Transportation Committee - April 17, 2008

April 17, 2008
9:00 am – Kendall 209

Present : Jillian Buckholz; Ann Bykerk-Kauffman; Lesley Curry; Jim Jessee; Suzy Littrell; Russell Mills; Glennda Morse; Eric Reichel; Alan Rellaford; Ken Sator; Cale Whitehouse; Corie Lopez.

Bike Week Update: Corie Lopez gave an update on plans for Bike Week. She said they have been collaborating with the city's Chico Bike Coalition and there are some great plans underway. They will be promoting cycling for the entire week (week of May 11 th ). Informational calendar was passed around.

Corie reported there will be a presentation about bicycle safety during Bike Week and asked for any input from the University Police Department. She also asked if UPD wanted to have information regarding the Bike Registration process that is available on campus included in their presentations. Chief Reichel said yes and told Corie to call University Police. He will make arrangements to get her flyers regarding both issues; he also said they could provide some man-power (CSO's) to help them work any of the booths or events.

Jillian told the committee about the City of Chico 's “Bike to Work Week Business Challenge” and encouraged members of the committee to participate.

Jim Jessee said when educating bicyclists about bike safety, make sure they understand they have to obey the vehicle laws. Many of the behaviors that have warranted complaints (biking the wrong way in bike lanes, for example) fall under this area and education is a good start to solving problems.

Jillian said there is a group called Mellow Velo who get together every 10 th of the month in the Downtown City plaza. She said she knows students who have participated and they said they've learned a lot about the rules of bicycling on public roadways, and bicycle safety in general.

Chief Reichel suggested that at the beginning of the semester, signs could be put along Warner Street between Legion and the creek, specific to bicyclists, with messages about bicycle safety and rules of the road. This could be done prior to any enforcement efforts. Russell Mills said they could encourage a slant on bicycle safety, reminding the bicyclist the rules are for his/her OWN safety. The group discussed current efforts that are in progress, especially working with City representatives, regarding pedestrian and bicycle safety.

Alan suggested a card be made up for people who ride bikes to campus that they can hang on their office door, self-identifying that they ride to campus.

TDM Study Update: Glennda Morse reported the RFP for the Transportation Demand Management Study was completed, and a consultant was selected. Funding has been secured. The contract is in the works now and she believes they are approximately three weeks away from the first meeting with the consultants. A TDM Committee is in the process of being formed. Glennda is proposing that the committee work with the consultants, providing information to them; the recommendations would then come back to the Transportation Committee for review/approval, before going to the VP's and/or Cabinet. Proposed makeup of the committee was discussed as follows:

Glennda Morse, Bev Gentry, Eric Reichel, representative(s) from the City of Chico (possibly Tom Varga; plus one or two more); a representative from the Downtown Chico Business Association (DCBA); a representative from Chico Area Neighborhoods Association; a representative from Mansion Park; a representative from the South Neighbors; a representative from the A.S.; a representative from the faculty (possibly Russell Mills); as well as the Director of FMS; the Director of EH&S; Jim Jessee (for his expertise regarding classroom peak load); a representative from College Park; and a representative from Butte County Association of Governments (BCAG).

The responsibilities of the members of this committee will include representing their group, and they will need to report back to their group regularly. Glennda said she is working on procedural issues now, so this will be clear by the time of the first meeting.

Jillian asked if a representative from Housing should be included; Glennda made a note of this. Jillian also volunteered as sustainability representative, if needed. Alan suggested that somebody from University Public Events be on the committee also, as well as Joe Wills. This was also noted by Glennda.

Glennda suggested that this TDM committee would eventually break up into working groups to concentrate on a specific area of interest (re: bikes; public events; etc.). Again, she said that reports from this committee would be brought to the Transportation Committee for further discussion.

The question was raised, how long will this committee be in operation? Glennda said the study will take six months. She said they will probably meet every two to three weeks in the beginning, and then they may be able to meet less once the consultants have more and more information.

It was also asked whether the study would include looking into bike facilities, such as covered and secure bike parking. Glennda said the study says “…to evaluate the potential for bike paths through campus and their connection to city bike lanes…” and “…proposal for environmentally and esthetically pleasing design to facilitate bike space.” Eric Reichel said he has been hearing more and more that people on campus want secure parking for their bikes.

TAPS Presentation Update: Chief Reichel reported that the Transportation and Parking Strategies PowerPoint was presented to the cabinet and the FAC on Monday by Bev Gentry. He said they asked a lot of great questions. The information was presented as, “If we were to look at a parking structure, here are our suggestions.” Some cabinet members asked that Bev present this to other groups on campus as well. It was also stressed in the presentation that if new parking structures were to be considered, also consider having them include other uses like inside bike parking, solar panels, etc. An updated copy of the presentation was made available to the committee members.

Other Business: Russell Mills said the city has to have an approved bike plan every three years in order to apply for certain funding. That plan is in its final form and it establishes/identifies bike facilities currently in use as well as all that are planned. Unless it is included in the plan, it cannot be eligible for funding. He said the plan is going to the city council soon. The question was asked if Chico State and the area around the campus is addressed in the plan, and Russell said no, it is not.

Glennda said in all her meetings with city personnel, she has always been assured they have plans to put a bike lane on 2 nd Street . She has not seen any plans to date. Glennda also said the City has always been aggressive about discussing pedestrian and biking issues. She said she believes one of their biggest issues is bus safety; there are blind spots around the transit center area and adding a bike lane to 2 nd Street around the transit center must take into account the bus parking, loading, and unloading. Anne Bykerk-Kauffman made a suggestion about bike lanes/buses based on what she saw in Europe . Glennda said these are good ideas to be brought to committee during the TDM Study. The group further discussed the new transit center at 2 nd between Salem and Normal Streets.

Jillian Buckholz asked if there was any interest in having a flex car program on campus. She said this idea was brought up in the past, but she doesn't remember whatever became of it. The Flex Car Program is an independent car rental business that provides a car on campus, to be “rented” by the hour by anyone who may need it during the day. Jillian is going to gather more information about this program and bring it up at a future meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:50.