Ken introduced himself as the new chair of the committee. Jennifer announced that Tom Lamar, Ian Woloschin, and Alex Anderson had been approved as official committee members.
2. Acting Secretary: Tom Lamar
3. VOTE: Approve Minutes: May 2015
Committee members unanimously voted to approve the minutes.
4. Document storage options (Ariel)
Ariel proposed using Box, Dropbox or a similar cloud service for better managing committee documents. Ariel recommended using Box, and recommended committee members all install the client. Initially, the Committee could use Box at least to manage meeting minutes. Jennifer indicated that this would be acceptable from the City's perspective.
Tegin reported that she had shared a document containing proposed Committee by-laws earlier that day. She asked all Committee members to read the proposed bylaws before the next meeting and comment on it, with the goal of voting on the proposed bylaws at the next Committee meeting.. Jennifer will go over the document with legal.
Action item: all members will review proposed bylaws
Action item: Jennifer will go over the document with legal. Follow-up on Action items 10 min
❖ Talk with Vaughn Simkins about availability of SCAT-TV archives (Ken)
Ken reported that he spoke with SCAT-TV about their archives, and they had fixed issues with their archives. The archives should now be searchable. The Committee plans to do an update with Vaughn once a quarter.
Ariel asked whether SCAT-TV would mind if the Committee clipped parts of their videos, to facilitate posting short videos on Facebook or on the Committee’s website.
Action item: Ken will ask Vaughn if the Committee can clip SCAT-TV videos.
❖ Annual Report status (Jennifer, Ken)
Jennifer reported that the Annual Report is substantially complete, and Ken is going over final updates with her. Jennifer would like several more photos for the report.
Action item: Jennifer and Ken will finalize the Annual Report.
Action item: Committee members will email any suitable photos to Ken. SBC Teams check-in 10 min
❖ Roll out, issues, holding meetings
Ken reminded the committee of the process leading up to the SBC teams. Tegin shared the goal that the teams will allow people to focus on particular areas of interest and allow the committee to accomplish more.
Ian asked about public meeting requirements for teams. Ken said we will assume for now that teams are informal. Since there are now 12 committee members, quorum is 7 people, so team meetings would likely not have quorum and therefore not be official meetings. Therefore, meetings would not need to be posted publicly, and do not have to be in public buildings. However, teams cannot officially act on behalf of the Committee or vote on official matters. In general, teams should try to come up with recommendations to share with the Committee, which the Committee would then vote on.
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Alex A asked about setting more consistent times for team meetings. Tegin suggested that each team plan consistent meetings among themselves.
Encouragement 10 min
❖ Report back from Encouragement Team
Alex A said the team met over email. In addition to traditional Encouragement events, the Encouragement team would like to set up more of a “two-way street” with the community, and hear more about what the community wants.
❖ Historic Ride status (June 28)
Ariel asked if flyers have been updated with the new date, and whether the hashtag #somervillebikes could be added. Tegin said the flyer has been updated with the date, and the ride organizers would strongly appreciate volunteers from the Committee during the actual ride. Enid, Ariel, and Sarah Wasserman said they would attend, and Ian said he might attend.
Action item: Tegin will ask Brandon to add the #somervillebikes hashtag to the flyer.
❖ Near term tabling opportunities
o Historic ride
o Whole Foods breakfast (6/26)
o Possible Whole Foods bike block party (7/25)
Whole foods is proposing a bike block party (july 25). The Encouragement team will work with Whole Foods with the goal of tabling during the block party.
Evaluation and Planning 10 min
❖ Report back from first Evaluation Team meeting
Tom reported that the Evaluation and Planning team plans to lead the Committee’s involvement with bike counts later in the year, and is interested in compiling high-level design guidelines for bike infrastructure, such as what volume of traffic necessitates protected bike lanes or when it is more appropriate to rely on traffic calming measures. Jennifer said that such guidelines would dovetail with the City’s upcoming mobility plan. The City may establish a working group to guide work on the mobility plan, which would be a useful avenue for the Committee to provide input. The City is currently deciding between two candidate consultants, and working to find funding for the plan.
The team is also interested in creating more useful maps of bicycle infrastructure and routes, either developing maps themselves or providing recommendations to the City.
Tom said that the team was considering conducting an inventory of Somerville streets and their various characteristics. Tegin pointed out that the task would require significant manpower and may be better done by a consultant as part of the mobility plan.
❖ 10-20 Conflict Zones (Action item from last meeting)
Jennifer said that the Committee’s suggestions for conflict zones were consistent with areas the City was already looking at. For an initial round of conflict zones, the City is looking only at conflict zones along streets that already have dedicated bike lanes. The City plans to issue a press release soon about the project. The currently planned streets are:
o Somerville Ave at each of Central St, Craigie St, School St, Elm St, and Beacon St
The intersection of Webster and Prospect will not be part of this project because it will be reconfigured soon as part of the Union Square Streetscape project. The early action work for Union Square Streetscape is out to bid, and should start in August or September.
Tegin spoke on behalf of Brian. The engineering team expects to be one of the busier teams, as their duties are very detailed and can be time consuming. To manage this, they expect individuals on the Engineering team to have very specific roles and responsibilities.
❖ Lowell Street/Community Path crossing (Action item from last meeting) (Brian)
Tegin reported that the Engineering team visited the site and measured distances and sightlines focusing on the Community Path access point near the Lowell St Bridge. Their analysis concluded that the best recommendation was to provide a crosswalk across Lowell St at the Community Path intersection. As previously requested by the whole Committee, the Engineering team sent a letter to OSPCD describing their analysis and detailed recommendations.
❖ Cedar Street/Community Path crossing (Ariel/Jennifer)
Ariel reported that raised crosswalk construction has started. She asked whether the Cedar St plans have been updated to include feedback from the public meeting and from the Committee’s discussions. Jennifer said that the City is updating the design to include left-turn bike lanes at the Community Path crossing. The City reached out to NACTO and Portland, Oregon for advice on the design, which may be the first use of left-turn bicycle lanes on the east coast. Ken asked if the lanes could be green to mark the conflict zone. Jennifer said that has not yet been decided.
❖ Plan to provide input on bicycle circulation plan for Union Square (Tim/Jennifer)
Jennifer reported that Tim had reached out to the design consultants via the City. Jennifer said that the plan is very conceptual at this stage. City staff is currently busy with a neighborhood planning meeting on June 24th focusing on areas other than transportation, but can meet with the Committee at some point afterwards.
Action item: Jennifer will arrange a time for the Committee to meet with the design consultants and city officials so that the Committee can provide feedback on the conceptual bicycle circulation plan
❖ Washington St
The Engineering Team plans to study Washington St south of Union Square, considering bike lanes consistent with Cambridge’s plans for Kirkland St.
Action Item: Tegin will review Cambridge’s plans for Kirkland St and communicate the plan and timeline to the Committee.
Ian reported the team met remotely and discussed short, medium, and long term goals.
The team wants to encourage Somerville Police Department to choose a dedicated bike liaison, and work with SPD on the process for dealing with bike accidents, and better measuring bike accidents. They also want to work with SPD for “bait bikes”, following examples from the Netherlands and from Brookline.
Ian spoke with Deputy Chief Carrabino about whether officers meeting with high school students as role models could bike, serving as role models for responsible biking.
In the longer term, the team would like to compile a “Guide to Cycling in Somerville”. They could possibly work with high school volunteers to translate the guide into multiple languages. The team would also like to craft a “Safe Streets” responsibility pledge.
The team would like to identify locations of “problem hot spots” where SPD could concentrate enforcement, or hand out pamphlets describing rules of the road.
Jennifer mentioned that Somerville participates in Safe Routes to School. The Enforcement and Education team will reach out to people involved with the safe routes to school program to work together.
Ken mentioned that MassBike had produced a video training police officers on cycling-related issues. Alan pointed out that SPD has already viewed the video.
❖ High school student update (Ariel/Alan) There has been no word from our student representative, Andrew. Ken suggested that we begin the process of identifying a new student rep.
Action Item: Alan to identify a new student rep for the SBC
❖ Plans for input on Bike/Ped safety program
Equity 5 min
❖ Report back from Equity Team meeting (Ariel)
Ariel reported the team is interested in looking at statistical data from the American Community Survey and other sources. The team would also like to develop maps to explore equity issues and demographics. Jennifer and Ariel plan to meet offline about sharing GIS data.
The team would like to meet with aldermen and community representatives from underserved communities to understand their concerns, and set up community meetings to help refine the team's focus.
Brian initiated contact with East Somerville Main Streets, who suggested a Committee member attend one of their regular meetings, or jointly plan a community meeting. Ariel mentioned that these community meetings would likely be best sometime other than weekend evenings to be more accessible.
In the short term, the team is looking to identify possible gaps in bike/ped count sites.
The team would like to set up a meeting with the disability commission to focus on areas to work together.
Tegin suggested that the team reach out to the elder community. Alex E pointed out that there is a Council on Aging that could be a useful community partner.
❖ Hubway stations in East Somerville, Winter Hill
Updates from City 10 min
❖ Markings - 2015 Pilot
The city is reviewing visibility and durability of various treatments. Somerville Ave and Willow have been repainted recently. Plain green paint is now being used less. A mix of green paint/pumice is being tested. Alex E asked if the remaining 2014 Committee proposals would be implemented this year. Jennifer said that Terry was uncomfortable with the bike lane proposal because of sightline issues.
Action item: Alex E will re-send the Committee's Summer St recommendations to Jennifer. Jennifer will set up a meeting between Terry and the Committee to understand his concerns.
❖ Hubway Bikeshare
❖ Union Sq.
❖ Beacon St.
The City is solidifying easement acquisitions along Beacon St with the goal of putting it out to bid sometime in the next month. The timeline is tight because of federal funding. The City is exploring whether road reconstruction be done in one year rather than two years as previously planned. The City also hopes to improve communication around street projects in the future.
Jennifer asked the Committee for recommendations on managing detours around Beacon St construction. The committee had already recommended a detour route to entirely avoid Beacon St. Ariel suggested that the City investigate physical wayfinding signs marking the detour route.
❖ Bicycle Inventory leading to Bicycle Mobility Plan (Ken)
Ken proposed that in future meetings, any member could take some 10 minutes to share visionary advancements in biking from other areas. Tegin said that it should also be a time to discuss long term vision.