GENESEE TRANSPORTATION COUNCIL
PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING
Henrietta, New York
November 10, 2011
PLANNING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT
Angela Ellis, Livingston County
Todd Gadd, Wyoming County
Andrea Guzzetta, Rochester City Council
Daniel Hallowell, New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Region 4
Paul Holahan, City of Rochester
Kristen Mark Hughes, Ontario County (Chairperson)
Scott Leathersich, Monroe County At Large (Vice Chairperson)
Terrence J. Rice, Monroe County
Kevin Rooney, Wayne County
C. Mitchell Rowe, Seneca County
Douglas J. Tokarczyk, NYS Thruway Authority
David Zorn, Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council (G/FLRPC)
ALTERNATE REPRESENTATIVES PRESENT
Richard Beers, Jr., representing Robert Griffith, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Rochelle Bell, representing Thomas Goodwin, Monroe County Planning Board
PLANNING COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT AND UNREPRESENTED
Robert Colby, Monroe County
James Fletcher, Monroe County At Large
Erik Frisch, City of Rochester At Large
Timothy Hens, Genesee County
Peter McCann, Monroe County Supervisors Association
Edward Muszynski, Empire State Development Corporation
Henry Smith, Jr., Orleans County
Steven Urlass, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
(Vacant), Federal Transportation Administration (FTA)
(Vacant), NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC)
(Vacant), Rochester City Planning Commission
(Vacant), Yates County
OTHERS IN ATTENDANCE
Marcia Barry, City of Rochester
Joseph Bovenzi, GTC staff
Eric Farr, Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA)
Dennis Judson, Fisher Associates
Tom Lichtenthal, Town of Batavia
Richard Perrin, GTC staff
John Polimeni, NYSDOT Region 4
Christopher Reeve, NYSDOT Region 4
Ora Rothfuss, Wayne County
James Stack, GTC staff
Robert Traver, NYSDOT Region 4
Edwin Welsh, NYSDOT Region 4
1. Call to Order & Introductions
The meeting was called to order at 10:03 a.m. Kristen Mark Hughes welcomed everyone and Members, Alternates, and others present introduced themselves.
2. Public Forum
No one from the public spoke during the Public Forum.
3. Approval of Minutes
Terry Rice moved for approval of the minutes from the October 13, 2011 Planning Committee meeting; Dan Hallowell seconded the motion. The minutes were approved as presented.
4. Reports on UPWP Projects and Other Activities
a. Reports on UPWP Projects and Other Activities
Richard Perrin reported:
The Supplemental Professional Services Database Programming project was accepted by the GTC Board at its June 16 meeting.
GTC staff continue to monitor developments related to the next surface transportation authorization legislation. The joint NYS Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations/NYSDOT committee working on integration of planning activities on a statewide level has identified initial opportunities and issues to be addressed along with a process for doing so. A small working group, consisting of Livingston County, Monroe County, and G/FLRPC will meet on November 30 to discuss potential partnerships that could expand the resources available to local governments in the region.
The Long Range Transportation Plan for the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region 2035 (LRTP 2035) was adopted by the GTC Board at its June 16 meeting. The format of the Recommendation Advancement Plan has been finalized and GTC staff is completing one for each of the recommendations of the LRTP 2035.
GTC staff activities on Air Quality Planning and Outreach include presenting as part of a webinar for MPOs on how to incorporate climate change and energy considerations into the overall planning process. GTC staff are also participating on the steering committee of an FHWA-sponsored initiative that will develop a handbook for MPOs and state DOTs on methods of estimating greenhouse gas emissions.
Approximately 3,540 completed Household Travel Surveys have been received and are being processed. Initial results are expected in the next two weeks and GTC staff will work with the consultant to identify various cross tabulations of the collected data.
The ITS Strategic Plan for Greater Rochester was adopted by the GTC Board at its June 16 meeting. GTC staff has completed a draft assessment of how the Transportation Management Committee can be improved for review by the committee at its meeting next week.
A draft contract for the Diversion Route Planning Initiative will be provided to the consultant for their review on November 10.
The NYS Route 104 - Ontario to Sodus Trail Feasibility Study was recommended for adoption by the GTC Board at the October Planning Committee meeting. Outreach to affected landowners is continuing as part of the Pultneyville to Marion Trail Feasibility Study.
