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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Thursday, July 15, 2010



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street



Attendees: Tom Burnham, Eric Heesacker (Chair), Steve Ryan, Julia Sommer,

                  Colin Swales, Brent Thompson, David Young

Absent:      Steve Hauck, Matt Warshawsky

Ex Officio Members:  David Chapman, David Wolske

Staff Present:  Mike Faught, Jim Olson, Nancy Slocum


I.                CALL TO ORDER: 6:02 PM by Chair Eric Heesacker.



Minutes of June 17, 2010 were approved as corrected.


III.            PUBLIC FORUM:

No one spoke.



Item V.B. was amended to read “Discussion on the Need for a 5 E’s Subcommittee.” Sommer noted that “Planning Commission Update” was absent from the agenda. She reported that she had received the agenda and had nothing to report for this month.


V.              ACTION ITEMS:

  1. Transportation System Plan (TSP) Update

Faught asked for questions. Sommer wondered what the TSP’s Technical Review Committee (TRC) was and who was on it. Faught explained that the TRC consisted mainly of internal staff tasked with making any needed technical corrections to the draft TSP chapters received from the consultant (Kittelson and Associates). Heesacker from the Commission and Michael Dawkin from the Planning Commission were appointed as liaisons to the committee. Aside from commission liaisons, the TRC would consist of representatives from City Planning and Public Works Departments, Jackson County, Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD), the local Metropolitan Policy Organization, Rogue Valley Transit District, Oregon Department of Transportation, Transportation Planning Analysis Unit (TPAU), School District No. 5, Southern Oregon University (2) and a representative from the freight delivery community.


Faught reported that Kittelson expected the update process to be complete by January, 2012. Near term project deliverables consisted of a system inventory, baseline, future conditions, sustainability policies and Chapter 7 tasks.


Staff proposed saving money on the project by eliminating the Commission-only meetings and instead holding joint Transportation and Planning Commission meetings as the means for Commission input. Money could also be saved by removing the requirement to mail citizen surveys to every home in Ashland and instead use the City Source that is mailed to utility billing customers.



Thompson moved to support staff’s money saving proposals including the removal of eight separate Transportation Commission meetings. Ryan seconded the motion.



Swales thought a joint meeting could be held with the consultants and a separate meeting held with only staff in attendance. Sommer thought it might be difficult to facilitate eighteen commissioners.


Burnham was confused as to the role of the TRC. Faught explained that the TRC members would be a technical committee versus an advisory or policy group. The TRC would ensure the consultants’ ideas would meet all the different agency regulations. The Commission would then sift through only feasible options. The TRC would not set policy.


Swales noted that Heesacker may have a possible conflict of interest as liaison to the Commission, RVMPO representative and RVCOG representative. Sommer said the Commission liaison should be local while RVCOG and the MPO have regional concerns. Faught noted that Heesacker was appointed by the Commission. Faught saw the roles and points of view similar enough as to not cause a conflict. Heesacker said that both RVCOG and the MPO must be represented and he lived in Ashland and knew local concerns. He said the TSP, by state law, could not go beyond what is in the Regional Plan.



The vote was six to zero with one abstention.


Thompson asked if some policies (eg: sharrows, railroad crossings) be implemented before January, 2012. Faught did not recommend it unless consultant deemed it appropriate. Additionally, funding was not in place.


  1. Discuss the Need for a “5 Es” Subcommittee

Young noted that the existing subcommittee could consider the 5 E’s (Engineering; Education; Encouragement; Enforcement; Evaluation) and thought a separate subcommittee unnecessary. The goal was to maintain a balance.



Swales moved to request staff specifically address the 5 E’s in each their recommendations as stated in staff reports. Burnham seconded the motion.


Young thought addressing the 5 E’s on individual projects was unnecessary, he thought applying them was more of a bigger picture idea.



Vote was three yes and three no with one abstention. The motion failed to pass.


Sommer thought the motion put an undue strain on staff and was premature. She suggested the Subcommittee take up the subject and present something to the Commission.


  1. Car Free Day (Ryan)

Ryan obtained the road closure permit. The event was set for Wednesday, September 22nd. Scheduled events included a street repair event and the Commuter Challenge (renamed to the Change to Transportation Challenge). To date vendors are restricted to agencies. He has asked staff to look into the possibility of businesses selling related items like maps, etc. Ryan asked Commissioners to collect T-Shirts and recruit businesses for the Commuter Challenge. He would email Commissioners details.


Burnham volunteered to organize a mass ride on Oak Street to promote the recent installation of the sharrows.


  1. Forced Vote on Two Year Goals

Staff presented a list of two year goals the Commission brainstormed at the goal setting retreat, the June 17th Commission meeting and as sent to staff separately over the last few months. The goals and the scores are listed from the highest score to the lowest. The top seven or eight, if feasible, would ultimately be adopted.


