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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Transportation Commission

Thursday, September 26, 2013

 Ashland Transportation Commission 
Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chair David Young called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM, Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.
Commissioner Present: Craig Anderson, David Chapman, Joseph Graf, Shawn Kampmann, David Young, 
Absent Members:  Corinne Vieville
Ex officio Present: Officer Steve MacLennan
Staff Present: Scott Fleury, Brandon Goldman,  and Mary McClary
Council Liaison Present: Carol Voisin
SOU Student Liaison: Honore Depew
 None stated
 Approval of Minutes,   August 22, 2013
Chairperson Young asked for any additions or corrections to the minutes of August 22, 2013. 
There was some discussion among the members about the actual remarks and order of conversation for the Downtown Study agenda item.
Chairperson Young requested a review of the minutes under Downtown Study and requested more detail to better reflect the discussion and resignation of Commissioner Hammond.  He requested staff (Mary McClary) to review that section on the tape and then include more detail in the minutes for August 22 and show the correction on the September26, 2013 minutes.
Chairperson Young tabled the approval of the August 22 minutes to until the next Commission meeting on October 24, 2013.
Egon Dubois, 381 W Nevada St.  spoke to the Commission regarding unnecessary idling, asking the Commission to address the issue and hoped they would considered it an important topic that causes pollution and an unhealthy environment.  He explained 31 states have comprehensive ordinances and laws governing idling.  Our state level had adopted a law effective in 2012, prohibiting specifically,  large trucks that park in truck stops from idling.  The DEQ has on their web site a small campaign that only affects long distant trucks.
He asks the Commission to consider any course of action to help educate and make recommendations to city agencies that operate fleets of vehicles and if possible to other agencies.  He stated the largest private fleet of trucks in the world, UPS, has a no idling policy of shutting off their trucks at all stops of delivery.  He followed some around town and found their practices to be flawless.
The City of Ashland has an ordinance that effects tour busses and large trucks from idling.
Commissioner Kampmann commented  about  automotive companies utilizing a stop/start technology where the engine shuts off when stopped and then activates to start up upon utilizing the gas pedal.  He believes there is more and more of a movement in this direction.
  1. Normal Avenue Neighborhood Plan
Maria Harris, planning manager for the City of Ashland and Brandon Golden, senior planner for the City of Ashland introduced themselves to the Commission.Brandon presented a PowerPoint presentation outlying detail of a development plan for Normal Avenue and surrounding area. (approximately 94 acres). The presentation evaluates existing conditions of the area, land use framework, transportation framework and code amendments, as active components used to formulate a master plan for the area.
He discussed the Comprehensive Plan outlining different areas designated for major, intermittent, and shared use, displaying different designs and models that were intended for multi-transportation usage.He explained a minor and major amendment process and how things would progress when there were actual developers. The Commission had a hard copy of this presentation in their packets.
They both were present to discuss and answer any questions the Commission may have regarding the tentative design plans. Brandon explained there would be more time for them to review and make recommendations, this presentation was not final, just another draft.
The Commission members asked questions and discussed term definitions, amendments to the TSP plan, general directions from the TSP plans, changing classifications, parking, guest parking, development proposals, capacity, residential isolation, multiuse paths, bike, pedestrian and auto use, speed limits, the city’s finance responsibilities, possible residential and developer financial responsibilities, traffic volume, design, and current resident opposition.
Brandon explained they would forward any input this Commission had to the Planning Commission for their review on October 8, 2013. At that review, the Planning Commission will make further suggestions for modifications to the plan and then the plan will go back to this Commission and the Planning Commission to present the alternatives.
 Chairperson explained at this time speakers on this topics would be heard and he asked that they limit their comments to 3-5 minutes.
Bryce Anderson, 2092 Creek Dr. passed out a summary of comments from the Meadowbrook Park Estates Homeowners Association, and other residents representing over 10 residents. Tonight he represented three (3) homeowners Associations:  Meadowbrook Park Estates, Ashland Meadows and Chautauqua Trace.  Their concerns were how their residents would be impacted by the first development of the plan after approval.  Any further development would be delayed by years/decades, and the first development would affect them for a long time. He talked about two new major feeder streets intersecting with East Main they felt would need to be re-thought and re-designed.  They were urging the Commission to solve this before it becomes a traffic hazard now and well into the future. 
Julie Matthews, 2090 Creek Drive spoke to the Commission about the developers considering how traffic goes from the Alley ways to the Woonerf type of street. (Creek Drive) She felt it was important how the cars were directed to their homes to protect wild life, reduce traffic increase, speed limits, and congestion.  She would like to see the homes turned outward to help accomplish these issues.
Brett Lutz 1700 East Main St. was concerned about the NW corner area of the Ashland Middle School football field. He lives in the Urban Growth Boundary and has no plans to develop.  It seems there were plans to put a road directly into a section of a wetland area, which constitutes adding an additional road.  Brandon showed on a map the concern and area that would be developed.  Mr. Lutz is concerned about traffic and parking if the road is built and also the preservation of the wetland.  He has written comments that were in the Commission packets.
Sue DeMarinis, 145 Normal Ave. showed the Commission on the map which property she owns.  She was concerned about the Ashland Middle School turnaround area, and a newly widen street of traffic intermixing with school children who are being picked up and dropped off by parents and school busses.  Originally the plans were for a pedestrian walkway and now it has changed to a major collector and changed the zoning.  
She stated everyone who lives on Normal Ave. was opposed to this project due to the increased limits of how many homes are permitted per acre.Changing the pathway to a major collector changes and shrinks the wetland area.She was concerned about hidden extra costs to the residents that are not paid by the developer and also changing the classification of the railroad crossing, which right now is a private crossing.She believed this project could be re-designed by not utilizing Normal Ave which would be the preference of all the residents who live in that area.She believed there should be more responses to the public input than just listening to their concerns.
Commissioner Anderson asked if the residents on Normal Ave were informed about the plans from the TSP to change the classifications and design.Sue stated she was not informed, and she has been active in trying to receive information by attending meetings and checking the City’s web site.
Chairperson Young clarified the TSP was a general plan, not a specific plan.The TSP gave more of a vision, and the Normal Ave Project was development driven.Commissioner Anderson was surprised that no one realized there were plans by updating the TSP to develop this area.Brandon explained about the different past plans and how they have developed up to this point.Chairperson Young pointed out this was a “marker” set for future development as it came in as a guide, and not designated in the TSP plan as a capitol improvement project.
Brandon clarified the process they were in now, which was creating a comprehensive master plan for a specific area and also a chance for the Commissions and the Council to amend the TSP.If the new plan does not get adopted the original TSP plan that was adopted with the designs and costs would remain in effect.
Commissioner Kampmann remarked he worked on the TSP plan and asked to look at areas that would eventually be developed and needed connectivity.He recalled Normal St. was a likely place since there was no connectivity in that area.It was “when” it was developed; we would need a road in this area, a connection at some point.He felt it was a general outline, not a specific or detailed outline.
Chairperson explained the TSP was a guide for 20 years, looking at current conditions and trends for the future.
Carol Block, 355 Normal stated she was representing approx. 14 acres and 7 residential properties.  She stated there were no plans to ever annex these properties and wondered why there would be development if no one was planning to annex.  She understood about having a long term plan, but would like the Commission to consider their 14% of the 94 acres and what existed now.  They liked the street undeveloped, and would not like to see it widened.  She also believed the little league season above the railroad tracks combined with no parking created a very dangerous situation for children including increased traffic.  She believed people would take the shortest route and if developed, people would use, thereby creating more traffic.  They would like to minimize the traffic in front of their homes as much as they can.
Chairperson Young asked the members if they had anything to discuss and/or recommendations for Brandon and Maria to take to the Planning Commission on October 8th.
Bob Ares, 2090 Creek asked what the intention of the neighborhood collector road and how it would affect the natural habitat and wetlands.   Maria explained the city standards would have to accommodate the creek. 
Commissioner Kampmann would like to have some time to deliberate before the commission made recommendations.  Commissioner Anderson stated he heard concern for children and would like the planning process to incorporate a careful eye towards the safety of children.
Chairperson Young asked to extend the meeting to 8:30pm.
Brandon asked if the Commission would like them to come to the next Transportation Commission meeting after the Planning Commission meets on October 8th.  Scott told the Commission if they had any comments to send them to him and he can provide them for the October 8th meeting.
Chairperson Young asked this item be on the agenda for their next meeting.  He also addressed the public input stating the Commission makes recommendations, not decisions and also he wanted them to know their comments had been heard.
Commissioner Kampmann asked if this Commission would have time to make recommendations before the process had moved beyond that point.  Brandon remarked this item would go before Council at the end of January or beginning of February, 2014. 
Commissioner Graf asked about traffic studies for the roads going into East Main, and Brandon referenced material in their packets.
  1. Downtown Study Commission Members
Chairperson Young asked for volunteers to represent this Commission on the Downtown Study Committee.  The members discussed the prior meetings discussion regarding Commissioner Hammond and her resignation.  Commissioner Kampmann asked in the future; when a member leaves or resigns could the Commission receive a communication.  The Chair and Scott remarked they would make efforts to inform the Commission of any further changes with members leaving.
Four (4) members would be willing to volunteer, Commissioners Young, Anderson, Graf, and Kampmann.
Each interested member stated their experience and reasoning behind their interest in representing the Commission.
Commissioner Chapman moved to appoint Commissioner Young and Commissioner Anderson to represent the Transportation Commission in the Downtown Study Committee. Commissioner Graf seconded the motion.
Voice Vote: All Ayes.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
Chairperson Young asked if the City was still collecting data for the Road Diet, and Scott announced we would continue through October.
    Miscellaneous Concrete Project
       Scott reported the project was wrapping up on C street between 5th and 7th, they have completed a few ramps on B, 2nd, and
       1st, the connection on Water Street Inn was complete, and Francis Street had been completed.
    Walker Ave sidewalk improvements
       Scott remarked they had the advanced plans, with an estimate of $290,000 from the engineers on the west side of
        Walker connecting Ashland St. to East Main and include the RR crossing improvement.
    Miscellaneous Concrete Improvements
     They were finalizing Hersey sidewalk project, meeting with ODOT to scope the project so ODOT could move forward
      with a “mini” Request for Proposal
    Future overlay projects
     The next project to bid in spring was the N. Mountain overlay from Hersey to the I-5 overpass.
   APS homing sound/inconsistencies
    Commissioner Vieville was working on this project.
   Crossing at Ray Lane
     Set aside.  Commissioner Chapman asked staff to contact Dorothy (assistant) at the Senior Center to articulate the problem. 
    TSP is online @ http://www.ashland.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=13455
     Commissioner Vieville had asked for the TSP to be put online.
  1. Action Summary
  1. Traffic Safety Connection August Newsletter
  1. Traffic Crash Summary
  Commissioners asked about the difficulty of the bike path crossing at Mountain due to a huge puddle.  Scott explained the problem would be addressed in a proposed development project. Commissioner Chapman was invited up to speak at the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Conference and Scott stated because of his presentation, ODOT agreed to pay all costs for the pilot study analysis. 
Chairperson Young discussed for a future agenda item, the timing of the crosswalk at Wightman. SOU utilizing new dorms, 700 new beds and a cafeteria.  He spoke to the possibility of discussing a pedestrian overpass.  He asked the Commission to observe the area.  Commissioner Graf spoke of the heavy traffic causing auto and pedestrians backing
 Transportation Safety Public Outreach 
 SOU Multi-Modal Future
 Lithia and 3rd Intersection Analysis
 Iowa St. 20mph zone
 Timing of crosswalk at Wightman
Commissioner Kampmann wanted to discuss pedestrian education and Chairperson Young suggested that topic be brought up under open discussion.
Next Meeting Date: October 24, 2013.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:33pm.
Respectfully submitted by:
Mary McClary
Administrative Assistant for Electric, IT and
the Telecommunication Department.

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