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Fern Valley Interchange
Meeting Minutes May 6th, 04
 
FVI Project Development Team (PDT) Meeting #3 (Draft)
 
May 6, 2004 - ODOT White City Facility
 
Present:
 
Nancy Reynolds (URS), Irene Toews (ODOT TPAU), Debbie Timms (ODOT PL), Dave Bresheads (for Ray Lapke, ODOT Region 3 Traffic), Brian Shaedel (ODOT Roadway), John Morrison (RVCOG), Greg Holtoff (ODOT), Bill Bennett (ODOT Bridge), Andrew Johnson (ODOT Planning), Gary Leaming (ODOT White City), Dale Petrasek (Jackson County Roads), Susan Landis (ODOT ROW), Dan Moore (RVCOG/RUMPO), Jerry Marmon (ODOT Environmental), David Pyles (ODOT Dev. Review), Sheila North (URS), Denis Murray (City of Phoenix), Leslie Schwab (ODOT), John Vial (ODOT)
 
Action Items:
  • Greg to take existing Purpose and Need to CETAS for Concurrence Point #1 in June.
  • PDT to skip the June meeting and reconvene in July 2004 (same time & city, location TBA by Debbie?).
  • URS to distribute final Purpose and Need Statement to the PDT at the July meeting (following CETAS comment/concurrence).
  • Andy and RVCOG to: 1) move the project from the Regional Transportation Model’s Long-Range Plan to its Short-Range Plan, and 2) to amend the existing footnote in this plan that the City must complete its Access Management Plan (AMP) before development can occur at this interchange, because capacity must be addressed.
  • RVCOG to finalize MPO Model in late June 2004.
  • TPAU model to be completed by late August 2004 (pending finalization of the MPO Model as indicated above).
  • Greg/Debbie to invite Nick Forte, FHWA, to attend the July PDT meeting.
  • CAC to hold an alternative development "workshop" at their June meeting, based on existing design concepts and the project’s Goals & Objectives (to be finalized next month).
  • Region 3 to move ahead with conceptual alternative concepts for July meeting following CAC input.
  • URS to distribute draft PDT minutes via email for revisions & adoption prior to the July PDT meeting; this will allow for timely CAC transmittal.
 
Meeting Notes:
 
Introductions
Adoption of Meeting #2 Minutes (led by Debbie Timms)
  • Dan Moore suggested some revisions to the Short-Range Regional Transportation Plan (RTP)/Long-Range RTP language.
  • Gary Leaming made a motion to adopt the revised minutes; Greg Holtoff seconded (motion accepted). Revisions made; URS to distribute revised minutes.
 
Alternative Evaluation Strategy (led by Nancy Reynolds)
  • Nancy discussed the handout provided (attached). Nancy indicated that TPAU, Greg and Nancy brainstormed conceptual alternatives based on previous alternatives developed and potential new alternatives and options. The PDT will then provide an initial evaluation of the alternatives and options for fatal flaws (without considering environmental, planning, or other constraints. Unrealistic alternatives will be set aside, and possible alternative concepts will be adjusted. The CAC will then review and comment on the alternative concepts. This process will continue—with increasing detailed evaluation of the alternatives and options based on traffic, planning, environmental requirements, evaluation criteria and CAC goals and objectives until there are only about 2 or 3 alternatives and options to forward into the EA for environmental analysis.
  • Nancy also mentioned that a PowerPoint presentation was distributed to the PDT on conceptual alternative ideas from TPAU.
 
