Cap


2012 Minutes - Policy Committee

February 23
March 8
April 12
May 10
June 14
July 12
August 9

September 13

October 11

November 27


Minutes of the February 23, 2012 Tri-Cities Area Metropolitan Planning Organization – Policy Committee meeting held 4:30 p.m. in the Petersburg Union Train Station located 103 River Street in Petersburg, Virginia.

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Brian Moore, Petersburg; Jerry Skalsky, Prince George; Dorothy Jaeckle, Chesterfield;  William Chavis, Dinwiddie; John Wood, Colonial Heights; Gha-is Bashir, PAT; Tom Hawthorn, VDOT; Herbert Bragg, Hopewell (alternate); Denny Morris, Crater PDC.
 
OTHERS PRESENT:  Andrew Duggan, Fort Lee; Jeff Stoke, Prince George; Mike Briddell, Petersburg; Ron Svejkovsky, Dan Grinnell, Jim Ponticello, VDOT  

Chairman Skalsky called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – December 8, 2011

Upon a motion by Mr. Bragg, seconded by Ms. Jaeckle and carried, the minutes of the December 8, 2011 meeting were approved.

CITIZEN INFORMATION PERIOD
No comments


REVIEW OF 2035 TRANSPORTATION PLAN CANDIDATE PROJECT RATING RESULTS
Mr. Vinsh distributed information showing the results of the ratings recently completed by local government Technical Committee members.  Mr. Vinsh explained candidate projects nominated by the local governments were rated using a procedure involving 3 factors.  The factors included a Base Rating factor consisting of 7 criteria, a Cost/Benefit rating factor and a Level of Service rating factor.  The Base Rating factor provided a maximum of 35 points per candidate project, the Cost/Benefit factor provided a maximum of 4 points per candidate project and the Level of Service rating factor provided a maximum of 2 points per candidate project. 

Mr. Vinsh also commented the Technical Committee intends to review the current long range plan rating process in the near future.  Recommended changes in the rating process would be considered, including provision for more background information on candidate projects.

Mr. Wood asked questions related to the preliminary cost estimates.  

Mr. Vinsh stated the most of the estimates were prepared using a standardized preliminary cost estimating procedure provided by VDOT-Central Office.  Mr. Vinsh added that generally no information is available regarding right of way or utility needs for candidate projects at the time preliminary cost estimates are prepared. 

After a period of further discussion, Ms. Jaeckle made a motion, seconded by Mr. Chavis and carried, that the recommendations regarding 2035 candidate project rating be endorsed for the purpose of public review and air quality analysis.
 

STATUS REPORT ON STATE FUNDING FROM THE VIRGINIA NATIONAL DEFENSE INDUSTRIAL AUTHORITY (VNDIA)
Mr. Vinsh stated the Crater Planning District Commission received 3 grant awards in State funds for Fort Lee expansion transportation improvements between January 2007 and July 2009.  These grants total approximately $4.25m.  However, it appears about $2m of this amount will not spent on intended projects because of 2 reasons.  First, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) made available State stimulus funds to complete the split intersection project at Rt. 36 and Rt. 144 with a larger scope of work than had been planned previously.  VNDIA and RSTP funded PE work in progress was stopped and State Stimulus funds were programmed to complete the preliminary work begun, any right of way acquisition and all project construction work.  Second, the bid awards for both Hickory Hill Road projects were much less than the estimated cost for these projects.  

Mr. Vinsh indicated a need to try and retain the remaining VNDIA funds for other projects related to Fort Lee expansion.  Mr. Vinsh indicated a new project at Rt.  36 and Lee Avenue has been identified for potential use of some of these funds.  State authorizations for this project to be funded with VNDIA funds would need to be requested and approved.

Mr. Vinsh further commented the Technical Committee has recommended that efforts be made to use any further remaining VNDIA funds to establish a fund for future Temple Avenue improvements.

Mr. Bashir asked if approvals for the use of the funds could be obtained for new transit services involving Fort Lee. 

Mr. Morris indicated he thought this would be difficult to do as the funding was made available to enhance traffic flow related to Fort Lee expansion.

After a period of further discussion, it was the consensus of the membership that CPDC should pursue the idea of seeking authorization to retain remaining VNDIA funds for additional Temple Avenue improvements.  There was a further understanding that a specific project or projects would need to be identified at the time the authorizations were requested.

 

REVIEW OF 2035 REVENUE FORECAST AND FY 2013 – FY 2018 CMAQ AND RSTP FORECAST
Mr. Vinsh stated VDOT has provided updated 6 year revenue forecasts for CMAQ and RSTP. 
The annual CMAQ revenue is about $1.3m and the annual RSTP revenue is about $2.5m. 

Mr. Vinsh indicated the Technical Committee will have recommendations for CMAQ and RSTP project allocations available for March meeting review and endorsement.  

Mr. Vinsh added that information on 2035 revenue forecast would be provided during the March meeting.

 
COMMUNICATION OF MPO TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES TO THE COMMONWEALTH
Mr. Vinsh indicated the CPDC staff responded to a request from VDOT – Central Office for MPO priorities for the next Six-Year Transportation Program (SYIP) update.  The SYIP is a State document that is updated annually.  The SYIP shows project allocations for the next 6 year period.  The 5 projects Tri-Cities Area projects in the current SYIP (FY13 – FY17) not fully funded total $14.3m and were identified as the MPO’s priority projects of equal priority during a statewide meeting sponsored by VDOT-Central Office on February 8, 2012. 

Mr. Vinsh added that the MPO has established formal rating procedures for candidate projects in the long range plan and for CMAQ and RSTP but not for SYIP updates.

SUMMARY OF INFORMATION ON SEVERAL VIRGINIA INITIATIVES TO ADVANCE PRIORITY TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS
Mr. Vinsh provided background information on several topics covered during a statewide transportation planning meeting conducted by VDOT – Central Office on February 8, 2012.  The topics included the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank, Virginia’s P3 Program and the I-95 Corridor Improvement Program.  The overall intent of each of these State programs is to bring non-traditional funding sources to the table to fund priority transportation improvements.  The State has insufficient revenues to fully fund certain traditional formula programs, including secondary and urban.

Mr. Vinsh added that the State intends to submit its final application to the federal government for authorization to re-establish tolls on I-95.  The application is due during the summer of 2012 and there is an outreach element to the application.  VDOT intends to contact MPOs and PDC representatives along the I-95 corridor for input into this effort.

 

STATUS REPORT ON THE SOUTHEAST HIGH SPEED RAIL (SEHSR) CORRIDOR RECOMMENDATIONS
Mr. Vinsh distributed copies of the recently released recommendations document to representatives of the 4 local governments within the project study area. 

Mr. Vinsh commented that the narrative and graphic sections containing the recommendations closely follow the segments identified in the environmental document.

 

STATUS REPORT ON THE NORFOLK TO RICHMOND CONVENTIONAL PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE PROJECT
Mr. Vinsh stated that several weeks ago the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (VDR&PT) informed the CPDC staff that AMTAK will not be conducting a station location alternatives analysis for the Tri-Cities as previously indicated last fall.  Mr. Vinsh indicated AMTRK is still interested in the project but had recently experienced budget reductions and could not fund the study.

Mr. Vinsh indicated the CPDC staff could make an effort to identify potential funding for this study and identify a strategy to move this effort forward if the Policy Committee desired. 

After a period of discussion, Mr. Moore made a motion, seconded by Mr. Wood and carried, that the CPDC move forward with identifying funding for this project, including securing approvals from the VDR&PT for use of Section 5303 funds and complying with State procurement procedures.

 

REVIEW OF PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE 2031 TRANSPORTATION PLAN TO ADD A PROJECT AT ROUTE 36 AND LEE AVENUE
Mr. Vinsh stated this amendment was being proposed to add a future project at Route 36 and Lee Avenue to the current long range plan.  As discussed earlier, State approvals for this project would need to be obtained to use some of the available VNDIA funds and matching RSTP funds for this project.   These funds are currently programmed for the Hickory Hill Road improvement projects.
Upon a motion by Ms. Jaeckle, seconded by Mr. Moore and carried, an amendment was approved to add the Route 36 and Lee Avenue project to the Tri-Cities Area 2031 Transportation Plan.

 

ADJOURNMENT
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 5:50 p.m.

 


Minutes of the March 8, 2012 Tri-Cities Area Metropolitan Planning Organization – Policy Committee meeting held 4:30 p.m. in the Petersburg Union Train Station located 103 River Street in Petersburg, Virginia.

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Brian Moore, Petersburg; Jerry Skalsky, Prince George; Dorothy Jaeckle, Chesterfield;  William Chavis, Dinwiddie; John Wood, Colonial Heights; Gha-is Bashir, PAT; Tom Hawthorn, VDOT; Denny Morris, Crater PDC.

