Public Input Process

At the December 14, 2017 meeting, the Transportation Commission discussed how best to proceed with the information provided by the Subcommittee and the next step of the public input process.  The Commission recommended starting the public input period as quickly as possible and desired to let it run long enough to provide ample opportunity after the Holidays to gather input.  The January 2018 Commission meeting was postponed for two weeks to allow a longer input period.  The public input period opened on December 22, 2017 and closed on January 21, 2018.  During this time an exhibit was on display on the second floor of City Hall which included information on the overall process, Subcommittee, traffic calming measures, plan alternatives and features, and the estimated costs for each of the three plans.  In addition, similar information was placed on the City’s webpage and two Open Houses with additional information were held in the Council Chambers on January 11th and 18th.  Public input was received via comment cards at the City Hall display and Open Houses, emails directed to the Third Street email address, and by hand delivery of information. 

The public input data was provided to the Transportation Commission for review prior to their meeting on January 25th.  At that meeting the Commission discussed the input received, the advantages and disadvantages of each plan, and if the members were comfortable making a recommendation for the City Council.  Also discussed were alternative approaches that varied from the three original plans developed by the Subcommittee.  Of these alternatives, the one that received the most attention included the concept of standard bike lanes on each side of the Third Street rather than the Two Way Separated Bike Lanes concept in Plan C.  For the sake of discussion, this option has been titled Plan D and Staff has created a supporting Plan D drawing.  At the Commission meeting, and consistent with the public input received, the least supported plans were A and B.  Plan C was considered the front runner, but concerns were expressed over maintenance activities, turning movement conflicts, and general understanding of how to enter and exit the separated lanes.  The maintenance concerns primarily related to snow removal and street sweeping.  The placement of the lane separation buffer seven to eight feet off the north curb line precludes snow plowing operations from accessing the entire street section and may result in decreased lane widths during heavy snow periods.  Alternative methods of street maintenance have been discussed in depth, but significant challenges remain for operations with the Plan C concept.  The issue of turning movements and potential conflicts between bikes in the bike lanes and cars in the vehicle lanes all entering the cross street intersections at the same time caused some consternation for the Commission. A suggestion was made to consider hiring a consulting firm which specializes in bicycle facilities to assess proposed Plan C to determine the best approach to implement it in a safe and functional manner.  In the end, the Commission approved a recommendation to implement Plan C.  This recommendation was made with recognition that a full description of the advantages and disadvantages of each plan be presented to the City Council and that an assessment of the viability of Plan C by a consultant would be beneficial.

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1. Bridge Design
2. Corridor Assessment
3. Public Input Process
4. City Council Deliberations
5. Corridor Components