ASHLAND DOWNTOWN PARKING MANAGEMENT & CIRCULATION AD HOC ADVISORY COMMITTEE MINUTES
September 3, 2014
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m. in Pioneer Hall, 73 Winburn Way
Regular members present:
Pam Hammond, Michael Dawkins, Rich Kaplan, Dave Young, Craig Anderson, John Williams, Emile Amarotico, Joe Collonge, Lisa Beam, Marie Donovan, Liz Murphy and John Fields
Regular members absent:
Ex officio (non-voting) members present:
Sandra Slattery, Bill Molnar, Rich Rosenthal, Katharine Flanagan, Mike Faught, and Lee Tuneberg
Ex officio (non-voting) members absent:
Mike Gardiner, and Dennis Slattery
City of Ashland Staff members present:
Tami De Mille-Campos, and Kristy Blackman
Non members present:
Don Anway (Neuman Hotel Group), Paige Townsend/Edem Gomez (RVTD), Linda Fait (Diamond Parking), and Bob Hackett (OSF)
Don Anway introduced himself to the committee and stated he knows that one of the things the committee is looking at is funding sources. He stated lodging tax is something that could be looked into as a means for funding downtown projects.
Tuneberg responded that is something that could be reexamined during the budget process, in accordance with the State of Oregon rules for the Food and beverage tax.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Minutes of August 13, 2014
Young/Williams m/s to approve the minutes of August 13, 2014. Minutes approved by unanimous consent.
A point of clarification was made by Kaplan regarding the circulator trolley discussion from the August meeting. The minutes accurately reflect what was stated regarding the RVTD bus service being successful or not. The discussion was that it was not successful. However, Young and Kaplan attended the Mayor’s brown bag lunch and inquired about this, the Mayor asked where they had heard it wasn’t successful. Young added that it was very successful when it was free but when the City chose to stop subsidizing and RVTD started charging that ridership declined. Faught echoed that and added the reason the City decided to stop subsidizing it in full was because Valley Lift was added which significantly increased the cost.
EXISTING TRANSPORTATION DEMAND MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS (RVTD)
Edem Gomez, Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Planner with Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD
Edem discussed the following with the committee: What is TDM, RVTD bus pass programs, Drive Less Connect, Trip Planning + Real-Time Transit.
What is TDM?
Programs and policies that help encourage people to explore their transportation options; reducing Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) trips and Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT).
Significant discounts for both employer and employee.
- Educational and Community Outreach
- Bus Pass Programs
- Rideshare Tools: Drive Less Connect
- Trip Planning
- Reduces parking demand
- Reduces Companies Carbon Footprint
- Increases transit access to employees
- Decreased traffic congestion and VMT
Other services: Employee Surveying and Commute Trip Reduction Report.
Rideshare: Drive Less Connect
- Over 190,000 transit trips generated
- Reduced over 280,000 VMT
- Over 300,000 lbs of CO2 emissions reduced
- 29,000 trips by SOU Students in FY 2013-2014
- Rideshare Database
- Carpooling made easy
- Trip-matching for people with similar travel patterns
- Users earn rewards
Features: Trip Logging, Fuel and Money Savings, Events and Incentive Programs.
Drive Less Connect
Trip Planning + Real-Time Transit
- Networks: Worksites, Schools, Organizations, e.g. Raider Rideshare
- An opportunity for employers and organizations
- Employee-Employee Trip Matching
- Administrator features and unique analytics
- Track employee gas and CO2 emissions
- Google Trip Planner: Easy to use transit trip planning feature.
- Real Time Transit: Access live arrival and departure times.
- Improve Customer Satisfaction
Edem informed the committee about the upcoming Drive Less Connect statewide program. It will run from October 6-19, 2014 and aims to eliminate one million miles. He is going to be putting together a Downtown Ashland Drive Less Connect group. The first 50 downtown employees that sign up will receive a 20 punch RVTD buss pass.
ONGOING WORK RECAP (CPW)
Evening Monitoring Session:
- Railroad District full at 4 PM, gradually empties
- Employees Parking in Railroad District
- Streets in RR District empty at 8 PM
- More of a distribution issue than supply issue
- Downtown core plus one block full at 8 PM
OSF Patron Survey (see pages page 6-10):
- Preliminary results
- Open for 2 weeks
- Sent to 2,000 patrons who attended an event this past spring or summer
- 362 Total respondents
- 51% have attended 10+ shows
Policy Options (see pages 11-14):
PARKING MANAGEMENT PLAN (CPW)
- 66% say wayfinding could be improved
- 72% say informational resources could be improved
- Informational kiosks
- Paper brochures
- Smartphone app
Informational resources (see pages 15-16):
- Develop navigation tools with consistent branding
- Coordinate outreach with Chamber and local businesses
- Create a downtown Ashland transportation map including:
- OSF, Lithia Park, Railroad District, SOU
- Parking options (on street, off street, etc.)