MEMBERS ABSENT:  John Wood, Colonial Heights; Christina Luman-Bailey, Hopewell;

OTHERS PRESENT:  Andrew Duggan, Fort Lee; Tammy Davis, FHWA; Joanne Williams, Petersburg; Ron Svejkovsky, Dan Grinnell, Jim Ponticello, VDOT; Joe Vinsh, Crater PDC

Chairman Skalsky called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – February 23, 2012

Upon a motion by Mr. Moore, seconded by Ms. Jaeckle and carried, the minutes of the February 23, 2012 meeting were approved.

CITIZEN INFORMATION PERIOD
No comments


DISCUSSION OF REGIONAL CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING POTENTIAL FUTURE I-95 TOLLING
Mr. Vinsh made reference to background information on the project website created by VDOT for developing a tolling plan for the I-95 corridor in the Commonwealth.  The vision plan divides the corridor into 5 segments and identifies several goals for the project, including safety, system maintenance and preservation, mobility and economic vitality.  The I-95/I-85/Rt. 460 interchange in Petersburg has been identified as a potential improvement project under the safety goal and the widening of I-95 from Prince George to the North Carolina line has been identified as a potential candidate project under the economic vitality goal.

Mr. Vinsh stated VDOT has requested local comments regarding potential I-95 tolling be forwarded by CPDC staff on March 15 during a meeting with the project manager.  The project manager will address local comments during the April 12 MPO – Policy Committee meeting. 

Mr. Hawthorne stated new traffic surveys are being conducted in the area to assess traffic flow for the purpose of identifying potential tolling locations, traffic volumes, revenue forecasts and diversion.  The study is expected to be completed during the June – July timeframe.

Mr. Hawthorne further stated FHWA requires tolls collected on I-95 to be used for projects located on I-95.

Mr. Morris asked if tolls would contribute to future air quality problems.
Ms. Jaeckle stated the “Easy Pass” works best and is used in some northern states.

Mr. Hawthorne stated there are many issues associated with this project, including electronic vs. manual toll collection methods.  Some states only use electronic tolling but it is costly to go after users who do not have this technology. The electronic toll eliminates the air quality concern.

Mr. Moore asked if the old tolling locations would be used.

Mr. Hawthorne indicated no decisions have been made but he thought it would be difficult to toll I-95 inside the I-295 beltway as so many thru travelers and commuters would avoid the toll and divert to the toll-free facility.

Ms. Jaeckle asked if any consideration was being given to congestion pricing.

Mr. Hawthorne stated nothing has been taken off the table at this time.

Mr. Hawthorne added that the North Carolina has also received similar approval to toll its portion of the I-95 corridor and has initiated its own study.

Mr. Chavis suggested tolls could be placed on either end.

Mr. Skalsky stated tolls could be placed on either end along with entrances and exits.

Mr. Hawthorne stated the results of the traffic and revenue study will need to be considered regarding the placement of tolls and areas that receive the tolls are required by FHWA to receive the benefit of the toll revenues. 

Mr. Vinsh stated that representatives from Greensville and Emporia had forwarded written comments and that all local comments received would be summarized and provided to the VDOT project manager.


REPORT ON APPROACH FOR A TRI-CITIES AREA PASSENGER RAIL STATION ALTERNATIVES STUDY
Mr. Vinsh stated last October the CPDC staff was advised by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (VDR&PT) that Amtrak would be conducting a passenger rail station location study for the Tri-Cities Area.  In early February, VDR&PT staff advised CPDC staff that Amtrak had experienced recent budgetary changes and no Amtrak funds were available for this study.  VDR&PT has suggested the local governments should pursue this project. 

Mr. Vinsh further stated he contacted the Raleigh Office of Amtrak and discussed this potential project with one of their representatives.  Amtrak agreed to participate in the study by review and comment of the draft documents.  Amtrak has previously retained AECOM, Inc. to develop ridership and revenue forecasts for the Norfolk to Richmond conventional service but that this information is considered propriety and cannot be made public.  Mr. Vinsh also indicated the Amtrak representative said Amtrak is very conservative with ridership forecasting and VDR&PT has also contracted with AECOM, Inc. to prepare ridership forecast for the same service.  Mr. Vinsh indicated he had been searching for ridership forecast for the Norfolk to Richmond service.

After a period of discussion, it was the consensus to the Committee that CPDC staff would approach VDR&PT with a scope of work for this project and seek VDR&PT agreement to modify its contract with AECOM, Inc. to conduct this study on behalf of the MPO with the use of FY11 Section 5303 funds, if State funds are not available for this project.  If agreement cannot be reached with VDR&PT, then the CPDC would pursue a request for qualifications and conduct the study similar to the 2010 TDP project, using FY11 Section 5303 funds if needed.

 

REVIEW OF 2035 PRIORITIZED IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS BY ANTICIPATED FUTURE FUNDING YEAR   
Mr. Vinsh thanked Mr. Svejkovsky for his work with this project and distributed a handout showing the prioritized 2035 candidate projects by functional classification by groups of anticipated funding years or bands.  The purpose of this exercise is to show financial constraint and how forecasted revenues are planned to be used to fund priority projects for the air quality conformity analysis.  Projects rated for the 2035 plan have not received any prior allocations. 

Mr. Svejkovsky reviewed the spreadsheet and explained projects within the FY18- FY28 band are shown in green, projects within the FY29 – FY35 band are shown in blue.  The 3 projects shown in yellow are located in Chesterfield and are expected to be funded with private/local sources.  Projects on pages 2 and 3 are considered vision projects or projects of lesser priority as no funding is anticipated to be available for these projects before the year 2035.

After a brief period of discussion, Mr. Moore made a motion, seconded by Ms. Jaeckle and carried, a motion was adopted to endorse the financially constrained 2035 project list for air quality testing.

 

REVIEW OF RECOMMENDED FY2013 – FY2018 CMAQ AND RSTP ALLOCATIONS
Mr. Vinsh stated on February 24, a meeting between VDOT and Richmond PDC and the Crater PDC staffs was held with the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) Commissioner for the Richmond District, Mr. Roger Cole.  The purpose of the meeting was to fulfill the CTB Commissioner’s oversight role for review of MPO process for prioritizing CMAQ projects.  The procedures used to select CMAQ projects in each MPO were reviewed and sample projects were discussed.  Commissioner Cole accepted the procedures and did not suggest any changes at this time.

Upon a motion by Ms. Jaeckle, seconded by Mr. Bashir and carried, the recommended FY2013 – FY 2018 CMAQ and RSTP allocations for the next Six Year Improvement Program Update were endorsed.

 

STATUS REPORT OF SELECTED STATE TRANSPORTATION LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES
Mr. Vinsh briefly reported on potential State revenue bills HB 1248 and SB 639 and a potential measure included in HB 1183 and SB 578 regarding economic development incentives related to new industries that locate in the Commonwealth within specified time periods and use Virginia marine ports.

DISCUSSION OF CRATER PDC GRANT AWARDS FROM THE VIRGINIA NATIONAL DEFENSE INDUSTIAL AUTHORITY (VNDIA)
Mr. Vinsh indicated this item was a follow-up to discussion during the February 23 meeting regarding the need to secure State authorization to retain remaining VNDIA funds for other projects related to Fort Lee expansion.  It was the recommendation of the CPDC staff that a stronger case could be made for retaining the estimated $1.2m in remaining funds for doable projects rather than establishing a Temple Avenue Improvement Fund without other funding sources fund a larger project.

Mr. Vinsh indicated a new project at Rt.  36 and Lee Avenue has been identified and estimated to cost $530,000.  In addition, a potential project could be an intersection improvement at Route 36 and Puddledock Road.  This project is located near Fort Lee.  Puddledock intersects Route 36 at a sharp angle and there is a rail track located in the immediate vicinity of the intersections. 

Mr. Morris stressed authorization for these additional projects to be funded with VNDIA funds would need to be requested and approved by the State.

After a period of further discussion, it was the consensus of the membership that CPDC should pursue the idea of seeking State authorization to retain remaining VNDIA funds for the Route 36 & Lee Avenue project and the Route 36 and Puddledock intersection project rather than seek approval to use the remaining funds to establish a Temple Avenue Improvement Fund.   

Upon a motion by Ms. Jaeckle, seconded by Mr. Chavis and carried, a motion to authorize CPDC staff to seek State authorization to use the remaining VNDIA funds for the Rt. 36 & Lee Avenue project and the Route 36 and Puddledock Road projects was adopted.

 
ADJOURNMENT
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 5:50 p.m.

