BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
and LANE TRANSIT DISTRICT
June 9, 2004
Commissioners Conference Room
Members Present of Lane Transit District:† Gerry Gaydos, Susan Ban, Dave Kleger, Virginia Lauritsen and Ken Hamm.
Commissioner Bobby Green, Sr., presided with Commissioner Bill Dwyer, Don Hampton,† Anna Morrison and Peter Sorenson present.† County Administration Bill Van Vactor, Assistant County Counsel Stephen Vorhes and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. Call to Order.
2. Martin Luther King Junior Parkway Design.
Ban reported the Lane Transit District requested an 86-foot right-of-way on the Martin Luther King Parkway.† She said it would allow them to have back-to-back jump lanes for the EmX line.† She indicated it would keep the flow of traffic even.† She noted in March the Springfield City Council voted for a 76-foot right-of-way for their southern section of the Martin Luther King Parkway, but that did not allow for the EmX ramp.† She asked the Board to review the 86-foot right-of-way.† She said it is important because the bus rapid transit does not work without exclusive right-of-way and lane access.† She noted it is a one-time opportunity to build the road right the first time as they are developing the area.† She indicated the traffic projects projected that the parkway will have high traffic volume and if access to the exclusive lane were not there the bottleneck would impact the entire system.† She recalled the council and the board selected the Pioneer Parkway unanimously because it was an opportunity to take advantage of the new development for BRT in creating a new road and BRT was the preferred transit strategy in TransPlan.† She requested they move to the wider right-of-way to make the passage to Martin Luther King Parkway faster and more efficient.
Dwyer said he attended the public hearing at the city council.† He didnít like roundabouts and didnít agree to put one there.† He asked about how many property owners they are dealing with, and how they are going to compensate people for the loss of their property, and what effect it would have.† He asked whose power they would use to take the peopleís property.† He said LTD has the power of eminent domain and they are best able to make a determination of the minimums.† He wondered how contentious this issue was going to be.
Stefano Viggiano, LTD, stated that in the materials was a complete list of the property owners along the Parkway.† He said there are 38 property owners.† He said they tried to contact all of them and were successful in talking to 22 owners.† He noted the reaction was mixed.† He said that four or six people were concerned about this.† He added that some were willing to sell their property.† He indicated at the public hearing there was some concern about a petition. He said at the public hearing the County held, this issue wasnít mentioned.
Sonny Chickering, Public Works, stated they looked at both the city and the LTD impacts for the septic system and the original right-of-way would affect four drain fields.† He added if they were to go 86 feet wide it would affect eight drain fields and they would have to reconstruct them.
Dwyer asked if those accommodations were being considered in the project.
Viggiano responded their Board approved expenditure of LTD funds to accommodate the additional right-of-way and the land and any impacts associated with the additional property, including the relocation of the septic system.
Sorenson asked if the efficiency of BRT would be improved by having the single access lane for the vehicles.
Ban responded that it is the one element of BRT that has the most impact for the efficiency of the system.
Sorenson wanted the community to buy into this and make it work.† He said they will have to have a higher percentage of it to be single access, otherwise people will be stuck in traffic and the targeted riders wonít ride it.† He said the Board and city council have to work on the single access concept.† He asked if LTD could do the eminent domain instead of the city or county.
Ban indicated they had that authority.
Hamm said they were prepared to do that if necessary.† He said they look at the MLK Parkway project as a street project and they are trying to fit in BRT.† He said if the city has already had a dialogue with the property owners then they could decide what makes the most sense.† He thought the city should continue to lead the project.
Viggiano indicated the cost difference between a 76 and 86-foot width, with a hook up to the sewers, is an additional $230,000, based on County land values.
With regard to eminent domain, Green stated the Boardís preference would be for LTD to do it.
Chickering said they have to acquire the first five feet with the city, then the next five feet with LTD.† He said because they are different agencies it could create parallel tracks and they might have to process those separately.
Vorhes said it could be possible to combine the legal actions taken.† He said when they talk to the property owners about legal actions they could combine the three jurisdictions.
Chickering noted they currently have an IGA with the City of Springfield and are negotiating for property acquisition.† He said they could make their staff available on behalf of LTD.† He said they were already talking to residents.
3. EmX Update.
Gaydos reported this would connect downtown Eugene to Springfield.† He said they are having a groundbreaking on July 1.† He said they would soon be doing construction on the Springfield section because that needs to be ready when the station opens in September.† He said they would be widening South A Street and putting a traffic calming into Springfield to slow traffic down.† He noted they were putting in a new traffic signal at the intersection of Pioneer Parkway East and South A.† He added they were going ahead with placing utilities underground on the north side of Franklin Boulevard between Riverfront Parkway to Onyx.† He stated in 2005 they would do the rest of the construction with the exclusive right-of-way and complete Franklin to I-5 and the work in Glenwood.
Viggiano indicated they have been working on the rest of the corridor.† He said they have been through a preliminary design process with members of the public to get ideas for what would work best along certain streets.† He said those are now in the environmental review process.† He stated because they are using federal funds and it is an extensive process, it would take two to three years.† He said they are trying to get funding.† He said they donít have the funding for the Pioneer Parkway corridor.† He commented if they are not successful in getting the funding, then their Board will have to make a decision to continue to do the planning work.† With regard to the Riverfront Parkway, they have been working with Peace Health and they would agree to allocate land to EmX lanes in the median of River Bend with a stop near the hospital.† He added they have also been working at Harlow and Gateway.† He explained they started reviewing a third corridor.† He said the Eugene City Council asked them to look at Coburg Road.† He said they would be able to form an EmX loop with service in both directions.† He thought the earliest they would have construction begin on Coburg would be 2009/2010.† He said because of that they are not moving ahead on the planning work because it is premature.
4. Rural Transit Service Update.
Hamm attached a list of services they provide beyond the urban core of Eugene and Springfield.†† He noted they have relationships with other agencies. He said they pass through funds from the state that is federal rural small-city type dollars with Florence and Oakridge.
There being no further business, Commissioner Green adjourned the meeting at 1:10 p.m.