ASHLAND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
April 28, 2016
CALL TO ORDER
Graf called the meeting to order at 6:08pm
Commissioners Present: Danielle Amarotico, Dominic Barth, Joe Graf, David Young, Corinne Viéville, Alan Bender, and Sue Newberry
Council Liaison Absent: Stef Seffinger
SOU Liaison Present: Janelle Wilson
Staff Present: Scott Fleury, Kyndra Irigoyen, and Mike Faught
Staff Absent: None
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Approval of March 24, 2015 minutes
The minutes were approved as presented.
ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Phil Miller, 129 S. Laurel St.
He said he sent an email to some of the commissioners about the corner of Almond St. and S. Laurel St. He said it is way past the time for dealing with the dust problem here. His yard and vehicles are covered in thick dust every day and gravel is abundant. There needs to be a solution immediately. Heavy trucks tear up the corners and dust rises 10ft high on a dry day; he included photos from the street. Last year an attempt was made by the street sweeper to sweep and vacuum the gravel, which created choking clouds of dust. He and his wife have been diagnosed with asthma and he thinks it is from the dust. He said they need assistance in getting the dust problem under control and that we cannot wait for grants that are years out. Bender said he can attest to this, as he lives a block away from this area and the dust is bad. Faught said he received the email today and will forward it to the commission.
Louise Shawkat, 870 Cambridge St.
She said the City is developing a climate and energy action plan, thus all aspects of city operations need to be thinking of how to contribute to the success of the plan. The goal of the plan is to change the behavior of all citizens to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Transportation is a primary contribution to climate change. As the role of the Transportation Commission is to advise the City Council on transportation related issues, relating to safety, planning, funding, and advocacy for bicycle, transit, parking, pedestrian and all other modes of transportation. An important component of the commission’s role is to reduce emissions from vehicles. She said education could be a piece of the commission’s contribution to greenhouse gas reduction. Citywide education and eco driving would include changing drivers’ behaviors, which could reduce fuel consumption on average by 10%. She says she is using the term eco driving for two reasons: first, we must consider ecological and environmental issues in our actions and secondly, we need to incorporate the idea of economics, which is an added benefit of employing these techniques.
Car Share-Zip Car SOU
Fred Creek, from Southern Oregon University (SOU) stated he brought this program to SOU about a year ago. He has been in the parking business for the past 18 years. They are averaging about 30 users per month for two cars. He said this is great considering it is a new program and has not been promoted heavily, this shows a need for the program. He is trying to reduce the number of cars on campus, especially for the freshman population. There has been 341 reservations, 1598 hours of use, 17,656 miles driven, and 52 miles average distance driven per reservation. The average cost per reservation is $32. In the last year, 118,400 pounds of CO2 reduced carbon emissions, which is a good step in the right direction.
Graf asked about the faculty use. Creek said 90% of users are students use it. He said a few citizens have used them and they have some corporate users who come into town for business. Bender said on average these people are probably driving to Medford. He asked if Creek saw expansion outside of student use. Creek said Zip Car is excited about the participant level we have. There is a grant through the Ford Corporation and Zip Car that the university receives which helps to reduce the first initial fee by $35. Each user has to pay $25 to enroll in the program. Creek said he wants to get the freshman population into using the transportation that is available instead of bringing their own.
Young asked if a user only has to sign up once to use zip car anywhere. Creek said yes, there is only one sign up. Young said this is something that has no limit and has many community applications as well. He asked about capacity and if students have had a hard time reserving the car. Creek said there has been a couple of times when students have been waiting for the car to return to campus in order to use it. He said Zip Car has a formula for when a new car will be implemented. Young said this is the trend of the future and having it at SOU is great for a mini model. Creek said he is hoping to add one or two more cars to the program.
Barth asked if this were to expand, could there be dedicated parking spots and would this be an issue. Faught said we could look at that and work with SOU if needed. Fleury asked if Zip Car did all the mechanical maintenance. Creek said yes they do.
Nevada Bridge Connection Project
Faught reviewed his presentation on the design options for the bridge. The proposed bridge has been in the Transportation System Plan (TSP) since 1998. When the 2012 plan was completed, this project became a high priority project for the community. There are three options for the bridge. It will be a 200 ft. span across the creek, a total length of 650 linear feet of improvements. East Nevada St. is designated as a collector and is designed to carry more traffic volume in the future. The number of trips per day for a collector is between 3,000 and 10,000. We have been working on this since 2012. We have secured a $1.5 million dollar grant, and there is another million dollars in System Development Charges (SDC) for this project. The project funding needs an additional $3 million total.
He displayed aerial photos of the road. The greenway is planning to extend through to the other side of Ashland Creek and to the area of the proposed bridge. This bridge would allow the extension for the greenway. The bridge would allow children to walk to school vs. parents having to drive their children to school. He said that RVTD was here a few months ago explaining that without this connection, Route 8 would not work. This could be another bypass for people who live in town. It is a much easier connection to go across Oak St. and hit Eagle Mill Rd. and not use N. Main. St. If this bridge were to be built it would reduce traffic on N. Main St. and little bit on the freeway, while increasing traffic on this bypass.
There are three options for the bridge. Option A will cost $6 million and is a standard bridge or cross-section. It would have sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides. Option B is a bike boulevard and will cost $5 million. This option has the bike lane and sidewalks on one side of the bridge. It reduces conflicts for cars and pedestrians while moving across the bridge and there would be a barrier separating the pedestrians and the cars. Option C will cost $6.3 million and contains two bridges, one for pedestrians/bicycles and one for vehicles.
Newberry asked for clarification on collector. Faught said a boulevard is a street like N. Main St. and is meant to collect high volumes of traffic and designed to bring all the residential traffic into the primary area. A collector is the next level and designed for high volumes of traffic between 3,000 and 10,000 trips a day. The idea is to collect all the traffic from residential areas. The next step outside of that are residential collectors, which move traffic to the collector.
Amarotico asked if there was more funding available for option C to build two separate bridges. Faught said there is not enough funding. Viéville asked about a designated truck route. Faught said it is designed to carry the load like any other collector but will not be designated as a route for trucks.
Young asked if this is a done deal, depending on what option we use. Faught said we have discussed this before and that we are a long way down the road. All of the conversations have been included in packets from the Planning Commission and from the City Council discussions. We are on the road to secure more grant funding. When there is community involvement we give the opportunity to citizens to give input, but we have moved quite far on this project since 2012.
Young asked if there is an option just for a pedestrian bridge. Faught said no, we have only looked at an option that includes a vehicle bridge. Young asked if there has been a real estimate of cost. Faught said the engineers have walked through unit costs of the project, so the estimate is good at this point.
Bender asked for more clarification on RVTD’s stance for the bridge. Faught said RVTD updated the commission on transit a couple of months ago and said RVTD cannot make Route 8 happen without the bridge.
Graf wonders if the streets on either side of the bridge need to be updated since this is a collector. Faught said this was addressed in the TSP; East and West Nevada Streets will not need to be updated. Graf asked for more clarification on the amount of funding we have for this project. Faught said we have $1.5 million in grant funding and $1 million in SDC money so far.
Graf said after we receive public input and information from everyone, we will then as a commission discuss what our recommendations are for the next steps and decide if we need more information or more questions answered by staff.
Faught said the money for this project is coming from $3.25 million in grants. He also stated we have hired Al Densmore to look for additional grant money and we have looked at borrowing money to pay that with our existing street funds.
Mark Knox, 485 W. Nevada St.
He works on E. Nevada St. and it takes him 2.2 miles using the Eagle Mill Way route or 2.4 miles using the Hersey St. route to get to work from where he lives. One route takes six minutes and the other takes eight minutes. If the bridge were to be built it would take 1.8 miles and 4 minutes to get to work, with a 50% reduction in carbon emissions. He mentioned he sent a packet of information about the needs for the bridge and justifications for the bridge to the commission. He feels the bridge will help connect people; we have great north/south connection patterns, but not great east/west patterns. This will help to reduce congestion on certain streets. He is in support of the bridge. This is about reducing congestion and moving people around. There has been a substantial amount of growth in Ashland over the last 20 years, but we have not had many infrastructure changes to accommodate that.