 


Minutes of the April 12, 2012 Tri-Cities Area Metropolitan Planning Organization – Policy Committee meeting held 4:30 p.m. in the Petersburg Union Train Station located 103 River Street in Petersburg, Virginia.

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Brian Moore, Petersburg; Jerry Skalsky, Prince George; Dorothy Jaeckle, Chesterfield;  William Chavis, Dinwiddie; John Wood, Colonial Heights; Gha-is Bashir, PAT; Tom Hawthorn, VDOT; Joe Vinsh, (alternate) Crater PDC

MEMBERS ABSENT:   Christina Luman-Bailey, Hopewell; William Chavis, Dinwiddie

OTHERS PRESENT:  Tammy Davis, FHWA; Steven Hicks, Petersburg; Jeff Stokes, Prince George; Ron Svejkovsky, Mike Estes, Brian Kelly, VDOT; Andrew Cadmus, Parsons Brinckerhoff; Steven Hennessee, VDR&PT

Chairman Skalsky called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – March 8, 2012

Upon a motion by Mr. Moore, seconded by Mr. Bashir and carried, the minutes of the March 8, 2012 meeting were approved.

CITIZEN INFORMATION PERIOD
No comments


DISCUSSION OF REGIONAL CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING POTENTIAL FUTURE I-95 TOLLING
Mr. Vinsh made reference to the initial discussion of this item during the March 8 meeting and introduced Mr. Estes, the VDOT project manager for the Interstate 95 Corridor Improvement Program.

Mr. Estes distributed a handout are provided background information on the current physical condition of the I-95 facility, the status of federal authorization to toll this interstate facility, current traffic and revenue studies and planned outreach activities and coordination relating to tolling of the corridor.  

Mr. Estes indicated he would like to return and attend the June MPO meeting to review the results of project related traffic and revenue studies. 

Mr. Estes stated the 3 basic scenarios being studied in Virginia include (1) tolls just north and south of the I-95/I-295 junctions; (2) tolls ever 20 miles along the corridor, less the Northern Virginia Area; and, (3) a closed system whereby users pay tolls based on the amount of miles traveled from interchange to interchange along the corridor.  No tolls are being considered for heavily congested segments in Northern Virginia area because of inherent conflicts that would compete with other goals involving HOV lanes aimed at reducing the number of single-occupant vehicles on these segments of I-95.

Mr. Estes indicated regional workshops are being considered and feedback on the process is encouraged.  A draft report is anticipated to be available in late May and the submission to FHWA for final authorization is scheduled for August 2012.

Mr. Hicks asked how toll revenues would be distributed. 

Mr. Estes reviewed program goals and potential improvement projects referenced in the project vision plan.  He also made reference to existing 2035 interstate non-toll projected revenues being used for the 2035 regional plan. 

Mr. Hicks asked would there be analysis of side street impacts?

Mr. Estes indicated diversion is a major component of the traffic and revenue study effort underway.

Mr. Hicks asked if toll revenues would be used for side street impacts and park-in-ride facilities.

Mr. Estes indicated toll revenues would be used for interstate improvements.

Mr. Skalsky asked if this toll collection procedure would be different that the previous toll collection procedure on I-95.

Mr. Estes stated the preferred method would be use of the Easy-Pass type technology with no traffic being required to stop.  The cash collection approach would likely involve some cars getting off the mainline and slowing down their speeds to pay cash at toll booths.  This feature would add additional cost in order to capitalize the project and add operating cost to go after users attempting not to pay.  He then made a reference to the Pocahontas Parkway example. 

Mr. Wood asked what would happen if some users do not have an Easy Pass and refuse to pay the toll.

Mr. Estes stated this is referred to as leakage and would entail additional costs to follow-up using a legal basis to recover lost revenue.

Mr. Skalsky asked if there would be different toll rates per axle? 

Mr. Estes said that the amount of tolls would be based on the number of axles.

Chairman Skalsky thanked Mr. Estes for his presentation.


REPORT ON APPROACH FOR A TRI-CITIES AREA PASSENGER RAIL STATION ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS
Mr. Vinsh indicated since the March 8 meeting the West Washington Street candidate site has been dropped from the proposed alternatives analysis and clarification has been received that Section 5303 funds can be used for this analysis but environmental and design work is not eligible. 

Mr. Vinsh further indicated efforts are being made to secure approvals to use FY11 and FY12 Section 5303 funds awarded to the Crater Planning District Commission for this project by piggy- back on a DR&PT on-call consultant contract.  If provision cannot be made for this approach, the MPO would need to consider authorizing the Crater PDC to issue a formal Request for Qualifications and the hire its own consultant for this project. 

Mr. Vinsh also stated the scope of services Amtrak had intended to use to complete this project has been modified by Crater PDC staff to include financial and evaluation elements.  The revised scope would be reviewed by the MPO committees during the May meetings along with proposed amendments to the FY11 and FY12 work program tasks.

Mr. Vinsh further indicated it appears neither CMAQ nor RSTP funds can be used for this project as it is classified as an intercity passenger rail service because FTA only gets involved in commuter passenger rail service.  Further clarification regarding the eligibility of the passenger rail station for these funds will be pursued.  

 

DISCUSSION OF DESIRED TRENDS OR GOALS FOR REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION AND LAND USE PERFORMANCE MEASURES
Mr. Vinsh indicated the Secretary of Transportation’s Office had recently held a work session with staff representatives from the Hampton Roads, Richmond and Tri-Cities MPOs for the purpose of reviewing State requirements for performance measure reporting and the designation of targets or goals by May 2012 for these measures. 

Mr. Vinsh made reference to an agenda attachment showing the 10 categories of measures required by the General Assembly.   Mr. Vinsh explained that the selection of individual measures to monitor were coordinated with the other MPOs and the State. 

Mr. Moore made a motion, seconded by Mr. Bashir and carried, that action on this item be deferred until the May meeting.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 5:25 p.m.

 


Minutes of the May 10, 2012 Tri-Cities Area Metropolitan Planning Organization – Policy Committee meeting held 4:30 p.m. in the Petersburg Union Train Station located 103 River Street in Petersburg, Virginia.

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Brian Moore, Petersburg; Jerry Skalsky, Prince George; Dorothy Jaeckle, Chesterfield;  John Wood, Colonial Heights; Gha-is Bashir, PAT; Tom Hawthorn, VDOT; Joe Vinsh, (alternate) Crater PDC

MEMBERS ABSENT:   Christina Luman-Bailey, Hopewell; William Chavis, Dinwiddie

OTHERS PRESENT:  Tammy Davis, FHWA; Steven Hicks, Petersburg; Jeff Stokes, Prince George; Ron Svejkovsky, Mike Estes, Brian Kelly, VDOT; Andrew Cadmus, Parsons Brinckerhoff; Steven Hennessee, VDR&PT

Chairman Skalsky called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – April 12, 2012

Upon a motion by Mr. Chavis, seconded by Ms. Luman-Bailey and carried, the minutes of the April 12, 2012 meeting were approved with corrections showing Mr. Chavis and Ms. Luman Bailey were absent.

CITIZEN INFORMATION PERIOD
No comments


REPORT ON STATE GRANT FUNDS FROM THE VIRGINIA NATIONAL DEFENSE INDUSTRIAL DEFENSE AUTHORITY (VNDIA)
Mr. Vinsh indicated approximately $1.6m of the $4.25m in grant funds awarded to the CPDC for Fort Lee expansion transportation improvement projects is remaining because project bid awards were  lower than estimated cost and because the Commonwealth Transportation Board decided to use State Stimulus funds (ARRA) to complete the Rt. 36 & Rt. 144 intersection project.

Mr. Morris further indicated the CPDC staff is continuing to seek State authorization to use the $1.6m in remaining State funds to assist with Fort Lee related expansion improvement needs for intersections of Rt. 36 & Lee Avenue and Rt. 36 and Puddledock Road.  However, State authorization has not been received for this additional work and the future availability of these funds to assist with other improvements along the Rt. 36 corridor is not certain at this time.

 

REPORT ON NEW APPROACH FOR A TRI-CITIES AREA PASSENGER RAIL STATION LOCATION ANALYSIS
Mr. Vinsh made reference to an April 23, 2012 letter received by CPDC from the Virginia Department of Rail & Public Transportation (VDR&PT) regarding a State commitment to fund the alternatives analysis of the Ettrick and Collier sites with State funds. 

