Thinking Holistically about the Future of Our Streets

Thinking Holistically about the Future of Our Streets

In January of 2019 Smart Growth America released Dangerous by Design 2019 which documents the issues surrounding the design and function of our roadways in the United States. While the most dangerous places in the nation tend to be located in the Sun Belt – the Rust Belt is not immune. The Upstate cities of Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse all appear in the top 100 of the reports Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI). As a state, New York ranks 40th on the PDI; but it is number four for pedestrian fatalities from 2008-2017, and 19th in terms of the number of pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 residents during the same time period.

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February 2019 Federal and State Legislative Update

The partial federal government shutdown that marked the beginning of 2019 has ended, 2019-20 state budget talks are in full gear, and Dunkirk Dave – the world’s second longest prognosticating groundhog – is predicting an early spring. For those of you who are intrigued to know more about these topics, please read on. For the rest of you, take a late winter’s nap and maybe you’ll be more interested when you wake.

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NYS Civil Service Job Openings: Professional Career Opportunities exam

Attention young planners! Taking the Professional Career Opportunities exam opens the door to a variety of NYS civil service jobs related to environment, housing, climate policy, coastal resources, economic development and transportation to name a few. Sign up today.

For a full list of jobs, see this page

2019 Chapter Sponsorships

The New York Upstate Chapter of the American Planning Association is kicking- off its 2019 sponsorship call and we need your support! Today, our Chapter has more than 750+ members across Upstate New York representing professional planners in a wide variety of public, private, and non-profit organizations. This sponsorship call includes opportunities for visibility on our website, in our newsletter and at Spring Planners Day, and offers a cost-effective way for your organization to reach our professional membership and promote your services and products throughout the year.

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2019 AICP Reduced Fee Scholarship Program

The 2019 AICP Reduced Fee Scholarship Program has been announced and submissions will be accepted until 4pm on 2/22/19.

Submissions must include a written explanation of financial hardship (including the financial hardship(s) which necessitate the request. Submissions must be sent to the Chapter Professional Development Officer (Richard Guarino AICP - The winner will be announced on March 1.

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Planners Day 2018 – Another Very Successful Get-Together     

Planners Day was held on Friday, March 9th at SUNY ESF and once again we had a great turnout. We would like to thank our speakers – Andrew Frasier & Aaron McKeon from SMTC, Joe Bovenzi (GTC MPO) & Chris Dunne (Highland Planning), Darren Kempner (NFTA), and Tim Frateschi, Esq. (Frateschi Schiano & Germano, PLLC). We also want to thank our great members – without your interest and attendance we would not be able to continue to put on Planners Day events. We received some great feedback and are looking forward to doing it again next Spring.

Planners Day Legislative Update Follow-up – Opportunity Zone Selection

As promised, our Legislative Affairs Director Darren Kempner was able to reach out and get additional information regarding Opportunity Zone selection – thank you Darren!

He was informed by the Western NY ESD Director that areas are being reviewed based on tax law changes, however, they are looking for local input regarding priorities. If you are interested in the Opportunity Zone selection process and wish to get more information, please visit and reach out to your regional ESD office ASAP if you have not done so already.

President's 2018 Sponsorship Letter

Dear APA Members:

I am writing you to offer you the opportunity to sponsor the New York Upstate Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) website, newsletter and Spring Planners Day in 2018. Today, our 600+ members across the region represent professional planners in a wide variety of organizations. The annual website, newsletter and Spring Planners Day sponsorship offers a cost effective way for your organization to reach our professional membership and promote your services and products throughout the year.

Chapter sponsorship enables your organization to be recognized by our members in the Chapter website, annual events, and The Upstate Planner, our electronic newsletter sent to members three times annually. Last year we overhauled the website to make it more user friendly and aesthetically pleasing and user friendly. I encourage you to check it out by visiting On average, the website receives more than 2,000 visits per month. This year, as a sponsor, your organization will be recognized by sponsorship level during the Spring Planners Day and on promotional materials used that day.

Each year, we strive to offer valuable professional development opportunities. This Fall, the Central NY Section hosted a successful Chapter conference in Syracuse. It was a condensed conference because the National APA Conference was held in NYC in May. Despite having a national conference in our home state the same year. One hundred twenty attendees took advantage of new learning opportunities at the Syracuse conference. In March, we held a Spring Planners Day at SUNY ESF in Syracuse. The one-day event included three sessions providing CM credits at a minimal cost to our members. We are actively planning events to bring planners together including a Spring Planners Day in Syracuse which will take place in March 2018 and are hosting our annual Chapter conference in Ithaca, October 3-5th.

In order to communicate these Chapter initiatives through our website and newsletter sponsorships, we need your support. I hope that you will demonstrate your commitment to the New York Upstate Chapter of APA in 2018, and consider a sponsorship. Please take a moment to look over the attached form to see which level best suits your firm. We are always looking for new ways to promote our Sponsors. If you have suggestions, we would appreciate you forwarding them to us. Furthermore, to make this process easier for you this year we have added a fillable form and the option to send payment though the Chapter’s website. We hope this will be a more efficient way for you to show your support.

If you have any further questions, please contact me or our Chapter Administrator, Jen Topa at 585-354-3214 or


Katie Evans
Chapter President

New York Upstate Chapter Comment Period on Percentage-Based Dues is Open

A membership comment period has opened today (October 13, 2017) to gather input on a proposal to index the New York Upstate Chapter of the APA’’s dues at 15% of the dues members pay to the National Association.

All APA chapters are required to transition to percentage-based dues at the end of this year. The 15% index rate dues are summarized in the table below. Please note these are base APA memberships, exclusive of AICP dues.

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Under our bylaws, a dues increase is enacted by a majority vote of the Chapter Board. We are required to hold a formal comment period of a minimum of 30 days. The board will hold its vote on the change at its November 17 meeting.

An article about the change to percentage-based dues was published in our most recent newsletter. The newsletter can be accessed here:

Please provide your feedback using this form:

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this proposed change.

New Student Membership Fee Structure

New Student Membership fee structure (FREE!) for any student despite what you are studying as long as you are full time. 

All students currently actively matriculated in a college or university degree-seeking program are eligible for free membership status for the duration of their studies. Participation is open to students in any field of study and is not restricted based on past membership status or date limitations.

See for more information.

There is also a new, “New Membership” discount.  You can find information for that at the following link:  It is quite a significant discount for any new APA member.

Chapter President’s Council AICP Study Manual

“The NY Upstate Chapter has procured 10 copies of the Chapter President’s Council AICP Study Manual on CD. The purpose of this self-study manual is to help review basic planning concepts and to practice skills that are necessary for taking a multiple-choice test. The manual includes information on the following:

1. Introduction — Important Dates
2. Exam Structure
3. Getting Started — Contacting your Professional Development Officer (PDO)
4. Study Materials
5. Written Examination Scoring from 1977 to 2002
6. Question Format And Construction
7. A Notation System
8. Defusing Some Myths
9. History
10. Planning Theory
11. The Law
12. Environmental Planning
13. Citizen Participation
14. Developmental Regulation
15. Transportation Planning
16. Basic Guide to the Concepts of Quantitative Methods
17. Population Estimates and Projections
18. Local Area Employment Projections
19. Shift-Share Analysis
20. Comparing Alternatives with Unequal Lives
21. Budgeting
22. Finance and Cost Analysis
23. Benefit/Cost Analysis
24. Test Areas 1990 to 2002
25. Personal Test-taking Tips

Please contact Rich Guarino ( if you would like to purchase one. The cost is $15 (includes shipping).”