Transportation Work Group memo to Providence GNA

TO: Providence Good Neighbor Standing Committee
FROM: Members of the Providence Transportation Work Group
RE: Follow-up on Transportation Design Management enhancements
DATE: January 12, 2014

Previous work of the Transportation Work Group (TWG)

The Good Neighbor Agreement (GNA), which establishes the TWG and outlines its goals and tasks, was signed November 8, 2012, eight months after the Hearings Officer’s decision on Providence Portland Medical Center’s Conditional Use Master Plan (CUMP) in March of that same year.

The Good Neighbor Standing Committee asked Zach Michaud of the North Tabor Neighborhood to convene a TWG and obtain ideas for its initial work. In May, 2013, Jim Parker sent Zach a list of ideas for the first meeting. Zach forwarded that list to GNA representatives Don Gardner, Gary Naylor, Dave Bodine, and potential members of a TWG, Gail Morris and Judy Kennedy, in July, 2013.

The first meeting of the TWG was convened under Zach’s chairmanship in August, 2013. It was sparsely attended—only Zach, Dave Bodine, and Judy Kennedy were present—due to vacation schedules. Nevertheless several ideas were recommended, and at the second meeting of the TWG in January, 2014, three of those actions — the removal of a parking space next to the Cancer Center exit to 47th avenue from the PPMC campus; the “return” of the pedestrian crosswalk at 47th/Oregon to its original location; and a crosswalk at one end of the Emilie House on Glisan — were approved by PPMC. They will be presented to GNA at its meeting, February 5. Then they will have to wait for action to be undertaken between PPMC and appropriate offices of the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT).

In the months of fall, 2013, the TWG, due to uncertainty caused by the reorganization of the GNA and by various professional work changes and pressures affecting its members, didn’t meet. At the fall meeting of the GNA, Jim Parker was asked to regroup the TWG. Interested people were identified and a notice and agenda was sent out for a second meeting of the TWG in January, 2014.That meeting was attended by Jim Parker (Laurelhurst NA), Gail Morris (North Tabor NA), Terry Dublinski (North Tabor NA), Jim Edelson (Laurelhurst NA), Bill Hamilton (Laurelhurst NA), Cary Hixon (North Tabor NA), Ryan Sexton (Laurelhurst NA), and Dave Bodine (Providence Portland Medical Center).

It was decided by the consent of all present—Dave Bodine abstaining — to send this memo to the GNA and, through its PPMC representative, Krista Farnham, to PPMC. The opinion of Dave Bodine was that at the next meeting of the TWG he could introduce unspecified PPMC resources, who are, he assured us, working on the tasks set forth in the Hearing Officer’s decision of March, 2012. Those resources could [address] issues of concern to the TWG. Other members at the meeting expressed the view that we are already close to the time specified in Hearing Officer’s decision for consultation with the PBOT Options Section and that the nearly two years since March, 2012 has given PPMC sufficient time to come to the next TWG meeting prepared to answer specific questions. This memo outlines those questions and requests.

Findings

The 2012 CUMP process, including the Decision of the Hearings Officer, generated many important ideas and action items related to the PPMC Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan and efforts to reduce Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) trips.

Throughout the CUMP process, both the North Tabor and Laurelhurst neighborhoods (NAs) presented volumes of written testimony, oral testimony, memos, and discussions to encourage enhancement of the PPMC TDM. One of the results of the process was the creation of the Transportation Working Group of the Good Neighbor Standing Committee. The goal and task of the TWG is to “commit to reducing vehicle trips through the PPMC TDM and other mechanisms” and to “work with the PBOT Options Section to monitor progress toward trip reduction goals and maintain an acceptable level of traffic service.” This memo seeks to lay out TWG’s initial expectations concerning the schedule for fulfilling its charge.

In three instances the Hearings Officer uses the phrase “enhancement of TDM,” and calls on PPMC to create a plan “that results in a consistent reduction in its SOV rate.” That is the lens through which TWG will approach these issues. According to the Hearings Officer, it is also the responsibility of PPMC to “consult the PBOT Options Section to identify potential additional TDM measures on a biennial basis.”

We believe the Transportation Work Group and Good Neighbor Standing Committee should be directly involved in developing strategies to enhance the PPMC TDM program and in consultations with the PBOT Options Section.

Action Items

1. Resources. TWG is first interested in learning with what resources PPMC will commit to working on TDM enhancements. During the CUMP process, the NAs asked that PPMC designate a director of Commuting and Parking. The Hearings Officer declined to require such an appointment as a condition of approval of the CUMP.

When asked by the NA members of the TWG on January 8, the PPMC representative was unable to identify anyone with responsibility for regular attention to the TDM, although he did assure us that PPMC is working on the CUMP requirements.

