BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' WORK SESSION

June 27, 2000

1:30 p.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 8/9/00

 

Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., Anna Morrison and Cindy Weeldreyer present.  County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

7. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. PRESENTATION To Former Commissioner Steve Cornacchia:  Springfield Between Two Rivers--An Illustrated History.

 

Weeldreyer presented a book that was inscribed and signed by Lane County employees to former Commissioner Steve Cornacchia

 

8. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. CONTINUED DISCUSSION ELEVENTH READING AND DELIBERATION  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.

 

Tom Stinchfield, Land Management, reported there was a correction to the packet material:  July 12, 2000 needs to be presented as a 12th Reading and Deliberation at the Doubletree Inn.

 

MOTION: to approve the 11th Reading and Setting a 12th Reading and Deliberation on TransPlan on Wednesday, July 12, 2000.

 

Weeldreyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

Stinchfield noted that August 9, 2000 will be the 13th Reading and it will be a second joint work session on TransPlan.

 

Stinchfield reported a proposed change on the bike policies by the Eugene City Council.  He noted that Eugene recommended adding the phrase: “For both new and existing development.”

Jan Childs, City of Eugene, explained the city council was concerned about code requirements for Eugene related to bicycle facilities and new development, as there was no specific code requirements for retrofitting of existing development. She added they wanted to include in the policy recognition that it was important to provide the types of support facilities for new and existing development.

 

Stinchfield stated that LTD and Springfield discussed the policy before Eugene, but neither agency had the change.

 

Dwyer asked what it meant to existing property owners and how it would be applied.

 

Childs said the Eugene City Council thought the bicycle program was underfunded and if additional funding could be secured, it could be used for bikeracks for existing development.  She noted there is a current program in downtown Eugene for a bicycle parking exempt area where the city provides bikeracks and this would be an expanded program.

 

Stinchfield noted the other bicycle policies were directed more at what Lane County will do when there are projects.  He said the first policy is a more generalized policy statement.

 

Tom Schwetz, LCOG, reported they were adding the text that was underlined. He said the Eugene City Council wanted to be more specific, having not just bicycle improvements with new development, but to consider improvements with existing development.

 

Dwyer said he would not be against it as long as existing development would not be forced to provide improvements when applying for a zone change.  He said it is a good policy and wants it to stay that way.

 

Sorenson asked if roads would be more bicycle friendly.

 

Stinchfield said the second policy related to that.  He said it reflects statewide rules that bicycle facilities will be provided.  He said the County had been consistent in providing bike lanes on all of the urban projects and this policy continues the provision of those facilities.

 

Dwyer asked about the availability of fossil fuels.

 

Stinchfield responded there were no reliable models on what fossil fuels will be like.  He said they do not see it increasing over the planning period.  He said if it does, there will be more demand for bike paths.

 

Schwetz noted they based their assumptions on the cost of travel, not the cost of fossil fuel.  He added if fossil fuels go up there will be alternative modes of travel and bicycles is one of them.

 

Weeldreyer asked if the addition of the Eugene language would impact the City of Springfield and Lane County.  She asked if it went beyond what Springfield was currently planning.

 

Stinchfield noted that they had not discussed any change to the policy.

 

Childs said because Eugene made the recommendation after both LTD and Springfield had reviewed the bike policies, this would go onto the joint work session.

 

Weeldreyer declared that an existing building owner having to remodel and put in a bike rack would be unfair.  She wanted it as an incentive, not a regulation.

 

Morrison stated the current language was fine.  She said the addition of “For both new and existing development” is not necessary.  She favored no change to the policy.

 

Green said the policy should apply to new development.

 

Sorenson reported there was consensus not to change Policy 1.

 

Dwyer wanted to make sure it was not existing development’s obligation to retrofit for bicycles.  He declared it needs to be clear what it is in the future and who would pay for it.

 

Childs said the policy without the amendment would apply to both new and existing development.  She noted it was intended to be more explicit.

 

Stinchfield stated that if the city wanted to change their development code to make requirements it would come to the Board.  He added if changes in the code were to be applied outside the city, then the Board would be asked to adopt them.

 

Childs noted that on Policy 2, the Eugene City Council did not recommend any changes to the policy.  She said they asked for additional language in the policy definition and intent statement relating to public involvement in some projects, but no change to the policy.

 

Sorenson asked who would pay for that.

 

Stinchfield responded that the arterial improvements would be paid for by the County or the public agency.  For development, there would be a portion of the street paid for by the developer or through SDC’s.  He said with regard to urban streets,  the bike lane is part of the street cost and it depends on the type of project regarding who pays.  He said for the County--on reconstruction of a suburban street to urban standards--the sidewalk cost is applied to property owners and the bikeway is public cost.

