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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Transportation Commission

Thursday, October 25, 2012

October 25, 2012
Chair David Young called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street.
Commissioners Present:  Tom Burnham, Mike Gardiner, Shawn Kampmann, Corinne Vièville, and David Young
Commissioners Absent:  Pam Hammond
Council Liaison: David Chapman
Student Liaison:  Honorè Depew
Ex Officio:  Steve MacLennan
Staff Present:  Scott Fleury and Jodi Vizzini
Commissioners Gardiner/Vièville m/s to approve the September 27, 2012 minutes.  Voice vote:  all AYES. Motion passed 5 – 0.
Brent Thompson/582 Allison/Referred to a plan for diagonal parking on ‘B’ St. that was done unofficially by the engineering department 15 years ago. He stated this design has been successful in other cities and felt that back-in diagonal parking would work on ‘B’ St. near the Ashland Co-op.  He requested the Commission put the idea on a future agenda for discussion.
A.    Request for Stop Sign at Eighth St. and ‘B’ St.
Gary Foll/925 ‘B’ St./Voiced concern over the number of accidents and near-misses that have occurred at the corner of Eighth and ‘B’ streets in the last few years. He stressed the speed at which vehicles travel on ‘B’ St., the lack of stop signs slowing traffic, and the poor visibility due to trees and where the stop bar is placed on the road were all factors. He requested improvements be made to this intersection. Additional photos were provided.
Staff Report
Scott Fleury reported the recent traffic study indicated a decrease in traffic from the 2006 study.  He acknowledged the sight distance was an issue and briefly described the conclusion of a recent sight distance study as the Commissioners reviewed photos of the intersection. Staff recommended removing trees in the sight triangle; installing a new striped crosswalk with a stop for pedestrian sign; and installing a new stop bar in front of the crosswalk.
Commissioner Questions/Comments
  • Commissioners discussed whether or not the sight distance/vision clearance was an issue at the intersection. A comment was made that the trees near the intersection could be trimmed.
  • Suggestions were made to implement signage and other traffic calming measures to alert motorists of the upcoming intersection.
  • Suggestions were made for a uniform set of stop bars in front of the crosswalks along ‘B’ St.
  • Concern was voiced for vision impaired pedestrians at crosswalks where cars will be entering to move up to the sight line.
  • Comments were made regarding the speed of vehicles traveling on ‘B’ St.
  • Suggestion was made for some kind of uniformity at intersections along ‘B’ St. causing traffic to slow, e.g. roundabouts, speed bumps and intersection bump outs.
Commissioners Burnham/Kampmann m/s to approve staff’s recommendation to make improvements on the north side of Eighth St. at the ‘B’ St. intersection as shown in the diagram which would place the stop bar in front of the crosswalk.  DISCUSSION:  Commissioner Gardiner questioned if staff was convinced that traffic heading in the direction illustrated in the diagram was the only problem. He felt traffic coming from both directions on ‘B’ St. should have consistent crosswalks with stop bars as provided in the diagram.
Commissioners Gardiner/Burnham m/s to amend the motion to include improvements on both sides of the intersection on Eighth St. where it intersects ‘B’ St.  By a show of hands the motion passed unanimously (5 – 0).
Commissioners voted on the main motion.  By a show of hands the motion passed unanimously (5 – 0).
B.    ‘B’ St. and Second St. Sight Distance Analysis
Staff Report
Mr. Fleury described his recent site visit of the ‘B’ and Second St. intersection prompted by Commissioner Vièville’s request at a previous meeting.  He reported at the time of the site visit a very large vehicle was parked at the ramp of the crossing, making it impossible to see oncoming traffic at the intersection.  He recommended installing a new four-way striped crosswalk with the stop bar located in front of the crosswalk; six (6) feet of yellow curb striping adjacent to the ramps to keep cars from parking too close to the crosswalks; and installation of three new handicap ramps.
Commissioners Burnham/Vièville m/s for Public Works staff to do the recommended treatment at ‘B’ & Second streets as outlined in the Sight Distance Analysis memo.  By a show of hands the motion passed unanimously (5 – 0).
C.    Bike Registration
Staff Report
Mr. Fleury provided information on the number of bicycle licenses issued in the past five (5) years. He added the City policy was featured in an article in the City Source.  He asked for input from the Commission on what can be done to encourage more people to register their bicycles.
Suggestions from Commissioners included an online registration and removing the $2.00 fee.
Officer Steve MacLennan reported that an online registration is in the process of being implemented. He added the Police Chief intends to meet with the City Administrator and discuss removing the $2.00 fee from the Ashland Municipal Code. He felt it is important to issue stickers with the registration as stolen bikes are recovered with the stickers intact, making it easier to identify the owner. He suggested local bike shops be required to register and issue stickers with new bike purchases and repairs.
Honorè DePew suggested framing the issue in terms of self-interest instead of enforcing a municipal code and he felt educating the public and partnering with RVTD would be beneficial.
