GTC Planning Committee Minutes - January 10, 2008

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Ebenezer Watts Conference Center

Rochester, New York

January 10, 2008



James Fletcher, Monroe County At Large

Todd Gadd, Wyoming County

Daniel Hallowell, NYSDOT Region 4

Paul Holahan, City of Rochester

Kristen Mark Hughes, Ontario County

Paul Johnson, Monroe County Planning Board

Scott Leathersich, Monroe County At Large

William Sullivan, Rochester City Council

Chuck Thomas, Rochester City Planning Commission

David Woods, Livingston County



David Cook, RGRTA, representing Mark Aesch

Timothy Frelier, Monroe County, representing Terrence J. Rice

John Thomas, City of Rochester

Douglas Tokarczyk, NYSTA, representing Matthew Latko, Jr.


Jeffrey Adair, Monroe County

James Brady, Wayne County

Philip Brito, FAA

William Eick, Orleans County

Robert Griffith, FHWA

Timothy Hens, Genesee County

Edward Muszynski, Empire State Development Corporation

David Zorn, Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council

(Vacant), Monroe County Supervisors Association

(Vacant), City of Rochester At Large

(Vacant), FTA

(Vacant), NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

(Vacant), Seneca County

(Vacant), Yates County


Deborah Elliott, GTC Staff

Erik Frisch, City of Rochester

Julie Gotham, GTC Staff

Marvin Kleinberg, NYSDOT Region 4

Richard Perrin, GTC Staff

Jody Pollot, GTC Staff

Kevin Rooney, Wayne County

James Stack, GTC Staff


1. Call to Order & Introductions

David Woods, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 10:04 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

William Sullivan moved for approval of the minutes from the November 15, 2007 Planning Committee meeting; Daniel Hallowell 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 reported:

         A draft RFQ for the Supplemental Professional Services Database Programming project is under internal review.

         A peer MPO review is underway for the Strategic Planning task and LRTP Update/Implementation. With respect to the Strategic Planning task, this review will analyze the number of staff, budget, governance, and committee structure.

         The Unified Planning Work Program Development Committee agreed that the intent of the Rural County Resource Development Initiative project has been met by other agency (National Association of Regional Councils, Federal Highway Administration, and Bureau of Transportation Statistics) websites and GTC-developed resources.

         For the LRTP Update/Implementation task, staff is conducting a review of 17 peer MPOs including central city, year of MPO designation, size of area, population, employment and transportation system characteristics.

         For the Air Quality Planning and Outreach project, a review of the Interagency Consultation Group (ICG) process was replaced as an agenda item on the November 21, 2007 ICG meeting agenda with a separate meeting which was held January 9. The recommendations include regularly-scheduled meetings, meeting summaries, and a pre-set format for submission of materials to the ICG. An ICG meeting is being held on January 17 at which a review of classifications of TIP amendments will be conducted.

         The Transportation and Industrial Access Phase 1 & 2 project was accepted by the GTC Board at the December 13, 2007 meeting.

         Final revisions are being made to the new model as part of the calibration for the GTC Travel Demand Model Enhancement. The next step is to complete associated documentation.

         The Bicycle & Pedestrian Supportive Code Language project is complete.

         The combined Scope of Work for the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program and SRTS Site Assessments was approved by the Planning Committee in November. An overview of the program was provided to local officials as part of the NYSDOT SRTS workshops.

         A RFP for the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Strategic Plan Update was advertised in the December 17, 2007 edition of the NYS Contract Reporter. Seventeen requests for the RFP were received and proposals are due January 25.

         A scope of work for the Diversion Route Planning Initiative has been provided for Planning Committee consideration and discussion later in the meeting.

