ASHLAND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
CALL TO ORDER
Graf called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.
Commissioners Present: Joe Graf, Sue Newberry, David Young, Corinne Vičville, and Kat Smith
Commissioners Absent: Dominic Barth
Council Liaison Present: None
Council Liaison Absent: Mike Morris, and Rich Rosenthal
SOU Liaison Absent: Janelle Wilson
Staff Present: Mike Faught, Scott Fleury, Tami DeMille-Campos, and Tara Kiewel
Public Works Director Mike Faught announced Team Ashland is scheduled for August 24, 2017 and staff will be presenting during the scheduled commission meeting. Fleury summarized the Team Ashland Program, which gives a group of involved citizens the opportunity to learn more about how city departments and divisions operate.
Graf suggested moving the August meeting to August 23, 2017 at 4:00 pm. The commission agreed.
DeMille-Campos introduced Tara Kiewel, Public Works administrative assistant who would assume administrative duties for the commission.
Graf announced that Council will discuss the parking plan at the July 31, 2017 study session and the regular meeting August 1, 2017.
Graf welcomed new Commissioner Kat Smith. Smith shared that her background is in outdoor recreation and transportation options. She worked for Rogue Valley Transit Department (RVTD) and was a bicycle safety instructor with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. She has a degree in outdoor recreation and a masters in social work and is currently working as a mental health counselor in the area.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Approval of Minutes: June 22, 2017
Commissioners Newberry/Young m/s to approve minutes as amended.
All ayes. Minutes approved.
Future Agenda Building
Fleury noted thinking about future agenda topics would give staff time to prepare and research topics.
Fleury suggested a possible future agenda item would be inviting the new Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Region 3 Active Transportation Liaison, Jenna Stanke Marmon to give a presentation about future programs.
Newberry asked for clarification on the process of agenda building and establishing priorities. Fleury suggested discussing priorities after the goal setting session in September. Additionally, the Transportation System Plan (TSP) update will require work for the next 18 months.
Newberry expressed concern about the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramps being built, both retrofits and new construction, and wanted this added to the agenda. Faught suggest having Brad Barber present about current ADA requirements, standards, and process.
Newberry’s Future Agenda items included:
1.) Funding capacity for Nevada Street Bridge
2.) Siskiyou Blvd. access management
3.) Crosswalks and markings at uncontrolled crosswalks
4.) Traffic calming
5.) Bike parking
6.) Chip seal program
7.) Commission’s role in planning and training for new commission members
8.) Goals per municipal code
9.) Bike path – old business follow up
Young wanted to view the finalized RFP for the TSP update. Young took issue with the fact that he had tried unsuccessfully to request the RFP on the website. Fleury said a draft was sent to the commission and that he will send the finalized RFP.
Smith wanted to add bike and pedestrian safety to the agenda.
Louise Shawkat, 870 Cambridge/Expressed concern about the idling of vehicles near schools.
Smith noted the 4J school district in Eugene had a good policy regarding this issue that the commission may want to review.
Discuss current action item list
Newberry noted that the Hersey/Wimer signal and the road diet update to Council have been moved to September.
Faught explained that Kittelson & Associates, Inc. had finished their design update and the recommendation to retime signals through downtown was not feasible. Fleury added that it was also recommended to install a stop sign at Oak and E. Main which would allow a safe transition for bicycles. Faught discussed the super sharrow options including painting the lane entirely green or just the sharrows. The project has been approved and funded for $100,000. Graf asked about the recommendation regarding loading zones and Faught said the study recommended restricting loading zone times.
Fleury stated that responses would close August 1, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. and he will work on the grading packet that will go to the grading team. It will take two or three weeks to get through the grading process depending on the number of responses received.
Sidewalk clearance and vegetation maintenance
Newberry inquired if the brochures are in the lobby of the Community Development building. DeMille-Campos explained that staff is working on them. Young shared that he called code enforcement for bushes on Oak St. and that it was cleaned up, but he still has concerns about this issue. Young asked to put this as issue as a future agenda item.