Tom Regler, 275 E. Nevada St.
He lives right next to the proposed bridge. One thing he would like to address, with the completion of the salmon ladder, a $1.7 million project; it has made it a very beautiful and sacred place. He would hate to see the bridge built due to the pollution it would cause to the creek because we actually have salmon back now. He would like to see a bicycle and pedestrian bridge. He said there is not any photos about that side of the creek and he is curious as to why that is. It does not show how close it is coming to the proximity of his home or his neighbors’ homes and he asked about elevation. Faught said we had an architect give us an idea of what this would look like. The plan is to shift the road 15 ft. to the south so there will be access to the homes that come up on the side of the bridge. We are not in full design mode yet. Fleury said an exact elevation is not available yet. The estimates are for 3 ft. above the 100-year water surface elevation, which will allow debris to flow under it and create a no rise impact for a 100-year storm event for this location. Hegler said he is very knowledgeable about the 100-year flood plain because he has lived there for 12 years. He wonders how we are going to make sure this bridge will stay out of the 100-year flood plain. Fleury said if we move into a more formal design phase, this would be evaluated using the environmental and hydraulic modeling.
Spike Breon, 295 E. Nevada St.
He said he wanted to address the traffic going from Mountain Meadows to Helman School. If there is a pedestrian/bike bridge the kids can get to school that way, if it rains, they can take the school bus, which runs down Mountain Ave. to Hersey St. and back over to Helman St. and up so there will not be any need for cars to go across it. We do not need a $5 million bridge for 4-5 kids that go to school there now. When he looked at the flood zone, it looked like the bridge was in the 100-year flood zone. He said the City would need a certification from FEMA that the bridge is not going to raise the base flood level, if it is, you have to get an exception from them. He said a bike and pedestrian bridge could be big enough to allow an emergency vehicle or a bus. There are designs that allow only emergency vehicles to get over, such as putting in a barrier or a large hump in the road.
Marty Breon, 295 E. Nevada St.
She apologized for having misspoken when she first learned about the bridge. She said she has started to see the big picture and she understands this bridge idea has been floating around for the past twenty years. In her defense, no one else knew about it either. She hopes that since this is the initial meeting to find out the details, that we take the time to think about it and not to make any decisions too quickly. She supports a bicycle and pedestrian bridge, or emergency access. She asked everyone to give it time.
Kirk Pearson, 1150 Oak St.
He lives at the corner of W. Nevada St. and Oak St. His concerns are traffic wise. There is a lot of traffic on Oak St. and Mountain St. It seems like Hersey St. and Eagle Mill are collectors for that. There is a lot of traffic coming in from Eagle Mill, going under the freeway and up to Mountain Ave. and he would prefer that route get improved. On Oak St. and Nevada St. there would have to be some kind of stop sign to allow traffic to make the left hand turn. He said he could see traffic backing further up the street. He would like to see a bicycle and pedestrian bridge. His concern with that is that the foot and bicycle traffic would increase. He said that 3,000 cars on this street sounds crazy.
Tom Marr, 955 N. Mountain Ave.
He has lived here for more than 20 years and has been in the Ashland area for more than 40 years. He said he opposes this bridge project for vehicles. He said introducing through traffic, in what is now a family neighborhood with schoolchildren, transcending to a retirement community. N. Mountain Ave. already has a bad hump that is hard to see over where there is a crosswalk. Increasing traffic is going to increase the probability of dangerous accidents. Increasing traffic on N. Mountain Ave. where there are baseball fields occasionally causing foul balls to go into the street with children running after them. He does not think the streets will be able to handle this amount of traffic. The streets are narrow with sharp curves and does not seem feasible. He does not feel this project represents the direction the City is currently going in, towards road diets and conservation in general. It does not represent the global issue of declining fossil fuels and increased climate change and it further increases the use of vehicles. He supports a pedestrian and bicycle bridge only.
