ASHLAND DOWNTOWN PARKING & MULTI-MODAL COMMITTEE
December 5, 2013
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 11:00 a.m. in the Siskiyou Room at 51 Winburn Way.
Regular members present: Lisa Beam, Michael Dawkins, Rich Kaplan, Dave Young, Craig Anderson, John Williams, Emile Amarotico (arrived at 11:10), Joe Collonge, Pam Hammond, Liz Murphy, John Fields (arrived at 11:10), Cynthia Rider
Regular members absent: Marie Donovan
Ex officio (non-voting) members present: Sandra Slattery, Katharine Flanagan, Bill Molnar, Mike Faught, Lee Tuneberg, Dennis Slattery, Rich Rosenthal, Dave Kanner
Ex officio (non-voting) members absent: Mike Gardiner
University of Oregon members present: Bob Parker, Nicholas Meltzer
City of Ashland staff present: Tami De Mille-Campos
Mayor Stromberg briefly spoke to the Council’s recent decision to keep the existing 3-lane configuration (road diet) and within just a few days we are now kicking off this important ad hoc committee to address key issues in the downtown core. He stated that this ad hoc committee provides more engagement between the City Council & assists in decision making. He noted that he is very excited for what comes out of this process.
Each member present introduced themselves to the committee.
DOWNTOWN ADVISORY COMMITTEE OVERVIEW
Mike Faught, Public Works Director
Faught addressed the City of Ashland’s municipal code section 2.04 & 2.10 which were included in the meeting packet. He read over sections 2.10.025, 2.10.050, scope of work, council goals, 2.10.080, 2.10.085, 2.10.105.
The committee discussed the scheduling of future meetings. The committee will be meeting at least every other month and then maybe more often as we progress. The meeting frequency could change as we move along with the process. David Young pointed out that due to his employment as a substitute teacher he would prefer meetings at 3:30 pm or later. The committee agreed with the time and future meetings were tentatively set for the 1st Wednesday of each month from 3:30-5:30 pm.
Bob Parker, Director of the Community Service Center at the University of Oregon
Nicholas Meltzer, Project Coordinator with the Community Service Center at the University of Oregon
Parker went over the project advisory committee roles:
· Identify and prioritize community issues, goals and concerns
· Provide direction and overview on project
· Determine reasonable and appropriate policy directions to pursue
· Act as conduit between staff, the project team, the community and decision-makers
· Chair elections and rules/regulations
Parker stated that the graduate student team will be starting up in January and they have things they will begin working on prior to the February meeting.
Parking was identified as an issue in several previous studies:
· 2001 Downtown plan
· 2011 Downtown plan white paper
o Improve conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists;
o Manage parking supplies;
o Improve the street scape; and
o Promote appropriate infill development.
· 2013 Transportation Systems Plan
Parker covered the following areas: Study area (see attached), Scope of Work, Process, Timeline, Inter-related Policy Issues, Key Policy Considerations of Parking Management Programs.
Scope of Work:
Phase I- Parking Supply and Demand
· The study will evaluate the effectiveness of existing downtown parking management, and truck and bus loading zones.
Phase II- Travel Demand Management
· The study will evaluate the effectiveness of travel demand management strategies to increase overall accessibility to downtown for tourists, citizens, students and employees.
Phase III- Multi-modal Analysis
· The study will also evaluate alternatives generated during the Transportation System Plan update analysis phase which included bicycle lanes and wider sidewalks on East Main Street through the downtown corridor.
· Parking Inventory
· Parking Utilization
· Traffic/Pedestrian/Bike Count
· Community & Business survey
· Community Engagement
· Policy Evaluation
· January-March will include case studies, data collection, business surveys, and community surveys.
· April-May will include interviews, community engagement, and policy option identification.
· June-August will include council presentation, and policy development.
Inter-related Policy Issues:
· Parking management decisions are policy decisions (affects land use, zoning, economic development, tourism, traffic congestion, carbon emissions)
· Planners use data to inform policy decisions
· Objective and comprehensive data collection required
· Robust public process also necessary
Key Policy Considerations of Parking Management Programs:
· Increase Capacity
· Manage Demand
· First stage of monitoring completed Labor Day weekend (August 30-31)
· Parking inventory & utilization
· Bicycle and pedestrian user & facility counts
· Downtown area outlined by Ashland City Staff
· Occupancy measured between 8:00 am – 5:30 pm (completed every two hours)
· Time limited, non-limited, short term & loading, bus & authorized
· Data presented using Excel and ArcGIS
· 1917 spaces in study area
The Study Area was presented (see attached)
· Limited – 522 spaces
· Short Term & Loading – 70 spaces
· Bus & Authorized – 13 spaces
· Moto & Disabled – 33 spaces
· No Limit – 1279 spaces
Rich Rosenthal & Dennis Slattery left at 12:00 pm
Parker asked the committee to provide examples of when they would like future parking studies to be completed by emailing Tami.
Parking Occupancy (see attached):
· Data is from Labor Day Weekend, which is most likely one of the busiest times of the year (the committee had a discussion on this and pointed out to the two U of O representatives that it isn’t necessarily a representation of the busiest but more likely a representation of a typical Summer day)
· Occupancy rates increased throughout the day until midday, and remained high for the rest of the day
· Short-term parking, loading zones, disabled parking and bus parking never achieved an occupancy rate greater than 55 percent (indicates underused capacity
· 4-hour spaces had the highest occupancy levels (drivers needed to park in longer-term spaces to conduct their business downtown)
· Parking spaces closest to downtown’s core filled faster than the spaces further from the core
The committee pointed out a few things to Parker and Meltzer:
· The time limit spots are changed after the Oregon Shakespeare Festival closes for the season.
· During the weekend the bank parking lots are often used for public parking.
· The beginning of June through the end of September the Hargadine parking garage is generally full.
· There are no bicycle lanes through downtown which could affect the capacity results.
· Total capacity study area 327 spaces (largest occupancy rate was 36% Saturday afternoon/lowest occupancy rate was seen on Friday morning)
· During the times surveyed, the capacity of bike parking was rarely exceeded
· Bike occupancy rates grew gradually as the day progressed, peaking around 2-6 pm
· Occupancy rates highest in close proximity to important amenities (Food Co-op market and OSF)
· Majority of bike parking in good condition and provided ample security for locking
· Low traffic of bicycle commuters observed, in tandem with low demand on bike parking, current capacity sufficient
o Counts were conducted three times daily in three locations (Oak and Lithia, Pioneer and Main and A and 2nd Street)
o A relatively low traffic flow of bicyclists was observed in all three locations
o Main and Pioneer, and Oak and Lithia experienced peaks of pedestrian traffic around 12-2 pm
GOALS, ISSUES, OPPORTUNITIES
The committee brainstormed what they want to see, what they don’t want to see and what their afraid might happen. The results are:
· Long range plan (i.e. 20 years) with intermittent goals and funding options for each
· A vibrant, active, safe downtown
· Case studies of similar sized cities with tourist based economies
· Actionable recommendations by city council
· Have the committee come out in full support of the plan (i.e. everyone agrees)
· Create a BOLD vision for the future—the current system works well, however attitudes and perceptions are shifting and multi-modal needs to be incorporated
· Develop public-private partnerships
· Analyze how far people are willing to walk, while understanding the needs of those with mobility issues
· Analyze truck loading zones more in-depth
· Research paid parking impacts on businesses and traffic patterns
· Understand user base (i.e. different needs of residents, visitors, etc.)
· Recognize that downtown parking issues have more broad affects than downtown and the development of a downtown circulator (bus or trolley) could be effective
· Look at work previously done
· Loss of parking when bike lanes are installed
· Ban on deliveries
· Needs of businesses are neglected
· A plan that’s too expensive
· Reach impasse as a committee
· “Us against them” mentality/options
· Inequity in action items
· Not understanding the historical context
· Negatively impact downtown
· City council doesn’t support goals
· The committee is close-minded
· Parking structures
It was noted that the Transportation System Plan will be updated with this when it is completed/approved.
Craig Anderson left at 12:50 pm.
The committee was reminded that the next meeting is scheduled for February 5, 2014 at 3:30 and the committee will be notified of the location.
Meeting adjourned at 1:00 pm
Tami De Mille-Campos, Administrative Assistant