Mr. Vinsh indicated the project scope of work includes 2 phases each to be completed over a 2 month period after authorizations to proceed from VDR&PT.  The 1st phase involves a comparison of the 2 sites on ability to meet rail operational needs, potential impacts, future ridership, fatal flaws and cost estimates for required site acquisition, access, parking, utility extensions, design and construction/modification.    The 2nd phase will address the question of a preferred location at a “Pre-NEPA” level of detail.  Preliminary findings will be identified on general site evaluations and constraints using available information existing sources.  Additional study will be needed at a later time to fulfill NEPA requirements for an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

Mr. Vinsh added that the MPO’s role in this study process would likely be minimal.  Federal sources indicate neither CMAQ nor RSTP funds can be used for a stand-alone passenger rail station.  These funding sources could potentially be used for this project if the passenger rail station also served as a central transit transfer site (multi-modal station). 

Mr. Bashir commented that the PAT Ettrick Route currently comes within about 3 blocks of the Ettrick station and he would look into the feasibility of extending the route into the site.

REVIEW OF INFORMATION RELATED TO HB 1248 AND SB 639
Mr. Vinsh distributed summary information provided by the Virginia Association of Counties on the land use and transportation components of this recently adopted State law.  This legislation includes provision which requires VDOT to review the transportation element of local comprehensive plans and to review metropolitan transportation plans and programs for consistency with State transportation plans and programs.  

Ms. Jaeckle commented that Chesterfield did not support this legislation.

Mr. Vinsh added that VDOT is scheduled to develop regulations to implement this law later this calendar year.

After a period of discussion, it was the consensus this State initiative would be monitored in the future.

DISCUSSION OF DESIDRED TRENDS OR GOALS FOR REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION AND LAND USE PERFORMANCE MEASURES AND THE GOVERNOR’S PRIORITY PERFORMANCE GOALS
Mr. Vinsh commented that the State land use and transportation performance measures required to be monitored by affected MPOs in Hampton Roads, Richmond and Tri-Cities also include a requirement that each MPO set a desired trend or goal for each of the performance measures. 

Mr. Vinsh made reference to column 5 in the table of 28 measures being monitored in the Tri-Cities.   This column indicates the desired trend for each measure and is required to be endorsed by the 3 MPOs by the end of May 2012.  The measures are to be reported annually and posted on the MPO webpage.
After a brief period of discussion, Mr. Wood made a motion, seconded by Mr. Chavis and carried, that the MPO endorse the desired trends or goals shown in column 5 for each of the 28 measures.

 

REVIEW OF DRAFT FY13 TRI-CITIES AREA UNIFIED TRANSPORTATION PLANNING WORK PROGRAM (UTPWP)
Mr. Vinsh indicated the annual draft document has been prepared and shows planning tasks to be undertaken by MPO during fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012.  The main activities for next fiscal year include finalization of the 2035 plan to include travel forecast information not currently available related to the Rt. 460 PPTA project and the I-95 Tolling Study.

After a brief period of discussion, Mr. Moore made a motion, seconded by Ms. Jaeckle and carried that the draft FY13 Unified Transportation Planning Work Program be endorsed.  

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 5:15 p.m.

 


Minutes of the June 14, 2012 Tri-Cities Area Metropolitan Planning Organization – Policy Committee meeting held 4:30 p.m. in the Petersburg Union Train Station located 103 River Street in Petersburg, Virginia.

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Brian Moore, Petersburg; Jerry Skalsky, Prince George; Dorothy Jaeckle, Chesterfield;  John Wood, Colonial Heights; Gha-is Bashir, PAT; Tom Hawthorn, VDOT; Joe Vinsh, (alternate) Crater PDC

MEMBERS ABSENT:  John Wood, Colonial Heights; Christina Luman-Bailey, Hopewell

OTHERS PRESENT:  Tammy Davis, FHWA; Steven Hicks, Petersburg; Douglas Miles, Prince George; Andrew Dugan, Fort Lee; Ron Svejkovsky, Paul Agnello, Mike Estes, Brian Kelly, VDOT; Andrew Cadmus, Parsons Brinckerhoff;  

Chairman Skalsky called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – May 10, 2012

Upon a motion by Ms. Jaeckle, seconded by Mr. Moore and carried, the minutes of the May 10, 2012 meeting were approved.

CITIZEN INFORMATION PERIOD
No comments


STATUS REPORT ON I-95 TOLLING STUDY
As a follow-up to information presented during the April meeting on a VDOT project to study the potential for tolling I-95, Mr. Estes distributed a handout and presented additional information outlining I-95 future financial needs.  Mr. Estes emphasized VDOT was committed to a balance funding approach to advance I-95 projects throughout the corridor. 

Mr. Estes explained the different toll rates that had been analyzed by VDOT with each of the 7 project alternatives ranging from $.02 to $0.15 per mile.  In addition, the VDOT analysis has considered traffic characteristics, diversion, cost and timing to implement tolling facilities.

Mr. Estes indicated VDOT is prepared to recommend project Alternative A-1 as a tentative proposal which involves tolling in both directions in Sussex County only.  The proposed toll rate would be $4.00 for cars and $12.00 for 5 axle trucks for each direction. 

Mr. Estes referenced a chart in the handout indicating Alternative A-1 is forecasted to generate $20m to $30m annually for I-95 corridor improvements annually between the years 2015 and 2020.  The revenue available for improvements is forecasted to increase to $60m by the year 2039.

A comment was made that a 1 cent statewide gas tax increase would generate $50m in revenue available for improvements.

Mr. Vinsh asked if the traffic studies address the capacity of Rt. 301 to handle projected diverted traffic.

Mr. Estes indicated this question is being addressed as the study progresses.  

Mr. Estes responded to a series of questions/comments from Committee members.  These questions/comments related to the potential burden that would be placed on local residents, the North Carolina approach for its I-95 pilot tolling project; the amount of potential revenue available with implementation of A-1 compared to I-95 total construction and maintenance need estimates.

Mr. Moore asked where would the I-95 toll revenues collected be used?

Mr. Estes made reference to the project Vision Plan that listed potential projects at I-95 & I-64 and I-95 & I-85, as well as other locations along the I-95 corridor.

Mr. Morris mentioned the environmental review process connected with this project and the need to identify impacts in Sussex County.

Ms. Jaeckle stated alternative A-1 would put too much financial burden on Sussex County residents.

Mr. Estes commented that a toll discount was being considered for frequent users.

After a period of further discussion, Mr. Vinsh thanked Mr. Estes for his presentation.

 

PRESENTATION OF INFORMATION ON THE OZONE ADVANCE PROGRAM
Ms. McCloud from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality distributed a handout and presented information regarding a voluntary program for implementing measures that would help reduce the production of emissions generated by businesses and local governments that contribute to the production of harmful ozone.

Ms. McCloud explained the Richmond area is currently meeting the applicable air quality standard for ozone but this area is near the level of noncompliance.  The ozone advance program is designed to help reduce potential negative readings and/or potentially extend the time period for a noncompliance finding by the U.S. EPA should negative ozone monitored readings are recorded this summer.

After a brief period of discussion, Committee members appeared to be generally supportive of the Ozone Advance Program concept.

Ms. McCloud indicated, if endorsed, the program would need to be in place by May 2013.  The VDEQ would be developing a specific set of measures for this program for public review later this calendar year.


DISCUSSION AND REVIEW OF REQUEST TO AUTHORIZED THE CPDC STAFF TO ADVERTISE THE 2035 DRAFT TRANSPORTATION PLAN FOR PUBLIC AND RESOURCE AGENCY REVIEW
Mr. Vinsh indicated hardcopies of the 2035 draft transportation plan update were ready to be forwarded to local public libraries and posting on the MPO’s webpage for public review.  Mr. Vinsh also indicated a plan revision would be likely be needed to reflect a potential Route 460 PPTA agreement and recommended Interstate system financially constrained improvements from the Roadside Safety Assessment (RSA) currently underway for the I-95/I-85 interchange vicinity.  Mr. Vinsh indicated it is anticipated travel forecast information related to the Route 460 PPTA project and the I-95/I-85 RSA project along with travel forecast information for major Tri-Cities Area roadways from the new Richmond Travel Model would be available to be incorporated into the plan revision later during FY13. 

Mr. Vinsh reviewed sections in the draft plan where significant changes have occurred since June 2008 when the current 2031 Transportation Plan was adopted.

Mr. Vinsh mentioned it was anticipated the 2035 draft Transportation Plan would be on the August 9 agenda for consideration of any public and resource agency comments received and plan adoption.  The current Tri-Cities 2031 Transportation Plan is scheduled to expire September 16, 2012. 

Upon a motion by Mr. Moore, seconded by Mr. Chavis and carried, a motion was adopted to authorize the CPDC staff to advertise the 2035 draft transportation plan for public and resource agency review. 

