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Summary Meeting Notes: September 26, 2012 Networks PEG

September 26, 2012 from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m.

PEG Attendees: Ivy Dunlap, Mike Faha, Eric Hesse, Denver Igarta, Keith Liden, Linda Nettekoven, Gavin Prichard, Lidwien Rahman, Allan Schmidt, Irene Schwoeffermann, Chris Smith, Peter Stark, Jay Sugnet, Pia Welch, Eric Engstrom, Courtney Duke, Jim Owens

Other Attendees: Salim Mayberry, Mary Vogel

Facilitator: Jim Owens

Key Points and Outcomes:
Presentations were made on the civic corridor, greenway and habitat corridor components of the Healthy Connected City strategy outlined in the Portland Plan, as well as on integrating the Bicycle Plan into the Comprehensive Plan.   Discussion focused on policy questions specific to each topic.  PEG members generally agreed that the Healthy Connected Cities concept works as an integrating and coordinating concept and can be used to facilitate agency coordination on specific projects.  A variety of preliminary criteria were identified on where to apply the concept.  Members indicated that the process for integrating bikeways and greenways should be a combination of amendments through the Comprehensive Plan Update and future amendments based on criteria developed through this process.  A presentation was made on green infrastructure networks but, due to lack of time, discussion of policy issues on a green infrastructure network was moved to the October meeting.

Introductions and August Meeting Summary
Presenter: Jim Owens, Facilitator
Summary: PEG members, staff and members of the audience were asked to introduce themselves.  In the August 29 meeting summary, the Summary of the Health Equity Framework discussion was corrected to read:

  • Recognizing it to be a framework for evaluating specific roadway projects, PEG members identified the framework as an example to consider in creating similar evaluation frameworks for Networks PEG decision elements.

Review of Schedule
Presenter: Jim Owens, Facilitator
Summary: The group was reminded that the October meeting will be convened at 2:00 pm versus 3:00 pm to accommodate Halloween events.  Eric Engstrom advised the group of the likelihood of an upcoming meeting being dedicated to equity training.

Framework for Green Network
Presenter: Eric Engstrom, BPS
Summary: Preparatory for presentations on Green Connections and Bike/Greenways Integration, Eric explained how the Portland Plan addresses green connections through the concept of a Healthy Connected City, a concept to unify the variety of systems plans prepared by the City.

Green Connections
Presenter:  Bill Cunningham, BPS
Description: Presentation on green connections concept from the Portland Plan.  Followed by group discussion on the following policy questions:

  • Does the Healthy Connected Cities concept work as an integrating and coordinating concept?
  • How can this concept be used to facilitate agency coordination on specific projects?
  • How should green connections be incorporated into centers and hubs?
  • How well does the concept respond to the equity checklist?

Discussion:

  • Need to differentiate between bicycles versus pedestrians; they have differing design needs. 
  • If trails are to be part of the transportation system, they need to be designed to accommodate a variety of uses at different times of day, e.g. be lighted.  However, lights can affect wildlife use of the green corridors.
  • Challenge is how to make Civic Corridors and green connections work for a variety of uses.
  • How is this concept connected to growth areas?
  • How are existing street functions considered in selecting routes for green connections?  How are conflicts among functions resolved? 
  • Land uses and transportation system elements will vary along a corridor.  It is assumed that they will not be managed the same for the full length of a corridor.
  • Maintenance capabilities/limitations need to be considered.
  • How have green networks already impacted businesses?
  • Need to address equity considerations in designating Civic Corridors.
  • Does the Healthy Connected Cities concept work as an integrating and coordinating concept?
    • Generally yes, but need to pay attention to the nuances.
    • Corridors may not be a single street.
    • Examples of where the concept has worked include Denver Avenue.
    • What criteria are used to select where to apply the concept?
      • How well does it connect centers and hubs
      • Amount of use by all modes
      • Populations served
      • Capacity of the corridor to accommodate planned uses
      • Are there other benefits to be obtained
    • How can this concept be used to facilitate agency coordination on specific projects?
      • Yes, generally lends itself to improved coordination, but the devil is in the details.
      • Develop a checklist of parties to consult with.
      • Advisory committees can be a source of feedback.
      • Challenge is to overcome the internal resistance among bureaus to shared decision-making on priority projects.  Need to define the benefits of the project beyond those specific to an individual bureau.

Related Materials:

Bike/Greenways Integration
Presenter: Denver Igarta, PBOT
Description: Presentation on implementing and integrating the Portland Bicycle Plan into the Comprehensive Plan and Transportation System Plan (TSP).  Followed by group discussion on the following policy questions:

  • How should bikeways and greenways be integrated into the Comprehensive Plan and TSP?
  • How should bikeways and greenways be linked into centers and hubs?
  • How should conflicts between green connections and freight routes be addressed?
  • How does the City’s bike and greenway system relate to ODOT’s network?
  • How well do the PEG’s recommendations respond to the equity checklist?

Discussion:

  • Existing and planned land uses have to be taken into account; what conflicts might arise?
  • Not all transit is the same (streetcars versus light rail) and the conflicts between these systems and bicycles will vary.
  • In designating local city bikeways, the concern is not limited to parking removal but also conflicts with freight loading/unloading.
  • Bikes can benefit freight movement by moving autos off streets.
  • Equivalent policies are needed for pedestrians.
  • How should bikeways and greenways be integrated into the Comprehensive Plan and TSP?
    • Process should be a combination of amendments through the Comprehensive Plan Update and future amendments based on criteria developed through this process.
    • Goal should be to have a flexible process.
    • What type of public involvement will be used to engage all the affected/interested parties?

Related Materials:

  • Portland Plan direction on the Portland Bicycle Plan
  • Bicycle and greenway system maps 

Green Infrastructure Approach

Presenter: Marie Walkiewicz, BES

Description: Presentation on the green infrastructure network, focusing on stormwater management and habitat enhancement. Followed by group discussion on the following policy questions:

  • How can the planning and design of infrastructure be better integrated to achieve a green network?
  • For Comprehensive Plan purposes, how should the green infrastructure network be defined?
  • How is a green infrastructure network integrated with other Comprehensive Plan elements?

Discussion:  There was minimal discussion due to the hour.  Questions asked included:

  • Are transportation corridors intended to also be habitat corridors?
  • Is the Springwater Trail a recreation corridor, transportation corridor, habitat corridor or all three?

Public Comment 
No public comments were received.

Wrap Up and Adjourn
Presenter: Jim Owens, Facilitator
Description: Summary of actions, schedule and assignments
Discussion:  It was agreed to invite Marie to return and resume discussion of the Green Infrastructure policy questions at the October meeting.

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