approved Approved 11/10/99
October 20, 1999
CONTINUED JOINT ELECTED OFFICIALS' MEETING
Lane County Fairgrounds, Performance Hall - 6:30 p.m.
THIRD READING AND CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING Ordinance PA 1132 Amending the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area General Plan to Adopt a Revised "Transportation Element" and Related Changes to the Plan Text; Adopting Revisions to the Eugene-Springfield Transportation System Plan (TransPlan); and Adopting a Severability Clause.
CALL TO ORDER AND REVIEW OF PUBLIC HEARING FORMAT
Commissioner Bobby Green, Sr., presided. He called the meeting to order for the Board of County Commissioners. Present from the Board of Commissioners: Bill Dwyer, Cindy Weeldreyer, Peter Sorenson and Recording Secretary, Melissa Zimmer. Anna Morrison was excused.
Mayor Jim Torrey called the meeting to order for the City of Eugene. Present from the Eugene City Council: Pat Farr, Bobby Lee, Scott Meisner, Gary Pape, Gary Rayor and Betty Taylor. David Kelly and Nancy Nathanson were excused.
Mayor Maureen Maine called the meeting to order for the City of Springfield. Present from the Springfield City Council: Anne Ballew, Tammy Fitch, Lyle Hatfield, Christine Lundburg and Fred Simmons. Sid Leiken was excused.
Hilary Wylie opened the meeting for the Lane Transit District. Present from the LTD Board: Rob Bennett, Pat Hocken, Dave Kleger, Dean Kortge and Virginia Lauritsen.
Green apologized to Hilary Wylie, Lane Transit District. He stated when they closed out the meeting last time, he advertently called the elected officials to close their hearing and LTD officials are appointed officials. He said he never gave her the opportunity to officially do that.
Green noted that the written record will remain open until October 29. He added that all testimony of the record will be available.
Green read Lane Countys Ordinance PA 1132 into the record.
Mayor Torrey noted it was a continuation of the previous hearing for the Eugene City Council.
Mayor Maine noted they continued the hearing for the Springfield City Council.
Hilary Wylie, Lane Transit District, stated they were continuing their hearing.
Bo Adan, 3785 Pine Canyon, Eugene, noted that Eugene and Springfield cut services and activities for community youth. He said the TransPlan needs rethinking, revisioning and rewriting.
Eben Fodor, 394 E. 32nd Ave., Eugene, stated he is a professional planner and in Oregon, a planning process is a goal driven process and the state has 19 goals. He noted the stakeholders of the community were not represented, they were mostly of development and transportation interests. He added people on the committee did not feel their input was reflected in this plan. He said the plan itself is not a good one. He said the plan doesnt live up to the goal and the choice is to either make a plan that lives up to the goal or change the goal. He asked the officials to endorse the process to make a better plan.
Anastasia Sandowl, 123 Fir Lane, Eugene, provided visual testimony on the proposed Valley River Bridge area to the officials.
Lora Byxbe, 677 W. 23rd. Ave, Eugene, stated she wanted the Board to consider the Friends of Eugenes proposed community process when adopting TransPlan.
David Moon, 1870 Fairmount, Eugene, commented that the TransPlan needs to be a plan and encouraged the decision makers to be creative and innovative so the TransPlan is really a plan for the future and not a list of road improvements for the growth of car traffic. He noted for the TransPlan to be successful, existing neighborhoods need to be maintained. He asked that increased emphasis be placed on bicycle transportation, walking and other alternatives. He said he supported off-road bicycle path development. He said that the TransPlan should avoid funding and building car oriented projects to save time. He stated he was concerned with the Interchange 150 proposal. (Chapter 3, page 29 of the revised TransPlan.) He asked the leaders not to move this interchange proposal to the funded projects category as it would harm one of the older neighborhoods in Eugene. He added the existing interchanges are more than sufficient.