It was determined a motion was unnecessary for this agenda item.
D.    Ashland Municipal Code 2.10 Update
Staff Report
Mr. Fleury briefly outlined the three options of Ashland Municipal Code 2.10 which were included in the Transportation Commission packet. He added Council and the Legal department were looking for feedback from the various Commissions.
The Commission discussed the importance of being physically present at meetings and the option of attending a meeting via a conference call or other means of technology when available. Disabilities and emergencies were discussed as reasonable options for attending via other means if not physically able to attend. A lengthy discussion took place on determining a reasonable amount of excused absences within six months and over the course of a year, quorum issues and recent Commission vacancies.
Commissioners Gardiner/ Burnham m/s to adopt Option Two, changing the language in paragraph one from “shalls” to “may” similar to paragraph one in Option One; and correct the typo in the underlined sentence from “unexcused” to “excused.”  DISCUSSION: Commissioner Vièville questioned the language to include electronic attendance. Commissioner Young replied it would be at the Commission’s discretion acknowledging the potential need to allow this form of attendance based on Commissioner Vièville’s vision impairment. By a show of hands the motion passed unanimously (5 – 0).
E.    Commission Open Discussion
Mr. Fleury expressed interest in having an open discussion time on the monthly agenda allowing Commissioners an opportunity to bring up future topics. The Commission was in favor of the idea and shared the following comments/questions: 
  • Will there be a review and report on the post office intersection?  Answer: Yes, the traffic engineer will be looking at the Lithia Way/First St .intersection along with the Water St./Main St. intersection.
  • Can we include comments/suggestions on the Road Diet in this format?  Answer:  Yes.
  • A comment was made that the center striping on Crispin St. needs to be checked out. The quality of the job is poor.
  • What is the progress on the Campus Way crosswalk? Answer: The lights were scheduled for installation today; the crosswalk will follow.
  • A comment was made that the Action Summary indicates the “Crosswalk on ‘A’ St.” project is complete, yet there is no crosswalk on ‘A’ St.
  • It was acknowledged that Councilor David Chapman had turned in his resignation from the City Council. Commissioners shared their appreciation for his service in the area of transportation related issues. Commissioners shared their support in his interest of being appointed on the Transportation Commission.
A.    N. Main/Hersey/Wimer Intersection Realignment Update
Mr. Fleury shared the realignment project is ninety-nine percent complete. He briefly covered the issue of large trucks hitting the curb while making a left hand turn onto Hersey and added the solution will be the installation of a 25 foot mountable curb section.
B.    Walker Ave Rail Crossing Improvements
Mr. Fleury reported that engineers started the design of the rail crossing.  He added the project is scheduled to start construction in 2014, pending the railroad.
C.    Road Diet Striping Project
Officer MacLennan gave a report on newly restricted left-hand turns onto Van Ness St. following the completion of the road diet striping project.  He shared he has received multiple complaints of ongoing left-hand turns on Van Ness St. He added in a two (2) hour time period, there were 38 recorded stops of vehicles making a left-hand turn onto Van Ness St.  He stated only warnings were being issued at this point.  He felt better signage and/or candlesticks were necessary to get drivers attention to the change.
The Commissioners discussed other troublesome intersections post the new striping on N. Main St., e.g. Maple St., and the driveway into Stone Medical (making a left turn heading north). It was noted that vehicles are going faster at the Maple St. intersection to make the light before it turns red. A brief discussion took place on the seemingly lengthy pedestrian crosswalk time at the Maple St. intersection, causing cars to stack. Comment was made on the stack-up at the Laurel St. intersection.
Several Commissioners shared positive comments on the improvements for both bicycles and vehicles.
D.    Main St./ Winburn Way/ Water St. Intersection Analysis
Mr. Fleury reported the contract was finalized with the traffic engineer. He added the traffic analysis will also include the Lithia Way/First St. intersection near the post office.
E.    Traffic Crash Summary
Officer MacLennan gave a report on a bike accident on Walker Ave. at Sterling Bank. He shared the cyclist was in the bike lane but was still at fault.  Commissioners asked Officer MacLennan scenario questions with bikes and vehicles at different areas throughout the City. A suggestion was made to include bicycle education information as a topic on a future agenda.  Mr. DePew shared the City of Ft. Collins, Colorado has an effective campaign reaching a broad audience, and encouraging cycling courtesy and safety. He added he will send the website link for the campaign to staff.
Action Summary
Did not review. Informational item only.
TC Budget
Did not review. Informational item only.
Commissioners decided to meet on the fifth Thursday in November (29th) due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Jodi Vizzini, Public Works Assistant

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