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> Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council - NTPP

Northeast Subarea Transportation Study

Transit Planning Project

This project was completed in March, 2003.
The following web page provides historical information about the project and its process as well as a link to the original NESTS web page.

This web site was used to present information on the Northeast Subarea Transportation Study Transit Planning Project (NTPP) to the general public while the project was in progress.

Project Background/Purpose Project Boundary Map
Study Goal Study Objectives
Study Area Scope of Work
Project Schedule Project Team
Public Meetings, Notices, Articles Telephone Survey

Project Reports

March 2003 NESTS Transit Planning Project Final Reports:

February 2003 NESTS Transit Planning Project Draft Reports:

January 30, 2003 Consultant Presentation of Draft Final Report

November 18, 2002 Consultant Presentation

Consultant Proposed Strategies:

May 22, 2002 Consultant Presentation: Transit Strategies for Public Comment

Facilities & Technology Briefing, (May 2002)

Summary Report of Market Research, (April 2002)

Related Links

Public Comments may be sent to:
Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council,
121 E. Court Street, Ithaca, N.Y. 14850
phone: 607-274-5570 |  fax: 607-274-5578
Email ITCTC

The NTPP is a multi-jurisdictional study being advanced under the Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council’s Unified Planning Work Program. The project is funded 80% by Federal Surface Transportation Planning funds and 20% by local contributors. Participating entities providing local funding include: Tompkins County, City of Ithaca, Towns of Ithaca, Lansing and Dryden, Villages of Lansing and Cayuga Heights and Cornell University.

The Transportation Policy Committee of the ITCTC has established a "Client Committee" (CC) to supervise implementation of the NTPP. Members of the CC include the eight local funding entities plus Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit and the NY State Department of Transportation.  Return to Top


 

PROJECT BACKGROUND/PURPOSE

There has been significant interest in identifying, quantifying and addressing transportation problems within what is commonly referred to as the "northeast subarea" (see the map below representing the general geographic area which will be studied under this project). This is generally the northeast section of the Ithaca Urban Area, loosely defined by Cornell to the south, SR-34B to the north, the SR-13/366 intersection to the east and Cayuga Lake and the City of Ithaca to the west. In the last decade, specific problems have been articulated by both the public and local leaders -- access to the Cornell campus, reduced traffic safety, adverse neighborhood impacts, increases in travel time, and negative environmental impacts. Several local planning studies at various levels of complexity have been conducted, most focusing on a single arterial roadway solution.

The Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council (ITCTC) recognized that there was a need to conduct a comprehensive transportation study for the northeast subarea. In 1993, the Town of Ithaca and Tompkins County jointly submitted a proposal requesting the use of funds from the federal Surface Transportation Program to conduct the Northeast Subarea Transportation Study (NESTS). The NEST study was designed to identify specific and areawide transportation problems and offer a range of alternative solutions.

The NEST study was initiated in January 1998, and completed in July 1999. The result of this effort was the NESTS Transportation Plan, which was developed by a Citizens Working Group in collaboration with a team of technical consultants. (Click here to view the NESTS Transportation Plan). The NESTS Transportation Plan includes nine recommendations that address the need for enhanced intergovernmental cooperation, land use policy changes, and various transportation project recommendations.

Recommendation 2 of the NESTS Transportation Plan calls for the use of enhanced community based transit service to alleviate congestion in the study area (see Figure 3). The NESTS Transit Planning Project seeks to provide the data and analysis needed to determine the feasibility and design of a public transportation system to implement Recommendation 2 of the NESTS Transportation Plan.  Return to Top


 

STUDY GOAL

The purpose of the NTPP is to design a public transportation system for the study area that will reduce current and expected congestion levels in the area roadways based on a thorough feasibility analysis. The proposed public transportation system will seek to implement Recommendation 2 of the NESTS Transportation Plan and, while supporting the Livability Principles described in that document. A long-term goal of this study is to reduce the need for roadway capacity expansion in future years through the implementation of public transportation strategies.  Return to Top


 

