GENESEE TRANSPORTATION COUNCIL
QUARTERLY BOARD MEETING
September 17, 2012
GTC BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT
Jeffrey Adair, Monroe County and Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council (G/FLRPC)
Daniel DeLaus, Jr., Monroe County At Large
Mary Pat Hancock, Genesee County (Chairperson)
Daniel Hogan, Monroe County At Large
James Hoffman, Wayne County (Vice Chairperson)
ALTERNATE REPRESENTATIVES PRESENT
Marcia Barry, Rochester City Planning Commission, representing David L. Watson
Bill Carpenter, Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA), representing James Redmond
Angela Ellis, Livingston County, representing James Merrick
Thomas Goodwin, Monroe County Planning Board, representing Linda A. Faubel
Andrea Guzzetta, Rochester City Council, representing Lovely Warren
Daniel Hallowell, New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), representing Joan McDonald
Paul Holahan, City of Rochester, representing Thomas Richards
Donald House, Yates County, representing H. Taylor Fitch
Thomas E. Pericak, New York State Thruway Authority, representing Thomas J. Madison, Jr
C. Mitchell Rowe, Seneca County, representing Robert Hayssen
John Thomas, City of Rochester, representing Allen G. Casey
GTC BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT AND UNREPRESENTED
Kenneth Adams, Empire State Development Corporation
A. Douglas Berwanger, Wyoming County
Maggie Brooks, Monroe County
David B. Callard, Orleans County
Theodore Fafinski, Ontario County
Joe Martens, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Jonathan McDade, Federal Highway Administration
Ronald Nesbitt, Monroe County Supervisors Association
Marilyn Shazor, Federal Transit Administration
Steven Urlass, Federal Aviation Administration
OTHERS IN ATTENDANCE
Joseph Bovenzi, GTC staff
Esther Leadley, Genesee County
Scott Leathersich, Monroe County
Kenneth Miller, Town of Palmyra
Richard Perrin, GTC staff
Christopher Reeve, NYSDOT-Region 4
James Stack, GTC staff
David Zorn, G/FLRPC
1. Call to Order and Roll Call
Chairperson Hancock called the meeting to order at 8:33 a.m.
James Stack, GTC staff, called the roll; a quorum was present.
2. Public Forum
No one from the public spoke during the Public Forum.
3. Approval of Minutes
Daniel Hogan moved to approve the minutes from the June 21, 2012 Quarterly Meeting as presented; Bill Carpenter seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.
4. Communications and Announcements
Richard Perrin provided the following announcement:
Ontario County Planning Director, Kristen Mark Hughes, announced his resignation effective last Friday, September 14. Kris has served as Chairperson of the Planning Committee since April 2008. Chairperson Hancock thanked Kris for his service to GTC and informed the Board that she would work with Richard and members of the Planning Committee to ensure that there is a Planning Committee Chairperson and Vice chairperson in place by the next Planning Committee meeting.
5. Reports and Action on Old Business
a. Planning Committee Report Scott Leathersich, Vice-Chairperson
The Planning Committee met July 12 and August 9 and recommends that the GTC Board:
Accept reports, a website, household travel survey data, and the updated GTC Travel Demand Model as evidence of completion of seven Unified Planning Work Program Tasks;
Adopt thirty three amendments to the 2011-2014 Transportation Improvement Program as requested by the City of Rochester, Monroe County, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), Ontario County, and the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA); and
Modify the 2011-2014 Transportation Improvement Program by aligning project revenues with the funding programs of the recently passed federal surface transportation bill.
Additionally, the Planning Committee took the following actions:
Approved the Scope of Work for one new Unified Planning Work Program task; and
Approved two administrative modifications to the 2011-2014 Transportation Improvement Program as requested by the New York State Department of Transportation.
b. GTC Staff Report Richard Perrin, Executive Director
Richard Perrin provided the following report:
As discussed at the June 21 meeting, the region was informed that it would be awarded $900,000 to develop the Finger Lakes Regional Sustainability Plan as part of the Cleaner, Greener Communities Program (CGC), which is being administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Governor Cuomo made the official announcement on June 25.
