Minutes from the June 8, 2006 Meeting

of the Jefferson Streetscape Task Force

 

  1. The meeting was called to order at 7:08 pm by Jim Carpenter, president

  2. Welcome and General announcements
    The web site for the Jefferson Streetscape project is found at http://JeffersonMd.net/Streetscape. It was created and is maintained by Jim Carpenter.

    Problems with the virus detection software prevented delivery of last weeks email announcement to some members.  Attendance was affected by high school graduation ceremonies.

    The secretary was unable to do the minutes so Jim wrote them based on incomplete notes.

    The purpose of this meeting is to discuss a new design that does not include a bike lane and to plan the next steps.
     

  3. General introductions of everyone in attendance

The following people from State Highway Administration (SHA) attended: 
David Phillips (Project Manager), David Coyne, (District Engineer), April Stitt (Traffic Engineer)

The following citizens were present: 
Jim Carpenter (President), Ben Ahalt,  Gene Keller, Maurice Hoffmaster, Joan Biser, Lisa and Bill Phelps,  Andy Lynn, John Satterfield, Bill and Dori Brown.

  1. Agenda was approved

  2. Minutes from April 20  were read and corrected.

  1. Jefferson Spring Fest booth - SHA prepared a large sign and handouts for the booth which was combined with the Jefferson Ruritan Club.  Jim Carpenter and Jill Malone worked at the booth both days of the fair.  Jim talked to several property owners and explained the project to people passing by.

  2. SHA presentation of the new plan without bike compatibility lanes

    David Phillips explained the changes and color key for the 30 foot diagram.  The orange areas represent the new parking spaces that were not on the last plan (with bike compatibility lanes), the yellow areas designate spaces that may be recovered if the property owners agree to designate space for parking, the asterisk in the yellow areas designate the spaces that could not be recovered by designation in the last plan, and green areas designate the green space.  Green space is now consistently shown in green on all three plans. 

    David passed out a summary sheet of the results of the changes in parking spaces. Two properties regained two spaces each (represented in orange).   Eight properties have an option to designate one or more spaces for parking, with 23 spaces total (represented in yellow).  One property (the Jefferson Pastry Shop) has the option to designate space (for two spaces) that wasn't possible on the last plan.  (The two spaces are designated in yellow with an asterisk).

  3. Discussion

    After everyone present studied the plan, it was generally agreed on the need to present a plan to the community and to reach a consensus or else we would forfeit any chance at getting funds for the much needed improvements.   It was stressed by SHA people that competition for funds is great and the longer we take at reaching consensus the more the case for our funding priority is reduced. There is also a possibility that the Maryland Streetscape program would not be renewed by the next administration.  Jim asked about a rumor of a possible financial risk to property owners if these state sponsored improvements are not made, namely, could the state or county government require the property owners to make certain improvements.  David Phillips said that county law requires property owners to maintain the sidewalks but that it has never been enforced.

    A resolution was proposed and unanimously approved to adopt the new plan as the one recommended by the Task Force.  Jim and Andy said that some Jefferson residents may want a bike lane and we should be prepared with a response.  Andy asked if the bike lane would likely ever be extended along route 180.  The SHA people indicated that it would be highly unlikely.  This would limit the value of bike lanes through Jefferson.

    David Phillips said that a letter to Neil Peterson to request waiving the bike lanes should be sent as soon as possible.  Jim agreed to draft the letter and send it to Andy, John and David Phillips for further editing.  David will send Neil's contact information to Jim.

    It was unanimously agreed to hold a public meeting to discuss the recommended plans.  The meeting was set for Thursday, June 29 at 7 pm at the Jefferson Ruritan Community Center.  Ben will be responsible for  reserving the facilities and posting a message on the Ruritan sign display of pubic events.  Jim will draft a letter for the residents and send it to Andy, John and David for editing.  Maurice, Bill, Lisa, and John volunteered to go door to door and deliver the letter and invite the Jefferson Pike residents to attend.  John will send the letter to the property owners who live elsewhere.  The recommended plan will be available for public viewing in the Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department.  Ben and Bill will post the plans and brief the VFD people.  David Phillips agreed to be the contact person to answer questions from citizens.

    The letter to the residents and property owners should include a form for indicating their approval of the recommended plan and specify a date (after the public meeting) for returning the form.  Depending on the public response, it may be necessary to schedule a walk-through and/or block meetings to answer detailed questions.

    If we can get timely consensus from the property owners, SHA indicated that they could complete the engineering design by the beginning of next year

    Jim said that members of the Environment Committee of the Jefferson Ruritan would like to have input on treatment of water run-off and would like to know when these issues would be addressed.  David Phillips said that would come much later and there would be opportunity for public input.

  4. Next Task Force Meeting

The next Task Force meeting will be Thursday, July 13 at 7 pm in the Jefferson Ruritan Center.  (Later changed to Tuesday, July 18, 2006)

  1. Adjourn - the meeting was adjourned at 8:47 pm.