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Transportation Commission

Minutes
Thursday, November 14, 2013

ASHLAND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION

MINUTES

NOVEMBER 14, 2013

 

CALL TO ORDER:  Chair David Young called the meeting to order at 6:06 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

 

Commissioners Present:  Joe Graf, Corinne Viťville, Shawn Kampmann, Craig Anderson, David Chapman and David Young

Ex officio Present:  Steve MacLennan

Staff Present:  Scott Fleury, Mike Faught and Tami De Mille-Campos

Council Liaison Not Present:  Carol Voisin

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

None

 

CONSENT AGENDA

A.  Approval of Minutes

October 24, 2013 - Unanimous approval as corrected:

 

         Commissioner Anderson stated that his main concerns are what this is going to cost, how it will be paid for, how we can ensure that East Main is going to function acceptably, that connectivity will be consistent with adopted [objectives] objections, and that [existing] residents wonít be asked to pay for the impacts. He would like this to be provided prior to the special meeting.

 

         Viťville/Chapmann m/s to [recommend] amend that ODOT conduct a speed study on Ashland Street. Graf, Viťville, Anderson, Chapman and Young YES; Kampmann NO. Motion Passes.

 

         Commissioner Chapman stated that he doesnít like how this process occurred. He doesnít see why the connection should be made by Grace church. He does think that Normal Ave. should connect to East Main Street though. He thinks there should only be three access points on East Main. He likes shared roads and thinks maybe [Normal Ave.] Ashland Street should be a shared street. He thinks itís important to make the rail connection to Normal Ave., at least for bicyclists/pedestrians. He said he doesnít really see people using this for cut through traffic.

 

PUBLIC FORUM

None

 

ACTION ITEMS

A.   Normal Avenue Neighborhood Plan (Continuation)

Ann Sylvester; Traffic Engineer/Transportation Planner with SCJ Alliance joined the meeting via conference call.

 

Brandon Goldman noted this is a continuation of the previous two Transportation Commission (TC) meetings which were held on September 26, 2013 and October 24, 2013. He noted public testimony was provided at both meetings and additional public input was distributed to the commission in their meeting packet. The revised traffic report dated November 12, 2013 was emailed to the commission prior to the meeting. During a two hour peak pm period traffic counts and an analysis of the turning movements were conducted at the intersection of East Main Street at the drive way that serves the school bus turn around/Grace Point Church. Traffic counts/analysis of turning movements were also conducted for Clay Street/Ashland Street and Ashland Street/Tolman Creek Drive. Access control points, traffic volumes were questioned by the Commissioners and those were answered in figure 11 of the provided traffic analysis. A few key conclusions from the report include: All 8 evaluated intersections are currently within their acceptable mobility standards and are expected to continue to meet those standards even after full build out. Normal Avenue would carry about 1200 Average Daily Trips (ADT) per day which is lower than the range of volume for an avenue. The report notes improvements to East Main Street. The report also included a speed zone study request to ODOT in order to look at reducing the speed limit on East Main Street. 

 

 Michael Dawkins (Planning Commissioner) is in attendance tonight to act as a liaison to the planning commission.

 

Bryce Anderson, 2092 Creek Drive. His house is located directly across the street from the parcel that will likely be developed first and may be the only one developed for a substantial length of time. He would like the Commission to take into account that this parcel with the highest density is going to likely be the first one developed and the citizens will have to live with that. Any plan should take that aspect into account. It is going to create a big increase in traffic coming onto East Main Street. Another concern is how much control the City has over the development of East Main, specifically in regards to the portion which is under County jurisdictions. They feel that there needs to be a significant amount of improvements made to this stretch of East Main before this development is doable. He also doesnít feel like stop signs are enough to slow the traffic down for vehicles turning onto East Main.  

 

Chair person Young reminded the group that this is the third meeting regarding Normal Avenue and the group is tasked with looking at the transportation aspect of this master plan and advise the Planning Commission on the Transportation Commissionís recommendation.  

 

Commissioner Kampmann is concerned about East Main Street. He feels like there are too many proposed access points onto East Main Street between Clay Street and Walker. He feels that there should be one extension of Normal Street approximately half way between Clay and Walker and then in the high density area to the Northeast have that traffic routed onto Clay Street. This way they are exiting onto Clay and you have one new entrance instead of three onto East Main.  He thinks they need to limit the access points.

 

Chair person Young pointed out to the Commission that this isnít a project; the transportation element isnít a build out all at once.