 

REVIEW OF SUMMARY INFORMATION FROM THE JUNE 2012 VAMPO MEETING
Mr. Vinsh briefly commented that the June 2012 meeting of the Virginia Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (VAMPO) was held in Charlottesville earlier this month. 

Mr. Vinsh indicated the topics discussed during this meeting included information on a bikeways planning related study in Charlottesville; several presentations from State transportation agency representatives on statewide activities in surface, rail, transit and plans.  A presentation was also made by the Deputy Secretary of Transportation on the MPO as a partner in the transportation planning process.

 

GOLDEN CRESCENT MEETING JUNE 7, 2012
As an Other Business item, Mr. Vinsh commented 5 of the 6 Tri-Cities Area local governments were represented at the June 7 meeting of the “Golden Crescent” localities held in Henrico County.  The focus of the meeting was on the need for increased State revenue for transportation improvements. 

After a period of discussion, it was the consensus of the Committee that the Secretary would forward a letter expressing general support for the purpose of the Golden Crescent interest and desire to continue this discussion with State delegates. 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 5:35 p.m.


Minutes of the July 12, 2012 Tri-Cities Area Metropolitan Planning Organization – Policy Committee meeting held 4:30 p.m. in the Petersburg Union Train Station located 103 River Street in Petersburg, Virginia.

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Brian Moore, Petersburg; Jerry Skalsky, Prince George; Barbara Smith, (alternate) Chesterfield; Christina Luman-Bailey, Hopewell  Gha-is Bashir, PAT; Paul Agnello (alternate), VDOT; Denny Morris, Crater PDC

MEMBERS ABSENT:  John Wood, Colonial Heights;  

OTHERS PRESENT:  Steven Hicks, Petersburg; Jeff Stoke, Prince George; Katie Evans, Progress-Index; Emily Stock, DR&PT; Dan Grinnell, Mark Riblett, Jim Ponticello, Scott Gagnon, VDOT   

Chairman Skalsky called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – June 14, 2012

Upon a motion by Mr. Moore, seconded by Mr. Chavis and carried, the minutes of the June 14, 2012 meeting were approved.

CITIZEN INFORMATION PERIOD
No comments


CONSIDERATION FOR RECOMMENDATION REGARDING I-95 TOLLING PROJECT
Ms. Luman-Bailey suggested the Committee prepare a resolution opposing the proposed tolling of I-95.

Mr. Chavis commented the Board of Supervisors in Dinwiddie does not favor tolling plan being advanced by VDOT.

Mr. Moore commented the City Council in Petersburg is in opposition to the tolling plan. 

Mr. Skalsky asked how the Committee wanted a resolution opposing the tolls worded.

Mr. Morris stated the CPDC staff could draft a resolution for consideration during the August meeting citing reasons identified by Committee members during previous MPO meetings, including environmental justice impacts, low net toll revenue that would be generated under the VDOT recommended Alternative A-1 and adverse economic impacts in the Tri-Cities.

Mr. Hicks commented that it was unclear how the State intended to use toll revenues that would be collected.

Ms. Jaeckle indicated the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors had not taken action on the tolling proposal.

Mr. Skalsky indicated the Prince George Board of Supervisors is opposed to the proposed tolls.

After a brief period of further discussion, Ms. Luman-Bailey made a motion, seconded by Mr. Moore and carried, directing the CPDC staff to draft a resolution for review during the August meeting opposing the proposed tolling of I-95 under project alternative A-1.

Mr. Agnello requested that the minutes indicate VDOT abstained from voting on the motion.

 

REVIEW OF PUBLIC COMMENTS AND CONSIDERATION OF APPROVAL OF THE CONFORMITY ANALYSIS OF THE IMPROVEMENTS LISTED IN THE 2035 DRAFT TRANSPORTATION PLAN AND THE ADOPTED FY12 - FY15 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
Mr. Vinsh stated the Conformity Analysis document was advertised as per the adopted Public Participation Plan and no comments were received.

Mr. Grinnell reviewed summary results from the conformity analysis indicating mobile source emissions tests met all federal requirements for the years tested.

After a period of discussion on recent ozone readings in the Richmond area, Mr. Chavis made a motion, seconded by Mr. Moore and carried that the MPO endorse the Conformity Analysis document prepared by VDOT.


REVIEW OF PRELIMINARY INFORMATION ON NEWLY ADOPTED FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION LEGISLATION MOVING AHEAD FOR PROGRESS IN THE 21ST CENTURY (MAP-21)
Mr. Vinsh indicated Congress adopted a two year federal transportation bill near the end of June 2012 called MAP-21.   

Mr. Vinsh indicated some summary information is available on provisions of MAP 21 but FHWA and FTA would be issuing draft regulations implementing this new legislation in the future.

Mr. Vinsh further commented that the new legislation basically extends current MPO requirements and adds requirements in the following areas:

  • Federal transportation performance measures with targets linked to project selection;
  • National freight planning requirement;
  • Transportation Alternatives Program; and
  • Consolidates certain transit funding programs.


ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Mr. Vinsh indicated Policy Committee By-laws call for the election of a Chair and Vice-Chair during the July meeting each year.

Mr. Chavis made a motion that the current officers be re-elected for another term.

Mr. Bashir made a substitute motion nominating Mr. Moore for Chair and Ms. Luman-Bailey for Vice-Chair.  The substitute motion was endorsed with a unanimous vote.

 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at approximately 5:45 p.m.

 


Minutes of the August 9, 2012 Tri-Cities Area Metropolitan Planning Organization – Policy Committee meeting held 4:30 p.m. in the Petersburg Union Train Station located 103 River Street in Petersburg, Virginia.

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Brian Moore, Petersburg; Jerry Skalsky, Prince George; William Chavis, Dinwiddie; Dorothy Jaeckle, Chesterfield; Christina Luman-Bailey, Hopewell; John Wood, Colonial Heights;  Gha-is Bashir, PAT; Mark Riblett (alternate), VDOT; Denny Morris, Crater PDC

OTHERS PRESENT:  Jeff Stoke, Prince George; Ron Svejkovsky, VDOT; Joanne Williams, Petersburg.  

Chairman Moore called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – July 12, 2012

Upon a motion by Mr. Skalsky, seconded by Mr. Chavis and carried, the minutes of the July 12, 2012 meeting were approved with a correction to indicate Ms. Smith commented on page 1 that the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors had not taken a position regarding the I-95 tolling proposal.

CITIZEN INFORMATION PERIOD
No comments


CONSIDERATION FOR RECOMMENDATION REGARDING I-95 TOLLING PROJECT
Mr. Vinsh distributed a revised draft resolution prepared, per the direction provided by the Committee during the July meeting, opposing Option 1-A recommended by VDOT.

Mr. Vinsh stated the draft resolution does not address any of the other alternatives cited in the VDOT presentation nor addresses alternative means for increasing transportation revenues in the Commonwealth.

Ms. Jaeckle commented that the version attached to the agenda package was easier to read.

Mr. Vinsh commented that following the July I-95 Toll Opposition Group meeting, additional information was added to the original draft to include more specific wording regarding expectations under the interstate tolling pilot program.

Ms. Jaeckle questioned the selection of the tolling location in Sussex and the projected toll revenues to be collected in relation to the revenue needs for the I-95 corridor as explained by VDOT. 

Mr. Morris commented on the need for a project environmental impact statement rather than an environmental assessment.  Mr. Morris further commented on the environmental review process used recently to oppose the “Outlying Landing Field” proposal by the U.S. Navy.

Ms. Luman-Bailey commented that other project alternatives would generate more toll revenue than Option A-1 and suggested the Committee should be proactive on this issue. 

Mr. Chavis stated that there are other ways the State can generate additional transportation revenues, including increasing the gas tax.  

Mr. Chavis further stated the tolling proposal would adversely impact businesses in Dinwiddie-Sussex area, including the local titanium mining operation.  The Board of Supervisors in Dinwiddie opposes the VDOT tolling plan.

Mr. Morris commented on growing number of public and private organizations comprising the I-95 tolling opposition group, including the Virginia Trucking Association.  

 Mr. Wood commented on the presence of tolling facilities along I-95 north and south of Virginia.   

After a brief period of further discussion, Ms. Jaeckle made a motion for endorsement of the revised resolution.  This motion was seconded by Ms. Luman-Bailey and approved with the VDOT voting representative abstaining.

 
REVIEW OF PUBLIC COMMENTS AND CONSIDERATION OF APPROVAL OF THE 2035 DRAFT TRANSPORTATION PLAN  
Mr. Vinsh stated the adopted Participation Plan had been followed for the advertisement of the Year 2035 draft Transportation Plan and no comments were received. Opportunities for public input were provided both electronically and during 2 scheduled public meeting held on July 24 and August 9.   The meetings were held at different times and locations within the transportation study area.

