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    Discovery Session Report Discovery Session Report Document Transcript

    • A SUMMARY OF THE WOODSTOCK UNIMPROVED STREETS DISCOVERY SESSION HELD ON FEBRUARY 27, 2010 1
    • LARKE PLANNING Leah Hyman Al Klein Rani Boyle Katie Lynd Emily Lieb Portland State Univeristy Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning www.roadwaynotimproved.com roadwaynotimproved@gmail.com
    • contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .4 Attendance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-5 Presentations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Project Overview & Timeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-7 Unimproved Streets FAQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-11 Street Inventory & Photo Tour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12-15 Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Destinations & Routes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Undesirable Characteristics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Desirable Characteristics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Ideas for Repurposing & Improvement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 ------ APPenDIX A. Meeting Poster and Agenda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24-25 APPenDIX B: comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26-28 APPenDIX c: small Group Maps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29-33
    • IntroDuctIon O n February 27th, 2010, LARKE Planning hosted a Discovery Session at the Woodstock Community Center. The purpose of this meeting was to facilitate a two-way flow of information between LARKE and Woodstock community members. During the first half of the session, LARKE presented information about the project, a review of frequently asked policy questions and the results of LARKE’s Woodstock street inventory. The second half of the meeting was devoted to small group discussions and a collective debrief about opinions, perceptions, the neighborhood. As shown in Figure 1, the visions and concerns regarding unimproved majority of participants live on or adjacent streets. to unimproved streets, with the most heavy concentration of participants in the area south of Woodstock Boulevard, which is home to the Attendance highest concentration of unimproved streets in the neighborhood. Forty-two adults and five children attended the Discovery Session. As the participants After residents settled into the main meeting entered the Woodstock Community Center, room of the community center, LARKE they were asked to provide their name, email member Katie Lynd opened the meeting by address, and how they heard about the session asking attendees how long they have lived in the on a sign-in sheet. Most residents heard about neighborhood and whether or not they live or the meeting either through word-of-mouth, adjacent to an unimproved street. Participants LARKE announcements at Woodstock events represented a balance of new residents and (community center potluck, neighborhood some who had lived in Woodstock for several association meetings), an article in their decades, as shown in Table 1. The majority of neighborhood paper (The Bee) or by fliers audience members indicated that they lived on attached to the doorknobs of houses along or adjacent to unimproved streets. unimproved streets a week prior to the meeting. Upon entry, attendees were also asked to place a star by their home on a large map of 4 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • Figure 1. Where Ds Attendees live in Woodstock Table 1. How long Ds attendees have lived in the Woodstock neighborhood <1 year 1-5 years 6-10 years 11-15 years 16-20 years 20-50 years >50 years 5 12 2 6 10 3 4 5 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • PresentAtIons D uring the first half of the session, LARKE team members gave three brief presentations: The project will be carried out in three basic phases. • Project Overview and Timeline (Emily Lieb) Phase 1: Information Gathering • Unimproved Streets FAQ (Leah Hyman) (January-March) • LARKE Woodstock Street Inventory Results LARKE conducted several primary and and Photo Tour (Al Klein, Rani Boyle) secondary research efforts, including an inventory of Woodstock Streets, background Project Overview & Timeline research on city policy and Woodstock demographics, informational interviews, an online survey and the Discovery Session. Roadway Not Improved is a partnership between the Woodstock Neighborhood Phase 2: Alternatives Association and five Portland State University (March-May) Master of Urban and Regional Planning LARKE is researching alternative street designs, students. Through conversations with WNA and funding strategies, models for maintenance inquiries into City of Portland policies, LARKE agreements and alternative policy approaches. identified a disconnect between what Woodstock These concepts will be refined based on residents want for unimproved streets and feedback from an Advisory Committee the formal tools offered by the City. This consisting of city planners, engineers, and disconnect created an opportunity to explore policymakers. Alternatives will be presented to two things: the Woodstock community for feedback at an open house on April 24. 