STUDY OBJECTIVES

The objectives in this section are meant to guide the development of the NESTS Transit Planning Project. This study seeks to determine the feasibility of implementation of Recommendation #2 in the NESTS Transportation Plan: Provide Enhanced Community-Based Transit Service. This recommendation supports the design and implementation of an intensive public transportation service for the study area, which accomplishes the following:

  • Provides a service sufficiently attractive and cost-competitive to result in a significant reduction in use of personal vehicles.
  • Reduces vehicular traffic on neighborhood streets in the study area.
  • Provides an alternative to commuters moving through residential areas to employment centers and commercial areas on Triphammer Road, Cornell, downtown Ithaca and on Warren Road.
  • Reduces peak hour traffic by single occupancy vehicles on high traffic volume roads in the study area.
  • Minimizes adverse impacts on:
residential areas and neighborhoods;
the natural environment;
energy resources;
historically significant landmarks;
recreational, industrial, commercial, and agricultural areas.

Objectives:

1. Consider various public transportation strategies to manage commuter flows through the study area and make a recommendation on a preferred strategy. The comparative analysis should describe systems that result in 3%, 5% and 10% private automobile to public transportation modal shifts.

2. Determine existing and potential ridership, as well as identify factors that will maximize the ridership for the proposed public transportation strategy.

3. Prepare an economic analysis, including a cost/benefit analysis, for the proposed public transportation system, including cost estimates and proposals for feasible financing strategies.

4. Design a public transportation system that will accomplish the following:

a. Provide a competitive, affordable and convenient, alternative to the use of personal vehicles that will connect a variety of trip origins/destinations, i.e. residential, employment, retail, recreational, educational, etc.

b. Provide the design for transit infrastructure and facilities in the study area to support operations and offer pedestrian/bicycle connections.

c. Optimize ridership, consistent with other objectives of the study, by operating flexible, fixed-route, and paratransit modes applicable for time of day and demand. Design a phase-in plan for the service.

d. Plan passenger facilities in the community with the goal of having a bus stop within reasonable walking distance of all residences and be connected with a pedestrian/bicycle network.

e. Identify infrastructure and ancillary support services required of TCAT to operate proposed services (e.g. public information, fleet maintenance, supervision, etc.).

f. Be coordinated with bicycle and pedestrian modes of transportation.

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PROJECT BOUNDARY MAP

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STUDY AREA

The Project Boundary Map delineates the study area for the NTPP. This boundary includes the ‘northeast area’, but it extends beyond in an attempt to capture the bulk of the trip movements through the area. In recognition of its importance as an origin/destination for a substantial number of trips originating, ending or crossing through the northeast area, the project boundary for the NESTS Transit Planning Project is also inclusive of the City of Ithaca. The study is designed as a subarea study, as generally defined in the Project Boundary Map, and is not expected to increase in its geographic scope.  Return to Top


 

SCOPE OF WORK

The scope of work for this project will gather and analyze data as part of a feasibility analysis and to use this information to design a public transportation system that provides an affordable and convenient option to private vehicle use. The NTPP is includes a series of Tasks as described below.

TASK 1:  Design and conduct a market research study to identify potential public transportation demand in the study area with a focus on factors affecting the decision to use public transportation by individuals. (Click here for information on the telephone survey)

TASK 2:  Using the information gathered in Task 1 develop a set of public transportation strategies and options designed to achieve the objectives of this study. (Click here for Service and Facilities Strategies)

TASK 3:  Analysis of Policy Options
Research and recommend policy actions that will be needed, or that will serve to complement, the different public transportation strategies under consideration. (Click here for Analysis of Policy Options)

TASK 4:  Develop a preferred public transportation strategy designed to achieve the objectives of this study. The preferred strategy will be supported by the following:

  • An operating and implementation schedule separating the preferred strategy into components and/or phases as appropriate
  • An economic analysis identifying costs for individual components and/or phases as appropriate. Including a cost/benefit analysis.
  • Recommended financing strategies for the proposed system.
  • An analysis of traffic impacts in the study area resulting from implementation of the preferred public transportation strategy.


TASK 5:  Public Participation

  • a. Telephone survey designed to gather input from the study area population.
  • b. Two public meetings:

1. After Task 2, for review and comment on alternative strategies.
2. During Task 3 for review and comment on the preferred strategy.

