GTC Planning Committee - Minutes

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Wayne County Courthouse

Lyons, New York

July 20, 2006



James Brady, Wayne County

James Fletcher, Monroe County At Large

Daniel Hallowell, NYSDOT Region 4

Kristen Mark Hughes, Ontario County

Paul Johnson, Monroe County Planning Board

Scott Leathersich, Monroe County At Large

Thomas E. Pericak, NYS Thruway Authority

Terrence J. Rice, Monroe County

David Woods, Livingston County


Richard Beers, Jr., FHWA, representing Robert Griffith

Doug Benson, representing the Rochester City Planning Commission

John Thomas, City of Rochester, representing Paul Holahan

Charles Walker, RGRTA, representing Mark Aesch


Jeffrey Adair, Monroe County

Philip Brito, FAA

Glenn Cooke, Seneca County

William Eick, Orleans County

Timothy Hens, Genesee County

Fred Humphrey, Wyoming County

Tracy Logel, Monroe County Supervisors Association

Edward Muszynski, Empire State Development Corporation

William Sullivan, Rochester City Council

Chris Wilson, Yates County

David Zorn, Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council

(Vacant), City of Rochester At Large

(Vacant), FTA

(Vacant), NYS Department of Environmental Conservation


Kevin Beers, GTC Staff

Deborah Elliott, GTC Staff

Jason Haremza, G/FLRPC

Richard Perrin, GTC Staff

Fran Reese, Lu Engineers

Robert Scholl, NYSDOT Region 4

Rob Slaver, Jr., NYSDOT Region 4

James Stack, GTC Staff


1. Call to Order & Introductions

David Woods, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 10:03 a.m. Members, Alternates, and others present introduced themselves.

2. Public Forum

No one from the public spoke during the Public Forum.

3. Approval of Minutes

James Fletcher moved for approval of the minutes from the May 18, 2006 Planning Committee meeting; Kristen Mark Hughes seconded the motion. The minutes were approved as submitted.

4. Reports and Action on Old Business

a. Reports on UPWP Projects and Other Activities

Richard Perrin noted corrections to the agenda.


Richard Perrin reported:

         Work is continuing on the development of the Gantt chart to meet SAFETEA-LU requirements by the associated deadlines in the most efficient manner.

         There is no progress to report on the Rural County Resource Development Initiative.

         A Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) was issued by FHWA and FTA on June 9 regarding Metropolitan Planning requirements based on changes in SAFETEA-LU. GTC staff met on June 23 after reviewing the NPRM to discuss implications for GTC related to SAFETEA-LU compliance. Primary considerations include broader consultation with affected agencies and organizations, use of visualization techniques, environmental mitigation, and development of a public participation plan. GTC staff met with G/FLRPC staff on June 30 to discuss UPWP Task 5291 LRTP Non-Air Environmental Scan as it relates to the NPRM.

         Based on Interagency Consultation Group (ICG) concurrence with project classifications and Travel Demand Model validation, GTC staff prepared the draft Conformity Determination for the 2005-2010 TIP which will be presented for consideration as agenda item 5a. The consultant has finalized Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funding criteria and eligible use information. In addition, rating criteria have been drafted. These will be provided to the TDC as part of the 2007-2012 TIP Development process which will be discussed during agenda item 6a.

         Two proposals for the Transportation and Industrial Access Phase 2 project were received by the May 26 deadline. GTC, G/FLRPC, and NYSDOT-Region 4 staff ranked the proposals and a preferred consultant was selected. GTC staff expect to begin the assessment of up to ten high priority, publicly-owned or assisted industrial sites in August.

         A RFQ for the GTC Travel Demand Model Enhancement project was published in the May 22 NYS Contract Reporter. Responses were due June 19. Three Statements of Qualifications were received. GTC staff ranked the proposals and a preferred consultant was selected. GTC staff expect to begin model enhancement in August.

         Research on existing code language that is relevant to the priorities identified by the G/FLRPC Planning Coordination Committee is continuing for the Bicycle & Pedestrian Supportive Code Language project.

