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Fern Valley Interchange
Meeting Date: Wednesday, May 5, 2004
Purpose: Fern Valley Interchange Project Citizen Advisory Committee Meeting
Distribution: CAC Members, Solution Team Members
From: John Morrison, RVCOG
Prepared by: Pat Foley, RVCOG
Date Prepared: May 7, 2004
CAC Attendees: Dack Doggett, Pauly Hinesly, Wendie Nichols, Harry Page, Mark Gibson, Joan Haukom, Dan Sauro, David Lewin, Bob Korfhage, Bill Rombach
CAC Absent: David Lowry, George Cota
Project Team Attendees:
Greg Holthoff, ODOT Environmental Project Manager
Debbie Timms, ODOT Project Manager
Andrew Johnson, ODOT Land Use
Brian Sheadel, ODOT Senior Designer
Gary Leaming, ODOT Public Involvement
Nancy Reynolds, URS Corp. Project Manager
Sheila North, URS Corp. Deputy Project Manager
John Morrison, RVCOG
Pat Foley, RVCOG
Other Attendees: Jim Wear, Terry Helfrich, Lee Carrau, Gary Hall, Bob Nelson, Dick Croly, Bob Robertson, John Graves, David Pyles, Sam Fung
1. Call to order and Introductions
John Morrison, RVCOG Facilitator
John Morrison reviewed the agenda for the evening’s meeting.
Request for approval of April 7, 2004 CAC Minutes: The minutes were approved with one change.
2. Summary of Project Development Team Meeting
Debbie Timms, ODOT Project Manager
Debbie reviewed the approved minutes from the March 4, 2004 Project Development Team Meeting. She explained the PDT minutes are not distributed until they are reviewed and approved at the subsequent PDT meeting. They will be mailed to the CAC for their records in their monthly packets. The PDT minutes will be posted on the ODOT Fern Valley Interchange web site in the near future.
Greg Holthoff gave an overview of the April 8th PDT meeting. At this meeting the following items were discussed: 1) Summary of the baseline reports, 2) General concepts of different alternatives, 3) Report on the FVI Open House and, 4) Goals and Objectives being developed by the CAC.
Greg also reported after the last PDT meeting he met with Nancy Reynolds and the ODOT Planning and Analysis Unit. They began the process of developing alternative concepts. These alternatives will be discussed at the PDT meeting tomorrow. Next month the alternative concept process will be a part of the CAC meeting.
3. Land Use/Planning Issues
Andy Johnson, ODOT Planning
Debbie Timms introduced Andy saying he was here to answer planning and zoning questions that arose at the last CAC meeting.
Andy explained there are three primary categories of things going on at this time at the interchange.
1. Zoning Ordinance Amendment for interchange business zone
  1. First, the Transportation Planning Analysis Unit is doing small model just for the FVI area. This model will show what volumes of traffic could be sustained given different build out scenarios at the FVI. It is hoped that this model will be completed within the next two months.
  2. Second, using the information obtained from the small model, the next step is the adoption of the interchange business area zone by the city of Phoenix.
2. Regional Transportation Plan Update (RTP)
  1. A similar larger model will be done using information obtained from the smaller FVI model. The RTP model will include the whole region. This information will look at where the area growth will be and how it will affect traffic. The region’s transportation plan will be amended to reflect the results of this model.
3. Fern Valley EA/EIS
  1. The RTP update is going on at the same time as the Fern Valley EA.
Andy handed out an overview diagram showing the process. He has a written version that he will provide for the CAC’s use.
In regard to the Regional Problem Solving process: The issues from the RPS process will be addressed in the Regional Transportation Plan.
A concern at this time is when the results of the Regional Transportation Plan model are available. This model is needed to test the different transportation alternatives for the FVI. Within the next three months the different alternatives will have been developed. The process is behind schedule.
To keep the process going the CAC will start working on the transportation alternatives at their next meeting. Once that is done the CAC may skip a couple meetings waiting for the RTP modeling to be completed.
4. Review of Goals and Objectives
John Morrison, RVCOG & Nancy Reynolds, URS Corp. Project Manager
John said the draft goals and objectives that were sent to the CAC are a reorganized format of the goals developed at the last meeting.
