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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Transportation Commission Meeting

Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 26, 2012
Chair David Young called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.  He called attention to Honore Depew, SOU Student Liaison, who was in attendance and introduced him to members who were not present at the previous meeting.

Commissioners Present:  Tom Burnham, Mike Gardiner, Shawn Kampmann, Colin Swales, Corinne Vièville and David Young
Absent Members:  Pam Hammond
Student Liaison:  Honorè Depew, Southern Oregon University
Council Liaison:  Not present
Staff Present:  Scott Fleury and Jodi Vizzini
Ex Officio Member:  Officer Steve MacLennan
Commissioners Gardiner/Swales m/s to approve the May 24, 2012 minutes.  Voice vote: all AYES.  Motion passed 6 – 0.
Training by City Recorder was canceled.  
No one came forward to speak.
Training by City Recorder
Agenda item canceled.
Bicycle Safety Education Program Funding Request
Rachel Dials, Recreation Superintendent for Ashland Parks & Recreation, requested a recurring contribution of $3,000 from the Transportation Commission to support the bicycle safety education program offered through Ashland Parks & Recreation. She shared the funds are used to provide bicycle safety education programs to students within Ashland School District.  She explained the revenue for the program is generated from the Ashland Bike Swap, but falls short of the annual expenses of $8,200.  Egon DuBois was in attendance to answer questions from the Commissioners.
Commissioners Questions/Comments
  • Supporting budget documentation for the program was requested for review.
  • Ms. Dials stated she will provide a budget outlining revenue from the Ashland Bike Swap and the expenses for the program which include instructor time and bike fleet repair. She added the overhead for Ashland Parks & Recreation is not included in the budget; Ashland Parks & Recreation absorbs the remaining costs.
  • Suggestions were made to ask the Ashland School District, Ashland School Foundation and/or other agencies for funding.
  • Is there any data on the impact the program has on students regarding satisfaction and/or student safety?
  • Mr. DuBois stated there was a profound impact in student behavior reported by parents and community members.  He added the long term effect is evident in former students who participated in the program and are currently driving vehicles. He explained it is the only program of its kind in the nation which originated from the Bicycle Transportation Association (BTA) and has received high marks in the press.
  • Commissioners questioned where the funding would come from in Public Works to support the program.  A suggestion was made to add a line item in the budget to support the program.        Mr. Fleury stated it was generated from the streets division budget the prior year and he would look at what was appropriated for the current year. 

Commissioner Young concluded the discussion by giving an overview of the history of the program, the various Commissions that have supported it in the past, and the valuable role that Mr. DuBois plays in the community educating young students.                                                                        

Commissioners Burnham/Kampmann m/s to approve the $3,000 funding request for the Bicycle Safety Education Program for the 2012-13 budget year. Discussion:  Commissioner Burnham stated it is a good program and is well worth the money. Commissioner Kampmann requested a detailed budget that breaks down the instructor hours. Commissioner Swales added he fully supports the motion and would like to see the program funded on a more reliable basis and was hopeful staff would step up and fund it permanently.  Commissioner Gardiner suggested that staff consider adding it as a line item for future years. 

