BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

WORK SESSION

April 13, 2004

9:00 a.m.

Commissionersí Conference Room

APPROVED 3/9/05

 

Commissioner Bobby Green, Sr., presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Don Hampton, Anna Morrison and Peter Sorenson present.Assistant County Counsel Stephen Vorhes, County Administrator Bill Van Vactor and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

Morrison stated she had to take part in a conference call at 9:30 a.m. with the National Forest County Schools.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Christine Larsen, 839 Royal Dell Lane, Springfield, said she was dismayed at the way the public hearing came through for the Parkway project.She thought it was unfortunate that the Springfield City Council didnít have a tighter rein on the people who were in the audience.She asked the Board to have more decorum with the public hearing so all people will be listened to with respect.

 

3. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

None.

 

4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

To take place after the meeting.

 

5. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. WORK SESSION/Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway Alignment and Other Design Elements.

 

Green noted this work session was to be held before the Public Hearing as an information item and they will not deliberate the merits of the program.He noted tomorrow is the public hearing, but they might have to re-schedule a work session, based upon what they hear from the public.

 

Sonny Chickering, Public Works, wanted to provide an opportunity for the Board to have questions asked about the project.

 

Green wanted to know about the roundabout and the safety concerns.

 

Dwyer stated he had concerns about the process and the stakeholders of the project.He found the process to be flawed.He said the Board agreed to fund this when the area didnít have a hospital but a mixed-use node under their transportation planning rules.He noted that things have changed since then.He was concerned about a two-lane roundabout.He said they agreed to fund something thinking it would have a traditional design. He wasnít happy with the process, the product or the outcomes.

 

Chickering explained the County has limited experience with roundabout design.He said in general, roundabouts would move more vehicles than a traffic signal because there are not the fixed time requirements in between red, green and yellow cycles.He commented that roundabouts do not handle bicycles and pedestrians as well as a traffic signal.He said in this case the city proposed a two-lane roundabout because the traffic warranted it.His concerns with the two-lane roundabout are focused on the bicyclists and pedestrians.He noted what tends to happen with a two-lane vehicle entry into a roundabout is that vehicles space themselves out like signals on onramps.He said there are drawbacks going with a signal as it will not perform adequately.

 

Chickering said he had relayed to the city staff his concerns about the bicycles and pedestrians.He said they made an effort at potential improvements to the roundabout to improve the situation.He listed several improvements on page 7. (Copy in file).He noted they have existing bike paths that are already there that are pedestrian and bicycle generators.He said they are discussing adding a bus rapid transit station at or near the roundabout

 

Sorenson thought a drawback of the roundabout is making it harder for people to get out of their cars to make local trips and for people who were disabled or children trying to cross the street.

 

Chickering noted there were 15 separate recommendations related to the Martin Luther King Parkway.They thought that seven significantly impacted County residents or were within the general parameters of the Gateway Refinement Plan.He wanted the board to act specifically on those seven issues.He thought the Board would agree with the Springfield City Council.He suggested approving those under the board order and the recommendations they donít agree with could be sent back to the city council requesting reconsideration.

 

Dwyer asked that the sound walls be effective and measured from the highway base.

 

Chickering stated he would work on the Seward Wayside Lane issue, drain fields, the BRT and the sound wall.He noted a conflict with the BRT is width size. He indicated that the city is recommending 76 feet, which does not allow a dedicated space for the BRT.He added there are large transmissions lines that are owned by SUB that go down the center of the right-of-way.He said what the city has suggested is that LTD could negotiate with SUB to relocate those poles.He noted there was space available but it would come at a high cost to LTD.

 

Chickering indicated his perspective on the cityís recommendation is that they were uncomfortable making a decision to acquire additional right-of-way beyond what they needed for their road, that the additional right-of-way would impact County residents, not city residents.With regard to the BRT right-of-way, the city has recommended 76 feet, but they would prefer 86 feet.He said they also proposed a compromise of 82 Ĺ feet.He noted it would provide a greater lateral clearance between the BRT vehicle and the motor vehicles in the adjacent lane.He said the city stated concerns about the lateral clearance.He added the width of the right-of-way would impact the drain fields.He noted if they went with the 76-foot width there would be four properties affected.He said there was sufficient room to make the systems fully functioning.He added if they went to the 86-foot width, there would be an additional four properties that were similarly impacted, for a total of eight properties.He noted there was sufficient room to make an adjustment.

 

Nick Arnis, City of Springfield, reported they hired a sound wall consultant to look at the methodology.†† He noted they combined criteria and they want to have sound absorbing material on the sound wall.He said they looked at the height of the sound wall to mitigate the sound as best they can.

 

Chickering stated they took money that was in their CIP for urban improvements on Game Farm South and they dedicated those funds for construction on MLK.He said currently they donít have a project in their CIP to put urban improvements on Game Farm South.He said that Peace Health was committed to putting urban improvements only on the east side of Game Farm Road.

 

Chickering explained that the Board could take action tomorrow.He added they could schedule a second work session and public hearing.He said they might want to keep the record open.

 

6. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

None.

 

7. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

None.

 

8. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Green recessed the meeting into Executive Session at 10:30 a.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary