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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Transportation Commission

Agenda
Thursday, October 22, 2015

 ASHLAND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
MINUTES
October 22, 2015
 
 
CALL TO ORDER
Chair Joseph Graf called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.
 
Commissioners Present:David Young, Joe Graf, Danielle Amarotico, Corinne Viťville, Alan Bender, and Dominic Barth
Commissioners Absent: None
Staff Present:  Scott Fleury, and Tami De Mille-Campos
Council Liaison Absent:Michael Morris
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
Graf pointed out the agenda is going to change so the North Main crosswalk item wonít be discussed tonight due to Kim Parducci not being able to attend the meeting.
 
CONSENT AGENDA
Approval of Minutes: August 27, 2015
 
Young correct minutes as follows:
David Young met with Mike Faught to specifically discuss the draft design for the continuous bike lane for downtown. Currently large trucks double park to load and unload, and two (2) of the businesses park their smaller vehicles in the yellow zone to unload and have been cited.  It was determined to temporarily create a loading zone in the last space to allow loading/unloading. The final solution/decision would be based on the recommendation from the downtown parking committee.
 
David and Mike met with business owners on the block (Brothers, Liquid Assets, Spice and Tea Exchange) and presented them with a current design plan for the corridor. During that meeting, there was some dialogue regarding parking issues and solutions. In addition, Diamond Parkingís ticketing of smaller vehicles unloading/loading in the yellow zone was discussed and they were in agreement to reserve a space to allow unloading and loading.
 
Minutes approved unanimously as corrected.
 
Young asked why the September minutes were not on the agenda for approval. He commented that it doesnít serve the commission and he doesnít know what it will take. Whether staff needs a volunteer from the commission to help get them done but to not have them available isnít fair to those that may rely on that historical record.
 
PUBLIC FORUM
Joyce Van Anne, 386 North Laurel
She said about 6 years ago the city designated Laurel as a safe route to school zone and put in sidewalks to make it safer for kids to walk back and forth to school. At the corner of Laurel and Orange there is a 4-way stop sign and at the corner of Laurel and Hersey (at the RR tracks) there is another 4-way stop sign. She lives in between those two points. In her opinion traffic is going way too fast and above the posted speed limit. Her concern is that someone is going to get hurt. She would like to suggest the transportation commission to study that area on Laurel and see if there is some way to encourage people to slow down (stop sign at Ohio, speed reader board or calming bumps like they have on Oak Street).
Bender asked if the city could do anything and Fleury explained typically the first thing that would be done is a speed and volume study to see what the 85th percentile is and then from there, staff can make further decisions based on the data collected.
 
NEW BUSINESS
Climate conference transportation session
Graf attended the conference put on by SOCAN (outhern regon limatection ow) in Medford in October. He said not surprisingly the transportation group largely focused on strategies that would get people out of cars and into transit. The three major areas the breakout group wanted to work on were: increased funding for transit, educating people on ways they could use other modes of transportation, and breaking down the barriers to people using different modes of transportation. He mentioned he had a discussion with someone from RVTD after that meeting and told them that the city wanted to study a trolley. The person asked why we were going to reinvent the wheel and study this again. Graf said he came back and did some research and found that the Transportation System Plan (TSP) actually has a pretty comprehensive transit plan in it. He spoke to Mike Faught yesterday and in talking with Mike and Scott the challenge with the motion that was made at the last meeting is that it is a very general charge to just form a committee. He said he tends to agree with the person from RVTD in why are we going to reinvent the wheel by forming a committee. If a committee was formed the chances are the committee wouldnít start right away, it likely wouldnít start until after the downtown committee finishes up. So after all of that, he has put some thought into this so he is recommending that this be held in this commission a little longer. It could be a study session with RVTD and Faught where the commission digs through what is in the TSP so that way they can be more specific with what they are recommending to the Council. Otherwise this could be pushed off and momentum would be lost in the process.
 
Amarotico said it sounds good but wondered what to do since the motion was already made last month. Graf said we could do a motion saying we want to retract the previous motion but on the other hand the motion wasnít specific.
 
Young said his motion wasnít to hand anything off to Council. He thinks Graf has given this a lot of thought but he is a little skeptical. He said it was similar to what he is recommending with keeping it with the Transportation Commission and spearheading a diverse group of people who have the interest and expertise to provide beneficial feedback. By mentioning council he just thought maybe the commission needed to get their blessing. Now what he is worried about is that this is a stall tactic from the point of view of some people.
 