         All four Priority Trails Advancement Program projects are progressing. The Rochester Erie-Attica Railroad Bridge draft feasibility study is being developed and the consultant and City of Rochester are working with the State Historic Preservation Office. A draft feasibility study is being developed for the Penfield Irondequoit Creek Stream Corridor project. The first public meeting was held November 27, 2007 with approximately forty attendees. A field visit and site walk was conducted November 18, 2007. A public meeting for the Caledonia Lehigh Valley Railroad project was held December 5, 2007 with twenty-four attendees, and right-of-way acquisition cost estimates were developed. A gap analysis was completed for the New York Central Westshore Branch project and a meeting was held with the Monroe County Parks Department.

         The On-Street Bicycle Facility Opportunities Review project and the Pedestrian Facilities Inventory were accepted by the GTC Board at the December 13, 2007 meeting.

         All four Circulation, Accessibility, and Parking (CAP) Program projects are progressing. A draft report was provided to the Steering Committee for the Perry project and a second public meeting will be held on January 24 to present the preferred alternative. A preferred alternative for the Hilton project, based on resident preferences, is being determined via a survey. Discussions with NYSDOT regarding functional and operation considerations are underway. A draft inventory of existing conditions is being developed for Steering Committee review for the Macedon project. A RFP for the Browns Square Neighborhood project was advertised in the December 3, 2007 edition of the NYS Contract Reporter. Thirty requests for the RFP were received. GTC staff and City of Rochester Planning Bureau staff met to discuss project coordination.

         Work continues on the Congestion Management Process as part of the LRTP Update/Implementation task.

         Initial runs for the Travel Time Data Collection Assessment are complete; data analysis is nearly complete and results should be transmitted to the Steering Committee by the end of January.

         The Strategic Plan for Public Transportation in Yates County was accepted by the GTC Board at the December 13, 2007 meeting.

         A scope of work for the Regional Goods Movement Strategy has been provided for Planning Committee consideration and discussion later in the meeting.



Per David Zorns request, Richard Perrin reported:

        Staff is reviewing and revising county master address files for the Local Update of Census Addresses Phase 1 project.

        The 2006 Regional Land Use Monitoring project is complete.

         The LRTP Non-Air Environmental Scan project is complete.

         Work on the guidebook for the Preparing Village Main Streets for Planning project is continuing. Drafts of three chapters are complete and work on completion of the other two chapters continues. They will all go to the Technical Committee when all the draft chapters are ready.

         Development of mass transit nodal point and corridor planning/zoning recommendations is being done for the Optimizing Transportation Infrastructure through Effective Land Use project. Public outreach is on an as-needed basis.

Monroe County

Paul Johnson reported:

         Data collection continues for the 2007 Monroe County Land Use Monitoring report. A report will be generated within the next two months.

         Reproduction of the Monroe County Parking Study was delayed at the printer. It is expected to be presented at the February Planning Committee meeting.

Scott Leathersich reported:

         Revisions are being made to the draft final report for the Accident Rate Database project.

         The Monroe County Overhead Traffic Sign Visibility Upgrade study is progressing and is approximately 51 percent complete.

         There is no progress to report on the Traffic Sign Retroreflectivity Study. The project is on hold awaiting final guidelines from FHWA.

         The Safe Passing Zone Survey is complete.

         Three additional Priority Incident Location studies have been completed as part of the Monroe County High Accident Location Program since October.

John Thomas asked Scott Leathersich if there was information released on retroreflectivity guidance. Scott responded that it was his understanding that draft guidance from FHWA was released.

Ontario County

Kris Hughes reported:

         Work is continuing on the State Route 96/State Route 318 Rural Corridor Study. Focus groups are being held and the consultant is progressing technical work tasks.

City of Rochester

John Thomas reported:

       The City of Rochester provided MCDOT with a draft final report for the Port of Rochester Transportation Evaluation and Support Study for review.

        The Vehicle Fleet Alternative Fuels Systems Study is complete.

        A draft report is complete for review by the Center City Parking Development and Management Project Advisory Committee.

        The draft manual for the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Concept Design and Implementation Study has been provided to MCDOT for their review.

        The Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Parking and Circulation Study has begun with City of Rochester staff conducting the work. Inventory and mapping is underway and an advisory committee is being formed.