         The final report for the Greater Rochester Transportation Operations and Management Organization Feasibility Study was accepted by the GTC Board at the June 15 meeting. Staff is working with the Transportation Management Committee (TMC) to implement the recommendations. Mission and vision statements were reviewed at the TMCs meeting on July 18.

         Final reports for all three studies that comprised the FY 2004-05 Priority Trails Advancement program were accepted by the GTC Board at the June 15 meeting. Two RFPs were issued for the four projects approved for FY 2006-07 funding by the Planning Committee at the May 18 meeting. RFPs were advertised in the May 29 NYS Contract Reporter and six proposals were received for the Rochester and Penfield studies while four proposals were received for the Caledonia and Byron-Bergen-Riga-Churchville studies. The Rochester and Penfield consultant selection committee met July 13 and selected a preferred consultant. The Caledonia and Byron-Bergen-Riga-Churchville consultant selection committee met July 19 and selected a preferred consultant. All four studies are expected to hold initial steering committee kickoff meetings after Labor Day.

         With regard to the On-Street Bicycle Facilities Opportunities Review, the development of the bicycle map based on the Rochester Bicycling Club ratings is progressing. A draft layout has been produced and graphics relating to safe riding have been requested from the City of Portland, Oregon for incorporation in the map. GTC staff continue to monitor NYSDOTs development of a Bicycle Level of Service (BLOS) methodology that can be applied in the TMA.

         The Pedestrian Facilities Inventory has begun with one of the two GTC interns working on the project full time and the other about to begin on the project for part of her time. The non-Monroe County portion of the TMA has been completed. A few Monroe County municipalities have been inventoried as well.

         A draft proposed program description and call for projects for the Circulation, Accessibility, and Parking Program have been drafted and undergone several reviews and edits. GTC staff expect to provide these for UDC review and comment, make necessary revisions, and bring a Scope of Work to the Planning Committee for consideration in August.

         GTC staff are developing means for incorporating the Congestion Management Process (CMP) into the LRTP and TIP per SAFETEA-LU and FHWA guidance.

         The Steering Committee for the Travel Time Data Collection Assessment project met on July 12 to review the consultant report assessing the various methodologies used for data collection. Next steps are to incorporate Steering Committee comments into the prioritization framework of the various methodologies.

         Three proposals for the Strategic Plan for Public Transportation in Yates County were received by the May 22 deadline. A Consultant Selection Committee comprised of Yates County Planning, Yates County Health Department, Keuka College, RGRTA, and GTC staff met July 11 in Penn Yan and selected a preferred consultant.

         The topic selected for this years Transportation Information Resources project addresses the SAFETEA-LU requirement to incorporate visualization into the planning process. A review of available technologies and associated software requirements was conducted. A draft of the content to be included on the GTC website has been drafted and is being reviewed.

         Work on a draft scope of work for the Regional Goods Movement Strategy for review by County Industrial Development Agencies and City of Rochester Economic Development Department staff is continuing.


Jason Haremza reported:

        A Scope of Work for the Local Update of Census Addresses Phase 1 project is being developed for approval at a future Planning Committee meeting.

         The 2005 Regional Land Use Monitoring report is complete and has been posted to the website. Hard copies are also available.

         A Scope of Work for the LRTP Non-Air Environmental Scan will be presented later in the agenda.

         The Preparing Village Main Streets for Planning project is moving forward. Final reports for the two case study communities are being developed along with an associated guidebook.

         The Technical Advisory Committee for the Optimizing Transportation Infrastructure through Effective Land Use project is moving forward with levels of involvement and interest being ascertained.

Monroe County

Paul Johnson reported:

         The 2005 Monroe County Land Use Monitoring report will be presented later in the agenda.

         A RFP will be issued for the Monroe County Parking Study by the end of the week. The project will be closed out by the end of September.

Terry Rice reported:

        The contract for the Accident Rate Database project will be presented to the Legislature for approval in September

         The Traffic Sign Retroreflectivity Study is still on hold awaiting guidance from FHWA.

