CALL TO ORDER:
Borgerson called the Virtual meeting to order at 6:01 p.m.
Commissioners Present: Mark Brouillard, Joe Graf, Corinne Vičville, Derrick Claypool-Barnes, Linda Peterson Adams, Katharine Danner, Bruce Borgerson.
Council Liaison Absent: Julie Akins
Staff Present: Scott Fleury, Shannon Burruss
Approval of Minutes:
Vičville motions to approve minutes, Broulliard Seconds, with additional comment to add Claypool-Barnes as present rather than marked absent for previous meeting.
Commissioners approve minutes as amended.
All ayes. Minutes approved.
Email from Louise Shawkat of Ashland: Document contains email to NY Times article: (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/09/opinion/sunday/ban-cars-manhattan-cities.html)
Comments: Borgerson discusses the article, in that the layout of New York City in relation to automobiles in comparison to the City of Ashland’s layout, which was engineered after the advent of automobiles unlike New York City and that the City of Ashland would have a lot of work to do to be able to implement what’s proposed in the referenced article.
Email from Heather Tugaw of Ashland: **See Agenda for Complete Email**
Comments: Fleury relays that he sent Tugaw information regarding the traffic calming program on Faith Street. He also relayed that one of the CIP projects planned is to rehabilitate and repave Ashland street, part of which is to enhance the pedestrian crossing along the corridor.
Brouillard relays that the City GIS system reports there have been three traffic incidents on Faith street: two DUI’s and one hit and run.
Commission discusses traffic calming methods that have previously been implemented in the area of Faith Street.
ACCIDENT REPORT: Commission discusses the decrease in accidents, Fleury relays that there has been a marked decline in traffic which is likely what is attributing to the decline in accidents.
Virtual Meeting Information:
Election of Chair and Vice Chair:
Vičville nominates Linda Peterson Adams as Commission Chair, Borgerson seconds the nomination. Linda Peterson Adams accepts nomination. No other nominations presented. Linda Peterson Adams elected Chair by acclamation.
Mark Brouillard nominates Derrick Claypool-Barnes as Vice Chair. Vičville seconds the nomination. Claypool-Barnes accepts nomination. No other nominations presented. Derrick Claypool-Barnes elected as Vice Chair by acclamation.
City Updates: Fleury relays to Commission the current status of City operations.
Discussion: Danner asks Fleury about filing the Public Works Director position. Fleury relays that he’s not fully sure what the process will look like at this point. He discusses the other director opening in other departments.
Vičville asks if Fleury submitted for the position of Public Works Director, he states that he did.
Graf mentions that the Transportation Commission would like to see current staffing for their area of the City, he mentions that there have been letters to the paper regarding negative comments about the City’s employees being over paid. He’d like to see information so that Commission members can relay it to community members and to know what resources are available for Commission projects. Fleury mentions that he’d like to bring budget information to the Commission for discussion.
**See agenda memo “Transportation Updates” for further detail of subjects below**
Claypool-Barnes relays disappointment, because some data collected had been promising. Fleury states he has saved all gathered data for this project for future planning.
- Revitalize Downtown Ashland TGM Grant- Project Canceled
Borgerson suggest Commission continues to work on this project in the interim until it is picked back up, to keep up to date on changes in data that may occur.
Peterson Adams asks Fleury if Commission will need to do another RFP for contractors, and what happens to the grant money. Fleury states that the money goes back into the pot and will need to be reapplied for.
- Ashland Transportation System Plan Update- Project Postponed
Graf relays that he was disappointed that the Transportation commission was not consulted during the planning of this event. Vičville agrees. Fleury relays that Peterson Adams reached out to him a while ago with the same complaint, Fleury states that he made sure to insert himself into the planning in order to assure that it was done safely. Borgerson agrees but states he was not surprised as Commission had not been holding regular meetings due to the pandemic and found nothing to be contrary to the long-term goals of the Commission.
Brouillard inquires if citizens were notified of the downtown closures prior to the events taking place. Fleury states he is unsure of exactly what information went out aside from the parking map posted on the website indicating the closures. Brouillard states that due to the closures Helman street had no parking available, he suggests that the City inform residents of the potential for increased traffic on their streets.
Peterson Adams inquires about the impact on Granite street, and if there had been any complaints from residents due to increased traffic from the detour. Staff has not received any as of the time of the Commission meeting.
- Downtown Summer Series and Closures- Fleury relays the process by which the City and the Chamber came up with the idea as a way to stimulate the economy downtown. The idea went before City Council at the June meeting. Council approved staff to move forward and the closures began the weekend of July 10th being Friday through Sunday only. Fleury relays specifics of the closures.
Claypool-Barnes relays his support for the bike share program and feels it is important to keep it going in the future. He speaks to the market data for the demand for both standard and electric bikes in the area.
Vičville asks how green credits (as mentioned by Fleury) are acquired. Fleury relays that electric vehicle registration plays a part. Borgerson shares that Ashland has the highest electric vehicle registration per capita in the state of Oregon.
