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Traffic Coordinating Committee (View All)

Traffic Coordinating Committee Meeting - February 27, 2020

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Lausmann Annex, Room 151
200 S. Ivy Street, Medford, Oregon
Call to Order 12:00pm

10.   Roll Call
Committee Members Present:
Peggy Penland, Chair
Mike Montero
Susan Tooley for Cheryl Noles
Committee Members Absent:
Cheryl Noles
Jeff Morejohn
Lewis Osborn
Staff Present:
Karl MacNair, Public Works Transportation Manager
Jake Sarver, Public Works Traffic Engineer Geoff Kirkpatrick, Medford City Police Representative Tim Zacha, Public Works Operations Technician
Doug Norman, Public Works Operations Sr. Technician
Debra Royal, Public Works Recording Secretary
Julie Moran, Public Works Administrative Support Technician
Guests Present:
Harry Weiss, Medford Urban Renewal Director
Gwyn Reen, Citizen
20.  Approval or Correction of the Minutes
There being no additions or corrections, the minutes of the January 23, 2020 meeting were approved as submitted.

25.  Consent Calendar
Installation of “City Center” sign was added on 8th at Main St.
On February 26, the Transportation Commission approval the residential 20 MPH allowance with some corrections. This will now become Public Works policy and this Committee will hear the requests for the lowering of the speed limit to 20 MPH.

30.  Agenda Items
            30.1   Middleford Alley and S Bartlett St.
Mayor Gary Wheeler has requested Public Works review the intersection of Middleford Alley and S Bartlett St for pedestrian safety concerns.

Staff Analysis

S Bartlett St. at the intersection of Middleford Alley is a 26-foot wide local street with curb, gutter, sidewalk, and bulb-outs for parking on both sides of the Street. S Bartlett St is ‘T’ intersection with Middleford Alley on the north end. Middleford Alley is a one-way alley used for commercial access. The width varies from approximately 16ft to 23ft.

During the investigation, Public Works noted that there is existing parking structure access taken from Middleford Alley at a location directly across from the termination of the west sidewalk of S Bartlett St. The building at the corner of the alley is a barrier, which blocks sight distance for both the pedestrians on the sidewalk and the drivers in the alley.

Public Works is recommending the placement of a Stop sign on Middleford Alley at S Bartlett. This will cause drivers to slow and stop, which will minimize the conflict between drivers and pedestrians. There is no practical way to create more sight distance given location of the existing building without rebuilding the sidewalk and crossing further east.
Possible Recommendations
Do nothing.
Install Stop Sign on Middleford Alley at S Bartlett St.
Additional alternatives recommended by the Committee.
Committee member Mike Montero supports the recommendation to install a Stop Sign as his personal experience is that the area is dangerous.

Susan Tooley (representing Committee Member Cheryl Noles) agreed that stopping the traffic would make walking to and from the parking structure much safer.

Mr. Montero made a Motion that the Committee recommend to the City that a Stop Sign be installed at Middleford Alley and S. Bartlett St.

The Motion carried unanimously.
30.2      Black Oak and Randolph Crosswalk
Chris Johnson of St. Mary’s School has requested the placement of a crosswalk at the intersection of Black Oak and Randolph.
Staff Analysis

Black Oak is 36 foot wide major collector with curb, gutter, sidewalks and buffered bike lanes on both sides of the street. There is no parking along this section of Black Oak from Barnett to Juanipero.
Randolph is a 36 foot wide standard residential with curb, gutter, sidewalks and parking on both sides of the street.
Public Works has performed a crosswalk treatment analysis at this location as well as a site visit. Upon a site visit 31 pedestrians were counted during the peak hour using the unmarked crosswalk. The analysis that a marked crosswalk is warranted at this location.
Possible Recommendations
Do nothing.
Mark the crossing and install double-sided School Crossing signage.
Alternative recommendations by the Committee.