Randall Hledik, P. O. Box 7428, Eugene, stated as a member of the Transportation Demand Management Task Force that was created in 1993, he encouraged the officials to adopt TDM policies that promote voluntary incentive oriented practices that help reduce single occupant vehicular traffic in the Eugene/Springfield metro area. He noted that voluntarily programs like group transit passes, ride share matching and transit use subsidies, coupled with other efforts including public education and marketing programs, offer the best approach to implementing effective transportation management and reduction strategies. He added the basic principle of voluntary incentive oriented TDM remains in place. He said the revised draft plan recognizes the implementation of economic measures such as congestion pricing in the Eugene/Springfield area would be premature, because the level of public acceptance is low and the costs of implementation are substantial. He said the TDM task force was composed of people who had differing viewpoints. He asked the elected officials to remain steadfast to the task force principle of voluntary incentive oriented programs.
Edward Winter, 85354 Doene Rd, Eugene, stated he supports the Friends of Eugenes proposal. He noted the TransPlan encourages building more roads in the outlying areas, preventing the plan from meeting the state goal. He said global warming will have a devastating effect on Eugenes environment and economy. He said walking and riding bicycles are a better and cheaper way to reduce congestion. He added more people would bicycle if there were more convenient bicycle paths. He stated he was opposed to the Valley River Bridge as it will destroy neighborhoods, parks and open space, for a little gain. He said he was also opposed to the transportation utility fee.
Steven Mueller, 65 Lund Drive, Eugene, read his letter into the record. Please see Exhibit "A".
Barney McCabe, 2816 Ione, Eugene, noted he was the former chair of the Land Use Measure Task Force, and that citizens from all areas took part in the process. He said except for one person, the balance of the task force agreed with the goals and policies as set forth (23 out of 24.) He noted the TransPlan is a compromise and a long process. He added it is not a stack of paper, it is an ongoing way of life. He stated neighborhood livability is a key to a successful TransPlan and to people choosing to live in their neighborhoods and not moving farther out. He asked the officials for their support to move forward with the plan.
Kay Byler, 1972 Pierce St., Eugene, suggested to have trolley cars that would benefit the whole city. She suggested giving more power to the neighborhoods so they could find sustainable choices for their lives. She said trolley cars and gardens are the best ideas.
Doug Sabin, 570 River Road, Eugene, stated he is opposed to the TransPlan document because it is politically based and does not address the overall needs of the community. He added in the last thirty years, every road project impacting residential neighborhoods in the City of Eugene has been voted down. He said the proposed Valley River Bridge would be a step in shifting the burden of transportation in the metropolitan area to the River Road neighborhood. He said if the bridge is built, the intersections of Beltline and Chambers connector will gridlock because of the short distance between signals at the intersections. He added there had been no road lanes added south of 11th Street in Eugene in the last 30 years. He said it is time to integrate zoning infrastructure and land use patterns with transportation needs.
John Saemann, 1775 Atkins, Eugene, stated improving transportation choices is something that everyone wants, but there is disagreement on how to get there. He commented that more cars and gridlock hurts economic life. He said suburbanizing farm land has not prevented increasing traffic tie-ups, accidents and frustration, and will not do so in the future. He suggested to make things less convenient and provide the best alternatives, including frequent electric buses or modern trolley cars. He added he endorses the Friends of Eugene program.
Steve Miller, 1034 Lawrence, Eugene, noted that soon everyone will have cheap fiber optic cable service available and high speed Internet access. He said the use of the Internet, for work, shopping and entertainment will skyrocket. He said there will be increasing gridlock on the highways without expensive road building. He added there will be faster and cheaper electronic access for goods and services and it doesnt make sense to continue to expand the economy of the automobile in the information age. He added TransPlan is trying to solve the wrong problem, the real problem is the faith that by building more roads there will be more mobility and a better future. He urged the officials to put together a sensible TransPlan that makes life better for people, not cars and trucks.
