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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Transportation Commission

Agenda
Thursday, April 27, 2017

ASHLAND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
MINUTES
April 27, 2017
 
 
CALL TO ORDER
Graf called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm
 
Commissioners Present: Joe Graf, Danielle Amarotico, Dominic Barth, Sue Newberry, and Corinne Viťville
Commissioners Absent: David Young
Council Liaison Present: Stef Seffinger
SOU Liaison Absent: Janelle Wilson
Staff Present: Scott Fleury, Mike Faught, and Tami De Mille-Campos
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
The commission thanked Amarotico for her service as this is her last meeting due to her term expiring.
 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Approval of Minutes: March 23, 2017
 
The minutes were approved as presented.
 
PUBLIC FORUM
Willow Denon, 132 6th Street Ashland
She walks to Railroad park frequently and there is a concrete walkway there. She said most of the time you have pedestrians on the walkway and there will be bicyclists coming along very quietly so the pedestrians do not even know there is someone coming from behind them. She said on a few occasions she stopped them and recommended they make a noise or something to alert the pedestrians in front of them and the reaction she got was them telling her this is a bike path. She is seeking some advice on how to address this.
 
Faught said staff will look to make sure there is adequate signage designating that as a multi-use path which is what that path is.
 
NEW BUSINESS
Proposed Pilot Residential Parking for Gresham Street (between Hargadine and Beach)
Faught pointed out that during the Downtown Parking and Multi-Modal committee discussions there was a lot of talk about the need for residential parking permits based on the parking strategies. Mr. Wright had approached staff about the problem he has been experiencing due to living right next to the library without having any off street parking. During library business hours, the parking spots adjacent to his home are taken up and he is looking for some relief. After meeting with Mr. Wright and Scott Fleury on site they decided since there had been discussion about these residential parking permits, maybe this would be a good situation to attempt a pilot program and see if it provides the relief that Mr. Wright is looking for as well as testing the program itself. After seeking guidance on how to implement such a program, staff was put in contact with Linda Fait with Diamond Parking, which is who the City contracts the parking enforcement through. Staff would stripe the five spaces adjacent to 25 Gresham Street and the theory is those five parking spaces would be available solely for residential parking permits to those residents that live along that one block stretch. The parking permit program would be 24/7 which is really the only way to ensure those spaces were available to the permit holder when needed.
 
Linda Fait, Diamond Parking, shared that in the City of Medford, they have one area where they do residential parking permits and what they do is they have the resident come to the Diamond Parking office with proof of residency. The first permit issued is at no charge and then any additional permits they want is $50/year. She said the permit itself can be a variety of things such as a hangtag, tent card, sticker or whatever the City determines it to be. She said it would be a simple program to enforce because they already go up Gresham Street and then back behind the library and outside of enforcement hours, the residents could always contact the police department for assistance if a non-permitted person was parking there.
 
Graf asked if we would have public comment on this. Faught said yes. This is first being brought to the commission to see if there is interest and then this topic would be brought back at a future meeting and we would open it up to public comment at that point.
 
Newberry asked if there is a mechanism for not allowing the other two homes, who do have off street parking available, to get permits unless needed. She said what gets people really upset about residential parking permits is when parking spaces are left empty and could otherwise be used. Fait said when she and Faught were discussing some of the details they talked about offering the permits to the three residences along that block and if there were any spaces unclaimed then they could potentially offer them to residences further up Gresham Street. Newberry asked if we could have four permit spaces and leave one of the spaces one. Faught said when he first started thinking about this he thought maybe we should just start with a couple spaces but after speaking with Linda about how it actually works, he is leaning towards the whole block section (five spaces).
 
Craig Wright, 25 Gresham Street Ashland
Mr. Wright shared with the commission the issues that he has had to deal with since moving to this home in the summer of 1994. He stated the neighbor above him has off street parking for one vehicle and the neighbor below him who operates a bed and breakfast has parking on Hargadine. When he first moved in there was a big double gate, which cars could pull into off the alley in the backyard and they were told they had an easement for it. He checked with the City and after talking to Mark Knox, planning department, he was told to let his neighbors know he was going to use it and as you can imagine that did not go well. The neighbor ended up blocking the access off with a temporary structure so he contacted the City again and the City said the only option was litigation. He retained an attorney, Tom Hauser, and they went to court. Twenty thousand dollars later, he lost the lawsuit. The attorney wanted to keep going but Mr. Wright did not have the money to keep fighting it. Over the years, he has approached the City to find a solution but often times there has been no solution for him.
 
He shared that since then, it has been a nightmare trying to find nearby parking. The library employees are told to park there, the library patrons park there day and night for meetings, downtown employeeís park there, traveling campers also park there due to their not being a time limit (they sometimes park there for three or four days at a time). He said he has invited City Councilors numerous times to come and observe this situation, Faught and Fleury are the first to ever take him up on the offer. There are two nearby neighbors on Vista that sort of informally block off the off-street parking with cones and they are able to get away with it but they arenít allowed to do that because of the high turnover.
 
He shared his experience from earlier in the day. He was pulling up Gresham Street and could see there was nowhere to park. He could see a few spaces available in the two hour time stay spots but he has to be careful about parking there because he was parked in one of those spaces this morning so if he parks there again in the afternoon he will get a ticket from Diamond Parking. He was headed home and turned and went down the alley, then down Vista, came back up Gresham and then onto Hargadine where there was still no parking. He then turned down Second Street and came up Main Street where he saw one spot that he may have been able to grab but he didnít want to risk it and then when he came back up Gresham he managed to grab a spot about three blocks up. Now imagine having to haul groceries in from several blocks away! This is a typical experience for him. At one point when he was single and didnít have children he went without a car but then he had children and with raising kids it was more difficult to go without a car.
 
He thinks it has been hard to get the City to do anything because it is troublesome. There are a lot more people that would voice their concern in opposition than just him in favor of it. He has resisted building off street parking in his front yard in an effort to preserve the historical context of his home. About six or eight years ago he had actually pulled permits to build the off street parking, and his neighbor at the time begged and pleaded with him to not do it so they elected not to proceed. He added that simply running to the grocery store isnít an option, they really have to plan their trips out and often times have to carry their groceries from four or five blocks away, which in the wintertime isnít very safe. His uphill neighbors who bought their home about three years ago have been gracious enough, up until a week ago, to allow them to use their spot, when they are out of town, but they are now here to stay permanently. To be clear he added that there are times, maybe twenty-five percent of the time, when you may be able to find a nearby space easily. He worries more and more as they age. He asked the commission to help him remedy this situation. He thought originally, after talking to Faught, that this would just be a permit program in the evening hours, which would still be difficult for them but he is happy to learn that the proposal is twenty-four hours a day.
 
Steven Cutler, 31 Gresham Street Ashland
He shared that they live next door to Mr. Wright. They are now living there permanently and the space that they had previously been letting them use is no longer available. They have watched what the Wright family has had to go through and it is horrible, including watching them struggle with groceries during the winter months, but beyond just that, it is a general quality of life thing.
 
Pat Cuter, 31 Gresham Street Ashland
She doesnít need to reiterate what they have seen these poor people go through but it isnít right. Residents should have priority over employees and visitors and she feels residents should have first consideration for things that are affecting their quality of life, as opposed to giving it to people who donít even live or pay taxes in Ashland.
 
Willow Denon, 132 6th Street Ashland
She suggested designating two parking spaces for Mr. Wright but after hearing the previous speakers who are experiencing similar issues, she thinks maybe five spaces does make sense.
 
Faught said staff is seeking support from the commission and if there is support then the next step would be to hold a public hearing.
 
Amarotico asked if it is worth considering only removing three of the five spaces and designating the other two spaces as short term (15 minute) so that way people feel like they havenít lost all the flexibility. Faught said he started with the same thoughts of only doing two spaces in order to solve Mr. Wrightís issue but after talking about this issue with Linda Fait, it just doesnít work very well. He suspects there is enough displacement going on that those five spaces will be easy to fill He said the points are well taken and he thinks when we get to the larger strategies, for other areas in the downtown, we will have to look at the big picture (short-term, loading zones etc.) but that is in the future.
 
Graf said if this were in the railroad district and not right next to the co-op it would be a slam dunk but with the library parking it is a little concerning to eliminate five parking spaces right in front of the library. Mr. Wright has done everything he can to solve the problem and itís not fair to not do anything to help him, although he does worry a little about the five spaces as opposed to three spaces. Faught said if the commission wants to start with three spaces we can do that and then monitor it as a pilot project and be flexible to adjust to whatever the needs are.
 
Newberry said she is inclined to start with the five spaces. If the spaces are full then she doesnít feel it creates the resentment. Other towns do this and she was surprised, when she moved here, that we didnít have residential parking permits. She really supports this.
 
Amarotico asked if there was a set time period for this Ďpilotí. Faught said we will be monitoring it and will evaluate it at six months and then again at one year, to see if this is something that should be made permanent.
 
Newberry/Vieville m/s the Public Works department pursue the implementation of a pilot project for five (5) parking spaces on Gresham Street (in the area that has been discussed). Prior to implementation of that, public hearings should be held.
 
All ayes. Motion passes.
 
 
Draft letter to Mayor and Council regarding Nevada Bridge
Graf shared that Newberry had drafted a letter to Council on behalf of the commission. He pointed out that he had made some suggestions to her on drafting the letter. The goal is to have a letter that everyone on the commission is comfortable with. Each member of the commission was supportive of the draft letter as presented.
 
Barth/Vieville m/s accept the draft letter to Mayor and Council regarding the Nevada Bridge project for the June 20, 2017 Council meeting.
 
All ayes. Motion passes.
 
TASK LIST
Discuss current action item list
Newberry said she goes through the task list and she happened to observe that the numbering changed somewhere between February and April. #13 used to be Glenview Drive shared roadway and that one went away and Siskiyou Boulevard got renumbered on the list. Fleury said Glenview was removed from the list because of the chip seal funding that came through. Originally there was talk about having further discussion about making Glenview a shared road and moving that project forward but then we received grant approval and there is no longer a need to have additional discussions about just the single road. What he had planned to do is have public outreach once we get to the point where the grant is a little bit closer. Faught pointed out we thought we would only get about 400k for the chip sealing but there is additional funding that came forward and every project that was going to be partially funded was funded to 100%.
 
Newberry said that is good news. She added what she would have liked to have seen is this list in a spreadsheet, something where the commission doesnít just lose track of an item on the action list. She would prefer that the numbering be kept as is and then next to it out on there that it was resolved through that grant. By doing it this way, you can see that tasks are being accomplished.
 
Graf said he doesnít think the chip seal on Glenview Drive solves their problem. He said the problem isnít that itís a dirt road, their bigger problem is that cars drive too fast and itís especially problematic when there are pedestrians walking down the street. Making it a shared road is different than chip sealing it and if the shared road is still on the table, that is something that will need a public hearing before moving it forward. Fleury responded that the basis of the grant for the roads designated in the Transportation System Plan (TSP) as shared roads accounts for that conversion, so those designations would make sure that when Glenview was chip sealed it would be converted to the TSP classification, which is a shared roadway. This would require treatments as necessary, signage, posting of the 15mph speed limit etc.
 
Newberry said before we begin the public process for the Chip Sealing projects she would like to discuss the best way to go about that. Staff agreed.
 
Newberry asked about #8 (sidewalk clearance and vegetation maintenance). She asked about the brochures that Kyndra had previously worked on. The last time she was in the Community Development building she didnít see the brochures out. Fleury said there was a transition period with Kyndra leaving but the intent was to distribute the brochures through our Code Compliance officer as he goes out and also display them in our building. Faught pointed out that staff has been very busy with budget season and with losing an employee during the busy time, it was hard to stay ahead but with budget wrapping up in the next month or so we will be able to get back to these tasks.
 
Barth asked about the Hersey/Wimer signal analysis. He said this has been kicked around for a while and he has lost track. He asked if it is two crosswalks and one stop light. Faught said Kim Parducci was here a few months ago and said the traffic signal at Hersey/Wimer would not function well and she does not recommend that. She recommended two crosswalks and that is what was approved by the Commission. That is now included in in the Capital Improvement Project list which is included in the upcoming budget process. 
 
 
OLD BUSINESS
Transportation System Plan Request for Proposal (RFP)
Fleury shared he has a good rough draft of the RFP started and he has incorporated comments from the February 9th special meeting. He previously offered to the commission to come and review the document and make any comments independently. Newberry took him up on that offer and came to the office and provided a few comments overall. He is getting ready to finalize the document before sending it over to our Legal department for their review and approval. Once the Legal department gives their approval then he can post it on the Oregon Procurement Network for public solicitation. Usually a solicitation such as this one, is posted for at least thirty (30) days, sometimes forty five (45), depending on the number of pages. He is hoping to get responses by the middle of June and then itíll take a few weeks to grade the applications, he said Newberry volunteered to be a part of the grading team. The grading team will consist of himself, Newberry and hopefully a member of the Planning department. For something like this three (3) is the minimum but he would like to see five (5), just in case it gets down to interviewing the highest ranked firms. He added there is a good portion of the document that focuses on transit and accessibility as requested by the commission. He added, for people that arenít used to this type of process, this document doesnít have to include every single scope item itemized since this is a qualification selection. It has to be broad stroke with some caveats of what we are looking at so they can show they are qualified to do the general scope of services that are outlined. Once a selection is made then we go into a full blown negotiation where everything is itemized on a task level basis. At that point, his intent is to bring it back to the commission to have a recommendation made to approve the final scope and fee and then that is what will go forward to Council for their consideration.
 
