2014.07 July meeting minutes

Regular monthly meeting:
July 14, 2014
Portland City Hall, Room 209

5:30 p.m.: Welcome and introductions. In attendance: 
Damon Yakovleff
Tim Fuller, City of Portland
Tom Nosal
Zack Barowitz
Bruce Hyman, City of Portland bike and pedestrian coordinator
Kristine Keeney, City of Portland planning intern
Greg Smith
Nikki Anderson
Christian MilNeil (taking notes)
Bobbi Keppel
Jen Claster, South Portland

5:35 p.m.: Bruce H. introduced Kristine, the city's planning intern. She's bee working on a follow-up to the EPA bikeshare study of 2013. 


Kristine: Examining different models for implementation:

* Hubway/Citybike model: run by Alta Bike Share, station-based, more expensive
* "4th-generation" model: stationless, bikes with on-board computers. Social Bicycles in Buffalo, NY and A2B Bikeshare in Lansing, MI. Less expensive, with less infrastructure. 

Kristine is drafting a "Request for Qualifications" to go out to bikeshare firms, with a request for price quotes. 

Next steps: find funding, hire a part-time bikeshare coordinator, do community engagement to re-start the city dialog about the bikeshare idea.

Issues raised from committee members: Who would use it? Tourists? Office workers? Tourists a major source of operating income in other bikeshare cities. 

Shut down for the winter? (City of Cambridge paid to keep Hubway open year-round this year; but City of Boston opted instead to fund additional stations)

Helmets? Social equity of smartphone and credit card-based systems? 

Funding from parking meter revenue, in conjunction with one of our policy priorities to extend paid parking rates and hours? Also funding from sponsorships and grants.

Corey Templeton, Abby King (Bike Coalition of Maine), John Brooking and Alex Landry arrived.


Bruce: 34 new bike hitches have been purchased w/ a grant received in 2013. City lacks funds for installation for now, but some have gone in (at Holy Donut, Katie Made bakeries). In FY 2014 budget, $6500 included for bike parking. $2000 will go to installation, and some will go to installation of pilot bike corrals.

Crema and Rosemont streetfront on Commercial Street a probable pilot location. Strong need for bike parking, trail adjacent, current loading zone. 

Bruce is looking for businesses that can support installation costs and ongoing maintenance and upkeep. Some are interested but removing existing metered parking will literally require an act of the City Council. 

Update: at PTC, new bike racks will replace the older hinged bike lockers. About 14 new racks in the same location. 

Damon: Can the Committee assist at all with outreach? 

Bruce suggests revisiting the crowdsourced Google Map (link posted on Google Group). Caveat: the city can't install bike racks on private property, e.g. the Rite Aid plaza on Congress Street. Question about bike parking for the new food co-op (in the same plaza). 

Zack: Bike corrals at the library and Casco Bay Lines can attract theft, since those are places where thieves can find bikes that are unattended for a long time. Focus on high-visibility locations.

Alex L. is concerned about Public Services installing racks on overtime — drawing down our small budget. Why can't installation be a priority for DPS during normal working hours? 

Bruce responded that scheduling is a challenge, esp. w/ relatively small jobs like a single bike hitch, but is aware of the need to be frugal. 

Bruce also raised the possibility of collaborating with BCM and MECA for possible artistic bike racks. 


Bruce still working on the planning and design manual for complete streets — the implementation component of the city's complete streets policy adopted in 2012. A working group started work last summer. Staffing limitations this spring and summer have limited progress. 

Updates the city's technical manual, which only has 3 street layouts. Updated technical manual will have 8 street types depending on neighborhood context, connecting street network, land use, and multimodal traffic levels. Would also include checklists for planning dept. for approval of new projects and streets. Elements from the NYC Design Manual are also incorporated. "Shared space" will be one of the 8 street types. 

Bruce announced that he's moving from Public Services to Planning Department, and he hopes that he'll have more time to devote to this effort this fall. 


Bruce announced that the MDOT is planning a sidewalk resurfacing on the Casco Bay Bridge and plan to close the sidewalk completely for 3 weeks during construction. MDOT plan is to have pedestrians use the shoulders/bike lanes. Would start one week from today. City is opposed to the MDOT's plan.

Abby: what about using jersey barriers to create a protected path?

Bruce: City raised this possibility, MDOT objects because placing/removing barriers would exceed the project's budget. 

Nikki suggested bollards. 

Alex expressed incredulity that the construction contractor was not required to make a detour plan for pedestrians (as happened with the Veranda Street bridge project).

Zack will draft a letter to MDOT asking for a delay for the project until a better accommodation plan is in place. Jen will bring the draft to the South Portland Bike/Ped Committee meeting which she intends to attend on Thursday. 


Bruce saus that the painting contractor is running late on many road stripes, sharrow markings, etc. The city is pressuring them to get it done faster. 


Jen: Volunteers have been doing bike/ped counts at "Sundays on the Boulevard". They did an April baseline count, before Sundays on the Boulevard began, then one in May and one in June. In May, there were 2.25 times as many adults using the road and 11 times more kids.  Counts are conducted at the Hersey Street stairs and at the Payson Park driveway entrance. Seeking count volunteers for August and Sept.


Nikki: Restaurants are required to leave 4 feet of clearance between dining areas and the curb. For complaints, call Chuck Fagone at the City of Portland's Code Enforcement dept: 874-8789; psf@portlandmaine.gov. City is also supposed to mark legal dining areas on the sidewalk, but they're hard to find. 


Jen: The draft plan is now being vetted by the Public Advisory Committee. 1st draft had very few street and infrastructure priorities; committee members asked that more be included. New draft has more, including stormwater infrastructure. 

A public meeting should be scheduled for later this summer. 


Nikki: Police and Dan Stewart from MDOT have been unresponsive to the speeding traffic on the Veterans Bridge approach. PACTS is looking into why the 'chicanes' haven't been repainted. 

Peter Monro arrived. 

Tim Fuller has printed new brochures, business cards and a banner for us to use at events. 

Bruce: the city is hiring a new 'neighborhood livability' officer who may be able to do better on sidewalk snow removal complaints. 

Also, the City Council will meet on Monday to potentially adopt the city's "Capital Investment Plan" (CIP) budget. 

Zack: A possible bike-themed event might happen in Congress Square Park in August. Maybe Aug. 14.


Alex Landry nominated Zack Barowitz to be the committee's Vice Chair, effective immediately. Bobbi K. seconded. By our bylaws Zack will become the committee Chair next April when elections will be held for the Vice Chair and Secretary positions. Jen asked whether Zack would miss many meetings due to frequent travel to NYC, and Zack responded that he's leaving town less frequently now, and doesn't anticipate missing any meetings. 

Damon Y. called for a vote. The election was unanimous. 

Meeting adjourned at 7:10 p.m.