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CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL WORK SESSION
TUESDAY, JUNE 22, 2021
CITY HALL STAFF CONFERENCE ROOM
211 WEST ASPEN
3:00 P.M.

 

MINUTES
             
1.
Call to Order

Mayor Deasy called the Special Work Session held June 22, 2021, to order at 3:03 p.m.

NOTICE OF OPTION TO RECESS INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.02, notice is hereby given to the members of the City Council and to the general public that, at this work session, the City Council may vote to go into executive session, which will not be open to the public, for legal advice and discussion with the City’s attorneys for legal advice on any item listed on the following agenda, pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.03(A)(3).
             
2. Pledge of Allegiance and Mission Statement

The Council and attendees recited the pledge of allegiance and Councilmember Salas read the Mission Statement of the City of Flagstaff.
MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the City of Flagstaff is to protect and enhance the quality of life for all.
             
3. ROLL CALL
NOTE: One or more Councilmembers may be in attendance telephonically or by other technological means.
PRESENT:

MAYOR DEASY (virtually)
VICE MAYOR DAGGETT (virtually)
COUNCILMEMBER ASLAN (virtually)
COUNCILMEMBER MCCARTHY (virtually)
COUNCILMEMBER SALAS (virtually)
COUNCILMEMBER SHIMONI (virtually)
COUNCILMEMBER SWEET (virtually)
ABSENT:









  Others present:  City Manager Greg Clifton; City Attorney Sterling Solomon.
             
4. Public Participation

Public Participation enables the public to address the council about items that are not on the prepared agenda. Public Participation appears on the agenda twice, at the beginning and at the end of the work session. You may speak at one or the other, but not both. Anyone wishing to comment at the meeting is asked to fill out a speaker card and submit it to the recording clerk. When the item comes up on the agenda, your name will be called. You may address the Council up to three times throughout the meeting, including comments made during Public Participation. Please limit your remarks to three minutes per item to allow everyone to have an opportunity to speak. At the discretion of the Chair, ten or more persons present at the meeting and wishing to speak may appoint a representative who may have no more than fifteen minutes to speak.

None
             
5. Transportation Commission, Bicycle Advisory Committee and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Updates
  Transportation Engineer Jeff Bauman introduced the Chair of the Transportation Commission Julie Leid, the Chair of the Pedestrian Advisory Committee Brandon Cruickshank, and Chair of the Bicycle Advisory Committee Mark Haughwout. Ms. Leid provided a PowerPoint presentation that covered the following:
 
TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION PEDESTRIAN & BICYCLE COMMITTEES
TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION MEMBERS
CHAPTER 2-12 ENABLING LEGISLATION
FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMISSION
RECENT TC AGENDA ITEMS
CURRENT TC AGENDA ITEMS
ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION MASTER PLAN
PAC INTRODUCTION
 
Mr. Cruickshank continued the presentation.
 
PEDESTRIAN ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS
PAC HIGHLIGHTS
FUTS MASTER PLAN
 
Mr. Haughwout continued the presentation.
 
BICYCLE ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS
BAC HIGHLIGHTS
BAC – BIKEWAYS
BAC HIGHLIGHTS
 
Ms. Leid concluded the presentation.
 
SPECIAL RECOGNITION – JACK WELCH
LOOKING AHEAD
 
The Council expressed their appreciation for the presentation and updates.
 
Vice Mayor Daggett stated that speeding is one of the reasons that road size should not be expanded. She would like to see separated bike lines if roads are expanding. She would also like to see bike and pedestrian infrastructure take priority over vehicles with every project containing complete bike and pedestrian components.
 
Councilmember Aslan stated that he would like to see a reprioritization of multi-modal transportation with every new street design incorporating appropriate bike and pedestrian infrastructure. Rather than widening streets, the focus should be on creating greater connectivity to lessen congestion. Enhancing bike and pedestrian pathways will encourage more people to bike or walk and reduce the number of vehicles on the roadways.
 
Councilmember Shimoni noted that the Transportation Commission can be very helpful with the public outreach efforts for the Alternative Transportation Master Plan (ATMP). Creating a fully connected FUTS system will encourage biking and walking. He would like to see all city developments paused to make sure biking and pedestrian safety are at the heart of all the plans. The roads are too wide which is why speeding is an issue.
 