Mr. Vinsh further stated the financially constrained project list would likely need to be revisited next winter following scheduled action by the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) regarding the Route 460 Private Public Partnership Act (PPTA) project and the recommendations from the I-95/I-85 Roadside Safety Assessment.  The entry for the Route 460 PPTA project and the entries for the financially constrained interstate projects may need to be revised.  CTB action on the Route 460 PPTA project is expected this December and recommendations from the I-95/I-85 are being developed.

Mr. Vinsh further stated State and federal resource agencies were requested to comment on the draft document.  Comments were received from Fort Lee related mostly to air quality considerations.

Mr. Vinsh added that the current 2031 Transportation Plan expires September 16, 2012.

After a brief period of discussion, Ms. Jaeckle made a motion, seconded by Mr. Chavis and carried, the Year 2035 draft Transportation Plan was adopted. 

 

REVIEW OF PROPOSED CHANGES IN THE CMAQ ALLOCATONS FOR THE NEXT SIX-YEAR PERIOD
Mr. Vinsh stated the City of Colonial Heights has identified a need to modify scheduled CMAQ allocations to give consideration to accelerating the timetable for Rt. 1 & Dupuy Avenue allocations.  Mr. Vinsh reviewed the Policy Committee action of March 2011 to commit to using CMAQ allocations to replace a State revenue sharing grant previously developed to help finance the Rt. 1 & Dupuy Avenue project. 

Mr. Wood reviewed the development of the Rt. 1 & Dupuy Avenue project in relation to 2 adjacent CMAQ projects on the Boulevard.  Mr. Wood explained the need to accelerate the allocation timetable for the Rt. 1 & Dupuy Avenue project is related to consideration that the adjoining 2 CMAQ projects will be ready to be advertised in September for construction and, to a larger extent, consideration related to student enrollment expansion plans at Virginia State University (VSU), including the construction of a 8,500 seat convocation center.  The main access route to VSU is from the Temple Avenue I-95 exit to the Boulevard and then to Dupuy Avenue. 

 Mr. Wood indicated the City of Colonial Heights has offered to defer future allocations to 4 other CMAQ prioritized projects located in Colonial Heights in order to accelerate allocations to the Rt. 1 & Dupuy Ave. project including:

  1. UPC 9883 Rt. 144 Temple Ave. signal coordination;
  2. UPC 99194 Rt. 1 & Branders Bridge intersection;
  3. UPC 100501 Rt. 1 & Westover Ave. intersection; and,
  4. UPC 101116 Rt. 1 & Temple Ave. intersection.

Mr. Vinsh added that the Technical Committee recommended using $1,061,574 and the CMAQ balance entry and transferring $854,502 in FY13, FY14 and FY15 allocations from the 4 CMAQ projects listed above that have not been started.

Upon a motion by Mr. Wood, seconded by Mr. Chavis and carried, the Technical Committee’s recommendation to advance CMAQ allocations for the Rt. 1 & Dupuy Avenue project was approved.

 

REPORT ON THE JULY 27, 2012 MEETING OF THE VIRGINIA ASSOCIATION OF METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATIONS (VAMPO)
Mr. Vinsh reported that VAMPO is continuing efforts to follow the purpose outlined by the General Assembly in HJR 756 to organize, define its mission, and report on statutory changes needed to improve the statewide planning and programming of transportation programs and projects.

Mr. Vinsh further stated VAMPO is currently seeking to expand communications with State transportation agencies, especially in the process of developing federal and State project programming documents and bringing those processes more in-line with federal guidance.     

A period of general discussion followed focusing on the current role of the Tri-Cities MPO regarding level of involvement with local vs. statewide projects.  No action was taken on this information item.  One member indicated the current process was satisfactory and the MPO has a good working relationship with VDOT.  Another member questioned if the MPO had sufficient resources to expand its current level of staff involvement in project programming area. The comment was also made that no federal corrective actions have been issued directing the State and the MPO to change current programming practices.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at approximately 5:45 p.m.

 


Minutes of the September 13, 2012 Tri-Cities Area Metropolitan Planning Organization – Policy Committee meeting held 4:30 p.m. in the Crater Planning District Commission Office located 1964 Wakefield Street in Petersburg, Virginia.

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Brian Moore, Petersburg; Jerry Skalsky, Prince George; Dorothy Jaeckle, Chesterfield; Christina Luman-Bailey, Hopewell; John Wood, Colonial Heights;  Gha-is Bashir, PAT; Ron Svejkovsky (alternate), VDOT; Denny Morris, Crater PDC

MEMBERS ABSENT:  William Chavis, Dinwiddie

OTHERS PRESENT:  Emily Stock, Virginia Department of Rail & Public Transportation (VDR&PT); Julie Walton, Prince George;  Tammye Davis, FHWA; Michael Buettner, Chesterfield Observer; Joe Vinsh, CPDC

Chairman Moore called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – August 9, 2012

Upon a motion by Ms. Jaeckle, seconded by Mr. Skalsky and carried the minutes of the August 9, 2012 meeting were approved.    

CITIZEN INFORMATION PERIOD
No comments


PRESENTATION OF THE TRI-CITIES AREA PASSENGER RAIL STATION LOCATION ALTERNATIVES STUDY
Ms. Stock provided background information on passenger rail service planning in the area and presented information summarizing a State sponsored consultant study that evaluated the feasibility of the existing site in Ettrick and a greenfield site in Petersburg near Collier Yard for use as a future passenger rail station.  The evaluation included conceptual station layout, engineering and operational considerations and a preliminary environmental analysis for each candidate site.   

The study cited annual passenger rail ridership forecasts for the Tri-Cities as increasing from 22,000 in 2011 with 4 total round trips to 76,000 in 2022 with the potential Southeast High Speed Rail Service and with the programmed Norfolk conventional passenger rail service.  This forecast assumes a total of 10 round trips would be provided connecting the Tri-Cities with the Northeast Corridor, Norfolk, VA, Charlotte, NC and GA/FL.  The study indicates the current station at Ettrick is classified by Amtrak as “small size station” and the Tri-Cities will need a “medium size station” at the time higher speed service is instituted.     

The study made a preliminary comparison of a number of site factors including, size, miles to interstate, commuter access, multimodal access, Transit Oriented Development compatibility, local traffic impacts, historic resource impacts, wetlands/stream impacts, etc.  The study concluded that both sites have some challenges but neither contained any fatal flaws as a future passenger rail station.
Mr. Morris asked who is responsible for the next step in this study process.

Ms. Stock indicated it depends on the station choice and could involve FTA, FHWA or FRA or be a joint project.  Local communities have build passenger stations using different ways and funding sources.     

Mr. Bashir asked if Amtrak, CSX and NS will be asked for their comment on the study.

Ms. Stock indicated these agencies would be asked for their comment.

Mr. Morris asked if available ridership forecast are sufficient for Amtrak.

Ms. Stock indicated additional ridership studies would probably be needed based on which station is selected and the time the project moves forward.

Mr. Hicks commented that the Newport News multimodal station is being funded by the MPO.

Mr. Morris asked if RSTP or CMAQ funds can be used to fund a NEPA process for this potential project.

Mr. Vinsh stated FHWA has indicated it would review specific candidate projects for eligibility for CMAQ or RSTP funding.  FTA has generally indicated they do participate in funding commuter passenger rail projects but not intercity passenger rail projects.

Mr. Moore asked if the MPO needed to consider taking action recommending a station location.

Mr. Vinsh indicated the MPO could if it wanted but there was no federal or State requirement for MPO action to recommend a particular site or to endorse the study document.

Mr. Hicks commented that the study should have indicated a preferred site and the MPO should select one site to support.

Mr. Vinsh indicated the Raleigh, N.C. Office of Amtrak has indicated it would provide comments and respond to questions about the study.  Mr. Vinsh stated Amtrak’s view on this item is very important.

REVIEW OF MPO – TECHNICAL COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHANGES IN THE CURRENT ADOPTED PROCEDURE FOR RATING CANDIDATE CMAQ PROJECTS
Mr. Vinsh stated the Technical Committee has developed recommendations for changes in the procedure currently used to rate candidate projects as referenced in the meeting agenda materials.  Mr. Vinsh briefly reviewed each of the recommendations and indicated the Technical Committee spent considerable time on this proposed action item.

Mr. Wood commented on the advantage for projects having non-CMAQ funding available to assist with the funding of future CMAQ projects.  Mr. Wood suggested the MPO could use a process similar to the VDOT process with revenue sharing funds to assure the future availability of non-CMAQ funds if indicated at the time the candidate project is rated.   

