ASHLAND DOWNTOWN PARKING MANAGEMENT & CIRCULATION AD HOC ADVISORY COMMITTEE
March 5, 2014
CALL TO ORDER The meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m. in Pioneer Hall, 73 Winburn Way.
Regular members present: Lisa Beam, Michael Dawkins, Rich Kaplan, Dave Young, Craig Anderson, John Williams, Emile Amarotico, Joe Collonge, Marie Donovan, Pam Hammond, Liz Murphy, and John Fields
Regular members absent: Cynthia Rider
Ex officio (non-voting) members present: Sandra Slattery, Bill Molnar, Mike Faught, Lee Tuneberg, and Mike Gardiner
Ex officio (non-voting) members absent: Rich Rosenthal, Dennis Slattery and Katharine Flanagan
University of Oregon members present: Bob Parker, Nicholas Meltzer and Amanda Souza, Andrew Dutterer, Taylor Eidt, Nestor Guevara and Eli Tome (graduate student team)
City of Ashland Staff members present: Tami De Mille-Campos, and Kristi Blackman
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Minutes of February 5, 2014 – Dawkins/Kaplan m/s to approve minutes. Minutes were approved by unanimous consent.
PROJECT STATUS UPDATE
Schedule of upcoming meetings:
March 2nd – Employee trip generation in the downtown area, and private parking analysis
Moving forward – Parking inventory monitoring by the Community Planning Workshop (CPW), 2nd tier survey development, accessibility improvements
FIRST TIER SURVEY
The survey was designed to understand, primarily, resident perceptions of parking and access to downtown. It focused on residents and employees of downtown.
*Survey designed to better understand public perceptions of downtown parking and access
*Released January 31 - closed February 13
*Distributed via e-mail (through the Chamber, OSF, City employees) and made available on the City’s website
*Targeted respondent groups; not intended to be a random sample
Characteristics of Respondents:
761 Total survey respondents
*753 said they visit downtown (99%)
*Of the 753 downtown visitors, 275 were employees (36%) and 56 were business owners (7%)
*Over 80% of them were Ashland residents
*6.5% were Talent residents
Age of these respondents:
*18% 65 and over
*26% 55 to 64
*16% 45 to 54
*16% 35 to 44
*20% 25 to 34
*5% 18 to 24
1. Focus on incremental short-term strategies
2. Peak periods will continue to present a challenge
3. Seek better strategies to meet the parking needs of downtown workers
4. Explore additional transportation/parking management strategies
Automobiles are a preferred method for accessing downtown
*92% of all respondents drive downtown
*31% visit downtown daily
*66% drive alone multiple times per week
Downtown wayfinding could be improved
*74% of respondents say signage could be improved
*76% say resources (brochures, website) could be improved
Many respondents are willing to park further from their destination where more parking is available
*64% of all respondents are more likely to park further away where more parking is available when they visit downtown for long periods
Parking capacity is an issue during peak periods for all downtown visitors
*86% visit the downtown area 2+ times per week
*39% say that difficulty in finding parking deters them from visiting
*64% say it takes longer than 5 minutes to find a parking space during the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF)
Downtown visitors alter their parking habits during OSF
*71% indicate their habits vary during the theater season
Business owners frequently get complaints from downtown patrons
*69% say their patrons have complained about parking
*51% indicate parking availability has negative effects on their business during peak season
Automobiles are a preferred method for accessing downtown for employees
*71% drive alone to work
76% of them park in the downtown area during the day
83% say their employer does not provide parking
80% say their typical workday shift is more than 4 hours
*8% carpool to work
*8% bike to work
*13% walk to work
Downtown employees use on-street parking
*50% park in nearby residential neighborhoods, followed by public off-street lot, time limited (4-hour)/move the vehicle during the day, other, and private off-street lot
Most respondents think pedestrian facilities are safe and adequate
*31% of all respondents access downtown on foot multiple times a week
*89% say pedestrian facilities to access downtown are adequate
*93% say pedestrian facilities within downtown are adequate
*16% do not feel safe crossing streets in downtown
Downtown bicycle facilities are perceived as inadequate
*42% have traveled to downtown via bicycle before
*56% believe bicycle access to downtown could be improved
*76% believe bicycle access within downtown could be improved
Automobiles are a preferred method for accessing downtown
*66% of respondents never use public transportation
*<1% use public transit daily
Business deliveries continue to present challenges
*31% of business owners receive deliveries 1+ times a day
Several of the committee members spoke to some concerns that they had with the survey questions and results, such as:
*Placing too much emphasis on the OSF issue because Ashland’s downtown wouldn’t be as vibrant and robust as it is without OSF.
*The percentages for the bicycle sub questions were asked of the people who responded that they currently bike downtown so the percentage is not of the total survey respondents but of those that answered that they bike downtown.
*It was emphasized that most business deliveries occur in the morning and zero occur after 6:00 pm.
Parker added that their role is really to bring the committee information and interpret it. Their goal is to provoke conversations with the committee and provide some direction to the conversation. They feel like there are some pretty significant opportunities for the City to begin to look at things like, wayfinding and other low effort solutions that can be implemented fairly early on before moving onto the tougher solutions.
The committee will need to begin to think about solutions for the peak period issue.
Chair Young asked the committee to think of which user groups are underrepresented within the committee. Some of those that were mentioned were; elderly, retirees, students, the younger age group (20-30 year olds), and disabled. He urged the committee to keep these groups in mind as the committee works through the issues at hand.
John Williams left the meeting at 4:17 p.m.
The guiding principles were put together by the CPW based on the following:
Research & Input:
*2001 Downtown plan
*December wants/fears committee exercise
*February poster session with committee
Proposed guiding principles
1. Balance the needs of all downtown users now and in the future.
2. Support low cost options that can be easily implemented in the short term but yield long term benefits.
3. Develop long-term progressive strategies that accommodate growth while maintaining an active and vibrant downtown.
4. Promote ease of access for the efficient operation of downtown businesses.
5. Restructure parking regulations to enhance turnover and generate an optimal occupancy rate.
6. Maximize utilization of existing supply of parking through public/private partnerships.
7. Enhance alternative transportation options for employee’s downtown.
8. Increase development of multi-modal transit opportunities.
9. Provide a welcoming environment that efficiently directs and informs visitors and community members in the downtown area.
The committee discussed whether the language was clear, whether the guiding principles are realistic, whether any user groups were unrepresented or missing etc. Committee members voiced areas where they would like to see changes made and the CPW will now bring the revised guiding principles, as discussed in this meeting, back to the committee for approval at the April 2, 2014 meeting.
ACCESSIBILITY (Access/Circulation) IMPROVEMENTS
This agenda item was pushed to the April 2, 2014 meeting. Staff will present some potential configurations to the committee for review.
*Upcoming CPW monitoring
Due to the Ashland Independent Film Festival going on during the time originally proposed for the monitoring they may reschedule the monitoring.
The committee was asked to think of anything that should have been asked in the first survey that wasn’t asked. The second survey will be directed more towards perceptions about the different strategies being explored.
*Next meeting is April 2nd
The committee was asked to be cognizant of different wayfinding solutions as they make their way around town each day.
Meeting adjourned at 5:30 pm
Tami De Mille-Campos, Administrative Assistant