Stephany Smith Pearson, 1150 Oak St.
She opposes a vehicle bridge. She said the traffic on Oak St. is atrocious. Even though there are speed bumps, people drive 40-50 MPH up and down the street. She has seen people pass on this street and near accidents here all the time. There are a lot of kids that go up and down Oak St. These roads are not prepared to take on this amount of traffic. She thinks this is a backwards step, for a city that is supposed to be green and committed to environmental causes. She thinks the money could be better spent on something else like an electric trolley or other options. She is very supportive of a pedestrian and bicycle bridge, but letting vehicles cross the bridge is not in the best interest of the town and does not uphold our best values.
Nancy Driscoll, 348 Fair Oaks Ave. and Felising Bietz, 924 Kestrel Parkway
Driscoll said she lives in the 300-year flood plain, which is rapidly becoming a 100-year flood plain, and engineering is going to be expensive. Bietz said she looked at all the different options for the E. Nevada St. Bridge, and with it being such a narrow road it is hard to visualize more traffic on this road. When driving to her home, very often there are cars coming up, and she has had to back up and pull off to the side of the road to allow a big truck to pass her. She realizes that some of her neighbors park their cars behind their homes, so she cannot imagine all of this traffic going up and down E. Nevada St. She would really like to see a path for pedestrians and bicycles, but does not see the reasoning behind building a bridge for vehicles. Discroll said many of the comments made tonight are very valid comments. She rides her bike and tries not to use her car. She lives at the bottom of a new development that is becoming a 90% impermeable surface and is increasing in volume and velocity of the water entering the creek. She said she has watched two floods in the past 12 months that covered the lower part of Kestrol and entered the mitigation pond that is being filled with silt due to drag out. To put a bridge there and add more pollution and cars there seems crazy.
David Helmich, 468 Williamson Way and James Flint, 355 Fair Oaks
Flint said he can see the pros in providing the east and west connection. He is against the project as outlined in A, B, and C and does not see how spending $6 million in this area is a benefit. It would take a lot of time to reduce carbon emission, from the few people who work on the east side and travel to the west side. He sees the advantage of having a pedestrian and bicycle bridge but he is against spending money on a vehicle bridge. He is not in favor of spending money just because it can be acquired or because it is available.
Helmich said he is a retired civil structural engineer. He is concerned there has not been enough preliminary work done for the project. He has not heard from staff that they have accurate topography and flood evaluations and have actually tried them out against some various, possible geometry. Therefore, they cannot speak with certainty with the length of the bridge that is required. That calls into question, all of their numbers. The priority that was set in 1998 is difficult to understand. From what he understands, we need a second way to fight fires in Mountain Meadows. If that is what is necessary, that does not require two traffic lanes and all that goes with it. If you provide for one-way access, that is a 14 ft. bridge, it is probably longer than 200 ft. He is not sure that building a pedestrian bridge will fit into $5 million. He strongly urges them to not look at this any further until they have a conceptual design, when 20% or 25% contingency is met.
Valeri and Greg Williams, 744 Helman St.
Valeri said we have just closed down one street and looking at closing down another street to reduce vehicle transportation, and then looking at spending over $6 million to increase vehicle transportation, so that does not make any sense. She thinks the priorities they had back then have changed. To spend that much money on a project that is going to run through a residential community does not make any sense when the City could be funding other things. We have roads that need repair, a bridge on Nevada St. that is way under sized, if there is a flood it could be washed out, and then we do not have transportation from Verde Village. Based upon a study done by OTAC, saying that the bridges need to have 3,100 CFS clearance, and that bridge does not have that. She recommends that the commission look at other transportation issues and prioritize. Bicycle/pedestrian path makes sense, but a vehicle bridge does not. Graf asked if she was referring to the road diet in downtown Ashland (the two lane to three lane) and the bridge she is referring to is the bridge over Ashland Creek on Nevada St. between Helman and Oak. She said yes.
