Transportation Committee - September 30, 2008

September 30, 2008

Present: Chief Reichel, Robyn Hearne, Suzy Littrell, Marshall Riddle, Ken Sator, Rick Rees, Bev Gentry, Lee Altier, Jim Jessee, Debbie Vermette, Lori Hoffman, Glennda Morse,

Introductions; welcome by Chief Reichel. Chief Reichel recapped the purpose of the committee as follows:

  1. Analyze and report on the methods of transportation used to access the university by students and staff.
  2. Prioritize the methods of transportation used by students and staff in order to better understand the demands for service.
  3. Recommend funding alternatives to support the transportation programs identified as being needed.
  4. Review the location, size and mix of motor vehicle, motorcycle, and bicycle parking lots on campus and recommend any changes which would be helpful to the University community.
  5. Review location and direction of pedestrian walkways on campus and make suggestions as to changes needed to improve pedestrian access to and through the campus.

Continuing, Chief Reichel said this committee works closely with FMS, EH&S, and Parking Management. Through the committee in the past, President Zingg has asked that a sub-committee be formed to look at bicycle riding in the campus core. The committee thus recommended no bike riding in the campus core 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Also, the committee has listened to various parking issues (as a sounding board), and ultimately some of the changes that have taken place have been as a result of the feedback from this committee. Chief Reichel said the committee is now looking at whether there is a way to get bicycles back onto campus (East/West artery) and allow them to share space with pedestrians.

Chief Reichel recapped what the committee has been doing. He said they have been working with the A.S. and its various programs they have been involved in, e.g. confiscated (abandoned) bicycles have been going to them for sales/repair, etc.

Bev Gentry has been instrumental in the past few years, helping to create the TAPS (Transportation and Parking Services) website, creating a presentation to cabinet regarding Parking, Fines & Forfeiture budget, and other parking/transportation related issues. Glennda Morse has been with the committee since its inception and has been a major influence in that she knows much history relating to parking and transportation issues throughout the years.

Chief Reichel continued by reiterating the campus wants to promote and support alternate modes of transportation. He said some changes that have taken place over the summer include the following:

New Parking Dispensers: Vice President Lori Hoffman put out an announcement to the campus community regarding the parking-related changes. Chief Reichel said that the rules have always been parking permits are needed during the hours of 7:30 am to 10:00 pm; however, now the University Police and Parking Services are enforcing these rules. There has been updated signage installed over the summer months. Chief Reichel explained that the rules can’t be enforced if the signs are incorrect. The goal was to have all signs in all parking lots be consistent. At this time, the verbiage is consistent. They are working on the appearance of signage, to make everything look alike throughout campus.

New parking dispensers have been installed that are much more user friendly than the old ones; they take coins, bills, and credit cards. The cost is $1.00 per hour up to $5 per day. They have replaced the old dispensers in the Normal/Hazel Lot and the Parking structure. A brand new dispenser was installed in the Stadium Lot.

Chief Reichel continued, stating a new announcement will be going soon reiterating VP Hoffman’s original announcement. He said it will also discuss bike violations, warning that enforcement may be kicked up in the near future. Examples include talking to bike riders in the campus core, skateboarders in the campus core, bikes chained to trees and fences, and those that are parked in a manner that block access to emergency vehicle thoroughfares, etc.

Special Event parking will change. Clubs and organizations that want to use campus parking lots will be required to pay. In the past, the university allowed what was called “no cite” for special event parking, in which vehicles would park in a certain location during a certain time for free. That particular lot at that particular time was not patrolled. Chief Reichel explained we can’t do that any longer. He said that legally we can’t do that. There is code stating we must charge everyone who parks on the campus. We have implemented a process in which we will be collecting money for special events from now on. This includes events by the A.S., UPE, and Athletics Department (whose website has announced this change).

Jim Jessee made a comment that he noticed the dorm residence parking lot is about two-thirds full (instead of completely full, as it has been in the past). Some change has happened there, he said. Lori Hoffman announced that there are 461 spaces in lots A&B and the permits are sold by a lottery. Housing did the lottery. Many who won that lottery didn’t buy the passes. She said she is hoping this is a long term trend, as we are losing lot A (305 spaces).