1. alternative, community-based improvement options and temporary uses for unimproved Phase 3: Final Products rights-of-way (ROW) (May-June) LARKE will develop two final products: a 2. alternative city policy options that would toolkit of design options and implementation allow for more flexibility, both in terms strategies for community-based ROW projects; of mechanisms for improving streets, and a final report containing a more detailed alternative design options that are more analysis and recommendations for city policy. sensitive to context 6 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • Figure 2. roadway not Improved Project timeline 7 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • Unimproved Streets FAQ Why are so many streets unimproved? There is no exact answer for this question. It is likely that when the Woodstock neighborhood The FAQ presentation served to clarify the was annexed into the city limits, existing rules, regulations, rights and responsibilities unimproved streets were unfinished at the relevant to unimproved rights-of-way (ROW). time of annexation, like many outer SE DS participants were provided with an FAQ neighborhoods. Through many different handout and given time to ask questions and administrations during the last century, the City make comments following the presentation. has never made paving these streets a priority. Below is the material provided during the In the current economic climate, the City does session, as well as questions and comments from not have the financial means to dedicate toward residents. finishing unimproved streets. What is a street and what is the right-of-way What city agencies might be involved in (roW)? street improvements and maintenance? The city of Portland defines a street “to be any The City is lots of bureaus which maintain the street as defined in the City Charter, including all infrastructure and development of the city of area between property lines, and area dedicated Portland. These are some of the bureaus that to street use.” This is not a very clear definition regularly work on projects within the street: but it is the one offered by the city charter. Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT): For The right-of-way (ROW) refers to the legal the most part, PBOT maintains roadways and access easement which exists over all public transportation systems throughout the city. streets and includes all space entitled to public According to their website, the bureau’s work is use. An access easement allows the City to “plan, build, manage and maintain an effective of Portland to require some maintenance and safe transportation system that provides obligations from the property owners adjacent people and businesses access and mobility.” to the street while still allowing for public use PBOT has several different programs which deal of the street and sidewalk. The full ROW may with construction and maintenance of streets, include the sidewalk, planter strip, curb, gutter, including their Expanded Maintenance Options, parking lanes and travel lanes within the street. Local Improvement Districts (LIDS) and the If these elements don’t currently exist, it still Transportation System Plan, which is the long- doesn’t preclude the space from being within the range plan to guide transportation investments ROW. in Portland. What is an unimproved street? Bureau of Development Services (BDS): BDS The Portland charter offers no clear definition administers the building and development codes of unimproved streets. For the purposes of of the city, issues building permits and facilitates this project, LARKE Planning considers any entitlement for new developments on private street which is not maintained by the Portland properties. BDS moniters and regulates work on Bureau of Transportation as unimproved. private property ensuring that such work does Typically, unimproved streets are lacking some not create problems within the ROW. If you combination of a paved surface, curbs, and want to build anything new on your property, sidewalks. you generally are required to check with BDS first. 