Councilmember Sweet agreed that right-sizing roads rather than widening is important. Every project should contain multi-modal components. She also noted that having dedicated bus lanes would encourage more bus riders and reduce the number of vehicles. She advocated for connected FUTS trails and better signage for drivers to be aware of cyclists.
 
Councilmember Salas stated that integrating open space and trails is integral for safety and getting people on bikes. She noted that MetroPlan is a multi-agency transportation planning group, so the challenge is to influence leadership at the county and state levels to increase awareness of multi-modal transportation especially along Milton and Hwy 180.
 
Councilmember McCarthy stated that any new project or modification on a street needs to take into account bike and pedestrian safety. He noted that a pedestrian bridge over I-40 is a project that should be considered. He also indicated that better connectivity is needed on the FUTS trails.
 
Mayor Deasy added that he would like to see programming developed that focuses on educating young people about bicycle safety. He would like to see what opportunities there are for things such as three-dimensional painting for crosswalks and to bring back the safe routes to school program. He indicated that he would like to hear from commissions as to what programs exist in other communities and how they are working.
             
6. Petition - Lack of Safe and Accessible Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure in Flagstaff
  City Engineer Rick Barrett provided a PowerPoint presentation that covered the following:
 
CITIZEN’S PETITION – ACK OF SAFE AND ACCESSIBLE BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN INFRASTRUCTURE IN FLAGSTAFF
OVERVIEW OF PETITION
 
Multi-Modal Transportation Manager Martin Ince continued the presentation.
 
ATMP CAPITAL PLANNING
FOUNDATIONS IN COMMUNITY PLANS
ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION MASTER PLAN AND THE CARBON NEUTRALITY PLN
PROP 419 PED-BIKE PROJECTS
PED-BIKE PROJECT FUNDING
PROJECT DEVELOPMENT/PRIORITIZATION
PROCESS/COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
PRIORITY FACTORS
SOCIAL FACTOR
TOTAL INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS
FIRST PRIORITY INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS
PED-BIKE IN 419 ROADWAY PROJECTS
SIDEWALK PRIORITY MAP
FUTS TRAILS PRIORITY MAP
ENHANCED CROSSINGS MAP
BRIDGES AND TUNNELS MAP
PROJECT LISTS
FIRST PROJECTS MAP
BIKEWAYS PLAN
SEPARATION PRINCIPLE
TYPES OF CYCLISTS
BICYCLIST PREFERENCE
BIKEWAYS HIERARCHY
BIKEWAYS HIERARCHY MAP
WHAT IT MEANS
BIKEWAYS FACILITIES MAP
PICTURE EXAMPLES
FIRST PROJECTS BIKEWAYS
CITIZEN PETITION
CITIZEN PETITION MAP
COMPARE TO BIKEWAYS PLAN
OTHER CANDIDATE STREETS
POTENTIAL PILOT STREETS MAP
DESIGN OPTIONS
METAL RAILING + CANDLESTICKS
CONCRETE BARRIER
CURB OR MEDIAN
BALANCE BETWEEN OPTIONS
 
Councilmember Shimoni asked if there are cost estimates for the options. Mr. Ince stated that the rough estimate for the candlesticks is about $100,000 per mile. Staff is working with the company that provides the metal railing and expect to hear back from them shortly. They anticipate the metal railing will cost more than the candlesticks and the concrete even more than that. With the direction of Council, they will continue gathering that information.
 
Mayor Deasy stated that he would like to understand the impact candlesticks and metal railings will have on snowplow operations. Mr. Ince stated that the candlesticks will likely not survive snowplowing and would need to be regularly replaced. They have been told that the metal installation will withstand snow plowing but the greater impact will be that the plows will push snow into the bike lane and then specific equipment will be needed to remove the snow from the bike lane.
 
Mr. Barrett continued the presentation.
 
ACCELERATE PROJECTS
419 REALLOCATION
REDUCE SPEED LIMITS
 
Councilmember Shimoni asked if it is possible to explore widening Butler Avenue to three lanes and integrating a cycle track option for the fourth lane. Mr. Barrett stated that it is something that could be included in the design discussions. It is a good time to put ideas on the table as the design process has not yet started.
 
Mr. Solomon stated that based on what is heard from Council, he will be scheduling a follow-up Executive Session to discuss the ballot language, voter directive, and the publicity pamphlet information and how they relate with the components of the citizen petition.
 