 

Sorenson stated there would be no change on  Bicycle Policy 2 or 3.

 

Childs noted on the pedestrian policy, there was only one change recommended by the Eugene City Council, in Policy 2.  She said it currently reads:  “Provide for a continued pedestrian network with resonably direct travel routes between destination points.”  She noted the suggestion by the Eugene City Council was to delete the word “reasonably”.  She added the other two groups had not reviewed it.  She explained the word “reasonably” was to provide flexibility.

 

Sorenson stated the Board would go for no change for Pedestrian Policy 2 and 3.

 

Stinchfield described the bike path changes: a path along the edge of I-5 involving the City of Eugene and ODOT. He noted that staff had recommended it.  He added that Springfield recommended adding an urban standard project on Glenwood Boulevard from Franklin Boulevard to Judkins Road that would provide bike lanes and sidewalks.  He said it would be listed as a joint Springfield/Lane County project and is appropriate under the policies. He recommended the two bike path changes.  Regarding West 11th and West 13th , he said the Board could refer to the city council because it is a city implementation issue.

 

Dwyer said he had no problem with Option 1.

 

Weeldreyer noted that West 11th was not a good bike street.  She recommended West 15th as a better street for bike lanes.  She said as a bike rider she would not support putting bike lanes on West 11th.

 

Stinchfield noted it is listed as a City of Eugene project.  He asked the Board if they wanted to state an opinion or leave it with the city.

 

Childs suggested deferring a decision.

 

Dwyer said that BRT needed to be on 6th and 7th Avenues where traffic and people are.

 

Sorenson stated there was consensus on Option 1 and the other two projects.

 

Paul Thompson, LCOG, reported a memo of March 29 recommended financial policies that discussed potential changes to the existing finance policies based on public testimony and three new finance policies that arose from public testimony.  He reported changes came out of the City of Eugene as well.

 

Thompson reported with Number 1, adequate funding, the bulk of the public testimony discussed additional support in the policy for alternative modes for operations, maintenance and preservation and for locally controlled revenue sources.  He said they are allowed under the existing policy language and staff recommendation is no change.  He noted that all the jurisdictions have reviewed it and agreed with no change.

 

Sorenson asked if references to transportation utility fees would be deleted.

 

Thompson said there would be some changes to the language.

 

Childs noted that the City of Eugene discussed Option 2 that would have added the phrase specifying needs associated with nodal development and transportation demand management.  She said by just noticing those two items it was too limiting and they preferred the broader statement.

 

Sorenson stated there was general agreement with Number 1.

 

Thompson noted Policy 2 addressed operations, maintenance and preservation.  He said there was a fair amount of public testimony in support of full funding of operation, maintenance and preservation needs.  He said the staff recommendation is no change and the other three jurisdictions had concurred.

 

Dwyer said he was not in favor of building more roads as they can’t be maintained.

 

Sorenson said the policy sounded good, and asked how it could be implemented.

 

Childs responded the Eugene City Council considered and recommended a new policy that was not included in the memo that would speak to improving system efficiency and management before adding capacity.

 

Thompson noted that existing Policy 2 addresses maintenance.

 

Stinchfield added the policy is there to state the Board’s intention and it is up to the Board to ask County staff if they are doing it.  He noted they have to have a rational maintenance and preservation program and that the Board agrees with the policy.

 

Childs noted that the  City of Eugene adopted Policy 2 with no change.

 

Thompson noted the reduction in OM & P costs called for in the financially constrained TransPlan applies to Springfield and Eugene because they have a shortfall in their OM & P budgets. He added it does not affect Lane County.

 

Thompson noted Number 3, prioritization, staff recommended no change to the policy.  He noted there is a second option, adding the clarification to the policy definition and intent.  He said regional system improvements are already in the policy definition and intent language.  He added the only addition is adding the word “major” to the definition and intent language.  He noted that Eugene approved Option 2 and LTD and Springfield said no change, or Option 1.

 

Morrison stated she didn’t want Lane County losing control over federal road dollars.

 

Stinchfield noted it wasn’t written with that intention.

 

Stinchfield noted the STIP projects that ODOT performs are reflected in the TIF.  He reiterated the intent was for federal highway revenues that are distributed through ODOT, not for the County federal receipts.  He suggested changing the wording and having it come back before the Board, discussing federal highway programs, and not the County’s timber receipts. He added they are not recommending any mandatory pricing measures.

 

Weeldreyer requested that they come back with language to address the concerns with Policy 3.

