2013.05 May minutes

Portland Bike/Ped Advisory Committee Meeting

Portland City Hall - Room 209

Monday, May 13, 2013


5:30 pm: Welcome and Introductions

       Attending: Brian, John Schreiber, Damon (vice-Chair), Clifford Tremblay, Jen Claster (Chair), Bobbi Keppel, Jaime Parker

  • Bicycle Parking Subcommittee (presented by Damon)

    Subcommittee met, is looking at Casco Bay Lines terminal — good quantity of parking there, but not very secure in a "robber's nook". Met with Kevin Donoghue, who represents the islands.

    Jaime mentions that this is a high-theft location (he's personally had a bike stolen from there).

    At Portland Transportation Center, planning a meeting with Dana Knapp of Concord Coach lines.

    In general, looking at bike parking design guidelines and cost-sharing arrangements for bike rack installation. Current funds for bike racks are exhausted. Possible future funding from CDBG, CIP programs.

    Christian mentions that MDOT owns the parking lots surrounding the PTC, a possible source of funding or real estate for quality bike parking areas.

    Bobbi says that there is increasing pressure for racks at schools.

  • Congress Square (Ian and Clifford)

    Patrick Costin, architect for the hotel, presented Westin's proposal at April Housing and Community Development Committee (HCDC) meeting of the City Council. New plan has 40' setback from Congress St. lot line. Friends of Congress Sq. Park met with West End Neighborhood Assn and Parkside Neighborhood Assn. groups; meeting tonight with Bayside. On May 22 the Congress Sq. Redesign Cmte. will hear the proposal and vote on a recommendation to Council HCDC. May 29: Council's HCDC holds public hearing on the proposal.

    Most recently the architect and developer have pushed the building back another 10' from street (for a park that extends 50' back from Congress St.).

  • Libbytown Study (Christian)

    Alternatives under consideration would remove most freeway ramps from Congress/Park. 4 alternatives alternate between making Congress Street 1-way or 2-way, and keeping/removing the on-ramp from Park Ave. to I-295 north. If this ramp were eliminated it could be made available for an off-street bike/ped trail over the RR tracks from Libbytown to Deering Oaks.

    A public hearing will be held in June.

  • Spring St-Free St Concept Plan

    Jennifer announces that plan has been endorsed by City Council. Will proceed to final design later this year for 1st phase of construction (moving the curbs) in 2014, repaving in 2015.

  • Legislative Update (Damon)

    LD 1460 (3-foot passing law clarifications) has been designated "ought to pass" by committee, still pending amendments before final vote.

  • Walking School Bus

    Jennifer reports that participants find it "gratifying and fun." There are more participants on the East End for now.

  • EPA Bikesharing Workshop (Jennifer)

    Jennifer gave an overview of topics discussed at the City's bikeshare workshop in May, including a brief overview of predominant mechanical and operational models.   Alta will come back to the City with a 5-10 page report summarizing the discussion and feedback that was received, probably within the next month.  Following that report, the next step would be to form a task force and conduct a full feasibility study, which could take six months, and could be performed by an intern, or by a consultant. NEPRA's Zagster station for day-long rentals will be in place at the Transportation Center June 1st, and will probably only be comprised of a single station to address the lack of good transit to downtown Portland from the station. 

    The soonest we could expect to see a more comprehensive Bikeshare system in Portland (like Boston's Hubway, for example) is 2015/2016.  There was support for bikeshare at the meeting, which was attended by three city councilors and the mayor of South Portland, in addition to City and non-profit staff members.  If there is interest in moving ahead with a feasibility study, it was suggested the funding for this next step could possibly be made available through PACTS or others, but it was clear that the City cannot take this initiative forward on its own - it will rely heavily on others pushing to make it happen.  If the Bike-Ped Advisory Committee wants to help move this forward, we should think about drafting a resolution at the June meeting to present to one of the City Councilors present at the Bikeshare workshop.  It seems likely that at least one of the councilors present at the meeting would be willing to sponsor such a resolution.   

  • Open Streets FFAW (Jennifer)

    The car-free First Friday Art Walk initiative has run into some political snags that are keeping it from moving full-steam ahead at this time.  The subcommittee, Creative Portland, and BCM are continuing to try to work through some of these issues, and hopefully there will be some progress to report by the June meeting. It would be a good idea to vote on a resolution of support at the June meeting.  The pilot closure is at a critical point, and could use some visible community support at this time. 

    Jaime Parker reported on an effort to create a Cyclovia on Baxter Boulevard.  This idea was embraced by the City's Recreation Department, but the scope they envisioned was much smaller than the ideal, which would be a closure from Preble Street Extension to Bates Street past Payson Park every Sunday, not as a one-off event.  The timing for this could not be better as people are now accustomed to the road being closed as a result of this spring's construction.  Tim Fuller suggested presenting Parks and Rec with a more explicit proposal.  Bobbi suggested the Volksmarch community and Senior College walking group may want to get behind this idea.  This proposal could also use our stated support to help bring it to fruition. 
  • National Bike to Work Day
    Was Friday, March 17th. The Commuter Challenge was not held this year, as Healthy Portland is moving funding away from promotional events.
  • Martin's Point Bridge:
    Bobbi attended the final public meeting associated with the renovation of the Martin's Point Bridge, and reported that the lights and sidewalk, in addition to the shared use path, were all welcome additions. The lights will resemble the lights in the Walmart parking lot in Falmouth. The downside is that stop lights with crossings are over a mile apart. Falmouth will be installing sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides of the roadway from the end of the bridge to the village of Falmouth.