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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Regular Subcommittee Meeting

Thursday, March 04, 2010

City of Ashland



Thursday, March 4, 2010

Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way


Summary Minutes


I.                 CALL TO ORDER: 9:06 AM

            Members: Tom Burnham, Julia Sommer, Colin Swales (Chair)

            Staff: Jim Olson, Nancy Slocum

            Attendees: David Chapman, Brent Thompson


II.               APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Minutes of February 4, 2010 were approved as submitted.


III.             PUBLIC FORUM: No one spoke.


IV.             ACTION ITEMS

A.      Response to Brent Thompson’s Requests

1.   Status of Oak Street crosswalk at A Street - This action was approved by the Traffic Safety Commission (TSC) and has been on hold until the ADA work could be completed as part of the Miscellaneous Concrete Project which will be constructed this month. After the curb is made ADA compliant, the crosswalk will be installed.

2.    Parking length credit for on-street parking - Olson spoke with Brandon Goldman and will follow up with an official memo. Swales asked to be copied on the memo.

3.    Recommendation to acquire additional rail crossings - Staff reported that the consultant hired to draft the Transportation System Plan (TSP) will look at both official and unofficial railroad crossings including above and below grade crossing possibilities. Burnham thought it prudent to wait until there is a decision about whether the railroad line will ever reopen.


B.     Install Diagonal Parking on ‘B’ Street (Brent Thompson)

Thompson tabled this item to allow input from Ashland Food Coop. He thought the Coop did not have adequate parking, but conceded that diagonal parking may not be the only solution. He suggested a median strip at some intersections with compact parking along both sides of median.  


In his staff report, Olson reviewed the September, 2005 TSC meeting minutes where neighbors spoke overwhelmingly against diagonal parking. Olson also noted insufficient street width to accommodated backing vehicles.


Burnham suggested marking the on-street parking spaces on First Street, Lithia Way and B Street. Swales disagreed and thought more cars could be accommodated without marking. Olson noted that marking put additional strain on paint crews. Chapman said it would be an easy study to determine who was accurate. He also noted that cyclists used B Street because it was so wide with good visibility. Sommers said B Street also attracted more vehicles for the same reason. She suggested instead installing wider sidewalks, bike lanes and a planted median in widest four blocks. She thought the neighborhood could be involved in a beautification project. Olson reported that a $300,000 improvement project for B Street (storm drains, water line, curb and gutter) was on the Capital Improvement Project list, but was currently on hold for lack of funding. The installation of medians would require a full street rebuild with an irrigation system. He said the first step is to talk to the Historic Commission. Subcommittee agreed. Chapman said a CMAQ grant might be possible.


Thompson withdrew his request for diagonal parking as he was satisfied with the discussion.


Swales moved to have staff request the Historic Commission discuss possible aesthetic changes to B Street including a median for traffic safety and pedestrian amenities. Staff will write a memo to the Historic Commission and Swales and Thompson volunteered to attend the meeting. Burnham seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


C.     Establishment of a Crosswalk on Ashland Street @ YMCA Way (Brent Thompson)

Because this is ODOT’s jurisdiction, Olson spoke with Dan Dorrell who agreed to conduct a pedestrian and traffic analysis. Sommer said the counts would be inaccurate as the intersection is dangerous as it stands. Staff noted that both Lisa Molnar, Executive Director for the YMCA, and Pam Marsh, Planning Commissioner, submitted letters in support of a crosswalk. Olson said a crosswalk was unlikely because of the site distance from the west, the current speed of traffic, proximity to an existing signalized crosswalk (Tolman Creek) and the lack of pedestrian island refuges. One option would be to take jurisdiction of this section of Highway 66; however, the Public Works Director was against the potential liability and assuming maintenance costs. Thompson suggested at least a landscaped median. Sommer wondered if a jurisdictional change could be explored during the TSP update. Swales noted the needed balance between accepting financial liability and having no say in the design. He thought the speed of this section should be reduced.


Sommer moved to officially request ODOT do a warrant study for a crosswalk at the intersection of YMCA Way and Highway 66. Swales seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


D.       Request for Stop or Yield Sign on Terrace Street at Holly Street

Robert Bestor, resident of Ridge Road, reported a near accident at the Holly / Terrace intersection and thought that a stop or yield sign should be placed at that intersection to define the proper right of way assignment. A turn movement study confirmed that Terrace Street carried the majority traffic flow at the intersection. The through, or north-south traffic movement constituted 86% of the traffic while Holly Street carried the remaining 14%. The total traffic volume on Terrace Street was approximately twice that of Holly Street with counts showing 500 VPD on Terrace and 220 VPD on Holly Street. At those volumes and the low turn movement counts, warrants were not met for the placement of a stop sign.


The 18% approach grade on Holly Street, however, provided a special drawback. To most drivers, Terrace Street traffic appeared to have the right of way, however, the steep grade of Holly made stopping and starting difficult. In addition, the adjacent intersection of Terrace and Iowa Streets had a reverse right of way assignment. At that intersection, both directions of travel on Terrace Street stopped and the Iowa Street traffic assumed the right of way. This was designed this way because the grade on Iowa Street was even steeper than Holly and the turn movements to and from Iowa carried the majority of traffic. Olson recommended a yield sign be installed. The applicant, via email, agreed with staff’s recommendation.


Sommer moved to approve staff’s recommendation that a yield sign be installed on Holly Street at Terrace Street and paint yellow in two places on Iowa Street.


E.        Share the Road Educational Campaign Suggestion (Slocum)

Slocum came upon a City of Portland “Share the Road” education campaign that she thought could be adapted for Ashland. The “I Share the Road Pledge” campaign consisted of a brochure containing educational information and a pledge that students and parents could read and send back to Slocum who would then send them an “I Share the Road” -type bumper sticker. The cost of staff time and financial commitment would be minimal. The Subcommittee members suggested Slocum contact Egon DuBois, Kat Smith and the principals of the local elementary schools for their feedback on the campaign.


V.               OTHER


III.       ADJOURN: approximately 10:20 am


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