- Offers advertising opportunities
- Make it mobile friendly
- The City and Chamber work together on outreach to local businesses
- Educate employees about parking options downtown (especially if they change) and the true cost of parking space
- This strategy works in combination with the permit system and zone system
Anderson asked Diamond Parking how the citations are issued. Fait stated the parking enforcement person logs the license plate and that is when the timer begins. So for a 2 hour time zone, they are actually given 2 hours,15 minutes before a citation is issued. Anderson replied if we want to deal with employees by ultimately pushing the employees to the outer parts of town maybe we could over time build up a database of employee vehicles. Hammond replied that we aren’t “dealing” with an employee parking problem, we are looking for solutions but we need employee’s downtown. She also doesn’t think this would work because employees get days off and they come downtown. This would penalize them for doing that. She stated she has 23 employees and for the most part they are not parking downtown (they park in the Railroad District).
Parker pointed out to the committee that one of the reasons that they came to the committee with this set of recommendations is because they are intended to be a package. He doesn’t think we should be thinking that this is going to address everything.
Anderson said it looks like CPW has information that shows the 1 hour spaces are poorly utilized and the 4 hour spaces are well utilized so that is why the recommendation is to expand the 4 hour spaces. He stated that it seems to him if he was an employee he would want to park in a 4 hour space because if they work an 8 hour shift they only have to move 1 time, versus moving 8 times in 1 hour spaces. He feels the 4 hour spaces would incentivize the employees to park in those spaces which he thought was something we were trying to solve. Meltzer pointed out the survey results indicated OSF patrons utilized the most 4 hour spaces & then visitors.
Tuneberg stated if things changed he would approach educating people in his department earnestly. Currently all of the employees in his department know they can’t park in the downtown core and they know that he watches that. His employees know where they are allowed to park and it’s something that is revisited each year.
Townsend commented that she understands how awkward it may be to have a conversation with your employees about transportation. She believes events like the drive less challenge are a great way to get information to employees.
Wayfinding (see pages 17-21):
- Increase signage to parking and key destinations for cars and pedestrians
- Draw on current style of downtown lamp banners
- Locate signage at key entry points for vehicles (off 1-5 and the couplet)
- Locate kiosks at major pedestrian traffic locations
Parker stated the specifics would still need to be worked out with staff. The committee pointed out the Shakespeare symbol should not be used because OSF is going away from that.
Delineation (see page 22):
- Increase clarity of signage for loading zone and short term parking
- Color code curbs in the downtown core to differentiate between different time limits
Faught stated that it was previously brought up that the existing loading zones weren’t being used sufficiently so they may end up removing some of those loading zones. Molnar asked the downtown business owners how much loading occurs on Saturdays’. Beam stated the Artisans use it quite a bit for the Saturday markets. CPW asked if 8:00 am to 6:00 pm was sufficient for the loading zones. Several committee members felt it could actually be earlier than that (4:00 or 5:00 pm).
Shared Parking (see page 23):
- Initially develop agreements with Elks Lodge, Ace Hardware and Wells Fargo
- Secondary agreements with three other commercial plazas
CPW reiterated the committees desire to remove the Elks Lodge from this list. Chair Young stated he likes the concept but the partnerships would have to be worked out locally. He doesn’t think the plan should specifically name any businesses, since there have been no discussions with any of them yet. Fait pointed out once the banks close their lots are not monitored and their lots are open to the public.
Enhance Bicycle Facilities (see page 24):
- Implement a bike lane on E. Main Street
- Continue to implement facilities outlined in the TSP (Transportation System Plan)
- Increase bicycle parking at Lithia Park, in the plaza, next to the library, in front of Bloomsbury Books, and Ashland Springs Hotel
Chair Young stated he feels this particular item has a lot involved and could take up an entire meeting in itself. CPW stated they didn’t think the specifics would be a part of this discussion. What they would like from the committee is don’t include it or put it as a recommendation for the committee to explore it further.
New Loading Zone Policy:
- Loading zone only spaces from 8 AM – 6 PM Monday through Saturday
- Evening hours spaces would open up for unlimited parking
CPW reiterated the committees desire to change the 6:00 pm end time to 4:00 pm end time.
Increase in Parking Fines:
- Increase all parking violations to $24
- If paid within 48 hours, fine is reduced by 50%
- Works in combination with permit system
There was some concern from the committee regarding increasing the parking fine. Some feel it would upset tourists and be a detriment. There was also concern that it would be very time consuming for someone to track the fines paid within the 48 hours and adjust the fine. Some feel it would cost more in staff time to manage this than the revenue collected. The validation system is also an option. With this option a local merchant, hotel etc. would validate their ticket and the fine would then be waived. Overall, the committee agreed it was best to eliminate the reduction if paid within 48 hours (bullet 2).
Expand Time-Limited Parking:
- Works in combination with increased parking fines
- Leave 2-hour parking where it currently exists along East Main and Lithia
- Expand 4-hour parking to limits of study area
- Revise all short term spots to 30 minutes
- Only for peak season, only during the day?
Implement a Permit System (see page 25):
- Residents will receive one permit for free;
- Second can be purchased for $10 a month
- Guest permits can be obtained free of charge, for 4 days at a time, via the City
- Employees (or employers) can purchase a limited number of permits for $10 a month
- Number of available permits set based on total demand of parking spaces
The Committee did not finish discussing all of the strategies. They will be added to the October meeting agenda.
The next meeting is scheduled for October 1, 2014.
Meeting adjourned at 5:30 pm
Tami De Mille-Campos, Administrative Assistant