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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Thursday, May 20, 2010



Thursday, May 20, 2010

Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street



Attendees: Eric Heesacker, Steve Ryan, Julia Sommer, Colin Swales, Matt Warshawsky, David Young

Absent:      Tom Burnham, Steve Hauck, Brent Thompson

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

Staff Present:  Mike Faught, Nancy Slocum, Pieter Smeenk


I.                CALL TO ORDER: 6:01 PM by Chair Eric Heesacker. Commission welcomed Steve Ryan.



Minutes of April 15 and April 17, 2010 were approved as corrected.


III.            PUBLIC FORUM:

            No one spoke.



Faught asked that the agenda item “Policy for Establishing Shared Roadways” be postponed until more time could be dedicated to the subject. Commission agreed and added several items for discussion to Olson’s staff report memo.


V.              ACTION ITEMS:

A.  Adoption of Meeting Norms  

The meeting norms were discussed at April’s goal setting retreat and presented here for adoption. Sommers suggested removing some wording from the fourth norm. Young moved to adopt the following norms as amended. Swales seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


We the members and liaisons of the Transportation Commission commit to:


·     Treat everyone with respect: We will express our opinions responsibly, focusing on the issues and not on personal differences, and speak both honestly and kindly. The rest of the norms are related to this one.


·     Prepare adequately for the meeting and participate fully. We will have read, reviewed or examined pertinent documents, gathered information or input, or simply assessed our own thoughts and ideas prior to the meeting.


·     Not interrupt each other. We recognize that we all interrupt at times by mistake or to build on others’ statements. However, we will strive to allow each person the space to finish his or her thoughts.


·     Express ourselves concisely. This norm recognizes the value of each other’s input and time.


·     Engage each other’s thoughts, ideas and opinions. We recognize the value and richness of a meeting when everyone has a chance to participate. This norm also includes gracious acceptance of opinions different from our own.


·     Stay focused on the topic under discussion. We will stay focused on the agreed-upon topics unless the group makes a conscious decision to alter the agenda.


·     Start and end meetings on time and arrive at meetings punctually. We need to respect each other’s time. The people who are present at the announced time should start without waiting for anyone not yet present.


·     The public is entitled to be treated with respect, courtesy and professionalism. We strive to provide an atmosphere that fosters respect, trust, inclusiveness for members of the public.


B.  Adopt Commission Two Year Goals for 2010

Staff presented a draft of the final six goals chosen at the recent goals setting session. The Commission revised them as stated:


Transportation Commission Goals for 2010-2011

(24 month goals)

1.  TSP Update;


2.  Identify and work to implement specific transportation safety projects or objectives that could realistically be completed within the next two years while the TSP is in process; 


3.  Apply 5 E Principles (Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement and Evaluation) to all transportation projects;


4.  Continue progression toward the League of American Bicyclists’ “Bike Friendly Community” Platinum status;


5.  Actively participate in local and regional partnerships to further multi-modal equity and enhance safety;


6.  Assist RVTD in achieving expanded regional transit services.



Warshawsky moved to adopt the goals as revised above. Young seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. The goals would be forwarded to the Council via the meeting minutes.


C.  Additional Bicycle Parking at North Main Street (Plaza)

Associate Engineer, Pieter Smeenk, presented the staff report. In March, 2010 he proposed converting the first space, which he considered dangerous to pedestrians as vehicles backed out, to bike parking to make room for publication boxes. At that time Smeenk proposed converting eight spaces to nine compact spaces. There was opposition to the plan by business owners concerned with a reduced number of parking spaces and by Commissioners who did not think compact spaces practical. In response, he spoke to Mojie Takallou and the City’s traffic engineer and proposed to change the angle of entry to 75 degrees thereby eliminating the first two hazardous parking spaces while also creating two additional spaces.


Young was in favor of the new plan and advocated removing bike racks from all downtown sidewalks whenever possible. He noted that Standing Stone employees as well as members of the public actively used the new bike racks.


Warshawsky suggested that, since the parking would be restriped anyway, staff consider removing the parking space at the corner of city hall adjacent to the crosswalk and replacing it with a bump out to shorten the crossing distance. He thought overall the new plan encouraged congestion and wondered about reconsidering back-in parking.


Swales agreed and wondered about funding a project with money that would benefit mostly those that used the newspaper racks. He noted that delivery trucks ignored parking rules. He thought this large amount of right of way was prime for creative solutions.


Young thought that solving individual safety issues was a priority over waiting for a downtown master plan. He favored Warshawsky’s suggestion. Ryan agreed that safety came first. He also thought citizens should decide what to do with the extra sidewalk space. Sommer favored new on-street parking configuration and suggested landscaping and sidewalk dining for extra space. Swales wondered if the island could be bumped out further into the right of way.  Faught reminded the Commission that City Council would make final decision. Young suggested emphasizing the safety issues.



Warshawsky moved to recommend accepting Staff’s revised plan replacing the space adjacent to City Hall with bicycle or motorcycle parking while increasing the bumpout in front of Mix Sweet Shop to square corner. The motion includes making the area in front of Mix Sweet Shop into sidewalk dining to help compensate for the cost of project. Young seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


Young, Swales and Chapman volunteered to assist Smeenk with the design.


D.  Policy for Establishing Shared Roadways

This item was tabled until June’s meeting. (See Section IV, Adjustments to the Agenda.)



A. TSP Update

Approval of the Intergovernmental Agreement with ODOT will come before the Council on June 1st. The agreement includes a $175,000 grant.


B.     Croman Traffic Impact Analysis Review

Brandon Goldman, Senior Planner, reported that the Croman Traffic Impact Analysis was recently updated in regards to the phased street improvements in the Croman Mill District. The update was in response to concerns raised at the Planning Commission public hearing regarding the Phase II route through ODOT and private properties. Other revised mitigation options include:

·        Central Bv at Tolman Creek Rd would need traffic signal;

·        Tolman Creek at Mistletoe Rd would need a traffic light on Tolman and right hand turn lane on Mistletoe;

·        Ashland St and Tolman Creek Rd would need both a left and right hand turn lane on Ashland Street;

·        Ashland St at Washington St would need a right in / right out from and to Ashland St or signal.


C.     MPO Update

Chapman reported that he and Faught were liaisons to the Rogue Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). He said the goals were to maintain the Regional Transportation Plan from 2009-2034; the Surface Transportation Program federal funding administration; and the Unified Planning Work Program that described activities for the coming year.


Current projects include examining ways private enterprise could pay for infrastructure with tax incentives and adopting the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) list.


D.    CDBG Block Grant Update

On April 20, 2010 the City Council awarded this year’s Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). There were carry over funds that Councilor Chapman suggested be applied to ADA transportation-related projects. The former Traffic Safety Commission had suggested retrofitting one or two traffic signals with audible signals. Ryan added that additional signals could be added as part of the Street Department’s regular maintenance schedule.


Filling the open tree wells on Lithia Way was also suggested as well as developing a data base of routes and spaces that need attention. Faught said staff would begin a database. He suggested forwarding additional ideas to Affordable Housing Specialist, Linda Reid.



Sommer asked that the Commission develop a list of projects to be completed within the next two years. She suggested placing this item on June’s agenda. Commission agreed.


Fire Captain, Scott Hollingsworth reported that the bike swap netted $3,300 this year. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance paid the difference to keep bicycle safety classes to Ashland schools. Hollingsworth noted a need for an additional $1,200 for helmets. Commission wanted to brainstorm ways to make the bike swap more successful in the future.


Commission considered April’s goal setting session successful.


VIII.       ADJOURN:  8:15 PM


Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Slocum, Accounting Clerk I

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