A break was held from 5:31 p.m. through 5:40 p.m.
 
The following individuals addressed Council in support of the citizen's petition:
  • Sam Meier
  • Anthony Quintile
  • Karin Wadsack
  • John Dailey
  • Scott Heinsius
  • Alicyn Gitlin
  • Heidi Larson
  • Shawna Heinsius
  • Dan Dunn
  • Michele James
  • Anthony Garcia
  • Sarah Andrews
  • Michael Colin Caulkins
  • Nora Timmerman
  • Jeff Meilbeck
  • Dina Barnese
  • Susan Hueftle
The following comments were received:
  • It is time to support improved bike and pedestrian infrastructure.
  • Physical separation of bikes and vehicles should be done whenever possible.
  • Consider bike specific traffic signals.
  • Bikeways need to be cleared in a priority manner.
  • Cyclists must navigate increasingly distracted drivers.
  • Please implement infrastructure improvements as soon as possible.
  • Changing the planning process will inconvenience drivers so there will likely be a lot of pushback.
  • Spending money on roads is not in line with the priorities of bike safety.
  • Explore the latitude within the ballot measure; if the flexibility is not there, hit the pause button and take it back to voters.
  • Flagstaff must set the example on bike safety.
  • There is money available and bike and pedestrian infrastructure should be given increased priority for funding.
  • Bike and pedestrian infrastructure supports and compliments the Carbon Neutrality Plan.
  • Drivers need to be held more accountable for traffic infractions.
  • It is time to make bike and pedestrian safety a priority.
  • Support the ATMP and make Flagstaff the best it can be.
  • The plan exists, it is time to implement it.
  • Please do this sooner rather than later; people deserve to have the ability to go anywhere in the city safely.
  • Implementation of the ATMP is important for improving safety and moving forward with carbon neutrality goals.
  • Move forward immediately with the short-term pilot projects.
  • Bring ideas to commissions; the Beautification and Public Arts Commission recently discussed securing funding from beautification to create safer bike and pedestrian infrastructure.
  • Re-allocate money to biking infrastructure.
  • MetroPlan developed a list of projects for funding and bike and ped projects were the top priority.
  • Once the ATMP is adopted, MetroPlan will support and further the goals of that effort.
  • More signage is needed to indicate where bike lanes are and shared bike lanes.
  • Education for cyclists is needed on how to properly bike in traffic and education for drivers on how to share the road.
  • Bike facilities cost less than vehicle facilities.
  • Repainting of sharrow marks is needed along with reflective stripes on FUTS.
Written comments in support of the citizen's petition were submitted by the following:
  • Nicolaus Hawbaker
  • Jeff Meilbeck
  • Rob McPherson
  • Jessie Bersson
  • James Bailey
  • Travis Brown
  • Michael Murphy
  • Austin Smith
  • Moses Milazzo
  • Hannah Caproon
  • Elizabeth Gehret
  • Macy Mouritsen
  • Stacy Stumpf
  • William Ambrose
  • Hannah Green
  • Rose Houk
  • Geoffrey Whittaker
  • Kyle Colavito
  • Adam Harrington
  • Heidi Larson
  • Sage Nelson
Vice Mayor Daggett asked Mr. Solomon to put information together in preparation for an Executive Session. She specifically asked about methods available to alter speed limits without a study and the discretion of Proposition 419 funds and how they are spent. She stated that she would like to see more bike and pedestrian projects coming forward even if that means other projects have to be postponed. Every project that comes forward should have sidewalks and bike facilities as a priority.
 
Councilmember Shimoni indicated that he would like to see the right sizing of roads that incorporate bike and pedestrian needs. All city roads must accommodate public safety needs and improvements that increase the likelihood of surviving an accident. He would like to see a foot taken from each lane and a bike lane installed with the metal and candlestick barriers. He would like staff to come back with options for short-term integration.
 
Councilmember McCarthy agreed that bike and pedestrian safety needs to be prioritized. There should be separated bike lanes wherever possible. The FUTS system needs to be completed and connected so people can get across the city without needing to enter into traffic. Reducing the speed on Butler makes sense but 25 miles per hour seems too low for an arterial road; an analysis is needed to evaluate options. More signage is needed regarding shared lanes and the ability for cyclists to take the lane.
 
