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Agendas and Minutes

Transportation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street




Attendees: Tom Burnham, Eric Heesacker (Chair), Steve Ryan, Julia Sommer,

                  Colin Swales, Brent Thompson

Absent:      Matt Warshawsky, David Young

Ex Officio Members:  Larry Blake, Brandon Goldman,

Staff Present:  Mike Faught, Steve MacLennan, Jim Olson, Nancy Slocum


I.                CALL TO ORDER: 6:03 PM by Chair Eric Heesacker.


II.              APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Minutes of October 21, 2010 approved as clarified.


III.            PUBLIC FORUM:

Corinne Vieville was in the audience. She had applied for the Commission vacancy. Olson explained the mix up with Council Communication dates. The City Council would not make a final decision about the vacancy until their December 7th meeting.



Chair Heesacker added “Bike Parking Survey Recommendation” as Action Item C. and “Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) Conference Letter of Interest” as Action Item D. Sommer asked that Non Action Item D. be amended to include “Commissioner Attendance.”


V.              ACTION ITEMS:

  1. Crosswalk on East Main Street at California Street

Olson reviewed the staff report. Regina Ayars suggested the intersection of East Main Street and the bike path be realigned to allow for better driver visibility of pedestrians. The intersection was reviewed two years ago when the rail crossing was reconstructed. Due to the angle of the Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad tracks, the intersection of East Main Street and California Street was skewed approximately 45 degrees. Both the northerly section of California Street and the Central Ashland Bike Path parallel the railroad right of way. There have been no accidents since the reconstruction or any observed or reported problems. Pedestrians and bicyclists crossing East Main are generally mindful of vehicles and usually come to a full stop before crossing. Drivers have a wide scope of visibility and are also watchful.


Regina Ayars, 199 Hillcrest, thanked staff. She brought the issue forward from a driver’s point of view. She was concerned about the angle of the crosswalk. Her personal observations showed that pedestrians and bicyclists do not stop although they are required to do so.


Burnham acknowledged this difficult intersection and the responsibility of each individual for their personal safety; however, he thought the signage at this intersection could be improved.


Motion and Vote:

Burnham moved to accept staff’s recommendation to make no changes to the crosswalk and to increase the size of the stop signs on the bike path at this intersection. In addition recommended the police department monitor the intersection to enforce the need for pedestrians and bicyclists to stop. Swales seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


  1. Mid-Block Crosswalk on South Mountain Avenue

Staff reported that Larry Blake, SOU Campus Planning and Sustainability Officer, requested a marked mid-block crosswalk on South Mountain Avenue between Ashland Street and Henry Street. The crosswalk would be an extension of the main walkway servicing the SOU theater and music buildings. Staff noted a similar request in 2004 nearer the Music Building that was denied. This proposed crosswalk location had high vehicle visibility because of a 720’ long block and he recommended approval if passive pedestrian protections such as curb bump-outs were installed. The cost would be approximately $4,000.


Larry Blake introduced Chris Sackett, Theatre Arts Professor. Blake reported that additional parking lot lighting would be installed adjacent to Mountain Avenue. He noted that users of the proposed crosswalk would likely be older theatre goers. He agreed with Staff’s recommendation and referred to the university master plan’s goal to make the Mountain Avenue entrance a “gateway.”


Sackett noted over 15,000 theatre patrons the previous year of which approximately 80% would use the parking lot.


Burnham suggested a raised (table) crosswalk with additional signage. Olson said the cost would increase to approximately $15,000.  


Swales said that as most users of the crosswalk would be at night, adequate pedestrian-focused lighting was needed. Ryan was in favor of a crosswalk that could be upgraded at a later date.


Motion and Vote:

Sommer moved to approve staff’s recommendation to install a 10’ wide continental-style crosswalk at the proposed location on South Mountain that included curb bump-outs on both sides of the street with standard access ramps. The cost of the crosswalk would be shared with SOU. In addition staff would pursue a raised crosswalk with pedestrian-scaled lighting. Swales seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


  1. Bike Parking Survey Recommendation

Olson acknowledged Burnham’s draft bicycle parking survey. He recommended forwarding the final version to the TSP Update consultants (Kittelson and Associates) for input. Burnham agreed and asked the Commission to forward edits to Slocum by December 1st. Staff would then forward to the consultants.


