December 2014 minutes

SW Trails PDX
Monthly Meeting Minutes

December 18, 2014

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

DRAFT

Attendance: Don Baack, Lee Buhler, Glenn Bridger, Virginia Hendrickson, Patti Barker, Sharon Fekety, Hans Steuch, Chris Mays, Dianne Mays, Michael Kisor, Liz Marantz, Richard Marantz, Dave Manville, Barbara Stedman, Dale Sherborne, Arlene Kimura, Ted Kaye, Arnie Panitch, Don McClay, Dennis Brown, Sandra Brown, Barbara Stedman, Doug Rogers, Tom Badrick, Rick Kappler, Barbara Bowers,

The meeting was called to order at 7:03 pm

The agenda was approved.

Glenn made a motion to approve the November 2014 SW Trails minutes. Barbara seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Kiel Johnson of Friend’s of Barbur talked about Barbur Boulevard. Kiel said Barbur is a dangerous street and 9% of all traffic fatalities last year in Portland happened on one intersection on Barbur. There have been serous injuries as well. He said friend, on a bicycle, was hit by a driver who drove off. He said the stretch is controlled by ODOT. They see it as a transit corridor for motor vehicles. Friend’s of Barbur and others made a push to get the City to look at what they can do to reduce the speed. They are suggesting removing one travel lane. It would be only a few second delay. ODOT did a survey and found that at the peak of construction the delay would be 68 seconds. They found that excess speeding went way down. They did not find that people moved to neighborhood streets. In fact, traffic went down in neighborhood streets for some reason. Kiel said they would like to get several partners to push for safety improvements.

Patti asked about delays going south bound. Kiel said the south bound would remain two lanes with a buffered bike and walking lane. Kiel said the average speed in the section is 55mph.

Dale said he suggested a buffered bike and walking lane on the east side but the BTA came out against it.

Dianne said it was much nicer ride when the lane south bound on the bridges was closed. Rick said it was much more pleasant to ride during the construction. He said there is a very good view. Don said it did not appear that Terwilliger got overloaded during the construction. However Terwilliger was under construction replacing a 24 inch water main for much of the summer. Don said the state is also concerned what happens if I-5 goes down. Don said the road diet would help to move the Red Electric Trail along.

Sharon made the following motion: That SW Trails participates in the design construction for safety improvements on Barbur. Lee seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Kiel will be taking the lead.

Don and Glenn talked about the draft Trails Policy with SW Trails suggestions. Glenn handed out printed copies of the policy with suggestions by several members of SW Trails. Glenn said the framework is based on the document that the City put out with a change in tone. Glenn said the City document was very protective of the rights of adjacent property owners. This draft would reduce adjacent property control over public property. Patti said it is important to point out why each of the changes are being suggested.

Don pointed out that when the urban trail plan was approved, they did not have to go to the City with adjacent property owners approval. They contacted adjacent property owners to let them know the trail was being built.

Don pointed out that adjacent property owner liability has changed dramatically since ORS 105.668 was passed which waives the liability of the adjacent property owners under specific conditions and that was an important feature of the plan.

Glenn said that public right-of-way is important to keep for the public. He said he as not been able to find out anything in state law that would give adjacent property owners any control of public right-of-way.

Dianne said it is important to note that if the City wants to build a road adjacent property owners have no control. Doug pointed out that the original policy said adjacent property owners do not have control on Safe-Routes-to-School and there is no rational to make other trails any different.

Don read the section on protection for public-right-of way. Don said the City needs to develop a permit process. He said the vegetation issue is important. Arlene asked if PDOT would do the enforcement. Don said SW Trails or some other organization could lobby the City to contract with SWTrails to do maintenance. Don said it was important to spend some City funds on maintenance. Arlene said sometimes if we wait for the City to get things done, they do not get done. She suggested allowing organizations to do some maintenance. Tom said the City should fund enforcement. Don said it is important to lobby for the funds. Arlene pointed out we could apply for grant funds as well.

Richard stressed the fact that a formal trail is much better than a demand trail and that it removes maintenance and liability from adjacent neighbors. He said formal trails are much better for the environment as well. Ted pointed out that a social trail is a liability and a formal trail would remove that liability. Ted said he lives in Northwest Portland and works on trails there. He would like to restore some stairs that were built in a public-right-of way. Many stairs built by developers or private citizens have been removed over the years and not replaced. This has led to reduced pedestrian facilities. He said the neighborhood is very supportive but the adjacent property owners are opposed.

Richard said it was important to have people from other parts of the City get their comments in on the draft. He said the policy was made with southwest issues and it should be a City of Portland policy. (Our response is taking a city wide view) Glenn said the trails are a community asset and it is important to emphasize that.

Don talked about the Comp Plan section proposing that the entire SWTrails network and future trails in other parts of he city be moved to Portland Parks. Arlene said the actual purpose of trails is transportation and should be under the purview of PBOT for planning and implementation. Don said he made a suggestion to the Planning and Sustainability Committee that all trails moved into the control of PBOT. Arnie said trails and public-right-of way belongs to the people.