 

Commissioner Anderson spoke to the charrette process. Residents would like to see the rural area preserved as it is and they donít want to suffer the effects of cut through traffic. He feels like the design that came out of the cherette process reflects the objectives of those that live around there and will be experiencing the impacts. Most of these residents purchased that property and built on that property long before the City included this as part of the Urban Growth Boundary and long before Normal Avenue was planned to be extended. He hoped anyone that purchased after that did their due diligence. He is concerned that all city residents will be on the hook for the future infrastructure costs. He stated that people living in the County arenít currently paying street user fees but they do use City streets. The residents in this area want minimal traffic to go through their neighborhood but they are asking existing Ashland residents to help pay for a good portion of the infrastructure. Adopted plans show signalized intersections at Normal and Hwy. 66, a railroad crossing at Normal Ave., millions of dollars worth of projects on East Main Street, a new intersection at Tolman Creek/East Main. The Traffic Consultant has recommended that no improvements are necessary at the Normal Ave rail crossing. He is concerned about that recommendation. There are no signalized intersections being planned at Hwy 66 or East Main. There is no discussion about how much it is going to cost to bring East Main up to urban standards but that will certainly be required for this scale of development. All of these projects together are not going to be affordable by these developers so that cost is going to be passed onto existing residents. He feels that if the residents of Ashland are being asked to help pay for the infrastructure then these are streets that everyone should be able to use. He stated that interconnectivity is an objective of the TSP and he stated it seems that this was neglected or played down during the charrette process. He addressed one of Kampmannís concerns; he thinks Normal Avenue needs to be a collector with a signal. It is currently designed to limit traffic and discourage cut through traffic. If that is done then it is questionable to him as to whether the other connections to East Main are necessary. Regarding cost he would prefer to see a minimalist approach. He thinks that the developers should be paying a substantial portion of these costs.

 

Ann Sylvester stated that they did look at signal warrants on Normal/Ashland Street. She spoke to the fact that they did look at the Railroad crossing. If it was made into a public crossing then the City may want to look at the signal warrants at that point and a signal may be warranted. At other intersections the traffic counts indicate that they do not warrant signalized intersections.

 

Commissioner Anderson asked if the traffic counts were higher because it was changed to a residential collector and reducing the number of connections onto East Main then would it warrant a signal. Ann said it is possible under that scenario. ODOT ran the computerized model and it didnít attract a lot of through traffic.

 

Commissioner Graf pointed out that the existing Normal Avenue likely wonít be completed until current property owners sell their property and then new owners purchase those pieces of property and request annexation. He sees this as them deciding the proper traffic flow to get traffic in and out of the area that is likely to be developed on the eastern side and the western side would likely be put off for awhile. He likes the plan to improve East Main but is unsure of how it would be paid for it. He stated it is hard for him to see a better plan to organize these streets to develop that eastern area. On the Western side he is concerned with sending the traffic by the school instead of making the option to connect Normal Avenue straight through.

 

Commissioner Vieville stated that she thinks you would need more connections to East Main Street with the high density development that is likely to occur first; otherwise you would have traffic backups.     

 

Commissioner Chapman stated he has been thinking about the potential rail road crossing issue. Right now it is a private crossing; private crossings are only allowed when it is landlocked. His concern is if we are unable to convert it to a public crossing then we could lose that crossing altogether which could affect the interconnectivity.

 

Faught stated he spoke to ODOT rail during the TSP process regarding the conversion from private to public and what he heard from them is that it is not uncommon to see a private crossing converted to a public crossing.

 

Goldman stated that the plan was developed in two phases. Phase one being the East side of the property, phase two being the West side of the property. The road network as presented could be developed without connecting to the rail crossing or existing Normal at phase one and enable the development of everything that is to the East of the new Normal Avenue. During phase 2 a railroad crossing would be necessitated in order for the full Normal Ave. connection

 

Chair person Young stated he was glad the phasing was brought up and it leads to the fact that it is feasible to do this incrementally. There is already a lot of interest in phase one. The traffic engineers report shows that the conditions will be adequate under the phasing. He stated that we donít know what the railroad will do at this time but it sounds like thatís not an issue right now. He spent the last three weeks teaching at the Middle school and has spent a fair amount of time out there during the day and has been very observant of that road. He stated that except during school start/end times the road is essentially empty. When phase 2 happens he has no objection to that connection being made at East Main.

