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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Transportation Commission

Thursday, December 21, 2017

December 21, 2017
Graf called the meeting to order at 6:02 p.m.

Commissioners Present: Joe Graf, Dominic Barth, Corinne Vièville, Sue Newberry, Bruce Borgerson, David Young
Commissioners Absent: Kat Smith
Council Liaison Absent: Mike Morris
SOU Liaison Absent: Fred Creek
Staff Present: Scott Fleury, Taina Glick

Graf introduced and welcomed new Commissioner Bruce Borgerson.

Approval of Minutes: November 16, 2017
Commissioners Barth and Newberry m/s to approve minutes as amended.
All ayes. Minutes approved.


Crosswalk Implementation Policy
Fleury explained the historical handling of crosswalk requests by the City. Fleury met with Kim Parducci regarding development of the Crosswalk Implementation Policy and discussed the need for commonality and uniformity of structures used for crosswalks in the city, where feasible. The City has moved toward the continental type crosswalks, utilizing thermoplastic reflective stripes for durability. Lighting is a consideration with use of thermoplastic due to reflectivity. Fleury sought input from Commissioners about items for inclusion in the policy. Barth inquired about the availability of less-slick materials. Fleury explained that thermoplastic has a grittiness but does become slick with ice. The addition of sand, etc. is possible but creates a maintenance issue.

Graf questioned plans from other cities included in packet. Fleury explained the packets are for example only and included for assistance in creating our policy. Newberry described inserts as containing outdated information and cited ODOT Bicycle and Pedestrian manual for current data. The Comprehensive plan describes suggested need for crosswalks.

Young felt commissioners were getting into the weeds by looking at specific cases at this point and stressed the need to develop the policy first. Newberry stated we should be using ODOT Bicycle and Pedestrian manual. Graf wanted to ensure the policy includes improving existing crosswalks as well as creation of new crosswalks.

Newberry emphasized the need to define the elements that should be considered in making the policy. Fleury agreed and added the need to apply commonly accepted standards when making the policy. Newberry suggesting seeking data from studies available through the Bicycle and Pedestrian clearinghouse.

Borgerson inquired about maps with pinpointed accidents. Fleury informed Borgerson of what is available with GIS. Borgerson described the need to know about accidents that are not necessarily pedestrian involved, but rather pedestrian crossing involved.

Barth expressed concern over a packet insert that showed a curb extension cutting into the bike lane and would like to see inclusion of wording in our policy which would prevent this type of occurrence. Fleury assured commissioners that design options are available to accommodate cyclists at such intersections. Barth inquired if City is allowed to look at ODOT plans prior to construction. Fleury answered typically no.

Newberry described a lack of crosswalks on Siskiyou between Harmony Ln and Tolman Creek Rd. Newberry would like staff to compile a list of the desired elements to include in the policy. Young wanted to make sure decisions are made based on accurate data, suggesting utilization of a rubric with scoring. Newberry wanted to ensure Commissioners understand the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and decision making process. Further, Newberry opposed the use of aesthetically pleasing design over the sight for pedestrians. She would like the sidewalk implementation policy to consider references to MUTCD and update the Comprehensive Plan accordingly.

Young commented about downtown beautification and stated his desire for the commission to be included in the downtown process so that pretty stuff isn’t included over sound transportation practices.

Fleury met with two Ashland Police Department officers, one of whom attended environmental design class about how to produce good mobility and behavior through pedestrian districts. Fleury described how design can help first responders in these areas. Input from officers will be included in policy development process.

Discuss current action item list

Item 7 on list, Iowa St safety concerns update requested by Newberry. Fleury will contact Parducci about a timeline for completion. Barth inquired about green sharrows update. Fleury said he and Parducci will meet with ODOT in January to discuss each N Main St project in detail.

Barth questioned why some sections are still bolded and sought clarification. Fleury clarified that items in current action are italicized and un-bolded items are completed or passed on. Two proposals were submitted for the TFP which scored 353 and 350. Interviews, worth 100 points, will be set up in early January as Fleury is not comfortable direct awarding due to only a 3-point differential. The contract will be taken to Council and awarded after interviews are completed in early January.

