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Transportation Commission Meeting Agenda & Minutes - May 22, 2019
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
May 22, 2019 – 12:30pm
Lausmann Annex, 200 S. Ivy Street Medford, OR
The regular meeting of the Transportation Commission was called to order at 12:37 p.m.
10. Roll Call
Al Densmore, Chair
Dennie Conrad, Vice Chair
Kay Brooks, Alternate Council Liaison
Eric Zimmerman, Deputy City Manager
Cory Crebbin, Public Works Director
Alex Georgevitch, Deputy Public Works Director / City Engineer
Karl MacNair, Transportation Manager
Kyle Kearns, Planner II
Bonnie Glidewell, Recording Secretary
20. Citizen Communications: None.
30. Approval of Minutes: There being no additions or corrections, the minutes for April 24, 2019, were approved as submitted. Commissioner Pulver MOVED and SECONDED by Commissioner Conrad.
40. Agenda Items
40.1 Concurrency Code Amendment: Kyle Kearns, Planner II, gave a PowerPoint presentation on Transportation System Plan (TSP) Code Updates on Concurrency and Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA). He discussed the hearing schedule for presenting to City Council and Planning Commission, next steps, project objectives and the desired outcomes of the Transportation Commission meeting.
Staff is proposing Medford Land Development Code (MLDC) changes that allow for use of the Transportation Planning Rule (TPR) as the determinant of transportation facility adequacy. The changes proposed would allow for developments to include transportation projects, planned for construction by the City or other public agencies, as built projects in future year analysis for TIA’s for development proposals such as a zone change. Benefits of these proposed changes include allowing for the use of planned projects in development proposals, allowing development to proceed prior to transportation improvements being built (good for development), and the changes align with Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) requirements.
Cons of the proposed changes would make it more critical for the City to deliver the planned transportation projects over the 20-year planning period, allowing development to proceed prior to improvements being built (more congestion), and more reliance on a regional traffic model of which the City does not have direct control.
Questions and comments were had along with clarification by Mr. Crebbin of why this came about. Commissioner Pulver asked about planned projects, forecasting and other impactful development and/or traffic flow that would also potentially change the concurrency. He is concerned with a con showing a lot of forecasting is happening and there are many variables that affect the plan as opposed to what is forecasted. He posed the question that if developers bring a plan and do not follow that plan, how does it affect concurrency? Mr. MacNair answered that the change would be that Tier one projects in the TSP would be accounted for.
Mr. Zimmerman asked staff to explain the difference between the new recommendation processes versus how it happens now. Mr. MacNair, explained that it depends on where development actually happens compared to what is modeled and that projects will be built where traffic indicates they are needed. Mr. Crebbin explained that in about 6 years we will be working on the new TSP and will work with the data that is best available at the time, but the numbers are not meant to be stagnant. Amendments will be made if needed for the 20 year plan. Chair Densmore posed the question if staff thought it would create a smoother workflow. Mr. MacNair answered it probably will not turn into a smoother process for staff, but it will be smoother for developers. Mr. Zimmerman asked how it might affect developers and what reasons the Council posed this. What were the reasons that Council brought this up? Councilor Brooks answered that she hears from the public that it would provide more streamlined planning and developing. Mr. Crebbin commented it will contribute to more orderly development due to trip cap stipulations around people wanting to develop their properties. Commissioner Pulver noted that the TSP will likely be visited more than in the past and asked if projects that are not Tier one might fall off, or Tier two projects might move up. Mr. Crebbin noted this may happen. Mr. Kearns noted that the TPR allows for people to apply for changes to the TSP and potentially allow for a change to the comprehensive plan. Chair Densmore asked if we needed more deliberation or not.
MOTION: Recommendation to move this to the Planning Commission.
MOVED by: Commissioner Conrad. SECONDED by Commissioner Schroeder.
MOTION was approved unanimously.
40.2 Funding the Mega-Corridor: Mr. MacNair gave a PowerPoint presentation regarding the Mega-Corridor, which consists of a set of projects that include a South Stage overcrossing, North Phoenix Road and Foothill Road. The goal is to have a recommendation for City Council by July on how to fund these projects. The South Stage overcrossing is the largest project in the group, will include several partners, and will link the eastern expansion areas to the West side.