The update of the Congestion Management Process (CMP) is included in the LRTP 2035 that was adopted by the Board on June 16.
The Greater Rochester Regional Commuter Choice Program website has been finalized and the draft marketing plan has been developed to include promotional materials for commuters and businesses, a press conference, and other outreach activities.
The second round of data collection for the Travel Time Data Collection Program was accepted by the GTC Board at its June 16 meeting. GTC staff has gathered information relative to the purchase of archived data and submitted a UPWP application for a multi-year procurement of the data and associated licensing terms.
The Coordinated Public Transit/Human Services Transportation Plan was accepted by the GTC Board at the September 8 meeting.
The third Steering Committee meeting for the Regional Goods Movement Strategy has been scheduled for November 17. Meeting materials have been made available to members. The needs assessment, including performance measures, has been finalized and an initial listing of proposed projects, programs, and regulatory changes is complete.
Dave Zorn reported:
The 2010 Census TAZ Analysis is complete.
The 2010 Regional Land Use Monitoring Report is complete.
Angela Ellis reported:
The field work for the Safe Passing Zone study is complete and the report is being developed.
C&S Companies was selected as the preferred consultant for the Livingston County Transportation Connectivity Plan. A resolution authorizing the project will be sent to the Board of Supervisors on November 16. Kickoff is expected in January 2012.
Rochelle Bell reported:
The 2010 Monroe County Land Use Monitoring Report (LUMR) is complete. Monroe County submitted an application to GTC for including the 2011 LUMR in the UPWP.
Terry Rice reported:
The Audible Tactile Survey is complete.
The Monroe County Vertical Curve Safety Study is complete.
Data for the Monroe County Sign Inventory Location Upgrade is being integrated into the project database.
Hunt Engineers has been selected as the consultant for the Monroe County Horizontal Curve Study. The project scope and fee is being negotiated. The contract is expected to be presented to the County Legislature in early-2012.
There is no progress to report on the Monroe County High Accident Location Program.
Work on the Monroe County Accident Rate Database GIS Conversion project will begin this month.
Kristin Mark Hughes reported:
The scope of work for the Routes 5 & 20 and State Route 364 Multi-Modal Study has been drafted. There is a need to confirm support for the study from the new County Administrator. If there is support, the County expects to present the scope of work at the January 2012 Planning Committee meeting.
City of Rochester
Paul Holahan reported:
The Steering Committee for the Center City Tourist/Visitor Circulation and Pedestrian Wayfinding Study met in October. Preferred alternative routes will be selected next month.
The Center City Circulator Study is complete.
The inventory and analysis report for the City of Rochester Urban Trail Linkages Feasibility Study will be completed by the end of the month. A committee meeting will be held in early December.
Survey results for the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Parking and Circulation Study are undergoing review. A draft final report is expected after Thanksgiving.
The revised Draft Future Conditions Report for the St. Paul and North Clinton Two-Way Conversion Study was distributed to the Project Advisory Committee (PAC) and the next PAC meeting will be held on Monday, November 14.
A draft scope of work for the Mt. Read Boulevard Corridor Study will be provided to GTC, NYSDOT, and the Town of Greece by the end of the day.
Eric Farr reported:
A final draft of the Suburban Transit Station Study scope is being prepared. Public meetings will be held in conjunction with the downtown transit center in December and January.
There is no progress to report on the RTS Signal Prioritization Study.
There is no progress to report on the RGRTA Transit-Supportive Development Guidelines project.
The RGRTA Route Analysis project is ongoing.
Kevin Rooney reported:
The Cluster Development Enhancement Project Feasibility Study is complete
The Wayne County Safe Passing Zone Survey is complete.
Richard Perrin reported:
Draft alternatives have been developed and a Steering Committee meeting for the Auburn Trail/Ontario Pathways Trail Connection Feasibility Study is scheduled for November 10.
There is no progress to report on the Irondequoit Seneca Multi-Use Trail Feasibility Study.
The consultant contract for the Black Creek Stream Corridor Trail Feasibility Study is being finalized.
The draft Genesee County Central Corridor Plan will be presented later in the meeting.