Peterson Adams suggestions Commission recommend to Counsel to use the Green Fuels tax to satisfy CEAP goals, (more charging stations the bike share etc.), in the “spirit of the law”. Fleury suggests that he meet with Stu Green and add this as an upcoming agenda item to develop a motion to send to Council as part of the credit sale talk. Commission agrees.
Claypool-Barnes states his preference for a local vender to help with the bike share program.
Graff suggests that the Chamber of Commerce might want to get involved in the program as it can help those visiting the downtown area and relieve parking pressures.
- Grand Terrace Annexation- Fleury thanks Commission for their participation in the generation of the memo, relays that the Planning Commission met and considered the Grand Terrace annexation on June 23rd and will revisit the issue on July 28th and is likely to make a formal recommendation at that time.
- Rogue Bike Share Program- Fleury relays that Zagster shut down the use of the stations due to the pandemic, then Zagster announced they would be ceasing business operations. RVTD and Stu Green have met with Fleury to determine what to do next. There are options for turn key programs that could come in and take over, another option would be for the City to hire a mechanic and a bike shuffler to do work and hire a software vender to manage the software portion of the program, or to let the program fade away for now to be picked up later. The latter being the least favored. RVTD is willing to commit some funding to support the bike share program as well. Stu Green is also looking into electric bike options for the bike share. Fleury discusses credits and programs available that could help provide support to the bike share program.
Brouillard relays that according to traffic reports, there has been five accidents on that stretch of road in twenty-two years, three hit and runs and two car coming out of driveways.
Graf asks if the applicants had an idea of what they’d wanted to have happen on their road for traffic calming. Fleury relays that traffic humps and a lower speed limit were the original idea and informs of why those are not efficient options in this particular area.
Borgerson notices from Google maps that there are no sidewalks on Terrace street, and that perhaps because of this people are more sensitive to the speed of cars going by, making 35mph seem scarier than it would in areas with a sidewalk rather than walking on the road side.
FOLLOW UP ITEMS
COMMISSION OPEN DISCUSSION
Brouillard brings questions from the public about the encroachments on Grandview Drive one of which being how they were able to acquire new speed signs. Fleury relays that this street has come up for discussion at the Commission years ago. Fleury relays the history of the property and the guardrail erected in the public right of way without an encroachment permit. Concerns were raised by neighbors, discussions were had, engineers were brought in, the road was widened and paved with shoulders and storm drain work to allow room for both vehicles and pedestrians.
Brouillard wonders why the radar trailer is being used in this location rather than an area that sees more use. Fleury states it is important that they are on Grandview but also from a transportation point of view he supports more of them placed around town and their installation in critical areas.
Graf relays that the road on Grandview is a shared street and serves more than just the few residents who live along it.
Brouillard mentions the Street Painting project on Iowa and California Street and wonders what the Transportation Commission’s role should be in that. Fleury relays that the Transportation Commission approved the process and that it is part of the traffic calming program.
Peterson Adams asks why there is not a crosswalk on the area of N Main near Maple. Fleury relays that the addition of a cross walk in that area is part of the CIP that had to be postponed. Vičville ask if the Commission will have to redo the CIP discussions for the crosswalks. Fleury states they do not.
Peterson Adams notes for the record that the Council liaison, Julie Akins, is not present again. Graf points out that the only liaison who appeared regularly was Carol Voisin. Fleury informs that the Commission can give a recommendation to the new Chair to reach out to the Council liaison. Vičville suggests Peterson Adams reach out to liaison to inquire about the absences, Peterson Adams will do so as she feels that it’s the responsibility of Council members to stay informed of the Commission’s happenings.
Brouillard points out that the minutes while approved, have a typographical error regarding Claypool Barnes’ presents at the meeting, staff will amend the minutes to make the correction, Commission approves the minutes as amended.
Borgerson asks if there has been any discussion on the implementation of a local fuel tax. Fleury states he has spoken with Stu Green about it, but it hasn’t gone far and will be part of the conversation as an additional revenue stream for the next biennium. Brouillard suggests rather than taxing gasoline to tax miles due to the number of electric vehicles in Ashland. Borgerson and Brouillard discuss.
Commission discusses a residential parking permit implemented over two years ago across from the library on Gresham and wonders if there have been complaints. Fleury states he’s not heard of any after some initial problems but will reach out to Diamond Parking to gather information and bring it back to the Commission.
Borgerson inquires as to what the requirements are for parking in new developments, Fleury explains that some developments receive credits during the planning process for on street parking, but that it’s the Planning department’s purview.
FUTURE AGENDA TOPICS
Clay Street Jurisdictional Transfer
Bus Pass Program
ADJOURNMENT: @ 7:53pm
- Traffic Calming Program: Fleury stated he received an application for Terrace street between Loop Road and Holly. City collected speed and volume information from two places along the road. It did not show speeding overall; accident record data didn’t indicate accident history in the area. The applicant requested a second study, which was performed but showed no significant difference in data. Phase one was followed through, including distribution of street signs provided to applicant. Officer Steve MacLennan (not present) relayed to Fleury previously that he’d been informed of drivers who were flagged down and felt accosted by residents of the neighborhood and accused of speeding, when they were not. Fleury indicates he will be providing more information in writing about the complaint and data collected.
Permit Technician-Engineering and Public Works