Graf actually thinks this is a better, faster way to get where they want to get. As he understood the motion, it was a recommendation to the Mayor to constitute a committee. Young thanked Graf for that and said he is convinced.
 
Corinne remembers the TSP and what is being proposed as being a little different from each other. She said everyone needs to be brought up to speed on the TSP first.
 
Barth said he likes it but wondered if there is any risk if they find things within the TSP that they disagree with.
 
Graf said that is perfectly ok because things have changed since then and they may decide they want to make different recommendations.
 
Young said there really isnít anything that specific. There was identification of a new bus route and a transit hub near the railroad tracks but the TSP itself is broadened to where they donít have to amend it.
 
Bender asked in terms of the commission continuing the discussion would it continue to be on the agenda.
Graf said it would be once we can get RVTD and Mike here for a meeting, ideally at the next meeting. Corrine wondered if the commission could discuss this amongst themselves without RVTD and then the commission would know what they are talking about when they meet with them. Barth thinks the same thing.
 
Graf said they could do that if they wanted to but the idea of having RVTD and Mike present is they have the TSP background knowledge.
 
Barth said Vievilleís suggestion was maybe so that they could all be more focused.
 
Young said everyone should really be familiar with the TSP. What he likes about this is they are making a commitment as a commission to now focus on transit for a period of time. He added if he understood what Graf was saying about the conversation with Mike, to study the shuttle in isolation from the transit plan it would be a disservice to the TSP.
 
Graf agreed, saying the goal isnít necessarily to get people into a shuttle but to get people out of their car and move people around more effectively. The answer may be a shuttle; it may not be a shuttle.
 
Bender RVTD is just one player in this. The University, OSF etc. should also be included. He thinks it would be ok to meet with RVTD first if need be with the understanding that the other players would be included at some point.
 
Corrine would like to try to get RVTD to come but if they arenít able to make it she would like to see the commission be able to continue without them and then have them at the next meeting.
 
November and December Meeting Dates
With the November and December meetings landing on holidays the commission agreed to change the meeting dates to the following:
 
November 19th and December 10th
 
Deer Signage
Fleury shared with the commission that the Mayor had a deer summit and there was a lot of discussion about what to do with the deer population. The City Administrator has asked the Transportation Commission to discuss the possibility of installing deer crossing signs within certain areas of the city. The commission had a discussion regarding the ideal locations for the deer crossing signs.
 
Officer MacLennan feels anywhere on North Main (maybe between the 900 block and Maple) would be a good place and Siskiyou Blvd around Haggenís (Morton to Sherman area).
 
The commission recommended the following: Near the breadboard restaurant, for northbound traffic and near the railroad trestle for southbound traffic.
 
Traffic Crash Summary
Young said it seems to be the same issue where the driver stops for a pedestrian and gets rear ended and there is no citation issued. He asked why and what message is being sent by this? MacLennan said he agrees and isnít sure why citations arenít being issued especially when they have cars being towed away and people complaining of injuries.  
 
Further discussion was had regarding the crash summary.
MacLennan said the principal at Walker is requesting a crosswalk. He discussed with her the possibility of midblock crossings but doesnít know if they would have anyone able to man those. He wasnít able to ask her because she was busy but he will get with her next week to talk about that. Fleury said the only way Kim Parducci would come close to recommending a mid block crosswalk for a school would be if it was a manned crosswalk. MacLennan agrees with that. Fleury said with something like that you would want to do a new drop ramp and curb bump out to shorten up the crossing. The problem with this location is it is already narrow due to the bike lane. MacLennan will follow up with the principal and they will go from there.
 
He also brought up the issue with the Bridge Street parking. The business owners want to know if the upper portion between Lee and Siskiyou can be timed. Fleury said the businesses made the request to Kevin Flynn (Code Compliance officer) and Kevin passed that on to him but it wasnít in time to add it to this agenda. Staff will bring something formal back to the commission at a future meeting.  
 
Mayor Brown Bag Meeting
Danielle said she attended half of the meeting and really enjoyed attending. Graf said the reason this is on the agenda is because some of the commissioners said they were interested in learning about what was going on with the other commissions throughout the city so this would be a recurring agenda item for whoever is representing the commission at the meeting to report back. Young asked if any of the commissioners would be interested in fanning out to the other commissions and acting as a liaison. Fleury said it will be an ongoing item in the informational items section of the agenda. Graf pointed out the Mayorís brown bag meeting tomorrow is cancelled.
 
