April general membership meeting minutes

SW Trails PDX
General Membership Meeting

The Watershed Building in Hillsdale
6388 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland OR 97239

April, 2012

Attendance: Don Baack, Sharon Fekety, Michael Kisor, Phyllis Towne, Glenn Bridger, Katurah Pennington, Peter De Crezendo, Cole Trusty, Virginia Hendrickson, Lee Buhler, Kent Meyer, Emily Meyer, Keith Lyden, Ed Fischer, Michael Harrison, Jennette Kloos, Larry, Barb Stoll, Jay Somers, Arnie Panitch. Bret Horner, Chris Mays, Diane Mays, Doug Rogers, Dawn Uchiyama

Don called the meeting to order at 6:59

Don passed around some info that he got from Trails Fest the day before.

The Agenda was approved by consensus.

Don introduced Ed Fischer. Ed gave a presentation on his trip to Europe for the International Scan Tour on Pedestrian, Bicyclist Safety and Mobility.  This program has been going on for twenty years.  It is a team of experts that go around the world to look how other countries handle bike and pedestrian safety. They looked at engineering, policy, education and enforcement.  They went to five counties: England, Denmark, Germany Switzerland and Sweden. Those countries had a lot of bicycling and pedestrian activity with strong political support.  Leaders recognize the advantages of biking and walking. Also, car ownership is more expensive than here. They have a lot more photo enforcement in those countries.
There are cultural differences that can impact ped/bike safety.  They have a street design hierarchy that allows for bike travel first. Bikes are integrated with public transit. There is a safety in numbers effect where motorists are more careful around large groups on bicycles. They do not have bicycle helmet laws. However, many people use their helmets. Ed showed some pedestrian protection devices used.  Don asked the cost and Ed estimated over $10,000 for the pedestrian detection system. The stop lines were further from the intersection.  They make use of pedestrian islands a lot. They use a lot of railing. They used raised crosswalks a lot. They had raised tiles for a person with a cane to follow. They had devices to help blind and/or deaf. In Switzerland they have convex mirrors mounted next to an intersection to help avoid right-hook accidents. They have bike boxes. Ed said he felt that pedestrians and bicyclists comply with the laws more in Europe. They use cycle tracks to separate bikes from cars and pedestrians. They used colored lanes a lot. Ed said there was research showing that this can be overdone. Ed showed examples of shared right turn lanes for bikes and cars.  He said in most European countries yellow is used for only pedestrian and bike ways and not to divide roads. Ed showed examples of signage for bikes and pedestrians. Ed showed an example of a low speed street design. Pedestrians, bicyclists and cars use the same street. Cars are limited to under 15 miles per hour. There is a lot of bike parking. Bike are allowed on trains and buses.  There is a lot of bike rental and it is not very expensive. There is a great deal of traffic law education. There are a lot of programs promoting biking and walking including government marketing campaigns. They are very careful about reporting performance and safety progress.  The extensive data helps guide improvements.  Ed went over the many recommendations the group came up with as a result of the trip. Keith asked how we can get changes on how we view the importance of pedestrian and bicyclists. He said we need to increase implementation of these ideas.  Ed said that neighborhood activists help to inform city people on how important this issue is.  He said he has seen much more willingness by traffic engineers to include pedestrian and bicyclist improvements.  He said it was important for people to give officials feedback on how import this issue is. He said FHWA is a roadblock and they should provide some money to help implementation.

Bret Horner talked about the Red Electric Trail. He is hopeful for good news shortly on acquisitions. He will share it with SW Trails as soon as possible. They are also looking at submitting another funding application for  a piece of the trail in Hillsdale from ODOT. He said the Portland Plan that was just approved by City Council mentioned the Red Electric Trail.

Don said the ADA improvements at the Raz-Baack crossing have been scheduled and make the trail much easier. Arnie asked when the bridge over the culvert at the bottom of Hillsdale will be completed.  Don said it would be in design for a year and then construction for a year. (2014) This is done this was in keeping with Federal money allocation.  Doug asked about the problem areas at the west end of the Red Electric Trail. Don said he has heard good things are happening but the negotiations are complicated. Doug pointed out that there is not public right of way in the area. Doug said the Alpenrose property is a problem as well.  Brett said it was a key section of the trail. Don said stronger citizen support would help and that is why we are putting the brochure together.

