Friday, November 29, 2013

City Council, December 2nd - Cue up Sunday Streets 2014!

On a not-so-busy Council agenda for Monday, there's some great news. Not only does the City recommend starting to plan now for Sunday Streets 2014, there's money left over, and it wasn't as costly as some had feared (though part of this is because it was smaller than the Portland events, whose budget had provided a baseline).

Lively Sunday afternoon!

Quiet Sunday afternoon
The staff recommendation and report contains a number of items to improve for next year, chief among them better managing the north-south cross-traffic on Front, Commercial, Liberty, High, Church, and Cottage; and earlier and bigger outreach and marketing.  There are several other fine and coarse adjustments, most of them not rocket science. Staff report that adjacent businesses that were open did have a bump in sales, so that'll hopefully spur more to stay open.

The only downside? Staff is recommending one only, again in September on the 7th. MOAR SUNDAY STREETS PLEASE!

Remember those spontaneously combusting Electric Cars?

Well, it turns out the vendor behind the City's 16 EV charging stations also combusted! Staff report that
In September of this year, ECOtality filed for bankruptcy and in October, Car Charging Group, Inc., a nationwide provider of EV charging services, purchased the Blink Network and all Blink related assets from Ecotality....

The City's contract with ECOtality specifies after the demonstration project ends in December 2013, there are four options available to the City: (1) assume title and ownership of the equipment and continue to use the Blink charging network, likely for a fee; (2) keep the equipment in place and use another charging network system; (3) remove the ECOtality-provided charging equipment but keep the mounting, electrical wiring, signs, etc. and install another brand of charging equipment in its place; or (4) direct ECOtality to remove all of the equipment and restore the site to a safe and reasonable condition.
So the City needs to decide what it's going to do with the project and equipment.

(Bikes.  Stuff for bikes is a lot cheaper and more hassle-free!)

There's a quiet report on the Public Art Commission, which says they applied for and failed to get one grant.

Interestingly, the City is initiating Eminent Domain proceedings for three temporary construction easements for repairs to the Winter Street Bridge over Shelton Ditch. It's hard to know whether this is purely procedural or whether the City's already run into difficulties negotiating with the Hospital and two other health-industry land-owners. For the project there's also a right-of-way agreement with ODOT.

And parenthetically, the final decision on the Davis Road / Bella Cresta subdivision.

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