SW Trails PDX
July 26, 2012

Attendance: Don Baack, Sharon Fekety, Cole Trusty, Virginia Hendrickson, Lee Buhler, Michael Harrison, Aimee Erickson, Lee Buhler, Christine Leon,  Dave Manville,  Dave Knowles, Loretta Knowles

Don called the meeting to order at 7:04

Don said he walked around with the author of the Gentle Art of Wandering and it was interesting.

The agenda was approved

Sharon made a motion to approve the minutes for the last two meetings. Virginia seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Don introduced Christine Leon of the Portland Department of Transportation who manages a street systems development on the “Street by Street” initiative.  Christine passed out handouts on green streets. She displayed a PowerPoint presentation. They currently have a one size fits all for street improvements and it does not work well as streets are different.  Also, there are different needs today.  They could let developers improve the streets adjacent to their developments.  However, this would result in spotty streets. There is a lot of interest in doing things. She displayed a slide showing all the problems with the current system of deciding what streets need what improvements.  They want to look at what improvement is appropriate for what street. She displayed a slide of a high performance street.  It costs about $1300 a linear foot. (about $70K per residence). She said this is un-affordable.  They worked on it and got it down to $300 per foot. However, that does not include stormwater management, which is very important in southwest. She displayed a slide showing the swale system of stormwater management. They are looking at other stormwater options. Large curb extensions could handle stormwater for several blocks. They are focusing on local streets not collector streets. There are about 1006 miles of local streets. Of those, 45 miles are unpaved. Another 167 miles are paved without curbs. She displayed a slide showing the areas of town with concentrated problems.  There was a large circle in southwest. Some streets such as Safe Route to School streets are more important to put sidewalks on. Christine said there is more small lot developments now than in the past when many of the rules were developed with larger developments in mind. Christine described waiver conditions for developments. The waivers are passed on to property owners who do not know about it in many cases.  This makes it hard to do a LID in the future.  They are considering adding a few at the time of development. City Council is reluctant to enforce waivers. Christine displayed a slide showing the performance sections of a street.  They included walkways, parking and moving vehicle sections. They are considering a 16′ minimum driving street. Christine displayed a slide showing the inexpensive base street. It included a 4-8 foot stormwater swale. She displayed several slides showing how this could be implemented. She showed a slide showing walkway materials. Christine displayed a slide of a “shared” street. These would be low speed, low volume streets.

Christine said they are also considering traffic calming methods. She described some of the methods. Dave said that methods used in Tigard and Bellevue are better in many cases than the swales used in Portland. Christine said Portland made a decision to treat stormwater as close as possible to the source. Christine pointed out that property taxes do not go to street improvements as many people think they do. They would like to stream-line the process for developers. They would also like to help neighbors. Don said one issue is the cost of sidewalks and what that adds to the systems development costs. They want to do some pilot projects. She said they have a lot left to do.  They have been working on this for several years. She displayed a slide showing all the groups they are working with. There is a Council work session planned to discuss this on August 28th. They plan to take it to City Council in September or October. Don said the standards for a shared street should be similar to a street with sidewalks.  This is especially important for impaired walkers. Dave said it made a lot of sense as the cost is much more reasonable. Don said there also have to be rules on vegetation management. Michael asked about rapidly deteriorating pavement and Christine said asphalt deteriorates at the edges. They are aware of the problem and working on solutions. Dave asked about private improvements and Christine said it can be done with a permit and maintenance of current conditions can be maintained without a permit. Christine said they do not regulate maintenance.

Christine suggested people email her or Don with further comments.

Don said they signed up 28 new members at the Sunday Parkway event. He said we have about $1200 in the treasury.

Don said he is hoping for extended shoulders on Maplewood and hoped that they would include walkable extended shoulders on any shoulder improvement. Don said there are some other streets that are in the budget for extended shoulders.

Cole said he did a new draft brochure for the Red Electric.  He passed it out and asked for comments.  Christine said they paid someone to do a brochure for them and the Red Electric was much better. Cole said we need a better trail sign and asked people to email one to him. Don said he would like to have the brochure by Multnomah Days which is on the 18th of August. Aimee suggested cross referencing the descriptive text with the map.  Christine said she could help with the design. Cole said he did it in Scribus and would have to be exported. Aimee said she has been looking into making the section of the trail in the gully off Capital into a park.

Don said Peter had the interview with Congressman Bluemenaur. He said Glenn and Aimee will help with the video.

Don said we hope to have a booth and participate in the parade at Multnomah Days. The booth will cost something.

Sharon talked about SW Trail walks Chis and Diane will do  August and go to the  Bridlemile neighborhood.  Pete will do October. Don suggested we include our walks in Metro publications. Sharon suggested we ban smoking on our hikes. She said she checked with other organizations and they do not have a policy and have not run into the problem.  Lee made a motion that “SW Trails does not allow smoking on hikes due to health issue and other concerns”. Sharon seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.  Sharon said she and Virgina lead the Terwilliger Celebration hike and they did not need to spend money allocated for refreshments as the Chart House will be providing them.

Don talked about the Gibbs Street opening and the Party for Phyllis Towne.

Don said he met with someone who would like to reopen the Fulton Community center.  They are considering daily or weekly walks. Don asked if people wanted to get involved.

Sharon said SW Trails had over 18 volunteers for Sunday Parkways. Sharon said many volunteers where not relieved on their shifts. We talked about other improvements if it is held again.

Sharon showed an article from Willamette Week about the 4T trail.

Don talked about an issue of coal dust from coal transported through Portland. He said this could be a major problem as it would increase air pollution. There will be 40  to 100 car trains going through Portland every day.

Don said TriMet is working on digitizing all trails in the city.  He will invite them to talk about the project next month.  They have a beta version of it to tell someone the best walking route to get between two points. Dave said Google maps has a new walking/biking feature.  However, they do not have all the routes.  Don said he thought the TriMet data will be submitted to Google.

Dave said they had a successful meeting on trails for Woods park.  He said he hoped the trails would be vastly improved in the not too distance future.

Sharon said she liked the idea of business cards for trail members.

Aimee suggested a FaceBook page for the Red Electric Trail

Michael said the park idea should be pursued early in the process for the design of the bridge.

The meeting was adjourned  at: 9:02

Respectfully submitted

Lee Buhler



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