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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street



Attendees: Steve Hauck, Eric Heesacker, Steve Ryan, Julia Sommer, Colin Swales,

                  Brent Thompson, Matt Warshawsky, David Young

Absent:      Tom Burnham

Ex Officio Members:  Brandon Goldman, Kat Smith, David Wolske

Staff Present:  Mike Faught, Jim Olson, Nancy Slocum


I.                CALL TO ORDER: 6:00 PM by Chair Eric Heesacker.



Minutes of May 20, 2010 were approved as corrected.


III.            PUBLIC FORUM:

Dave Wolske, Airport Commissioner, introduced himself as the newly created Airport Commission Ex Officio Member. His goal was to support air transportation as an important asset to Ashland and the Commission. The Commission welcomed his input especially during the Transportation System Plan (TSP) update process.


Kat Smith, 770 Faith, spoke regarding the recent skateboard fatality on her street. She said the Fire Department was very helpful debriefing the children and neighborhood after the accident. She reminded the Commission that the Parks Department and RVTD sponsored two skateboarding camps this summer. Smith also recounted a bicycle accident at the Morning Glory driveway access. She wondered how many bicycle accidents were not reported and suggested a public service announcement as well as other types of education. She suggested lobbying for bicycle safety questions (ie need to look right before turning right) on the DMV test and emphasized in their booklet.



No adjustments were made.


V.              ACTION ITEMS:

  1. Appoint Subcommittee Members and Chair

Chair Person Heesacker appointed Burnham as Chair Person of the Transportation Commission Subcommittee. Thompson and Ryan volunteered as subcommittee members for a term ending December 31, 2010.


  1. Appoint Liaison to the Planning Commission

The Planning Commission meets the second Tuesday of the month beginning at 7:00 pm. The liaison would receive the list serve for the agenda, review it for transportation-related issues and attend the meeting if needed. Sommer volunteered.


Swales noted that 60-70% of this year’s Planning Commission goals were transportation-related.

  1. Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) Funding Request for $2,700

Egon Dubois, BTA Instructor, commented on the recent skateboard fatality and three teens’ reaction to it. They laughed. He noted some kids were risk takers and some were always careful. Education helped those kids in the middle. Education also bred better drivers.


Since 2004, Ashland has never paid more than a third of the cost of education classes. Even if Commission allocates $2,700, BTA will still subsidize $15,750. Dubois said this money actually subsidized last year’s classes.


Warshawsky noted that with this expense, 100% of the Commission’s budget would be spent on bicycle safety.


Sommer wondered what the Parks Department did with the addition $1,700 that was not donated to BTA. Faught could not answer that question and reported that Scott Hollingsworth, Commission liaison with the Fire Department, was attempting to form a non profit organization to administer the bike swap and its funds.


Young wanted to make sure that the helmet and bicycle light supply was continually refurbished with Commission funds if needed.


Motion and Vote:

Young moved to allocate $2,700 to subsidize BTA’s educational classes in Ashland. Hauck seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


  1. Develop Two Year Commission Project List

Last month the Commission requested time to develop a list of citywide projects related to Commission Goal #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 was in process). Staff compiled the following list from previous meetings and individual correspondence from Commissioners:

1.  Faith Avenue / Highway 66 Intersection improvements.

2.  Research signal detector retrofits to accommodate bike detection

3.  Research options to help the blind locate the pedestrian crossing buttons at traffic signals.

4.  Audible signals for downtown and SOU.

5.  Discuss pros and cons to relocating bike racks from sidewalk to street.

6.  B Street pedestrian amenities.

7.  Possible adoption of a 3’ Bicycle/Pedestrian Protection Zone fashioned after Grants Pass ordinance.


Sommer suggested prioritizing them using “forced choice” after a list was compiled. Ryan asked for additional time to think about items for the list.


Young asked the status of the audible signals? Olson reported that block grant money might be available. He estimated $15,000 would be necessary or $3,000 to $4,000 per intersection.


Young requested the status of the crosswalk at Highway 66 and YMCA Way. ODOT reported to Staff that the intersection would not meet warrants as there was neither an adequate pedestrian count nor a center median. Thompson would continue to advocate for pedestrian amenities similar to Siskiyou Boulevard.


Warshawsky asked the status of the Handyman proposal on Highway 66. Olson said the proposal fell through, but that any future proposal would require a Traffic Impact Analysis (including an access control study) for the area. Swales reported that traffic counts were decreasing and creative solutions such as a road diet should be considered. Olson said a design plan from 1973 showed a center median. The Faith/Highway 66 intersection fell under the City’s jurisdiction. Businesses are historically against addition access closures. Faught recommended delaying decisions until options were reviewed during the TSP update. It could be beneficial to look at the system as a whole.


