March 2018

Minutes Date: 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Full Text: 

Treasurer's Report

Same amount as always in the account, $1301.01.

Announcements

Our state representative, Olivia Cajero Bedford is running and is seeking signatures to get on the ballot. If anyone would like to sign their names they are welcome to.

Dunbar/Spring was approved for a $700 grant by the Pima Historic Commission for the graphic design work on the printed version of the 100-year-old buildings map. Karen will be going to West University in April to request $350 for the printing. (Cirrus is giving us a 50% discount). There will be 1000 maps printed, which will allow for further distribution.

Verizon is apparently looking to put up a cell phone tower closer to the university, so perhaps they have given up on setting up one in Dunbar/Spring. Apparently it will be disguised as a palm tree.

Discussion

Presentation by Andy Bemis about Main Ave road diet

The neighborhood has been asking for Main Avenue to shrink to a single lane from south of Speedway to the railroad tracks. Instead of those lanes, the neighborhood would like bike lanes and parking.

Ann Chanecka was the previous representative, and now Andy Bemis has taken over after previously working with her.

The first Dunbar/Spring request letter was from 2008. At the time, the department was not committed. However, now the Department of Transportation is committed to making that change.

Traffic volumes in 2017 average 10,000 vehicles per day. Therefore, the road is overbuilt and has too many lanes for the number of cars. There have been several similar conversions in Tucson.

The options would be four to three lanes, which would have one lane in each direction and a center turn lane. That would free 12 feet for a buffered bike lane. Another option would be four to two lanes, which would allow even more space for parking and the bike lane.

The road diet will happen when Main was resurfaced. Originally the city said that Main Ave was going to be done after Stone was finished. It isn’t clear why Main wasn’t part of the Prop 409 plans. It was on the alternate list if there were additional funding. Main was then rolled into Prop 101.

There is not yet a schedule for Main’s resurfacing, since the city has to collect the sales tax revenue before putting out a request for bid. Andy is advocating for projects that were part of 409, such as Main, to be the top priority for 101.

The first package of Prop 101 (to be constructed fall 2018) will likely be the West side. Main is not included in that part. There is no way that Main will be done before spring 2019.

Redesigning the road costs extra money than just resurfacing. However, Andy found funding for the design. Toole Design, which is an excellent bicycle planning firm, is working on the conceptual plan. The scope will be finalized in the next two months. They will provide three options (low/mid/high) to protect the bike lane.

Prop 101 will only fund resurfacing and painting the road. To do the higher level protection of the bike lane, the neighborhood and the city would need to look for other funding sources. REI funded the extension of the downtown Stone protected lane, but that work hasn’t been done yet.

Worst case scenario would be fall 2021. The schedule will be impacted by Downtown Links (which will last from May of this year until fall 2020). It is possible the city will push the project until after Downtown Links so as to not disturb neighborhoods as much.

There are planned changes to the Main railroad crossing, which will restrict some of what can happen on Main. (For example, likely can’t do a two way protected bike lane). The railroad crossing might need to be renegotiated with Union Pacific if the striping changes.

One option for the plans would be to restrict turns onto University. For example, a pedestrian refuge in the middle of the street would also stop them from turning onto University.

Reducing the size of the road will likely reduce some of the excessive speeding. Can’t put speed humps on the street because it is designated as an arterial.

A raised pedestrian crossing into Barrio Anita is highly unlikely to happen. Extending the greenway to connect the neighborhoods is also unlikely to happen due to lack of funds. There was a question about the railroad spur land and whether it would become a green bikeway. There also isn’t funding for that project. The only parts of the greenway that have been funded is due to requirements that the developers pay for expansion.

Funding options for more expansive Main work could be REI (but they give just $5-10,000 and likely aren’t happy that the city hasn’t built what has been funded on Stone). Will likely need $100,000. Another option is to apply in the greenway category of the RTA. There might be federal funding as well. Federal funding would trigger multiple environmental requirements and other restrictions, which would slow down the project and make it more expensive.

There were questions about how to slow down traffic in the neighborhood, especially given that people zoom through the traffic circles without yielding. For example, 10th Ave and 1st St maybe should change from a yield sign to a stop sign. The traffic engineers would need to look into the intersection to see if it justifies a stop sign. But there is no guarantee that they would change the intersection set ups.

Bike Boulevard has four way yields to facilitate bike movement. But the problem is that the traffic circles don’t deflect cars well. In Dunbar/Spring there are significantly fewer incidents, because of the size and vegetation in the circle. There is a thought of doing just stop signs for the cross streets on Bicycle Boulevard.

There was a question about putting up “children at play” signs. Andy said he would check with traffic engineers, but the concern is losing effectiveness. LSA might help fund neighborhood lead children at play signs. There was also a suggestion in putting little molds of children running in traffic.

There was also an issue brought up about the light at University and Stone and how frequently people break the right turn only law. Andy suggested again putting a request into the city traffic engineers.

Can submit these requests for adaptations/evaluations of intersections to Diahn diahn.swartz@tucsonaz.org and cc’ed to Andy.

April 29th Picnic

On Sunday, April 29th from 4pm to 7pm Dunbar/Spring is having a joint picnic with Barrio Anita. It will be located at Oury Center. Cans of beer will be allowed as long as there is a beer permit..

M(Natasha)/S(Joanna)/A. Motion to pay for a $25 beer permit for the April 29th picnic from the neighborhood budget. Motion passed with unanimous assent.

Elections

Elections will be next month and we need a secretary. There could be two people who tag team the minutes and emailing.

In order to be a valid neighborhood committee, we need a secretary and a president.

Committee Reports

DNARC – In the last meetings there was a discussion with Assistant City Manager Albert Elias. There is a group of neighborhoods with a formal plan who meet together and we aren’t invited because Dunbar/Spring doesn’t have a formal plan.

Downtown Links – Bid dates were extended.

WAMO – No updates

Neighborhood Garden – No updates

Dunbar Coalition – Joseph Graves is interested in cooking out of the commercial kitchen. There is another person interested in the kitchen who currently operates a barbeque truck.

Speedway/Stone Parcel – No updates

11th Avenue Parcel – Habitat for Humanity has applied for a grant for the property via Wells Fargo, but the project hasn’t yet gone out for bid.

Walkability/Neighborhood Foresters – Unknown when the next event will be. There will likely be some planting soon. Brad and Omar were open to the suggestions about restructuring.

Approve January and February minutes

M(Joanna)/S(Natasha)/A. Motion to approve January and February minutes. Motion passed by unanimous assent.