The Committee discussed the criteria for painting crosswalks. Jake Sarver offered that crosswalks are painted if they fall within a school zone and/or meet the 20 pedestrian threshold during peak hours. This intersection meets the criteria. Chair Peggy Penland’s offered that this Committee had not been using that criteria and that crosswalks in the past were not painted that fit this description. Mr. Montero agreed with Chair Penland and said the in the past Public Works had explained to the Committee that other than manned school crossings and those that are signalized, the crossings were not marked. Jake Sarver clarified that the current policy is to allow painted crossings to fade out unless they meet the 20 minimum crossings by pedestrians in the peak hours or are in a school zone.
Karl MacNair provided the reference for the use of the criteria - NCHRP, the Federal Office of Traffic Research published guidelines.
Chair Penland requested staff to look at the guidelines to be sure, as in the past the Committee rejected the District Attorney’s office for a painted crosswalk.
A Motion was made by Mr. Montero that the Committee ask the City to mark the crossing at Black Oak and Randolph and to install double-sided School Crossing signage. Ms. Tooley Seconded the Motion. The Motion carried unanimously.
30.3   MURA Update
At the January 2020 TCC meeting, Medford Urban Renewal Director Harry Weiss made a presentation regarding MURA’s plans for Liberty Park revitalization. This included instituting a 20 MPH speed limit and the reconfiguration of Riverside and Central Avenues for purposes of traffic calming. Committee members asked that Mr. Weiss return to the February meeting to provide more details. Specifically, TCC wants to hear more about the technical analysis that supports the idea of reducing the two avenues to two lanes.
At the February meeting, Mr. Weiss relayed to the Committee that the Transportation Commission had recommended the adoption of the new Public Works policy that a 20 MPH limit will be supported when it is part of an adopted neighborhood plan approved by Council. On January 16, 2020, Council approved the Liberty Park plan, which includes the 20 MPH speed limit. MURA has funded two additional radar devices other than what Public Works is providing to measure speed in the Liberty Park area and pinpoint where best to do basic traffic calming and help understand where to mitigate cut through traffic.
The proposed lane reduction on Riverside and Central is intended to create more of an urban downtown environment. The segment of Central Avenue to be reconfigured extends from Court/Edwards to Jackson, which serves as an urban gateway from the north. This will enhance pedestrian and bike safety and make a better connection between Liberty Park and downtown. The only intersection affected is Court and Jackson.
[Mr. Weiss provided Technical documents and a PowerPoint presentation to demonstrate his remarks.]
The presentation showed the impacts reducing the lanes would have on travel time, etc. Average vehicle delay increases by 3.4 seconds and the vehicle capacity rises to .56. The standard being .9. Mr. Weiss showed that there is still excess capacity with the two lane configuration. The plan calls for all changes to be made within the exiting curb layout.
The Committee members discussed matters of concern that the two lane configuration and rework of parking spaces creates included: parked cars opening doors into moving traffic lanes and bike lanes, the width of the lanes is too small, street cleaning hindrances, gutter pans, striping for buffer, bus stops, sidewalk widths, freight movement, and ADA issues.
The Committee preferred alternative to relieve bike stress that is completely separated from traffic lanes having bikes protected by gutters. Mr. Weiss conveyed the configuration is parking lane, striped buffer, and bike lane. Mr. Montero suggested that the paint buffer would be a better option to accommodate emergency/disaster evacuations to Highway 99.
Mr. Weiss said he is collecting information from different committees for input at the conceptual level so they can begin work on a specific design and make alterations to the plan to take to the Transportation Commission. Mr. Weiss repeated what he heard are the Committee’s concerns:  room for freight carriers, door swings, and accommodating street sweeping. The members would like Chair Penland to also present their concerns to the Transportation Commission.
40.  Reports
40.1 2020 Making an Impact
50.  Other Business
Mr. Montero announce that the Cities of Medford and Phoenix’s legislative delegation met with representatives from the Federal Economic Development Administration in DC and the Department of Agriculture regarding a study of the Foothills Mega Corridor an S. Stage Extension meeting with for purposes of the entire region’s sustainability.
60.  Transportation Commission Liaison Update
Chair Penland provided a recap of the key matters from the February 26 Transportation Commission meeting.
The Commission unanimously endorsed without modification a new Public Works policy on the process of reviewing requests to implement SB 558, the reduction of speed limits in residential areas to 20 MPH.
The Commission provided recommendations to Council regarding funding for the remainder of the S. Stage / Foothill Mega Corridor projects. The Commission suggested raising SDCs and utility fees and a possible 4 cent gas tax. Council responded positively, but after hearing the recommendations, the Council decided to form a committee to develop some options for polling voters, which is being called the Transportation Funding Advisory Committee’s (TRAFAC).
Those who sit on the TRAFAC include: three Transportation Commissioners, including Chair Penland, a representative from the Medford Chamber of Commerce, and an invitation to join will be forthcoming to the cities of Central Point and Phoenix.
Mr. Montero shared that raising costs on a number of fronts including land, permits, SDCs, and those on fixed incomes is very sensitive. He asked Chair Penland in her capacity as a member of the TRAFAC to take those things into consideration. He agreed that a modest gas tax could survive.
70.   Next Meeting: March 26, 2020
The Committee asked the staff to look at alternate dates for the March meeting as the scheduled March meeting, March 26, falls during Spring Break.
80.  Adjournment: 1:25pm

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