MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
December 5, 2001 - 3:00 p.m.
Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 3:15p.m.
Councilors present: Laws, Hearn, Morrison, Reid and Hartzell. Councilors Hanson was absent. Staff present: City Administrator Greg Scoles, Public Works Director Paula Brown, and Fire Chief Keith Woodley.
Siskiyou Boulevard Final Design Preview
Public Works Director Paula Brown presented a brief synopsis on the Siskiyou Boulevard Design Preview. Brown reported that W&H Pacific was hired to prepare the final engineering design and to review the current and projected traffic volumes along the Boulevard. W&H Pacific has completed significant analysis and is bringing forward the 35% design for the entire section and some portions of the 60% design along the main section of the Boulevard for the council review.
Brown stated that the final design is on schedule and that staff will be bringing a recommendation for concept approval for both the Hwy66 to Walker section and the intersection of Lithia Way, E. Main and Siskiyou to the council for approval on December 18th. Depending on councils' decision, the design team will continue toward final design and bring the 85-90% design to the community and council for final acceptance in March 2002. Final design details will then be completed so that the project can go to bid in May. Construction is on schedule for mid-July 2002 and completion by December 2003.
Brown reported that staff is confident that the project would be completed within the original $2.2 million estimate and that the consultant team is optimizing the need for structural repairs and asphalt overlay. The consultant team is also looking to retain as much of the existing infrastructure and ensure that all the necessary drainage improvements and ADA requirements are met.
Brown announced that there will be a community-wide Open House on December 6th at Southern Oregon University.
Presentation by W&H Pacific consultant, Claude Saler, included a detailed map of the proposed design on Siskiyou Boulevard. It was noted that there are three distinct areas identified as Historical, University and Business and will be treated as such. Detail and discussion was provided on the proposed changes to the median, sidewalks, access control along with the proposed bike lane, relocation and addition of lighting and two additional signal lights.
Presentation by The Transpo Group consultant, Hicham Chahtilie, included analysis on a proposed roundabout at Lithia & East Main, median extensions and traffic diversions, and Hwy 66 to Walker (5vs3) lanes. He explained that the study was in support of support of the design and is a function of design. Detail and discussion was provided on results of the traffic study conducted on Siskiyou Boulevard, as well as the impact on Siskiyou Boulevard relating to traffic growth versus population growth. Presentation was made with various examples, extending out to the year 2020, and using an active roundabout model, for traffic flow and pedestrian access. Chahtilie indicated that the study indicated that by the year 2020, the roundabout would not work.
Recommendation for the Lithia & East Main intersection, was to simplify the intersection through signalization and by moving existing sidewalks for safer pedestrian usage. Discussion was made on the need for flexibility in redesigning this intersection and taking into consideration resulting impact of traffic flow on side streets. Pedestrian use and access was also considered under various scenarios.
Options were presented and discussed for the Hwy 66 to Walker Street redesign. Discussion and information was provided on the recommendation for two left turns off of Hwy 66. Concerns were noted in regards to pedestrian crossings and problems associated with Indiana Street and Wightman Street access. Discussion and concerns were addressed on the recommendation for two lanes southbound and one lane northbound. It was noted that the recommendation included parking and restricted parking. Concern was raised on safety issues involving access, both on and off this section for pedestrians and autos.
It was noted the importance of educating the neighborhoods on the proposed changes and the challenge to help them understand the whole picture.
Additional discussion and explanation was made for changes in left hand turns and proposed access control by removing current crossovers. It was noted that pedestrian safety was a high priority in design. Brown provided meeting time information for the design committee and business owners.
Meeting was adjourned at 5:10 p.m.