         A contract has been awarded for the Safe Passing Zone Survey and the project will start in August.

         The contract for the Monroe County High Accident Location Program project will be presented to the legislature for approval in September

         A draft final report for the Pedestrian Activity Safety Study is being reviewed by MCDOT staff.

Ontario County

Kris Hughes reported:

         The State Route 96/State Route 318 Rural Corridor Study Phase 2 is undergoing restructuring to combine resources with Phase 1 and advance the project. Ontario and Seneca Counties met in June to discuss details and get approvals from their respective Boards of Supervisors. The scope of work will be restructured with Ontario County taking the lead.

         The Canandaigua Regional Transportation Study Steering Committee met July 19 to make minor changes and discuss methods for releasing the results of the study to the public. Ontario County expects to present the findings to the Planning Committee in August. Kris Hughes expressed appreciation to GTC and NYSDOT for their assistance in the study.

City of Rochester

John Thomas reported:

       Project staff for the Port of Rochester Transportation Evaluation and Support Study have been working internally to redefine the scope of work to complement the Port of Rochester Master Plan.

       Project staff for the City of Rochester Vehicle Fleet Alternative Fuels Systems Study met on July 14 to select a consultant. The contract will be presented to the City Council for approval on August 22. Anyone wishing to participate on the Advisory Committee is welcome.

Terry Rice asked if there has been any implementation of the AVL Study. John Thomas responded that there has not. They are planning to implement a pilot program with a snow plowing contractor.

Doug Benson reported:

         A draft manual for the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Concept Design is being developed for review.

         Internal staff meetings are being held for the Center City Parking Development & Management project to determine project lead. A Scope of Work will be presented later in the meeting.



Charles Walker reported:

         A Scope of Work for the Market Research for Regional Transit Service project is on the agenda later in the meeting.

        Charles and Richard Perrin participated in a conference call with FTA regarding the Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan. Guidance is not final but FTA still expects progress on a plan to be demonstrated by September 30.

        The Security and Safety Plan for Public Transportation project report is expected to be presented to the Planning Committee in August.

        The consultant contract for the RTS/Lift Line Operational Analysis & Facility Utilization Study has been finalized and a kick off meeting was held on July 10.

        The RTS Fare Modification Study is complete.

        Work by the Scheduling Department is on-going for the RGRTA Route Analysis project.

        There is no progress to report on the Alternative Fuels Technology/RTS Hybrid Bus Study.

Genesee County

Richard Perrin reported:

         There is no progress to report for the Genesee County Safe Passing Zone Survey.

Seneca County

Richard Perrin reported:

         Kris Hughes previously discussed the progress for the State Route 96/State Route 318 Rural Corridor Study Phase 1.

Wayne County

Richard Perrin reported:

        Three proposals were received for the Cluster Development Enhancement Project Feasibility Study. The Selection Committee will meet on July 27 to select a consultant.

         No proposals were received on the RFP that was issued for the Palmyra Route 21 Truck Traffic Study. GTC worked with Wayne County to revise the scope of work to make it more attractive to prospective proposers. A new RFP will be advertised in August.


Wyoming County


Richard Perrin reported:

        The Transportation & Scenic/Historic Resources in Wyoming County project has been discussed with Richard Tindell and the project may resume in the Fall.



Yates County

Richard Perrin reported:

         Fran Reese from Lu Engineers will present the Route 14A Corridor Study later in the meeting.

Other Agencies

         GTC has drafted an RFQ for the Regional Traffic Count Collection project for internal review and will distribute to the counties for their consideration.

         The Scope of Work for the NY Route 96 Traffic Signal Coordination Study was approved at the May 18 Planning Committee meeting. A RFP will be issued July 24.

         The Erie-Attica Railroad Bridge and Trail Feasibility Study is progressing. A Steering Committee meeting was held July 12. The consultant is working on the inventory of existing and planned conditions and needs assessment.

         A RFP was released and two proposals received for the Meridian Centre Boulevard Extension Study. Monroe County DOT and GTC staff will meet with the Town of Brighton to select a consultant.