David Cook reported:

         The Market Research for Regional Transit Service project is complete.

        The Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan is complete.

        A kick off meeting for the RGRTA Suburban Transportation Service Study was held in December 2007. Consultant work is underway.

        The final report is being developed for the RTS/Lift Line Operational Analysis & Facility Utilization Study. Staff is working with the consultant on site analysis.

        The Facility Asset Management Plan for RTS & Lift Line is complete and is expected to be presented to the Planning Committee in February.

        A draft report for the RTS Operational Process Study was received last week and is being reviewed.

        The FY 2006-2007 Executive Summary for the RGRTA Route Analysis project was accepted by the GTC Board in December. Analysis is on-going.

Genesee County

Richard Perrin reported:

         No progress to report on the Genesee County Safe Passing Zone Survey.

Wayne County

Kevin Rooney reported:

         The Cluster Development Enhancement Project Feasibility Study draft report is complete.

         The final draft report for the Palmyra Route 21 Truck Traffic Study has been provided to the project Steering Committee with a presentation to the Planning Committee expected in February.

Wyoming County


Richard Perrin reported:

        The Transportation Elements of Scenic/Historic Resources in Wyoming County project will be discussed later in the meeting.

Other Agencies

Richard Perrin reported:

         Contracts for the Regional Traffic Count Collection project for Genesee and Livingston counties were executed on October 31, 2007. A contract for Wayne County is being developed.

         The final report for the New York Route 96 Traffic Signal Coordination Study is complete and will be presented later in the meeting.

         The Meridian Centre Boulevard Extension Study was accepted by the GTC Board at the December 13, 2007 meeting.

         The build out analysis for the Route 250 Corridor Study is complete. GTC staff is conducting travel demand modeling.

         No progress to report for the Town of Macedon NYS Route 31 Corridor Study.

         Work is continuing on a preferred alternative for the Williamson Route 104 & Route 21 Gateway Concepts project. The consultant is meeting with NYSDOT on January 11.

         A RFP for the Town of Penfield Bicycle Facilities Plan was advertised in the November 19, 2007 edition of the NYS Contract Reporter. Seven firms responded by the December 14 deadline. The consultant selection committee met January 3 and shortlisted three firms for interviews.

David Woods asked if GTC or NYSDOT had any information about the timing of solicitation for projects in rural areas under the Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) and New Freedom programs. Richard Perrin stated that he has not heard anything yet. Dan Hallowell responded that he has no new information.

b. Any Other Old Business or Announcements

Richard Perrin announced that per the Planning Committees action at its November meeting, a letter from the GTC Executive Director was sent to the Census Bureau Director requesting that master address files be provided and the deadline to submit updates and comments be extended to account for the deviation from the original schedule.

On January 3, 2008 Gladys Santiago was elected Rochester City Council President. She is now a member of the GTC Board. President Santiago has designated William Sullivan as her alternate to the Board.

Douglas Berwanger, Chairman of the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors has designated Todd Gadd, County Highway Superintendent, as the Wyoming County Planning Committee member.

5. Action Items

a.      Action concerning approving the Draft FY 2008-2009 Unified Planning Work Program Project List for public review.

Richard Perrin explained that the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) is the program of federally-funded transportation planning activities. The FY 2008-2009 UPWP supports planning activities for the period from April 1, 2008 through March 31, 2009. Projects in the current UPWP that are not complete as of March 31, 2008 will be rolled over into the FY 2008-2009 UPWP. The UPWP Development Committee (UDC) met on November 15and 29, 2007 and deliberated via e-mail to reach consensus on the Draft FY 2008-2009 UPWP Project List. The UDC reviewed thirty-eight proposals totaling approximately $2,045,000. Available revenues for FY 2008-2009 proposals are approximately $1,385,000. The public review document lists the projects the UDC recommends for funding as well as those not recommended for funding.