Newberry inquired about ODOT’s intersection design at Tolman and Siskiyou Blvd. She would like to add this item to the task list. Fleury said that the city had done some internal survey and design work, but it would be up to the commission to recommend.
FOLLOW UP ITEMS
Nevada Bridge Extension Project
Faught shared that Council decided to follow the recommendation of the commission and not build the vehicle or multi-modal bridge and directed staff to submit a grant transfer for the Independent Way Project. Council would like to hear about two options, the bicycle /pedestrian /emergency twenty-foot bridge for an estimated $3.8 million, and the twelve-foot pedestrian bridge for an estimated $2.4 million. Faught said based on feedback he was working on the assumption that Council wants to see one of these bridges go in. Fees were going to be used for the Independent Way Project and if the grant money can be transferred the fees would go to the Nevada Bridge Extension Project.
Faught explained Nevada Bridge Extension Project funding was a total of $6.49 million plus $4.94 million with the realignment of “S” curves. Of the funding $1.2 million was System Development Charges (SDC), $3 million in fees, and the rest was grants. Without grants and SDC monies $2.4 million is left for the project. Faught said he is working with a consultant to get clarification if SCD money can still be used for this project. Graf asked what the fees were. Faught explained the fees are street fees, gas tax, and some food and beverage tax, and that all of the fees have been allocated to projects.
Vičville asked about the timeline for the grant. Faught explained he had been encouraged to get it in right away. In the grant application staff will explain that the city is still interested in building a bike/pedestrian facility at East Nevada and that we are simply switching the grant funding to another project. Faught thought that it would be presented at the Aug. or Sept. meeting.
Young stated that it seems that the Independent Way Project is more competitive for the grant. Faught agreed and said the City doesn’t want to lose the grant money and picked a competitive project. The policy is that we get to pitch a new project, but it is not guaranteed we will get the grant.
Vičville asked if the Nevada Bridge is still a priority and if this takes away money from other projects on the list. Faught said the Nevada Bridge is in the budget and the TSP update is the opportunity to reprioritize projects.
Graf asked for clarification regarding the grant and if the Nevada Bridge Extension Project grant is shifting to the Independent Way Project. Faught said this was the case and explained that the Council gave him clear indication that they wanted to build the Nevada Bridge.
Newberry said she found it unusual that the Council didn’t ask the commission for input after the Nevada Project changed from a vehicle bridge to a bicycle/pedestrian and whether this the best use of the $2.4 million.
Street Painting Permit Process
Smith updated the commission on what was presented at the July 18, 2017 Council meeting where Councilor Morris had asked about the type paint that would be used and was concerned that it may be slick for bicyclists when wet. Fleury had responded that Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) suggests we add crushed walnut to the paint and Miller Paint will do that. It was approved by Council.
Zagster Bike Share Program
Fleury updated the commission about the July 18, 2017 Council meeting discussion where Councilor Rosenthal had asked why we were funding 5 bikes when we have 2 racks that can hold more. Andrea Napoli, Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) will be managing the project explained to Council that ODOT will be funding 20 bikes and there will be adequate bikes in the system. Council supported the project.
Fleury said one station will be installed at Siskiyou/Clay St. and either Lithia Way or in front of the Library are being considered for the second location. RVTD will have a station at the plaza, SOU is supporting one station, and Asante will possibly support a station. Young mentioned that one will be at the YMCA parking lot. Fleury expected the stations will be installed in the next 2-3 weeks and he will forward the road bike share flyer to the commission.
Newberry asked if we have any bike maps available. Young stated that he thought the Zagster App connects to a map that shows the stations. Faught suggested that we could work with the chamber to create a bike map. Fleury said that RVTD has a robust marketing campaign and will be promoting the program to their users. Young noted that at the last meeting Andrea had mentioned that the one hidden location in Ashland was outperforming all the other stations which tells us about the demand.
