ASHLAND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
JANUARY 23, 2014
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, David Young and Alan Bender.
Commissioners Absent: None
Ex officio Present: Brandon Goldman
Staff Present: Scott Fleury, Mike Faught and Tami De Mille-Campos
Council Liaison Absent: Carol Voisin
SOU Liaison Present: HonorŤ Depew
Approval of Minutes for: December 19, 2013.
The following corrections were presented:
Change HonorŤ to Depew
Pg 2 Last paragraph clean up the sentence
Pg 3 3rd paragraph change bump-out to bulb-out
All Ayes. Approved as corrected.
Oregon Impact Presentation
Janelle Lawrence, Executive Director. Oregon Impact provides educational experiences to end impaired and distracted driving. With an emphasis on teen drivers and those that ride with them, Oregon Impact works with middle schools, high schools & colleges in Oregon and SW Washington, and attends multiple community events each year to open conversations and encourage good choices. They have primarily worked throughout Clackamas County but now due to grants they have received they are able to expand their service area.
She spoke about the following prevention education options available to our City. They have a Mobile Educational Crash Car Trailer, a Simulated Impaired Driving Experience (SIDNE) vehicle and also multiple brain games that teach kids about distraction.
The Mobile Educational Crash Car Trailer - Designed to start conversations with young drivers, the Mobile Educational Crash Car Trailer contains a car from a fatality accident in Oregon City. For most of us, we never see a car that has been in a terrible crash and in this case you can see close up the devastation that a distracted driver can cause. This stand-alone exhibit has been used by parents to initiate talking with their children about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving.
Simulated Impaired Driving Experience (SIDNE) - Oregon Impact believes one of the key factors in ending impaired & distracted driving is providing educational experiences. A valuable training aide in this process involves SIDNE, which stands for Simulated Impaired Driving Experience.
The course operator allows the vehicle to have power through the use of a hand-held remote controlled transmitter aimed toward a receiver on the vehicle itself. The only other functions provided by the transmitter operator determine the maximum allowed speed, emergency braking should the driver not respond appropriately, and a switch changing the vehicle from regular to impaired mode. Other than that, SIDNEģ operates exactly like an automobile. The fact the transmitter operator makes the switch to impaired mode without the driverís knowledge effectively demonstrates the oftentimes real delayed effect of intoxication. In the real world, vehicle operators may sincerely believe they are sober enough to drive since they are not feeling the effects of the alcohol. Their condition however is subject to rapid and unexpected change. Suddenly, without warning, they become disoriented and sluggish in their response to real stimuli, often ending in disaster when it happens behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
Persons who do not wish to drive may still get in on the SIDNEģ experience. They ride with a driver, just as a passenger in an ordinary vehicle. After a simulated crash, the passenger is asked questions such as how it felt to be a passenger in a vehicle being operated by an impaired driver and having no direct control themselves. Their poor decision to ride with a person who is impaired may alter their lives as well, or even end it.
The commission asked whether there is a cost to utilize their services. Janelle emphasized that they do not charge for any of their services. If their services were requested they would work with the school to tailor the teachings. The commission also asked if they have provided any services to any other cities around us. Janelle pointed out that it was only recently; due to the grant they received they are able to offer their services in our community. Oregon Impact is making its way around the state and giving presentations to let cities know what services they offer.
Yvonne McNeil, Community Traffic Safety Program Coordinator. Yvonne explained that they have a few grants available to communities. DUII HVE OT and Pedestrian Safety Enforcement (Crosswalk). Police Departments can apply for these grants to compensate for additional overtime needs as it relates to crosswalk and DUII safety and enforcement. The Pedestrian Safety Enforcement grant is available twice per year and compensates police for the additional overtime costs related to performing crosswalk safety stings.
Speed Limit Policy
Fleury stated this is a continuation of last monthís conversation regarding House Bill 3150 (HB3150) in relation to the Orange Ave agenda item. HB3150 allows local jurisdictions to reduce the speed limit by 5mph if the local residential road meets certain parameters. There are 20 roads currently designated as bicycle boulevards in the Transportation System Plan (TSP). After completion of required striping and signage the City does have the ability to lower the speed limit on these 20 roads if it meets the parameters listed in HB 3150. The question is how to apply the bill to future requests and are there any other parameters to include in the analysis. Other parameters can include, traffic crash data, safe routes to school designations and pedestrian and cyclistís counts.
Chapman stated that he has some concern about every neighborhood coming in and requesting the speed reduction which would cause patch work speed limits and cause confusion amongst drivers. Kampmann echoed the same concerns and feels it should be used on an as needed basis related to safety.
Young also agrees that it should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis otherwise a blanket policy would create a cookie cutter affect.
Anderson asks about funding the bicycle boulevard projects as recommended in the TSP. Faught stated the master plan doesnít include funding for everything but as finances are made available we would like to have a plan in place to construct projects.
Fleury also pointed out that as he gets inquiries for traffic related issues he lets the person know that we will evaluate each case but we like to see neighborhood input, not just one resident.
Commission will evaluate each request on a case by case basis and staff should include all the parameters mentioned above in the engineering analysis.
February 18th is the TC commissionís yearly update to the Council. The Chair will update the Council on what has been accomplished by the Commission (Road Diet, Gold Bicycle status, Downtown Study process, adoption of the TSP etc) and what some of the concerns are for the upcoming year. All of the Commissioners are welcome to come. Staff will email out a list of talking point etc. to assist in the development of the presentation.
New Yearís Resolutions
Scott stated that this is a time for anyone to share some goals that the Commission would like to work on for the TC and for the Council.
Anderson would like to see what we can do to implement some of the different types of funding mechanisms within the TSP such as multi-modal system development charges.