         The consultant for the Route 250 Corridor Study is collecting data on existing and planned conditions.

         The Scope of Work for the Williamson Route 104 & Route 21 Gateway Concepts project was approved at the May 18 Planning Committee meeting. A RFP is being developed by Town of Williamson and GTC staff.

b. Any Other Old Business or Announcements

Richard Perrin announced that NYS Thruway Authority Executive Director Michael Fleischer has designated William Leslie as the Authoritys Planning Committee member and Thomas Pericak and Matt Latko as his alternates.

GTC staff have developed the annual listing of Federally-obligated projects for Federal Fiscal Year 2005 and posted it to the GTC website on June 30. This was the primary recommendation of the most recent Federal Certification Review. It includes information on type of project, description of the project, phases and amount of federal funds obligated, and a map of the locations of the projects. Richard expressed appreciation to NYSDOT-Region 4 and Rob Slaver in particular for his assistance in meeting this federal requirement. This will be an annual activity for GTC in the future.

Richard Perrin stated that the Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) is a statewide program administered by NYSDOT who is consulting with GTC on project review and selection in the seven counties covered by Region 4. Steve Beauvais of NYSDOT-Region 4 is working with GTC Bicycle & Pedestrian Program Manager Bob Torzynski. A joint call for projects was issued by NYSDOT-Region 4 and GTC on April 10. Applicant workshops were held in Canandaigua on April 25, Rochester on April 28, and Batavia on May 2. Draft submissions for review were due May 26 with final applications due June 30. Ten applications were received from municipalities in the TMA and seven from outside the TMA. NYSDOT-Region 4 and GTC staff are evaluating the applications and will provide a prioritized ranking for TDC review at their August 3 meeting. A recommendation to the Planning Committee is expected for consideration in August. The Planning Committee will recommend a ranking to the GTC Board for consideration of endorsement at its September 14 meeting.

David Woods announced the ground breaking ceremony for the Livingston Area Transit Service facility in Hamptons Corners was held June 24 at the project site.

Kris Hughes announced that the County Area Transit System and Highway maintenance facility in Hopewell was approved by the Board of Supervisors with construction to begin in August.

5. Planning Committee Action Items

a. Consideration of the DRAFT Transportation Conformity Determination for the 2005-2010 Transportation Improvement Program for a 30-Day Public Review

Richard Perrin explained that as a nonattainment area for the 8-hour ground-level ozone standard, the Rochester, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area must demonstrate that its federally-funded transportation improvements as programmed in the TIP conform to the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 as prescribed in Title 40 Part 93 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Because the Rochester MSA includes the Rochester TMA and the remainder of counties within NYSDOT-Region 4 (with the exception of Wyoming County), GTC and NYSDOT are responsible for preparing the conformity determination document (or statement) for meeting 40 CFR 93.

GTC Resolution 04-41 states that GTC is responsible for the Rochester TMA and NYSDOT is responsible for the remainder of the Rochester MSA. The conformity statement is a compliance document and does not require that GTC amend or alter the LRTP or TIP unless the program of projects does not pass one of two regional emissions analyses. GTC passes both of these two tests.

The first of the two tests is the build no greater than no-build test (the build scenario for the required analysis years results in less ozone precursor emissions than the no-build scenario for the same analysis years) the second is the less than 2002 test (the build scenario for the required analysis years results in less ozone precursor emissions than 2002). 40 CFR 93 allows for the choice of the two tests. This federal requirement states that only one test must be passed. It is not a state requirement.

Figure 3 on page 12 of the draft conformity statement presents the emissions analysis for the required analysis years. If GTC chooses the build no greater than no-build test, the 2005-2010 TIP conforms by 2.2kg of VOC per day and 2.2 kg of NOx per day. If we choose the less than 2002 test, the 2005-2010 TIP conforms by 25,485 kg of VOC per day and 36,321.9 kg of NOx per day for the same analysis year.