Greg said the bridge they are talking about over Ashland Creek washed out in 1974. In 1997 it almost washed out again and would have if they did not come down with truckloads of rock to save it. It is under-built and poorly engineered. It is a major arterial and a lot of traffic goes over it taking children to Helman Elementary now. We should be fixing what is wrong with our infrastructure, not spending more money on a brand new bridge that will cost $6 million. He said the bridge his wife was referring to for the OTAC study, the Hersey St Bridge, it could only handle 500 CFS and the recommendation was to have 1,700 CFS, even though it goes up to 3,100 CFS. The Ashland Creek Bridge we are talking about was studied by OTAC, but has a similar capacity. He encourages the commission to look at those things before we start building, in his opinion, ‘a bridge to nowhere’.
Peter Schultz, 375 E. Nevada St. and Ron Cue, 1155 Fern St.
Schutlz said he is not necessarily against it. He thinks it will provide a nice route into town and to exit 19. He agrees that this will increase traffic. His concern is about flooding. In 2006, there was a flood where Kestrel was under water, which is within the Ashland flood plain. When the water jumps the banks, the water runs down Kestrel, which will put the east side access to the bridge under water; this is something engineering should look at when planning. Maybe the elevation of the bridge could be increased on that side. If that is done, will Kestrel turn into a dead end? The other concern is by Tom Mar’s house, he lives at the top of the hill when you come right off of Mountain Ave., if you are heading north towards the freeway on Mountain Ave, first you take a hard left, then an immediate hard right, then take another immediate hard left; it is not super conducive to traffic. He does not know if part of the plan is to straighten that out, but increasing traffic down there, it is a lot of dog legging around. He said there are children out there with bikes laying in the road and you never know what you will encounter. He loves the idea of increasing access, but anyone who lives in the neighborhood is going to be concerned about the traffic. It will benefit the people driving around town and give them a better way to get out and get around.
Cue said he does not live in the immediate area, he lives up the hill, but the reason he came down was to hear more about the elevation. He did not realize that the information was not available yet. His main comment was that this meeting’s hearing came just after we learned about the downtown plan going from three lanes to two lanes and his concern is how we get traffic through downtown. He did enjoy the alternate route on Eagle Mill Rd. out to exit 19. He has lived here since 1977 and has always wondered why we did not have half an interchange at Mountain Ave. and I5, a northbound on ramp, and southbound off ramp. This was before the N. Mountain Ave. plan was put in and it relieves some of the traffic from downtown. His only concern is if we are going to consider this project perhaps we should consider it in conjunction with what we are doing downtown. He did not see a component about traffic reduction downtown, if we go from two lanes to three lanes.
Carol Carlson, 509 N. Mountain Ave. and Don Morehouse, 325 Stone Ridge Ave.
Carlson said she has been reading the paper and thinking about the bus levy, which will raise her taxes. She has been reading that the streets need repairing. The way she lives at home, is you repair what you have before you have a new idea that you are going to fund. What is most important here? Is it public transportation, maintaining what we have, or is it something new?
Morehouse said he is in favor of the bridge. He is looking at it from several points of view. Personally, if he is walking, biking, or driving he wants to get downtown. He wants to get to exit 19 and move around, and have connectivity. He said everyone else in town wants to move around town in the shortest manner. When we look at the expansion of the town and the urban growth boundary being developed out, it needs to be connected with the rest of Ashland.
Andrea Napoli, 325 Stone Ridge Ave. and Joann Johns, 979 Camelot Drive
Napoli is in support of the bridge, she wants to be able to ride her bike or walk downtown more easily. Right now, she drives her car into town because if she rides her bike she must travel up and down in a roundabout way to get into downtown. The bridge would allow her easier access to downtown by riding her bike. She also supports transit because it gives freedom to people who do not drive or to people who cannot drive. As far as the traffic, she suggests some traffic calming measures such as speed humps or chicanes.