CAC Summary (led by John Morrison)
  • John Morrison provided a debriefing on last night’s CAC meeting, noting that it was a good turnout. The meeting focused on: 1) A land use planning discussion by Andy Johnson to help the CAC understand some of the complications regarding ongoing planning activities, and 2) Discussion to finalize the CAC’s Goals & Objectives.
  • Gary Leaming asked whether the CAC goal of "protecting businesses" could have potential conflicts with the project’s Purpose & Need. Greg indicated that it is understood that we attempt to meet these goals—but that it is acknowledged up front that not all of these goals and objectives can be met 100% of the time, and that some may actually conflict with the goals. The project development process will help to balance these conflicts and bring them to conclusion. John Morrison noted the CAC recognizes that there may be potential impacts to some businesses, depending on which alternatives are selected for consideration.
  • Dan Moore asked how these goals and objectives would fit into the overall project? Greg and Nancy explained that these are recommendations by the public that help to shape formation of the project. However, the project must first meet its Purpose & Need statement (this is mandatory). The Purpose & Need Statement and Goals & Objectives are both integrated into the project’s Evaluation Criteria (which help to rank the alternatives at a later date). Greg also noted that all three of these components are CETAS "Concurrence Points."
  • Gary Leaming asked if this means that CETAS will amend the Goals & Objectives for this project. Greg said that it is likely that CETAS will add environmental goals, but they will likely be for their own regulatory environmental protections only, and will probably not focus on the good of the project or overall community.
  • John Morrison noted that the CAC was aware last night of the potential conflict of the term "easy and safe" in their Goal language and attempted to amend the language to avoid such conflicts.
  • Nancy said she was pleased with RVCOG’s work in paraphrasing April’s CAC discussion and in helping to develop a well-balanced list of Goals and Objectives for May.
  • John Morrison confirmed that RVCOG previously called each CAC member to discuss any lingering Phase I issues, but most had none, so he does not feel it is currently a hindrance for the project to move forward.
 
Land Use Discussion (led by Andy Johnson)
  • Andy distributed a handout showing the relationships of the planning activities underway and anticipated. Andy noted that the Zoning Ordinance amendment is currently on hold. He also said that ODOT is working on a Trip-Cap Ordinance for small cities, and that the City is waiting on finalization of this ordinance before the Zoning Ordinance amendment can occur. The Trip-Cap Ordinance is expected in late summer, and the City’s Zoning Ordinance amendment is expected by September. Debbie reminded the group that this would likely push the project schedule back a couple of months.
  • Denis noted that property owners have an option to move ahead with development through a "Planning and Development Permit" (a provisional process prior to IBZ finalization, if the development is consistent with the comprehensive plan). Denis explained that this is a back-up option only, but that this is a fair approach to applicants. Developers who pursue this process must prove that existing capacity can handle the proposed development at opening date. A Traffic Impact Study would be required Andy and Greg both felt that the existing TPAU traffic process might provide some of the traffic data on which to evaluate the Traffic Impact Study.
  • Concern was raised that development in the northwest quadrant could occur prior to this project. The existing facility is already failing to handle capacity. (Phase I was completed to address safety concerns; Phase 2a is planned for capacity improvements.)
  • Denis anticipates that following construction of the Home Depot store, motels, restaurants, and other retail stores will also likely be developed throughout this area.
  • Irene Toews informed the group that TPAU will look at how the project will fit into the system-wide peak hour data.
  • Dan Moore noted that there is a footnote in the existing RTP that the City needs to complete its Access Management Plan (AMP) before development can occur in the interchange area. Denis responded that it will do this, but he is not sure when an AMP will be done, because an alternative needs to be selected for the project before an AMP could be completed. Greg said that the existing RTP could be amended to change this once the project is moved to the Short-Range Plan.
  • Andy provided a comprehensive explanation of the existing "web" of land use permits and models that impact the development of this project. Permits and/or issues include (hand-drawn chart provided): Trip Allocation Ordinance, IBZ, ODOT’s "Small" Traffic Model, Regional Transportation Model, RTP Amendment, Environmental Assessment, Interchange Management Plan (IMP), and Quasi Judicial Land Use Actions. Note that the IMP will be done by DEA (consultant) for ODOT on this project.
  • Irene noted that TPAU could complete this "Small" Traffic Model about one month after the Regional Transportation Model is complete. (Greg reminded the group that TPAU must use the upcoming regional model, not the existing model for the project’s projected 20-year traffic analysis.)
  • Debbie noted that, should the City Planning Council Commission approve individual private development in the project area, an appeal process could delay the development. Denis also reminded the group that if there are to be significant (unmitigated) impacts from proposed development, it would be in conflict with the comprehensive plan and that this development could not occur. However, he cannot confirm any potential impacts until he/the City see what is proposed in these development applications.
  • Andy reminded the group that the IMP would also enter into this process.
  • John Vial noted that ODOT must identify which of these permits/processes (via Andy’s flow chart) needs to occur for the process to move forward (short-term) – this may require decisions to be made without perfect data, but these decisions still should occur to keep the project moving forward. Debbie agreed and said this was also explained to the CAC at last night’s meeting. John Vial warned that the risk of not moving forward (of waiting) is that the models are constantly changing, and that the cycle will never end.
  • Irene explained that TPAU needs the Regional Transportation Model to detect large-scale trends so that they can provide a scaled-down level of information for their "Small" Model. The older (regional) model does not provide this information, and the new model is only a couple of months from being completed.
  • Debbie also reminded the PDT that both the CAC and PDT are already moving forward with looking at concepts today, as well as at last night’s CAC meeting, despite the delay of these models. She also said that the CAC feels strongly that they want to consider the upcoming regional model for long-term trend detection and impacts on the existing data.
  • Dan Moore (RVCOG) said that he cannot guarantee when the model will be complete, but feels it will be before the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2004). Irene noted that if this is the case, TPAU should have their "Small" Model complete by late August 2004.
 
