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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Joint TC/PC Meeting

Agenda
Thursday, July 12, 2012

JOINT ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION and
ASHLAND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION MEETING
MINUTES
July 12, 2012
 
 
CALL TO ORDER
Chair David Young called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street.
 
Transportation Commissioners Present: Tom Burnham, Mike Gardiner, Pam Hammond, Shawn Kampmann, Colin Swales, Corinne Vièville, and David Young
Planning Commissioners Present: Troy J. Brown, Jr., Michael Dawkins, Eric Heesacker, Pam Marsh and Debbie Miller
Staff Present: Mike Faught, Jim Olson, and Jodi Vizzini
Ex Officio Present: Bill Molnar
Council Liaison Present: David Chapman
Transportation Commissioners Absent: All present
Planning Commissioners Absent:  Richard Kaplan and Melanie Mindlin
 
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS AND ADOPTION OF PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES 
Commissioners Gardner/Burnham m/s to approve the June 14, 2012 minutes. Voice vote:  all AYES
The minutes were approved as corrected.
 
PUBLIC FORUM
No one came forward to speak.
 
ACTION ITEMS
Revisit Shared Roads
Jim Olson addressed the comments on the recommended shared roads spreadsheet as follows:
Monte Vista St.
Mr. Olson recommended adding this street to the shared roads list explaining it was recently improved; it is 18 feet wide; does not have sidewalks; only curb, gutter and paving, making this street a good candidate for a shared road.
Sheridan St.
Mr. Olson recommended adding this street to the shared roads list. He stated this street is constrained both physically and legally. The current width is as wide as it will be with a 30 ft. right of way making it difficult to add sidewalks.
Dogwood Way
Mr. Olson recommended adding this street to the shared roads list. He explained this street was originally a private street but the homeowners petitioned to make it a public street which was Council approved.  He added it is a narrow street, making it a good candidate for a shared road.
Ditch Rd.
Mr. Olson recommended removing this street from the shared roads list.  He explained this road will likely never be developed as a public street; only portions are open to the public. 
Jacquelyn St.
Mr. Olson recommended removing this street from the shared roads list based on future development that will grant additional right of way, allowing room for sidewalks.
Walnut St.
Mr Olson recommended adding this street to the shared roads list.
Upper Winburn Way
Mr. Olson recommended removing this street from the shared roads list. He explained this street is not an actual dedicated public street; it is Parks property. 
S. Pioneer St.
Mr. Olson recommended adding this street to the shared roads list as it is physically constrained making development unlikely.
Ashland Creek Dr.
Mr. Olson recommended removing this street from the list as Council approved asphalt sidewalks currently exist.
Ross Lane
Mr. Olson recommended adding this street to the shared roads list as it is physically constrained making it difficult to add sidewalks.
 
Commissioners Burnham/Kampmann m/s to approve the list of staff recommended shared roads.  Discussion:  Commissioners discussed Upper Winburn Way and decided the speed limit is already 15 mph and currently acts like a shared road.  Mr. Faught stated Planning would not require Parks to add sidewalks.
 
Commissioners discussed extending the shared road on Pinecrest Terrace beginning at Walker Ave.  Mr. Olson explained the street is wide enough in that area to meet street standards, making it possible to add sidewalks in the future. He added enforcing a 15 mph speed limit on a wide street could be problematic.  Discussion included the steep terrain, icy winter conditions and safety issues for children walking on the road.
 
Commissioners Kampmann/ Dawkins m/s to amend Pinecrest Terrace as a shared road beginning at Walker Ave.  Discussion:  Commissioners questioned potential development in the area and if this would trigger building sidewalks.  Mr. Faught clarified sidewalks will be built if the area is developed and/or if the City determines it is an important link.
 
Commissioner Young asked for a show of hands to approve extending the shared road on Pinecrest Terrace beginning at Walker Ave.  Commissioners Dawkins, Gardiner, Kampmann, Miller, Swales, and Vieville, YES. Commissioners Brown, Burnham, Hammond, Marsh and Young, NO.  Commissioner Heesacker abstained. Motion passed 6 – 5. 
 
Mr. Faught stated he will have staff take a technical look at the request from a safety standpoint and bring a report back to the August 16th meeting. 
 
Commissioner Young asked for a show of hands to approve the list of staff recommended shared roads as m/s by Commissioners Burnham/Kampman, acknowledging the change to Pinecrest Terrace.  Commissioners Brown, Dawkins, Gardiner, Hammond, Heesacker, Kampmann, Marsh, Miller, Swales, Vièville and Young, YES.  Commissioner Burnham, NO.  Motion passed 11 – 1.
 
