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					NYS Advisory Panel on Transportation Policy for 2025
                Colonie (Albany), NY, Meeting Notes
                             August 5, 2004

      A Report for the New York State Department of Transportation




         Prepared by University Transportation Research Center




     UNIVERSITY TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH CENTER
                The City College of New York, New York, NY 10031
                             (Report No. ALB-080504)




         University Transportation Research Center - 08/26/04 – Page 1
             New York State Advisory Panel on Transportation Policy for 2025
                                   Mission Statement

The New York State Advisory Panel on Transportation Policy for 2025, formed in 2004 by the
NYSDOT and chaired by NYSDOT commissioner Joseph H. Boardman, is a 12-member
committee that seeks to aid the department in gathering advice and insight from the public,
transportation industry, and other stakeholders during the development of the next statewide
transportation master plan. The panel plans to accomplish this by holding nine public hearings
throughout New York State throughout June, July and August. The panel is comprised of
individuals with government, transportation industry and business backgrounds, and will provide
a forum for the presentation of testimony and discussion of New York State's transportation
system needs and policy issues. Following the public hearings, the panel will review its findings
and prepare a report this fall.




                 University Transportation Research Center - 08/26/04 – Page 2
         New York State Advisory Panel for Transportation Policy 2025
                         Wednesday, August 7, 2004 Meeting Notes
           New York State Department of Transportation Headquarters, Albany
            Notes prepared by University Transportation Research Center, Region 2

Panelists: Joseph Boardman (chair), Dennis Fitzgerald (co-chair), Dick Garman, Pat Gilchrest,
Jim McGowan, Jim Melius, Jim Newman, Mitchell Pally, Arthur Roth, Janette Sadik-Kahn, Lee
Sander, Jim Tripp

Guests: Michael Fleischer, NYS Thruway Authority Executive Director, Senator Betty Little,
George Sinnott, NYS Bridge Authority Executive Director


BACKGROUND/FACTS

Positioning NYS
Trade, Technology and Traffic (primarily truck traffic) are factors reshaping our future and will
effect how the State’s transportation system performs in five priority result areas:
         Mobility & Reliability – providing choices and predictable travel times
         Safety – reducing deaths and injuries
         Environmental Conditions – improving the environment through transportation
           actions
         Economic Competitiveness – the economy depends on transportation costs in New
           York State being competitive with our neighbors and large economic centers
           throughout the country and worldwide.
         Security – strengthening our ability to prevent, mitigate and recovery

There have been fundamental changes in the flow of world trade and the nature of freight
(logistics – just in time deliveries) that have caused truck traffic to increase and the recent growth
is expected to continue. The northeast is its own economic center contributing to travel demands
as well. Congestion downstate has a financial cost upstate. Rail systems may provide some relief
to highway congestion, but new policies and approaches will be needed. Without change, the
impacts of trade, technology and traffic on the northeast will increase the cost of doing business,
making us less competitive and lowering our quality of life. To improve our quality of life we
need to win Public Trust through Environment and Energy Practices.

Regional Issues
DOT has been working on modifying its policies to fit the 7 principles of quality communities:
    Revitalize Downtowns
    Promote and Protect Agriculture
    Conserve Open Space
    Enhancing Transportation Choices
    Encouraging more Livable Communities
    Encouraging Sustainable Development
    Strengthening Intergovernmental Partnerships



                 University Transportation Research Center - 08/26/04 – Page 3
Environment and Energy Practices:
    Promote quality communities
         o Transportation has an important role
    Context-sensitive solutions
         o Public participation is important in determining context
    Transportation is the largest user of energy and producer of greenhouse gases
         o Promote public transit
         o Promote clean fuel vehicles

Three Key Connections -- Montréal, Toronto, New York City:
    Multimodal corridors
          o Connection to JFK is important to upstate economy due to growth of airfreight
          o Need to move to hub and spoke for intercity passenger movement
    Tourism corridors
    Commuter corridors

Issues designating Corridors:
     Lack of national network
     Lack of data
     Need to maintain a system-wide perspective

POLICY ISSUES RAISED IN TESTIMONY
(Written testimony submitted by meeting participants is part of the meeting record and is
supplemented by the summary)

The Environment in Which Transportation Policy/Investments Are Made

Global Nature of the Economy


Influence of Metropolitan Regions


Need for Increased Cooperation and Coordination between Agencies
One speaker felt that the problem for MPOs is to have better integration with state agencies. The
MPOs must be recognized not just by federal law but also by state law, as MPOs have little
relevance under state law. There is also the problem of MPOs getting people to accept something
other than pavement, intersections, etc.

One speaker said the MPO must be viewed by the state as a partner. The lack of public
participation on projects makes it difficult for the MPO to endorse some good projects. The
speaker recommends revising the I-87 plan to fall in line with MPO processes.

One speaker suggested a model for the state on MPOs is the state energy plan project.




                 University Transportation Research Center - 08/26/04 – Page 4
One speaker said that there is need for greater coordination among states and within state
agencies. That coordination is really important for the master plan.

Mandates and Regulations That Agencies Must Work Under
The challenge for NYSDOT is not just to provide mobility, but also to create quality
communities.

One speaker talked about the difficulty of getting oversize/overweight permits in New York.
Getting a permit costs more and takes too long to issue compared with other states. There is a
need for automation, electronic submission for requests and approvals to reduce delays. There
also needs to be restructured enforcement for non-safety related violations. The current system
penalizes the industry because permits are taken away for minor violations.

One speaker felt that there should be links between the DOT and the Governor's MIST
committee.

Another speaker felt that the DOT could save money by reducing the number of consultants it
uses and hiring more in-house engineers.

