Columbus, Ohio USA
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Italian Village Society Complete Streets Implementing Committee
Submitted by Andy Klein
July/August 2017 Issue (includes May and June meetings)
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MEETING MINUTES: May 25 and June 29, 2017 at Seventh Son Brewing Co., 1101 N. Fourth Street.
Thurs., May 25, 2017, 5:30 pm
Present: Andy Klein (Chair), Sherrill Massey, Isom Nivins, Rory Krupp, Evelyn Van Til, Betsy Pandora, Mike Navarro, Stephanie Harris Thurs, May 25, 2017, 5:30pm, Seventh Son, 1101 N. Fourth St.
Andy called the Streets Committee to order at 5:38 pm in the back room at the brewery and asked everyone to introduce themselves, give their affiliation and comment on the Kroger at 7th and High.
High Street Streetscape Improvements Andy briefly summarized the open house and presentation on May 2 at the convention center. Betsy noted that a public art consultant will lead additional public meetings this summer and fall, guided by the city’s Lori Baudro. Betsy suggested that the consultant could incorporate our concerns with the safe alleys into the public art component, along the lines of what was achieved with Poplar Park and Chase Park. Andy noted that the streetscape improvements specifically exclude the alleys from this project and are limited to reconstructing the High Street sidewalks and curbs. Andy inquired on the status of Brickel Alley’s conversion to pedestrian only. Betsy noted that the business advocating for the change has closed and that her inquiries at the city haven’t been answered. Andy noted this may be an opportunity to address safety concerns with the High Street intersections with Brickel, Hull and Prescott Alleys in a consistent manner, using funds other than UIRF which we’ve unsuccessfully sought for several years. Andy also noted the concern expressed by small retailers at the open house over the disruption to their business during the two years of construction. Betsy noted that the city is requiring the contractors in Phases 2 (Poplar to Second) and 3 (between Second and Seventh) to limit the number of weeks of disruption, provide a cash incentive for early completion, and a cash disincentive for exceeding the contract’s time frame. There’s also no construction after November 1, to help promote holiday shopping, and there will be no stoppage of pedestrian or vehicular traffic at any time. Public art will be implemented on the temporary walkways, using stickers on the insides of the movable concrete barriers and along the plywood doorway ramps. The Short North Alliance will also institute a paid advertising and marketing campaign.
Short North Parking Study Update Mike distributed copies of the survey completed by 320 open house attendees, and the city’s handout from yesterday’s expanded working group meeting listing three competing pilot proposals side by side: the original open house proposal, the independent neighbors’ proposal, and the director of Public Service’s plan based on her review of the 320 completed surveys. Mike noted that the administrator’s proposal bans non-resident parking (but including employees) after 6pm from all permit zones, creates a separate permit zone for the NECKO neighborhood, expands permit parking to include High Street residents, and removes N. Fourth Street and Summit from all permit zones. Mike noted the city has hired another consultant from Cleveland to advise on the eventual implementation of the pilot program. The working group, which now includes representatives from Weinland Park and the independent residents’ group. That group has proposed 4pm to 7am residents-only parking with appeals process for businesses, and two permits per household and one hang tag. Mike reported that the group expressed concern that the new director of Public Service has ignored 18 months of work by the group, and that no future meetings were scheduled. The working group requested Director Gallagher appear to defend her plan, and Amanda Ford promised to go over the working group’s concerns. Mike planned an email to the working group to summarize their concerns. Steve Hurtt and Rex Hagerling attended the meeting but not the IVS rep, James Rozewski, nor was there any discussion of the IVS survey or recommendations. Neither Evelyn nor Mike received any IVS email containing the survey results and our recommendations. Andy wondered if it had been communicated to the city (Amanda Ford, city council and the area commission). Isom noted that he’d met with Amanda prior to the open house, and sensed she felt under assault, with almost a bunker mentality prevailing at Public Service on the subject of parking in the Short North. Despite these problems, the plan is still to implement the pilot within 3 months to avoid the High Street improvements phased construction disrupting the pilot program’s usefulness under normal conditions.
Sidewalks and Curbs Survey Update Andy noted we have an excel spreadsheet provided by German Village Society and a pdf showing every IVS block, and believes this is a project that would benefit Weinland Park and Milo Grogan as well as IV. Rory and Evelyn expressed an interest in participating, and Andy promised to send the survey spreadsheet used by GVS to attendees by email. Stephanie noted she’d spoken in the past with Jason Sudy about using OSU students and suggested we revisit that prospect. Rory agreed to touch base with the University Area Commission Planning Committee to gauge their interest, and Stephanie noted the need to educate participants on what to look for and how to grade existing conditions of sidewalks and curbs. Andy noted that we need to move forward on this in a coordinated manner after more than a year of discussion.
Meeting Adjourned at 6:47 pm.
Thurs, June 29, 2017, 5:30pm
Present: Andy Klein (Chair), Sherrill Massey, Isom Nivins, Rory Krupp, Evelyn Van Til
Andy called the Streets Committee to order at 5:38 pm in the back room at the brewery and asked everyone to introduce themselves, give their affiliation, say whether they've visited the new Northside Library, and tell us their favorite library.
