June 5, 2015
The downtown beautification project on Lithia Way between Oak and Pioneer Streets is substantially complete. Still remaining to be done is the installation of a Sternberg pedestrian light (and hanging flower baskets) in the spot where a bollard is temporarily protecting the pedestal upon which that lamp post will sit. That should be done in the next week or two. There are many, many City staffers who worked quickly and diligently to pull this off, in particular Bill Miller (irrigation system), Dan Merrill (trees and landscaping plants), Brad Barber (bid documents), Dave Tygerson (lighting conduit and equipment), Dan Gunter (signs) and Morgan Wayman (project management). A tip of the hat as well to the owner of the gas station property, Greg Bailey, who granted us a no-cost easement to allow for the work to be done properly.
The State Historic Preservation Office has given its official concurrence (a finding of ďno adverse effectď) to the Cityís plans to replace the Pioneer Mike statue with a bronze replica.
Although we arenít directly involved with Sustainable Valley Technology Groupís BASE Camp program, Ashland has been a supporter of SVTG over the years and itís worth noting that both winners of the 2015 BASE Camp for Students program are from Ashland. Click here to read more on the SVTG web site.
Public Works Department
Every year when the weather begins to warm up and dry out, the Street Division of the Public Works Department gears up to repaint the road stripes, crosswalks and curbs in town. This year, the crew began getting things ready a couple weeks ago and thanks to warmer and drier temperatures, the paint crew has been out in force. The recent rain meant starting a little later than in years past but there should still be adequate time to complete most of the necessary painting.
The painting crew is typically made up of one or two permanent employees and two or three seasonal employees. The actual painting of the road is handled by a permanent member of staff, while the remaining crew members are responsible for traffic control and cleanup. As safety is our highest priority, both for our crews and anyone else in the area, crews put out signs and cones to alert people to activities and, of course, wet paint.
The paint used is designed for roadways and holds up to traffic remarkably well. It is applied using a machine which has paint storage tanks for both yellow and white paint and separate airless spray systems for each. In addition to the paint, it also sprays glass beads into the wet paint for reflectivity and increased nighttime visibility. The beads are clear glass, roughly the size of sand particles, and become permanently embedded in the dried paint. They are why lines and stripes look like they are glowing in a carís headlights.
In some of the most high-wear areas, crews use a product called thermoplastic. This is much more durable than paint, but itís also much more expensive and time consuming to install. The thermoplastic is a product that sticks to asphalt when heated. Typically, itís used for crosswalks and is applied with heat from propane torches. The thermoplastic is much thicker than paint and will hold up for months or years, whereas paint might only last weeks or a few months. If you see Public Works crews using large torches, they are installing thermoplastic.
In a normal year, paint crews will apply yellow paint to about 80,000 feet of curb and about 60,000 feet of lines. As for white paint, they will paint center lines, fog lines and bike lane lines totaling around 130,000 feet. They also apply between 8,000 and 9,000 feet of thermoplastic.
The Public Works Department frequently hears concerns regarding excessive buildup of yellow paint on our curbs. The Department agrees that this is a problem, as do other cities, without any great solution. The biggest problem is some of the paint on these curbs is decades old and may be lead based. Crews canít scrape the paint without exposing the lead based paint and creating a hazardous situation. Public Works would like to find a contractor capable of sandblasting the curbs and recovering everything thatís removed. Unfortunately, they know of contractors who do that on flat surfaces but have been unable to find anyone equipped for the complex angles created by curbs.
APD sent Detective John Perrone out on Sunday with the Major Assault & Death Investigation Unit (MADIU) for Medfordís officer involved shooting. The MADIU team is an extremely tenured group and was an excellent experience for Detective Perrone, as he is still a relatively new detective.
This week APD received three positive write-ups this week:
3) Officer Phil Gray & CSO Kip Keeton received a wonderful compliment from a citizen for the way they handled a dead animal call in a citizenís backyard. The citizen said they were both warm and compassionate and that their ďrole model of kindness is so heartwarming.Ē
Board and Commission Updates
The Tree Commission last night heard the Cityís application for a tree removal permit for the cottonwood tree at 380 Clay Street (the affordable housing project) and unanimously voted to recommend denial. A couple of commissioners explained their vote by stating that the City hasnít done enough to identify alternative sites for affordable housing. The application is scheduled to be heard by the Planning Commission on June 23rd.