PBPAC Meeting March 14, 2022
Winston Lumpkins IV
Meeting was conducted online, Called to order at 7:05pm
Approval of previous minutes
Bike Ped Coordinator Letter
Recap – Portland used to have this position, eliminated under previous city manager. However, our argument is this position can help pay for itself because it brings in grants and leverages developer fees in project management
Letter sent to TSE committee
Haven’t heard back, but doesn’t necessarily mean we weren’t heard
Suggestion to follow up at budget time with personal communication
Zack suggests we remember the “seven request rule”, doesn’t hurt to be the squeaky wheel
If you have a personal connection to one of the 3 Councilors on the TSE committee (Zarro, Pelletier, and Rodriquez)
Also connected to finance (budget building), Dion, Fournier, Trevorrow, Snyder
Meeting with Parks on Sidewalk Snow Clearing
Parks staff are putting in high levels of effort with the equipment and staff funding available
Currently have 6 sidewalk plows, would need closer to 14 to provide levels of service comparable to downtown district or abutter cleared routes (if meeting ordinance requirements)
Plow machines are hard on staff, poor suspension
Cost is about $150k for sidewalk plows
Question – Is this the best equipment?
Plows have more vibration than brushes
However, brushes max out around 8 inches, and can’t push through berms as well
Could do some more research on this
Routes have been generated based on city-owned property that city must clear in the abutter model, working out from there
For more information see summary in John Clark email
Noted that Portland had a snow day when no other school did, essentially sounded like a mistake
Question – Are fines being assessed on abutters not clearing?
According to staff at meeting, about double the fines are being assessed as compared to last year
Zack suggests talking to “Lonny” at City Manager’s Office
One issue is that department assessing fines (public works) is also understaffed
Question – What comparable cities are doing a good job with this?
Montreal (also does a good job clearing bike infrastructure)
Question – What does METRO use for clearing stops?
Mostly use shovels, have some plows as well
Have “adopt a stop” program, but doesn’t seem to be working very well this year
Crowd funded drive?
Maybe could be a match to city funds
Could also be tied to parking revenue, typically Council doesn’t like to earmark funds but worth a suggestion
Nason’s Corner Audit
Several PBPAC and neighborhood residents attended
Didn’t walk on Brighton Ave. because it wasn’t cleared and was unsafe to walk on with a larger group, instead walked on side streets
Talked about how many sidewalks are in poor condition, aside from snow clearing. So people often walk in streets
Some of the sidewalks don’t drain properly, so form ice sheets on a regular basis (possibly addressed as City provides more funding for sidewalk, see discussion below)
City Council Meeting on 3/21
City capital budget going to be discussed next Monday at the City Council meeting
Suggestion – PBPAC can advocate at this meeting
See Steven Scharf’s email from Feb 10 for some more information
Report that city has a backlog of over $120 million for ADA improvements
Motion by Alex L, second by Damon Y, to finalize John C. letter and send before Council meeting
Amendment - Instead of asking for 8 new plows, could ask for 2 (“one additional plow” and then add “one additional plow” every subsequent year for 3-5 years until the fleet reaches 14 plows
Winston will finalize the letter, send to listserv, then submit to Council
Testify on Council meeting, check agenda for time when the Capital Improvement plan is on the agenda
Note that Capital plan is 5-year rolling
Discussion With Andrew Zarro
City is planning to increase funding for sidewalk maintenance
Possibility city will complete all 6 proposed bike lane improvement projects instead of the original plan to do 3
Winston will share this information back out to make sure it is fresh
Zarro is interested in car share, possibly based on a non-profit model used in Vermont.
Portland previously had a car-share program provided by U-Haul but it folded (only City with their program, perhaps not enough scale for it to work for them). Vehicle cleaning was a major issue
Could be considered a form of public transportation
Also a way to promote people buying smaller vehicles, rather than larger vehicles they may need a small percent of the time. Smaller vehicles better for environment and pedestrian safety
Todd M is working on ideas for this, potentially using an app. But since we are a small city the non-profit model may be better
Interested in a walk audit in District 4, try to maximize how many staff may attend
Potential location – Woodford Corner, Morrils Corner
Several Committee members feel Morrils needs more help, let’s do that one
Should follow up with Councilor Z for more info
Interim City Manager (Danielle West) is a cyclist
Suggest a Councilor Ride this spring, April or May, and invite City Manager
Also discussed bike share, looking for stations and sponsors
Springtime Councilor Ride Discussion
Seems like there’s a lot of interest, we could have 2 rides a year (the other one being in the fall, inviting candidates
Some benefit from having a ride that’s not at election time
Winston will email to get this moving
Next Walk Audit
Extend hours of meters
Todd M said that based on the data from the 2017 parking study we should include downtown garages as part of a comprehensive strategy. Biggest demand is Saturday at dinner time when the parking is free.
Todd, Zack, and whomever else will draft a letter
New road going through Smiling Hill Farm will bring more traffic to 295
Todd M: This adds to insolvency and because it is a State Authority is becomes forever bonded
Winston: This is a long-range project
Zack B. It will involve coalition building, if not by us by someone
Derek P and Jared M will form a subcom. Derek will chair it at the beginning and will notify the listserv
Bike to Work Day: May 20 at Congress Square Park
Organizational meeting on Wednesday March 16 from 2p-3p. Winston can represent
Photos should be made available on the listserv digest, is there a way to do that?
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"It is important to note that all three categories of strategies – land use, transit and roadway improvement – work together to provide the desired results. Coordinated implementation of all three strategies is integral to the study recommendations."
These recommendations are an integral part of implementing companion study recommendations for transportation improvements. Transportation (road and transit) solutions alone would not be sufficient to manage the traffic congestion that would occur in this region. In order to support future regional growth and economic viability, municipalities must adopt future land use patterns that support a more efficient way for residents to travel to jobs and services. Only in this way can the public investment in existing and new transportation infrastructure be protected. (ES-11)
One can debate the misguided effort to build more road capacity, but I think the study, by clearly linking the need for transit and better land use planning, provides a solid foundation for critique of the proposed connector construction. What is the proposed land use planning? Has it been completed? Will it be sufficient?, If not, how can road construction be justified and what will be the consequences?- and the same points for transit. The study conceded that just building roads will fail and be a waste of money, so don't even waste time on that.
On Mar 19, 2022, at 10:56 AM, Markos Miller <markos...@hotmail.com> wrote:
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