Matrix Review of Alternatives and Options (led by Brian Sheadel and Irene Toews)
  • The intended process for this discussion includes: Description of the alternative and option concepts, brainstorming the pros and cons of each, brainstorming other alternatives and options, and determining which options could be used with which alternatives.
  • Matrix and full-page visual handouts of "revised" or scaled-down alternatives from Brian Sheadel (based on original Power Point presentation) were distributed for discussion.
  • Dan Moore clarified for full-group consideration that none of these concepts consider environmental impacts, right-of-way impacts, etc. (based on agreement at last month’s meeting). This analysis will occur in the future as more detail analysis occurs and through the EA process.
  • Brian Sheadel informed the group that Option #s on the map reflect Figure #s in the PowerPoint presentation (for comparison).
  • The group agreed that the original Fern Valley Road alignment is "skewed," so alternatives which correct the skew will be referred to as "squared up" or "right angle."
  • Brian informed the group that pedestrian bridges are not drawn on any of the options provided, but can be added anywhere in the future.
  • Most alternatives and options could involve multiple crossings of Bear Creek.
  • Greg reminded the group that these options are still very flexible, and that ODOT and the public can manipulate components of each of these for advanced alternative consideration. It was reiterated that these are only ideas (general concepts) so far, and that other ideas are welcome. Also, the CAC would be developing or building on these alternatives and options at their upcoming (June) meeting workshop.
 
Figure 1 and 1a: Single Point Urban Diamond (SPUD)
 
Description
  • This alternative consists of a SPUD at a right angle ("squared up") to I-5. SPUDs do not work well on a skewed alignment; therefore, this alternative would not have an option that follows the existing Fern Valley Road alignment.
  • To the west, the alignment would access via Cheryl (2 options at this location) or Bolz. Either would require some widening at the east end of these city streets to accommodate the highway connection.
  • To the east, Fern Valley Road could be retained as the through movement; Fern Valley Road and N. Phoenix Road would be realigned. The other option is to make N. Phoenix Road the through movement; this would require a new connection from N. Phoenix Road to Fern Valley Road (probably at Breckinridge).
  • Options that could be constructed with this alternative include: an I-5 overcrossing at Northridge Terrace; new access to Bear Lake Estates from the 1st Street to the west; an I-5 overcrossing south of Bear Lake Estates (with optional connections to OR 99 at Elm Street and Oak Street.
 
Suggestions
  • A suggestion was made to evaluate an overcrossing north of Northridge—so it would be located north of the neighborhood. E. Glenwood is another option.
 
Comments and Possible Impacts
  • If Fern Valley Road is the through movement to the east, it will not be as efficient; the No. Phoenix Road through movement would be a more efficient roadway system.
  • Local concerns have been raised regarding increasing traffic on Cheryl or Bolz since they feed directly into the high school. However, this access may be safer than the existing access onto OR 99. Denis said that the City has looked at similar models that indicate that alternatives that provide direct and safe access to high schools have potential benefits. Rather than adverse impacts, this type of direct access provides safer driving routes into and out of the high school.
  • SPUDs are generally more expensive alternatives in terms of construction, but the footprint is narrower, so there is less right of way required. The bridge cost would be higher. James Burford indicated that the term "expensive" is a relative term; it does not compare ROW vs. construction vs. mitigation of impacts, etc.
  • Irene noted that SPUDs provide greater long-term capacity.
  • Brian stated that SPUDs provide increased access to existing business areas.
  • John Vial concurred, and noted that since the high school is at the end of the project corridor, traffic is not likely to travel to the high school unless that area is the destination.
  • The Northridge Terrace overcrossing would have a connectivity benefit. It would provide access from N. Phoenix Road to downtown Phoenix without having to go through the interchange.
  • Debbie warned that impacts to the neighborhood associated with the Northridge Terrace overcrossing could be significant. It would be a major intrusion into the neighborhood. (It is not known at this time whether a wider facility is needed.)
  • John Vial asked if an east-west connection above Fern Valley Road would be good for managing traffic. It was determined that the model should clarify this.
 