The Commissions reviewed handouts on shared street cross-sections and shared street design.
 
Jim Olson’s Retirement Acknowledgement
Commissioner Young thanked Mr. Olson for forty-one years of service and added he will be deeply missed.  He presented a plaque of appreciation recognizing the years dedicated to both the Traffic Safety and Transportation Commissions.  Mr. Olson thanked the Commissioners for their volunteer work and expressed his appreciation for their efforts.
 
The Commissions took a break to wish Mr. Olson a happy retirement. The meeting reconvened at 6:55 p.m.
 
Revisit Pedestrian Crossing SOU/Siskiyou Blvd at Wightman/Indiana
Mr. Faught provided a handout titled (S10) Siskiyou Blvd Pedestrian Crossing Evaluation and Feasibility Study which was based on the Commissions conclusion at the previous meeting to include a study of the intersection, post SOU construction of the new dormitory, instead of including a $2 million project in the TSP.  The study has an estimated cost of $35,000.
 
Commissioners Questions/Comments
  • What about a crossing at Ashland St. and Stadium St.?
  • Answer:  The bulk of the pedestrian traffic will potentially be at the Siskiyou Blvd/Wightman/Indiana intersection. There will be an intersection at Stadium St. as part of the SOU development, but this will be the only grade separated crossing.
  • Will there be a signal at the Stadium St. intersection?
  • Answer:  No.
  • Will audible rapid flashing beacons be installed?
  • Answer:  Yes.
  • The study is based on when the dorms are built and in use. When will the study begin?
  • Answer:  Funding will need to be established before the study begins, but this project will be high priority. It will take place within five years, short of a funding issue.
  • What are we getting for $35,000?  Clarify the purpose of the study and what it will include.
  • Answer:  The scope of the study was expanded to include the entire pedestrian corridor and high school, so it is an extensive study. The study will include the pedestrian impacts of the corridor, pedestrian counts and pedestrian flow from the dorms to the campus.
  • If the study is extended it should include the Stadium St. intersection and the impact of the dorm development.
  • Answer:  A grade-separated crossing is only being considered at the Siskiyou/Wightman/Indiana site; it will not be a problem to extend the study to include the Stadium St. intersection.
  • Will the study include the possibility of a road diet through the SOU campus (Siskiyou Blvd) and Ashland St.?
  • Answer:  No. A decision was made to not include a road diet in this area.
  • There will potentially be 1,000 pedestrians crossing this intersection per day; this is a chance to be bold and design something that tells people how to get from point A to point B.
  • Answer:  The study and the $2 million project could be addec concurrently.       

  
Mr. Faught concluded that Stadium St. will be added to the (S10) Siskiyou Blvd Pedestrian Crossing Evaluation and Feasibility Study.  Commissions agreed with the decision.
 
Complete Project (R25) Washington St. Extension
Mr. Faught shared that a letter of intent has been developed based on the numerous meeting with Zach Brombacher (property owner). Mr. Faught explained the letter of intent includes identifying a 54 ft. right-of-way through the property; constructing a 700 ft. long paved road with 28 ft. wide street section; building a bridge crossing Hamilton Creek designed to meet the storm water quality mitigation requirements and standards; relocating existing utilities; assisting in developing the location of the existing conservation easement to match the new FEMA flood map; and to master planning the site through the City planning process for future development
 
Commissioner Questions/Comments

  • Is the road shown in the packet the exact area the road will be constructed?
  • Answer:  The road will move towards Hwy 66, but it is the general area. Staff will bring the potential site plan back to the next meeting.
  • Why was Mr. Brombacher not present at the meeting tonight?
  • Answer:  The City Attorney advised bringing a letter of intent to the Commissions first and then to Council as part of the process.


Commissioners Heesacker/Hammond m/s to approve support of the letter of intent.  Discussion:  Commissioner Gardiner asked if this is where Mr. Brombacher wants the road.  Mr. Faught stated it was the only place the road could be constructed and described the limitations. He explained that Mr. Brombacher has hired an engineer and an architect to design a plan that will work.  Commissioner Miller questioned the zone in the area.  Bill Molnar, Community Development Director, stated it is zone employment.  Commissioner Miller asked if it was possible to not have a park row.  Mr. Faught clarified it will not be street standard; no park row.
 
Commissioners voted unanimously to support the letter of intent.  Motion passed 12 – 0.
 