Vičville asked how much room the stations take up and if there is one installed at the library where it would be. Fleury explained that there are 8, 9, or 10 rack stations. The 10 rack is 24’x8’ and reduce the size by 2.5’ for each rack that is removed. Fleury said the possible library install area was below the bus stop by 50ft. Young asked if the median across from the Library had been considered. Fleury had considered that area. Faught stated that this would have to be to run by the Parks Dept. Smith asked if the stations are normally covered. Fleury said the stations are not covered and do not require a concrete pad. They just need to be placed on a level rock pad.
Gresham Residential Parking Permit
Fleury is working on the staff report along with commission’s recommendation that will be taken to Council.
Iowa St. Safety Audit and Analysis
Fleury updated that he is waiting for Kim Parducci to do walking audit.
Transportation HB 2017-10
Fleury explained the bill increased gas tax money, general funding, and Safe Routes to School grants. In addition, ODOT Region 3 received money for the seismic triage program. Faught mentioned the increase is about $400,000 per biennium. Faught noted that RVTD received a funding increase and there is opportunity for an express route and a hub and suggested bringing RVTD to the August meeting to discuss.
Newberry inquired about Connect Oregon and asked if there was any potential for grant money there. Faught mentioned these grants are difficult to obtain and larger communities’ tend to be awarded these grants. Smith asked about the Safe Routes to School and Faught stated these are the kind on grants we should go after. Newberry mentioned she has an interest in improving the links to transit stops. Faught said he would like to discuss this with Newberry and Smith to get more details.
Officer MacLennan went over the accident report, and the commission discussed a few accidents.
Smith inquired if it would be a helpful, educational opportunity for APD to have Ray Thomas present about bike and pedestrian safety. Officer MacLennan stated APD has quarterly training and that he has these books as reference.
Newberry asked if we have ever had bike officers in Ashland. Officer MacLennan said that APD had bike patrols in the past, and they currently have two Electric bikes and one Segway.
Vičville mentioned that there are trucks unloading at bus stops and then the busses aren’t stopping. Officer MacLennan said to contact Diamond Parking with that issue.
Making an Impact Newsletter (June)
COMMISSION OPEN DISCUSSION
Newberry inquired about a map that shows jurisdiction for ODOT, County, and City. She mentioned the lights in downtown are not timed for 20mph. Fleury said staff was looking into it and mentioned it to ODOT.
Young mentioned that the commission still has one vacancy and questioned how to proceed. Fleury said the vacancy is posted on the City website, and it was announced at Council. Fleury went on to mention that if the Commissioners know of anyone that would be interested they should be encouraged to apply.
Smith asked if there were any plans to address safety with bike lanes on Lithia Way and acknowledged that she was not aware of all of the downtown plans. Faught explained this was part of the super sharrow project. Graf mentioned that there is currently no downtown committee.
Graf departed from the agenda and took a public question.
Louise Shawkat, 870 Cambridge
Louise asked if there was concern that this commission may go away now that Council is looking at Commissions and the direction they want to go in. Faught explained that there was mentioned in a study session about possibly changing the structure, but it was a suggestion.
Young asked if the commission was aware of the committee that was looking into moving City Hall and discussed that Briscoe School may be an option. Young went on to say that there is an option to removing some of the park and making parking for city employees at Briscoe. Young expressed concern that the commission should be represented if a parking plan is involved. Fleury briefly described the charge of the ad hoc City Hall Advisory Committee and that they are in process of creating criteria to rate several different City Hall options. The directives are to look at the space needs for a 2030 timeframe and to ensure seismic stability of a building for city employees. Fleury told the Commission that there are serval options which include Briscoe School, the current City Hall building, the Community Development Building, and also a possible new building at Lithia/Pioneer parking lot. Fleury said the committee is currently weighing all the criteria and establishing the weighting value to recommend to Council by August 31, 2017.
FUTURE AGENDA TOPICS
Next Meeting Date: August 23, 2017
The meeting was adjourned at 6:02 p.m.
Public Works Administrative Assistant
July 20, 2017