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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Thursday, January 21, 2010

City Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street



Attendees: Tom Burnham, John Gaffey, Steve Hauck, Eric Heesacker, Julia Sommer, Colin Swales                         (Chair), Brent Thompson, Matt Warshawsky, David Young

Absent:      None.

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

Staff Present:  Mike Faught, Jim Olson, Nancy Slocum


I.                CALL TO ORDER: 6:00 PM



Minutes of December 21, 2009 were approved as presented.  


III.            PUBLIC FORUM:

Egon Dubois questioned the roll of the Transportation Commission Subcommittee and how meetings were publicized. Swales directed Dubois to the Transportation Commission formation ordinance (Ordinance No. 2975). The subcommittee meetings were open to the public. The agenda was set by both the Public Works Director and the Chair of the Commission. Slocum was directed to publicize subcommittee meetings by sending agenda to the Daily Tidings and posting it on the website. Dubois thought there should be another mouthpiece for the public as the two commissions (Traffic Safety and Bike & Ped) were combined into one (Transportation).



RVTD report was moved to follow Commission training so Smith did not have to wait until the end of the meeting. Setting a date for the Commission goal setting retreat was also added as well as a Transportation System Plan (TSP) update.


V.              ACTION ITEMS:

A.  Commission Training by Barbara Christensen, City Recorder

Christensen’s position as City Recorder was guided by Oregon state law. She reminded Commissioners that as volunteers they represented all citizens and not a single point of view. Meetings could be held electronically, but they must meet public meeting law i.e. they must be noticed, have written minutes, be accessible as a public venue and be ADA accessible. With email the length of time between responses become like a defacto “chat room.” She recommended against its use as well as the use of a list serve, but ultimately the City Council should decide. Christensen said the public had the right to examine all public records including those on private computers and even hand-written notes were subject to the three year retention rule. Law violations void any decisions made by the Commission and are subject to a $5,000 fine, removal from post and a $500 City fine.


B.  RVTD Briefing

Kat Smith would be replacing Nathan Broom as the Ex-Officio member for RVTD. She summarized the December, 2009 Monthly Ridership Report. Ashland was down 13.6% over last year at the same time while countywide was down 12.1%. The Commission wondered how the county number would appear without Ashland. They would like to see a three year analysis.


C.  Croman Master Plan Update

Commission discussed the need to review the plan. Swales reminded them that the Planning Commission purposely left transportation issues out of their discussion so the Transportation Commission could discuss it. Goldman said that since the last meeting he made revisions to the amendment process (Section 18.53). Bike lanes and sidewalk widths would now be minor amendments. There was also an east / west solar orientation change. Phase I leaves Croman Road in place and adds Central Avenue. In Phase II, there would be a need to acquire ODOT property, vacate city-owned property and realign Tolman Creek Road. As long as the right-of-way was locked in place, bike lanes could be reconfigured, but not eliminated.


Thompson was in favor of the plan revisions. Any applicant applying for a site review would have enough time for staff to interface with Transportation Commission before the Planning Commission made its final decision. Swales wondered who paid for infrastructure. Faught was drafting an Advanced Financing Ordinance for the City Council’s review. The proposed ordinance was a financial mechanism to reimburse publicly or privately funded public improvement projects that have direct benefit to other property owners. It was similar to an LID as it distributed the cost of public improvement projects based on benefited use; the difference between the two was that Advanced Financing was due when the property owner ties into the pubic improvement. In addition, the City received a TGM grant to assist in the plan.


Faught reviewed the Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) that showed three land use alternatives plus a “no build” option and their projected effect on transportation circulation especially Highway 66 (Ashland Street), Highway 99 (Siskiyou Boulevard), Tolman Creek Road and Mistletoe Road. Any needed mitigation would be paid for by the developer. TIA looked only at vehicle mitigation, not multi-modal mitigation.


Warshawsky was fine with the revised plan as long as it was amendable in the future. Goldman noted that plan language was also revised so that no access would be allowed on Central Avenue. This would reduce the number of vehicle / bicycle or pedestrian conflicts. He thought public discussion was needed on the pros and cons of separated bike lanes. Faught added that minor amendments could also be made through the TSP update. Burnham was concerned that the printed maps and standards, although alterable, would be construed as having been approved by the Commission.



Thompson moved to recommend that staff pursue at, above and/or below grade railroad crossing easements for all forms of transportation. Motion died for lack of a second.


Warshawsky moved that the Commission recommend to the Planning Commission and the City Council that the final design of Central Boulevard be reviewed by the Transportation Commission before it is finalized and constructed. Hauck seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


D.    Transportation Commission Goal Setting Retreat

Commission discussed whether or not to set goals at a separate meeting and how time sensitive the issue was. The Commission asked staff to chose several dates and email Commissioners. Burnham suggested using Traffic Safety Commission and Bicycle & Pedestrian Commission goals as a template.


E.  TSP Update

Faught reported that Kittleson & Associates won the TSP Update contract in the amount of $416,000. The contract provided for an optional cost savings clause of $40,000 which would only be put into action upon approval of the Commission. Council approved the contract in a three to two vote with monies coming from the SDC fund. There would be a kick-off meeting with the consultants in mid March. He reminded the Commission that a TGM grant was awarded in the amount of $125,000 with another $66,000 possible this year.


Thompson felt strongly that System Development Charge money should only be used for physical improvements.



A.  Planning Commission Update

No discussion on this item.


B.  SOU Master Plan Update

Item tabled until March meeting.



Commission, by consensus, agreed to have RVTD communicate to the Commission via memorandum in the monthly packet in order to save time at the meeting. This policy would be for non-routine issues such as the monthly ridership report.


VIII.       ADJOURN:  8:10 PM


Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Slocum, Accounting Clerk I

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