After a period of further discussion, it was the consensus of the membership that this item be referred to the Technical Committee for further consideration.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 6:15 p.m.

 


Minutes of the October 11, 2012 Tri-Cities Area Metropolitan Planning Organization – Policy Committee meeting held 4:30 p.m. in the Crater Planning District Commission Office located 1964 Wakefield Street in Petersburg, Virginia.

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Brian Moore, Petersburg; Jerry Skalsky, Prince George; Dorothy Jaeckle, Chesterfield; William Chavis, Dinwiddie; John Wood, Colonial Heights;  Steven Hicks, PAT; Tom Hawthorne, VDOT; Denny Morris, Crater PDC

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Christina Luman-Bailey, Hopewell 

OTHERS PRESENT:  Julie Walton, Prince George; Gha-is Bashir, PAT; Ron Svejkovsky, Paul Agnello, Mark Riblett, VDOT;  Dr. Edgar Wallin, Chesterfield; Joe Vinsh, CPDC

Chairman Moore called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – September 13, 2012

Upon a motion by Mr. Chavis, seconded by Mr. Skalsky and carried, the minutes of the September 13, 2012 meeting were approved.    

CITIZEN INFORMATION PERIOD
No comments


PRESENTATION OF I-95/I-85/ROUTE 460 INTERCHANGE ROADSIDE SAFETY ASSESSMENT
Mr. Agnello presented information on a recently completed “Roadside Safety Assessment” serious safety and design issues associated with the I-95/I-85/Route 460 interchange.  Mr. Agnello indicated this interstate facility was constructed during the 1950’s as part of the Richmond Petersburg Turnpike Authority prior to the creation of interstate standards.  The assessment categorized recommendations for needed improvements as short-term concepts or long-term concepts.    

The main short term improvement concept addresses the traffic backup problem on the I-95 southbound exit ramp leading to Washington Street.  The recommended solution involves the application of access management and the construction of a physical barrier several hundred feet on Washington Street from the ramp to a point just pass Madison Street.  The physical barrier would restrict vehicles to one lane on Washington Street and prevent weaving movements.  This improvement is estimated to cost $470,000.

The need for three long term interchange improvement concepts with recommended improvements were identified.  Major deficiencies cited included the following:

  1. I-85 Northbound to I-95 Southbound – short weave/merge (250’);
  2. I-95 Northbound Onramp @ South Crater Road – short weave/merge (360’; and
  3. I-95 Northbound to I-85 Southbound ramp movement – tight turn with low clearance bridge.

Recommended solutions involve a combination of closing and relocating some existing ramps, constructing roundabouts and constructing a two-way flyover relocating traffic signals as described in detail in the presentation materials.

The total preliminary cost estimate to complete both short and long term recommended improvement concepts was $71.m. 

Mr. Agnello commented the next step was to get local and regional concurrence on the recommendations and amend the 2035 Tri-Cities Transportation Plan to include some or all of these projects.

Ms. Jaeckle and Mr. Moore commented on personal experiences related to safety issues related to the interchange.

Mr. Riblett stated public information and additional study are both needed before the recommendations can be finalized.

 

REVIEW OF RECOMMENDATIONS FROM MPO – TECHNICAL COMMITTEE ON CONSIDERATION FOR LOCAL/PRIVATE/IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS FOR CANDIDATE CONGESTION MITIGATION AND AIR QUALTIY PROGRAM (CMAQ) PROJECTS
Mr. Vinsh reported on the MPO-Technical Committee’s response the MPO-Policy Committee’s desire to retain consideration of non-CMAQ funds during the candidate rating process.  The Technical Committee recommended that points awarded during the rating process for non-CMAQ funds be deducted at the time the project is ready to go to contract if the promised non-CMAQ funds are not available.  The candidate project would remain on the priority list but at a reduced level.

Mr. Hicks stated there is an equity issue associated with the practice of awarding points for candidate projects with promised non-CMAQ contributions.  Mr. Hicks stated this practice assumes all project sponsors have equal financial resources to provide such assurances for its candidate projects.

Mr. Morris indicated a locality would not be expected to commit non-CMAQ funds before the project contact is signed.

Mr. Wood stated the project could not move forward as soon without the promised non-CMAQ funding.  Mr. Wood added that non-CMAQ funds can help move projects forward to completion sooner.

Ms. Jaeckle stated local contributions assist with providing more financial resources for the regional program.

Upon a motion by Mr. Wood, seconded by Ms. Jaeckle and carried, the MPO- Technical Committee’s recommendations for revising the current CMAQ prioritization procedure, including the change in how private/local/in-kind contribution are considered, was adopted.  Of the 8 voting members present, 6 voted in favor of the motion and 2 voted against the motion. 

 

DISCUSSION OF NEXT STEPS RELATED TO THE TRI-CITIES AREA PASSENGER RAIL STATION ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS
Mr. Vinsh briefly commented that a copy of the report has been forwarded to Amtrak for comment.  Amtrak has advised CPDC staff that it would provide its comments and respond to questions from the MPO regarding the report.  Mr. Vinsh further commented this State funded report was intended to be a preliminary evaluation to see if either site contained any fatal flaws as a future potential passenger rail station.  This report was not intended to comply with federal requirements for alternative site evaluation under National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements.  The State study concluded that both sites are potentially feasible.

Mr. Moore asked what were the staffs recommendations for next steps with this project.

Mr. Vinsh stated the CPDC staff recommends Amtrak comments be reviewed and considered by the MPO; and that any future CMAQ candidate projects regarding passenger rail station alternatives be forwarded to FHWA for eligibility review, that DRPT be requested to pursue a NEPA evaluation of the candidate sites under a federal process, including opportunity for public input.  Following completion of these tasks the Policy Committee may want to consider making its recommendations known. 

A brief period of discussion followed regarding this information item.

 

REVIEW OF PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE FY12- FY15 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (TIP) FOR UPC T11802
Mr. Vinsh stated VDOT has requested an amendment to the current TIP for a project that would use State CMAQ funds for selected statewide service vehicles to pay the difference between convention fuel and alternative fuel systems for these vehicles. 

Mr. Riblett reviewed background information on this proposal.

Mr. Vinsh stated the Technical Committee recommended approval of this amendment but had some reservation that other CMAQ eligible projects should be of higher priority and funded before this project. 

After a brief period of further discussion, Mr. Wood made a motion, seconded by Mr. Skalsky and carried that the proposed amendment be approved. 

 

 

REPORT ON RECENT DEVELOPMENTS RELATED TO THE ROUTE 460 PPTA PROJECT
Mr. Agnello presented information describing a timetable for moving this project forward to financial cost by the end of December 2012.  Mr Agnello indicated a workshop for local and regional staff within the Crater Planning District has been schedule for October 24 in the CPDC office.

 

REVIEW OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE FY13 UNIFIED TRANSPORTATION WORK PROGRAM
Mr. Vinsh reviewed proposed amendments to the current work program, including the addition of $31,251 under Task 2.0.  These PL funds were made available after the draft FY13 work program was approved in May 2012.  In addition, proposed tasks 2.3 and 2.4 have been modified to delete the previously proposed tasks related to freight movement and the development of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics (CCAL) and include the addition of an update of the 2003 Tri-Cities Bikeways Plan and an inventory of local pedestrian planning activities. 

Mr. Vinsh also stated that the Crater staff would be applying for an FY13 Section 5303 grant application in the near future.

Upon a motion by Ms. Jaeckle, seconded by Mr. Hicks and carried, proposed amendments to the FY13 Unified Transportation Work Program were approved.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 5:45 p.m.

 


Minutes of the November 27, 2012 Tri-Cities Area Metropolitan Planning Organization – Policy Committee meeting held 4:30 p.m. in the Crater Planning District Commission Office located 1964 Wakefield Street in Petersburg, Virginia.

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Brian Moore, Petersburg; Christina Luman-Bailey, Hopewell  Jerry Skalsky, Prince George; Dorothy Jaeckle, Chesterfield; William Chavis, Dinwiddie; Steven Hicks, PAT; Tom Hawthorne, VDOT; Denny Morris, Crater PDC

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Jerry Skalsky, Prince George; John Wood, Colonial Heights   

OTHERS PRESENT:  Jeff Stokes Prince George; Paul Agnello, Mark Riblett, Morteza Farajian, Jim Ponticello, Jennifer Debruhl, VDOT; Joe Vinsh, CPDC

Chairman Moore called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – October 11, 2012

Upon a motion by Mr. Chavis, seconded by Mr. Skalsky and carried, the minutes of the October 11, 2012 meeting were approved.    