Jim Jessee said he wanted to make a suggestion pertaining to the damaged bicycles and bike racks he sees as he walks the Warner street corridor; can there be anything done about this? Chief Reichel said last year’s statistical report indeed noted an increase in vandalisms on campus (predominantly bicycles, as well as buildings).

A suggestion was made that cameras be installed. Chief Reichel said yes, cameras as one option were being looked at. Other departments on campus are currently investigating the installation of security cameras (Housing, A.S.) however, we do not want to be a campus with many different camera systems. We would like to have a system on campus that is controlled out of UPD (who is equipped to handle FERPA issues). Other reasons include that UPD personnel are trained to look for criminal activity and safety issues. And, UPD is the only department operational 24/7. Over the summer, Chief Reichel put out an e-mail regarding the Office of Homeland Security Grant of $24,000. In the past, it was only for interoperability communications equipment. This year they added a second component: Secure Critical Infrastructure equipment which could include security cameras. He said they are looking at this for possibly spending next year’s money on camera equipment.

It was announced that due to the various construction on campus, many bike racks have had to be moved to other locations. A current bike rack map has been updated. FMS has brought out some new racks and put them in key areas, trying to promote bike parking in racks and not around trees and fences, etc.

Chief Reichel said an announcement will go out referencing the new map with the new rack locations. The map will also show where the new parking dispensers are located. The map is available on the TAPS website. http://www.csuchico.edu/taps/docs/bike_map_routes.jpg

Also, the appeal process (for appealing parking citations) will be better explained. And it will also talk about changes to the parking fees.

TDM (Transportation Demand Management) Study Update: Fehr & Peers is the vendor working on this study. They are looking at transportation as a whole including bicycle usage. The goal of the plan is to promote walking, biking, and transit as convenient, safe and practical means for campus trips.

The objectives of the plan include:

  • Address campus transportation impacts in adjacent neighborhoods.
  • Facilitate a coordinated transportation approach with the City of Chico, specifically downtown.
  • Enhance campus safety for vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
  • Reduce campus-related parking demand.
  • Maximize the functionality of current and future parking supply.
  • Fulfill Wildcat Activity Center mitigation requirement.
  • Assist with the determination of “fair share” expenditures with the City of Chico.
  • An MOU will be developed by others.
  • Support campus wide sustainability practices:
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and become “climate neutral.” Chico State is one of the first campuses in the nation to sign a long range commitment, American College & University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which requires implementation of sustainability practices.

Continuing, Chief Reichel said there is an advisory committee that has met with the consultants, and will continue to do so; however, they will talk with representatives from this campus committee, as well as representatives from A.S., Administration, the surrounding neighborhoods, the city government; and they will produce a thorough report that can be used as a blueprint so it follows the strategic plan and the master plan.

Lt. Robyn Hearne is the newly appointed Parking Manager. She is a Lieutenant in the University Police Department. The enforcement side will fall under her. The budget and administrative side will still fall under the direction of the VP of Business and Finance; the permit sale side will still fall under Cashiering.

Ken Sator asked if we will be getting a report of the revenues generated by the new parking dispensers as compared to that in the past. Isn’t the intent to make more money? Lori Hoffman said the intent is to enforce the parking permit rules. She said the 1960 Master Plan says the Parking Department should be self supporting. It has not always been. The goal is to get it back to being self supporting.

She continued, saying there are two parking structures in the current master plan. It has been determined we will focus on 2nd/Normal street lot first. The President has promised the community this would come before any new housing. We will be looking at other areas of campus where we can increase the number of R spaces.

She asked Glennda to brief the committee on the recent ADA study regarding ADA spaces and accessible routes. Glennda said there are many codes that dictate where ADA spaces need to be, how many, the path of travel that gets one to each building, etc. She said that preliminary plans will be out in the next two weeks. We will be able to identify what the safe and lit paths are on campus, leading back to each parking lot. This will help with the entire plan regarding parking.