Pending Planning Committee review and input, GTC staff will finalize the Draft FY 2008-2009 UPWP Project List. The public review period will extend from January 11, 2008 through February 11, 2008. Following the consideration of public comments, the UPWP can be finalized at the February 14, 2008 Planning Committee meeting for recommendation to the GTC Board for action at their March 13, 2008 meeting.

Scott Leathersich noted that Monroe County Department of Transportation anticipates that the Regional Traffic Count project for Monroe County would be conducted via a contract with GTC as it is and will be with the other counties.

Erik Frisch suggested that the Dewey Avenue Corridor Study be extended to a terminus in the City. The City of Rochester would be willing to match the Town of Greeces cash match and feels that it would be a good use of a portion of remaining federal funds.

Richard Perrin responded that GTC staff recognizes the benefits of the Citys proposed change to the study boundaries and would provide support if the Planning Committee supports it.

Kris Hughes expressed concern about the timing of the request and in relation to the UPWP development process. He agrees that the proposed change to the project is logical.

Dan Hallowell concurred that the extended study area would require an expanded project budget.

Paul Johnson asked for clarification on the proposed Planning Committee action.

David Woods responded that the Planning Committee action is on the public review document as submitted for consideration.

Richard Perrin noted that outreach to the Town of Greece could be done by GTC staff and adjustments could be made during the public review period. Also, the UDC has recommended a program for public review that does not include the extended project area for this project.

Scott Leathersich asked if a footnote could be added.

David Cook asked what is specifically included in the public review document. Richard responded that the document in the package is what would be provided to the public and that the City request would not affect what is presented if considered during the public review period.

Richard Perrin noted that public comments would be provided to the UDC in order to recommend a final program to the Planning Committee and the GTC Board.

Kristen Mark Hughes moved to approve the Draft 2008-2009 Unified Planning Work Program Public Review Document for a 30-Day Public Review period as presented; David Cook seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.

b.      Action concerning amending the FY 2007-2008 UPWP by changing the Uses of Funds for Task 5330 Transportation Elements of Scenic/Historic Resources in Wyoming County / Proposed Planning Committee Resolution 08-1.

Richard Perrin explained the request by Wyoming County for the budget change and gave the background on the history of the study.

The UDC recently discussed the project and recommended the project be terminated but Wyoming County expressed a commitment to complete the project.

Richard noted a minor correction to Planning Committee Resolution 08-1.

Scott Leathersich asked if Wyoming County has the capacity to complete the project. Richard responded that they now have planning staff and noted the amount of work already completed.

John Thomas commented that this is the same situation that the City of Rochester faced on the Susan B. Anthony project.

Richard Perrin responded that he disagreed. He noted that the City of Rochester proposed the project with contractual funds and changed it with submission of the Scope of Work before any funds had been expended. The Wyoming County project began under a consultant contract that was terminated with a remaining budget that would likely not be attractive to another consultant to complete the project. This leaves no other option than to have County staff complete the project and the County provided documentation on the need for the change and their commitment to complete the project.

John Thomas disagreed with Richards assessment.

William Sullivan moved to recommend approval of Planning Committee Resolution 08-1 with the noted correction; Paul Holahan seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.

c.      Recommendation to the GTC Board concerning accepting the report, NYS Route 96 Traffic Signal Coordination Study, as evidence of completion of UPWP Task 5630 / Proposed Council Resolution 08-1

Chris Smith from Fisher Associates gave an overview of the study. He highlighted findings and recommendations. He gave an overview of the benefit/cost analysis and potential funding. He discussed the coordination that would be needed.

Chris discussed an additional component that was produced to document near-term recommendations and action items.

Kris Hughes asked if the traffic signal analysis included current proposed development. Chris responded that the baseline only includes existing signals. He added that they developed a model to measure the impact of the incremental development.

Paul Holahan asked about the severity of congestion. Chris responded that at times there is a mile of bumper-to-bumper traffic along the corridor. At other times, there is a free flow. He noted that some intersections are at a critical tipping point with minor actions causing congestion.