8 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • Bureau of Environmental Services (BES): BES How flexible is the City with regard to how provides Portland residents with water quality adjacent property owners use and maintain protection, watershed planning, wastewater unimproved roWs? collection and treatment, sewer installation While the city requires unimproved streets to and stormwater management. BES activities be maintained by adjacent property owners, in the ROW deal with managing sewer and only certain types of work can be done without stormwater treatment with street, parking strip a permit obtained from the city. Under the and pedestrian zones of the ROW. Expanded Maintenance Options, the City allows some flexibility in maintenance performed Who is responsible for maintaining by property owners. As long as the following unimproved streets? parameters are met, owner maintenance of Property owners on unimproved streets unimproved streets is allowed without a permit: are responsible for maintenance of the ROW. According to the city charter, as the • travel lane width on the unimproved street property owner, you have both the right and remains the same the obligation to maintain your section of • there is no change in existing drainage unimproved street maintenance up to the center patterns outside the right-of-way and line of the street. In Title 17.42 of the city drainage ways within the right-of-way are not charter it states: altered to impact water flow • materials used in street maintenance are “Until a street improvement has been equivalent to the existing street materials constructed to City standards and the City • no asphalt, concrete or other man-made has expressly assumed responsibility for material is applied to existing dirt or gravel street maintenance, it is the exclusive duty of surface the abutting property owners to construct, • any new maintenance does not adversely reconstruct, repair and maintain the unimproved affect neighboring properties street in a condition reasonably safe for the • no trees are removed from the right-of-way uses that are made of the street and adjoining • no speed bumps or other traffic calming properties. Streets that have not been improved devices are constructed. to City standards are not and will not be maintained or improved at City expense, except Essentially, as a property owner you may at the discretion of the City and as provided in maintain the adjacent unimproved right-of-way this Code and the City Charter.” up to the quality it currently is or was in the past. If you can prove that the street was once Comment: If there is an empty lot on an unimproved in better condition, for example there was gravel street is any build-out required? in the street at one point, you can lay down new gravel without a permit. All maintenance LARKE: PBOT requires a ½-street improvement or a performed in the ROW using larger tools and waiver if the cost is not feasible at that time. vehicles and without a permit falls under the Comment: A resident commented that they built out on PBOTs Expanded Maintenance Options. their lot and there was no requirement for or mention of street improvements, even in the permitting process. 9 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • Comment: Can I define the boundaries of my yard with measure as a nuisance and complains to the City, you will materials such as railroad ties to keep people from driving get a letter. on my grass? What standards does a street have to meet to LARKE: Yes, this is allowed and is affordable! be accepted for maintenance by the city? ------ PBOT does not want to encourage the Comment: When discussing various repurposing construction of poor quality streets, so the options, is there any consideration for what streets have bureau sets a high engineering bar to ensure utilities underneath them? long-lasting and high-quality streets. The City’s LARKE: You should always call for utility locations if existing neighborhood street standards are you are doing any excavation on your property. designed primarily as traffic facilities comprised of two travel lanes, plus either two parking Who is responsible when problems occur in lanes, one parking lane, or no parking, yielding unimproved streets? widths of 32, 28, or 20 feet, respectively. In an Property owners along unimproved streets R5 zone, (which much of Woodstock is) the are liable for any problems which occur as a full ROW- including sidewalks, curbs, gutter, result of defective conditions of streets. (See parking and travel lanes- can vary from 35 to Chapter 17.42.030 of the Portland Charter.) 