ASHLAND DOWNTOWN PARKING MANAGEMENT & CIRCULATION AD HOC ADVISORY COMMITTEE
April 2, 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, Cynthia Rider and John Fields (arrived at 3:38)
Regular members absent: None
Ex officio (non-voting) members present: Sandra Slattery, Bill Molnar, Mike Faught, and Lee Tuneberg
Ex officio (non-voting) members absent: Mike Gardiner, and Rich Rosenthal
University of Oregon members present: Nicholas Meltzer
City of Ashland Staff members present: Brad Barber, Tami De Mille-Campos, and Kristi Blackman
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Minutes of March 5, 2014 – Minutes were approved by unanimous consent.
The committee went through each of the 10 guiding principles. Craig Anderson recommended changes to #2 & #4. He felt that the employee parking issue needed to be more clearly outlined within those two guiding principles or even have its own principle. Several committee members voiced their feeling that the employee parking issue was included in several of the guiding principles and they agreed to leave them as presented. He also wanted to see changes to the wording on #8 to include the word “encourage” within the principle.
#9 was a new principle proposed after the March meeting. The committee decided to keep this as a separate principle. The committee also requested that the wording be changed from “Insure and enhance opportunities for access of downtown by the elderly and those physically challenged or unable” To “Ensure and enhance opportunities for access of downtown by the elderly and those physically challenged”.
Guiding Principles approved by unanimous consent.
Mike Faught introduced Brad Barber, City of Ashland Project Manager/
Brad presented four potential street design concepts (see attached) that were previously discussed during the 2001 Downtown Study and the Transportation System Plan (TSP). Mike pointed out the intent was to get these design concepts to the Committee and then discuss them further at a later meeting.
Mike stated a loading zone was being recommended to increase the safety within the crosswalk at the plaza entrance. By moving the loading zone past the crosswalk it will open it up and create a safer crosswalk. These design concepts have been given to Mike Gardiner (trucking expert on the committee) and we are awaiting feedback from a trucking perspective, including FED-ex and UPS.
Mike pointed out these are initial concepts and would need to be further designed and have full engineering approval before moving forward.
The first concept presented includes front-in angled parking (concept 2). Mike stated the 2001 plan had outlined options for angled parking as a way to gain additional parking spaces. The 2001 plan states that the State likely wouldn’t approve angled parking unless the area was either a special transportation area (STA) or the City took over ownership. Since the study, the area is designated as a STA. The committee asked if the wider sidewalks that came out of the TSP would be lost and yes that would be lost with the angled parking concepts. The committee would like to see outcomes/results from other cities that have transitioned from parallel parking to angled parking. Nick (CPW) stated that they would be exploring that.
Mike asked the committee to make note of any changes/ideas that they would like to see and get those to Staff. He also mentioned that if anyone had any questions to feel free to contact staff.
John Williams left at 4:18 pm.
The second concept presented includes back-in parking (concept 3). It is basically the same as concept as the front-in angled parking except this is back-in parking.
The committee asked if the back-in angled parking should be on the opposite side of the street. Mike stated that they would look into that but the reason that it is presented this way is to keep the parking on the opposite side of the street as the bike lane. One reason that would make it difficult to move the bike lane to the left side would be because it runs through town on the right side of the street so they would have to cross over traffic to do so.
Katharine asked if staff had taken tour bus parking had been taken into consideration. She pointed out that currently they park at the Stratford Inn. Mike stated that they hadn’t taken that into consideration but staff would look into that and possibly explore additional loading zones during certain times of day to accommodate that.
The third concept presented includes leaving the current street configuration but putting sharrows (share the road symbols painted along the road) along the far right lane (concept 4). Mike pointed out that we have sharrows on Oak Street, A Street. He said that they work pretty well on those types of streets. Those types of streets work pretty well for sharrows but with three lanes of traffic they have found that bicyclists don’t know to ride in line with the sharrows they tend to still ride along the curbside so the painted sharrows show the cars where to expect the bikes. The city of Medford has sharrows along Riverside.
The committee asked if truck parking outside of the loading zones can/will be enforced. Mike stated that currently the Oregon statutes state that a truck can park anywhere they want in order to unload. Staff is checking with the City Attorney to see if a city could restrict that further, so we are waiting to find that out. It is also important to draw Mike Gardner and the trucking community into this discussion as we work through these concepts.
Chair person, Dave, stated that this issue is very complex and his recommendation to Mike was that the committee doesn’t just take the concepts home and vote on the preferred method at the next meeting but that once the committee has gathered the rest of the information necessary to make these decisions then the committee will come back to this. This will also allow the committee time to come up with any changes/ideas that they would like to see.
Mike informed the committee he will be inviting Kim Parducci from Southern Oregon Transportation Engineering to attend a meeting at some point.
Mike introduced to the committee, Paige Townsend from RVTD. He explained to the group that after the last meeting he reached out to those groups (such as SOU, RVTD, Corinne from the Transportation Commission) that the committee had identified as being under represented & invited them to attend these meetings.
Paige explained the service that RVTD provides to the City of Ashland. RVTD also provides the local transportation demand management program for the area which deals with car pooling, subsidized transit passes, flex work hours etc.
Nick pointed out that the CPW group will be in Ashland doing monitoring on April 9, 2014 from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm to do the base level/employee parking levels.
He stated that they are working on the case study phone interviews for cities across the country. They are also working on the employee trip demand which shows based on the number of employees working downtown how many parking spaces are needed.
They are working on the second phase of the survey which will focus on how people feel about different presented policy options so that the committee will have a good idea of how the community feels about them as the committee makes decisions.
Mike pointed out that Staff is going to explore different ways of getting the word out about this survey. Some of the ideas that staff has are: Open City Hall, Flyer/Direct mailing, Chamber of Commerce mailing list, a news story about the committee/survey etc.
Facebook was suggested as a method of getting the word out.
Cynthia (OSF) mentioned that the wording on some of the questions included in the first survey were more directed towards employees/residents, rather than tourists. OSF would be willing to provide their distribution list but would want the questions tailored more towards their patrons so as not to lose them along the survey.
Bob Hackett, OSF Marketing Manager was in attendance. He mentioned they send out a survey each Tuesday to the patrons from the prior week and they would be more than willing to include a brief survey (tailored more towards the tourist group) along with their survey.
Linda stressed that the upcoming Ashland Independent Film Festival is a very demanding time for parking. It was pointed out that a good chunk of the attendants are local residents. Staff might explore getting the word out through that channel and gaining their feedback. She mentioned that really any of the special events that occur in Ashland would show the peak demand on parking.
Katharine pointed out that the current volume that the committee is looking at is based on the current visitor base. In a year or two the convention center will be opening back up it is going to increase in volume and decisions that are made now will need to cater toward that.
Chair person, Dave, asked Nick when the committee will be informed of options that they have in better utilizing the existing parking supply. Nick stated that they should have this information to bring back to the June, 2014 meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 5:05 pm
Tami De Mille-Campos, Administrative Assistant