon request.

Steve Gleason noted that the 30-day public review period would begin on January 21 and run through February 20. All public comments received will be presented at the February 21st Planning Committee meeting.

George Stam motioned to accept the Draft 2001-2002 Transportation Enhancements Program (TEP) Project Priority List for 30-Day Public Review. David Cook seconded. The motion passed unopposed.

b.      Approval of Draft FY 2002-2003 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Projects for 30-Day Public Review (GTC Staff)

Steve Gleason explained the UPWP development process and the role of the UPWP Development Committee (UDC). He noted that approximately $1.2 million is available for transportation planning in the region, of which approximately $800,000 is required to support GTC core staff functions and approximately $400,000 is available for participating agencies. Twenty-nine project proposals were received (requesting approximately $1 million in federal funds). He stated that the proposed program of projects is recommended by the UDC to the Planning Committee for release for a 30-day public review. Steve stated that the action before the Planning Committee is to accept the proposed program for public review. (Note: this is the first time GTC has held a public review period for a draft UPWP.)

Terry Rice questioned why two UPWP funding tables were included in the Planning Committee mailing. Steve Gleason responded that one is the detailed table used by the UDC and the other is the table that is proposed for public review. Terry Rice then questioned why the two tables show different funding levels for the same project. Steve Gleason responded that the public review document shows all sources of funds (including local match, cash and in-kind).

Tom Skoglund asked if the projects that did not receive funding are ranked in any order. Steve Gleason responded that the unfunded projects are listed in alphabetical order. Tom Skoglund then asked whether there was meant to be any geographic balance in the selected projects. Joan Dupont responded that the UDC struggled with this and that they decided to select the best projects in terms of responsive to the call for projects package.

Tom Skoglund expressed his disappointment that Wyoming Countys project was not selected. Steve Gleason noted that the UDC spent a lot of time considering this project, but opted not to fund it because of a large non-transportation component. He did note that $5,000 worth of GTC staff time was allocated to the transportation elements of the project. Joan noted that Wyoming County is also covered in Phase 2 of the Regional Trails Initiative and some other regional-level projects. Steve added that GTC would work with Wyoming County to refine their proposal for the next UPWP.

Terry Rice motioned to accept the Draft FY 2002-2003 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Projects for 30-Day Public Review (GTC Staff). Joan Dupont seconded. The motion was approved with one dissention.

6. New Business

Terry Rice questioned when the next meeting of the TIP Development Committee (TDC) would be held. Jim Stack responded that he would be scheduling a meeting for the first week of February. GTC will then establish a schedule for quarterly TDC meetings. Steve Gleason noted that the agenda for the February meeting would include a review of TIP amendments and a review of the TIP development process. Terry Rice suggested an agenda item dealing with monitoring of the current program be added.

David Woods revisited the policy decisions made at the last UDC meeting regarding management of UPWP projects. Steve Gleason noted that these decisions would be presented to the Planning Committee at a later meeting. He highlighted two of the policy decisions, noting that agencies will be required to provide verbal monthly progress reports and that GFLRPCs projects will be consolidated into one line item for accounting purposes only. The scopes and budgets of GFLRPCs individual projects will remain under the purview of the Planning Committee.

Tom Skoglund noted it is difficult to evaluate the big picture given the number of funding sources and projects. He asked if a summary of all transportation funds spent in the region each year (by county) be prepared. GTC will try to respond to this request.

Richard Garrabrant asked whether innovative financing options have been considered in this region. Steve Gleason responded that these options have seen limited use in New York but that the mechanisms have been explored in this region. Richard noted that the Buffalo region is holding a workshop on this topic and encourage GTC to consider sponsoring one as well. He also spoke in favor of the monthly UPWP status reports.

7.                 Next Meeting

The next Planning Committee meeting will be held on February 21, 2002 in Lyons.

8.                 Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.