 

Thompson reported with Policy 4,  there was little if any testimony related to this.  He noted that staff recommended is no change to the policy and the other jurisdictions had concurred.

 

Stinchfield noted in the metro area, the two cities have SDC charges. He said the County had never adopted SDC’s.  He added there are no direct bicycle fees.

 

Sorenson stated that the Board agreed with no change.

 

Thompson reported that on Policy 5 (short term project priorities) there was public testimony in support and staff recommended no change.

 

Sorenson reported the Board agreed with no change.

 

Thompson noted that the three policies on page 6 of the memo arose from public testimony.  He said LTD and Springfield voiced no support for any of the three policies, while the City of Eugene considered policy Number 1 and proposed a newly worded policy and approved it.  He said it states:  “Local jurisdictions will seek changes and current restrictions in county, state and federal transportation funding.”

Childs reported the council, in discussing the proposed new policy, did not want to limit lifting restrictions to only the gas tax.  She said that, to the extent there were other funding sources that were limited, they thought those should be considered.  She said it is a variation of Option 2, providing legislative policy direction.

 

Sorenson asked about the significance of the policy suggestions.

 

Thompson responded the three policies that came from public testimony in the memo received no support.  He said the City of Eugene had proposed three new finance policies that would go to the joint session on July 12.

 

Stinchfield noted the primary importance to the County would be the removal of the constitutional restriction on gas tax uses.  He said it is currently restricted to activities that benefit the motorist.

 

Childs noted that none of the jurisdictions supported new Policy No. 2.  She said Policy No. 3 was a suggestion for a policy that commits funding to bicycle infrastructure and that it would be based on bike ridership as a percentage of total trips.  She said the City of Eugene was not in agreement, but they recommended a new bike finance policy.

 

Green asked how this policy would be different than SDC’s that are collected to develop these.

 

Childs responded the language they suggested was support for funding of bicycle project capital and operations and maintenance needs as identified in TransPlan.  She added there was frustration that a number of bike projects were shown on the future year list and not within the 20 year constrained plan and a desire to seek additional sources of funding so all of those projects could also be addressed.

 

Rob Zako, Friends of Eugene, reported there was frustration as there was little spent on bicycles and pedestrians.  He said there needs to be a direction indicated to reduce VMT as much as possible with pedestrians and bicycles.

 

Schwetz reported there is Attachment 4 that describes the alternative planned performance measures that are being proposed by staff.    He said the amendments to the TPR allow to not meet the original target of a 10% reduction in vehicle miles traveled to develop alternative ways of demonstrating to DLCD that the jurisdictions are meeting the intent of the TPR.  He noted in the amendments to the TPR, DLCD staff named three objectives they must meet to demonstrate they are meeting the TPR:  reduction in the reliance of automobiles; accomplishing a significant increase in the availability or convenience of alternative modes; and a significant increase in the share of trips made by alternative modes including walking, biking, ridesharing and transit.  He noted that staff developed a framework that considered a strategy for public policy and investment and what the public’s reaction would be.  He discussed Section 2 of his memo regarding the framework. 

 

Schwetz mentioned that after the joint work sessions all the changes will be disseminated showing what all adopting officials have agreed to and this would be part of the public review.  He said the record would need to be reopened for written comment.

 

Schwetz noted they selected two measures.  He said if they could demonstrate a decline in the drive alone mode share, it would be demonstrating reduced reliance.  He added the other measure is the percentage of non-auto trips, walking and biking transit.  He noted an increase in that measure shows they are reducing reliance on the auto.  He reported the plan shows a proposed target of a 10% increase in the use of non-auto trips.  He said on the demand side, they have plan implementation measures including transit service hours per capita and they are proposing a 50% increase in that.  He said if LTD is increasing their service hours by 50%, it will be making transit more convenient.

 

Morrison asked how things would be tracked.  She said just because the hours that the buses are in service are increased doesn’t mean the ridership will be increased.  She asked how the drive alone mode share would be measured.

 

Schwetz responded the models are suggesting that everything done in TransPlan will result in the demand side achievement of  increased non-auto trips.

 

Schwetz noted the bikeway miles are also being proposed.  He stated the results are in the table and LTD is looking at the transit service hours per capita measure and may be proposing an alternative.

 

Sorenson asked what will happen at the end of the 20-year period if they do not receive a 50% increase in bikeway miles or 10% of non-auto trips.

 

Schwetz responded that the plan will be updated every three years and they will determine if they are meeting what is necessary.

 

9. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS

 

None.

 

10. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

None.

 

11. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 3:10 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary