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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way




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

Absent:     Colin Swales, Corinne Vieville and Brent Thompson

Staff Present:  Mike Faught, Jim Olson, Betsy Harshman


I.                CALL TO ORDER:  6:05 p.m. by Chair Eric Heesacker.



Sommer moved to approve the minutes of February 17, 2011 and March 31, 2011.  Young seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.



Goldman’s presentation on Pedestrian Places was moved to follow Burnham’s presentation on the Siskiyou Velo Grant.


IV.            PUBLIC FORUM

Don Stone, 395 Kearney spoke in regards to the proposed road diet.  Young reminded the committee that this meeting would not include further public testimony.


V.              ACTION ITEMS:

  1. Election of 2011-2012 Vice Chair

Heesacker nominated Young for Vice Chair, Ryan seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


  1. Request for funds for Bike Helmet Giveaway (Massie)

Massie, 1615 Peachey Road, requested funds to purchase bicycle helmets for three elementary schools and Ashland Middle School.  His goal was to increase the safety of elementary and middle school children who ride their bicycles and skateboards to school.  His secondary goal was to increase the number of children who bide or ride to school and other locations. The funding requested for this project totals approximately $3,000.


Sommer asked how much money the Commission had to spend this year.  Olson responded that there was $4,002 left in the fund.  Faught stated that the Commission normally contributes approximately $3,000 per year to the BTA.


Young stated that money had been contributed regularly to the BTA during his former years on the Bike and Pedestrian Commission.  He would like to support Massie’s request, although in a targeted way.   He suggested committing a certain dollar amount and added that he would like to see a form letter going home with child who requests a helmet for parents to fill out and sign.  This would help to make sure that the right helmet was provided for each child.  He would also like to see that all kids who receive helmets participate in the BTA program.


Sommer suggested that the Commission wait and see if the BTA requests funds prior to the end of this fiscal year.  If not, Massie could come back to the committee in May with a revised request.  Massie felt that May would be too close to the end of the school year, he had hoped to distribute the helmets prior to summer break. 


Kat Smith, SOU Student Liaison, said that there were already active participants working within the schools promoting bicycle safety awareness. Smith suggested that Massie coordinate efforts with them.  Heesacker asked if Smith would coordinate.  She said that she would assist. 


Ryan is in favor of giving BTA its normal contribution if the Commission had the funds.  He supported working with Massie and Kat Smith at the schools, as all of the groups were promoting the same thing.


All members were supportive of Massie’s request; however, the Commission already supports the BTA annually.  They did not think that there was enough money to support both causes.


Heesacker would like to combine Massie and Burnham’s agenda items.  He suggested that Massie apply for a Siskiyou Velo grant to purchase the helmets.  Massie said that he would submit a Siskiyou Velo grant and talk to Egon Dubois.


Motion and Vote

Sommer moved to table this action item.  Ryan seconded the motion and it passed unanimously


Burnham suggested that the committee work on its budget at the beginning of the fiscal year.  This item should be added to the agenda for the first meeting of the new fiscal year in July of 2011.


  1. Siskiyou Velo Bicycle “Advocacy” Funding Grant (Burnham)

Burnham explained that the Siskiyou Velo is looking for bicycle advocacy projects to fund in the amount of $12,000.  This is a valley-wide project and it will most likely give several smaller dollar amounts to various groups, as opposed to giving it all in a lump sum.  The deadline for the grant was May 31, 2011.  Burnham encouraged the Transportation Commission members to apply for money through this program to complete some of their projects.


Heesacker notified the group that staff would not have time to complete the grant application, and asked for volunteers from the commission. Ryan said that he would prepare and submit the grant.


Smith talked about a Portland “share the roads diversion class” for people who are cited for bicycle violations.  People who attend the class receive a reduced rate ticket.  She would like to see a similar pilot program developed in our area. Participants in the Portland program include Emanuel Hospital, the Portland Police Department, BPA, and the Municipal Court. 


Sommer asked how much the Third Street bike rack project cost.  Olson responded that it cost $1,700.  Sommer would like to see similar set ups with cooperating businesses.


Burnham recommended that the committee request funding for directional signs for bikers.


Young agreed that the committee should ask for money for helmets, and funnel them through the BTA. 


Motion and vote

Young moved to request from Siskiyou Velo:  $1,000 for bicycle helmets and $2,000 for implementation of a bicycle corral for one of the identified locations in Ashland.  Sommer seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


  1. North Main Road Diet Conceptual Plan Recommendation

Faught was pleased by the number of people who attended the Transportation Commission meeting on March 31, 2011.  He would like to see even more people involved at a larger venue.  Dan Burden from the Walkable & Livable Communities Institute, an expert in road diets will be in town on June 13th.  Faught would like to invite him to be a presenter during a Town Hall meeting on June 14th.  Faught would like more input from the public before moving to a final decision.  Once it gets goes before Council, the process becomes too formal.  Heesacker agreed that inviting Dan Burden to present at a Town Hall meeting was a great idea.  Sommer also agreed and suggested that mailers be sent to the public.


Faught stated that ODOT agreed to give the City $115,000 for the striping project.  Sommer asked about the striping timeline and whether or not it had to be sent out for bids.  Faught replied that the striping would be a two to three day simple project.  If approved, the project could move forward as scheduled.  ODOT already had a contractor lined up to do the striping. 


At the commission’s request, Faught submitted the North Main Road Diet to the council meeting agenda on May 17th.  If approved by Council, the striping work would begin in September after the Labor Day Holiday.  The trial period is slated to last one year.  If the striping takes place as planned, the thermoplast will last for three years.


Motion and Vote

Ryan moved to act on staff’s recommendation as detailed in the memo (below) from Faught to the Transportation Commission dated 4/21/2011. Young seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


Detailed Recommendation:

·        Delay the implementation of the North Main Road Diet until early September;

·        Schedule a Public Town Hall Meeting for Tuesday, June 14, 2011. Staff would invite Dan Burden to assist with the presentation;

·        If the pilot project was ultimately approved by the Transportation Commission, a City Council meeting on the issue would be scheduled for July 19, 2011;

·        If the Council approves the project, restriping the North Main would begin early September.


Heesacker thought moving ahead with the pilot project was a good idea.


Faught stated that he did not recommend that the City of Ashland take over any ODOT roadway unless there was adequate continual revenue to sustain the maintenance.


Young was pleased with the good will in the room during the last meeting.  He was approached by citizens against the project at the beginning of the meeting, who later said they may be willing to support it.


Burnham supported the one year pilot program. He compared this project to the left hand lanes that were taken away five to six years ago on Siskiyou Boulevard.  People seemed to not miss them anymore.


  1. Installation of Signs to Bike Routes (Burnham)

Burnham stated that the City needed more signage on bike routes.  He noticed tourists looking for directions to bike paths.  Young added that the sign project needed coordination of routes at key points.  Sommer suggested that Burnham come up with a plan to show where the signs are needed. Olson stated that funds for the signs would come from the street department budget.  Each sign would range in cost between $40 and $125.


Motion and Vote

Heesacker moved that Commissioner Burnham work with Olson, or Olson’s designee to determine bike path directional signs using minimum effective signage.  Ryan seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


It was determined that the next item was not an action item therefore a quorum was no longer required.  Commissioner Young excused himself from the meeting.


  1. Pedestrian Places Conceptual Plan Update (Goldman)

Goldman gave a presentation on the proposed “Pedestrian Places” which would be located at Walker Avenue and Ashland Street; North Mountain Avenue and East Main Street; and Tolman Creek Road and Ashland Street.


Sommer expressed concern over the large amount of traffic coming from the freeway that filters directly into the proposed Pedestrian Place at Tolman Creek Road and Ashland Street.


Burnham and Ryan would like to see pedestrian places in other areas as well.  Burnham mentioned Tolman Creek at Siskiyou as an example. Goldman stated that the number of pedestrian places had been narrowed to three due to consultants time and budget constraints.


Burnham questioned how the pedestrian places would affect the Transportation Commission.  Goldman replied that it was important for the Commission to be familiar with the projects early on as there could be changes in street design standards and minimum sidewalk widths.


Commissioner Sommer excused herself from the meeting.


          Heesacker asked Olson if he wanted to proceed with the remaining items.  Olson recommended     that the meeting be adjourned since a quorum no longer existed


X.     ADJOURN:  8:05 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Betsy Harshman, Administrative Supervisor


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