Kristen Mark Hughes reported:
Work on the Victor Transportation Systems Plan is progressing as part of the larger effort to update the Victor Comprehensive Plan. The committee is meeting every two weeks to complete a draft plan by January 23.
Richard Perrin reported:
The consultant contract for the Brighton Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail Plan has been executed and the kickoff meeting is scheduled for November 15.
Richard Perrin reported:
GTC staff has completed its Fiscal Year (FY) 2012-2013 core budget, which funds activities necessary to maintain the federally-required metropolitan planning process to qualify for the receipt of Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration funding. Revenues for the FY 2012-2013 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) are anticipated to be the same as in FY 2011-2012 approximately $1.78 million.
After accounting for GTC core requirements and adding rollover from FY 2010-2011 and balances from completed studies, there is $1,068,325 available for programming to proposals received in response to the FY 2012-2013 UPWP Call for Projects.
Twenty four proposals requesting $1,437,650 in federal transportation planning funds were received by the October 21 deadline in the Call for Projects. This leaves a gap of $369,325 or 25.7 percent between requested funds and available revenues.
The 24 proposals were evaluated by GTC staff based on the information contained in the applications and the scores were provided to the UPWP Development Committee (UDC). The UDC will hold its first meeting immediately following this meeting to review the applications and discuss additional factors based on their professional judgment. Additional meetings are scheduled for November 30 and December 5.
A draft FY 2012-2013 UPWP will be presented to the Planning Committee at its January 5, 2012 meeting. Based on any changes made at that meeting, an initial draft program will be approved for 30-day public review and a final draft program for Board adoption will be recommended by the Planning Committee at its February 9, 2012 meeting. The GTC Board will consider the final draft FY 2012-2013 UPWP at its March 8, 2012 meeting and the adopted UPWP will take effect April 1, 2012.
b. Any Other Old Business or Announcements
Richard Perrin announced the following GTC Board appointment:
Rochester Mayor Thomas Richards has designated Allen G. Casey, President of M/E Engineering, P.C., as his At-large member to the GTC Board and appointed John Thomas as Mr. Caseys alternate.
Richard Perrin provided the following report:
1. Proposed federal legislation update and discussion
Richard Perrin discussed the highlights of the proposed legislation Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). A draft of the proposed two-year legislation was released by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works committee leadership on November 4 with full committee mark-up on November 9. This draft maintains highway funding at approximately current levels. It includes the consolidation of core FHWA programs from seven to five and reduces the overall number of FHWA programs from 90 to 30. It places an increased emphasis on performance measures to gauge progress and monitor implementation.
Terry Rice asked for clarification of the new funding regulations as discussed by Richard. He asked if the new legislation would require that non-National Highway System (NHS) bridges would have to compete for the same funding as non-NHS highways. He also asked about the scale of proposed funding. Richard responded in the affirmative; his interpretation is that there would be significantly less funding available for non-NHS bridges than under the current formula.
Terry Rice commented that MAP-21 still needs to be reconciled with any House legislation. Richard Perrin added that other Senate committees also need to weigh in on the proposed legislation. Terry stated that he thought the GTC Board would be very interested in this legislation.
Angela Ellis asked if a summary of the proposed changes was available for the committee members to review. Richard replied that he would prepare a summary, but noted that it would not be very detailed due to the likelihood of change in the draft legislation. Angela noted that the Planning Committee members need to provide direction to their board members on the impacts of the new transportation authorization bill.
Richard Perrin discussed the status of USDOT appropriations. The Senate approved Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2012 funding levels for a series of agencies, including the Department of Transportation. The House still needs to vote on its version and the two versions will need to be reconciled. The current Continuing Resolution expires November 18.
Richard Beers added that USDOT announced the availability of several discretionary programs on November 9. The deadline for applying to these programs is the first week in January.
