Sunday, June 24, 2012

City Council, June 25th

The alley and cemetery leads Council on Monday, but that required a separate note on its own.

A Different Vacation

But there is another proposed vacation on the docket, and while I'm not sure that it is intrinsically very interesting - unless someone points out something tricky about it, it looks unproblematic - its process looks very different than that of the alley/cemetery matter.

To wit: It is a petition-initiated vacation, which is probably what the alley should have been, rather than a City-initiated vacation. (There's still no reason for the City to want to vacate that alley; it's the developer who wants it - just like this case.)

Anyway, at the Boise site, Pringle Square South LLC proposes to use a 10-foot strip along Bellvue to site a PGE vault. The existing right-of-way is 80 feet, and current standards call for a 60-foot ROW on a local street. At least initially, I'm not seeing how this would be a problem. But all Council is asked to do is set a public hearing, and there will be more analysis, I'm sure.

Garnet Street Closure

The City released drawings of the proposed closure of Garnet Street at Market.

The drawing isn't dimensioned, and I wonder if the ramp is wide enough and if the turning radius too narrow for people on bike. On the other hand, it's not like the sidewalk is super wide here, and this might not be a factor.

More interesting, though, is that the closure enforces riding on the sidewalk. There is no curb cut onto Market in case a person on bike would like to ride vehicularly and take the lane on Market Street.

I think that it is a bad idea for the City to design facilities that make sidewalk biking a de facto standard. Because of the quiet zone's requirements, there may not be anything else possible here, but I wonder if there's more that could be done.

Other Stuff

The City proposes to adjust the schedule and deliverables on the North Broadway Parking Study because the Unified Development Code overhaul is behind schedule. As part of this, the study would gain additional time for public participation, comment, and consent. It's hard to argue with that.

An update on the Sustainable Cities Initiative residency. As I read it, we've now settled into the "shelf study" and "churn" phases. There's not a whole lot of concrete movement on the projects, and those that are moving are doing so slowly and with great compromise.

More on a bunch of enclave annexations. (I hope somebody who knows annexations will chime in on this.)

Second readings of Airport and flood plain ordinances.

First reading of A definition of "economic promotion" and eligibility for downtown parking district funds.

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