Sommer asked when the B Street structural reconstruction project might be funded. Faught said funding street overlays had first priority, reconstructions were last in order to maintain the structural integrity of the transportation system.


Other Commissioner suggestions for two year goals:

·        Ban left hand turns on red lights onto a one-way road

·        Make Will Dodge Way more multimodal, including ADA

·        Evaluate delivery vehicle patterns in the downtown core

·        Add railroad crossings for pedestrian access

·        Making a left from Ashland Mine Road to North Main is difficult; crossing four lanes, no refuge lane, traffic speed 35-45 mph


Heesacker recommended that, since meeting was short on time, the list be prioritized by forced choice vote at next meeting.


Egon Dubois liked the idea of a long list, but noticed list included infrastructure projects only, no education. Recommended the “Share the Road” Pledge Campaign.


·        Lobby for DMV test questions regarding “vulnerable roadway users”

·        Add Central Ashland Bike Path elements to Highway 66 overpass


Motion and Vote:

Ryan moved to allow Commissioners additional time to list items before the next meeting. Motion died for lack of second.


Hauck moved to end discussion and prioritize list using forced choice method at the July Commission meeting. Thompson seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


  1. Policy for Establishing Shared Roadways

Olson reminded the Commission of their objective to establish a policy that defined and designated streets as “shared roadways.” Earlier Chapman noted a distinct difference between a “shared road” versus a road that included “sharrows.” (Chapman could not attend the meeting.) Faught noted that a shared road included all forms of transportation, while a sharrow was essentially a bicycle-only lane. Perhaps a policy for both instances was needed.


Ryan wondered about the cost of designating a road as shared.


Young said one reason Oak Street received sharrows was that Oak was a connector from the Central Ashland Bikeway to the Greenway. Smith noted that Helman Elementary School parent surveys showed that Helman and Laurel Streets should have bike lanes or sharrows. Faught recommended signing the greenway to designate the agreed upon preferred route. Staff promised to give the Commission additional information at a later time.



A.  TSP Update

The Intergovernmental Agreement with ODOT was finally approved. Monday, June 28th was the scheduled kickoff meeting with Staff and the Commission Chair. Staff hoped to save approximately $40,000 by reducing the number of meetings and/or holding teleconferences.


B.     RVTD - Car Free Day

Kat Smith, RVTD Transportation Options Coordinator, asked the Commission to spearhead the organization of Car Free Day. The volunteer(s) would coordinate other volunteers, notify businesses, manage the budget, work with RVTD, arrange for the banner and the street closure, etc. If no one volunteered the event would not happen. There was a hope to increase business involvement. Commissioner Ryan volunteered.


The event was scheduled for September 22, 2010 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Swales and Sommer volunteered to help Ryan. Money for the event would be discussed along with the Commission budget as a whole at the next meeting.


C.     Downtown Plaza Parking Configuration

Faught updated the Commission reporting that he had the traffic engineer consultant review the design. The engineer recommended rather than removing Space #10 as the Commission previously approved that a bulb out be constructed adjacent to it. Council approved the redesign. Swales wanted to confirm that the storm drain in front of Mix Sweet Shop would be improved. Warshawsky was concerned that there would be no extra bike parking.


Faught invited the Commission to the Subcommittee meeting July 1st where they would be tour bike parking in the downtown core. The goal would be to increase bike parking.


D.    Discussion on How the Bike Swap Could Be More Successful

Faught reported ideas from the Subcommittee: removing Parks Department management to allow an increase in the amount of donation to BTA; increase the hours of sale; encourage bike shops to join, increase the percentage of sale kept and have a minimum dollar amount. Faught suggested a representative from the Commission join the Bike Swap Committee. Young volunteered.



·        Swales email regarding Commission’s lack of involvement in the Regional Problem Solving process - Thompson explained that proposed density was too low to support all forms of transportation. Thompson volunteered to give an update at the next meeting.

·        Ryan’s list of personal goals - Ryan said most of his goals could be addressed at the Subcommittee level; the others could wait.

·        Philip Krayna’s email regarding chaining bikes to sign posts as inadequate bike parking - Staff would respond to his email. Commission emphasized the need for education and signage. Need for an increase in bike racks in the street. Young thought that, in general, education and enforcement should be a larger priority. He suggested the need for a “5 E” Subcommittee. Chair made this a future agenda item.

·        Warshawsky noted that Officer McLennan had an explanation on the wording of speed limit signs.

·        Heesacker reviewed agenda items for next month: TSP Kickoff (one half hour); discussion of a 5 E Subcommittee, Car Free Day budget and planning; forced vote on two year goals; other budget issues.


VIII.       ADJOURN:  8:01 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Slocum, Accounting Clerk I

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