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Transportation Commission Meeting
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Prescott Room, Medford Police Department
219 S. Ivy Street, Medford, OR
Call to Order: 12:35pm
10. Roll Call
Al Densmore, Chair
Dennie Conrad, Vice Chair
Cory Crebbin, Public Works Director
Karl MacNair, Transportation Manager
Debra Royal, Public Works Department
Kyle Kearns, Planning Department
20. Citizen Communications
30. Approval of Minutes from August 26, 2020
There being no additions or corrections, the minutes were approved as presented.
40. Action Items
40.1 Six-Year Transportation Project List
Mr. MacNair reviewed several items: confirmed the task assigned to the Commission by the City Council was to produce a list of top priority recommendations as to what the Commission believes to be important roadway projects for the next six years; the Finance Department reviewed the revenue forecast and the total available funding over the next six years is $12.5M with $9.5M earmarked for the Mega Corridor and the TSP leaving $3M for the other projects the Commission is to consider.
Other changed items on the revenue forecast that Mr. MacNair pointed out are: the use of actual budgeted amounts instead of revenues and expenditures; revised SDC credit amounts to reflect the average of what has been spent over the last few years and projected those amounts going forward for the other biennia; the Gas Tax revenue, increases from HB2017, which passed three years ago, will account for two more two cent increases; and street utility fees will increase at 3% annually, which is not a given, but in order to be consistent with the TSP projection, that has held expenditures and income even, we are now increasing the projected expenditures.
Additionally, Mr. MacNair discussed the City is showing $1.4M in the biennium grant funds, so $700,000 per year, which was in the TSP forecast as well. Also included in the forecast are all the recommended and committed project, so the Commissioners can see how the math works out.
Chairman Densmore asked what the staff envisions the Commission recommendation would look like. Mr. Crebbin provided guidance that the recommendations should be the names of specific projects from the TSP.
Ms. West asked for an elaboration of how grant funding might affect the Commissionís decision.
Mr. MacNair discussed that grant funding has already been assumed and figured into the revenue forecast, showing $700,000 per year and that this figure is unlikely to change.
Ms. Parducci, Mr. Pulver asked for clarification on the tasks regarding consideration of projects costs. Mr. MacNair confirmed that the Commissioners are being asked to consider the $3M cost cap for the projects they put on their priority list. Mr. Pulver suggest that $3M is a trivial amount and that the Commission should stick with the list they developed last month and let the City Council and Public Works work it out. Ms. Parducci believed that more consideration for the possibility of more grant funding should be considered when the Commission makes their list of priorities.
Mr. Crebbin explained the importance of this task for budgeting purposes and clarified Public Workís process of creating the project budgets they take to the City Council. He explained that the Council asked the Commission to undertake this recommendation task to help them make budgeting decisions so they are not just rubber stamping Public Worksí requests. For example, if the Commission agrees that the Table Rock project is the most important and therefore the City Council should allocate $3M to that project that does not necessarily mean that it will get done in the next budget. However, it does mean that Table Rock is now on the Councilís radar as an important project. The Commission will be asked to undertake this task every two years, but the Commissions need to understand that their top priorities may not make it into the budget. Right now, the Mega Corridor is consuming most of the money as it is the City Councilís top priority.
Mr. Pulver shared his frustration and discomfort putting all the eggs in one or two project baskets as there isnít enough money in the six-year budget to finish. He suggested there needs to be flexibility, but that the reality is that the Mega Corridor is all-consuming.
Chairman Densmore suggested that the Commissionís best contribution is to just provide the priority order of projects. He then asked to what degree of readiness are the projects the Commission is considering. Mr. Crebbin responded that until projects are budgeted, they are at zero readiness.
Ms. Parducci asked that the members provide their priorities that fit within the $3M. Chair Densmore agreed and asked that she begin.
Ms. Parducci Ė #1 Table Rock Road for safety reasons, and to make it fit within the $3M threshold, shorten the two segments; break them up to be more manageable; #2 is Stewart Avenue due to the amount of crashes.
Ms. Penland - #1 Table Rock Road for safety reasons. If we keep putting it off it will never get done. She had no #2.
Mr. Pulver - #1Highland & Barnett; #2 Table Rock Road.
Mr. Conrad - #1Highland & Barnett; #2 Delta Waters.
Mr. Harvey - #1Table Rock as he agreed with Ms. Penland. #2 Stewart Avenue.
Ms. West Ė To stay within the $3M, put a project as #1 that is at a point where it can be accomplished. #1Delta Waters; #2 Table Rock. In two years the Commission will have a better picture of what grant monies are available. She would like to see at least one thing completed in the next two years.
Chairman Densmore Ė Agrees with Ms. Parducci as Table Rock is the most compelling project from a grant standpoint. #1 Table Rock; #2 Stewart Avenue.
