ASHLAND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
JUNE 27, 2013
CALL TO ORDER: Chair David Young called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.
Commissioners Present: Craig Anderson, David Chapman, Pam Hammond and David Young
Absent Members: Shawn Kampmann and Corinne Viéville
Ex officio Present: Steve MacLennan
Staff Present: Mike Faught, Scott Fleury and Jodi Vizzini
Council Liaison: Carol Voisin
No announcements were presented.
A. Approval of Minutes
1. May 23, 2013
The minutes of May 23, 2013 were approved as corrected.
No one came forward to speak.
Scott Fleury briefly outlined the bollard information provided in the commission packet. He added that the City’s Risk Management was researching liability issues associated with removing the bollards. He concluded that staff was recommending the removal of bollards at the locations of discussion, pending the final report from Risk Management.
Mr. Fleury explained the reasoning behind the placement of bollards on the Bear Creek Greenway bike path as explained to him by Jenna Stanke of Jackson County. She shared the placement is looked at on a case-by-case basis depending on the potential for cars to enter at each location. Officer Steve MacLennan shared the difficulty of getting emergency vehicles on the path when bollards are in place.
Commissioners Anderson/Chapman m/s to remove bollards at the Mountain Ave., E. Main, Wightman St., Walker Ave., and Tolman Creek Rd. locations included in the commission packet pending approval from Risk Management. Voice vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
B. Dust/Slow Sign
Mr. Fleury called attention to a letter received by David Qotsaisaw requesting installation of “Slow” and “Dust” signs in the alley between Ohio and Hersey Streets. He explained that staff recommended Mr. Qotsaisaw and neighbors apply a dust suppressant as an alternative to signage. Mr. Qotsaisaw felt that option would not be financially feasible. Mr. Fleury clarified that staff does not conduct traffic studies on alleys and that he did a site visit and concluded that cars can easily drive 15-20 mph at this location. He added that most traffic on this alley is generated from residents; not tourists. He explained there are 17 tax lots adjacent to the alley and that many residents have garage access and park their vehicles along the alley.
· Commissioners discussed several alternate solutions to the requested signage.
· Commissioners shared their personal experience with treating a street with dust suppressant and the cost associated with the treatment was roughly $75 - $100 per homeowner.
· Staff shared how homeowners have organized dust suppressant projects on other streets.
· Staff discussed the possibility of chip sealing various gravel roads and alleys in the City with future CMAQ grant funds.
The Commission did not make a motion on this action item. It was determined that staff will follow-up with Mr. Qotsaisaw and recommend that he organize a dust suppressant plan with neighbors while encouraging them to drive slowly. A suggestion was made to include the City’s policy to not install signage unless a street meets certain speed/volume criteria.
NON ACTION ITEMS
A. Audible Pedestrian Signals Update
Mr. Fleury provided an update on the newly installed audible pedestrian signal buttons. He added that more buttons will be ordered with the remaining grant funds. He shared the diagonal crosswalk and signal installation at Indiana/Wightman is scheduled for July 9.
A suggestion was made for staff to monitor the crosswalk since it was designed by City staff. Staff agreed this was a good idea.
A. Miscellaneous Concrete Project
Mr. Fleury briefly outlined the concrete work that has begun on C Street. He explained that contractors will be working on miscellaneous projects on B and C Streets and Francis Lane over the next couple of months replacing handicap ramps and connecting sidewalks. He listed other miscellaneous areas that will benefit from the concrete project.
Mr. Fleury gave an update on information he received about the Oak Street rail crossing. He explained the project is back online which will result in sidewalk construction from Ashland Lumber Company to Plexis Healthcare Systems and installation of cross gates. He stated RailCorp expects to have trains running through in 2015.
Councilor Voisin arrived at 6:50.
FOLLOW UP ITEMS
A. Plaza Walk
Mike Faught briefly described his recent walk of the Plaza with Commissioner Viéville and an instructor for the blind. They determined the crosswalks were sufficient for the blind community but needed to address those who travel by mobility scooters.
Mr. Faught shared the Council agreed to follow the Transportation Commission’s recommendation to add yellow paint on the curb around Plaza. He added the paint has already been applied.
B. Rapid Flashing Beacon Homing Sound
Mr. Fleury gave an update on the rapid flashing beacon (RFB) homing sound feature which he reported had been added to the existing RFBs and were currently working. He provided information about the plan to install an RFB on Siskiyou near the high school.
C. Downtown Study Update
Mr. Faught provided an update on the progress of the Downtown Study. He shared that Council allocated $35,000 for the study which will be conducted by the University of Oregon. He added he was able to secure a grant with the University of Oregon to cover the difference of the total cost which is $50,000.
The process of the study was discussed. It was determined that representation from both the Transportation and Planning Commissions should be involved in the process along with a Council liaison. Commissioners were in favor of forming a downtown study subcommittee. A suggestion was made to have a well-defined goal for the study. A comment was made on the importance of having good representation from stakeholders in the downtown area. Mr. Faught outlined the top objectives of the study which will be parking, truck delivery, and multi-modal circulation.
D. Hersey St. Sidewalk Project
Mr. Fleury provided an update on the progress of the project. He stated that Council approved the intergovernmental agreement and added the project will take about two years from beginning procedures to finish.
A. Action Summary
Did not review. Informational items only.
B. Traffic Crash Summary
Officer MacLennan described incidents involving bikes and pedestrians.
C. Road Diet Analysis
Mr. Faught gave on overview of the current analysis. He shared information on an upcoming survey that will be available on the Open City Hall area of the City’s website. He explained that staff is also working with Southern Oregon University on a survey that will be mailed to randomly selected residents in the fall. He added this data, along with the traffic engineer’s data, will be provided to Council as part of the criteria for their decision to keep the road diet in place or convert N. Main St. back to its previous configuration. Commission and staff discussed how to present data to the City Council.
Other topics of discussion included the relocation of the Stone Medical driveway and available vehicle crash data on N. Main St. Officer MacLennan shared there has been a change in collision reporting criteria which makes it difficult to track the number of vehicle incidents. He offered to research the data over the past year and provide this information to the Commission.
COMMISSION OPEN DISCUSSION
A concern was presented on a visibility issue at the intersection of Orange Ave. and Helman St. Staff replied they will conduct a site visit and look into a solution.
A request was made to restripe Crispin St. Staff replied City crews are currently working on striping projects throughout the City.
A question was asked about the regulation on parking wide trailers on neighborhood streets. Officer MacLennan replied the ordinance is enforced on a complaint basis.
A comment was made on the difficulty of crossing near the Senior Center at Homes Ave. and Ray Lane.
A comment was made about the drain issue at the Mountain Ave. railroad crossing. Staff replied it will be fixed during the Matisse Cottage development.
Staff presented the topic of education opportunities for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Officer MacLennan requested the Commission look at the section on Iowa St. between Wightman St. and Walker Ave. and consider reducing the speed to 20 mph at all times due to heavy congestion and narrow roadway. Staff replied it will be a future agenda item.
Commission and staff discussed the process when a request is made for traffic calming measures. Suggestions were made to streamline the process.
A suggestion was made for the City to work with Southern Oregon University on a bike program which could improve the Bicycle Friendly Community status in the future. It was suggested that a good idea might be spreading out and working on a Bicycle Friendly Jackson County.
Meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
Jodi Vizzini, Administrative Assistant