50 feet. The minimum sidewalk width is at The charter also says that property owners along least 5 feet and the parking strip varies from 5 unimproved streets are liable for any claims, to 10 feet depending on the requirements for judgments, settlements and defense costs the stormwater management assessed by the Bureau City incurs due to the property owner’s failure of Environmental Services. to maintain, construct and repair unimproved streets. Basically, if the City gets sued because of Comment: Would restricted vehicle access (bicycle/ damage occurring on an unimproved street next pedestrian-only) be an option on unimproved streets? to your house, you are responsible party, not the LARKE: We are planning to research the feasibility of city. This is unlikely to happen, but the City has restricted vehicle access options. its bases covered. Comment: Some Woodstock land owners have attempted What are the repercussions for private uses to “shut down” streets to vehicle access by relocating dirt within the public roW? along street entrances. However, these efforts have led Portland operates on complaint-based system to some “undesirable” activities in the bushes on those for nuisance claims within the public ROW. If segments. someone complains about private uses within ------ the ROW, the City will send the property owner Comment: What about emergency vehicle travel on a letter informing them of their liability for the unimproved streets? unimproved street and may require removal of LARKE: We will look into what restricted use would the perceived nuisance. The City does minimal mean for fire, EMS, and other emergency services. follow-up to such complaints unless complaints are lodged repeatedly against the same property Who maintains improved streets? owner. If the city accepts a finished street for maintenance, the abutting property owner is still Comment: If a road were partially blocked by the responsible for the sidewalk, curbs, driveways property owner to restrict access, could someone with a and parking strips. However, the City will 4x4 then complain to the City? maintain the curb except when in combination LARKE: Natural traffic calming measures are not with the sidewalk damage or if the curb has been opposed by the City. However, if someone perceives the damaged by tree roots. Green streets and public 10 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • stormwater facilities which are generally found doesn’t mean the obligation for maintenance has in the planter strip area are maintained by the moved from the property owner, it only means Bureau of Environmental Services. The City also the properties on that street did not have to pay maintains the width of pavement in between the for their expanded maintenance options. The curbs on either side of the improved street. important thing to remember here is that even if a bureau does improvement work within the Comment: Are there different commitments from street, unless PBOT accepts the street as up to business owners adjacent to unimproved streets? full city street standards, the responsibility and liability for the street is still in the hands of the LARKE: No, businesses are still property owners and property owner. are treated the same as those who own houses adjacent to unimproved streets. other Questions & comments: What is an LID? Comment: What is a street vacation? A Local Improvement District (LID) is a method by which a group of property owners LARKE: A street vacation refers to the transfer of can share in the cost of transportation ownership of ROW space from the city to adjacent infrastructure improvements. This involves property owners. This mechanism was used in the past for improving the street, building sidewalks, and streets that weren’t considered passable to vehicular traffic. installing a stormwater management system. ------ An LID can also be used to install sidewalks Comment: What is the City’s policy on street vacations? on existing streets that previously have been LARKE: Connectivity is the city’s first priority so there is accepted for maintenance by the City. When an reluctance to relinquish public ownership of ROW space, LID is formed, property owners agree to assume even if it is not currently passable to vehicles. City policy responsibility to pay for the project. The cost does not currently support the use of street vacations. of new street construction is assessed and then divided among property owners. Financing for the project is accrued either through property owners paying up front for their portion of the cost (usually around $20K) or through a lien assessed against the homeowner’s property to be paid off in 5, 10 or 20 years. Comment: One Woodstock resident commented that the City’s quote for an LID on their streets was around $40,000, not $20,000. Why are some streets improved at certain times without the neighborhood being informed? City-sponsored street maintenance happens for a variety of reasons. The City decides to perform maintenance at their own discretion so even when they are not obliged to make improvements, sometimes they do! For example, if BES performs a sewer maintenance project within the right-of-way, the bureau may pave