Greg explained goals that referred to Phase I were taken out. Also, goals that referred to specifics such as number of lanes, signals etc. were taken out because they refer to Purpose and Need. Once the goals and objectives are agreed upon by the CAC they will be taken to CETAS for their approval. CETAS may add environmental goals.
Each goal and objective was reviewed. Below are the changes and additions.
Ensure the project is compatible with the long-term land use plans
  • Provide a transportation system that allows for future economic growth
  • Provide a transportation system that allows for future residential growth
  • Work with city and county on future zoning
  • Protect as much as possibleexisting businesses
Ensure that project facilities provide for safe and efficient movement of emergency vehicles, school buses and freight
  • Design a transportation system to accommodate emergency vehicles
  • Optimize movement of school buses through the project area
  • ConsiderFacilitate safety of school bus boarding/unboarding within project area
  • Design a transportation system to accommodate freight movement
Provide a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly environment
  • Include bike lanes and/or other facilities that make it easy and safefor bicyclists to travel through the area
  • Include wide sidewalks to allow for safe and comfortable pedestrian travel in the project area
  • Include safe and easy access to the Greenway for bicyclists and pedestrians
  • Design facilities that ensure safety for senior and disabled members of the community
Provide for easy and/orsafe access for new and existing businesses and residencesin the study area
  • Design improvements that allow for safe ingress and egress to businesses
  • Provide enough turn lanes which will allow for through traffic to continue unimpeded
Ensure the design of the project will not be such as to make itsimplementation cost-prohibitive to its implementation
  • The cost of the project does not exceed anticipated budgetary allotments
Enhance community environment
  • Improve community identityEnhance connectionbetween neighborhoods areaslocated on the east side and west side of I-5
  • Install signage directing travelers to area parks
  • Design of new transportation facilities are visually pleasing and will last
  • Include landscape design that compliments the project area
  • Work with City to facilitate development of a community park on east side on interchange
Incorporate facilities that encourage alternative transportation
  • Design to allow for a Park and Ride area
  • Design to facilitate bus routes through the study area
  • Also see  Goal3
Protect and enhance the naturalenvironment
  • Allow for smooth flow of traffic to minimize air pollution from vehicle emissions
  • Design to minimize noise impacts to the highest extent possible
Other ideas and suggestions were made regarding environmental issues. A ninth goal was suggested that reads; Maintain or enhance the natural resource values within the project. It was also suggested that new objectives be developed to be included under Goals 2, 3 and 8. The project team will take the suggestions given and reformat them. These suggestions will be sent to the CAC and will be discussed and finalized at the next meeting.
5. Public Comment
John Morrison, RVCOG
A member of the public asked if the modeling will take into consideration the fact that there are only 50 acres of undeveloped land at the Fern Valley interchange and there are 1600 acres of land in Medford that is already approved for development.
A member of the public wanted to reinforce the need for alternative transportation. Ride share is needed. He does not feel there are enough people to keep the bus service active. A lit parking lot is needed.
6. Summary/Next Steps
John asked the members of the CAC to give their impressions on how the meeting went.
Dan Sauro: He thinks we are doing great.
Bill Rombach: There are a lot of good ideas in the goals and objectives. He is still confused over the difference between Phase 1 and 2. He feels everything keeps relating back to what happened in Phase 1.
Harry Page: After sitting in traffic this morning, the sooner the better.
Wendie Nichols: We have come along way since the first meeting.
David Lewin: He agrees with the former comments.
Pauly Hinesley: She is beginning to understand why she is here.
Joan Haukom: I think it is working.
Mark Gibson: I think it is progressing.
Dack Doggett: I think everything is great and we are moving forward.
Debbie Timms: I think it is going really good.
Sheila North: This will be her last meeting.
Nancy Reynolds: She feels the meeting went very well.
Greg Holthoff: Greg will be leaving in the future. The goals and objectives are tricky to do. We will try to get your new ideas right. He is happy with the group. There are a lot of diverse and intelligent people.
The next meeting will be on June 2nd. The meeting was adjourned.