So that the TWG can work together with rather than in parallel with PPMC, the TWG asks PPMC to Identify at the GNA meeting of February 5 the person or persons charged with responsibility for transportation issues affecting the neighborhood and for compliance with the conditions of approval of the 2012 CUMP.

2. Reduction of the single occupancy vehicle (SOV) rate. The TWG notes, in the Hearings Officer’s decision of March, 2014, that “The Hearings Officer finds that the key consideration for any conditional use master plan applicant is to create a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategy that results in consistent reduction of its SOV rates” (page 49, emphasis ours), and that “PPMC shall… consider opportunities to enhance the TDM measures… [and] shall consult with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) Options section… on a biennial basis.” (page 69).

The Transportation Work Group believes that it would be helpful to PPMC to include the TWG and the GNA in the process by which goals for SOV reduction are established, monitored, and publicized.

Specifically, it requests that PPMC propose for discussion at the February 5 meeting of the GNA what it understands to be a consistent reduction in the SOV rate; that is, to propose annual (or biennial) SOV rate goals. At the same and now that we are near the end of the biennium mandated by the Hearings Officer, PPMC should be in a position to supply information about how trip numbers are currently being monitored and what those numbers are.

3. With regard to trip reduction measures themselves, the TWG includes in “Appendix A” a list of measures, most of which were presented to PPMC in a October, 2011, memo. At the meeting of the TWG on January 8, 2014, committee members asked for information on SOV reduction measures beyond those in the PPMC Traffic Impact Analysis, and none could be presented.

Consequently, TWG requests that at the February 6 meeting of the TWG, PPMC provide:

A) Its evaluation of the (non-exhaustive) list of TDM measure in Appendix A, and a response as to which strategies it intends to implement;

B) Its understanding of how the TWG will be involved in the preparation for and meeting biennially with the PBOT Options Section.

TWG members favoring this memo:
Jim Parker
Jim Edelson
Terry Dublinski
Cary Hixon
Bill Hamilton
Ryan Sexton
Gail Morris

TWG member abstaining:

Dave Bodine

APPENDIX A
Pedestrian Access and Safety

1. (T24) create and implement a vision for refinement of the Pedestrian Connection Vision Plan including mechanisms for the development of connections and trails.
2. (T29) Through design review, develop new sidewalks and retrofit existing sidewalks within the “campus” to provide a continuous, high quality pedestrian facility.

Transit
3. (T37) Maintain and improve bus shelters and transit stops.
4. (T41) Enhance the shuttle bus system, modifying it to increase service to meet public and institutional needs.
5. Determine whether flexible scheduling of employee work hours would allow for increased MAX, bus, and car/van pool use.
6. Consideration of commuting awards such as coupon books or eco-dollars from neighboring businesses to reward reduced use of SOV commuting.

Bicycle Commuting
7. Plan, and, if necessary, with PBOT on more bicycles paths. For example, from the Hollywood and 60th street MAX stations.
8. Provide “access to a secure indoor bike parking room on a main floor that can accommodate peak summer demand and also to showers and changing rooms.”

Car and Van Pools
9. (T47) Investigate and implement a motor pool for use by employees’ work related trips.
10. Encourage van pool use by rewarding vans with preferred parking and offering “insurance” for riders who must drop out of program for good reason.

Emergency Commuting
11. (T47) Investigate and implement a ZipCar program for use by employees, students and area residents. Locate several ZipCars in very visible and well-regarded parking spaces, and increase number as usage exceeds 4 hours per workday, allowing no charge for employee business trips.”
12. Inaugurate an emergency ride home program (If one doesn’t yet exist.)

Parking
13. (T5) Tie development of new parking to SOV mode split and traffic volume performance standards and require land use review.
14. Reduce construction of new parking, which will provide the hospital with significant additional financial resources to reduce SOVs.
15. Investigate providing parking cash-out, a national “best workplaces practice,” as a menu choice, along with a free transit pass.

Communications and Public Relations
16. (T27) Create and maintain in printed and internet media a user map of pedestrian and transit connections and routes throughout the “campus” and to the campus (for day patients).
17. (T9) Implement measures to educate construction workers and service providers about traffic concerns and provide information about routes and non-auto-mode options.
18. Develop “increased signage to pedestrian, biking and transit facilities.”
19. Provide materials of all alternative transportation options, including but not limited to transit passes, transit stops, Zipcar use and biking support facilities, to new employees on first day/orientation AND annually thereafter.
20. Facilitate and promote campaigns such as BTA’s Bicycle Commute Challenge. Empower TDM manager to collect mode split data from departments/clinics to measure effectiveness of such campaigns.”

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