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Summary Meeting Notes: July 25, 2012 Networks PEG Meeting

July 25, 2012 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

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

Other Attendees: Roger Averbech, Salim Mayberry, Matt Wickstrom, Joan Frederiksen, Mary Vogel

Facilitator:  Jim Owens

Key Points and Outcomes:

An explanation was provided of the relationship of the City’s Transportation Systems Plan (TSP) and its various components to other planning processes, with suggestions for inclusion of several additional plans, e.g. Metro’s Regional Functional Plan, within the matrix of related planning direction.  Key policy choices recommended by City staff were presented, with a variety of additional issues and sub-issues identified.  Staff will respond to those suggestions prior to the next PEG meeting and PEG members will have an opportunity to identify any additional key policy choices to be considered and to comment on staff responses.  A revised set of policy choices will be presented for approval at the August meeting.

Introductions and June Meeting Summary

Presenter: Jim Owens, Facilitator

Summary: PEG members, staff and members of the audience were asked to introduce themselves.  There were no corrections or additions to the June 27 meeting summary.  Jim announced that the 4th annual Oregon Transportation Summit will be held on September 10 at Portland State University.  He also announced that a Meeting Evaluation Form has been developed and will be distributed at the end of each PEG meeting.

Review of Schedule and Scope of Work

Presenter: Courtney Duke, Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT)

Summary: Courtney identified proposed changes in meeting topics over the next several meetings.  The August meeting date (August 29) is unchanged.  An updated schedule of meeting topics will be distributed prior to the next meeting.

Transportation Planning 101 

Presenter: Courtney Duke, PBOT

Summary: Courtney described the various plans that are integrated into the City’s Transportation Systems Plan (TSP) and the relationship of the TSP to the Comprehensive Plan, Regional Transportation Plan, Transportation Planning Rule, etc.  She noted that not all component plans, e.g. Climate Action Plan and Bike Plan, have been folded into the TSP.  It was also explained that the TSP is being updated on the same schedule as the Comprehensive Plan. 


  • Is it within the PEG’s scope to address the process to integrate all the component plans?
  • Metro’s Regional Functional Plan needs to be included in the family of policy documents.
  • The City Club’s study on regional transportation funding will be an important reference document.
  • When discussing freight, typically only the movement of goods is addressed.  The freight discussion needs to be expanded to address street classifications, including provisions for loading/unloading of freight.
  • Performance measures do not receive adequate attention being included as the last element of the TSP; they need to be addressed as a larger issue.
  • The City is divided into transportation districts with policies/action plans specific to each district.
  • The planning horizon is 2035.

Meeting Handouts and Presentations:

  • PowerPoint Presentation:  Transportation Planning 101

Summary of Major Policy/Work Plan Choices 

Presenter:  Eric Engstrom, Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS)

Summary: Eric led a discussion of key policy choices identified by BPS, as well as questions that staff feels need to be addressed as part of the Comprehensive Plan update.  The questions are organized by general topic areas:  access to nature/green networks, measuring transportation services, integrating the Bicycle Plan for 2030, the role of the streetcar and frequent bus service, maintaining freight access, policies for local street improvements, how to treat trails, and safe routes to schools.

Discussion:  PEG members generally endorsed the topics and questions identified by Eric as key policy choices to be addressed.  Comments on those policy choices and additional topics identified for consideration included:

  • Waterway commuter system
  • Off-street commercial parking
  • Freight mobility
  • Burying or capping I-5 on the eastside 
  • High speed rail
  • Future of transportation - how might networks be different in 2035?
  • Given transportation hierarchy, how to apply different street standards without changing the purpose of the street?
  • Economic prosperity – how will it be addressed?
  • Bike Plan – conflicts with street classifications, parking standards, and loading/offloading
  • How to de-silo treatment of transportation among agencies
  • Water treatment needs to be part of the hierarchy
  • Hierarchy needs to be applied to the specific situation
  • Proportionality – broaden to any exaction
  • Parking
  • Sustainable freight policy
  • Mixing/matching networks
  • Vision – designing to meet the vision now
  • Future funding
  • Avoiding partial improvements
  • Not acceptable to wholesale incorporate the Bike Plan; need to explore options for integrating
  • Role of state highways
  • LOS – how to address other modes; performance measures that are not mode specific; other policy dimensions
  • Corridors that go through districts rather than stop at districts; streets that serve wide variety of districts
  • Transparent system for financing improvements
  • Age demographics
  • Trade-off or integration issues as the priority
  • Project selection criteria
  • Universal application of policy or specific applicability, e.g. stormwater
  • Separating systems may be appropriate
  • Transportation equity vis-à-vis specific geographic areas, e.g. employment zones
  • Designing trails based on function
  • Illumination,ADA, other features that facilitate use of trails
  • Changes in uses of trails over time
  • Policies that support well-designed trails vis-à-vis amenities, etc.
  • Rail -  Accommodating expanding use; addressing effects
  • Transportation portals in/out of the City --  controlling how they function through local street classifications
  • Uses within the public right-of-way

Meeting Handouts and Presentations:

  • PowerPoint Presentation:  Network Policy Choices

Public Comment 

  • Improved intra-bureau cooperation on stormwater management is needed.
  • Explanation is needed of how the Comprehensive Plan update is to be synced with ongoing corridor planning projects – which comes first?
  • In addressing the issue of freight, need to address accommodating bicycle freight.

Wrap Up 

Presenter: Jim Owens

Summary: Jim proposed that PEG staff prepare and circulate a response to the policy choices/questions raised and that PEG members comment on the responses prior to the August meeting.  The opportunity to identify any other additional policy choices to be considered will also be provided.  The response will address which policy choices staff believes are appropriate to be added, which have already been addressed or are being addressed through other venues, and which are beyond the scope of this process, given limited time and staff resources.  The goal will be to be able to frame a succinct discussion of the scope of the PEG’s policy focus at the August meeting.

For more information, please contact either Courtney Duke, PBOT at 503-823-7265 or or Jim Owens, Facilitator at 503-278-3452 or

Meeting Evaluation:

  1. Overall Meeting Quality: Poor/1 (0); 2 (0); 3 (1); 4 (7); Excellent/5 (5)
  2. Pace: Too Slow (1); Just Right (11); Too Fast (0)
  3. Presentations: Poor/1 (0); 2 (2); 3 (2); 4 (7); Excellent/5 (2)
  4. Discussion: Poor/1 (0); 2 (0); 3 (0); 4 (9); Excellent/5 (3)
  5. Balance of Presentations & Discussion: Poor/1 (0); 2 (0); 3 (1); 4 (8); Excellent/5 (45)
  6. Materials / Documents: Poor/1 (0); 2 (2); 3 (2); 4 (4); Excellent/5 (3)
  7. Least Useful:
  • Handouts sometimes not legible
  • Hard to read some slides .. goes with the system

     8.  Most Useful:

  • Discussion and hearing different viewpoints.
  • Eric framing up some issues as a straw proposal.
  • Loved TSP breakdown.
  • Overview of issues and Comprehensive Plan/TSP.
  • Thanks for including public comment.

    9.  Questions, Comments, or Suggestions for future meetings (use back side for more space):

  • Look for opportunities to distribute materials beforehand to maximize meeting time.
  • This ground work is essential but I fear at this pace we’ll have trouble finishing with quality recommendations with PEG consensus.  Lots of work ahead.
  • Covered a lot of material succinctly.  Well organized presentations.
  • Not yet.
  • I would not want more materials.  Will they be posted on-line?
  • Must we be so bike-centric?