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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Transportation Commission

Thursday, January 24, 2013

January 24, 2013
Chair David Young called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way.
Commissioners Present: Craig Anderson, Tom Burnham, Mike Gardiner, Pam Hammond, Corinne Viéville and David Young
Absent Members: Shawn Kampmann
Ex Officio Present: Brandon Goldman and Steve MacLennan
Staff Present: Mike Faught, Scott Fleury and Jodi Vizzini
SOU Student Liaison: Honoré Depew
The Commissioners and staff welcomed new member Craig Anderson. Commissioner Anderson provided a brief background of his experience in the transportation field which was followed by a round of introductions.
A.  Approval of Minutes
1.  November 29, 2012 Meeting
Commissioners Gardiner/Viéville m/s to approve the consent agenda. By show of hands, the motion passed 5 – 0. [Commissioner Anderson abstained.]
No one came forward to speak.
A.  Election of Officers
Mike Faught directed attention to Ashland Municipal Code 2.10.050 and read the first two sentences regarding election of officers and term length.
Commissioners Viéville/Gardiner m/s to elect David Young as Transportation Commission chair for the term beginning May 1, 2013 and ending April 30, 2014. By show of hands, the motion passed 5 – 0.
[Commissioner Young abstained.]
Commissioners Burnham/Young m/s to elect Corinne Viéville as Transportation Commission vice chair for the term beginning May 1, 2013 and ending April 30, 2014.  By show of hands, the motion passed 5 – 0.
[Commissioner Vièville abstained.]
B.  E. Main St @ Water St. Intersection Analysis
This agenda item was combined with non-action item C. Road Diet Post Construction Analysis.
C.  Audible Pedestrian Signals
Staff Report
Scott Fleury gave an overview of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) awarded for $28,000 for installation of audible pedestrian signals. He explained the City has a signal maintenance agreement with Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) on specific roads in the downtown corridor. He directed attention to information provided on the Polara brand pedestrian signal system. The Commission and staff discussed the features, cost and desired locations of installation. Corinne Vièville shared recommended locations as prioritized by the visually impaired community.
Brandon Goldman, Senior Planner, clarified the CDBG funds are designated to low-income neighborhoods and confirmed the downtown qualifies as such area. Mr. Goldman explained that locations outside of the downtown area will need to be approved by the CDBG funding agency, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as the grant was specific to this area. He added an amendment can be submitted to HUD with a map of the desired audible signal locations with an explanation of how they will provide a presumed benefit to a protected class.
Commissioners Vièville/Burnham m/s to use the $28,000 in funds provided by the CDBG for purchase of Polara audible signals consistent with the terms of the grant requirements. DISCUSSION:  Commissioner Burnham stressed the importance of utilizing the funds within the guidelines of the grant timeline. Mr. Fleury confirmed the purchase of the signals will be made before the deadline date of June 30, 2013. By show of hands, the motion passed 6 – 0.
Commissioner Vièville/Burnham m/s for  Senior Planner, Brandon Goldman, to contact HUD regarding the possibility of changing the location of the audible signals as recommended by the Commission for the Blind and the blind community, and seek approval of the locations by ODOT, while meeting the time constraints of the grant. DISCUSSION: Commissioners discussed the benefit of audible signals to other protected classes, not just specifically the blind community. Commissioner Vièville explained her experience with audible signals in other communities, and how the recorded message can provide information for anyone who may be disoriented.  Commissioners discussed other difficult pedestrian crossing locations throughout the City. By show of hands, the motion passed 6 – 0.
A.  Traffic Safety Workshop
Mr. Fleury encouraged Commissioners to attend the Traffic Safety Workshop scheduled for February 27, 2013 in Pioneer Hall to be presented by Mojie Takallou, Ph.D., P.E. from the University of Portland, Department of Civil Engineering.
B.  Pedestrian Beacons-SOU Project
Mr. Fleury gave a report on the high-intensity pedestrian beacon scheduled for installation the following week at the Palm Ave. /Siskiyou Blvd. intersection. He explained that Southern Oregon University will be installing more beacons throughout the corridor.

C.  E. Main St. /Water St. Intersection Analysis and Road Diet Post Construction Analysis
Consultant Report – E. Main St. /Water St. Intersection
Mr. Faught introduced Kim Parducci, Southern Oregon Transportation Engineering, LLC, who was hired as a consultant to look at the E. Main St. /Water St. intersection following the pedestrian fatality last summer. She provided an analysis of the geometry, signage and pavement markings, sight distance, crash history and intersection operations as illustrated in the handout titled “Water St./N. Main St. Intersection Analysis.”
Commissioners Questions/Comments
Commissioners and staff discussed parking issues for trucks in this area and offered various solutions. It was determined this intersection will be analyzed as part of the future downtown parking and multi-modal circulation study.
Consultant Report – Road Diet Post Construction Analysis
Ms. Parducci explained her role of gathering post road diet data as outlined in her handout titled “Post Road Diet Analysis.” She added that volunteers will be conducting pedestrian/bike counts throughout the trial period which will be used as supplemental data included in the collective pre and post findings and conclusions to be presented in September.
Commissioners Questions/Comments
▪ Question: If the road diet proves successful will the City keep it in a temporary manner for another season as this seems more cost effective? Answer: Staff feels repainting the current configuration will be the most cost effective way to make it permanent, along with adding reflective raised pavement markers to the road.
▪ Question: Was there a pre-traffic volume count performed on Oak Street? Answer: Yes, traffic counters were placed on Oak St. and other surrounding side streets prior to the road diet and will be placed on the same streets on a quarterly basis.
▪ Question: Has the City conducted video traffic studies on the road diet?  Answer: ODOT conducted 24-hour videos of some intersections. Travel times will be included in the road diet analysis.
▪ A comment was made that getting on and off side streets takes longer and at times can seem dangerous with no gaps in the travel lane. Staff replied with information from an informal two-hour traffic count at Hersey/Wimer and added this intersection will be the focus of a delay study. Mr. Faught emphasized the reason for hiring Ms. Parducci was to gather consistent data throughout the road diet trial period.

 ▪ Other Commissioner comments included peak travel times and the upcoming tourist season.
D.  Downtown Parking and Multimodal Circulation Study
Mr. Faught reported an application was submitted to the University of Oregon (U of O) to conduct the study which will result in a reduced cost if the project is accepted. He added the original cost of the study will still be added to the budget as a back-up in case U of O does not approve the application.
E.  Bicycle Friendly Community Application
Mr. Fleury reported the progress of assembling information to be included in the application. He stated it was a collective effort with members from the cycling community, Ashland Police, Planning and Public Works staff. He directed attention to a list of remaining questions and encouraged Commissioners to e-mail information that could be used in the final application.
▪ Mr. Faught encouraged Commissioners to attend the City Council goal setting session scheduled for February 2, 2013.
▪ Mr. Faught gave an update on the progress of the Transportation System Plan and the upcoming presentation to Council on February 5, 2013.
▪ Mr. Fleury reported the Street Division will be striping intersections appropriately in the coming year as illustrated in the memo included in the packet. 
▪ Mr. Fleury shared information on a grant award received from Cycle Oregon for $3,500 which will be used to support the Bicycle Safety Education program.
A.  Action Summary
Did not review.  Informational item only.
B.  Traffic Safety Connection December/January Newsletter
Did not review. Informational item only.
C.  Traffic Crash Summary
Commissioner Burnham pointed out the low number of bike/pedestrian accidents in a three month period.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

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