CITIZEN INFORMATION PERIOD
No comments


REVIEW OF INFORMATION ON TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES PROGRAM
Ms. Debruhl, Director of the VDOT Local Assistance Division, presented background information on the Transportation Alternatives Program under new federal legislation Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) and a VDOT proposal for administration of the program for the FY15 grant cycle.  MAP-21 contains provision for the allocation of funds under the Transportation Alternatives Program to States and to MPOs located in urbanized areas over 200,000.  Eligible projects include most project types eligible under the former Enhancement Program of SAFETEA-LU.  The preliminary estimated amount of FY15 Transportation Alternatives funding for the Tri-Cities MPO is $169,000.  The MPO is responsible for selecting eligible projects for these funds.  If selected, eligible projects can receive grant awards for State and MPO funding under the Transportation Alternatives Program.

Ms. Debruhl explained MAP-21 is a 2-year federal bill that was adopted near the end of June 2012.  The Commonwealth Transportation Board had already made FY14 projects under the SAFETEA-LU continuing resolution before June 2012.   Therefore, an approach only needs to be devised for selecting FY15 projects.  The future of the Transportation Alternatives Program will depend on Congressional action to provide a continuing resolution under MAP-21 or provide a new transportation bill.

Ms. Debruhl further explained VDOT is recommending a joint approach for administering the FY15 program with the MPO.  The first step would involve VDOT soliciting project applications, rating eligible projects applications and providing the results of the ratings to the MPO.  The second step would involve a review of the project ratings by the MPO and project selection.

Mr. Vinsh indicated the Technical Committee has recommended endorsement of the VDOT proposal for joint administration of the Transportation Alternatives Program for FY15. 

Upon a motion by Ms. Jaeckle, seconded by Mr. Chavis and carried, the MPO-Policy Committee took action to support the VDOT proposal.   

 

REVIEW OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE FY12 – FY15 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (TIP) AND THE 2035 TRANSPORTATION PLAN REGARDING THE ROUTE 460 PUBLIC/ PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP ACT (PPTA) PROJECT
Morteza Farajian, manager for the Route 460 PPTA project from the Office of Transportation Public Private Partnerships, provided a presentation on both the status of the project and project related amendments needed to the MPO’s current transportation improvement program and transportation plan. 

The 5 amendments for the FY12 – FY15 TIP includes funding for the following:

  • UPC 56638:  Location & Environmental Study =  $7.5m
  • UPC 84272:  PPTA Project Management prior to project closing = $23.7m
  • UPC 100432:  PPTA Project Oversight after project closing = $84.9m
  • UPC 103803: Construction = $1.396b
  • UPC 103754:  Garvee Bond Debt Service = $1,012b

The amendment for the 2035 Tri-Cities Transportation Plan includes changes in the project narrative under the project listings to add information that portion of the project cost within the Tri-Cities MPO study area is estimated to be 13.57% of the total project cost.

Mr. Stoke asked if a date had been set for project financial close.

Mr. Farajian indicated financial close is scheduled to occur in the mid-December timeframe.

After a brief period of further discussion, Ms. Jaeckle made a motion to endorse the VDOT recommended amendments.   The motion was seconded by Mr. Chavis and carried.

 

REVIEW OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE FY12 – FY15 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (TIP) FOR FY13, FY14 AND FY15 PROJECT AMENDMENTS FOR PETERSBURG AREA TRANSIT (PAT)
Mr. Vinsh made referenced to an agenda attachment and stated the current TIP includes transit projects for FY12 only.  PAT and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation have developed transit projects for 3 additional years. 

Mr. Vinsh further stated the current TIP amendment needs to be amended to include these additional projects.

Upon a motion by Mr. Hicks, seconded by Mr. Chavis and carried, a series of transit project amendments for FY13, FY14 and FY15 were adopted, as recommended.

 

DISCUSSION OF HUMAN SERVCIES TRANSPORTATION AGENCY MOBILITY PLAN UPDATE AND FEDERAL TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION (FTA) RELATED FUNDING PROGRAMS IN THE RICHMOND, VA URBANIZED AREA
Mr. Vinsh indicated the human service agency transportation plan for the Richmond, VA urbanized area is scheduled to be updated in the near future by a DRPT consultant.  CPDC staff has recommended to DRPT that the scope of services for this work include an assessment of why no Section 5316 or Section 5317 grant applications have been submitted in recent years by eligible agencies in the Tri-Cities portion of the Richmond, VA urbanized area. 

Mr. Vinsh further indicated under MAP-21 a number of changes have been made in transit related programs.  The Section 5316 (Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) Program has been repealed but projects formerly eligible under this program can be funded under the Section 5307 formula grant program received by public transit operators, such as PAT.  Transit projects for enhanced mobility of seniors and individuals with disabilities that were eligible under the Section 5317 (New Freedom Program) are now eligible under Section 5310.  The purpose of the Section 5310 Program is to improve mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities. 

Mr. Vinsh commented that MAP-21 requires State and regional consultation regarding the designation of an agency to administer the Section 5310 Program in urbanized areas greater than 200,000 in population.  The State is the designated recipient in urbanized areas less than 200,000 in population.

 

DISCUSSION OF THE UPDATE OF THE CRATER PLANNING DISTRICT COMMISSION/TRI-CITIES MPO TITLE VI PLAN UNDER THE 1964 CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, AS AMENDED
Mr. Vinsh stated the Tri-Cities MPO uses the Crater Planning District Commission’s Affirmative Action Program is its Title VI Plan.  During FY12, DRPT determined each MPO would need to have a Title VI Plan that follows the Hampton Roads model.  A DRPT project consultant provided guidance for MPOs to comply with this requirement. In late June, the CPDC staff submitted correspondence to the project consultant regarding modifying the CPDC’s Affirmative Action Plan to include a Title VI complaint procedure and provision for the Limited English Proficiency (LEP) requirement.  The correspondence also included questions regarding the application of the Limited English Proficiency (LEP) requirement and the geographic unit to be used for this assessment as Chesterfield County is a participant in two MPOs.  In November of 2012, the consultant provided clarification on the LEP requirement and the CPDC staff used 2010 census tract data for a LEP assessment for the Tri-Cities portion of Chesterfield.  The assessment indicated the Tri-Cities portion of Chesterfield contained the only jurisdictional census tract totals in the Tri-Cities Area that met the federal threshold for the LEP requirement.  Translation of key MPO documents into the Spanish language would be needed upon request from the local Spanish speaking community.

Mr. Vinsh further stated the draft document needs to be completed and reviewed by the project consultant before the January MPO- Policy Committee meeting date. 

A period of discussion followed regarding the application of the LEP requirement. 

 

DISCUSSION OF FUTURE ALLOCATIONS OF METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION PLANNING FUNDS UNDER THE PL AND SECTION 5303 PROGRAMS
Mr. Vinsh commented VDOT and DRPT are required by federal regulations to review procedures for allocating planning funds to MPOs following each decennial census.  VDOT and DRPT have consulted with MPOs several times using regarding this task but no changes have been approved. 

Mr. Vinsh state at the present time, it appears under the PL program each MPO will receive a base allocation of $50,000.  Currently, in the Richmond, VA urbanized area the PL base allocation is made using the urbanized area as a basis.  Both the Richmond MPO and the Tri-Cities MPO receive $25,000 base amounts.  Therefore, the Tri-Cities MPO may benefit if this proposed PL change is implemented.  It appears consideration on whether or not a MPO is required to comply with federal Transportation Management Area (TMA) requirements will be a consideration in the allocation of planning funds.

Mr. Vinsh further stated that DRPT has suggested future year Section 5303 funds be distributed to MPOs based on the percentage of urbanized area population.  This approach would generally reduce the current Section 5303 funding level for small MPOs and increase the funding level for large MPOs in the Commonwealth.  Several small MPOs have objected to this suggestion.  Discussions regarding this item continue.

 

DISCUSSION OF NEXT STEP REGARDING THE PASSENGER RAIL STATION ALTERNATIVES STUDY
As an “Other Business” item, Mr. Vinsh reported Amtrak has recently commented on the “Pre-NEPA” study sponsored by DRPT earlier this calendar year.  Amtrak indicated it could provide passenger rail service to either the current Ettrick site or the potential Collier site but expressed no preference.  Amtrak also commented that it did not verify data presented in the report prepared by the project consultant and requested the narrative be revised to indicate provision for Amtrak personnel operating stations and ADA station provisions are subject to discussions with DRPT.  

Mr. Vinsh indicated he could provide information during the January meeting regarding potential funding sources for a “NEPA Evaluation” of alternative sites.  The State funded study indicated a site evaluation using federal requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) would be the next step in this study process.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 5:45 p.m. 

 

CPDC