Given the magnitude of the difference between 2.2 kg versus 25,485 kg and 36,321 kg respectively, GTC staff is recommending that the region choose the less than 2002 test to limit any exposure to a potential challenge to the emissions analysis that would compromise USDOT approval of our conformity statement and possibly halt the implementation of certain projects. NYSDOT-Environmental Analysis Bureau (EAB) has strongly discouraged GTC from choosing the less than 2002 test. As a result, GTC staff is including the results of the build no greater than no-build test for informational purposes but is recommending that the less than 2002 test be the official test used to determine conformity.

EPA is stating that if we choose to do the less than 2002 test, an analysis of non-TMA projects must be done but does not have to be done if we choose the build/no-build test. This was relayed to GTC staff on Tuesday, July 18 but we can find no regulation or logic to this request. The impact of the non-TMA projects would never come close to affecting our passing of the less than 2002 test but could impact passing the build/no-build test (2.2kg/day). It appears that NYSDOT-EAB is using this as a way to force GTC to do the build no greater than no-build test rather than conduct the analysis of non-TMA projects which they should be doing in the interest of public health.

GTC staff are suggesting that NYSDOT-EAB should conduct the analysis in accordance with GTC Resolution 04-41 so that the region can be absolutely certain that its transportation decision-making is protecting public health.

The Draft Conformity statement must be made available for a 30-day public review. Our initial intention was to make it available beginning Monday, July 24 and have the review period conclude August 22. However, given the technical nature of the conformity statement and its status as a compliance document, the 30-day public review period needs only be completed by September 13 for action by the GTC Board. No changes to the program of projects need to be made. We intend to use the public review period as an opportunity to inform the public of measures (transportation and non-transportation related) that they can take to improve air quality. GTC staff is recommending that the Planning Committee approve the Draft Conformity Statement for public review upon NYSDOT-EABs completion of the analysis of non-TMA projects.

Dan Hallowell noted that NYSDOT is strongly encouraging GTC to use the build no greater than no-build test as this is the only of the two tests that demonstrates that federally funded transportation improvements are improving air quality. This is consistent with the departments (NYSDOTs) commitment to the principals and intent of the State Energy Plan. In addition, NYSDOT-Region 4 is recommending that the region proceed with the build no greater than no-build test because EPA has indicated that the less than 2002 test will require additional analysis outside the TMA and time is of the essence in advancing the conformity process for GTC Board consideration in September.

Terry Rice asked for clarification on which projects are impacted. Richard Perrin responded John Street and the I-390/15A projects, as well as the other NYSDOT projects whose funding is tied to the I-390/15A project.

Terry Rice asked for clarification on the estimates of future emissions in relation to the current program of projects (i.e., how the future emissions of VOC and NOx are so much lower than in 2002). Richard Perrin explained that increase in the efficiency of engines and improvements to pollution control devices due to federal requirements will result in less emissions per vehicle mile traveled in future years.

Terry Rice noted the public meeting for the John Street project was scheduled that evening and asked if the funds were available.

Rob Slaver responded that funds for the John Street project could not be obligated until the project was on the STIP and that this could not occur until a conformity determination for the TIP in which the project was included was approved by USDOT.

Dan Hallowell noted that the region and GTC had discussions prior to submitting the statement to NYSDOT-EAB and agreed that the test was the MPOs decision. However, NYSDOT maintains that only the build no greater than no-build test proves that the program of federally-funded transportation improvements will be less if the improvements are implemented. Dan reiterated that additional analysis would be needed outside the TMA and that this analysis would have to be conducted by NYSDOT-EAB in a less than ideal timeframe.

Terrence Rice moved to approve the DRAFT Transportation Conformity Determination for the 2005-2010 Transportation Improvement Program for a 30-Day Public Review period and to schedule a meeting of the GTC Executive Committee to discuss this issue; John Thomas seconded the motion. The motion passed with 1 abstention.

