Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Monday, April 20, 2015

                                             MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
Monday, April 20, 2015
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room. 
Councilor Morris, Marsh, Rosenthal, Voisin, Seffinger, and Lemhouse were present.      
1.         Public Input (15 minutes maximum)  
Huelz Gutcheon/2253 Highway 99/Spoke on the transportation safety index.  He divided transportation into five sections, transportation, recreation, and exercise, socialize, and spiritualize, and described the first four.  Traveling in Ashland without a safety container presented 1.3 million likelihood of incurring body mutilation of some degree compared to a safety container person traveling at 25 miles per hour.  However, fossil fuel carbons were killing the planet.  This presented the fifth category of spiritual transportation also known as “do no harm.”  People could drive electric cars instead, learn about climate repair, attain jobs that repair the climate, and have a life. This was not an easy task.
2.         Look Ahead review
City Administrator Dave Kanner reviewed items on the Look Ahead.
3.   Pavement management strategy
Public Works Director Mike Faught explained funding for street maintenance was a problem nationwide.  A 2007 Council Communication indicated the City was $2,000,000 short regarding street funds annually.  In 2009, staff recommended a pavement management strategy that focused on slurry seals and overlays versus expensive reconstructs.  Pavement life cycle was 20 years.  If no maintenance occurred, the street would require a reconstruct year 25.  An overlay every 15 years extended road life and kept costs down.  Slurry seal was a treatment that substantially extended residential roads if done every 25 years.  Crack sealing and base repair prevented water from getting into the sub grade.  Slurry seal provided a new riding surface and added time to the life of residential roads.  The Street Department did not have sufficient staff and needed four temporary employees for six months to prepare roads for slurry seal. 
The cost per mile for slurry seal was $28,000, or $3 per square yard.  Slurry seal did not provide structure. Overlays brought structure and extended road life.  Staff usually relied on visual to determine the pavement condition index (PCI).  This year they hired a company to measure movement and take core samples on arterials and collectors.  Utility Technician Steve Burkhalter passed around core samples and explained the damage incurred from water seeping through asphalt cracks.
Cost to maintain the system with overlays every 15 years was $128,000,000.  Reconstructing was $285,000,000 and entailed tearing the streets down to the base and fixing possible structural issues.  The goal was rebuild on the value of the PCI.
Mr. Faught had not received many complaints on the utility cuts and repairs.  The slurry seal should not create settling.   Staff prioritized overlays first to effectively use available funds.  They would look at other funding options for roads on the reconstruct list.  Staff would bring funding strategies to Council in October.  Siskiyou Boulevard and Ashland Street were eligible to receive possible grant money and subsequently not on the list. 
The City currently had a street user fee methodology not based on trip generation.  Hansford Economic Consulting recommended implementing trip generation rates using customer classes indentified in the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Manual.
Staff confirmed the City did not maintain unpaved roads.  Paving gravel roads required neighbors forming a Local Improvement District (LID).
Mr. Faught would research and bring back information regarding a Council suggestion for a fee structure based on geography that charged people who lived further away from the downtown core a higher rate.  The Public Works Department updated their budget to include the four temporary employees and increased the slurry seal fund from $100,000 to $200,000.
4.   Downtown parking and multi-modal transportation ad-hoc committee update
Public Works Director Mike Faught explained that staff had hired a new parking consultant, Rick Williams, to complete the plan and help the Downtown Parking and Multi-Modal Transportation ad-hoc Committee with the final stages.  The Street Fund would pay the $35,000 to cover consultant costs.  It would cost $32,000 for architectural renderings of the downtown study area.
The Committee proposed going from three lanes to two lanes on East Main Street, adding a bike lane and truck loading zones.  The proposal included a state recommendation to remove the traffic light at Helman Street.  It would also eliminate 21 parking spaces including those in front of Brothers Restaurant.  The plan placed new traffic lights at Oak Street and Main Street as well as Oak Street and Lithia Way for pedestrian traffic.  The signals would synchronize with other lights on each street.  The proposal would establish truck-loading zones, one per block on both sides of the road until 4:00 p.m. when the area became parking.  This would increase sidewalk area up to three feet in certain areas.  Trucks could also use side streets as loading zones if needed.
The Public Works Department hired Traffic Engineer Kim Parducci to review downtown transportation.  The Committee struggled with additional parking structures versus distribution.  Mr. Williams would help resolve those issues.  Next steps included the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) State Transportation Program (STP) process.  The City hired Al Densmore of John Watt Associates to assist with funding and lobbying that would cost $2,500 a month.   
Meeting adjourned at 6:40 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,                                
Dana Smith
Assistant to the City Recorder

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