Chair Densmore asked if it was an overcrossing and Mr. MacNair answered that an interchange would not meet federal spacing standards and thus would require exceptions, making it significantly more expensive.
Mr. Georgevitch noted there will be a meeting with Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) in the next month regarding how to serve Medford’s growth and specifically South Stage. For now the focus of discussion should be on funding rather than design because design will be addressed at another point during the required analysis.
Chair Densmore shared that he thinks this commission needs to start talking about both the interchange and the viaduct and how they might work together. In addition, an overarching plan, due diligence and what federal partners are needed to involve when addressing this to Council. Mr. Crebbin noted the need was not addressed in the Regional Transportation Plan which did not identify a need for a freeway interchange at South Stage. However, the Mega-Corridor will address this alternate route that will alleviate congestion on Barnett Road and the South Medford Interchange (Exit 27). The N. Phoenix / Foothill Corridor will create a viable alternate route to I-5 on the east side of Medford.
Challenges of the South Stage project include cost, a long bridge over I-5 and Bear Creek, environmental impacts, and cooperation with public and private partners for both funding and lobbying efforts. Benefits include serving the South Valley Employment Center (the largest area of developable land in the UGB expansion areas for both cities), alleviate congestion at Exit 27 and Exit 24 by providing an alternate route across the freeway for local trips, strong support from Development Community, and it will provide a new link between the east and west sides of I-5.
Challenges of the N. Phoenix/Foothill Road Corridor include cost, modification of an electrical substation on Lone Pine Road, and project length. The benefits include an alternate route that alleviates congestion on I-5 by removing local trips, improve freight mobility, help with natural disaster / seismic resiliency and jurisdictional support of ODOT, Jackson County, City of Phoenix, and City of Medford.
There is a large funding gap and options include but are not limited to a street utility fee, meals tax, local improvement district, gas tax, System Development Charge (SDC) surcharge, and per trip fee (city-wide or area specific). SDC and Utility history was provided including the South Medford Interchange and the 17 street project surcharge.
Commissioner Pulver asked how much we have to come up with out of the projected cost, and Mr. Crebbin stated we typically come up with 50 percent, which is matched by the federal government. We would also consider how much ODOT and the City of Phoenix would contribute. Chair Densmore noted the goal deadline of September cannot be reached without creating a working group composed of regional partners and commission members to focus on the proper mix of responsibility. Mr. Zimmerman said City Council would like to know what funding options are favorable before talking about what other stakeholders might be able to assist with funding.
Mr. Georgevitch added that the Council might have certain recommendations such as community outreach and anticipates outreach to residential and commercial builders. For now, the focus is what this commission thinks about the presented funding options, and/or if there are other ideas on how to fund this project. This commission may also need to come up with an analysis for each option and the anticipated amount to be generated. Chair Densmore agreed, however wants to build defensible conversation regarding which option we might move forward with. Commissioner Conrad asked if a sensitivity analysis could be done for each funding option and Mr. Georgevitch and Mr. Zimmerman agreed.
Commissioner Jordan noted that this should be approached it in a manner that would separate each project within this entire Mega-Corridor project rather than one big one. Commissioner Pulver asked for a summary of each congested area affected and where these commuters are traveling to and from, which will help to make a better informed decision. Chair Densmore noted this will be something to come back to.
50. Other Business: None.
60. Planning and Public Works Department Updates
Mr. Kearns shared that the Development Code Amendment related to legacy streets, the roadway cross-sections and level of service (LOS) was adopted by Council.
70. Comments from Commissioners and Other Committees: Commissioner Schroeder spoke about the Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) meeting and the owner of Front Analytics. They have offered to measure analytics and gather data for the City, which has been recommended by BPAC. This will be done at no cost to Medford. Chair Densmore asked about the process and Mr. Zimmerman answered that the BPAC committee will be the audience for the results of study.
80. Next Meeting: The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 26, 2019, at 12:30 p.m., and will be in City Hall, Medford Room 330.
90. Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 2:33 p.m.