Score                Goal


74        1.  Research options to assist the blind by installing audible signals and standardizing the       location of pedestrian crossing buttons at traffic signals;

64        2.  Add Central Ashland Bike Path elements to Highway 66 overpass;

60        3.  Discuss pros and cons to relocating bike racks from sidewalk to street;

59        4.  Research signal detector retrofits to accommodate bike detection;        

58        5.  Faith Avenue / Highway 66 Intersection improvements;

56         6.  Make Will Dodge Way more multimodal, including ADA;

56         7.  Evaluate delivery vehicle patterns in the downtown core;

55         8.  Crosswalk at Ashland Street and YMCA Way;


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

37        10. Grandview shared road improvements;

36        11. Add railroad crossings for pedestrian access;

21        12. Lobby for DMV test questions regarding “vulnerable roadway users”;

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

3          14.  Ban left hand turns on red lights onto a one-way road.


Staff was directed to evaluate the top two-year goals in detail for discussion at the August 19th Commission meeting. Prioritization of the first goal would be done in conjunction with the blind community.


  1. CDBG Update

Staff asked the Commission to support only one project (downtown audible signals) for the remaining $27,625 Community Development Block Grant funding. This recommendation would not need to go the City Council for approval as this project was one previously recommended.



Ryan moved to support staff’s recommendation of the downtown audible signal project for CDBG funding. Young seconded the motion.



The Commission voted six to one in favor of the motion. Motion passed.


  1. Discussion/Definition on Shared Roadways

Faught began the discussion by noting the definition of a “shared road.” According to Shared-Use Streets - An Application of “Shared Space” to an American Small Town (Gilman and Gilman, 2007) A “Shared-Use Street” or “Shared Road” was defined as a street type that mixed pedes- trians, cyclists and motorists in a low-speed environment and emphasized the community function of a street. Design standards included narrow paved roadways (18 feet); level grass shoulders, a creative gateway treatment, creative intersection treatments, street trees, pedestrian scale street lights, 125’ minimum sight distances, no on-street parking and 20 mph signage. Grandview was noted as an example. Sharrows, on the other hand, did not imply a separated bicycle lane, but directed bicyclists to travel outside the car door zone and encouraged safe co-existence.

Young wondered whether the shared road policy could include rural streets wider than 18’. Olson noted that an important feature of a shared road was no on-street parking. Perhaps a wider street with parking on one side (e.g. C Street) would need another category. Sommer wondered if the TSP consultant could help with various criteria for shared roads.


Faught asked Commission if the Commission was interested in having the consultant draft a policy. Swales noted examples where shared streets were also used in urban settings and volunteered to provide information to consultants.


Motion and Vote

Sommer moved to have staff direct the TSP consultants (Kittelson and Associates) to draft shared use street and bicycle sharrows policies. Ryan seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.



A.  MPO Update

Chapman reported on current MPO projects:

·        2008-11 TIP Amendment for RVTD Purchase of Services was approved;

·        North-South Travel Demand Study was being revised, record was still open;

·        Cascade Sierra Solutions was awarded a CMAQ truck retrofit grant was on hold until completion of investigation.


B.     Additional Bicycle Parking on Main Street Update

The Subcommittee met on July 1st and surveyed on and off sidewalk bike parking in a large section of the downtown core. Staff will complete the inventory and bring back recommendations for additional bike parking at a later date.


C.     Regional Problem Solving (RPS) Update

Chapman reported that the City Council passed a resolution to the county asking they revise Ashland’s average annual growth rate, commit to a higher target density, assure a 10 acre minimum lot size with Ashland’s urban fringe and reduce total critical commercial agricultural lands in urban reserve areas. Without some of these changes to the RPS, all assumptions regarding future infrastructure master plans could be incorrect. 


Swales reminded Chapman that one of Ashland’s stated policy was to not only not expand our Urban Growth Boundary, but encourage other cities not to as well. He was concerned that this was not done.


D.    Interchange Area Management Plan (IAMP)

ODOT’s IAMP was developed because there would be substantial modifications to the I5 Exit 14 interchange. The plan assessed exiting and potential land use and transportation conditions, opportunities and limitations, identified long-range needs, and identified recommended improvements to the Green Springs Interchange. It identified necessary improvements to the local street network in the vicinity including Tolman Creek Road. It also included access control and the requirement for a median from the interchange to Tolman Creek (state regulations requires no access less than 1400 feet). For the short term, ODOT agreed to a reduced median to Washington Street. The 1400 foot rule made sense in Portland, but not Ashland. Others cities were also contesting the rule so perhaps a legislative change was necessary. The state agreed to wait till September to respond. Faught would update the Commission next month with a list of inconsistencies with the upcoming TSP process and how it compared with the Croman plan.



Burnham asked for an update on the signal detector timing at Siskiyou and Sherman. He reported that there was not enough time for a bicycle to cross Siskiyou Boulevard.

VIII.       ADJOURN:  8:30 PM


Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Slocum, Accounting Clerk I

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