Dan Hallowell noted that the Department of Transportation has received the action plan and survey and can incorporate changes into future work plans. He noted that the Department of Transportation has concerns with the ability of traffic operation changes to mitigate the impacts of future land use decisions. He noted there needs to be recognition of the impact of land use decisions on the transportation system. Implementation will have to compete with other NYSDOT priorities for submission for funding.

Kristen Mark Hughes moved to recommend approval of Proposed Council Resolution 08-1; Scott Leathersich seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.

d.      Approval of UPWP Project Scopes of Work

David Woods suggested grouping the two scopes of work together under one vote. The Committee concurred.


1.      Task 6410 Diversion Route Planning Initiative

Richard Perrin explained that the objective of the project is to identify the most suitable diversion routes for major roadways in the region, to minimize disruptions, and improve safety for the traveling public when isolated events result in closures. He noted that principal arterials account for at least one third of Vehicles Miles Traveled and an even higher percentage of Average Daily Traffic and Average Daily Truck Traffic. He noted that principal arterials are extremely important to both commuting and goods movement.

The primary cause of non-peak period (i.e., non-recurring) congestion is incidents, which can cause significant delay and may result in additional safety concerns. Vehicular accidents include overturned tractor trailers, bridge hits, and hazardous materials spills. Weather events and flooding have also prompted closures of major roadways.

An examination of current protocols will be conducted. Concerns regarding the protocols along with existing and planned Intelligent Transportation System deployment will be identified and capabilities will be inventoried and assessed with respect to incident management. The final product will result in consistent and effective management and response plans for addressing transportation-related incidents.

Richard described the tasks to be undertaken.

He noted that the four products are traffic diversion plans for principal arterials, a suggested incident management protocol, and a final report and executive summary.

He added that the project is very technical and no public input component is required.

Kris Hughes asked if the events will be well defined or could they be incorporated into broader closures. Richard responded that a diversion plan would benefit planned closures and those resulting from incidents and emergencies.

John Thomas suggested that there be a peer review and lessons learned component in order to learn from others mistakes and successes.

David Woods noted that a large steering committee would be required given that the project will cover the entire nine-county region. Richard noted that the intent is to have a technical committee guide the study with a broader group of stakeholders involved as appropriate on a geographic or corridor-level basis.

2.      Task 8610 Regional Goods Movement Strategy

Richard Perrin noted that this Scope of Work offers greater detail than a typical one due to the budget and associated breadth of the study. He explained that the objective of the project is to develop a goods movement strategy that will position the transportation network of the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region to be a distinguishing factor in retaining and attracting both traditional and emerging-technology manufacturing firms as well as enhancing the viability of agriculture. The intent is to both improve the safety and efficiency of system and create economic development opportunities.

The Genesee-Finger Lakes Regions economy is the most heavily dependent on manufacturing in New York State. Agriculture and related agribusiness activities are a major component of the rural counties economies.

Just-in-time delivery, enhanced logistics processes, and increasing consumer demand have resulted in a larger amount of goods moving along the regional transportation system.

Truck traffic is the fastest-growing component of travel and will exceed the current capacity of the regions primary roadways by 2035. The resulting congestion will negatively impact the competitive position of the region. No assessment of goods movement related volumes and capacity currently exists.

The LRTP provides a macro-level understanding of freight, and regional trade corridors have been identified. Capital and operational improvements have not been identified.

A Steering Committee will consist of 12 to 18 representatives and be responsible for providing input on the Request for Proposals (RFP); providing data and participating in stakeholder interviews; developing goals and objectives; and assessing needs and evaluating alternatives. GTC staff will serve as the project manager. The number of Steering Committee meetings will be determined. Additional discussions via teleconference will be held as necessary.

The preferred consultant will combine nationally-recognized expertise in goods movement and economic development planning with knowledge of and experience in the region. It is anticipated that the preferred consultant will likely be a team that includes one or more firms with an office located in the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region to provide local knowledge and a national firm to provide specific expertise in goods movement and economic development planning.