Becky Riley, 202 Hawthorne, Eugene, stated she was testifying on behalf of the nine members of the Friends of Rasor Park Steering Committee. She said they have concerns about the TransPlan, but are asking to take the Valley River Bridge off the project list and to send the whole document back to planners, with the request that they work closer with community groups, including Friends of Eugene to redraft and strengthen it. She noted that Rasor Park is the only remaining piece of publicly owned open space of its size in the River Road area and is critical to the livability of the neighborhood.
Charles Biggs, 2405 Willakenzie Rd., #1, Eugene, said there is an erosion of the livability from the major wide collector streets into the area he lives in, and all the traffic volume and noise associated with it. He said the nodal concept as of yet has little appeal and wont alleviate the TransPlan obstacles. He said nodal living should be encouraged and rewarded by financial funding, priority for capital improvement projects and totally subsidized LTD passes. He said there should be bicycle, pedestrian and road improvements.
Misha Dunlop, 358 W. 4th, Eugene, said she is a member of the Eugene business community and has a downtown business that employs 20 people. She said she is in favor of revising TransPlan to place more money and emphasis on alternative transportation. She noted her business has been delivering its wholesale products by bicycle on a daily basis since 1997. She added that driving is an addiction and TransPlan and its proponents are like pushers. She asked the officials not to subsidize the addiction and to revise the TransPlan.
Todd Blevins, 2476 Portland, Eugene, stated he supported the Friends of Eugene plan to revise the TransPlan. He suggested to look to Europe for how to run trains. He added Eugene can do better than TransPlan.
Alexa Doty, 868 Baxter St., Eugene, stated she would rather have a bike path than a road to the mall and urged the elected officials to add more bike paths.
Janet Bott, 662 N. 12th, Springfield, stated there is a problem with the Oregon planning process. She said the document that was produced by planners has created a public outcry and opposition. She said public input methods need to be reassessed. She stated that TransPlan does not address the cost of property condemnations required to construct the BRT or its crossing at the Franklin Boulevard Bridge. She suggested a BRT might be a better fit along 105, 126, Beltline or the existing rail corridor with its own bridge. She added the proposed BRT is in conflict with the Oregon statewide planning goals 5, 6, 9 and 10. She urged the officials to abandoned the BRT concept and further revise the TransPlan.
Ray Heslep, 719 Sunnyside Dr., Eugene, noted the reason for the Valley River Bridge is due to pressure from businesses, but it doesnt mean that the City of Eugene needs it. He said the Goodpasture Island Bridge overpass needs work and money should be put towards that.
Anthony Towne, 127 McClure Lane, Eugene, stated he has not heard one person from River Road in favor of the bridge. He said the neighbors want to keep the park. He added he wants to see more money spent on alternative transportation. He said with regard to the bridge and bike path, the homeless hang out and people get scared. He asked not to create another unsafe place.
Kevin Matthews, 31728 Alroad, Eugene, stated he was on the Board of Friends of Eugene. He discussed the three documents that Friends of Eugene presented and endorsed. He said that TransPlan is not a good enough plan and for the officials to work with the Friends of Eugene.
Jan Spencer, 1266 W. 4th, read his letter into the record. Please see Exhibit "B".
Commissioner Green recessed the meeting for 15 minutes, to return at 8:00 p.m.
Moishe Immelman, 1292 McClean, Eugene, stated there needs to be a plan for global warming and TransPlan is not it. He added it is not a plan that the city can live with. He suggested to reduce bus fares and pay for them with a tax levied by county government. He added to focus on nodal development and protecting the quality of communities and implementing the Friends of Eugenes plan in a visionary way.
Meisha Seymour, 1313 Lincoln, Apt. 306, Eugene, stated things need to be better so there are no more problems.
Kathy Ging, 2878 Harris, suggested that the people who helped create the Eugene Celebration could help design creative transit. She suggested prizes be donated for a lottery for people who ride the transit. She said the bus rides could also be subsidized by other fees. She said that fast growth is the culprit with the plan. She asked the officials to institute auto omissions measures.
