ASHLAND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
July 19, 2018
CALL TO ORDER:
Newberry called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
Commissioners Present: Sue Newberry, Corinne Vičville, Kat Smith, Joe Graf, Bruce Borgerson, David Young (via video-conference)
Commissioners Absent: None
Council Liaison Absent: Mike Morris
Staff Present: Scott Fleury, Taina Glick
Approval of Minutes: June 21, 2018
Commissioners Graf, Smith m/s to approve minutes as amended.
All ayes. Minutes approved.
Huelz Gutcheon 2253 Hwy 99
Spoke to the need for carbon dioxide signature measuring of projects and that wiring for electric cars should be included in all new construction.
Graf believed that because applicant and/or planning staff were not present that TC should not discuss these planning actions. Fleury explained that each is in pre-application status and comments about critical issues are helpful to Public Works when conducting their review.
Type III Planning Action review 2082 E Main St
Graf reminded the group that the TC had previously approved a motion requiring a multi-use path along E Main St in the Normal Ave extension plan. Fleury responded that staff could pull that recommendation from that meeting and add it to the recommendations made for this application. Young concurred with Graf’s memory of the motion. Graf pointed out that the application requested an exception to the street improvement standard and stated that, if a variance is indeed requested on the final application, the plan needs to be presented to the TC for review. Newberry questioned the original map for the Normal Ave plan and how the current submission related to it. Fleury explained the TC is to consider only the transportation related element of the annexation proposal. Commissioners and staff discussed railroad crossings and the previously approved Normal Ave plan.
Fleury summarized commission recommendations:
· Inclusion of complete path connecting Walker Ave to Clay on South side
· Future discussion if street variance is requested
· Railroad crossing concerns if at-grade, public crossing is not permitted
· Adequate off-street parking
Graf expressed discouragement that neither the applicant nor Planning Department staff were present. Remaining commissioners concurred.
Commissioners discussed the lack of transit currently and the possibility of future transit in the area.
Type III Planning Action review 2350 Ashland St
Fleury introduced a proposal for construction of a hotel in the lot adjacent to RiteAid, accessible from Ashland St via a proposed easement between Wild Goose and the Texaco station. ODOT will review the proposed development and its potential effects on the corridor as a whole over a 20-year planning period. Graf was pleased with the inclusion of a shuttle, but concerned about parking. The proposal includes 116 parking spaces for 120 rooms, plus staff members but there is no plan for dealing with overflow parking. Newberry was concerned about pedestrian crossings and requested a pedestrian plan. Borgerson wondered if the easement is the only ingress/egress and suggested a different easement for pedestrian/bicycle access. Fleury described the ODOT interchange area management plan (IAMP) review which will address Borgerson’s left turn concerns. Smith informed commissioners that the closest bus stop to the parcel is located at BiMart.
TNC draft ordinance
Mark Thomas 500 Allison St
Thomas informed commissioners that he provided a letter prior to the last meeting but was not in attendance. He questioned if TC had done studies to assess the need for TNCs in Ashland and if commissioners have taken into consideration how TNCs will affect traffic, pedestrian safety, and the environment.
Terry Knight 3295 Hwy 66
Spoke as driver of Cascade Shuttle. He played a recording of a local Uber driver willing to operate outside of the app.
Fleury encouraged commissioners to focus on the transportation related issues in the proposed ordinance only and not to consider the legalese and administrative aspects.
Katrina Brown, City Attorney, discussed development of the proposed ordinance and what is expected from the commission at this meeting.
Young was of the opinion that the TC does not need to rush into making a decision due to pressure from TNCs.
Vičville asked Brown if she was aware if Medford has any actual or anecdotal evidence showing the number of TNC drivers and their impact. Brown responded that Medford’s ordinance was adopted in December 2017 and there are 10-times more TNC drivers than taxi drivers currently registered.
Vičville is not in favor of adding more cars who are trying to attract fares in town and felt that safety and a stricter ordinance are important.
Newberry requested that commissioners first decide to allow or disallow the additional vehicle for hire service option. Borgerson would support TNCs as long as passenger safety and rider equity can be reasonably assured and suggested the Corvallis ordinance as a benchmark. Smith was concerned about vehicle miles travelled and wondered what the RVTD stance is on TNCs. Fleury responded. Smith did not feel strongly about the topic but felt that TNCs could fill a gap in the local transportation network, particularly among students. Graf reminded commissioners that they are to consider if the need exists for TNC service and pointed out that citizen comment has been minimal; noting that the majority of speakers on the topic have been drivers on each side of the topic. Graf is concerned due to a lack of proof of citizen need for the additional service. Vičville asked Borgerson to clarify why the TC should consider the Corvallis ordinance when Ashland has a strong ordinance already in place. Smith asked Brown if she had reviewed the Corvallis ordinance when writing our proposed ordinance. Brown indicated that she had and the difference was equal treatment of all users which is included in our proposed ordinance and lack of some safety measures present in our proposed ordinance. Vičville asked Smith if Zip cars have been utilized on SOU campus. Smith did not have the answer. Fleury indicated that Fred Creek had informed him that the Zip car program was going well.