Figure 2: Split Diamond – Original Fern Valley Alignment
 
Description
  • A Split Diamond Interchange includes 2 ramps to the north (the north half of the interchange in the vicinity of Fern Valley Road) and 2 ramps to the south (the south half of the interchange south of Bear Creek Estates), connected by a no-access frontage road. The frontage road could be 2-way or possibly 1-way.
  • In the north half of the interchange, this alternative would include realignment of N. Phoenix Road to the east of I-5. West of I-5, the alignment would be similar to the SPUD in Figure 1; access would be via Cheryl (2 options at this location) or Bolz. Either would require some widening at the east end of these city streets to accommodate the highway connection.
  • In the south half of the interchange, the I-5 overcrossing would connect with Breckinridge Road to the east and Elm Street or Oak Street to the west.
  • Options that could be constructed with this alternative include: an I-5 overcrossing at Northridge Terrace; new access to Bear Lake Estates from the 1st Street to the west; an overcrossing at South Stage; an overcrossing at Glenwood Road.
  • There would not be direct access to Petro.
 
Suggestions
  • Consider 1-way frontage roads with right-in/right-out access.
  • Consider moving the north half of the interchange to a right angle with I-5. The interchange could be moved to the north or to the south to unskew the Fern Valley Road alignment shown on Figure 2.
 
Comments and Possible Impacts
  • John Vial asked whether ODOT has a history of split diamonds not working. James Burford responded that split diamonds often result in confusing traffic patterns, especially in high-tourist areas where people are unfamiliar with the area. This results in additional traffic as people retrace their routes to become familiar with the traffic patterns. (A split diamond works better in areas of predominantly local traffic).
  • There are generally less traffic conflicts with a split diamond (if travelers are familiar with the area).
  • John Morrison asked what the benefits of split diamonds are. Irene answered that these give more direct access (especially to the south in Figure 2). Greg added that these also result in less traffic conflicts, because they provide a more linear design.
  • Dave B noted that Figure 2 seems to provide good east-west connectivity.
  • John Vial noted that this alignment cuts through the City’s Blue Heron Park to the south.
  • Brian Sheadel noted that there is a very large hill on the southeast side of the south half of the interchange. This would result in a very large cut/fill slope, which could be expensive and/or logistically difficult.
  • There would be considerable impact to Bear Lake Estates. Debbie noted the good alternative access to Bear Lake Estates with this alternative, but that these estates would likely want a sound wall to mitigate noise impacts.
  • There would be increased traffic in the Phoenix Hills neighborhood along Breckinridge Road. This would likely result in the need for soundwalls.
  • James Burford noted that Figure 2 includes multiple Bear Creek crossings. Both Jerry Marmon and Greg Holthoff felt that this could be a negative for environmental purposes. ESA consultation would likely be formal regardless of which alternative is selected. Jerry Marmon noted that the ESA process can only "block" the project if NOAA made a jeopardy decision.
  • Debbie asked what FHWA would likely say about these options. Irene answered that FHWA typically prefers more "conventional" interchange options, but it is also known to act flexibly, upon request.
  • Greg & Debbie agreed to invite FHWA to the next PDT meeting (likely to be Nick Forte).
  • Denis asked about local business access. Brian confirmed that this option offers full business access.
 