Fleury explained to the commission how the Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) process works; the QBS process has a 100k threshold in the state of Oregon. Any engineering services (surveying, photographs, and architectural services) than exceed 100k in cost, require you to only select the consultant based on their qualifications to perform the work, there is no discussion of money at the beginning stage. Then once you make the consultant selection that is when you go into the negotiation process. Sometimes, especially with the aviation (FAA) type of stuff, we will make the consultant selection based on their qualifications and then after negotiations are finished we send that to a third party purveyor. The third party purveyor then goes through and looks at the scope and completes their own fee worksheet associated with what they think those tasks will take as far as hours and if it is more than a 10% difference between the two, then you get to renegotiate the cost down. We have used that a couple of times in the past, on FAA and non FAA stuff, so that is a possibility and we can discuss that more if it gets to that point.
 
Newberry said she though Fleury did a really good job as far as including the transit element in this. She also thanked Fleury for the explanation on the option of being able to hire a third party examiner because that is a concern of hers.
 
FOLLOW UP ITEMS
Street Mural Permit
Fleury is working on the Council Communication to take this to the Council at the second meeting in May.
 
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS
2018/2019 Street Improvement Capital Project List
Update Commission on Biennium Capital Project List
Fleury said the list includes some carryovers from the current biennium budget period. A few of the new ones which this commission prioritized are the mid-block crosswalks on North Main Street and the Super Sharrow striping through the downtown.
 
Graf asked what is going to happen if Council decides to not do the East Nevada Street Bridge. He asked if that happens is staff going to come back to the commission for direction on where to put whatever money there might be from that project (SDC money). Faught said it canít come off of the CIP list until Council decides what to do with the project. He explained that System Development Charges (SDCís) can only be used on those projects that are designated for SDC funding. He shared the three projects that are going to be shared with the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) are the bicycle/pedestrian bridge, bicycle/pedestrian/emergency vehicle bridge, and the Independent Way project. The plan is to talk to the TAC about whether there is a strategy on what is the best project to move forward with to the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). They will have more direction after the June 20th Council meeting.
 
Newberry said she needs more of an understanding of how the TSP serves the CIP list and how the CIP list serves the budget. Her understanding is the column on the CIP spreadsheet that shows SDCís, those are funds that we actually have. She asked about the grant column and in respect to the East Nevada Street bridge project it shows three million dollars in grants but yet we currently only have  one and a half million secured. Faught said we told Council and the budget committee that if that project moved forward, we would try to secure additional grant funding to fully fund that project and that is why we hired Al Densmore and the JWA group to seek more money. Newberry replied, they didnít get that money. Faught said that is correct and without that additional grant money that project would likely not move forward. He explained these projects have to be on the CIP list and incorporated into the budget so that if we secure the other funding sources, then we have budget authority to move forward. Newberry expressed some confusion because it seems different than traditional budgeting in that you are planning to spend money that you donít already have. Faught said governmental budgeting is a bit different because these budgets are put together in advance and some of the projects are contingent upon securing further funding during the biennial budget period. If you donít put it into the budget and you secure the funding then you are stuck having to wait until the next budget period.
 
Newberry asked about LIDís and noticed that there isnít anything listed in that column. Faught explained that Local Improvement Districts (LIDís) can be created in two ways. If the Council has a project that they want to move forward or if the residents have something and they approach Council, and have a petition with 60% support. The reason you donít see very many is because they generally have to fund the project themselves through ten year repayment bond.
 
The next column on the spreadsheet is fees and rates and Faught explained those include street user fee, gas tax, and the food and beverage tax.
 
Newberry pointed out that she observed where the municipal code says ďthe Transportation Commission will review and make recommendations on the following topics as it relates to all modes of transportationĒ and #3 is funding, ďwill make recommendations to the Cityís transportation section of the Capital Improvements Programí. She said she knows we set some priorities but that seems to be a little different than having the role as described in the municipal code. Faught said she makes a very good point but the way we have handled this is to come to the commission and ask them to prioritize the projects that are contained in the TSP. Newberry shared that she had gone back through the minutes from the meetings where the prioritization was done and from what she observed, it was done in piecemeal fashion and she feels like that didnít allow for the big picture.
 