Faught stated that Kittleson & Associates presented a great concept but after speaking to the financial advisor it was decided to leave the SDCís the way they are due to legal issues and Planning implementation procedures. He does think it is important to share that information with the commission.
Fleury stated that one of the new changes within the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for the current biennium is projects are being pulled directly out of the adopted TSP based on priority instead of how it was previously done by development of miscellaneous sidewalk and safety improvement projects.
Young mentioned that he really likes the rubber tired trolley idea that is in the TSP, as a means of getting people from exit 14 to downtown thus creating less traffic and freeing up some parking in the downtown corridor. He thinks it is a very important idea and at some point we need to act on it. He also feels we need to act on the enhanced pedestrian crossings for safety concerns.
NON ACTION ITEMS
Walker Ave/Hersey St. sidewalk improvements
Fleury stated the railroad is still being difficult with regards to approval of the sidewalk easement. The railroad doesnít want to follow past history of granting us the easement; they want monetary compensation for it. This is part of a CMAQ funded grant. The City is required to provide 10% matching funds towards the project. However, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has a certain amount of funds budgeted so anything past ODOTís budgeted amount would need to be paid for by the City in addition to the 10% matching funds. It was originally intended to bid in March but it will likely be pushed out due to these ongoing negotiations.
Nevada St. Bridge Extension
Two previous city grant applications for this project have been turned down. Staff has resubmitted the grant to the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for STP or CMAQ funds. . A presentation was made at the first technical advisory committee (TAC) review meeting. The TAC will meet next month and make a recommendation to the MPO policy group. ODOTís transportation planning analysis unit (TPAU) modeled the bridge to show its benefit to the state system as well as a beneficial east/west local connection. The modeling showed the connection provides a reduction of traffic on North Main As well as a bypass route for the interstate. It also allows kids that live on the east side of Ashland Creek to walk or bike to/from school and it provides an extension of the greenway.
Chip Seal CMAQ Grant Application
Through discussions with residents who live along dirt roads, staff came up with the idea to chip seal the dirt roads in an effort to reduce maintenance and improve air quality. Staff applied for a grant to chip seal 5 Ĺ miles of dirt road. The chip sealing could potentially provide as long of a life cycle as a typical paved road. There is quite a bit of competition within the CMAQ grant category and we may not receive any funding or a partial amount.
Bender mentioned that he lives on Almond St. and paving is a very controversial thing because some of the residents are not interested in the chip sealing because the road is currently pedestrian and bicycle friendly and after chip sealing it will become more of a thoroughfare.
Fleury noted that we are only looking at chip sealing and not adding any curb and gutter so the roads would still maintain a rural feel.
Downtown Parking & Multi-Modal Committee
We havenít met since the last TC meeting. Our next meeting will be on February 5th and staff will continue to provide updates after each meeting.
FOLLOW UP ITEMS
Walker/Tolman bike path jurisdiction
Jerry Marmon from ODOT was here for a meeting today and informed us that he would have a right of way employee look into this in order to figure out whose jurisdiction this falls under.
Oregon Impact January Newsletter
Traffic Crash Summary
COMMISSION OPEN DISCUSSION
Young asked about the current striping along North Main. He stated that it is very hard to see the striping when itís dark and raining. Faught stated that it will be repainted this spring along with implementation of the recommended and approved design changes.
Anderson asked if ODOT still wants us to take over their portion of North Main. Faught stated that he is a very strong advocate against jurisdictional transfers unless there is money in perpetuity that comes with it. Faught stated he had only made the agreement to have further discussion regarding the jurisdictional transfer, which they are negotiating right now. Faught would like to see us get a large enough amount of money to generate enough interest to pay for an overlay every fifteen years. ODOT stated that this isnít something that they have done before. They are going to do the math on what that would take. Chapman asked why Ashland Street didnít last fifteen years. Faught said what they would do to make sure that didnít happen again is to do deflections and asphalt core samples in order to make sure the road has an appropriate base structure. Faught discussed distribution of gas tax funds and how they are allocated. ODOT gets 50%, the Counties get 30% which is distributed throughout the Counties by lane miles and the Cities get the remaining 20% of which is distributed by population. There arenít adequate funds for all projects and Cities taking over additional roads causes them to fall farther behind in road maintenance. The state and counties are in a position where they want to transfer the roads that are within the cities limits to that cities jurisdiction. The benefit to the city for jurisdictional transfer is the city now has control over the road and no longer has to go through ODOT or the county for approvals but Faught doesnít feel like itís a great deal for us because we canít afford to keep up our current roads without an increase in revenue to offset the cost of overlays.
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
The Commission discussed the March meeting scheduled for March 27th. There are some scheduling conflicts so the meeting was tentatively changed to March 20th but the commission will revisit this during the February 27th meeting.
Bender asked about the Connect Oregon money that is available & wondered if it is something the City can go after. Faught stated that we have applied for it before but were denied. Staff typically tries to find grants that we can compete for and we currently donít have any projects that fit the bill for Connect Oregon.
Young asked if any of the other commissioners received an email from Cici Brown, who is a member of the committee looking to change the pavers on the plaza, asking if the Transportation Commission had considered the fact that the pavers on the plaza are the same color as the street. He answered her email by saying that the TC was not consulted.
Chapman asked if the commission remembered when the Traffic Safety Commission looked at the pace car idea. The pace car is a club started by City residents who drive at or below the speed limit throughout town.. The people in the club can apply a sticker on their car that says something like ďhonkĒ if I am driving too fastĒ. Staff said they will look into adding it to a future agenda.
Depew reminded the commission of the upcoming bike swap which will be held on April 25th and they will be looking for volunteers.
Meeting adjourned at 8:03 pm
Tami De Mille-Campos, Administrative Assistant