the street after they complete their project. This still 11 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • Street Inventory & Photo Tour In February, LARKE conducted an inventory of Woodstock’s streets. All streets were driven to idenitify the presence/absence of pavement, curbs and sidwalks on each block segment. Unpaved streets were walked to develop a more detailed inventory of characteristics and conditions, including: • surface materials and condition • passability (width) • slope • number of buildings facing onto the stret • uses of ROW space by adjacent residents All unpaved streets were photographed. Results indicated that Woodstock has 3.6 miles of unpaved streets, which is just under 8% of the total linear miles of the neighborhood. Of unpaved streets, over 70% have a moderate to significant concentration of potholes or other surface conditions (such as mud) that reduce the ability to travel. Six unpaved segments are passable only to pedestrians, while eight Observed existing uses of the ROW by adjacent segments are completely impassable, except property owners included: perhaps to the avid hiker. • expanded parking Many street segments possess a unique array of • gardening characteristics, and several have characteristics • composting and conditions that vary significantly, even • portable play structures within a single block segment. Some are • seating graded, well- maintained gravel streets with • chicken coops good visibility while others meander or have • brush piles overgrown vegetation that inhibits visibility. • fences • retention walls • basketball hoops / courts • objects placed for the purpose of defining the edges of the vehicle pathway (e.g. stones, railroad ties, stumps, etc.) 12 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • 13 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • Figure 3. Woodstock street types by surfacing and Presence of sidewalks and/or curbs  HOLGATE PARD EE PARD EE 53RD 40TH 49TH 50TH 51ST LONG LON G 58TH 47TH 48TH 43RD 44TH 45TH 46TH SCHILLER SCHI LLER 59TH 60TH LIEBE CESAR E CHAVEZ LIEBE 51ST RAYMOND 48TH MITCHELL 42ND 43RD MITCHELL 49TH 40TH MITC HELL 50TH STEELE 45TH INSLEY 50TH INSLEY 60TH INSLE Y HAROLD HAROLD 40TH HAROLD 56TH 58TH 54TH ELLIS ELLIS 57TH REEDWAY CESAR E CHAVEZ 51ST 52ND 41ST RAMONA 50TH RAMONA KNIG HT KNIG HT 49TH KNIGHT 47TH 48TH WOODSTOCK 46TH 43RD 44TH 45TH 55TH MARTINS 56TH 40TH CARLTON CAR LTON 60TH 60TH TOLMAN TOLM AN HENRY HENR Y HENRY 58TH GLEN WOOD Street Classifications Sub-standard Classifications COOP ER EVERGREEN Unpaved 40TH BYBEE Paved, No Curbs 45TH RURAL Paved, Curbs, No Sidewalks 41ST OGDEN 44TH Paved, inconsistent Curbs/Sidewalks KNAPP Paved, Curbs and Sidewalks CESAR E CHAVEZ HENDERSO 42ND N FLAVEL REX 3.6 Street Length 1.5 MALDEN in Miles 44TH 1.5 LAMBERT 1.6 LEXIN GTON NEHALEM CRYSTAL SPRINGS TENINO TENINO UMATILLA HARN EY 0 0.125 0.25 Miles 38.8 14 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • Figure 4. concentration of Potholes on unpaved streets in Woodstock  HOLGATE PARDEE PARDEE 43RD 53RD 49TH 40TH 50TH 51ST LONG LONG 58TH 47TH 48TH 44TH 45TH 46TH SCHILLER SCHI LLER 59TH 60TH LIEBE CESA R E CHAV EZ LIEBE 51ST RAYMOND 51ST 48TH 42N D MITCHELL 43RD 49TH 50TH 40TH MITC HELL STEELE Concentration of Potholes 45TH INSLEY on Unpaved Streets 50TH INSLEY 60TH INSLEY HAROLD HAROLD 40TH HAROLD High 56TH 58T H ELLIS 54TH ELLIS Medium 57TH REEDWAY CESAR E CHAVEZ 41ST 52ND RAMONA 50TH RAMONA Low/None 48TH 49TH KNIGHT KNIG HT 47TH WOODSTOCK 46TH 43RD 44TH 45TH MARTINS 40TH CARLTON CARLTON 60TH 60TH TOLMAN TOLMAN 51ST HEN RY HENRY 58TH GLEN WOOD COOPER EVERGREEN 40TH BYBEE 45TH RURAL 41ST OGDEN KNAPP CESAR E CHAVEZ HEN DERSO 42ND N FLAV EL REX MALDEN 44 TH LAMBERT LEXIN GTON NEHA LEM CRYS TAL SPRINGS TEN INO TENIN O UMATILLA HARN EY 0 0.125 0.25 Miles 15 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • DIscussIon F ollowing presentation, participants were invited to participate in small group (5-8 people) The purpose of the small group discussions was not to seek consensus around the issues associated with unimproved streets, but rather discussions. Attendees were divided into five to capture diverse points of view. Each group groups, and a LARKE facilitator was assigend was provided with a map on which to record to each group to facilitate a discussion of the location-specific notes. following questions: After 30 minutes, everyone came back together • What locations in the neighborhood do you frequent and a representative from each group provided and how do you get there (routes)? a summary of what had emerged from their • What streets do you avoid and for what reasons? discussion. Prominant themes from these • What streets do you enjoy and for what reasons? small group discussions and the debrief are • What streets would you like to see repurposed? synthesized below, and a full documentation What would your vision be for those streets? of public commentary from the meeting is provided in Appendix B. Group discussion maps are provided in Appendix C. 16 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • Destinations & Routes corridor was noted as another destination that Many residents identified Woodstock Blvd. residents use N/S streets to access. Schools as the main thoroughfare with access to and parks were identified as frequently visited amenities and identified preferred travel routes locations that lack connectivity due to unpaved to Woodstock Blvd as North/South streets that streets that lack sidewalks are paved and have sidewalks. The Springwater Figure 5. What locations do you frequent in your neighborhood and how do you get there (route)? 17 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • Undesirable Characteristics Traffic/Safety In identifying streets they dislike or avoid, Reckless driving, including kids on all-terrain concerns about safety, security, accessibility and vehicles, led many participants to cite safety aesthetic appeal were the most common themes as their top concern relative to unimproved raised by participants. streets. Residents who are parents of young children noted that their children do not see Accessibility the unimproved streets as a “street” but an extension of their yard or play area, which could Participants noted that narrow, uneven and be appealing if approached correctly, but also steep roads with no signage make travel through becomes a safety issue. Residents noted the Woodstock difficult. Various roadway conditions lack of stop signs and traffic calming devices, (mud, gravel and potholes) create significant and noted that some vehicles take unimproved barriers to travel that affect vehicles, pedestrians streets to avoid traffic on Woodstock Blvd. and bicyclists alike. “Lake Carlton” -- a pothole on Carlton that sometimes spans 15’ by 20’ security and is filled with water -- was identified by several participants as an extreme example of Residents noted experiences with crime or accessibility problems in the neighborhood. drugs on Henry, Tolman and Ramona, some of Many residents also noted the lack of ADA which had resulted in police assistance in the ramps and crosswalks on unimproved streets. past. On SE 50th from Woodstock to Duke, residents identified a foster home between the Figure 6. streets Participants Avoid park and the school that has been unresponsive to mediation attempts to discuss problems associated with Ramona Street being a “funnel” for teens walking to the 24-hour Safeway. A lack of lighting adds to concerns about car break-ins and crime. Aesthetics/Livability Participants expressed that lack of maintenance, landscaping and litter removal creates a feeling of unimproved streets as abandoned spaces that negatively impact the visual appeal of the neighborhood. One resident remarked that unimproved streets are “depressing to walk on.” Use of the ROW for storing trash and parking extra cars was noted as negatively impacting the feeling of the streetscape. Finally, some participants commented that dust from delivery trucks and other large vehicles creates health concerns. 18 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • Desirable Characteristics Additional roW space While some residents did not feel that Many residents also noted that a positive unimproved streets contribute to livability, others characteristic of living on an unimproved felt they positively impact the neighborhood ROW is the perceived extension of landowner by reducing and calming traffic on residential space. Several commented on the opportunities streets, creating natural ambience and providing presented by these streets as a result of their lack additional space for use of the ROW for of impervious surfaces. gardening and recreation. Figure 7. Streets Identified as Enjoyable Traffic Calming Participants noted that while potholes reduce accessibility on unimproved streets, they also contribute to safety by serving as natural (and inexpensive) traffic-calming devices. Residents enjoy walking unimproved streets to access neighborhood parks and for walks with their children and pets, because these streets are generally less traveled and low traffic compared to the bustle of Woodstock Blvd. country charm & natural Appeal Some participants said the “country road” charm of unimproved streets contributes to a unique character and natural ambience to the neighborhood. Streets that have become overgrown and only accessible to pedestrians were cited as pleasant streets, particularly if they showed signs of maintenance or landscaping. A number of specific locations were identified as good examples of unimproved streets that still contribute to pleasant neighborhood character, even if they are not vehicle-friendly: • SE 46th (a BES green street with light traffic and low speeding) • Carlton between 43rd & 42nd (has been maintained by the adjacent property owners since 1956) • SE 45th and Henry (nice footpath) 19 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • Figure 8. Aggregate Map of Streets Identified as Enjoyable or Problematic (or both) 20 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • Ideas for Repurposing & Access Improvement Participants talked about many improvement ideas related to access. Pedestrian or pedestrian/ Participants contributed a wide variety of bike only pathways were a common theme. repurposing ideas for unimproved streets in Residents also liked the idea of a serpentine the neighborhood. Many of these ideas lend car lane to reduce or calm traffic. Access to themselves well to the desired characteristic of garages was important for a few residents, but “country roads” or expanded garden spaces, they were also in favor of closing specific streets which are elements residents like about some to large delivery trucks. Some felt unimproved existing streets. Ideas fell into two general streets around Safeway and schools should be categories: Natural & Recreational Use and paved with sidewalks. Many felt that potholes Access. Only a few comments didn’t fit into should be filled with gravel or dirt rather than these themes, and paving all unimproved streets pavement. Better signage and streetlights were was mentioned in only a few specific cases. also expressed as ideas that would facilitate ease of travel and improve security and safety. natural & recreational use comprehensive Vision Many participants envisioned ROW space being utilized for gardens or related activities Some participants also talked about the need like composting and chicken coops. Play areas for a comprehensive neighborhood vision for for children and animals alike were suggested, unimproved streets. There was mention of including a dog agility course, children’s play creating a network of interconnected community areas and a horseshoes court. Residents spaces. expressed they would like guidelines for planner beds, and a more clear physical delineation of private and public space. Several also pointed to the need for more maintained vegetation. A few participants expressed the desire for decorative elements to contribute to the feeling of streets as community places. 21 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • concLusIon T hough a wide variety of opinions were expressed during the Discovery Session, some Participants’ ideas reflected a range of perceptions about how non-travel space in the ROW should valuable themes and common neighborhood be used. Some felt this additional space should considerations emerged from the event. be used by adjacent property owners, as is Despite concerns about accessibility, safety, currently the case along many unimproved streets security and aesthetic appeal, many DS in the neighborhood. Others saw opportunities participants expressed interest in exploring to create amenities that could be shared by all opportunities to implement alternative property owners on a single block. Still others saw improvements and community uses along opportunities to create community spaces with unimproved streets. There was a general feeling benefits that would extend beyond the use of that such projects should respect the natural adjacent property owners to the entire community charm and “country road” feeling these streets and its visitors. contribute to the neighborhood. The majority of participants were interested in exploring alternative street configurations that would provide more flexibility to maintain the “country road” feeling of streets and to limit vehicular access while improving bicycle and pedestrian connectivity. However, they voiced concerns about costs and how the city would respond to such projects. They also anticipated challenges in building consensus among neighbors for doing improvements or ensuring long-term maintenance. Some felt that local businesses such as Safeway & BiMart should contribute to street improvements. 22 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
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    • APPenDIX A: FLIers & HAnDouts Woodstock Discovery Session An opportunity to explore temporary uses and community-based alternatives for right-of-way improvements in the Woodstock Neighborhood When Saturda y, Februar y 27, 2010 10:00am to 12:00pm Where Woodstock Community Center Who Woodstock residents & LARKE Light Refreshments will be available If you are unable to attend this session, please contact us with your opinions, concerns, and questions at RoadwayNotImproved@gmail.com or visit www.RoadwayNotImproved.com 24 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • WOODSTOCK Discovery Session February 27, 2010 AGENDA Arrival 9:45am (LARKE Planning) Introduction 10:15am (Katie, LARKE Planning) Project/Policy Overview 10:30am (Emily, Leah, LARKE Planning) Photo Tour 10:50am (Al, Rani, LARKE Planning) *Break Small Group Activity 11:15am (LARKE Planning) Small Group Debrief 11:45am (Katie, Leah, LARKE Planning) Closing Remarks 11:55am (Katie, LARKE Planning) 25 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • APPenDIX B: coMMents Neighborhood Destinations & Routes • Schools • Coffee Shops & local amenities • Jogging routes/ Springwater corridor • Parks • Grocery Stores • Streets that run North-South are easier to take • Woodstock Blvd Undesirable Characteristics, Locations & Concerns Access • Potholes • Lake Carlton • No sidewalks along Lois School on Glenwood street is very dangerous for students • No ADA ramps • Narrow/uneven streets • Mud safety • Dust from delivery and large trucks leads to health concerns • Reckless driving • 50th from Woodstock to Duke – kids speed on ATVs • Lack of stop signs • Holgate at 41st = scary bike and ped crossing • Kids don’t see streets as streets security • Poor lighting • Experiences with crime or drugs, some resulting in calls to police (Henry, Tolman, Ramona) • Ramona is a funnel for teens walking to Safeway (open 24/7) • Foster home between the park and the school has been unresponsive to mediation attempts from neighbors about noise and nuisances. Aesthetics/Appeal • Litter and trash piles • “Depressing to walk on” • “Used to be a nice neighborhood, a city of roads is now a city of dandelions and weeds” • Poor lawn maintenanc • Abandoned vehicles 26 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • other • 43rd and Carlton: an owner had drywall installed and never fixed the street, rendering storm drain useless • Vehicles take Carlton to avoid traffic on Woodstock • Lack of public/private definition Desirable Locations & Characteristics • 46th is a green street with light traffic and low speeding • Country charm, gardens, nature • Carlton between 43rd & 42nd has been maintained by the adjacent property owners since 1956, they are 54 year residents of Woodstock • Nice path on 45th and Henry • Nice routes to the park • Less traveled streets are pleasant to walk to avoid the bustle of Woodstock • Streets with sidewalks and ramps • Streets that are kid- friendly • “Naturally vacated” streets and places where neighbors tried to limit traffic • Ped crosswalk at 52nd and Reedway • Streets with non-vehicular access and ground cover instead = pleasant walkability • Extension of landowner space Repurposing/Improvement Ideas and Locations restricting Vehicular Access • Strategic vacation of ROWs to create longer blocks, limit crime • Vacation of one side of ROW • Close SE Martin between 40th and 41st to vehicular traffic • Close unimproved streets to large trucks • Cover or fill in roads with rock and gravel, not pavement • “Woonerf ” alternatives to allow creative streets including cars, bikes, and people Traffic Calming/Safety • Visual borders to define vehicle path • Short blocks = natural traffic calming • Narrow/one-lane vehicular paths • Curvy, serpentine vehicular paths • Signs to reduce speed/caution children playing Improving Vehicular Access • Pave Henry St. • Improve the streets around Safeway • Access to garages 27 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • Vegetation/Gardens • Guidelines for planter beds • More trees in ROW • Landscape to benefit property owner recreation • Community gathering spaces • Children’s play equipment/area • Dog agility course • Horse shoe pits other • Chicken coops • Street lights or alternative lighting • Pirate Flags • Self- sustaining neighborhood vision – 20 minute neighborhoods Implementation Questions/Concerns • Safeway & BiMart should contribute to street improvements • It will be difficult to build consensus among neighbors • Pedestrain islands on Woodstock cause traffic to peel onto unimproved streets • If community gardens are considered, who is responsible for maintenance? • Neighborhood vision or block by block? • Duke & 50th has a house in the ROW due to a vacation on Duke Comment Cards Two comment cards were filled out. One consisted of praise from the Woodstock Neighborhood Association secretary (“You all did an amazing job. I think this is the best organized, most informative, and animated session in three decades! Congratulations!” – Elizabeth Ugroff) and the other mentioned that paved streets on main thoroughfares need maintenance attention from the City. 28 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
    • APPenDIX c: sMALL GrouP MAPs 29 DISCOVERY SESSION REPORT ~ ROADWAY NOT IMPROVED ~ APRIL 2010
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