Johns said she has the same concerns as her neighbors. She said the cost is a concern, wondering where the money will come from. The development is a concern for her as well, if this becomes a collector, what new developments will happen because of this bridge. How much more traffic will there be, what happens after it comes into Meadowbrook Park. She cannot imagine 10,000 cars in that area. Many elderly people walk around in this area, skateboarders, and families. This is a narrow street with no parking on either side of the street. This street would have to be widened to accommodate more traffic. The cost by the time it is all done will be much higher. Meadowbrook Park is not built out yet, there is construction still going on and there is no parking requirement there. She hopes staff will look into what would be developed here because there is not enough room for all of the cars parked there. A pedestrian bridge is a good idea.
Beth Oehler, 215 E. Nevada St.
She has lived there for 20 years and this is first official notice she has received about this bridge going across, which is concerning to her. There is no sidewalk on part of the street and the street is narrow. She disagrees that we can put 3,000-10,000 cars on this street without improvements. It is concerning that; people will avoid Hersey St. and Oak St. because of the bumps if we do not put traffic calming in addition to this bridge. She agrees with other comments, that this goes against what we are trying to do as a city. A bike and pedestrian bridge sounds great, but she is opposed to a vehicle bridge.
Roy Sutton, 989 Golden Aspen
He said he found the various comments coming from the community very interesting and enlightening. He thinks an option D should be added to support a pedestrian and bicycle bridge. One thing that this commission is interested in, has to do with parking downtown, he thinks the idea of having the bus route would be a plus to enable people to use transportation to get to downtown. He would like to see a restricted bridge that allows just pedestrians, bus, and emergency vehicles and not open to everyday drivers.
Alberta Apenes, 142 W. Nevada St.
She has lived here since 1975, but first came to Ashland in 1924. Ashland was very small back then and there was not any streets down by Nevada St. and Oak St. was unpaved. Ashland was the center for where the streets went through. She has seen it grow and it will keep growing, if it does not it is going to die. We have to face the fact that people are going to get in their cars and move. She would be unable to get on a bus, she would have to walk a mile to catch a bus, and she said she could not make it. She is in favor of doing everything we can to make Ashland a comfortable place for people to live, work, and play. She thinks the bridge will help us, but we are going to fight anything that goes on, it is normal to do that. She said we have to meet in the middle, but we must move forward.
Graf thanked everyone for their input and said he did not know how quickly they would be able to assimilate everything they heard this evening.
Young said this project was not hidden and it has been being considered for years. He would like to invite people to show up to participate in all of the meetings. Many of these things do not get attention until they are in someone’s backyard. He said people do not participate in any of the decision-making or hearings until this stage and it makes things more difficult. He does appreciate everyone showing up tonight. In addition, he would like everyone to know that we do not have the decision to create a bus route, unless we come up with the money to subsidize RVTD. RVTD came and said they could not make Route 8 happen unless this bridge was put in, but they made it very clear that this is not their top priority, especially if the levy does not pass. Graf said this does not necessarily preclude that, we will do some kind of internal circulator and to have an RVTD route here in the near future is unlikely and very unlikely if the levy does not pass.
Newberry thanked everyone for their participation. She said she has worked in transportation planning for a long time and she said it is hard to know sometimes, even if you see a notice that says a ’20 year plan’ to know that it is important enough for you to go, so it is understandable that people come at the last minute. We are going to be doing a transportation plan update soon though. She said she made a list of things she heard tonight that she did not know about before.
Graf said the Transportation Commission is going to need some cost estimates for the various options including a bridge that allows solely bike/pedestrian and for a bridge, which only allows bike/pedestrian and emergency vehicle/busses.
Viéville said she wants to know more about the design and how the design of the bridge will affect the houses that are directly next to it. Graf said the main concern he heard tonight was about what is happening to the streets and the two ends of the street, so it would be nice to have some clarification pertaining to widening or making improvements.
Bender said it is highly unlikely that RVTD will come through with a route; however, this commission has come out in favor, repeatedly, of an internal circulator within Ashland. Funding undetermined, but it is a high priority mission.