Newberry said she walks along Siskiyou Boulevard a lot and one thing she noticed in the TSP is the access management study along Siskiyou. Access management includes guidelines used to determine how wide a driveway is, or how big a curve is, which determines how fast a car can turn onto it etc. All of those things have an impact to pedestrians and right now Siskiyou Boulevard is being built as though it was a rural highway because it is an Oregon Department of Transportation project. If she had been around when priorities were being discussed she would have pushed it; studies were not even looked at. Faught informed her that we applied for a TGM grant for a safety study but did not receive the grant. Newberry said if they were actually advising on the CIP something she would be pushing for is the access management study because that will take some time and even after it is done, it will take time to get the standards and designs changed. Faught said he wishes that she had been on board when the commission went through the prioritization process and he doesnít necessarily disagree. This is a whole new commission right now and thinks those are important things to change. Fleury informed her that he has spoken to Dan Dorrell, ODOT, about the issues with the radius on the south side with the ditch and the bike path.
 
Fleury shared with the commission that he is currently working with the GIS department on a project for the past few months to try to incorporate the following plans into one database: transportation system plan, storm drain master plan, water master plan, sewer master plan, facilities plan, Electric utility plan, Parks capital improvement plan, and the pavement management plan. This way when we go into the next round of prioritizing for the Transportation System Plan there will be a map that everyone can look at and get a big picture view. Hopefully we can eventually we can get our franchisees (Avista, Century Link, Qwest, Charter) to provide us with their data layers so we can incorporate that data as well.
 
Faught said it is a possibility that if the East Nevada Bridge project doesnít move forward, the access management study could be a recommended alternate for use of the SDC funds.
 
Graf asked about whether the Transportation Commission will be consulted about the street overlays. Fleury said the ones that have been selected are the ones with the highest need. The Wightman and Mountain overlays have already been engineered and so those are able to be completed early on in the upcoming biennium. The map that GIS is working on will actually show the pavement index rating which will be helpful. During the upcoming TSP update the Transportation Commission will look at this map and begin to piece together the future CIP projects. The commission would like to see the CIP prioritized across categories. Fleury is hoping to have that ready to go by October or November of 2019 and that way we have all of that date in time for the next budget process.
 
Action Summary
 
Accident Report
 
Making an Impact Newsletter (March)
 
COMMISSION OPEN DISCUSSION
Graf reminded the commission about the two vacancies. 
 
Newberry said in her study of the municipal code she noticed it says ďthe advisory commissions and boards are encouraged to establish annual goals and action items that reflect the bodies charge as stated in the specific commission ordinanceĒ. She feels it would be useful to have an hour at one of the meetings where the commission can talk about goals and be more proactive, rather than waiting for staff to put together an agenda. Faught said he believes the commission has done goal setting before. He thinks it might be a better idea to do goal setting in a special study session rather than a regular commission meeting. Newberry feels the commission can be more productive and effective once goals are established. The commission agreed it might be a good idea to wait until the two vacancies are filled and those new commissioners come on board.
 
Barth said during the East Nevada Bridge process there were several times when things came up that the Planning department was supposed to do but failed to follow through with. He is hopeful that if staff sees opportunities for things that are going to be coming up in the future that we ensure Planning follows through. He also wonders if there is a way for the commission to play a role in helping to ensure there is follow through, as opposed to looking back in hindsight. Faught said he has the same frustrations. He said the Transportation Commission is now required to look at any type III developments, so a large development such as Mountain Meadows would be looked at. He said he would like to have a Planner come to the commission and explain the role that they play in the type III review.
 
Amarotico pointed out that there are a lot of biking activities in the month of May, such as bike to work week, bike to school day etc. and the Siskiyou Velo Club is putting on a lot of bicycle education activities.
 
Vieville said she has been getting a lot of complaints from people in wheelchairs, about not being able to get across some of the intersections because they have such large potholes, specifically Siskiyou/Tolman. Faught asked Vieville to have those people call staff directly so we can get the necessary information to address the issue. He also pointed out that the Police department has a new phone app where you can also report Public Works issues such as potholes, sign issues etc. 
 
FUTURE AGENDA TOPICS
 
Next Meeting Date: May 25, 2017 meeting cancelled due to budget hearings
 
ADJOURNMENT
Meeting was adjourned at 8:06 p.m.
 
Respectfully submitted,
Tami De Mille-Campos
Public Works Administrative Supervisor
 

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