Figure 3: Regular Diamond, Right Angle to I-5, Fern Valley Alignment
 
Description
  • This alternative would include a regular diamond interchange, "squared up" to I-5.
  • Similar to Figure 1: To the west, the alignment would access via Cheryl (2 options at this location) or Bolz. Either would require some widening at the east end of these city streets to accommodate the highway connection.
  • Also, similar to Figure 1: To the east, Fern Valley Road could be retained as the through movement; Fern Valley Road and N. Phoenix Road would be realigned. The other option is to make N. Phoenix Road the through movement; this would require a new connection from N. Phoenix Road to Fern Valley Road (probably at Breckinridge).
  • The existing bridge over I-5 would be removed.
  • Existing access would change at each leg of the interchange. It was noted that the factory outlet and RV Park could lose access with this alternative, and that McDonalds would likely be displaced.
  • The same optional overcrossings at Northridge Terrace and south of Bear Lake Estates could be included.
  • New access to Bear Lake Estates from the 1st Street to the west could also be considered.
 
Suggestions
  • Consider connecting this alternative to South Phoenix Road.
  • Consider a new alignment option: Follow the Bolz Lane option, provide right turn on OR 99 and right turn on Cheryl, then right over the existing Bear Creek Bridge, then cul-de-sac at the Colman Creek Estates mobile home park. This would provide access to the northwest quadrant of the interchange.
  • Consider pedestrian bridge through Bear Lake Estates.
  • Consider adjustments to the alignment that would maintain as much business access as possible.
 
Comments and Potential Impacts
  • John Vial asked if these designs would accommodate future loops. Brian answered no, but that loops have been added to other options.
  • Greg noted that this standard diamond design seems to do a lot more damage than the SPUD options to adjacent business access. This is an issue when evaluating the CAC goal to "enhance connectedness between east and west."
  • There would be high right of way costs associated with this alternative.
  • Geometrically, Bolz appears to be a better option for this alternative.
  • Denis noted that the overcrossing south of Bear Lake Estates (Option 9) is currently on the Regional Plan’s "wish list" for park access. The alignment skirts the edge of the park. Impacts to adjacent neighborhoods would need to be addressed.
  • As above, this option would require considerable cut/fill slopes due to the large hill on the east side.
  • Denis asked that Brian draw connection to South Phoenix Road for CAC info on Figure 3 (Brian to do).
  • John Vial asked if the diamond will work. Brian answered that this depends on the new model. (Irene added that this is also true for the overcrossings, such as South Stage Road, etc.).
  • Denis commented that maintaining access to businesses is critical, as the City already has a very minimal tax base, which must be maintained.
 
Figure 7: Regular Diamond, Old Stage Road Alignment
 
Description
  • This alternative would move the interchange to South Stage Road.
  • Fern Valley Road would have only an overcrossing, and there would likely be no additional lanes on Fern Valley Road.
  • Fern Valley Road would connect to Cheryl or Bolz (as identified above).
  • Also, as above, an overcrossing south of Bear Lake Estates could be incorporated into the alternative.
 
Suggestions
  • Consider eliminating the northern connection so that through-traffic can travel on OR 99 or on I-5—and not through Phoenix? I’m not sure what this one means.
  • Consider interchange at South Stage Road and Fern Valley Road (if the feds would allow it). (It was agreed that current regulations stipulate that the existing interchange needs to be used to its maximum capacity before additional interchanges can be constructed.)
  • Consider SPUI at South Stage Road and Fern Valley Interchange.
 
Comments and Potential Impacts
  • There would be substantial impacts to businesses with this alternative.
  • Traffic would be reduced in the Phoenix area.
 
Figure 11: Regular Diamond, South Bear Creek Estates Southern Alignment
 
This alternative was dropped from consideration at this meeting because it duplicates other alternatives (too similar to Figure 18).
 
Figures 13 and 22: Regular Diamond – Bolz to N. Phoenix Northern Alignment
 
Description
  • This would construct an interchange about ______ feet north of the existing interchange.
  • The interchange would be at right angles to I-5.
  • There would be free-flow through movement from OR 99 to N. Phoenix Road. To the west, the interchange would connect to Bolz Lane.
  • An overcrossing south of Bear Lake Estates could be incorporated into this alternative.
  • Fern Valley Road would cross under the Bolz Lane connection to the interchange.
 