On August 9, a team led by C&S Companies and T.Y. Lin International that includes sub-consultants with nationally-recognized expertise and experience in sustainability initiatives was awarded the contract to provide professional planning services and the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council was selected to provide project management, coordination, and outreach for the plan. Notices to proceed were provided to both the planning services and project manager contractors effective August 20. The contracts for professional services are being developed and will be executed as soon as possible once the agreements between NYSERDA and Monroe County, as the program applicant, and between Monroe County and GTC, as the contract administrator, are executed.
There has been extensive work done on the plan since the last GTC Board meeting, which is necessary because the plan must be completed by March 31, 2013 (a minimum of two weeks earlier than originally anticipated). The Consortium, which is the steering committee for the plan and is comprised of all nine counties in the region and the City of Rochester, held its initial meeting on August 30 to review the goals and structure of the CGC and the proposed approach that will be taken in this region to complete the plan. The Sustainability Planning Team, which is the executive committee for the plan, met August 29 and is scheduled to meet again on September 19. In addition, NYSERDA is conducting monthly collaboration calls for all ten regions in the state to discuss common opportunities and issues and identify lessons learned.
Stakeholders to participate in working groups that will provide input for the Sustainability Planning Team to develop findings and recommendations for Consortium review, comment, and concurrence have been identified. An update on the status of the project will be provided at the December 13 GTC Board meeting.
Tom Goodwin noted that the contract for the Finger Lakes Regional Sustainability Plan was signed by County Executive Brooks. The contract is currently waiting on NYSERDA signatures, which are expected soon.
On Friday, September 14, GTC issued its call for projects for the Fiscal Year 2013-2014 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). The call for projects was sent to GTC members and all cities, towns, and villages in the region. The UPWP provides Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding for GTC staff activities and planning initiatives that advance the Long Range Transportation Plan for the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region 2035, which was adopted by the GTC Board at its June 2011 meeting. It is anticipated that there will be a minimum of $600,000 available for programming to member agencies, communities, and consultant services to GTC staff.
Applications are due Friday, October 19 and a workshop will be held at the New York State Department of Transportation-Region 4 offices in Henrietta on Thursday, September 27. For the second year, GTC will consider expanded project types that include local transportation-related zoning and design standards and codes in recognition that land use has a significant impact on the transportation system and its ability to positively influence economic development and quality of life. Adoption of the FY 2013-2014 UPWP is anticipated at the March 2013 GTC Board meeting and the funds will be available beginning April 1, 2013.
With respect to the current UPWP, FHWA and FTA apportionments for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2012 have been finalized. The estimate of FHWA Metropolitan Planning (PL) funds provided by NYSDOT-Main Office to GTC was based on the FFY 2011 apportionment. GTC was informed by NYSDOT on August 2 that the actual amount allocated to GTC is 15 percent or $240,358 less than the estimate that was provided to GTC for programming when the current FY 2012-2013 UPWP was developed. However, GTC staff recognized that the estimated amount was approximately 11 percent more than FFYs 2009 and 2010. GTC staff programmed the amount for those years in the FY 2012-2013 UPWP. As a result, the amount that needs to be reduced in the TIP is $89,607. The actual allocation of FTA Metropolitan Planning Program (MPP) funds to GTC is $813 more than what is programmed in the FY 2012-2013 UPWP. GTC staff has determined that the UPWP can be modified via Planning Committee action and will propose that Task 3105 SAFETEA-LU Succession be adjusted to account for the reduced FHWA PL and additional FTA MPP funds at the October 11 Planning Committee meeting.