5. Action Items
a. Recommendation to the GTC Board concerning acceptance of the Genesee County Central Corridor Plan as evidence of completion of UPWP Task 7572 / Proposed Council Resolution 11-135
Tom Lichtenthal, Assistant Engineer of the Town of Batavia, presented an overview of this project. He reported that this plan was developed jointly by the City of Batavia, the Town of Batavia, and Genesee County. It provides a transportation plan for the central part of the county that will guide sustainable growth and transportation investments in that area over the next 20 years. He explained the growing traffic congestion problems in and around the City of Batavia due to the confluence of several major roads in the heart of downtown, and reviewed the plans recommendation for a partial outer loop on the northwest side of the city aimed at relieving traffic congestion and providing safer and more efficient access to rapidly developing properties in that area. The plan also addresses bicycle and pedestrian safety and access by including recommendations on potential infrastructure improvements.
Tom said that the key lesson from the study is the variety of alternative financing strategies that can be used to pay for infrastructure improvements. He stated that one of the projects goals was to promote alternative financing strategies beyond the TIP or other traditional methods.
Richard Perrin expressed support for the inclusion of alternative funding sources in the plan and said that GTC has been encouraging project sponsors to consider and assess options outside of traditional state and federal sources.
Kris Hughes asked about whether or not the Town and City of Batavia supported the plans recommendations. Tom replied in the affirmative stating that the Town was the project lead and the City and County were closely involved in developing the plan.
Scott Leathersich asked if representatives from local business/commercial interests were involved. Tom replied that the study has broad community support and that business interests were represented on the Study Committee and engaged in public meetings.
Kevin Rooney moved to recommend acceptance of the Genesee County Central Corridor Plan as evidence of completion of UPWP Task 7572; Mitch Rowe seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.
b. Recommendation to the GTC Board concerning amending the 2011-2014 TIP to add projects to be funded through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Jobs Access/Reverse Commute (JARC) and New Freedom programs and delete the Purchase and Operation of an Accessible Bus Project
Richard Perrin discussed the background of the JARC and New Freedom programs. He noted that any project funded through the JARC and New Freedom programs must be consistent with the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan Update that was adopted in by the GTC Board on September 8. He added that RGRTA is the designated recipient of JARC and New Freedom funds for the Rochester Urbanized Area.
RGRTA and GTC conducted a competitive solicitation for projects to be funded with the Rochester Urbanized Area JARC and New Freedom apportionments for Federal Fiscal Years (FFYs) 2011 and 2012. The solicitation for projects was issued on September 9 and proposals were due on October 11. RGRTA and GTC staffs reviewed and evaluated the proposals.
Additionally, RGRTA is no longer pursuing the Purchase and Operation of an Accessible Bus Project due to less need than originally anticipated. As a result, a portion of the funds programmed to that project are available for other projects.
If recommended by the Planning Committee, the proposed changes will be incorporated into the larger amendment of FFYs 2012 through 2014 of the 2012-2014 TIP that is provided to the GTC Board. The TIP Development Committee has concurred with the evaluation prepared by RGRTA and GTC staffs and recommends favorable action by the Planning Committee.
Angela Ellis moved to recommend amending the 2011-2014 TIP to add projects to be funded through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Jobs Access/Reverse Commute (JARC) and New Freedom programs and delete the Purchase and Operation of an Accessible Bus Project; Scott Leathersich seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.
c. Recommendation to the GTC Board concerning amending Federal Fiscal Years 2012 through 2014 of the 2011-2014 TIP / Proposed Council Resolution 11-136
Richard Perrin discussed the TIP revision process. He reported that the public review period is nearly complete and GTC has not received a large number amount of input. The only public comments received were about a single project in Genesee County (Project No. 2, NYS Route 20 at Genesee County Road 35). The comments on this project were specifically in opposition to the idea of building a roundabout at this intersection. Richard explained that this concern can be addressed as part of the design process and that until it is determined that the identified safety issue has been addressed it is prudent to maintain funding to the project.
Bob Traver explained that NYSDOT is reviewing all design options for reconfiguring this intersection and that no preferred alternative has been selected. The main issue that this project has to address is the number of fatalities that have occurred at that intersection. In addition to the roundabout, options include cutting down the hill to enhance sight distance.
Terry Rice mentioned that he was at the public meeting where comments on this project were received. Based on what he heard, he expressed concern that this situation may not have an engineering solution due to the level of driver error. He noted that reducing the frequency of crashes, as NYSDOT has done with the installation of signage, may be all that NYSDOT can be realistically expected to achieve.
