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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Regular Subcommittee Meeting

Thursday, August 05, 2010

City of Ashland



Thursday, August 5, 2010

Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way


Summary Minutes


I.                 CALL TO ORDER: 9:03 AM

            Members: Tom Burnham (Chair), Steve Ryan, Brent Thompson

            Staff: Jim Olson, Nancy Slocum

            Attendees: Skip Robinson, John Enders, Bill Robertson, Paul Finch, Sharon Thormahlen


II.               APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Minutes of July 1, 2010 were approved as submitted.


III.             PUBLIC FORUM:

Skip Robertson, 330 Bridge Street, asked the Subcommittee to consider removing the angled crosswalk on the west side of East Main at Lithia Way. Burnham asked that this item be placed on the next Subcommittee agenda.


John Enders, 146 Manzanita, lobbied for a comprehensive downtown multimodal transportation plan. He thought downtown traffic restrictions were implemented piecemeal. He also wanted the plan to emphasize education and enforcement. Olson said that there was a Downtown Master Plan that was never adopted, but that may be revised at some future date. That plan would look at vehicle, parking and pedestrian demands among other things.


IV.            ACTION ITEMS

A.     Request to Remove Parking Prohibition on Bridge Street

Olson reviewed the staff report. Skip Robertson asked the Subcommittee to consider a request to eliminate the daytime parking prohibition on the west side of Bridge Street between Siskiyou and Iowa. The existing parking prohibition (No Parking between 8 am and 4:30 pm weekdays) took effect sometime before 1990. The street at 30-32 feet wide meets the standards for parking on both sides; however, because of parking congestion from SOU staff and student parking, there are not enough open spaces for safe traffic queuing. Staff recommended no change be made to the blocks between Lee Street and Iowa Street and Siskiyou to Lee Street. Olson also noted that he received comments from six residents and the Fire Department all opposing the request.


Public Testimony:

Bill Robertson, 331 Bridge Street since 1971, was retired from the Fire Department, but remembered that a fire engine have difficulty with maneuvering with at capacity parking on both sides. In addition, student parking infringed on the yellow zone adjacent to driveways. He was concerned about garbage, and students and staff leaving cars all day and some nights. He agreed with staff’s recommendation.


Paul Finch, 420 Bridge Street, had seven commercial tenants on Bridge between Siskiyou and Lee. He opposed all day parking, but favored two hour parking to benefit business owners.


Skip Robinson, 330 Bridge Street, appreciates Subcommittee consideration, canvassed lower Bridge Street and obtained eight names in favor of removing the parking restriction. Both Palm and Garfield Streets have parking on both sides. In summer and December he said that because there with no students, the restriction only affected property owners. He thought the many home businesses on Bridge Street needed additional client parking. He suggested giving residents a special bumper sticker.


Sharon Thormahlen, 96 Fork Street, owned the apartment complex on the corner of Bridge and Lee for 15 years. She noted that driveways were routinely partially blocked by students in a hurry to park. Bridge was a collector to denser student housing areas such as Wightman, California and Garfield. She was told that residents were not automatically entitled to on street parking and noted that many properties lacked off street parking. She opposed any changes to the parking restrictions.


John Enders, owned 361 Bridge, thought current parking restriction working fine. Agreed that a fire engine could have trouble maneuvering. He urged the Subcommittee to deny the request.


Committee Discussion:

Thompson asked members to first address the block between Siskiyou and Lee. He noted that nearly all properties were zoned commercial and therefore parking should be restricted to two hours. He understood there was no parking enforcement outside of the downtown area.


Ryan noted residents had opposing views and that Lee had parking on both sides. He asked staff about stripping the street as to set up queuing areas. Olson said it would not result in a net increase of parking spaces.


Motion and vote:

Thompson moved to change parking restrictions on Bridge Street between Siskiyou Boulevard to two hour parking adjacent to all properties zoned C-1. Ryan seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


Regarding the block between Lee and Iowa, Thompson thought removing the restriction was only a problem during SOU school terms. He thought there was a way for the Committee to respond to those differences. He suggested either covering or removing the no parking signs.