FHWA and FTA will be conducting their quadrennial certification review of the GTC planning process later this year and into 2013. GTC staff has contacted our designated FHWA-New York Division and FTA-Region 2 staff members to create a timeline for the review and identify the materials that they will need to conduct the desk audit component. Key dates for the last GTC certification review in 2008-2009 included:
October 22, 2008 letter dated October 14, 2008 requesting materials for certification review received by GTC from FHWA and FTA
November 17, 2008 requested materials sent to FHWA and FTA
December 2-4, 2008 site visit conducted with public meeting held the evening of December 3, 2008
May 28, 2009 final certification review report transmitted from FTA to GTC
June 18, 2009 presentation made by FTA to the GTC Board at its regularly-scheduled quarterly board meeting
Another transportation funding opportunity that is available to communities throughout the region is the FHWA Safe Routes to School program (SRTS). Funding through the SRTS may be used for infrastructure improvements and public information campaigns that will encourage elementary and middle school children to safely walk and bike to school. Applications for the SRTS will be accepted by NYSDOT through October 5, 2012. Project awards are anticipated to be announced by the end of the year.
Between 70 and 90 percent of the available funding will be allocated to infrastructure improvements located within a two-mile radius of an elementary or middle school, including the installation of traffic signals or crosswalks, construction or rehabilitation of sidewalks, and traffic mitigation measures. The remaining 10 to 30 percent of the available funding will be allocated to non-infrastructure public education and outreach projects such as police enforcement operations and developing programs for parents and children that encourage walking or bicycling to school.
The Safe Routes to School program is administered by NYSDOT with support from Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), including GTC. NYSDOT conducted informational workshops about the Safe Routes to School program throughout the state including ones in Canandaigua on June 7, Batavia on June 12, and Rochester on June 14.
c. Old Business
1. Federal Transportation Funding Update
Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) was signed by the President on July 6, authorizing funding for highway and transit funding in FFYs 2013 and 2014, beginning October 1 of this year through September 30, 2014. MAP-21 is the successor to the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), which expired on September 30, 2009. On July 12, GTC provided a presentation to the Planning Committee on the contents of MAP-21 at that committees regular meeting and distributed the information to the Board that same day. In short, federal transportation funding in MAP-21 remains essentially flat from the current year but institutes policy changes that will likely shape planning, investment decision making, and environmental review into the foreseeable future.
To account for funds beyond those provided in MAP-21 and meet our federal requirements, GTC staff are preparing for the development of the 2014-2017 Transportation Improvement Program. A preliminary schedule has been developed based on the delivery of estimates of available funds in FFYs 2015 through 2017. These estimates of likely available resources are currently being finalized by NYSDOT in consultation with a select group of MPOs, including GTC staff. NYSDOT is proposing to split federal funding into two components: 1.) approximately 80 percent of the funds directly-provided to MPOs and NYSDOT regions based on modeled bridge and highway needs with the majority expected to be programmed to preservation and maintenance needs and 2.) approximately 20 percent of the funds for beyond preservation projects (i.e., replacements/reconstructions and rehabilitations) to be selected by NYSDOT-Main Office. These estimates of available funds are expected to be provided by September 21.
GTC and NYSDOT-Region 4 will work with the TIP Development Committee to determine how much funding by FHWA and FTA program will be available, what amount can or should be programmed to projects in the current TIP that have been deferred, and if a call for new projects can be issued. The MAP-21 funding programs that will be available for inclusion are National Highway Performance, Highway Safety Improvement, and Surface Transportation (both directly provided to GTC and to NYSDOT-Region 4). At this time there is too much uncertainty of whether or not GTC will receive Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program funds to program them in FFY 2015 and beyond.
Congressional leaders have agreed to not pass FFY 2013 appropriations bills until next year. Senate Democrats and House Republicans agreed that both chambers will vote in September on a continuing resolution (CR) for the first half of fiscal 2013, using the $1.047 trillion discretionary spending limit agreed to in last years deficit reduction law (i.e., sequestration). This allows members to avoid having to cast votes that may be detrimental to their re-election bids and the short-term CRs that have in the past led to government agency preparation for shut downs.
The House of Representatives passed its version of a six-month CR on Thursday, September 13 that would not include the 1.4 percent increase in highway and transit formula programs included in MAP-21. With respect to the impending across-the-board spending cuts consistent with sequestration, which are scheduled to go in to effect at the beginning of next year (January 2, 2013), the Office of Management and Budget has (as expected) determined that the vast majority of federal surface transportation funding is exempt for FFY 2013 since it represents revenues from the Highway Trust Fund.