Dan Hallowell reiterated that since we pass both tests, NYSDOT-Region 4 urges the region to use the build no greater than no-build test and that we discuss these issues further prior to the next conformity determination.

b. Recommendations to the GTC Board concerning accepting final project reports as evidence of completion of various UPWP Tasks

1. Accepting the report, 2005 Land Use Report for Monroe County, as evidence of completion of UPWP Task 4210

Paul Johnson discussed UPWP Task 4210.

2. Accepting the report, 2005 Regional Land Use Monitoring Report, as evidence of completion of UPWP Task 4220

Jason Haremza, G/FLRPC, discussed UPWP Task 4220.

Richard Perrin noted that data is now being compiled by TAZ outside Monroe County which enhances the use of the data in the GTC Travel Demand Model.

3. Accepting the report, Route 14A Corridor Study, as evidence of completion of UPWP Task 7530

Fran Reese from Lu Engineers discussed UPWP Task 7530. She provided background on the process and highlighted major findings and recommendations.

Richard Perrin thanked Fran, the team at Lu Engineers, and Yates County Planner Chris Wilson for their commitment to seeing this project through to completion in a quality fashion.

Kristen Mark Hughes moved to recommend approval of Final Project Reports for UPWP Tasks 4210, 4220, and 7530; James Fletcher seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.

c. Approval of UPWP Project Scopes of Work

1. Task 4730 Market Research for Regional Transit Service

Charles Walker, RGRTA, discussed the scope of work.

2. Task 5291 LRTP Non-Air Environmental Scan

Jason Haremza, G/FLRPC, discussed the scope of work.

Richard Perrin noted the projects importance to the GTC long range transportation planning process and the advantages of having G/FLRPC conduct the study, given their involvement in regional water quality issues.

3. Task 6230 Monroe County Overhead Traffic Sign Visibility Upgrade

Terrence Rice, MCDOT, discussed the scope of work.

4. Task 6351 Center City Parking Development & Management

Doug Benson discussed the scope of work and highlighted the partnership with the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation.

Richard Perrin noted that the scope of work proposes to shift funds from consultant services to City staff. Doug responded that the staff was not in place when the project was proposed and it is felt that the planning assistants could conduct data collection tasks more cost-effectively than a consultant.

Richard suggested the City engage a consultant prior to data collection to coordinate collection efforts.

Terrence Rice moved to approve the Scopes of Work for Tasks 4730, 5291, 6230, and 6351; James Brady seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.

6. Information Items

a. Update on 2007-2010 TIP Development Process

Richard Perrin noted that the TIP Development Committee is meeting August 3.

The TDC will discuss inclusion and/or further incorporation of preventive maintenance for highways and bridges, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funding, and linking planning and NEPA in the 2007-2012 TIP development process. GTC staff will provide proposed revisions to the TIP Guidebook including questions in the TIP application for each topic.

Richard will be attending a meeting on July 26 in Schenectady with NYSDOT Regional Planning and Program Managers and MPO Directors regarding a number of topics relevant to the development of the next TIP.

Richard noted that the preliminary schedule includes the advance notice mailing in early August, call for projects in late August, applicant workshop in mid-September, applications due date in early to mid-October, GTC and NYSDOT staff scoring in October and November, TDC Development of the draft program in December and January, Planning Committee concurrence at the February 2007 meeting, 30-day public review in February and March 2007, recommendation to GTC Board in April (with an additional 10-day review period built-in, if necessary), and Board approval at the June 21, 2007 meeting.

7. Public Forum

No one from the public spoke during the Public Forum.


8. New Business

John Thomas noted that the City of Rochester feels it is necessary to modify the Scope of Work for the Port of Rochester Transportation Evaluation and Support Study. John asked what procedure he should follow in order to have changes to the scope of work approved.

Kris Hughes stated that he thought these changes should be documented in writing for the Committee. Paul Johnson asked how the proposed changes addressed the changing nature of transportation issues at the Port now that the ferry is no longer in operation.

David Woods suggested the City of Rochester provide written explanation of the changes to the scope for the August Planning Committee meeting. The City of Rochester concurred.

9. Next Meeting: August 17, 2006 Ebenezer Watts Conference Center (Rochester)

10. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 12:00 p.m.