Commissioner Burnham withdrew his motion.
Commissioners Burnham/Kampmann m/s to approve the request for $3,000 for the Bicycle Safety Education Program for the 2012-13 budget year and direct Public Works to look into the possibility of making it a permanent budget line item for future years.  Voice vote:  all AYES.  Motion passed
6 – 0.
Request for Traffic Calming Measures – Takelma Way
Staff Report
Mr. Fleury gave an overview of the current traffic study data and conclusions from site visits following a request for traffic calming measures on Takelma Way.  He indicated the analysis determined traffic is functioning within ideal rates; however the shape and configuration of the street, specifically a 90 degree turn, causes vehicles to travel into the opposing lane.  He explained that signs would be ineffective in slowing traffic and speed humps would not meet state regulations.  Mr. Fleury shared that residents requested adding a center line stripe in the curved area of the street to delineate travel lanes and added staff would not be opposed to adding a stripe in this location.
Commissioners Burnham/Vièville m/s to add a center line stripe as recommended by Public Works staff. Discussion:  Mr. Depew suggested the neighborhood look into alternative forms of traffic calming measures. Commissioner Vièvielle suggested residents place “Children at Play” signs on their property.  Mr. Fleury stated Public Works has signs available for residents wishing to utilize them in their neighborhood.
Commissioner Young asked for a voice vote in favor of the motion. Commissioners Burnham, Gardiner, Kampmann, Vièville and Young, YES.  Motion passed 5 – 0. Commissioner Swales abstained. 
Request for Traffic Calming & Control Devices – Chautauqua Trace Subdivision
Staff Report
Mr. Fleury gave an overview of the May 20, 2012 letter from Chautauqua Trace Homeowners Association requesting traffic calming measures on Abbott Avenue.  He explained the same request was made in October, 2006 which prompted Public Works to conduct a traffic speed and volume study. The results of the 2006 study indicated traffic volumes and speed were unusually low.  Public Works conducted a recent study and found the volume and speed within normal range. Mr. Fleury stated the current traffic conditions do not warrant traffic improvements.
Commissioners Kampmann/Swales m/s to support Public Works staff recommendation to take no action on Abbott Street. Discussion:  Commissioner Burnham suggested informing the homeowners association of measures they can take, such as placing signage on their property alerting motorists to drive slowly.  Commissioner Swales commented the applicant may feel nothing was done to satisfy their request and felt it was important to let the them know that staff and the Commission have looked at all the information and came to the same conclusion as previously. Mr. Fleury stated he will follow-up with a letter to the homeowners association letting them know the outcome.
Commissioner Young asked for a voice vote in favor of the motion. Voice vote:  all AYES.  Motion passed 6 – 0.
Request to Reinstate Parking on Both Sides of Granite St.
Mr. Fleury asked Commissioner Swales to present this item. Commissioner Swales outlined key areas of the staff report and explained his reasoning for supporting parking on both sides of Granite St. Commissioner Swales explained that a list of streets was looked at in 2010, but Granite St. was not reviewed because it was designated as an avenue.  He compared it to A St. and felt that Granite St. could operate in the same manner.
Commissioners and staff expressed concerns with vision clearance, opposing driveways, lack of sidewalks, grade issues, and narrowing of the street. Mr. Fleury suggested a traffic study which would provide updated traffic volumes and speed.
Commissioners Gardiner/Burnham m/s to allow parking on both sides of Granite St. between Nutley St. to Strawberry Ln.  Discussion:  Commissioner Gardiner stated he has walked this route many times and does not see a potential problem. Commissioner Burnham added it is a matter of paint; if it becomes a problem it will come back to the Commission. Commissioner Young felt it will add a lot of conflicts.  Officer Steve MacLennan stated the only place fit for parking on both sides would be between Nutley St. and Strawberry Ln., and added his concern for safety issues with parking on both sides of the street based on past traffic issues. 
Commissioner Young asked for a show of hands in favor of the motion. Commissioners Burnham, Gardiner and Swales, YES.  Commissioners Kampmann, Young and Vièville, NO. Motion tied 3 –
3.  Motion is lost.
Commissioners Swales/Burnham m/s for Public Works staff to conduct a traffic study on Granite St. Voice vote:  Commissioners Burnham, Gardiner, Swales and Young, YES.  Commissioners Kampmann and Vièville, NO.  Motion passed 4 – 2.
Mr. Fleury stated he will conduct two separate traffic studies; 1) between High St. and Nutley St.; and 2) between Nutley St. and Strawberry Ln.   
Cycle Oregon Grant
Staff Report
Mr. Fleury explained the Cycle Oregon event will be passing through the City in September. He shared that Cycle Oregon offers a grant to city’s that host their event. He asked for support to apply for the grant and offered ideas of how the funds could be utilized.
Commissioners Kampmann/Swales m/s to support the application for the Cycle Oregon Grant with the possibility of applying the funds to support the bicycle safety education program.  Discussion: Commissioners suggested that staff create a draft project proposal list with specific line item amounts that Commissioners could prioritize at a future meeting.
Commissioner Young asked for a voice vote in favor of the motion.  Voice vote:  all AYES.  Motion passed 6 – 0.
N. Main/Hersey/Wimer Intersection Realignment Update
Staff Report
Mr. Fleury gave an update on the Hersey/Wimer Realignment project.  He shared that Pilot Rock Excavation, Inc. was awarded the contract and construction has began.  He added the project completion date is scheduled for September 4, 2012. 
Commissioners asked questions of staff regarding property acquisition, the road diet, and suggested and designated truck routes.
Hersey/Laurel Railroad Crossing Improvements Update
Staff Report
Mr. Fleury shared that All American Track Inc. upgraded the crossing in June and added the second phase will involve a City project that will go to bid in August or September with construction beginning in October.
Traffic Crash Summary
Commissioner Burnham commented the reports for four months only indicated four incidents and felt that was impressive. Commissioner Vièville stated it would be advantageous to have minor incidents included in the report.  Officer Steve MacLennan shared he is hopeful the system will go back to reporting a case number on every incident.
Action Summary
Commissioner Burnham commented on two projects that have yet to take place and were voted on by the Commission; 1) signage on A Street; and 2) 15 minute parking zone on A St.
TC Budget Balance (-$374.52)
Commissioner Young requested an e-mail with details of the budget balance.
Traffic Safety Connection (May)
Informational item only. No discussion.
Crosswalks – A Safety Tool for Everyone
Informational item only.  No discussion.
Siskiyou Velo Grant Update
Commissioners reviewed a draft news release prepared by staff for the City Source acknowledging the grant award. Commissioners made suggestions and encouraged staff to proceed with the article.
The following items were suggested for future agenda topics:

  • Update the time frame for Oak St. railroad crossing
  • Discuss a designated bike route between the railroad district and the plaza
  • Discuss City of Ashland required bicycle registration policy
Commissioner Burnham requested an update on bicycle parking locations and bike racks. Mr. Fleury reported that bike corrals will be installed at OSF on Pioneer St. as part of the Siskiyou Velo Grant award. He added he will review the file on bike parking and report back to the Commission.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Jodi Vizzini, Public Works Assistant

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