Thompson moved to either remove or cover the no daytime parking signs on the west side of Bridge Street between Lee Street and Iowa Street from June 15 to September 15 of each year. Ryan seconded the motion.



Both Enders and Thormahlen spoke against the motion. Robinson thought the motion could add the month of December as the holiday break took up most of the month.


Olson noted that there would be no formal enforcement possible, that the motions would set precedence for other local streets, that it could be a detriment to property owners and the Fire Department, for safety reasons, opposed removing the restrictions.


Ryan thought the issue of student parking was an issue to the whole area and was not opposed to setting precedence. He wanted to work toward creative solutions to this issue.


The motion was amended to include a review of the issue October, 2011 by this committee.


Amended motion:

Thompson moved to either remove or cover the no daytime parking signs on the west side of Bridge Street between Lee Street and Iowa Street from June 15 to September 15 of each year. In addition, the effectiveness of the motion will be reviewed by the Subcommittee in October, 2011. Ryan seconded the motion.


Burnham believed the Transportation System Plan (TSP) would address the problem of parking in this area of town as a whole.



Motion passed two votes to one.


B.     Review of Parking Prohibitions on Several Streets

Olson reported that Commissioner Swales asked that the existing parking prohibitions be reviewed for portions of Hargadine Street, First Street and Granite Street. Staff recommended against removing prohibitions in all cases as each travel lanes was narrow and, because the parking congested, there were no natural queuing areas. Granite Street was classified as an avenue with the capability of handling high traffic volumes.


Burnham noted that although First Street was narrow, it was one-way travel. Olson agreed.


Thormahlen thought that changing the parking on Hargadine to four hour would discourage downtown workers from parking there, but wouldn’t affect play goers. Olson noted that property owners would be affected and would have to be noticed of the change.


Ryan thought the Transportation Commission could find a way to promote the use of the parking structure. He also noted that as a retired postal worker, there was a need for addition parking for the post office. Thompson thought the Food Coop would also benefit.


Motion and vote:

Thompson moved to remove the parking restriction on the west side of First Street between Lithia Way and B Street designating the upper portion 15 minute parking and the lower portion two hour parking. Ryan seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


Motion and vote:

Thompson moved to remove the parking restriction on the north side of Hargadine between First Street and Pioneer Street designating the spaces two hour parking. Ryan seconded the motion and it passed two votes to one.


The Subcommittee took no action on Granite Street and would invite Commissioner Swales to revisit this issue at a later date if desired.


C.    Review of Grandview/Sunnyview/Orchard/Wrights Creek Intersections

A resident on Orchard Street requested traffic control signs and vision improvements at three intersections in the Grandview Drive area. Staff agreed with the suggestion to prune vegetation blocking various areas of visibility and would send a letter to property owners in violation. Staff also agreed with the suggestion to relocate the stop bars further into the Grandview / Sunnyview / Skycrest intersection. Staff did not recommend the installation of stop or yield signs at the Orchard / Sunnyview or Orchard / Wrights Creek intersections.


Subcommittee agreed with Staff’s recommendations and took no action.


D.    Downtown Bicycle Parking Update

Olson distributed a Central Business District Bicycle Parking Summary; the combined work the Subcommittee did last month and Staff’s continued work outlining both existing and recommended bicycle racks. Olson reviewed the list noting there were 69 existing racks accommodating 138 bicycles and a recommendation of 47 additional racks.


Subcommittee supported Staff’s recommendations and asked Staff to implement the list as time and budget permits. In addition, they asked that the summary be sent to the Transportation Commission as an informational item and to the TSP consultants for inclusion in the TSP.


V.              OTHER

Ryan asked Staff to move several stop bars (or alternately install double stop bars) on B Street to make those intersections more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.



Thompson moved to designate one 15 minute parking space on the uphill side of A Street between First and Second Streets at a location to be chosen by Staff. Ryan seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


Burnham reminded staff to provide an update of Subcommittee actions at each meeting.


III.       ADJOURN: 10:58 am


Respectfully submitted by:

Nancy Slocum, Accounting Clerk I


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