6. Action Items
a. Accepting reports, a website, household travel survey data, and the updated GTC Travel Demand Model as evidence of completion of various UPWP Tasks / Proposed Resolutions 12-99 through 12-102 and 12-104 through 12-106.
Chairperson Hancock noted that the Planning Committee has reviewed all the action items and has made recommendations for the Board. She suggested grouping all seven items for consideration under one motion. No members or alternates objected.
Richard Perrin reported that the seven reports provided for the Boards consideration have been reviewed and recommended for approval by the Planning Committee at its July 12 and August 9 meetings.
The land use reports produced by Monroe County and the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council are annual products that provide information and analysis on changes in proposed development that will impact the transportation system. Consistent with past years, the majority of development continues to occur in Monroe County and the surrounding areas in Livingston, Ontario, and Wayne Counties, which encompass the Rochester Transportation Management Area.
As reported at the last Board meeting on June 21, GTC staff has introduced roceasyride, a web-based initiative that provides commuters in the region with the opportunity to save money and protect the environment by identifying carpooling, transit, and biking options. A calculator and commute calendar is included to track savings in money spent on gas and emissions reductions. The initiative has been and continues to be promoted to businesses, colleges, and others throughout the region.
The Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority has completed the Suburban Transit Station Feasibility Study, which determined that the factors needed to develop satellite transfer facilities in locations outside of the City of Rochester are not feasible at this time but that several opportunities in Monroe County suburbs should be monitored to determine if transit supportive development can be advanced.
GTC staff has completed the Rochester Area Transportation Study, which consisted of a household survey that provided updated information on how, where, when, and why people travel. It has been used to update the GTC Travel Demand Model which is currently used to meet Clean Air Act requirements and conduct analysis of the design of proposed highway and transit improvements funded through the TIP and with local funds. In addition, the survey included questions on attitudes and preferences related to transportation and residential location. The travel survey included attitudinal preference questions to gauge residents views on various transportation issues. GTC staff expects to present the findings of the attitudinal preference questions at the December 13 Board meeting.
The City of Rochester has completed the Center City Pedestrian Circulation and Wayfinding Study, to develop concepts and implementation actions for providing downtown visitors, residents, and workers with easy navigation, direction, and access to destinations both physically and digitally through a coordinated set of 272 signs.
GTC staff has completed Transportation Strategies for Freight and Goods Movement in the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region, which is the regions freight plan for ensuring that the transportation system serves as a distinguishing factor in the retention and attraction of traditional and emerging manufacturing firms as well as agricultural and related agri-business companies. A presentation on the process and recommendations of the project were provided to the Board at its June 21 meeting.
Dan Hallowell asked if there were any operational costs associated with running the roceasyride website. Richard Perrin explained that these costs are part of the Ecology and Environment (E&E) contract, which includes technical support through May 2014. GTC owns the website address or Universal Resource Locator (URL). Supervisor Hoffman asked how many hits the website has received. Richard replied that he does not have specific information on the number of hits but that there are about 160 registered users. GTC will be looking to member agencies and community partners to help publicize the availability of roceasyride services. Also, GTC staff expects to presents highlights of roceasyride after significant milestones are met.
Bill Carpenter moved to approve proposed Resolutions 12-99 through
12-102 and 12-104 through 12-106; Daniel Hogan seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.
b. Adopting amendments to the 2011-2014 Transportation Improvement Program / Proposed Resolutions 12-53, 12-70, 12-107 through 12-133, and 12-135 through
Chairperson Hancock suggested grouping all TIP actions under one motion. No Member or Alternate objected.
Richard Perrin reported that the TIP amendments provided for the Boards consideration and adoption were reviewed and recommended for approval by the Planning Committee at its August 9 meeting.
Richard Perrin summarized the amendments as follows:
Proposed resolutions 12-107 through 12-114 ensure that multiple bridge projects in the region continue to be advanced by using 2012 funding to maximize the allowable federal share, defer phases and portions of phases to preserve the ability to spend federal funds this year, and address projected costs based on actual costs of recently-initiated similar projects.