Chief Reichel said the Public Safety Advisory Committee is in the process of designing a brochure identifying safe (well lit) routes at night. It will encourage the use of the best routes. He said once completed, it will go with the DVD that housing put out that goes to each housing resident, which helps them to become acquainted with campus. We are a unique campus due to the forest and creek going through the middle of our campus.

Glennda said there will be a public forum on Oct 22, at 5:00 pm to 6:30. It is being finalized now and will be held by the TDM consultants. It is the first one planned, in order to explain how they are going to go about the TDM plan.

Debbie Vermette asked: as a bike rider, she is amazed at the lack of bikes she sees around campus. She wants to know what the percentage of bike ridership is. Bev Gentry guided her to the website, explaining that question was asked in a recent survey. Check out the website at:

http://www.csuchico.edu/taps/sustainable_transportation.php#modesdata

She continued to ask, what are the reasons why people don’t use alternate methods so much? It was explained that the TDM study will address that. Bev Gentry said that in the small survey, some information about this was collected. In terms of why, she said, they tried to look at this. They worked with one of the teachers out of the sustainability department.

Lori Hoffman commented that they are trying to work on incentive programs for people who use alternative modes of transportation. She continued that it is important to look at the baseline but that is only a measurement. She said we have been working with the AS, regarding bike racks – the design is not great (bikes are different now, bigger cruiser-style bikes). Also, we are trying to partner with a faculty member who has agreed to have his class work on a bike rack design. Also, there is a need for enclosed racks, and a need for safe routes to campus, etc. The goal is trying to make it easy and accessible for bicyclists to get to campus.

Chief Reichel said they are also looking at car pooling incentives.

Glennda said, in working with the City of Chico, she has finally seen that it is on the drawing board for bike lanes on 2nd Street. There is a draft design out there. Salem to Wall is their big stumbling point right now due to the transit center being on Salem Street. Lori said she and Glennda did meet with folks at the city (building & grounds) to discuss fair share allocation the campus would be willing and happy to make with these bike lanes.

Lee Altier asked if it would it be helpful to have a sub-group from this committee work on a holistic vision of transportation on campus. It seems like the committee could benefit from a long term vision on what really guides the decision making regarding what we want to see 20 to 30 years from now. He asked, how do we decide on priorities? Chief Reichel said working with the TDM will give our campus as a whole, more and better direction, and it is a good starting point. Lori said, given that we have a baseline, maybe a take home assignment for this committee is to think about taking the priorities that have been assigned, and defining how the committee relates that to the strategic priorities. This could be thought about before the next meeting. At the next meeting, let’s gather the information from everybody and synthesize it. The goals for this committee are at the beginning of these notes, and also can be found on UPD’s website:

http://www.csuchico.edu/up/parking/trans_committee.html

Put ideas together as they relate to strategic priorities and bring to next meeting.

Bev Gentry said thank you to the committee. She said the committee did a lot of reviewing of the presentation that went to the cabinet in the spring. The timing of the parking structure is deeply impacting the increase of the parking fees. She said they are taking a slower pace, but will still make an impact (which is a change in what this committee was focusing on in prior terms).

Chief Reichel said he will continue to send updates prior to the next meetings; will also request agenda items from committee members.

Debbie Vermette asked if it was appropriate to send ideas to the entire committee ahead of time. Chief Reichel said, sure, it is helpful, because some who have been on the committee longer than others can give background information when appropriate.

Lee Altier said he sees three clear values: Accessibility, Safety, and Sustainability. It was agreed that those are the key areas on which this committee is focusing.

It was asked how long the TDM will last. It is a six month study; started in September (waited until students were back). Part of the outcome will be a bicycle plan. They are not just looking at CSUC, but looking at the City of Chico also; they are including five other campuses in the nation that are similar. (e.g. other success stories at Universities).

Next meeting is scheduled for October 21, 9:00 to 10:00 am. Location TBA.

Meeting adjourned at 10:15.