Revisit Projects (R37) Main St. Cross-Section / (S2) Downtown Parking Study
Mr. Faught expressed that critical questions have not been answered and recommended moving Project (R37) into the (S2) Downtown Plan Study.  The study will address truck delivery/parking and general parking issues that would be affected by this project.
 
Commissioner Questions/Comments

  • How long will the study take? Will it fit into the TSP timeframe?
  • Answer:  It will be in the financially constrained plan; Commissioners can recommend ranking the study as high priority.
  • What is a downtown plan?
  • Answer:  The downtown plan will look at parking, truck parking impacts and look at Project (R37) three lane to two lane configuration.  It will also look at amenities such as garbage cans, lighting, etc. 
  • A recommendation was made to change the study title to the “Downtown Transportation Plan Study.”
 
Commissioners Heesacker/ Brown m/s to include the Downtown Transportation Plan Study in the constrained portion of the TSP for $100,000.  Discussion: Commissioner Marsh felt this decision was unsatisfactory and expressed concern with recommending City Council spend another $100,000 on a study following two years of studies. She felt the Commissions should have recommendations for downtown.  Commissioner Young summarized the issue was delivery and the need to find a way to enhance opportunities for all modes of transportation through the downtown corridor while also meeting the needs of the business community. Mr. Faught added the study will drill down all aspects of parking.  Commissioner Dawkins shared his frustration remains with the failure to come up with bypass routes going around the downtown area.
 
Commissioner Heesacker spoke to his motion and stated past attempts of the downtown effort has not presented results; a study would mediate all issues.
 
Commissioner Brown acknowledged the previous study and added it lacked a clear definitive study of only the downtown problem.  He added the need for a basic list of all things humanly possible in the downtown, summarizing the can and can not’s of each idea, and the reasoning behind the study results. He concluded the discussion by stressing that stakeholders need to see all the options of things that can possibly be done.  Commissioner Young pointed out the description in (S2) includes developing an implementation plan and developing consensus.
 
Commissioner Young asked for a show of hands to include Project (R37) into the (S2) Downtown Transportation Plan Study:  Commissioners Brown, Burnham, Dawkins, Gardiner, Hammond, Heesacker, Miller, Swales, Young and Vieville, YES.  Commissioner Marsh, NO.  Commissioner Kampmann abstained.  Motion passed 10 – 1.
 
Revisit (B17) Main St. Bikeway
Mr. Faught recommended the remedy to the bikeway in the downtown area would be to change (B17) from a planned bike lane to allow sharrows on the right lane through the downtown; and have signage directing an alternate route for B Street. Commissioners suggested Water St. or Oak St. for signage locations.
 
Mr. Faught stated he will bring a conceptual map and signage to the next meeting.
 
Complete Project (R10) Oak St/Van Ness Ave. Intersection Improvements
Did not discuss.  It was determined that property owners need to be notified prior to discussion. 
 
(O5) Transit
Mr. Faught distributed a document titled (O5) Transit Service Program and explained that Council made a decision to stop the transit subsidy due to a lack of increased ridership.  He explained that (O5) was written with the continuation of the transit subsidy in mind.  He asked Kittelson for a rewrite of the Transit Service Program based on Route 8 and the Rubber Tire Trolley Route strategies.  He added from a funding standpoint the programs were expensive and would be a few years out.  He asked for feedback on including one or both strategies in the financially constrained plan.  David Chapman shared the City is still subsidizing, but the target has changed to low-income passes.  He added the target could change; it is temporary.  Mr. Faught summarized the Commissions decided Route 8 and the Trolley Route would increase ridership and reduce vehicular trips. He added the other plan would be to allocate $200,000 - $300,000 towards subsidy annually.
 
Commissioners Questions/Comments
  • The initial cost of $3 million was questioned for four rubber tire trolleys. What kind of vehicles are in this plan?
  • Answer:  The funds to buy infrastructure are available through the federal government; the operating cost is the issue.
  • Will trolleys be fare based or will the City pay for the operation?
  • Answer:  The trolley concept was based on tourists; hotels could put a program together.
  • The Commissions already voted on Route 8 and a Rubber Tire Trolley Route at a conceptual level in the plan; the detail needs to be pulled.
The Commissions agreed no action was necessary.
 
NEXT MEETING DATE
The next meeting date of August 16, 2012 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. was confirmed. 
 
ADJOURNMENT
Meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
 
Respectfully submitted,
Jodi Vizzini, Office Assistant II

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