Faught said he would like to clarify some things. These estimates we have are from an engineer who specializes in bridges; our estimates include a 20% contingency. We have good information; we just have not fine-tuned it yet. He said he talked about how many trips a collector takes, but he did not specify how much this specific road traffic would increase by. It is now at 1,800 trips per day and would go to 3,800-4,000 trips per day. He said the 10,000 figure is a standard number for collector.
Newberry said for clarification, the average home in America even in a small town, generates five trips a day. Which is actually ten times up and down the street. She said if you were wondering where a lot of the traffic comes from, you might start thinking about how many times you leave in your car and come back in a day.
Young asked about the OBEC estimate, which is lower than ODOT’s estimate. Faught said when ODOT looked at this project; they were planning on extending the bridge by another 200 ft. and raising it up, to allow access under the bridge. Instead, we shifted the bridge 15 ft. to the south so we did not have to do that.
Faught said the grant has to be used by 2018. Knox said that Kestrel is planned to extend around to N. Mountain Ave. Trips will probably funnel up Nevada St. and Fair Oaks. Ashland is about connectivity and getting people around, it is about disbursement, so that not just one street is terrible to live on.
FOLLOW UP ITEMS
Tolman Creek and Siskiyou Blvd. Stop Sign (5min.)
Fleury spoke to Dan Dorrell at ODOT and requested that they put together a conceptual design for us to review. He is hoping that Dorrell will be at the next commission meeting to talk about the stop sign, the layout, and intersection changes.
Downtown Parking and Multi Modal Circulation Study Update-Improvement Projects
Graf said the downtown committee has been reviewing the three lane to two lane plan. He said there was an article in the paper recently that raised concern, largely from the downtown business community. The concern was mostly in response to the parking spaces that the newspaper reported as being lost in order to make way for loading zones. Three parking spaces would be permanently lost if the current design is approved. Another 15 spaces would be lost during the hours of the loading zones. These would be two-hour parking spaces in front of the downtown businesses. People were shocked when they read the newspaper article. However, these losses would need to be made whole again in order for the committee to support the plan. The committee has lost of some of its optimism for a quick solution, but it has not really changed the plan, which is to go through and look at all of the possible barriers/problems that need to be addressed to make this work.
Young said he was the only one quoted in the article. He had assumed that someone else had already been interviewed and then turned the reporter to him. He was very careful of what he said. One quote was accurate and the rest was somewhat contextualized. He was asked about it failing, he responded by saying one option would be to do it as pilot program that would take about 18 months, to allow people to change their habits, and then do an evaluation. The article said that he recommended doing a pilot program, when he did not recommend it. The key was that he had assumed that someone had told the reporter to talk to him. The response at the last meeting was very strong. Many of the people that came to the meeting said it was the first time they had even heard about the plan.
Graf said they went through many bike and pedestrian projects and although we did not do the design for downtown, we as a commission gave a high priority to the bike lanes through town. The projects themselves are in the TSP, but how to do it is not in the TSP. This commission said these were very high priorities and he is strongly in favor of making that happen, because if we do not, we will have failed as a committee.
Faught said there is controversy we have to work our way through and if we need more time, then we will take more time. The information for the multi-modal part got out ahead of time, before we could plan it, which makes it more difficult.
Making and Impact Newsletter (April)
Grandview Shared Road Status
Fleury said he met with the consultant engineer to go over the three conceptual designs. He is hoping to have them back early next week. They are going to meet with a couple of concerned residents and bring the concepts back to the commission. Faught said he thinks they have come up with the least cost option.
COMMISSION OPEN DISCUSSION
Barth asked if there were any plans to redo the sharrows in the downtown area. Faught said repainting starts in the middle of May. Fleury said the first place they start is downtown.
Young said for a future agenda topic; there are so many unmaintained right of ways along Oak St. to downtown. These properties are hazardous. Faught said we can add that to the agenda and have our street people in to talk about it.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:11 pm.
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