Mr. Conrad questioned what the Commission will have accomplished if it recommends projects that cannot be funded. Chair Densmore reiterated what the task is: as citizens, they are to offer to the City Council their opinions as to what is most important to keep in mind for the future even if currently there is no funding.
Ms. Parducci offered a work around that smaller portions of projects be undertaken that do fit within the $3M limit. Mr. MacNair said that it is feasible to select sections of projects to complete. Specifically for Table Rock, that the work could stop at Morningside. Mr. Crebbin reminded the Commission again that this is $3M over six years not the next two years. The discussion continued until Mr. Pulver redirected the conversation that the Commission needs multiple project recommendations with the Commissionís strong sentiment that Table Rock is the top pick. Even though there is not enough funding to complete Table Rock, it is still the Commissionís top priority.
Ms. West suggested the Commission decide on four top projects and not prioritize then, but send the message to the City Council that the commissioners did their best to shorten the list, and now they are asking staff to work toward obtaining grants. Then in a year or two, staff can present the list to the Commission again, and at that time, they may be able to prioritize the list. Mr. Pulver and Ms. Parducci agreed.
Motion: Recommend to the City Council to consider Projects 447, 437, 496, and 178 as the Transportation Commissionís top priorities for the Six-Year Transportation Project List and direct staff to identify and apply for additional grant funds to compete these projects.
Moved by: Paige West Seconded by: Mickey Harvey
Roll call: Chairman Densmore, Kim Parducci, Mickey Harvey, Mr. Pulver, Paige West Ė Yes;
Ms. Penland, Mr. Conrad - No
The motion passed, so ordered.
Discussions continued regarding the details of the Mega Corridor including the areas that will be part of the project, timing, matching funding, and level of complexity of the project and its administration.
50. Discussion Items
50.1 Transportation Demand Management Pilot Program
The City of Medford held an innovation competition between the Cityís employees. Mr. Kearns presented a winning entry: Transportation Demand Management (TDM). TDM is a way of addressing the demands on a transportation system which includes looking at the number of vehicles traveling on the roadways each day, actions intended to shift traffic patterns, public transit, carpooling, non-vehicle modes of transportation (walking, biking), and telecommuting among others.
This is a pilot program, however, there are a number of examples of TDM in the Rogue Valley including the restriping of 10th Street, RVTD projects such as their bus line from Ashland to Medford, and some local employer programs (Asante, Harry and David, Lithia). The Planning Departmentís TDM project will focus on working with employers.
Mr. MacNair offered that the recent Covid-19 shutdowns provided an opportunity to test teleworking. HR has provided data such as zip codes for promoting bus lines, bike to work, etc.
Mr. Kearns offered some of the ways they may be progressing with the project including creating awareness, developing best practices, reducing parking, walking challenges, surveying City employees, partnering with RVTD to help implement the state-wide challenge to encourage alternate transportation, and encourage employers to be involved.
Chairman Densmore asked Mr. Kearns to keep the Commission updated.
60. Planning and Public Works Department Update
Mr. MacNair provided updates on: Springbrook Road is nearing design completion and will be put out for bid on October 13; Foothill Road continues to move along on design and environmental analysis; two contracts are going to the City Council 1) a new central traffic control system and 2) new advanced traffic controllers to start replacing the Cityís current 1970 technology. Barnett Road will be the pilot project; the ARTS Grant just opened and applications are due in a few months; the Safe Routes to School grant application has been submitted; ODOTís Community Paths Grant application process just opened.
Chairman Densmore asked if Larson Creek will be considered for a Community Paths grant. Mr. MacNair offered that staff is looking at that, but no decisions have been made.
Chairman Densmore asked about the recent firesí effect on the ability of the cities of Talent and Phoenix to rebuild and how that will impact the Greenway restoration. Specifically, how FEMAís requirement of matching funds will be handled. Staff did not have any information on this topic.
Mr. Conrad offered that 100 employees in his business lost their homes. The fires have significantly impacted employee retention and recruitment. As to the question of how long will it take to rebuild? He believes the question is if they will rebuild and what it will look like.
Chairman Densmore reminded the group that the City of Phoenix was going to contribute funds to the Mega Corridor and that that is probably not going to happen now. How do we approach this discussion and does this impact the validity of our TSP going forward? Mr. Crebbin assured the Commission that the TSP is based on zoning and 20 years of growth and all zoning remains the same.
70. Comments from Commissioners and Other Committees
Chairman Densmore asked when the City Council will be considering the Commissionís recommendations on the Six-Year Transportation Project List. Mr. MacNair responded at the October 29 meeting.
80. Agenda Build
ARTS Grant application; Community Path Grants.
90. Next Meeting: October 28, 2020
100. Adjournment: 1:49pm
Public Works - Engineering