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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Thursday, December 17, 2009

City Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street



Attendees: Tom Burnham, John Gaffey, Eric Heesacker, Julia Sommer, Colin Swales (Chair), David Young

Absent:      Steve Hauck, Brent Thompson, Matt Warshawsky

Ex Officio Members:  David Chapman, Brandon Goldman, Larry Blake, Kat Smith

Staff Present:  Mike Faught, Jim Olson, Nancy Slocum


I.                CALL TO ORDER: 6:02 PM



Minutes of November 19, 2009 were approved as corrected. Jim Olson was added to “Staff Present” roll and email address was corrected to  


III.            PUBLIC FORUM:

No one spoke.



“Commission Training by City Recorder Barbara Christensen” was postponed due to illness.


V.              ACTION ITEMS:

A.  Commission Training by Barbara Christensen, City Recorder

Swales asked for comments regarding Commissioners emailing each other as a group outside of the meeting. Young thought the ORS was over interpreted and unnecessarily restrictive. Burnham thought it prudent to consider who we are “speaking as” in emails – a Commissioner or a citizen. Swales thought a city list serve specific to the Transportation Commission would be a good vehicle for open discussion.


Faught reminded the Commission that Christensen had just returned from a conference on meeting laws and would be better able to answer their questions next month.


B.  Appointment of Traffic Subcommittee

Olson reminded the Commission that Subcommittee members were limited to two consecutive terms. Tom Burnham, Julia Sommers and Colin Swales were chosen for the term January, 2010 through June, 2010. David Young would be the alternate.


C.  Croman Master Plan by Brandon Goldman

Goldman noted that the Croman Master Plan contained several transportation-related elements: a street network (modified grid and green streets), varied street types (a Central Boulevard, local streets, accessways and multi-use paths), transit amenities (transit stations, bus route through site and freight access) and bicycle and pedestrian facilities (including sidewalks and protected bike lanes).


Goldman noted that Warshawsky, Chair of the Citizen Advisory committee, had expressed strong concerns about the lack of visibility on “protected bike paths” (a physically separated lane reserved solely for bicycle traffic) in an email dated 12/8/09. Goldman said an extension of the Central bike path might be possible although there would be some slope problems. Requirements for transit would start to happen when a certain percentage of the site was built out. In addition, some contamination was found on site, but cleanup would be the responsibility of the applicant. A maximum 50% of required on-site parking is required to be surface level parking. Changes to the street profile would be handled through a minor amendment process.


Young also had concerns about protected bike paths. Goldman noted that the bike path would be used primarily by bicyclists employed or living on site, not those passing through. To reduce conflicts, there would be limited driveway access. Egon Dubois said that a bicyclist going against traffic was against expert advice. Heesacker wondered about the cost difference between a two-way bike way and a one-way bike way on each side of the street. Chapman noted a state law that says if a bike path is available, cyclists must use it.


Burnham was concerned that the Commission was not asked for input until now. Brandon noted that the Citizen Advisory Committee had liaisons from each commission. Goldman said the original concept came before the City Council in February of 2009 and was designed by consultants. In January, 2010 the Citizen Advisory Committee would be officially disbanded and the plan would go before the City Council for adoption on March of 2010.


Faught asked the Commission for direction. There was a Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA), but he hadn’t finished reviewing it. Faught asked how the Commission wanted to protect bicyclists in this project. Gaffey wondered what group of bicyclists the bike amenities were being designed for. Swales wondered if, because the Croman site was at the far south end of town, there would be enough density for special bicycle amenities. Sommers asked if the Commission’s input would be accepted without an immediate recommendation. Goldman said the plan could be changed with minor or major amendments at the application for site review phase.


Chapman thought the transportation plan was entirely site specific. What would be the plan’s affect on the entire City’s circulation? Faught wanted to research whether the TIA’s solution was consistent with the draft plan. Young suggested sending the City Council a letter asking for a delay as the Commission had serious concerns. Faught suggested holding a special Commission meeting with Croman as the one agenda item.



Young moved that staff draft a letter to the Planning Commission in anticipation of their January meeting. The Transportation Commission requested time to review the TIA and details of overall plan. Commission also requested that the Planning Commission hold the hearing “open” until their February meeting to allow for the Transportation Commission’s input. Sommer seconded the motion and it passed 5 to 1. Commission asked Swales to sign the letter on behalf of the Commission.


The Commission asked that this agenda item be the sole item on January’s agenda.


D.    Review of Council Goals

Faught noted that these goals were currently ending the first year of two year goals. The Council asked each commission for their edits. Gaffey wondered why, in general, “alternative modes of transportation” also listed bicycles. He thought it redundant.



Gaffey moved to accept the language of the Council goals as written. Burnham seconded the motion and it passed 5 to 1.


E.  Transportation Commission Goals

Olson asked the Commission to begin a discussion on the Commission’s transportation-related goals. Commission agreed that developing and adopting the TSP would be their first goal. Sommer had prepared other goals to consider including increasing public transit, making downtown more bicycle friendly and connecting the central bikeway to Bear Creek Greenway. Upgrading the section of paved walkway from Walker to Tolman Creek was also suggested.


Commission decided to postpone this item and perhaps hold a special weekend study session to generate goals. There was a suggestion to merge the Bike and Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Commissions’ goals as a place to proceed.



A.  Review of Traffic Circle Application at Oak and Hersey

No discussion on this item.


B.  RVTD Briefing

Kat Smith reported that RVTD ridership in Ashland was down 13.3% which was common in the winter months as people return to their cars. Commission asked if this percentage was the same as last year. Smith would research that answer. Burnham would like RVTD to provide a more understandable report.


Smith also reported that legislation was introduced to expand the Safe Routes to School program to include high schools.


The pedestrian enforcement operation on Walker reported last month was rescinded.


C.  Planning Commission Update

No discussion on this item.


D.    Discussion of December 8th Pedestrian Injury on Siskiyou Bv

Olson reported that in this case, three of the four lanes had stopped cars with cars lined up behind the stopped cars. The car in the one remaining open lane did not stop and hit the pedestrian.


Swales noted that David Sprague wrote an email of concern and asked staff to forward the email to the Commission and to respond to Mr. Sprague.


E.  Update on Request for East Main Crosswalk at Campus Way

Olson indicated that this update was for their information only.


Smith noted the recent discussion in the Daily Tidings’ “Letters to the Editor” on whether crosswalks were dangerous.



Burnham wondered if there were alternatives to de-icing roads.


VIII.       ADJOURN:  8:15 PM


Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Slocum, Accounting Clerk I

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