Newberry was glad to see progress on the traffic calming plan, but hoping for a more encompassing handout. Fleury described the handout as 1 of 2 parts: an informational packet for the public and a foundational guideline for staff and commission. Fleury reminded the commission that there is no firm timeline for completion.

Fleury informed commissioners that the CIP Storybook is now live and briefly described functionality.

Graf questioned if a page is missing from traffic calming brochure draft included in packet. He described viewing green box sharrows out of state as unimpressive and hoped that our sharrows will be more clearly marked.

Goal Setting

Graf described to commissioners their responsibility at the community meeting, based on documentation provided by Newberry. Borgerson inquired when the last time this type of meeting was done. Young indicated that a goal setting retreat had occurred with the Traffic Safety Commission a number of years ago. Newberry reminded commissioners to email Glick the names and addresses of specific parties they wish to invite and emphasized the challenges in getting attendees to public meetings. Newberry further stressed the need to include a wide variety of transportation participants.

Transportation Commission code language
Newberry liked that the code language was simplified but expressed concern about the inclusion of parking knowing that the commission has no power over the number of required parking spaces and felt parking should be removed unless there is inclusion of the commission in the planning process. Newberry called attention to the parking challenges and neighborhood impact that could result if the Daniel Meyer Pool becomes a regional facility. Fleury responded in
agreement as there is not a clear parking plan at this point. Graf disagreed, stressing he would rather the commission advise on parking than not be able to advise. Commissioners discussed involvement in planning actions and the need to change policy. Borgerson inquired if a document exists which describes parking requirements. He felt that parking is an important part of future transit in Ashland and that the wording related to advising on planning actions should
remain, giving the commission opportunity to explore policy change in the future. Vièville would like to be able to advise before decisions are made.

Graf wanted the code to read that the Transportation Commission (TC) has the ability to advise on all transportation topics, not only Type III Planning Actions. Newberry cited section of Transportation System Plan (TSP) where it was recommended that “the City review chapter 18 of Municipal Code to establish a multi-modal/safety based development review process.” She stated that is the intent of the changes the TC seeks to make to the commission responsibilities
outlined in the code. Young reminded commissioners that the City Council approved the TSP.

Graf sought clarification on the subcommittee section.

Barth questioned the structure of the sentence in 2.13.010 A, stating that parking is not a mode of transportation but rather a transportation related issue. Newberry called attention to 2.13.030 Power and Duties, Generally, stating that it only allows for planning and does not specify that the TC has public hearings for individual problems from citizens. Borgerson suggestion clarifying 2.13.010 Purpose and Mission by altering phrasing to “planning, funding and advocacy for bicycles, transit, and other modes of transportation as well as issues concerned with pedestrian safety and parking.”

Young wanted to know if this is the final draft. Fleury indicated that it is not and encouraged commissioners to send suggestions and edits to either Fleury or Glick. Fleury further indicated that Planning needs to be included in discussion regarding inclusion of TC in planning decisions.


Accident Report

Graf requested clarification on accident report wording “information exchanged.” He wondered if that statement means that parties exchanged information themselves or if an officer present at time of the accident. Fleury offered that staff is exploring ways to clarify information on report. Commissioners would like to know when an officer was involved and/or at what point is the officer involved. Graf officially requested inclusion of a column indicating if an officer was
involved at the time of the incident.

Newberry offered thanks to whomever cleaned up leaf debris near Harmony Ln. and reported that the hot call she discussed last meeting had been repaired. She inquired about TC inclusion in the Parks Master Plan update for pedestrian and ADA issues. Fleury suggested participating in the meetings as a citizen. Newberry reported discovering TSP Policy 27, “fee in lieu” policy, to create funding for sidewalks. Additionally, Newberry described 10.15 of the Comprehensive Plan which seeks to increase neighborhood use of sidewalk LID programs. She would like these two
topics added to a future agenda. TSP mentions an Access Management Study for Siskiyou Blvd and Newberry wants to do it now, believing Siskiyou Blvd cannot be improved until the study has been completed. Fleury informed commissioners that the City attempted to obtain a TGM grant to fund that study but were not successful. If money exists after completion of the TFP and we are still in the current biennium, the Access Management Study may be rediscussed.