Proposed resolution 12-115 switches the federal funding source for the Route 390 @ I-490 Interchange project from the less restrictive Highway Bridge Program to the Interstate Maintenance (IM) program to use IM funds that were made available based on action taken at the June 21 Board meeting.
Proposed resolutions 12-116 and 12-117, realign phases of the Paul Road-Fisher Road Corridor Improvements using earmarked funds that cannot be programmed to other projects.
Proposed resolution 12-70 corrects the federal share of the John Street Extension, Bailey Road to Lehigh Station Road project based on current estimates of the earmarked funds that cannot be programmed to other projects.
Proposed resolution 12-118 realigns funding for the Lincoln Road Reconstruction project to reflect actual obligations by NYSDOT-Main Office that were not consistent with the amounts programmed in the TIP and makes Highway Safety Improvement Program funds available to proposed resolution 12-130, the Route 31 (Monroe Avenue) Safety Upgrade: Westfall Road to Clover Street Safety project.
Proposed resolution 12-53 realigns funding between phases and increases the total project cost but not the federal share of the Portland Avenue Reconstruction project to reflect the updated cost and schedule for the project.
Proposed resolution 12-119 reinstates the right-of-way phases to the I-390 Interchange Improvement at Route 15 (Exit 16 Part 2) project to address recent FHWA guidance utilizing funds made available as part TIP amendments adopted at the June 2012 Board meeting.
Proposed resolutions 12-120 through 12-122 accelerate phases of proposed resolutions 12-120 and 12-121 for the Highway Emergency Local Patrol Program and Regional Traffic Operations Center staffing projects and defer phases of proposed resolution 12-122 for the Interstate Overhead Sign Structure Improvement project to preserve the ability to spend federal funds this year.
Proposed resolution 12-123 decreases the cost of the R&S Highway Rail Grade Crossing project by approximately $690,000 but maintains the federal share at the previously agreed upon amount.
Proposed resolution 12-124 increases the cost of the Main Street Railroad Crossing project in Fairport by adding $11,000 to reflect the actual construction costs of the project.
Proposed resolution 12-125 deletes the Gough Road Railroad Crossing project in the Town of Riga as determined by NYSDOT -Main Office priorities.
Proposed resolution 12-126 defers the construction and construction inspection phases of the Motts Lane project to preserve earmarked funds that cannot be programmed to other projects.
Proposed resolution 12-127 defers a phase and increases the cost of the I-390 Rest Areas project to reconcile funds that were not obligated as previously scheduled in FFY 2010.
Proposed resolution 12-128 increases the federal share of the I-390 Exit 6 to Exit 7 Maintenance by Contract project to preserve the ability to spend federal funds this year.
Proposed resolutions 12-129 and 12-130 reduce funding from the Highway Safety Improvement Program Block project to fund the Route 31 (Monroe Avenue) Safety Upgrade: Westfall Road to Clover Street Safety project and utilize HSIP funds from the Lincoln Road Reconstruction project that cannot be used on that project.
Proposed resolution 12-131 adds new FTA Section 5311 funds to projects for public transportation services in rural areas of the region. The specific projects to receive these funds are selected by NYSDOT-Main Office and listed in the meeting materials.
Proposed resolutions 12-132 and 12-133 reduce funding from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) Block project to accelerate phases and utilize the CMAQ funds in FFY 2012 for the Rochester Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle Charging Stations/Vehicle Expansion Project.
Proposed resolution 12-135 preserves the ability to spend federal funds for the Port of Rochester Security/Intelligent Transportation Systems Project using earmarked funds that cannot be used for other projects.
Proposed resolutions 12-136 and 12-137 reduce funding from the Surface Transportation Program-Small Urban Block Program project to preserve the ability to spend these federal funds this year and address cost increases in the right-of-way acquisition phase of the Cedar Street Reconstruction project in the City of Batavia.
Proposed resolution 12-138 increases the cost of the Old State Road over Keshequa Creek bridge project to reflect the bid cost using federal Highway Bridge Program funds made available from proposed resolution 12-115, the Route 390 @ I-490 Interchange project.
