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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Thursday, March 18, 2010



Thursday, March 18, 2010

Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way



Attendees: John Gaffey, Eric Heesacker, Steve Hauck, Colin Swales,

                  Brent Thompson, Matt Warshawsky (Acting Chair)

Absent:      Tom Burnham, Julia Sommer, David Young

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

Staff Present:  Jim Olson, Nancy Slocum, Pieter Smeenk


I.                CALL TO ORDER: 6:08 PM by Matt Warshawsky who temporarily filled in for Swale.



Minutes of February 18, 2010 were approved as submitted.


III.            PUBLIC FORUM:



Grandview Drive Pedestrian Improvements were moved to the first position to accommodate the large amount of public testimony.


V.              ACTION ITEMS:

A.  Grandview Drive Pedestrian Improvements  

Jim Olson gave the staff report. Staff had looked at physical improvements to Grandview after they received a petition signed by 19 residents. Easements would be needed to widen the road as well as an extensive retaining wall system. The cost was estimated at $1.3 million which would be funded through an Local Improvement District which now has no cap as to the property owners’ financial responsibility. The Subcommittee looked at this and other options and decided to designate Grandview as a “shared road” (an area of road where equal priority is given to vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic). This would consist of signs, pavement markings and education. A traffic study was conducted showing approximately 550 vpd with an average speed of 26.7 mph which is considered a borderline higher speed problem. Staff did not recommend speed humps.


Female resident, 500 Grandview Drive, believed that the shared road designation would not help and children were at risk as there were several school bus stops on Grandview. With continued building, vehicles would only increase. She favored sidewalks or one way traffic.


Steph Johnson, 329 Grandview for 37 years, would vote no on a sidewalk project. She read a letter into the record in favor of the shared road and a painted centerline from top to bottom.


Lee Perlman, 235 Sunnyview, did not receive notice of the meeting. He considered Grandview a one and a half lane road. He did not walk Grandview because he thought it was dangerous. He also favored a centerline. He thought there was not enough room for sidewalks, but supported widening the travel lanes.

Olson noted that the “Share the Road” signs would be on the shoulders. He estimated six signs would be installed in either direction, 150’ apart.


Hillary Tiefer, 565 Wrights Creek Drive, loved existing tree canopy. She recommended 15 mph speed limit with increased police enforcement.


John Owen, 500 Grandview Drive, noted that Grandview was a wildfire evacuation route and wondered if, considering this, speed bumps were possible. He recommended a wooden walkway with pullouts for pedestrians and wondered about cost. Olson said a cantilever walkway would have to be intermittent and be approved by City Council as a variance. Pedestrian pullouts could be studied.


Mona McArdle, 352 Grandview Drive, circulated the petition requesting sidewalks. She read a letter from Jennifer Croyle of 225 Sunnyview Drive into the record. Croyle had safety concerns for pedestrians who used Grandview including residents, hikers and runners. She hoped stimulus money would be available to fund sidewalks.


Nancy Soas, 300 Grandview Drive, said she and her husband Eric recommended reducing the speed to 15 to 20 mph and speed humps. Soas favored sidewalks and noted that Grandview was a major route to the Strawberry / Hald Park. She would like to see studies that showed sharrows worked. She suggested adding fog lines for a “virtual” sidewalk.


Jennifer Carr, 388 Grandview Drive, agreed with Johnson and opposed sidewalks. She noted this issue was discussed before and all ideas turned out to be expensive. She noted that Grandview was not an urban area.


Dan Fellman, 352 Grandview Drive, asked about the LID on Strawberry. Olson reported that the Strawberry LID was funded with contributions from approximately 60 lots and a private developer. How much variation in street standards? Design must comply with the American Disability Act and include storm drains. State and federal law removes any flexibility in design. Fellman suggested that development of Carlos Riechenhammer’s two lots include upgrades to Grandview. He was disappointed that the traffic study did not include a pedestrian count.


Commissioner Swales arrived at the meeting at approximately 6:45 pm.