 

Commissioner Kampmann stated that right now East Main has a sixty foot right of way under County jurisdiction. If it is improved to urban standards the proposed plan has a substantially wider right of way.

 

Faught stated that if annexation does happen that section of East Main would become City jurisdiction and would be built to City standards. Fleury ran estimates on the ĺ street improvements (from Walker to Clay) and the baseline estimate was right around 2 million without any traffic controls. Faught stated that the cost is development driven. This is a benefit to the community as a whole. A portion of the costs should be added to the TSP and then added to the SDC piece and the advanced financing tool is also available for the development driven improvement costs.

 

Commissioner Anderson asked about the E. Nevada Street extension project which the City is applying for state funding for. He asked if Mountain Meadows paid any SDC money towards that project.

 

Faught stated that we just found out that the City lost that funding. He stated that it has been in the TSP for quite some time and he would have to go back and look to see if that was included in the SDCís. 

 

Commissioner Anderson stated that the 2013 RTP shows that the Normal Avenue extension estimated cost is 5.9 million dollars.  Part of the concern is that phase one is the high density and that development doesnít seem to be paying for that.

 

Goldman noted that the TSP shows the estimate for Normal Avenue (project # R19) shows an estimate of 2.7 million with the Rail Road issue separate. Faught stated that he would have to go back and see why those figures donít match because we provided the data for the RTP.

 

Faught would recommend the advanced financing tool for the improvements. His initial look at this is that Normal Avenue should be a straight shot through like a collector should be. After a meeting with the Planning department they explained they looked at the likelihood of development occurring and planned accordingly. He liked how the transportation piece mirrored the density. He also liked the location of the entrances onto East Main. He liked that the design creates traffic calming. He worries about Normal Avenue being a straight through connection because thatís what people will use it for. He sees that the middle school multi modal connection is very important. He likes the idea that the new Normal Street meanders over following the high density.

 

The Commission brainstormed other street connection alternatives and the possibility of incorporating roundabouts instead of 90 degree turns. The Commission has concerns with the street locations particularly in phase two.

 

Goldman stated that they can look at alternate connections to East Main but ultimately it comes down to what development is applying for annexation.

 

Chair person Young recommended that the commission may want to look at the plan in terms of phases in order to get some motions on the table.

 

Commissioner Kampmann stated that he is a little reluctant to use Planningís phase one and phase two as a basis for where development will occur first.

 

Goldman stated that it is likely that development will occur the way they have it laid out based on the receptivity of the current property owners but that very well may not be how the requests come in for annexation.

 

Commissioner Graf m/s to recommend phase one of the transportation plan as presented in zones A, B, C, D, E & F. Motion died for a lack of a second.

 

Commissioner Kampmann m/s to recommend keeping the plan as presented except eliminate the 2 northerly connections onto East Main. Motion died for a lack of a second.

 

Commissioners Anderson/Chapman m/s to make the Normal Avenue connection from Ashland Street, over the public railroad crossing, and connecting to East Main. It would terminate somewhere within phase 1, reducing the number of connections onto East Main. Motion withdrawn.

Discussion: Ann Sylvester pointed out that the 90 degree turns are presented as a general idea and when theyíre built out they could be more gradual in nature. It is just a general orientation.

 

Faught spoke to the fact that there seems to be a lot of concern about having multiple connections onto East Main. He pointed out that Ann Sylvester has analyzed these connections and they are not unsafe. He stated that they try to design the road system in a grid system so people can take alternate routes and not put all the traffic onto one road.

 

Commissioner Anderson stated that he spent some time on Google Earth and particularly in the Netherlands. He said that is where the woonerfs originated. He feels the Netherlands arguably do the best job of planning their transportation in regards to multi modal design. They have grid patterns with high capacity streets every five hundred feet and then they have woonerfs in between. He thinks that Normal Avenue is the logical spine for this design and he feels that once that is done we will see that a signalized intersection at East Main and at Ashland Street will be warranted. He said that accidents are more likely to occur at intersections and that additional intersections should be limited. He also feels like it is important to include the public rail crossing within phase one so that traffic patterns arenít established around the crossing and potentially negatively impacting the rail road crossingís possibility of becoming a public crossing. He would like to see Normal Avenue as a through street between Ashland Street and East Main and that the crossing is completed in phase one. He understands that the connection requirement canít be made within phase one and withdraws his motion.

 

Commissioner Kampmann stated that you canít make that requirement unless you get all of the property owners to agree to annex at the same time.           