Announcements Andy reported that Godman Guild Settlement House will form 3 committees to help plan their proposed Weinland Park Community Center: Childcare, Green Space, and Partners. The new building addition would extend south toward Fifth Avenue and include a gymnasium. Contact the Guild: Tekelia.Blount@godmanguild.org. Isom announced his retirement from the city after 39 years service on July 28 upcoming.
Short North Parking Study Update The city plans two public meetings about the revised pilot parking plan on successive Thursdays at Goodale Park Shelterhouse (July 6) and Junior Achievement Gym at 2nd Ave School (July 13) [cancelled] from 5:30 to 7:30 pm led by Desman, the newly hired paid parking consultants. Andy noted that last month, we learned parking czar Amanda Ford was consulting with her public service director after receiving negative feedback from the parking study group over changes proposed by the director to the original pilot. Rory and Evelyn described the parking study group’s recent meetings as combative and contentious, following the incorporation into the group of members of Preserve Short North Neighborhoods (active on NextDoor and Facebook) whose competing vision would make all non-metered on-street parking exclusive to residents after 6pm. This suburban myopia (“That’s MY parking space in front of my house!”) likely can’t be reconciled with the urbanist posture of the long serving neighborhood representatives in the group, who understand that cars do not deserve primacy and streets are shared amenities. Additional points of conflict center on the PSNN suspicion that existing neighborhood organizations don’t welcome their input, and that this is all merely a cash grab by the city. The most recent meeting of the group concluded with the city affirming shared use of the streets by residents, employees and visitors, reducing the annual permit fee from $50 to $25, and adding hang tags for use by permit holders and their visitors. Andy noted that the IVS survey conducted at the last open house identified cost of the permits and absence of hang tags as the two main concerns; this revision addresses those issues. Next month city council will likely pass legislation giving broad discretion to the public service director to implement the details of the pilot program starting in January 2018. Evelyn noted that councilperson Shannon Hardin has endorsed fee waivers for tags and permits with proof of hardship by low income residents. Another continuing concern is the reliance on smart phone apps (to be developed by the city using the Smart Cities grant) which, while avoiding the intrusion of kiosks or parking meters into the neighborhoods, will disadvantage those without access to smart phones. Other issues are how to implement the plan with multi-unit residences and how to set hourly pricing at levels that will encourage use of parking garages over paid on-street parking.
Sidewalks and Curbs Survey Update Andy reported that the four current IVS officers have agreed to help with the survey. Evelyn obtained additional useful information from German Village Society on their successful survey and Rory reported interest from the University Area Commission and he will follow up to get commitments to move forward. We will fine tune the effort at the July Streets Committee meeting.
I-670 Exit at 4th Street Traffic Study Update Andy reported that Mark Wagenbrenner hopes to schedule a meeting with the city and traffic engineers soon and invited our participation. Sherrill noted recent coverage of planned re-design of the N. Broadway/ Olentangy River Road/SR 315 interchange, to correct the “pinball exit” onto eastbound N. Broadway. Sherrill believes our “pinball exit” onto N. Fourth is more dangerous and an argument for closing it.
US-23 Re-routing Andy distributed a summary of minutes on the subject of US 23 over the past two years. He noted that US 23 cuts across many neighborhoods and government jurisdictions and changing the routing requires the coordinated efforts of the city of Columbus, MORPC, State of Ohio, and the non-governmental organization known as AASHTO. It could facilitate closure of I-670 exit ramp onto N. Fourth Street, and potentially reduce out of town traffic through neighborhoods. The downside to the re-routing is the loss of state funding for road improvements to Summit, N. Fourth and Indianola. Andy noted that the Summit and N. Fourth road diet/reconstruction is complete and Indianola’s has just begun.
Warren Street Traffic Study The city has yet to respond to our May letter requesting a traffic study.
Third Avenue & Summit Crosswalk The city apparently completed its study, because crosswalk striping across Summit occurred this month. Andy noted most foot traffic crosses Summit on the south side of E. Third Avenue for those using the C-bus stop and The Market, and that the crosswalk was painted on the north side of the intersection.
Eden & Pearl Alley Update Alley reconstruction appears complete, meters are installed and 3 dumpsters have been located at the eastern edge of the parking lot on the sidewalk and landscaped area where 3” caliper trees are to be planted (later in the fall?).
Meeting Adjourned at 6:38 pm. Next meeting is Thursday, July 27, 2017 in the backroom at the brewery at 1101 N. 4th Street. Respectfully submitted, Andy Klein, Chair, Streets Committee (06/30/17)
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETINGS
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
The Streets Committee meets monthly on the last Thursday from 5:30-6:30pm at Seventh Son Brewery to discuss issues surrounding the public use of our streets and sidewalks. Our goal is to make our neighborhood streets “complete streets” in the sense they should unite our neighborhood, not divide it, and safely accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit riders and adjoining residents as well as vehicular traffic. We address such issues as parking, cross-walks, lighting, street trees, promoting storm water management and Blueprint Columbus, sidewalk amenities, signal timing, one-way vehicular traffic and development as it affects our neighborhood’s streets and sidewalks and their safe use.
These minutes, as well as those of the IVS general meetings, are available online in PDF format at www.italianvillage.org
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