Commission Discussion:

Gaffey wondered about existing trails that could serve as an alternative route for pedestrians. Olson said none were available.


Hauck favored the suggestions of bumpouts and a centerline. Olson said effective bumpouts may necessitate cutting into the bank. The benefit of a painted centerline was questionable.


Kat Smith, RVTD, reminded the Commission that Grandview was a “Safe Route to School” and therefore eligible for grant money.


Heesacker wondered about “tractor bumps” that grate into the asphalt. Olson noted that the road was chip sealed and only an inch thick; not enough for tractor bumps. Heesacker asked about accident statistics for Grandview. Olson was not aware of any accidents. Heesacker favored the idea of a LID.



Thompson moved to follow the Subcommittee’s recommendation that Grandview Drive be designated as a shared road and that staff research the feasibility of designating pedestrian refuges using paint. Hauck seconded the motion.


Commission Discussion:

Chapman noted that the definition of “shared road” included pedestrian refuges, brochures, signs and pavement markings. He suggested that the police increase enforcement to catch speeders. The neighbors could also, as a group, use radar to alert the Police Department of time of day speeders use Grandview and also build neighborhood gateway signs.


Olson was asked about the cost of the road designation. The signs cost $125 each while the pavement markings cost $55 each.



Motion passed unanimously.


B.  Election of Vice Chair for 2010

Thompson nominated Steve Hauck for Vice Chair. Gaffey seconded the motion and if passed unanimously.


C.  Discussion Regarding Extended Meeting Hours

Swales explained that Sommer sent an he and staff an email asking for the full support of the Commission during her upcoming chairpersonship. One item she mentioned was for the ability to lengthen the meeting time past two hours if the topic warranted it.


Thompson noted the useful life of meetings was two hours. He moved to retain the two hour limit. Warshawsky seconded the motion.


Commission Discussion:

Hauck noted that the City Council used to make a motion to extend their meetings in 30 minute increments. Heesacker mentioned a babysitter conflict that could be overcome if advance notice was given.



Motion passed 3 votes to 1.


D.    Additional Bicycle Parking at North Main Street

Associate Engineer Pieter Smeenk gave the staff report. He noted that the standard width of a compact space was 8’. Although curb stops were not planned, he thought the bike spots would be adequately protected from vehicles.


Gaffey wished additional information regarding the unsafe parking spot to be removed. Swales said that, although more bike spaces were nice, he agreed with Bill Barchet’s letter of February 16, 2010 noting the need for an overall downtown parking plan.


Warshawsky did not think there was a downtown parking problem, that people without compact cars would use the compact spaces; that the bike parking was too exposed; and that this project was just a stop-gap measure.


Smeenk reminded the Commission that the proposed downtown parking study was rejected by the City Council and the Commission last fall and so was not likely to be resurrected soon.


Thompson moved to take no action on this request from staff. Gaffey seconded the motion and it passed with five votes and one abstention.


E.     Siskiyou Boulevard Beacon Update

Staff reported that all four beacons were operating. The problem was fixed through the summer. Before winter, three beacons would be hardwired to the adjacent street light for backup power.


F.     Commissioner Sponsorship of Events

Olson reported that the Fire and Parks Departments were sponsoring the Bike Swap this year, but sponsorship of other events such as Car Free Day were yet to be determined. In addition the term “sponsorship” would need to be defined; it may mean by name only or full responsibility.



A.     Update on SOU Master Plan

Larry Blake, Associate Vice President for Facilities Management and Planning, reported that the master plan was approved by the Planning Commission with a couple of transportation-related conditions: that any future modifications to SOU’s Eastern Gateway area be subject to a transportation impact analysis, access management standards and a pedestrian safety plan. The plan was scheduled to go before the City Council for final approval.


Gaffey expressed frustration that neighbors’ comments had been addressed even before the Transportation Commission had an initial chance to review it.


B.  Transportation System Plan (TSP) Update

The consultant’s contract was waiting for ODOT’s approval signature.




VIII.       ADJOURN:  8:01 PM


Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Slocum, Accounting Clerk I


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