 

Faught explained that this is a plan for the whole area as it develops in piecemeal. Every time a development comes in we canít make them build Normal Street all the way through, there has to be a clear nexus between their development and your required construction of infrastructure. You canít make them build more than you can justify and this is why we want to do this plan. This is a plan in piecemeal format that the developers will follow.

 

Commissioner Chapman stated that he thinks C, D, and E shouldnít have to pay for the collector. A, and B should have to pay for a part of the collector and the railroad crossing. It was also noted that the SDCís donít come close to paying for it.

                                                               

Commissioners Kampmann/Vieville m/s to extend the new Normal Avenue from the  East Main, as the only vehicular connection to East Main (between Clay and Walker), following the alignment as shown on figure 11 with the modification of it continuing North instead of going East across the Creek. Kampmann YES; Graf, Viťville, Anderson, Chapman and Young NO. Motion Fails.

Discussion: Anderson likes the motion and agrees with the idea of limiting connections to East Main but feels that there needs to be a connection near the original plan. Chapman agrees with minimizing the connections to East Main but some of these zones would be isolated until further development occurs and if that did occur then the plan would need to go through an amendment process. He feels that there should be minimal connections but not zero connections. Vieville has concern with the potential that the rail crossing may not become a public crossing. Chair Young feels that there has been a lot of thought given to this plan and process. He doesnít think the amounts of connections are excessive. It isnít a perfect plan but the plan is good enough and provides connectivity. Graf canít support the motion because he feels that the collector needs to go through the high density. Commissioner Vieville called for the vote.

 

Commissioners Graf/Vieville m/s to approve the transportation plan as specified in figure 11. Vieville, Graf, Young YES; Chapman, Anderson and Kampmann NO. Motion Fails.

Discussion: Young stated he supports the motion. Anderson said he thought he had read that Normal Avenue wouldnít be a collector as part of this plan. Faught explained that the reason is because of the average vehicle trips per day. It is being proposed that it be reclassified to a neighborhood collector.  Faught asked Ann ďIf Normal Avenue went through the rail road crossing all the way to East Main would the ADT be over 3,000 trips per dayĒ? Ann Sylvester expects that it still would be below 3,000 based on the overall trip generation. Planning Commissioner Dawkins informed the group that he understand the Commissionís overall concerns and is prepared to relay the concerns to the Planning Commission. He reminded the group that they also have to deal with what the neighborhood wants to feel like. He cautioned them with trying to channel off a lot of the traffic onto Clay. He stated that it is something that the Planning Commission wouldnít support.      

 

Commissioner Vieville left the meeting at 8:35 pm.

 

Commissioner Chapman doesnít really see a way to resolve it. He thinks Michael Dawkins is right, heís seen the flavor. He said there are a lot of things that he canít support in this plan.

 

Commissioner Kampmann feels that the commission has a job to try to come up with something to recommend to the Planning Commission.

 

Commissioner Anderson stated that he appreciates the comments regarding shuffling the traffic off onto Clay Street. He thinks they are attempting to shuffle cars through this network thatís going to spill out onto East Main Street without really considering the impacts to East Main Street. He is concerned with the way that the plan has been structured. He feels like the plan is trying to shuffle the traffic impacts onto East Main Street. He is also concerned with the cost of completing the project and doesnít feel that the developers will be covering the costs of this plan.

The Commission worries that the group is unable to come to a consensus on any plan.

 

Faught stated that if the commission needs more time to make a decision they have that option. They are not forced to make a recommendation tonight.

 

Chair Young feels that they are being asked to exceed their scope on the Transportation commission to essentially become Planners and Designers to an unreasonable expectation. He feels that if they had been included earlier in the process they could have responded differently.

 

Commissioner Kampman m/s to approve the plan with only one connection to East Main through the development between the rail road tracks and East Main. Motion Withdrawn.

 

Commissioners Anderson/Graf m/s to approve the transportation plan as presented with the two vehicular proposed street connections on the West and East side of the new Normal Avenue eliminated, leaving only one vehicular connection to East Main Street. Anderson, Graf, Kampmann YES; Chapman, Young NO. Motion passes.

Discussion: Graf has some concern with the far west side not having any connection except the rail road tracks which might not be that bad.

 

Commissioner Chapman pointed out that there could be changes dependant on how annexation requestís and development proposals come in.

 

Faught stated that now the City will have the traffic engineer look at the motion and look at the impacts of the motion.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned at 8:49 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Tami De Mille-Campos, Administrative Assistant

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