Suggestions
 
Comments and Potential Impacts
  • James Burford asked how the Fern Valley connection would work. Brian answered that a bridge over Fern Valley is possible (a "double-decker" structure, with one Bear Creek crossing superimposed with the Fern Valley Road crossing).
  • The land uses in the northwest quadrant of the current interchange would be essentially eliminated. The factory stores would be removed; most (probably all of the mobile homes would be removed; and the Petro access would be difficult. Thus, the group did not favor this alternative.
 
Figure 14: Regular Diamond – Cheryl to N. Phoenix Northern Alignment
 
Description
  • This interchange would be similar to Figure 13 (and 22). An interchange would be constructed about ___ feet north of the existing interchange.
  • The interchange would be at right angles to I-5.
  • OR 99 would be the first access west of the interchange.
  • There would be free-flow through movement from OR 99 to N. Phoenix Road. To the west, the interchange would connect to Cheryl Lane.
  • An overcrossing south of Bear Lake Estates could be incorporated into this alternative.
  • Fern Valley Road would be retained in its current location.
  • The existing Fern Valley Road bridge over I-5 would be rebuilt to allow the I-5 ramps to be located under the structure.
 
Suggestions
 
Comments and Potential Impacts
  • The impact would be similar to those associated with Figure 13.
  • All traffic accessing Fern Valley Road east must go through downtown, which would be good for businesses.
  • Denis thought the idea of having a direct connection between N. Phoenix Road and OR 99 is a good one; how to do this, however, is the tricky part.
 
Figure 18: Regular Diamond – Siphon to Frontage Road Southern Alignment
 
Description
  • This alternative would construct an interchange south of Bear Lake Estates.
  • To the west, the interchange would include a major connection to 1st Street? or 4th Street?. [Note: Although references are made to a connection to 1st and 4th in our notes, I don’t see it on the map.]
  • To the east, the interchange would connect to Breckinridge. An additional connection could be made from S. Phoenix Road to the extension of Breckinridge.
  • Fern Valley Road would remain in place with options for connecting at Cheryl or Bolz.
 
Suggestions
  • Consider a SPUI at this location.
  • Consider a connection to S. Phoenix Road rather than Breckinridge.
 
Comments and Potential Impacts
  • Denis stated that this could work, but that the connection should be at S. Phoenix Road rather than Breckinridge. Brian answered that the geometric spacing could be very difficult to accomplish this—but it may be possible; it is not yet determined).
  • Dave B suggested that 4th Street and 1st Street are the only major connectors that can provide access to the county roads behind the City of Phoenix (vs. Cheryl Road, which ends at the high school).
  • There would be substantial impacts to the Phoenix Hills neighborhood.
 
Figure 19: Regular Diamond – Original Fern Valley Alignment, No. Phoenix Through East
 
Description
  • This interchange would be located at the original Fern Valley Road interchange alignment; it would be located at a skewed angle.
  • There would be new ramp terminals with appropriate spacing and design.
  • There would be no access to the west side until OR 99.
  • A slight realignment at the north end of S. Phoenix Road would be required to "T" up the connection with N. Phoenix Road at a location that meets interchange standards for adjacent accesses.
  • There would be no connection to Luman.
  • N. Phoenix Road would be realigned.
  • This is the only alternative that would work on the existing alignment.
  • As above, a Northridge Terrace overcrossing and an overcrossing south of Bear Lake Estates would be possible options.
 
Suggestions
  • Consider a squared up interchange alignment.
 
Comments and Potential Impacts
  • It was mentioned that a Traffic Impact Study is currently underway for Home Depot, and that TPAU is working closely with them on this study.
 
Figure 20: Diamond w/SE Loop – Original Fern Valley Alignment, No. Phoenix Through East
 
Description
  • This interchange would be located along the existing alignment.
  • A northbound loop ramp would be located in the southeast quadrant of the interchange.
  • The N. Phoenix Road intersection with Fern Valley Road would be relocated to the east to Breckinridge.
  • To the west, Fern Valley Road would connect to either Cheryl or Bolz.
  • An overcrossing at Northridge and/or south of Bear Creek Estates, and a new connection from Bear Creek Estates to 1st Street could be considered as options with this alternative.
  • There would be no access on the west side until OR 99, or on the east side until Breckinridge.
  • The ramps on the east side are pushed out to the east.
 
Suggestions
 
Comments and Potential Impacts
  • This does not improve traffic in the area as well as many of the other alternatives.
 
