Transportation Committee - October 22, 2009

October 22, 2009
11:00 – 12:00 am; SSC 122

Attendance: Lt. Robyn Hearne, UPD/Parking; Alan Relaford; Russell Mills; Ken Sator; Halli Bovia; Trevor Prater; Dennis Frazer; Robyn DiFalco; Sharon Millman (Facilities Planning).

Chief Reichel absent; Lt. Hearne chairing the committee in his absence.

Electric Scooters at UPD – Lt. Hearne reported UPD purchased 3 Diggler electric scooters for patrol and parking staff. Two were purchased from Bike Fund money; one purchased from Parking Fund which will be used by parking enforcement. Training is taking place currently. A department procedure has been put in place and all officers using the scooters are expected to comply with the on-campus rule of 5 mph. The addition of the scooters does not mean UPD will get rid of patrol cars, but they are hoping to reduce the usage of the motor vehicles in order to save fuel cost as well as having the vehicles last longer as part of the fleet. Because they are deployed 24/7, they are typically replaced more often than other department vehicles. If UPD can reduce the usage, then they can keep the police vehicles in their fleet longer.

Officers will be using the scooters to patrol the campus; CSO’s will use them to carry out various duties including evening lock-ups which will reduce the time it normally takes to do this. Talked about the history of these scooters; the question was asked if they will be used at night. Lt. Hearne said yes, they can be used at night; they have lights installed. However, there will always be patrol vehicles operating at night also. Each patrol sergeant has the choice of deploying the scooters, bicycles, foot patrol, etc. However, at least one patrol vehicle will also be deployed due to equipment needs, etc.

Bike Survey – Robyn DiFalco reported she has been working on the bike parking survey. She said she has students who will be helping. They have scheduled it to be conducted in March and September of every year. She said currently there are bike racks at the FMS yard they want to get on to campus, and with the help of her student workers, they were asked to identify possible locations for these racks. She just got the report this morning which includes approximately 18 spots. As soon as she has time to go over it, she will move forward putting out the request for additional racks to be installed. Russell Mills suggested the pad near O’Connell. DiFalco said there probably is room to squeeze in a few more racks in strategic areas over there.

DiFalco also talked about replacing all bike racks on campus with more modern racks. They are still questioning what type of rack would be the better rack (e.g. wave style, mountain style, etc.) Students will be taking surveys by standing in front of bike racks and polling users. Sharon Millman suggested they also contact other campuses who have recently changed their bike racks. She volunteered to make contact with colleagues at other campuses. DiFalco said they are also looking into the potential for bike lockers.

Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) Federal Grant – Halli Bovia talked about the federal funding available (through BCAG). She said she met with Ivan Garcia, who suggested that the smaller projects might drag down the chances of getting funded, and recommended she partner with the City in order to get the funding request approved. One possible project they are looking at is the replacement of bike racks (and skate board racks). She said she will be meeting with VP Hoffman regarding what types, how much they will cost, how many are needed, etc.

Bovia also talked about the subsidy the University supplies to the county for the bus rider program. There may be an issue in the future regarding how much longer the University will be able to subsidize this program. They need to look at how many users are riding the buses. If it is viable to continue, they may need to look at other funding sources to help pay for that. The committee discussed this issue. Hearne and Bovia will be pursuing this further.

Bovia continued, the bulk of what will be in this initial grant request will be new bike racks (this year). There is still a lot of leg work to do, including measuring, how many racks are needed, who will install them, where to put them, etc. The proposal has to be done in December.

A question was asked about having a fleet of electric vehicles available for University personnel to use on the campus core, in an effort to reduce the motor vehicle traffic in this area. Bovia said yes, that may qualify for the grant funding and it is an option for future grant requests. The committee discussed all of this. It was suggested that this also might be a good time to look at how bike riders get to and from campus because having bike lanes through campus may coincide with the City’s 2nd Street renovation that includes bike lanes. Bovia said that would be a great proposal, however, due to time constraints, will not be able to do this for this year’s deadline.

Other/New Business – DiFalco said she is drafting questions that will go into the transportation survey which is planned for the spring. The survey will include parking issues and bike issues. DiFalco suggested anyone on the committee having other ideas regarding topics that can be polled, please send to Lt. Hearne via e-mail.

Lt. Hearne announced that the Moonlight Safety Walk is tonight and invited anyone to participate. They will meet at Selvester’s at 6:30.

Meeting adjourned 11:38 am.