Borgerson questioned if the addition of sidewalks from N Main to Oak was done as part of the Master Plan. Fleury indicated that the sidewalks were in the TSP as a sidewalk connection. The City applied for the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAC) grant which has safe routes to school element because it connects Laurel and Helman. Fleury commented that a new house bill on transportation will increase funding elements for safe routes to school, transit, etc.
and increase gas tax revenues which are used to fund roadway, sidewalk, safety, and ADA improvements, as well as miscellaneous concrete repairs.

Young informed commissioners that no sidewalk exists on Laurel at the railroad track. Fleury informed commissioners that there will be a full, at-grade sidewalk installed at that location this Summer. Newberry noted that the Comprehensive Plan calls for bike loop sensors at all intersections but reports having never seen one in Ashland and inquired if they exist and if they are marked. Fleury indicated his belief that they do exist at intersections but not all react properly. Newberry educated the commission on how to trigger the loop sensors. Newberry requested that all loops are marked as streets are resurfaced.

Vièville inquired about the difficulties associated with installation of truncated domes and if curb cuts moving forward will be straight or angled. Fleury replied that truncated domes will be included and curb cuts brought to ADA compliance during upcoming street overlay projects. Vièville described easier use by dogs when straight curb cuts and truncated domes are utilized. Vièville asked about grates at the bottom of curb cuts. Fleury described design problem with storm drain system and indicated that all storm drain catch basins will need to be relocated on either side of flares to become compliant.

Young described issues with bus stop users’ luggage creating blockage of the sidewalk in front of the library. Further, he described issues with zig-zagging sidewalks and believed there is a need to coordinate with Planning to develop designs more congruent with pedestrian tendencies. Newberry recommended training for like topics to increase multi-departmental buy in. Newberry added her belief that ODOT offers this type of training program at no cost.

Barth sought clarification from Young about whether he was suggesting sidewalk design changes going forward or to improve existing areas. Young described two pronged approach, both fixing and preventing problems.

Vièville has pictures of trucks parking at Larks which prevent busses from being able to stop. Newberry brought to the attention of Commissioners an inconsistency in white curb paint throughout town. Barth described a lack of curb painting in the area in front of Larks/Ashland Springs Hotel and questioned why the curb is not painted. Newberry wondered if curb painting inconsistencies could be handled by Transportation Commission under the multimodal/
safety based development review process suggested in the Transportation System Plan.

Newberry asked if Commissioners have heard of branded transit stops. She described reading something that described an increased use of transit when stops are cute and would like to see branded transit stops utilized.

Young wondered if there will be a process the Commissioners can agree on for trying to mitigate things like the bus stops, asking if a meeting could be set up with RVTD or a letter sent. Fleury will be involved with meetings about the RVTD long range plan study. Vièville would like the TC to be involved with this. Fleury can bring suggestions to those meetings. Fleury further elaborated that existing problems will be caught and resolved on a one-off basis. Young wondered if a sub-committee is warranted. Newberry suggested waiting until after the goal setting meeting to set up a sub-committee. Fleury stated that the self-evaluation portion of the required Public Right-of-Way ADA Transition Plan will help identify existing problems. Fleury indicated the self-evaluation all facilities in the public ROW is in process and will be presented to TC in the future.

Graf inquired about the availability of governing documents related to Planning Commission. Fleury said that information is included in Ashland Municipal Code, Chapter 18.

Borgerson questioned if the limited number of city streets available on Google street view was the result of the City disallowing that service. Fleury indicated that is not the case and that Bing had better street view coverage of areas in the city, but that the Google car had recently been spotted in town so assumes an update may be available soon.


Respectfully submitted,
Taina Glick
Public Works Administrative Assistant

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