Councilmember Sweet stated that she would like to see all projects prioritize increased safety for all users with roads that benefit all who want to use them. Roads need to be right-sized to encourage slower speeds.
 
Mayor Deasy stated that he likes the idea of utilizing the candlestick approach, but he is concerned about the cost of having to constantly replace them; he would like to see a more permanent solution to maximize the funding available. He suggested that candlesticks be used as a pilot in certain areas to see how they perform and then look for a more permanent solution more widespread.
 
Streets Director Scott Overton added that there will be an impact on snow operations, and they will need to change how things are done. They are committed to conversations and finding solutions that will work for everyone.
 
Councilmember McCarthy stated that an analysis is needed to look at the costs for all the options, how snow would be addressed, any other safety concerns, along with public acceptance. There are trade-offs with all the options, and he wants to better understand the impacts before making any decision.
 
Councilmember Aslan shared concern about the speed at which the discussion is moving. Safety is important, as is integrating bike and pedestrian infrastructure, but moving too fast may create unintended consequences. The ideas presented are worthwhile but in order to do it right and implement them effectively, it will take analysis and community buy-in.
 
Mayor Deasy suggested using the $25,000 Council Initiative funding to get barrels, potted plants, and haystacks to use to block off two lanes of Fourth Street to pilot a dedicated bike lane on both sides.
 
Councilmember Aslan stated that a pilot project is appropriate to get a feel for what the public reception is. He is concerned about the rush and believes that it is best to allow staff to put something together, so it is done right.
 
Vice Mayor Daggett stated that the prioritization should be related to already-planned infrastructure projects that are related to bike and pedestrian safety. With regard to the use of the $25,000, if staff can develop a project that could be implemented in a short timeframe then she is willing to consider something.
 
Councilmember Sweet stated that she is open to the $25,000 being used for a project that could get the community involved and create change. She would like to see what options are available before giving direction.
 
Councilmember Salas agreed that pedestrian and bike infrastructure should be prioritized but it should be done holistically with data, analysis, and recommendations from the experts. It is important to engage with the community to get buy in on projects. She indicated that she will rely on staff recommendations for the use of the $25,000; there has been a request from the Flagstaff Trails Initiative for the use of these funds as well as a desire to support victims of the accident.
 
Councilmember Shimoni stated that he supports the Mayor’s idea and he feels that it should be done before Council goes on summer break. He would like to see staff come back with options and ways to make things happen right now and speed up the projects in the ATMP.
 
After further discussion the Council expressed support for the following:
  • Staff to come back with information on the cost to implement the methods for separated bike lanes.
  • Research the ability to reallocate funds within Proposition 419.
  • Research the ability to waive or amend the code to adjust speed limits.
  • Research three-dimensional artwork for pavement markings.
  • Researching different intersection designs based on accident data.
  • Converting bike and pedestrian components into new roads and focus on right-sizing roads.
There was not Council support to pause current projects to evaluate bike and pedestrian components.
 
Council also supported adding a Special Meeting to the June 29, 2021 Work Session to take action on the use of the Council Initiative Fund.
             
7. Public Participation

None
             
8. Informational Items To/From Mayor, Council, and City Manager; future agenda item requests
  Mayor Deasy thanked all the firefighters on the front line working the Rafael Fire. He encouraged people to sign up for Coconino County Alerts so they are informed of any Ready, Set, Go, status updates. He stated that with the increased smoke in the area, there are KN95 masks available at City Hall for those who may need them.
 
Councilmember Shimoni encouraged people to follow the Coconino County Facebook page for current information. He also thanked the firefighters in the region. He requested a FAIR item to discuss unsheltered and vulnerable populations with the closure of the forests and the anti-camping ordinance.
 
Councilmember Salas stated that the City had entered into Stage 4 fire restrictions and people can find more information on the website and Facebook. She stated that there is a plan in place with Coconino County Health and Human Services for displaced citizens within the evacuation areas and that Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army, and Flagstaff Shelter Services are responding to the needs of those who are experiencing homelessness. She also reported that she will be attending the upcoming National Association of Workforce board meeting.
             
9. Adjournment

The Special Work Session held June 22, 2021, adjourned at 5:41 p.m.
 
                  
___________________________________
MAYOR
  ATTEST:

 
 
  _________________________________
CITY CLERK
 

    

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