Richard Coolman, 3345 Storey, Eugene, stated he is a pediatrician and father of three. He noted only 10 per cent of children walk or ride their bikes to school, down from 50% in the 50's and 60's. He said increasing traffic jeopardizes the safety of those who walk or bike and little has been done to improve the safety and utility of the bikeway system of Eugene. He noted the issue of a balanced TransPlan is not whether the automobile will remain the prevailing mode of transportation, but what is the most cost effective investment to relieve future traffic pressures. He said TransPlan needs to adequately fund walking and biking sufficient for safety and convenience by putting road projects on hold. He asked the officials to read the Eugene Bicycle Coalitions written testimony, that the highest priority be given to fixing any gaps, missing links or dangerous crossings pertinent to a third grader accessing neighborhood schools and parks. He added that prospects for children need to be improved.
Peter Cacioppi, 630 ½ W. 10th, Eugene, stated that more money from TransPlan needs to be spent for bicycling and pedestrian use.
Jim Hale, 1715 Linnea, Eugene, stated he opposes the dedicated right of way of bus rapid transit and the land use refinement riders contained in the fine print of the TransPlan document. He noted the proposed transportation utility fee is a regressive tax and most would go for roads. He said that fees should be replaced with a straight forward local tax on gasoline and diesel fuel that should be adopted countywide. He added the revenue stream envisioned for TransPlan is inadequate as it will not raise enough money for the Countys needs (it builds too few roads, not too many.) He said the Valley River Bridge is questionable to him, but there other places where the need is clear, the intersection of Beltline and Delta Highway and River Road and Belt Line. He asked the officials to study the TransPlan and do a better job with it.
David Wade, 1673 Villiard, Eugene, stated he was not in favor of the TransPlan. He added the public is not in favor of anything that will undermine their use of their motor vehicle. He said the two bridges over the Willamette River should be taken out of the TransPlan. He suggested incentives for nodal developments.
Robin Irish, 2559 Emerald, Eugene, said she is new to Eugene and gets everywhere by bicycle. She said a flaw she found with the TransPlan is the LTD bus system. She said the people on the transportation committee need to take the leadership role in promoting bus ridership. She added the buses need to be more accessible and better utilized.
Paul Moore, 2586 Potter, Eugene, noted Eugene needs to be an oasis in the transportation wasteland. He requested to develop a means of accommodating more bicycles on LTD buses, prepare local maps for each neighborhood school, indicating appropriate bicycle routes for third graders traveling to and from the various parts of the neighborhood that the school serves. He also suggested to fund transportation coordinators to work with the school districts to help each school develop a plan for reducing its auto reliance in increasing the use of alternative transportation. He added in coordination with the school districts, the development and introduction of high quality multi-dimensional transportation curriculum should be funded in all of the schools, including on-street bicycle safety and practical experience in taking the bus.
Bruce Miller, 88 W. 29th, Eugene, read his letter into the record. Please see Exhibit "C".
John Flaurey, 878 Almaden, Eugene, stated he wanted to see the VMT reduced. He said that people need to feel comfortable in not owning a car or driving less. He suggested to make taxis more efficient and widespread to make people drive less. He added that there should be additional buses running and especially at night.
Jack Radabaugh, 1361 Luella, Eugene, noted the TransPlan is not a transportation plan, it is a road plan. He added there is little money for buses, pedestrians or transit. He said he thinks the TransPlan violates Eugenes commitment to slow growth. He suggested mandatory control through parking taxes, subsidies for buses, staggered quitting times, odometer taxes and toll roads. He said nodal development is a good way for holding the line on the urban growth boundary and that there should be ordinances passed regarding them. He said the new Valley River Bridge proposed will be a nightmare as it will jam up Valley River, Cal Young and Coburg, as there are no east/west streets to handle traffic from the bridge. He added to have the amounts of the projects be included in the TransPlan.
Mara Wile, 1347 Dalton, Eugene, stated it is impossible to build out of congestion. She said she lives in the River Road area and no one in the River Road area that she has spoken with has been involved in the Valley River Bridge plan. She said the proposed area is one of the most beautiful pieces of the bike path. She suggested to reduce VMT, streets should be improved instead of putting the money into the Valley River Bridge. She endorses the Friends of Eugene proposal and asked the officials to vote the TransPlan in its current form, out of Eugenes future.
Alexia Kelly, 1185 Sunnyside Dr., Eugene, said she thinks the TransPlan needs to be revised as it doesnt meet the needs of the present or future community. She said projects should be funded that will improve the community. She asked the officials not to give in to pressure by money and have development in areas that are left untouched. She said there is an opportunity for Eugene to set a precedent for other areas and the rest of the country to follow, by putting people before dollars and livability before progress. She suggested to expand alternative transportation, developing in a local sustainable way, nodal development on a neighborhood scale and not approving TransPlan as it stands.
Rudy Herr, 2255 Donald, Eugene, stated he supports the present TransPlan as it is a realistic compromise between the majority in the community who rely on automotive transportation and the few that rely on other forms of transportation. He noted there needs to be more diversity with the speakers. He said he was against putting money for nodal development until it can be shown that there is a successful nodal development in the country. He supports the making of alternate transportation as attractive as possible.
Commissioner Green recessed the meeting for a 15 minutes, to return at 9:30 p.m.
Commissioner Green reconvened the meeting at 9:30 p.m.
Mayor Torrey reported that Councilors Meisner and Pape have been excused and they are no longer officially in session. He stated they will reconvene as a subcommittee of the council.
Mayor Maine reported that Councilors Fitch, Hatfield and Lundberg were excused and they are no longer officially in session. She said they will reconvene as a subcommittee of the council.
Mayor Torrey stated he has adjourned the meeting of the Eugene City Council at 9:30 p.m. and convened a subcommittee to hear the balance of the testimony.
Mayor Maine did the same for the Springfield City Council.
Hillary Wylie did the same for the Lane Transit District.
Jan VanderTwin, 455 W. 1st Street, Eugene, stated he doesnt want another bridge. He said he works with children on transportation education and the need is to get into the schools with the true cost of transportation. He asked the officials to put more money towards transportation education with youth.
Fred Simmons, 312 S. 52nd, Springfield, said that as a citizen, he stands opposed to TransPlan the way it is written. He said there needs to be more to facilitate bike use. He added there should be a universal pass for increasing ridership. He said he hopes that the officials will take a collective look at this as citizens, and listen to the people and change the document. He said emphasis should be changed from reliance on the automobile to other modes to maintain a quality of life. He said there should be change for the better for the direction of TransPlan.
Mark Murphy, 2015 W. 25th, Eugene, stated he is a project designer that is working with electric vehicles. He said he has concerns about the TransPlan as it is based on a flawed assumption that the next 20 years will reflect the previous decades growing dependence on automobile use. He said there is going to be a growing global oil shortfall within the first decade of the next century. He said the TransPlan needs to be refocused to anticipate the events that could result in a managed transition to alternatives of urban mobility and reduce the economic and social repercussions that every community will face as the oil crises develop. He said the TransPlan doesnt address any such scenario and may result in an overbuilding of traffic infrastructure that will be obsolete at great expense.
Steve Adamson, 1436 E. 22nd Avenue, Eugene, said he is here as a representative of the business community and is a partner in a downtown law firm that focuses on business law. He said that improving TransPlan is not only an issue of the vocal minority but of mainstream Lane County residents as the quality of life is at stake. He encouraged officials to look at Western Europe as an example for TransPlan. He added communities with good mass transport are often healthier communities. He urged the adoption of the proposals by the Friends of Eugene, having no bridge at Valley River Center, increasing mass transit, and to think how mass transit could solve the problems of TransPlan.
Tom Lester, 1826 Lincoln, Eugene, stated he was speaking on behalf of the Mill Street Bridge Committee. He said the Mill Street Bridge Committee urges the officials not to provide $30 million to the Lane Transit District for bus rapid transit, instead they urge that all references to bus rapid transit be removed from the TransPlan and establishing a ten year moratorium on funding and implementing this project. He said there is no need to rush the implementation of bus rapid transit as building bus rapid transit lines before traffic congestion would result in an extremely expensive, under utilized system. He said to construct BRT at this time, within the context of a street system absent of traffic congestion, results in alignment choices for BRT that would ruin the quality of urban environment. He added it will not increase ridership nor decrease the levels of traffic congestion.
David Zupan, 87 W. 23rd, Eugene, said he works with the Eugene Peaceworks and disagrees with the draft of the TransPlan. He said the problem is air pollution that is in the community already and the TransPlan doesnt reflect that. He said it should be a city for everyone and suggests revising the TransPlan.
Judy Granatstein, 390 N. Polk, Eugene, stated she does not support the draft TransPlan as it is currently written. She said it is written for the past, reflecting a culture that dwindling resources can no longer support. She said that TransPlan fails to find a realistic balance between transportation modes and sets the future up for sprawl and suburban growth. She said existing infrastructure needs to be worked with to ease congestion instead of adding another bridge to compete with operations and maintenance funds. She added that TransPlan should be a vision based on community values.
Anand Keathley, 389 N. Polk St., Eugene, said that TransPlan as it is currently envisioned, is expanding car access. He said if it goes forward as it is, it will end up in the courts.
Wendy Lowe, 65 W. 29th Ave, Eugene, stated she bought her house so she could be within walking and bicycling distance of the things that were important to her. She said time is important, but what lies in the path of the proposed Valley River Bridge took the park 86 years to reach and if the new bridge is built, all the labor will have been sacrificed to shave less than two minutes off of a bus ride. She urged the officials not to vote for the bridge.
Howard Grooters, 650 W. 12th Eugene, said that commuting by bicycle in Eugene is a joy and he hopes it remains that way. He added autos do cause risk to public safety, noise, and carbon monoxide polutions. He suggested to make the auto less convenient, not more. He said TransPlan is not just about building roads, it is about building a road to hell. He asked the officials to follow the Friends of Eugene.
Chris Clemow, 25340 Vaughn Rd., Veneta, noted it was not a special interest Eugene plan. He said TransPlan is a metropolitan area transportation plan that includes Springfield and Lane County. He added there were not a lot of people from Springfield and Lane County who attended. He said the TransPlan document is not perfect, it is a planning document that will be revised. He added it should be revised as soon as this one is adopted.
Xochitz Hernandez Howe, 2544 Kincaid, suggested the TransPlan should facilitate the communitys future independence from inefficient polluting. She said it would encourage Eugene to become a leader. She proposed that an updated TransPlan set forth a yearly goal of completion of a number of miles with non-automobiles constructed for safety, and bike paths. She asked for the plan to reserve a particular budget of no less than $60 million for the development of bike paths that would be allocated to businesses in the form of grants or utilized by the city to complete specific bike paths.
Randy Prince, P. O. Box 927, Eugene, said there should be bicycles to prevent auto traffic. He said he likes the rapid transit part of the TransPlan because there are restricted lanes of traffic that are efficient. He added there should be a toll role where people could pay as they went and taxis should be considered.
Ted Butler, 695 River Loop, #1, Santa Clara, said he is 15 years old and he does not have the ability or option to drive a car. He said there is a large contingency of young people that need to get around. He read a poem that he had composed.
MOTION: to approve the Third Reading and Continued Public Hearing and setting a Fourth Reading and Discussion for Ordinance PA 1132 on December 1, 1999.
Sorenson MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
Mayor Maine noted that the Springfield City Council will take this up at their first work session on TransPlan on December 6.
Wylie stated she is closing their public hearing and adjourning their meeting.
Green thanked everyone for taking the time to speak.
There being no further business, Commissioner Green adjourned the meeting at 10:15 p.m.
Melissa Zimmer, Recording Secretary
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