A draft RFP will be distributed to the Steering Committee for review and comment. A subset of the Steering Committee will serve as the Consultant Selection Committee. A GTC staff member and a NYS Department of Transportation representative will be two of the members. The selection will be based on experience of the firm(s), qualifications of the project team, and project understanding and technical approach.

Outreach and participation will include a large number of stakeholders. The preferred consultant will develop a Stakeholder Participation Plan to incorporate meaningful participation not only for this project but also on-going participation in GTC planning and programming activities.

The stakeholders will be included in the development of a contacts database and the integration of project deliverables within existing committees and consortiums in the region. Drafts will be made available to interested stakeholders for review and comment.

Two series of public meetings will be held with additional meetings if needed.

Technical planning tasks will include:

            Collecting and analyzing available datasets to establish existing demand, capacity, and operating characteristics including existing volumes of goods movement by flow and commodity

            Projecting future demand, capacity, and transportation operating characteristics in five-year increments from 2011 to 2031 for use in the next Long Range Transportation Plan

            Supplement the data with a survey tool to shippers, carriers, and receivers in the region to gain further information on existing bottlenecks and deficiencies

            Survey and conduct interviews with key stakeholders and tabulate the results of the survey

            Assess the current key travel routes by mode with respect to their capacity and corresponding ability to accommodate projected volumes and assess weaknesses, opportunities, and constraints by location and severity

            Develop a framework with specific criteria linked to anticipated benefits and costs impacts

            Identify specific capital and operational projects (improvements) as well as broader-based initiatives and policies (strategies)

            Produce a matrix of alternatives that presents the needs and anticipated benefits and proposed timeframe for implementation

            Work with the Steering Committee to select those alternatives with benefits that exceed the costs and refine these location-specific improvements and strategies

            Provide specific and achievable follow-on activities to implement the prioritized improvements and strategies, including potential sources of funding from all sources

            Work with the TIP Development Committee to establish criteria and develop associated questions and a ranking methodology to more fully incorporate goods movement considerations into the TIP project selection process

            Incorporate the results of all tasks into a cohesive document with appropriate appendices to create the final report

            Produce the final report and an executive summary

Paul Holahan asked for clarification on an earlier comment by Richard regarding the lack of CDL operators in the region. Richard responded that the current lack of CDL operators is an important consideration but it is primarily a workforce issue. If this or similar issues that are not related to transportation infrastructure or operations are identified, they will be forwarded to the entities responsible for addressing them.

John Thomas requested that past GTC efforts at identifying freight issues be incorporated.

David Woods suggested the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets be involved in the project. Dan Hallowell noted that NYSDOT data collected through corridor studies will be made available.

Scott Leathersich moved to approve the Scope of Work for Task 6410 and Task 8610; Daniel Hallowell seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.

6. New Business

a. SAFETEA-LU Reauthorization Discussion

Richard Perrin reported that national organizations representing transportation interests are in the process of developing national priorities for the successor to the SAFETEA-LU in 2009.

The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has published several papers on various issues related to their priorities. The Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO) is identifying the best way to address these issues, and is assessing the role and structure of the MPOs and how to more fully incorporate land use issues.

Common themes are a new national vision (end of the construction of the Interstate system), improved infrastructure (existing and expanded), global competitiveness (China, India, others catching up to the United States economically), and energy independence (both a national security and climate change issue).

Richard noted he is on the Rebuild America Smarter committee of AMPO and will be representing this regions priorities in the national context. He invited the committee members to contact him with suggestions and thoughts on the matter.

John Thomas asked Richard Perrin to discuss the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Active Communities campaign. Richard gave some background and noted that the GTC Executive Committee decided that GTC cannot take the lead but that GTC staff can provide support to the effort. The Rochester Area Community Foundation has offered to lead the effort.

7. Public Forum

No one from the public spoke during the Public Forum.

8. Next Meeting

February 14, 2008 at the Livingston County Government Center.

9. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 11:43 a.m.