Figure 21: Partial Cloverleaf – Original Fern Valley Alignment, N. Phoenix Through East
 
Description
  • This interchange would be the same as Figure 20, but would include loops in both the northwest and southeast quadrants. The loops would have to be located where there are now existing businesses.
 
Suggestions
  • Consider using loops at opposite sides (northeast and southwest). [Although this suggestion was made because of reduced impacts to land use, it was determined to be infeasible because it would result in too many left turns.]
 
Comments and Potential Impacts
  • This interchange configuration would take heavy left-turn movements out of the signals at the interchange ramps, resulting in less queuing of traffic.
  • There would be major right of way requirements.
  • Debbie asked if this figure maintains access to Coleman Creek Estates. Brian and John Vial answered yes, there would be right-in/right-out at this access.
 
Figure 23/24: Regular Diamond – 5th to N. Phoenix Northern Alignment and
Regular Diamond – 4th to N. Phoenix Northern Alignment
 
Description
  • This interchange would be similar to Figures 13 and 14, but would connect on the west to either 4th or 5th Streets.
 
Suggestions
 
Comments and Potential Impacts
  • Denis noted that 4th Street is probably the best.
  • Debbie and John noted potential difficulties at the proposed couplet connection.
  • There would be considerable impacts to the Bear Creek Greenway.
 
Figure 25: Regular Diamond – Glenwood Road
 
Description
  • This interchange would be located at Glenwood Road, north of the existing interchange location.
  • I-5 overcrossings at South Stage Road and Fern Valley Road could be considered.
  • The current skewed connection between OR 99 and Glenwood Road would be corrected.
  • There would not be an interchange at Fern Valley Road.
 
Suggestions
 
Comments and Potential Impacts
  • There would be substantial impacts to existing businesses at the Fern Valley interchange and in the City of Phoenix.
 
[Brian noted that Figures 19, 20, 21, and 23/24 came from the ODOT Phase I Traffic Report.]
 
Purpose & Need (led by Nancy Reynolds)
  • Nancy informed that PDT that the Purpose and Need Statement has been slightly updated since the April PDT meeting to include some minimal crash data information from TPAU. Greg has also done some minor reorganization and paraphrasing to this statement.
  • Greg said that the Purpose and Need for this project is on the June CETAS meeting agenda for Concurrence Point #1. CETAS will likely add comments and/or revisions, as desired; these have historically focused on the natural environment.
  • Dave Bresheads noted that accident rates should improve shortly because a median will be added at the signal on the west corner of OR 99 and Cheryl; left turns onto Cheryl will no longer be possible. Denis Murray said that this will be done by the Jack in the Box restaurant and is expected this summer. Dave noted that the Planning Commission passed it and that many public notices were sent out, but surprisingly little public feedback was received.
  • Dan Moore asked if the Phoenix Comprehensive Plan could be implemented without this project. (This was an issue for South Medford.) Debbie answered that this depends on the Interchange Business Zone land use decision and subsequent modeling. Greg did not feel that this would be as much of an issue for this project, because the Fern Valley project includes a better Purpose & Need Statement; it is more "CETAS-based" than the South Medford Interchange project.
  • Greg asked if others were ok with the existing Purpose and Need Statement. Denis Murray and others expressed that they were okay with this statement. Greg requested a vote for adoption of the statement. Dan Moore moved for approval and Greg seconded (motion approved). URS will distribute the final version at the next (July) meeting, following CETAS approval/revisions.
 
Other
  • It was decided, based on time lag issues and upcoming CAC work, to skip the June PDT meeting and to meet again in July. It was also decided to work with both FHWA and CAC in the meantime.
  • URS and ODOT will provide an organized version of the large amounts of information discussed at this meeting. They will also ask for PDT input/revisions to the minutes via email (for timely CAC transmittal).
  • Debbie and John both noted that the CAC must see all of these alternatives to provide feedback on which are in conflict with their Goals and Objectives. John Vial agreed, and feels that this will result in less traffic work for TPAU to do in the short-term.
  • Denis expressed concern about project issues linked to his involvement with the City’s Planning Commission and Council. Dale responded that, in his case, it is too early to bring them into this process; he will do so later in the process.
 
Next Meeting:
 
July 8, 2004 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m, Location TBA)