Young believed the choice was for the TC to recommend softening the requirements of our existing ordinance to match Medford’s or stick to existing ordinance as adopted. He provided his view of the positives and negatives and questioned if the proposed ordinance contains or could contain an out-clause allowing for evaluation of actual TNC impact data. Brown responded that the proposed ordinance does not contain a sunset clause but reminded commissioners that the City can amend code at any time. Young inquired if the proposed ordinance could be amended to include a sunset clause.
Newberry wondered if Graf had a suggestion for how to proceed with an impact study. Graf had two suggestions:
· determine how many taxi trips are currently being made
· survey citizens to determine which modes of transportation are wanted and to understand why taxis aren’t meeting the current needs
Commissioners spoke of their personal experience utilizing vehicles for hire, debated if study data would be obtainable, and if the need exists for an additional vehicle for hire service in Ashland. Graf suggested someone make a motion.
Vielle made a motion supporting adoption of the new ordinance and that everyone who has a business in Ashland abide by it. No second.
Young declined to make a motion.
Borgerson moved that the TC consider an ordinance based on the Corvallis ordinance because it has the additional provisions on equity and make that the basis of the TCs decision but defer a formal recommendation until we can be assured of passenger safety and service equity. No second.
Vičville debated Borgerson about the differences between the ordinances accepted by Uber and the issue of safety.
Young called point of order.
Young/Borgerson m/s to defer any decision on TNC until conclusion of the Transit Feasibility Study.
Discussion: Smith asked when TFS is set to complete. Fleury replied November 2018. Borgerson believed if the TC defers action they won’t be able to evaluate TNCs impact on transit. Young felt the converse of Borgerson’s statement is true and the findings of the TFS will provide data about TNCs potential impact on local transportation. Vičville inquired if the TFS will have a traffic impact study. Newberry replied no, but it will provide suggestions of need based on historical data. Smith questioned how much data would be available before completion of the TFS. Graf asked Brown if this topic will go to Council regardless of the TC decision or if the TC makes a formal recommendation. Brown indicated that it would but that Council expressed an interest in the TC recommendation before going forward.
Ayes: Young, Vičville, Smith, Graf, Newberry
Graf/ Vičville m/s that if the City Council decides they want to move ahead before they get recommendation on TNCs the TC would encourage them to adopt the draft ordinance.
Discussion: Young stated that the TC had already made their recommendation.
Aye: Newberry, Vičville, Smith, Graf
Nay: Young, Borgerson
Commissioners discussed and agreed that the issue of a Transportation Industry Board is outside the purview of the TC and will not consider this topic.
Discuss current action item list
Fleury received the Iowa St analysis from Kim Parducci. Recommendations are to increase yellow curb stripping, crosswalks, and to add a 4-way stop with signage at Garfield and Iowa. Fleury discussed completion timeframes and ADA compliance.
Graf inquired about the super sharrows. Fleury will bring the plan to the next meeting. Implementation can occur as soon as ODOT approval is received.
Smith asked for clarification on Traffic Calming status.
Young asked about a timeline on crosswalks on N Main. Fleury indicated that plans will be sent for ODOT and will go out to bid once ODOT approval is received.
FOLLOW UP ITEMS
Commissioners discussed exclusion of citation information from the monthly accident report. Smith preferred inclusion of citation issuance data. Newberry expressed the opinion that officers show sympathy for auto drivers all of whom should be cited when involved in an accident involving pedestrians or cyclists. Graf reminded commissioners why the decision was made to exclude citation information. Borgerson encouraged commissioners to consider that not all circumstances that would have contributed to the issuance or non-issuance of a citation can be included in this report. Newberry believed that utilizing crash records to make decisions for improvements to areas or intersections is more important than whether or not a citation had been issued. Fleury will request the GIS group add an additional filter to refine data by type.
COMMISSION OPEN DISCUSSION
Newberry noted that the Community Development lobby does not have a vegetation compliance handout.
Young suggested inviting the new code enforcement officer to the next meeting to discuss vegetation compliance issues. Newberry stated this could be added to the agenda at some point in the future, but did not feel that could be included on the next agenda. Young inquired if inclusion on the agenda was at the Chair’s discretion and added that he presented the suggestion to the commission as a whole. Borgerson suggested contacting the code enforcement officer with the TCs concerns, but not to add it to the agenda. Fleury informed commission of how code compliance issues are handled.
Graf asked about interest in the open commission position.
Smith inquired about public outreach for the Safe Routes to School workshop. Fleury responded that the City did not do outreach, but that ODOT may have.
FUTURE AGENDA TOPICS
Bear Creek Greenway extension
Traffic Control Devices – MUTCD Training on 4-way stop improvements
Parking Permit Policy
Safe Routes to School Program-Grants
ADJOURNMENT: 8:08 pm
Public Works Administrative Assistant