D.  Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) Conference Letter of Interest

Nathan Broom from RVTD forwarded a call for letters of interest from the APBP. He asked the Commission to consider hosting a future APBP Professional Development Seminar. Olson noted a December 3, 2010 deadline. The venue should hold 200-400 people and as Ashland Hill’s Inn convention center closed, SOU may be the only viable venue. Olson noted that Staff hosted a public works conference and found it labor intensive. Sommer reviewed the requirements and found Ashland lacking in several points. Swales said the conference would be beneficial to businesses and thought there would be a lot of community interest.


Motion and Vote:

Sommer moved to not pursue the APBP Conference Letter of Interest. Thompson seconded the motion. The motion failed three votes to three.


Motion and Vote:

Swales moved to direct Staff to apply for the APBP Conference Letter of Interest for September, 2015. Burnham seconded the motion and it passed four votes to two.




  1. Bike Parking and Rack Design

Burnham and Ryan summarized the Subcommittee’s study session on bike parking and bike rack design. Ann Seltzer also attended the Subcommittee meeting.


After the meeting Faught, Burnham and Sommer visited the owner of the Outdoor Store on Third Street. They asked him about the possibility of installing on-street bike parking adjacent to his business thus replacing a 15 minute space. His first response was negative, but then turned neutral. Commission asked staff to follow up with owner.



Burnham moved to adopt list outlined in the November 4, 2010 Subcommittee minutes as a “Draft Bike Parking Policy.” Ryan seconded the motion. Sommer thought the policy was not yet ready. Burnham withdrew motion.


Swales thought businesses might be willing to pay for racks as a form of advertisement. He wanted more variation of design and thought the planning requirements should be incorporated into the final policy.


  1. A Street Sharrow Designation

Olson reviewed the email from Kittelson and Associates included in the packet regarding the Commission’s request to install sharrows on A Street. Kittelson’s sub-consultant, Alta, was willing to research the request in the next few months.


  1. Roundabout Video

Commissioners were invited to watch the ten minute video sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration immediately after the meeting was adjourned.


  1. Commission Vacancy / Commissioner Attendance

Sommer expressed concern about the number of Commissioner absences. Thompson thought all the Commissioners were motivated and said the measure of concern could be measured by whether or not the meeting was harmed by the absences. Heesacker observed that only one meeting was cancelled due to lack of a quorum. He thought that satisfactory.


Swales announced he would be out of the country from December to April. He sent a letter to Mayor Stromberg offering his resignation. He had not yet received an answer.


  1. Truck Parking Ordinance Review

Olson noted that this item was for information only. Ryan said this ordinance seemed unique in that it concentrated on what the public must do. Heesacker had seen similar language elsewhere. Swales noted that this ordinance had not yet been enforced.


F.  MPO Update

As Councilor Chapman was absent, this Item was tabled.


  1. Planning Commission Update

Swales reported on one Planning Commission agenda item that might affect public parking, the rezoning of a portion of Winburn Way.



Olson reviewed future Commission meetings. On Wednesday, December 8, 2010 the TSP consultants were hosting Public Workshop #2 – Pedestrian Places. The Meeting would be held at 7:00 PM in the Commons room at the Ashland Middle School, 100 Walker Avenue. The next TSP joint meeting was scheduled for Thursday, January 20, 2011, the same date as the regular Commission meeting (the TAC meeting would be the same day). Olson recommended cancelling the Commission’s regular meeting. Commission agreed. The Commission would next meet on December 16, 2010, then February 17, 2011.


In addition, Olson reported no agenda items for December’s Subcommittee meeting therefore the next Subcommittee meeting would be Thursday, January 6, 2011.


VIII.       ADJOURN:  8:03 PM


Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Slocum, Accounting Clerk I


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