There was a discussion regarding the liaisons and those that are currently vacant such as SOU & Ashland School District.
 
OLD BUSINESS
North Main Crosswalk Analysis
Agenda item postponed.
 
FOLLOW UP ITEMS
Grandview Shared Road and Guardrail Status
Fleury shared some of the background on this issue. He said Mike recently met out there with David Chapman, Paul and the property owner and now he has been tasked with bringing an engineer on board to determine an appropriate solution that protects the homeownerís interest and also the shared road interest. Right now the guardrail from edge of pavement is right around the 2 foot range. According to the street standards the shoulder width should be around 3 Ĺ feet for pedestrian refuge so the task is to create a solution to that. He will be meeting with an engineer on Monday morning to scope it and start working on the solution and then once the solution is identified Faught will work with the property owners and propose a couple of the solutions and get consensus.
 
Normal Ave. Neighborhood Plan Update
He shared with the commission that Normal Avenue is going back for a continued first reading at the November 17th meeting and then the second reading would be in December. Once all the ordinances are finalized the one ordinance that is critical to this is the designation of the shared road within our development and design standards which then will allow for the implementation of any shared road to occur.
 
N. Main Bus Stop locations
Fleury said Paige Townsend has given her maintenance guy the green light to relocate those 2 bus stops with the semi seats about 100í south at each location which will then allow vehicles to get around the bus.
 
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS
Action Summary
Traffic Crash Summary Ė moved up in the agenda
Oregon Impact September Newsletter
 
COMMISSION OPEN DISCUSSION
Barth asked which commissions would be good ones to sit it on. Graf said Planning would be a good one because a lot of it relates to the Transportation Commission. Young said he would like to see someone from this commission attend the Planning Commission meetings maybe on a rotational basis and report back. This way this commission isnít surprised by things such as the Normal Avenue neighborhood plan. Fleury pointed out the Conservation Commission has a new subcommittee related to climate change and carbon footprint, that might be one to attend. Barth is going to try to attend the 4th Tuesday of the month Planning Commission meetings.  
               
Vieville asked about the lights on Walker. She said she thought he was going to put 2 more lights (4 buttons). Fleury said he just needs to order 4 more buttons to complete that intersection. Further discussion was had between Vieville and Fleury regarding the Audible Pedestrian Signal buttons on Walker.
 
Bender wanted to share with the commission that someone had tried a car share concept here a number of years ago which was a failure but he would like the commission to continue to look at car sharing. Young pointed out that SOU actually has two available cars through Zip Car directly across the street from 7-11. Amarotico said anyone can use them, not just SOU students. The commission would be interested in having someone come to a meeting to talk a little more about the program. Fleury will try to coordinate that for a future meeting.
 
Young said he notices in his neighborhood that homeowners are not taking responsibility for maintaining a safe corridor for walking on the sidewalks. He said Kevin Flynn, Code Compliance officer is supposedly in charge of this but it is on a complaint driven basis, rather than having someone going out and enforcing this. He would like to have Kevin come to a future meeting. Fleury said his understanding is that after noticing them, if itís not fixed then city staff will go out. The Electric department does there routine work around the wires. We typically maintain vision clearance around street signs but we really donít go out and do any type of vegetation maintenance adjacent to the sidewalk without first noticing the property owner of the nuisance ordinance. He went on to say if there is a trip hazard and an ADA issue and we get notice of that the property owner has 30 days to fix that. If they donít fix it within the 30 days the city fixes it and then we lien the property until we get paid back for the work. Our Engineering department handles these complaints. As soon as we are in receipt of the complaint, Karl Johnson sends the notice out and stays on top of tracking those. Vegetation, trash cans, bumpers blocking the sidewalk falls more into Kevinís area because that is under the nuisance section of the code. The commission decided they would like to have Kevin attend a future meeting.   
 
FUTURE AGENDA TOPICS
Public Outreach/Education-Oregon Impact Programs
Traffic Control Resolution Update
Traffic Crash Summary PD letter
 
ADJOURNMENT
Meeting adjourned at 8:01 pm
Respectfully submitted,
Tami De Mille-Campos, Permit Technician
 
 

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