ASHLAND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
DECEMBER 19, 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: Joe Graf, Shawn Kampmann, Craig Anderson, David Chapman, Corinne Viťville (arrived at 6:05 pm) and David Young
Commissioners Absent: None
Ex officio Present: Steve MacLennan
Staff Present: Scott Fleury, Mike Faught and Tami De Mille-Campos
Council Liaison Absent: Carol Voisin
SOU Liaison Present: HonorŤ Depew
Bill Heimann, 647 Siskiyou Ave. He is here to support a speed zone study & movement of the 35mph sign on Ashland Street. He would like it moved across the other side of the railroad bridge. He stated that it is just past the crosswalk that is heavily used by children going to the middle school and at the other side of the bridge you have another crosswalk that is used to get to the bike path. He doesnít think that it is conducive to childrenís safety. The second thing he would like to talk about is the flashing light at the high school. He said it is inconsistent with the other flashing lights on Siskiyou. The constant flashing light doesnít follow the patterns. He also mentioned that the bump-outs previously motioned are going to affect the bicyclist flow in that neighborhood.
Fleury stated a fix is in the works for the flashing light at the high school. Parts will be ordered in order to complete the project in the spring.
Approval of Minutes: November 14, 2013 and November 20, 2013
All Ayes. Approved as presented.
Orange Ave. Corridor Discussion
There was concern voiced regarding safety issues in that area (vehicular speeds). A speed and volume study was conducted by City staff and then Kim Parducci from Southern Oregon Transportation Engineering performed a site review and evaluated speed data which was measured on Orange Avenue near Drager Street by the Ashland Public Works Department after citizen complaints were received regarding speeders on Orange Avenue / Drager Street. Speed data from the days counted did not show any significant speeding occurring, but a field visit revealed sight distance restrictions and an intersection skew that contributes to what was reported (see attached Memorandum).
David Brabec, 440 Drager Street. Two years ago he bought the home & demolished it and has been rebuilding. He read a letter to the Commission which was submitted as public record (see attached).
The Commission asked what his suggestions are for solving these issues. He feels if we start with simple things like more signage, greater police presence etc. that would be a good start. He pointed out that other neighbors have suggested speed bumps although he isnít convinced about the effectiveness of that.
Douglas Falkner, 240 Orange Avenue. He used to live on Drager Street when they moved here 13 years ago (he submitted a letter as public record). His impression of the study that was conducted is that the speed strips were not placed in the proper places to accurately reflect the cars speeding through the neighborhood. He thinks that the observations are more accurate. He suggested greater police presence which would train people that if you are speeding youíll get cited. He stated that prevention is the key.
Kampmann asked if there is a certain time of day that the speeding generally occurs. Doug answered that it is normally during commute times during the winter months and during the summer is pretty much all day long. Kampmann also asked if this has been an ongoing problem or if this was a new problem may be attributed to new traffic patterns created by the road diet. Doug answered that itís been like this for quite a long time, at least 10 years. Chapman asked where he sees the biggest problem. Doug answered that Laurel has the most speeders. Drager doesnít have as much traffic but there are still people speeding.
Depew mentioned the ďintersection repairĒ that was done in Portland in the Share-It-Square after responding to a tragic accident. It is an intersection that is painted and causes drivers to slow down by design because it is something unusual that catches their eye.
Ari Falkner, 240 Orange Avenue. He spoke to the idea of trying to create an active jurisdiction of police by disrupting peopleís patterns and making the police presence unpredictable.
Tom Pike, 248 Orange Avenue. He stated that he has lived there now for 6 or 7 years & prior to that he lived on Drager Street. He said it was apparent from the beginning that the front yard was not a safe place for their kids. He said it is troubling that the City said it was going to put out a speed trailer and after 5 months it still hasnít happened. He doesnít believe that the data collected accurately reflects what is going on out there. He would like to see the speed strips moved so that there is a more accurate reflection of what is going on. He isnít sure what the solution is but he has noticed that the narrower street on Orange Street doesnít get near as many people speeding. He isnít sure that slow down signs or children present sign is the right solution. He believes that a stop sign at Orange would be an inexpensive solution. He also likes the idea of the painted intersection that was mentioned by Depew. He would like to see that the data collected is reviewed further.