Patti said the original draft said a trail should have at least two destinations and they changed it to one as many neighborhoods have only one destination but it is very important.

Glenn went over the proposed process for improvements. He said public involvement is critical as citizens know the best locations for trails. He said no one group should have veto of a trail. Ted asked why the draft does not have reference to neighborhood associations. Glenn talked about the history of SW Trails and neighborhood associations. He said there is nothing against neighborhood associations. He said other parts of the City may want to go through neighborhood associations in a greater way. Ted said the City may want to use neighborhood associations as it is an existing system for citizens involvement. Patti said it would work better when the neighborhood association bylaws are improved and standardized. She said there are many citizen groups that can work on trails. Doug said many people in SW Trails are also involved with the neighborhood association system. He said it would be cumbersome to work through the neighborhood system. Don pointed out that there are trails that are in one neighborhood but mostly benefit another neighborhood. Ted said it is important to work out a policy that works for the whole City. Dianne suggested adding a statement that encourages involvement with neighborhoods and other organizations.

Glenn went over the process for a permit and pointed out that there would not be a fee for a trail permit. Glenn said it was important to have inspections to make sure the trails are safe.

Rick pointed out that the City would like to avoid dead end and cu-de-sac streets. Don said it would be important to point out that trails provide an emergency way out and should be added to the policy. Dianne said that is a good idea and there is a right-of-way by their house that the Fire Department said they would like that to be improved for egress. Rick it would be good to put in something saying this would apply in the case of annexations. Tom suggested a flow chart to show what to do when citizens want a trail.

Patti said Sarah originally wanted to make the policy city-wide but found it too cumbersome.

Don suggested working on the draft again and sending it out via email for more comments. Doug said he thought it is 99% done and just needs a little tinkering. Rick said there is support for the trails outside of Portland.

Rick talked about the Washington County road clean-up program. He asked if SW Trail would like to participate in a clean-up on Scholls Ferry Road. He said there are a couple of signs for Friend’s of the Red Electric Trail. Dianne said Oregon State Alumni has a service day. She said it would be good to plan and announce a day. (Rick will need to follow up with us)

Hikes: Sharon said she would lead the walk in January. The hike will go on the Iowa trail to the Willamette River. Sharon said the walk report says is is sponsored by the Hillsdale Neighborhood Association and asked if we wanted to keep it that way.. Don suggested co-sponsoring the hikes with the Hillsdale NA and SW Trails. Sharon said Rick will lead the hike in February

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Don said he will work on the Portland Comprehensive Plan and TSP and suggest comments. He asked people to look at projects in their neighborhoods.

Don said the construction of the crossing of Fanno Creek from Bertha to the Beaverton Hillsdale Highway should occur in 2015

Don asked what people thought of Multnomah Blvd. construction. Michael said the north side is not good as the bike lane looks like another lane of traffic. He said it would have been better to put it on the other side of the plantings. Don suggested sending PBOT a list of the problems under SW Trail letterhead. Rick said it would good to have a multi-use path from 45th on. Barbara and Doug said the construction on the south side is not completed. Don said he heard of problems with conflicts with bicyclists and pedestrians. Sharon suggested markings.

Doug said he and Hans are working on the Red Electric Trail. They are concerned that there is a lack of focus on the project on the part of the City. They met with Alan Schmidt of Portland Parks to talk about it. Alan was very enthusiastic about the project. He is very aware of issues for the trail. However, he has to have approval from people above him. Doug said they would like to have more meetings with City Officials on the project. He said, Liz the PBOT manager for the bridge, told them that the project is in the works. They have the funding for the bridge ($2 million). They would also like to enhance the routes to and from the bridge. Liz told them the construction could start as soon as next fall. Roger said their minutes of the meetings would put on the web. Don suggested putting it on the Red Electric letterhead and posting them in the community. Don pointed out there was another $500K for the trail and possibly another $1 million from Portland Parks system development charges.

Glenn said SW Trails owns the domain name redelectric.org and it will have to be renewed. Don suggested purchasing a hedge trimmer. Glenn said the domain name should cost around $18 and Don said the hedge trimmer would cost around $80.

Lee made a motion that SW Trails pay for the domain redelectric.org and purchase a hedge trimmer. Dave seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Arnie talked about the new routes proposed for buses. He said that line 99 will go from the Tacoma station to downtown over the Sellwood bridge when the bridge is completed. It will restore service on Tacoma However, there will be limited stops. He said the Tilikum bridge will open for the bridge pedal on August 9. The bridge pedal goes from 6:00am to Noon. It will open for disabled people from noon to 1:30. From 1:30 to 4:00pm it will be open to everyone else. There will be a fair at noon to 1:30. The bridge will then close again until the 12th of Sept when it opens for good.

Don said our annual meeting will be next month. Lee went over the list of board members and their terms. Don suggested adding members if people are willing.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 pm

Respectfully submitted

Lee Buhler

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