ASHLAND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
March 15, 2018
CALL TO ORDER:
Graf called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
Commissioners Present: Corinne Vièville, Sue Newberry, David Young, Bruce Borgerson, Joe Graf
Commissioners Absent: Kat Smith
Council Liaison Present: Mike Morris
Staff Present: Scott Fleury, Taina Glick, Steve MacLennan
Approval of Minutes: December 21, 2017 & January 25, 2018
Commissioners approved minutes as amended.
Linda Peterson Adams 642 Oak St
Read a statement in support of Transportation Network Companies (TNC). See attached.
Huelz Gutcheon 2253 Hwy 99
Gutcheon requested permission to leave a voice recorder at the meeting. He informed commissioners that he emailed to them two videos about safety. He supports reducing the speed limit throughout town to 20 mph and believed that any collision involving an automobile and a pedestrian or bicyclist should be considered the fault of the car. Gutcheon expressed his desire to see more solar powered speed signs. Further he would like permission to spray paint areas that he felt needed attention.
Community Meeting follow up
Graf felt the community meeting was enjoyable and was happy with the collected information. Borgerson was pleased with how Newberry segmented the meeting notes by topic but saw value in isolating items to be handled by staff or ODOT in order to prioritize projects that fall under commission purview. Commissioners debated the ways to organize, analyze, and prioritize collected data and agree that no new information was provided by attendees. Commissioners wanted to ensure the data is compared with existing commission goals and referred back to in the future.
Borgerson reminded commissioners that attendees of the meeting were not an accurate cross-section of the citizenry. Fleury informed commissioners that the data has been forwarded to Nelson Nygaard for use in the Transit Feasibility Study.
Graf asked if any overlying category of data was noticed by commissioners. Newberry felt that was safety. She opined that when projects are chosen for funding, they should be filtered through criteria established by utilizing the data collected. Graf stated his group was most concerned about sidewalk and ramp conditions, but also accommodation for disabled users. Borgerson queried staff about sidewalk maintenance responsibility. Fleury responded that maintenance responsibility is that of the adjacent property owner. Young felt that there is a city-wide problem caused by lack of communication between commissions citing sidewalk issues created by trees planted with the approval of other groups within the city, specifically the street tree program. Commissioners and staff discussed care of trees in the downtown corridor and who is responsible for damage to sidewalks as a result of those trees. Chair Graf refocused the group. Graf felt like the topic of safety could be broken down to sidewalk safety, general safety, and asked for suggestions of other sub categories.
Newberry asked if summary should be changed from draft and queried the group for any changes. Fleury did not notice any missing items. Graf indicated that the watermark “draft” could be removed. Newberry expressed her hope that Public Works would have addressed the last 4 questions from the summary notes on the website.
Vièville was unclear about the discussion conclusion and asked for clarification. Newberry stated that Fleury will categorize data and come back with a document that can be edited in real time by commissioners at a coming meeting. Fleury added that the data summary could be added to the Transportation Commission webpage.
ODOT All Roads Transportation Safety (ARTS) Grants 38:00
Fleury described the All Roads Transportation Safety (ARTS) grants, adding that approximately $4 million/year is available in our region. Grants are awarded purely on actual, verified accident data and not potential for accidents. Fatalities or severe traffic injury are primary drivers for consideration. Systemic problem and hotspot problems are two components of the grant. Bicycle/pedestrian qualifications are slightly different.
ODOT has a traffic engineering firm, DKS, on retainer to help local jurisdictions complete the application for this grant. If a location has multiple jurisdictions coming together, the opportunity exists to fund the project together. Fleury asked commissioners for recommendations of specific areas or projects to consider. Fleury informed commissioners of an ODOT/DKS website containing a list of potential improvements with cost benefits and safety improvement value data. Additional data is in the presentation included in the packet.
Newberry sought clarification that fatalities aren’t necessary for bicycle/pedestrian grants. She then suggested utilizing this grant for lighting in areas that are dark and unsafe: Siskiyou Blvd at Harmony Ln and Siskiyou Blvd from Walker St to Tolman Creek Rd. Vièville asked if this grant could be used for sidewalks and curb cuts. Fleury replied no, but that grants for those types of projects exist elsewhere. Newberry felt that there are items on the list compiled from the community meeting that could utilize this grant money. Vièville inquired if potholes are considered “safety.” Fleury indicated they are not.
Discuss current action item list
Young questioned removal of the N Main St crosswalks from the Action Item List. Graf responded that it was removed because no action remains for commission consideration. Newberry inquired about status of the traffic calming project. Fleury replied that staff had been addressing other issues and will now resume working on traffic calming followed by the sidewalk plan.
South Ashland Business Park Type III Application Traffic Impact
Fleury indicated that the developer had gone before the planning commission who recommended that developers go with the typical avenue cross-section to the greatest extent possible. Plan is for 8’ park row, 7’ sidewalk, 6’ bike lane, 10’ lanes on both sides, and one side sidewalk, opposite the freeway, except for the area around wetland.
City Council presentation
Fleury and Graf spoke about Transportation Commission to the City Council, who had no questions. Young and Newberry thanked Graf.
Transportation Commission Representative on Technical Advisory Committee (TSC) – Transit Feasibility
Fleury requested representation from the TC on the TAC for the transit feasibility study. Maria Harris requested a Planning Commission representative as well. Responsibility will be 3-4 meetings between now and October to be part of the study and data collecting. Fleury informed commissioners of plans by Nelson Nygaard to collect citizen input and to utilize data already gathered by RVTD. Graf wondered when the TAC will be presenting to TC. Fleury thought a presentation would happen in April or May, with presentation to council following. Graf asked for a volunteer. Young nominated Borgerson, Newberry seconded. All ayes. Borgerson will represent TC on the TAC.
FOLLOW UP ITEMS
ODOT Corridor Projects
ODOT reached a decision about signal controllers to be used in future applications and Fleury has given consent to change controllers on the Siskiyou Blvd corridor between Sherman St and Walker Ave. Graf inquired about Helman St at N Main St intersection. Fleury indicated that intersection has not yet been discussed with ODOT. ODOT supported the City’s in-house design proposal for improving the intersection of N Main St and N Main St near the railroad trestle. Final plans will be submitted to ODOT for approval. Newberry asked to return to the topic of controllers, inquiring if the cabinets will be replaced with the controllers stating that many are poorly located. Fleury responded that the intent is not cabinet relocation. Newberry asked if signals will be “hot calls” for pedestrians. Fleury will contact ODOT regarding initial phasing and timing.
Fleury informed commissioners that staff completed plans and initial surveys for crosswalks at Van Ness and Nursery a couple of years ago. Since that time the rules have changed. Fleury discussed with ODOT area goals and how to achieve them. ODOT supported installation of crosswalks, but new design parameters must all be met. Staff is reworking our plans to meet current specs. Fleury explained some of the challenges faced as a result of the changes and that they impact project costs. Young questioned how the timeframe would be affected by the necessary design changes. Fleury felt that the project could still occur this summer. Graf wondered if the design changes would be such that the project would need to come back to TC for approval. Fleury responded that the design concept is the same, with minor changes, so would not need to be approved again. Graf questioned if the additional expenses would be enough to consider only doing one crosswalk project. Fleury indicated projects may need to be split across budget cycles.
The city has received complaints about turning at the intersection of Siskiyou Blvd and Tolman Creek Rd. Truck turn radius it too tight when turning right from Tolman Creek Rd onto Siskiyou Blvd. Fleury and ODOT discussed ways to improve the radius and suggest replacing the existing island with a stripped pork chop island with a centerline median candle diversion making it possible for trucks to drive over the pork chop island to avoid the sidewalk. Newberry asked what was the problem being solved when the splitter island was installed initially. Fleury did not know.
ODOT wants to see final super sharrow design but is supportive of our proposed design and the need for connecting the two existing bicycle facilities. Young wanted to know the final design. Fleury is waiting to get “nominal distance” allowed before finalizing the design. Borgerson asked if it will be designed to have green boxes and to look like the Phoenix overpass. Graf replied yes and elaborated on how the design has changed from the original planning. Fleury indicated the super sharrows will be in the center of the lane, rather than the right side of the lane as the cyclist is a vehicle and can use the travel lane as a vehicle.
Officer MacLennan spoke about the accident report, describing a few items on the report specifically. The PD is seeing more DUIIs. Overall, nothing too extreme or serious. Vièville asked if MacLennan stated there had been a death. Fleury clarified that the fatality referred to earlier in the meeting was related to the ARTs grant discussion, not a recent item on the accident report. Young asked about policy regarding long-term campers in town, specifically at the end of Clear Creek Rd. MacLennan is aware of the area and described the difficulty in dealing with the situation. MacLennan indicated that when citizens report campers, the PD needs the citizens to identify themselves so that police can start to treat the RVs as abandoned vehicles. Borgerson asked for more information about the u-turn accident near the Valero.
COMMISSION OPEN DISCUSSION
Young discussed Uber/Lyft/etc. and felt that the TC should have been included in the decision to allow pick-ups in the city. Borgerson agrees and feels that there are issues not being considered, such as fair compensation, drivers using a TNC as a second job, labor practices, etc. Young clarified his stance stating his belief that the TC should have been included in the decision of whether or not to allow ride-sharing companies in town and the potential impacts. Morris and Commissioners discussed the role of the TC in the decision to allow TNCs in the city. Vièville inquired if the TC could make a recommendation at this point regarding TNCs. Newberry indicated that they group could not as the commission is under open discussion.
Vièville asked if a written ADA plan exists for the city. Fleury and staff have written one and will share it in a couple of meetings. GIS has been itemizing the whole city inventory of sidewalks, ramps, etc., to determine where infrastructure is missing, defective, or non-compliant. That data is being geolocated as inspections are done. Fleury will send a copy of data when complete and will be included on a future agenda.
Graf inquired about potentially rescheduling commission meetings to the 3rd Thursday of each month. Morris advised commissioners to make the meeting day consistent throughout the year.
Vièville asked when a new chair and vice-chair need to be appointed. Graf requested that Fleury include election chair and vice-chair in the April agenda.
FUTURE AGENDA TOPICS
High and Church St 4-way stop
Parking Permit Policy
Public Works Administrative Assistant