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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting for June

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Community Development, 51 Winburn Way



Attendees: Tom Burnham, Eric Heesacker, Julia Sommer, Colin Swales (Chair),   Brent Thompson,

                   Matt Warshawsky

Absent:      John Gaffey, David Young

Ex Officio Members:  Derek Severson, Larry Blake, Nathan Broom, Eve Woods, Steve MacLennan

Staff Present:  Mike Faught, Jim Olson, Betsy Harshman


I.                CALL TO ORDER: 6:00 PM



Heesacker moved to approve the minutes of April 16, 2009 as submitted. Larry Blake noted that he did not present the SOU Master Plan, and that it was actually presented by SERA, SOU’s architect.  Burnham seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.         


III.            PUBLIC FORUM

Egon Dubois requested Transportation Commission sponsorship of a group of bicyclists in the July 4 parade.  He felt sponsorship would demonstrate the Transportation Commission’s support of multi-modal transportation.  He said that there is a $100 entrance fee for groups in the parade, and that he was willing to pay this fee.


Thompson stated that the commission did not have authority to allocate funds, and time is running out.  Sommer stated that the Transportation Commission should sponsor the bicycle group and pay the parade entrance fee out of its budget.  Warshawsky stated that kids and adults should all be required to wear helmets if the commission sponsors the group.  Burnham asked how the word would get out – Dubois stated that Siskiyou Velo would post the event on their website.  Heesacker asked about liability if someone were to fall and break their leg.  Faught stated that sponsorship should be contingent on liability.  Burnham thinks the idea is great; however, it could reflect poorly the Commission and the City without enough time for proper organization, banners, etc.  Swales recommended support.  No motion was made.


Dubois also expressed frustration with the lack of bicycle racks in the downtown area.  He felt that the City should have had replacement racks ready to install before they took out the old ones.  Due to the lack of bicycle racks, some people chained their bikes to trees or light poles and then received a notice from the police department stating that this was improper parking, and could result in a $250.00 fine. Faught said that the City is working on replacements.


MacLennan reported that there were four traffic stops during the pedestrian sting.  The decoy made a lot of passes, and most drivers abided by the law.  MacLennan received nine complaints by phone about the project.  Callers described the project as a waste of time, money and a loss of parking spaces.


MacLennan was encouraged by the Commission to continue with the project as long as funding remains available.



              Item F was tabled due to Slocum’s absence. “Safe Routes to School” (E) presentation was moved                          up in order, prior to the Meeting Cancellation Protocol (B).          


V.              BUSINESS

A.  RVCOG Regional Transportation Plan                   

Vicky Guarino gave a presentation on the Rogue Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization.  Faught pointed out how important the organization is when the City seeks funding for transportation projects.  Guarino brought in applications for positions on the Public Advisory Committee.  The Ashland area lacks representation, as both spots are vacant. 


Swales asked if there were any projects identified in the regional transportation plan for Ashland.  Kate Jackson pointed out that N. Main/Hersey/Wimer is one of the projects on the list that may be eligible for funding if HB2001 passes.  The regional transportation plan is updated every four years.  Everything that goes into the plan must first be vetted through the TSP process.  Guarino stated that the regional plan will need to be amended when the HB2001 is in place.


A.      Meeting Cancellation Protocol

Swales stated that it was his decision to cancel the last meeting.  By-laws state that commissions must hold 10 sessions per year.  Burnham and Heesacker supported Colin’s decision.  Sommer said that it would be courteous to give the reasons for any meeting cancellations.  Eve Woods stated that many pressing issues come up that need attention, and that there should be an easier way of signing off on things.  Swales stated that the commission is subject to Oregon records law, and it is difficult to reorganize the schedules for everyone who would need to be present.


B.      Appointment of Sub-Committee

Swales, Thompson, and Sommers agreed to be sub-committee members.  Burnham offered to be a substitute and Eve Woods offered to be the student liaison.


C.     HB 2001 and its effect on Ashland

Faught stated that, once passed, the City would receive an addition $453,000 in revenue.  Ashland’s City Council pulled the Street user fee pay analysis from their meeting agenda, and will probably not approve it.


E.  Presentation from RVTD “Safe Routes to School” 

Kat Smith would like feedback before the end of July from Commissioners to kick off the fall 2009 school year.  Health risks related to sedentary activity include obesity, heart disease and diabetes.  Smith reported the percentages of kids walking to school at Walker Elementary:  61% of kids arrived at school via a family vehicle and 13% by school bus.  Only kids that live further than 1 mile away from school are allowed to ride the bus.  Smith reported that in 2001, SRTS and RVTD Implemented “Walking Wednesday’s” at Walker Elementary School.  The number of students involved in this program has doubled, and then tripled since instituted.  An Education, Enforcement, Encouragement grant has been applied for to fund a position at Walker Elementary to provide staffing for the program.


Smith has worked collaboratively with City of Ashland GIS, Police, and the Transportation Commission task force.  Lea Light, City of Ashland GIS, has been working with Smith in the development of maps detailing safe routes to schools.  Light presented the maps and explained that the action plans were not set in stone, and feedback is encouraged.


Thompson stated that Larry Medinger is to thank for an easement he created during development of one his projects for access to Helman Elementary School.  Severson reported that there will be a connector on lower Clay, and possibly in the upper area as well, due to the new Clay Street project.  Thompson would also like to a connector  from Jacquelyn to Clay and stated that there are lots of children walking to school from those areas.


F.  Update on ACTS Oregon Grant

This item has been tabled until the next meeting.


G.  Will Dodge Way Traffic Concerns

Discussion centered on whether or not about allowing one-way traffic, no traffic, limited hours of access, foot traffic, etc.  Faught will have one-way signs replaced.  Olson questioned whether or not one-way was still the right answer.



Faught gave an update on the Siskiyou Blvd crossing project at Garfield.  City staff is scrambling to get the work done prior to July 4.  Bids were requested, although none were received.  Mike will call contractors, but there is a potential that the project may have to be postponed until after July 6th.


VI.            ADJOURN:  8:30 PM


Respectfully submitted,

Betsy Harshman, PW Management Assistant


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