Steve MacLennan asked the group of neighbors about what speed they have observed people going. They said that they feel like most people are routinely going in excess of 30 mph. They also said that because there are no sidewalks itís almost like people see pedestrians as an inconvenience and try to hurry and get around them! Steve pointed out that Scott Fleury did get in touch with him about putting the speed trailer out there in August/September but the speed trailer was actually broken and out of commission. Now that it is repaired he will get it out there, he said there are a few neighborhoods in front of them.
The commission asked if the speed sign records the speed data. It does not record the speed. The speed study results do provide the speed on an hourly basis. There are definitely peaks throughout the day.
Scott Fleury spoke to the elements within the Transportation System Plan (TSP) related to this neighborhood. One of the priority projects in the TSP is continuing the sidewalks along the south side from Glenn Street through Orange to Laurel. They are looking to fund this project within this biennium through one of their safety improvement projects or within the next biennium, because it ties into Laurel which is a safe route to school. The other critical component that came out of the TSP which will have the potential to relate to speed is the planned bikeway. It was designated as a high priority project in the TSP for Orange to be a bike boulevard all the way through. With relation to speed Scott and the traffic engineer talked about house bill 3150 which was passed allowing local jurisdictions to reduce the speed by 5 mph if it meets the following criteria: the road authority determines that the highway has an average volume of fewer than 2,000 motor vehicles per day, more than 85 percent of which are traveling less than 30 miles per hour; and there is a traffic control device on the highway that indicates the presence of pedestrians or bicyclists. At such time the reduced speed limit would need to be posted and ground striping put down along with sharrows. He spoke to the skewed intersection and stated that in other locations in town there are curb returns and they have striped the double yellow on the center for about 50 feet which gives people the proper visual space to shoot towards. Please see the attached Traffic Engineer & staff recommendations. Faught stated that staff would want to have discussions with the neighborhood if there were going to be design changes within the neighborhood, such as additional sidewalks which could cause a loss of on street parking on one side. With regards to installing a stop sign, the Average Daily Traffic (ADTís) does not show that it meets warrants to do so.
Kampmann spoke to the visual solution that was previously mentioned by Depew. He personally thinks that is an effective solution as well, at least to start. One idea that he also had was the diagonal orange stripes on Orange for visual effect. He likes the orange color because it generally means caution and is a bold color to gain attention.
Chapman asked if Willow has the same problem. Fleury stated that the intersection is more aligned at Willow. The only stop signs are at the Railroad tracks and at Laurel.
Faught pointed out that there are opportunities for future traffic calming ideas in regards to sidewalks etc. but the recommendation from the Transportation Commission should be a short term solution while staff continues to work with the residents to find a more feasible long term solution.
Anderson stated that he lives in this neighborhood. He would like to see an investigation of a bulled out intersection. He feels that necking down the street could have some traffic calming.
Anderson/Chapman m/s to further investigate feasibility of a bulb-out intersection on the westside of Drager and Orange, support staffs recommendation to paint curb returns to increase sight distances and investigate the feasibility of a mini roundabout (traffic circle) at Laurel/Orange.
Discussion: Kampmann stated that the intersection at Laurel/Orange is offset and he doesnít think a mini roundabout would work. Graf likes the idea of sharrows. Young also likes the idea of the sharrows and the speed limit reduction.
Graf/Anderson m/s to amend the main motion and add sharrows, reducing the speed limit to 20mph and staff examine with the residents the idea of putting in rumble strips.
Discussion: Chapman would like to look at lowering the speed limit but he sees the need to adopt a future policy for how the speed limit reduction would be used.
All in favor. All Ayes.
Chapman/Graf m/s to amend the wording of the amendment and add that staff and the commission will look at a future policy for reducing the speed limit.
All in favor. All Ayes.
Chair Young went back to Public Forum since we had someone come in to speak.
Election of Officers
Fleury pointed out that we do have a new Transportation Commissioner, Alan Bender. He will be in attendance at the January meeting.