Tom Lichtenthal mentioned that this intersection is known locally as Suicide Corners and that local drivers will go out of their way to avoid it. However, he acknowledged that improvements in signage have helped increase safety at the intersection.
Richard Perrin discussed the changes and technical corrections made to the TIP project list between the October 13 version release for public review and the November 2 version distribute for this meeting.
John Polimeni discussed six projects that were not obligated in FFY 2011 as programmed. NYSDOT would like to reprogram them from FFY 2011 to FFY 2012. He provided the attendees with a letter, dated November 10 2011, that listed and described the project deferrals, noting that offsets are not required per NYSDOT-Main Office. This applies to one City of Rochester project, three Monroe County projects, and two recreational trail projects.
Terry Rice moved to amend the project list to include the six projects listed in the November 10 NYSDOT letter; Todd Gadd seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.
Kris Hughes stated that he would like to combine all proposed revisions into one package that the committee could accept.
Richard Perrin discussed an amendment to the TIP regarding the Chili Center Coldwater Road rehabilitation project (TIP# H09-29-MN1, PIN 4LS032). He explained that this project was funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding. In an effort to fully utilize ARRA funding, New York State requested project sponsors to relinquish ARRA funds programmed to a project if they had a lower engineering cost estimate than the amount programmed. New York State committed to hold any project sponsor that did relinquish ARRA funds harmless and cover any shortfall through other fund sources. Monroe County agreed to reduce the ARRA funds originally programmed for this project because the project costs were expected to be less than the amount programmed for it from ARRA. However, the actual project contract cost was in line with the initial programmed estimate. As a result, this amendment would program federal funds to this project that will cover the actual costs.
Paul Holahan moved to include the Chili Center Coldwater Road Rehabilitation Project (TIP# H09-29-MN1, PIN 4LS032) with the package of revisions; Terry Rice seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.
Tom Lichtenthal asked if the proposed revisions between the October 13 list and the November 2 list would result in an increase or decrease in TIP funding. Richard Perrin replied that the revisions will result in a net increase in the amount of funding programmed in the TIP. Jim Stack explained that the proposed revisions represent the addition of projects that were expected to be obligated in FFY 2011 but were not and the removal of projects from future years that were obligated in FFY 2011. Richard added that these are not new projects and NYSDOT-Main Office has provided assurance that the funds are available for the projects rolling over from FFY 2011.
Terry Rice said that agencies need to have projects ready to implement whenever funding becomes available.
Terry Rice stated that he was willing to defer Project No. 59, Twin Bridge Road over Oatka Creek and Oatka Creek Tributary, to 2015 in order to provide funds for Design projects in 2013 for other agencies. This would allow agencies to have projects in the design phase so that they can keep projects moving through the TIP pipeline. Richard Perrin responded that it might be better to keep the project where it is as new legislation may create a situation whereby neither the project nor the others the funds would be programmed to are eligible for federal funds. Terry withdrew his request.
Kevin Rooney expressed concern over what would happen if a jurisdiction used federal funds to design a project and subsequently could not obtain federal funds to build it. He asked if the jurisdiction would have to repay the design funds if the jurisdiction could not afford to build the project on its own. It was generally agreed that the project sponsor would not need to repay the design funds if the null alternative could be legitimately selected or the project sponsor implemented the preferred alternative with other fund sources.
Ed Welsh asked when the next TIP process would begin. Richard Perrin replied that it would start in fall 2012 with a new TIP adopted in June 2013 and taking effect October 1, 2013. It was agreed that this would likely create an opportunity to adjust project phases scheduled for FFY 2014 and beyond.
Terry Rice moved to recommend the amended Federal Fiscal Years 2012 through 2014 of the 2011-2014 TIP; Kevin Rooney seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.
6. New Business
The attendees discussed the proposed 2012 GTC Meeting Calendar. Terry Rice stated that the TDC meeting scheduled for January 19 would conflict with the Statewide Highway Superintendents Association conference. Richard Perrin replied that GTC staff would work with the TDC to set a new January meeting date.
7. Public Forum
No one from the public spoke during the public forum.
8. Next Meeting
Next Meeting: January 5, 2012 at the Ebenezer Watts Conference Center
47 S. Fitzhugh Street
The meeting adjourned at 11:37 a.m.