Jeffery Adair moved to approve Proposed Resolutions 12-53, 12-70, 12-107 through 12-133, and 12-135 through 12-138; Thomas Pericak seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.
c. Modifying the 2011-2014 Transportation Improvement Program by aligning project revenues with MAP-21 funding programs / Proposed Resolution 12-134.
MAP-21 consolidates federal funding programs. This resolution converts the funding programs in the 2011-2014 TIP from the SAFETEA-LU programs to the MAP-21 programs. This ensures that, when MAP-21 takes effect on October 1, projects in the current GTC TIP are programmed with the appropriate funding source to ensure the uninterrupted provision of the federal fund sources when FHWA and FTA update their financial management systems. GTC is the only MPO in the state to take this proactive action. While the TIP Procedures Manual allows for the Planning Committee to make this change, GTC staff felt that it was important that the Board take the associated action since it affects all projects programmed in FFYs 2013 and 2014.
Tom Pericak asked for a clarification of the expansion of the National Highway System and any implications to the Functional Classification system. Richard Perrin responded that this issue was raised the previous week and will be discussed under New Business.
Bill Carpenter moved to approve proposed Resolution 12-134; Daniel Hogan seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.
7. New Business
Richard Perrin reported that the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) requires the expansion of the National Highway System (NHS) to include Principal Arterials and eliminates the mileage limitation of the NHS. Roads and bridges on this expanded NHS will be eligible for the National Highway Performance program while Federal-Aid roads and bridges off the NHS will not be eligible for these funds.
On September 10, GTC staff was informed that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is allowing all States to submit candidate roads for consideration to be converted from Minor Arterial to Principal Arterial within a limited window of opportunity. Any proposed changes are being reviewed under an expedited process as the changes must be incorporated into the official Functional Classification maps for use come October 1. In order to accomplish this review on time, NYSDOT Regions must submit proposed changes and justifications to NYSDOT Main Office by Monday, September 17.
As with all changes to the Functional Classification of roads, coordination with affected jurisdictions and the MPO is required. GTC and NYSDOT-Region 4 staffs met on September 12 to discuss candidate roads for elevation to Principal Arterial. An initial list was shared with members of the GTC TIP Development Committee (TDC) and other County Highway Superintendents in NYSDOT-Region 4 for review and comment. Based on the comments received and the level of effort required for justification, the candidate projects were narrowed to a few select locations.
Richard distributed a map and list of the roads proposed for conversion from Minor Arterial to Principal Arterial. He noted that the initial review activities he discussed are not the end of the Functional Classification review process. There will be an opportunity for member agencies to conduct a more thorough review at a later date.
Dan Hallowell discussed the need to justify all proposed changes, including identifying the criteria for designating roads as Principal Arterials.
Richard noted that there are design standard implications that need to be considered when making changes of this nature. Dan Hallowell noted that there are different oversight and approval processes for projects on different road classifications.
James Hoffman reported that six of the 21 bridges over the Erie Canal in Wayne County are now closed or have weight restrictions due to safety issues. These closures are a direct result of a lack of investment in transportation infrastructure. Supervisor Hoffman asked Kenneth Miller, the Supervisor of the Town of Palmyra, to briefly discuss the impacts of these bridge closures on his community. Supervisor Miller reported that the bridge closures and weight restrictions are more than an inconvenience; they have serious impacts on public safety, school transportation, and snow removal. Supervisor Hoffman stated that Wayne County would be reaching out for help in addressing these bridge closures. He noted that an additional consideration is that these bridges are considered historic structures and work on them requires approval by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, adding time, complexity, and cost.
Dan Hallowell explained that NYSDOT-Region 4 is working to improve NYSDOT-Main Offices understanding of the unique costs associated with canal bridge projects so that those costs can be factored into the bridge needs model.
8. Next Meeting
The next GTC Board meeting will be held on Thursday December 13, 2012 at 8:30 a.m. at the Radisson Hotel, 175 Jefferson Road, in Henrietta.
The meeting adjourned at 9:38 a.m.