Finance
One speaker felt that the state should address the double standard of distribution of funds for
state roads that cross city lines. For the same road, the state portion is funded through the state
while the city portion must compete for federal funds for maintenance. State funds should be
given to maintain the entire corridor and not just part of the road that falls within state
jurisdiction.

Another speaker felt that the key to addressing transportation funding is to involve the public by
advertising the fight against congestion. Fighting against congestion would bring the public
support.

One speaker thought the state should have a dedicated railroad infrastructure program. One
element that badly needs funding is the problems with bridge decking for rail track.

One speaker recommended that DOT Commissioner submit a five-year spending program like
the MTA.

A couple speakers recommended that the state continue and increase its level of CHIPS funding
for local road repair. Another speaker also requested more Marchiselli funding. Congestion
pricing was also suggested as a way to raise funds through user fees.

Environmental Issues
One speaker felt that improving transportation reliability and efficiency would help the
environment.

One speaker thought the state should look at salt and sand alternatives.




                  University Transportation Research Center - 08/26/04 – Page 5
The Transportation System Itself

Competition between Logistics and Commuters for Capacity


Resource Scarcity
One speaker felt that the DOT does not provide enough resources for adequate preventive
maintenance program or for a good pavement management program.

One speaker said that there is a need to address congestion on highways to maintain
competitiveness of the state economy.

Physical Components (Infrastructure) versus Inter-Agency Integration (Management)
One speaker said that the DOT must create a true multimodal transportation facility and bring all
state transportation agencies into true coordination (Thruway, NYS Bridge Authority and DOT).
There is a need for broader vision for the statewide transportation plan. One idea would be to
link Centers of Technology together with new infrastructure.

One speaker talked about a statewide contactless smartcard system that could be used to perform
toll collection, transit fare payment and government facility identification.

Transportation Mode Specific Issues
   Transit/Paratransit
   The panel on disability issues in transit had these comments:
       Mandate that each transit agency board of directors include a disability representative
       Accessible taxis for areas lacking bus coverage
       Design guidelines for bus stops that may include stands for disabled people
       Develop guidelines for transit authorities to make buses safer and user-friendly
       Increasing pedestrian safety will benefit the disabled community
       There is a need to increase public transportation in rural areas
       Extend paratransit to cover more rural areas
       Ensuring compliance for the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) is really
          important
       There is need for better training for bus drivers, one speaker recommends a disability
          awareness training program for dispatchers and bus drivers, mandated by the state
       Develop seamless transportation for disabled persons within and out of the state
       Look at Medical Motor Services in Monroe County, Steuben County for examples
       Use of GPS equipped buses and cell phones to signal pickup of disabled persons

   One speaker said the state should support Welfare-to-Work transportation. There should be
   more coordination between Dept. of Labor and DOT to serve Welfare-to-Work recipients.

   One speaker said the state should look into coordinated Medicaid transportation.




                 University Transportation Research Center - 08/26/04 – Page 6
   One speaker said that public transit should be at the forefront of the master plan, and offered
   the following comments:
        Subsidize transit passes for state employees
        State offices should be built in CDBs
        Include transit in planning
        Pedestrian access is important
        Impact fees should be charged to developers for integration of transit
        Coordination of transportation agencies

   Rail
   One speaker talked about the need for an effective passenger train system to help reduce
   roadway congestion. The state should also establish a Public Transportation Authority to help
   coordinate the various systems around the state. The state should further assist in completing
   the double track between Albany and Schenectady for better train service.

   One speaker talked about how grade crossings and trespassing are the source of the majority
   of train-related accidents. Increased state support for elimination or improved safety of grade
   crossings is needed, as is more aggressive enforcement of trespassing.

   Trucks

   Airports
   One speaker mentioned that aviation safety is a product of government involvement and that
   the state must be involved on airport safety inspection and on safety training programs. The
   FAA inspects only 25% of airports in the state based on the federal threshold for inspection.
   DOT cannot inspect all small airports for safety. A good model for NYS on safety inspection
   is the one used by the state of Massachusetts.

   Another speaker said that the DOT must be a technology resource leader for all small airports
   around the state. Small airports are short of staff and would like to use DOT expertise on
   aviation as a resource.

   Ports/Shipping
   One speaker commented that ports are critical to the vitality of the state's transportation
   systems and must be included in the transportation master plan with equal consideration as
   road, rail, and air.

Borders
One speaker said that the state must focus on 3 international trade corridors that have opened up.
The state must pay attention to the border and must not leave it to the federal government
otherwise it will experience “neglect” and "security issues." The state should focus on the border
as an economic engine.

Crucial Role of Security
One speaker mentioned how after the tragic events of 9-11 few resources were given to rail to
address security concerns.


                 University Transportation Research Center - 08/26/04 – Page 7
Importance of Demand Management



The Impacts of Transportation Investments

Transportation Planning and Land Use
One speaker said the state should use transportation to help develop already existing areas. The
DOT should also focus on:
    Land use
    Walkability
    Environmental sustainability
    Development of corridors

One speaker said that growth in developing areas can be enhanced by comprehensive
transportation and regional planning, with these elements:
     Higher density housing
     Mixed-use development
     Development along existing infrastructure corridors

Economic Development Resulting from Transportation Investment
A speaker suggested that the transportation master plan has to be more than just a capital plan, it
has to be a plan in which economic needs are looked at on comprehensive basis. The plan should
have a big vision and present to the public the total needs of the state.

One speaker said that providing local communities with tools and training for planning and
zoning boards and resources for comprehensive plans would be useful in helping communities
realize economic opportunities.

Local Quality-of-Life Impacts of Projects




                 University Transportation Research Center - 08/26/04 – Page 8

				
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