Notes from July 29 Transportation Work Group Meeting: by Zachary Michaud

Notes from July 29 Transportation Work Group Meeting: by Zachary Michaud

ProvThe Transportation Work Group, a subcommittee of the Providence/Laurelhurst/NorthTabor Good Neighbor Agreement Standing Committee (which is open to neighbors) met on July 29th for their first official meeting. The meeting was poorly attended, perhaps due to summer vacations or due to poor notice. Those attending included Judy Kennedy, North Tabor neighbor; David Bodine, Providence Security Manager; and Zach Michaud, North Tabor Board member. Although no members of the Laurelhurst neighborhood were present, the agenda was based largely on items submitted by Jim Parker, an alternate to the Standing Committee, and had been discussed previously by members of both neighborhoods.
The following is a recap of the five agenda items and the results of the discussions at the July 29th meeting:
Regarding the parking issues at the Medical Office Building on Glisan Street between 53rd and 55th Avenues, David Bodine was able to provide very clear Providence policy and procedures. Providence Portland Medical Center’s policy is that employees of this building park in the parking garage on the main campus and walk to the building. Policy also states that they should not park within two blocks of the building where they work. If neighbors notice employees parking on the street, they are asked to call the hotline 503-215-0615 with the license plate number and description of the vehicle, the location of the vehicle, and where the employee was headed. When an offender is identified, the Security Manager sends an email to that employee and to their direct supervisor and that violation of policy becomes part of their performance review. Mr. Bodine states that repeat offenders are not tolerated. It was decided that if messaging of this clear policy could consistently reach the neighbors around and affected by this office building and neighbors were diligent about holding Providence employees accountable to their own policy, we would see a change in the parking situation. If not, the issue will be revisited.
The second topic discussed was that of the crosswalk on 47th Avenue at Irving. Issues identified were that the placement of the crosswalk at the time it was made was dependent on a driveway on the Providence campus that no longer exists, that parked cars and the slope of the road combine to decrease visibility of pedestrians, and that the designated smoking area at the crosswalk and its requisite smokers desensitizes drivers to pedestrians looking to cross. The Transportation Work Group will recommend that the Good Neighbor Agreement Standing Committee approach the city and work with them to relocate the crosswalk to the north side of Irving Street or the south side of Royal Court to increase pedestrian safety.
The third and fourth agenda items were discussed superficially, but those in attendance opted to table the issue until a future meeting when members from Laurelhurst could speak to them. These topics were the traffic patterns of the shuttles that will service the future guest house between 44th and 45th Avenues on Glisan Street and a reduction in single occupancy vehicles on the Providence campus.
Lastly, pedestrian safety on Glisan Street was discussed. Because of the traffic that the Providence campus generates, the parking along Glisan Street that reduces visibility for pedestrians and drivers alike, and the speed of traffic along Glisan Street, many pedestrians have difficulty crossing the street. The work group will recommend that the Standing Committee partner with the city to consider a speed limit of 30mph from 44th to 58th, a pedestrian island or crosswalk around 55th or 56th Avenues, and expand the yellow curb on the south side of the Cancer Center driveway.
If you would like information about TWG meetings or other transportation and land use meetings in North Tabor, please email landuse@northtabor.org.
RECOMMENDATIONS WILL BE MADE AT THE GOOD NEIGHBOR AGREEMENT STANDING COMMITTEE TONIGHT, 6:30-7:30PM, AUG 7th, 2013. IF YOU HAVE AN INTEREST IN PROVIDENCE TRAFFIC AND PARKING ISSUES AND ARE ABLE TO ATTEND TONIGHT’S MEETING, PLEASE CONSIDER SUBMITTING AN ARTICLE OR NOTES FOR PUBLICATION TO EDITOR@NORTHTABOR.ORG OR WEBSTER@NORTHTABOR.ORG.

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