Faught stated that the term limit for the chair is 3 annual years. Young can be chair for one more year based on the codification.
Vieville would like to see Young continue as chair. She also stated that she will not be interested in stepping up to chair due to personal reasons.
Chapman/Vieville m/s to nominate Young as chair and Kampmann as vice chair. All AYES.
NON ACTION ITEMS
Walker Ave/Hersey St. sidewalk improvements
Project will bid in the spring of 2014. OBEC the consultant engineer is in the final negotiations with the Railroad for access & easements. The Railroad wanted to charge the City 50k for the crossing improvement so we put together a packet of similar projects & costs for crossing improvements to help finalize the deal. If they donít agree there is enough money in the budget to pay the 50k for the easement.
The Hersey Street prospectus was changed to match what was in the grant with sidewalk being constructed on one side of the street. Project has a 2 year window for engineering & construction.
They are going to be submitting an application for STP and CMAQ funds. The applications are due January 2, 2014. There is approximately 3 1/2 million dollars available through the MPO for this year for funding of approved projects.
Chip Seal CMAQ Grant Application
Over the years numerous residents who live along dirt roads have complained but there isnít enough interest to do an LID, so the chip seal is a good option. Theyíve identified the roads that can be chip sealed. This meets some of CMAQís requirements such as reducing pollution. There are approximately 20 dirt roads on the list. Fleury stated that this is our first time going after grant money for this type of project.
Downtown Parking Study
Anderson and Young are the two TC liaisons. Faught stated that he thinks this is a great group based on the first meeting. He is very excited about the consultants working on this project. Anderson agrees and is optimistic and excited about the process. Young stated that he is optimistic as well. He hopes everyone will work together to accomplish something. He thinks that everyone agrees that something needs to be changed.
FOLLOW UP ITEMS
Walker/Tolman bike path jurisdiction
Fleury said he isnít sure yet and he hasnít found anything in our records that states whose responsible for it. He emailed Jerry Marmon at ODOT because it is in their jurisdiction but he hasnít heard back from them yet. Right now nobody is doing anything with the repairs out there. He isnít sure if there have been any claims made against the City and will look into it.
Oregon Impact October and November Newsletter
Traffic Crash Summary
Depew stated that one of the bike accidents involved his friend on a bike with a vehicle turning right. The driver was cited.
MacLennan stated that there is a statute that states that a bicyclist cannot pass on the right if it is unsafe to do so. If the car ahead of you isnít turning right with their signal on then it is safe for the cyclist to pass.
Young requested that bike lane marking be added as a future agenda item.
COMMISSION OPEN DISCUSSION
Vieville asked if the lights at the high school will be audible as well. Scott said they will be the same as the rest of the system.
Depew asked whether there is any City wide policy to clear sidewalks during inclement weather. Faught explained that it is the responsibility of the property owner. The problem with the snow storm that we had is that it snowed and then froze. So unless it was cleared right away then you would have needed tools to remove the ice from the sidewalks. Fleury stated that as a property owner you need to be careful with what you do/put on the sidewalks because you could damage the concrete and have to pay to replace it.
Anderson asked if Normal Avenue was going to brought back up for further discussion. Faught pointed out that the commission stated that they didnít want to revisit it which is reflected in the approved minutes.
Chapman would like to see Grandview added as a future agenda topic. There is a ditch on the side that people got caught in during the snow storm. He thinks that there needs to be flags sticking up or something to indicate the ditch. He also asked when it was going to be changed to a shared road.
Young asked Officer MacLennan about the video that was posted of him on the internet where he was citing a cyclist for riding in the street. The person cited purchased the dash cam footage from the officer. It will be going to court in January.
FUTURE AGENDA TOPICS
Transportation Safety Public Outreach
SOU Multi-Modal Future
Lithia and 3rd Intersection Analysis
Iowa St. 20mph zone
Siskiyou Blvd. Signal Timing
Project financing and funding mechanisms
Meeting adjourned at 8:22 pm
Tami De Mille-Campos, Administrative Assistant