Dawn Uchiyama from the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services talked about storm water management and extended shoulders.  She is a designer and has been working in the Stephens creek pilot project. She said the city is regulated by the clean water act and it is administrated by the state. The city is suppose to manage storm water in a way that does not affect drinking water.  There is a requirement that any building (impervious area)? over 500 square feet will require a storm water management facility.  Dawn displayed a map of the Stephen’s Creek watershed. The mouth of Stephen’s Creek is a very important area for salmon as they use the area to rest. They are trying to partner with the Portland Bureau of Transportation to come up with a street design that works. They are trying to prioritize their projects were pedestrian and bicycle needs are. She said they do not have the run-off concerns with walking surfaces that they do with streets. Don said that he has been working with a disabled people to see what they think about extended shoulders. People in wheelchairs did not like the gravel surfaces. Don is hoping to take people out with strollers. He said it was important to have a paved extended shoulders. Dawn said that the gravel shoulders were planned many years ago when run-off was the only goal.  Keith asked about the scheduling for the projects. Dawn said they hope to be done with their analysis for Stephen’s Creek by the end of June. Don said it was important to have citizen involvement all along the process. Arnie said there was seepage, which gets icy on Capitol Highway near where it runs into Barbur in Hillsdale.  Dawn said there is a backlog of work and they hope to address these issues soon.

Treasurer’s Report: Chris said we have about 40 paid memberships. He has been having a little trouble with the bank but hopes to get it resolved soon. Chris suggested putting the names of members on the web.

Glenn passed around the new SW Trails application form.  It is in .pdf format. He said the membership fee was $5.00 and sponsorship was at $100.

Cole talked about the brochure for the Red Electric Trail. He passed around the latest draft. Michael Harrison is helping with the map. The brochure had a first draft of the map. Cole talked about some additional ideas for the map. Cole asked people to email him suggestions. The brochure and video are being funded by a grant from Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc.

Don said that Peter has asked us to find a producer for the video. Don said Congressman Earl Blumenauer  may be willing to be interviewed for the video.  Don said the intertwine is willing to distribute the video and brochure. Doug pointed out a section of the trail on the map was not correct. Don said he will hand out the draft brochure at the Hillsdale Wellness Fair.

Hikes:  Don said John and Brenda will lead the May hike.  He said Sharon will lead June and he will lead July.

Sharon talked about the Terwilliger Centennial Celebration on July 21 & 22nd.  The 22nd is also the Sunday Parkway event. Sharon has mapped out a hike for that day.  Sharon suggested allocating some money to this event.  Arnie made a motion to allocate $50 to the event.  Don seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously. Virginia will help lead the hike.

Don said he is going to order more vests if anyone is interested.

Don said the Alternative Street Design program is starting and he hope it will result in more extended shoulders. Don said we will be looking at the right-of-way issue in more detail. Sharon asked if people can walk though the area on Seymour now and Don said there is some trash in the right-of-way.

Don described the tentative area for the Barbur Concept plan. The SW Corridor Plan is also in progress. Don said it was important to include the Barbur bridges bike improvements.

Lee talked about planned improvements by ODOT on  Kelly just west of the Ross Island Bridge. He said the improvements will be good for the street. However, many people cross at Porter but there is no crosswalk planned at that intersection.

Glenn talked about the reconstruction of the Hillsdale Terrace area.  There will be improvements  and erosion control. There will be street or trail around the property. There is an area were vagrants sometime congregate and a trail would help reduce that.  Don said he would like PDC to fund the trail.

Don said the 501c3 application is done and will be mailed tomorrow.  Our attorney, Carl Fink, donated the money for the fees.

Don said Robert Spurlock of Metro will come next month to discuss Intertwine sinage.

Arnie pointed out there is new bike storage at the base of the tram.

The meeting was adjourned at: 9:09

Respectfully submitted,

Lee Buhler

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