  • c. Develop and maintain a web page for convenient access to project information and updates.

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PROJECT SCHEDULE

  • Click here to view most current Project Schedule

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PROJECT REPORTS

March 2003 NESTS Transit Planning Project Final Reports:

February 2003 NESTS Transit Planning Project Draft Reports:

January 30, 2003 Consultant Presentation of Draft Final Report

November 18, 2002 Consultant Presentation

Consultant Proposed Strategies:

May 22, 2002 Consultant Presentation: Transit Strategies for Public Comment

Nests Transit Planning Project Facilities & Technology Briefing

Facilities & Technology Briefing, (May 2002)

Summary Report of Market Research, (April 2002)

The report was prepared by CAST in association with Multisystems, Inc. and is accessible here and at the ITCTC office. It presents the summary results of a telephone survey of residents of the northeast subarea of Tompkins County. The telephone survey sought to obtain quantitative data about the traveler's priorities, values, and needs in addition to gathering information about actual origins and destinations.

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PROJECT TEAM

Project Manager:  Fernando de Aragón, Staff Director
Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council

121 E. Court St., Ithaca, NY 14850
607-274-5570
Email ITCTC

Consultant Team:
Multisystems, Inc.
, Cambridge, MA
Creighton Manning Engineering, Inc.
, Albany, NY
Computer Assisted Survey Team
, Ithaca, NY

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PUBLIC MEETINGS, NOTICES, AND ARTICLES

RECORD OF PUBLIC MEETINGS

The second public meeting was held on Monday, November 18, 2002 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Women's Community Building, 100 West Seneca Street, Ithaca, N.Y.

The first public meeting was held Wednesday, May 22, 2002 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Women's Community Building
100 West Seneca Street, Ithaca, N.Y.

All meetings will be posted here as well as being advertised in local media. Announcements will also be sent to Town and Village Halls for posting at their discretion. Press releases are sent out to radio, television, and newspapers that service Tompkins County, Cortland, and Syracuse to be published at their discretion.

 

NOTICES AND ARTICLES - listed below for reference are some of the media coverages:

The Ithaca Journal

  • May 3, 2001, page 2A (article)
  • May 8, 2002, page 1A (article)
  • May 13, 2002, page 10A (letter to editor from ITCTC Policy Chair)
  • May 18, 2002, page 11A (block ad)
  • May 21, 2002, page 5A (block ad)
  • May 21, 2002, page 8A (editorial)
  • May 22, 2002, page 1B (press release)
  • May 22, 2002, page 2B (Today's Events notice)
  • May 24, 2002, page 1B (article)
  • November 13, 2002, page 3A (block ad)
  • November 14, 2002, page 3A (block ad)
  • November 16, 2002, page 5A (block ad)
  • November 18, 2002, page 8A (block ad)

The Ithaca Times

  • May 22, 2002, page 20 (TimesTable meeting notice)
  • November 13, page 15 (block ad)

Newscenter7 News

  • May 20, 2002, news story/interview, broadcast every hour 6:00 - 11:00 p.m.

Senior Circle (published quarterly)

  • Publication released week ending November 15, 2002 (meeting announcement)


All meetings will be posted on the web page as well as being advertised in local media. Announcements will also be sent to Town and Village Halls for posting at their discretion. Press releases are sent out to radio, television, and newspapers that service Tompkins County, Cortland, and Syracuse to be published at their discretion.

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TELEPHONE SURVEY


Telephone Survey for the NESTS Transit Planning Project

For a three-week period that began Monday, January 21, 2002, some 500 households in downtown Ithaca, Cayuga Heights, Lansing and others in the Northeast area including the Towns of Dryden and Ithaca, were asked to participate in a telephone survey about transportation issues.

The telephone survey provided basic information on the public’s needs, desires and opinions about the local transportation system and particularly about public transportation. The information will serve as the basis for development of public transportation alternatives for the study area.

The telephone survey was designed following rigorous marketing research and statistical standards. Every household called was randomly selected and the information they provided was vital to the success of this project.

Click here to review "Summary Report of Market Research"

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RELATED LINKS

PROJECT CONSULTANTS:

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