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MEETING NOTES DES MOINES AREA METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION (MPO) CENTRAL IOWA BICYCLE-PEDESTRIAN ROUNDTABLE (ROUNDTABLE)

July 19, 2011 12:00 PM

City of Des Moines, St. Etienne Room Des Moines, Iowa

Roundtable Attendees Present:


Andrea Chase, Natural Heritage Foundation Dana Conn, Transportation Management Assoc. Jan Herke, City of Urbandale Jim Lane, City of Norwalk, Chair Mindy Moore, City of Des Moines John Peterson, City of Ankeny Jim Priebe, Warren County Conservation Ruth Randleman, City of Carlisle/MAC Neil Ruddy, City of Carlisle Carl Voss, Trails and Greenways Committee Ron Ward, City of Johnston Vern Willey, City of Altoona Carol Williams, Story County Conservation

Roundtable Staff Present:


Zach Young, Associate Transportation Planner

1. Call to Order
Chair Jim Lane called the July 19, 2011, Roundtable meeting to order at 12:00 p.m., at the St. Etienne Room, Armory Building, 602 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines, IA.

2.

Introduction
Participants introduced themselves.

3.

Approval of Agenda
Participants approved the July 19, 2011, Roundtable meeting agenda.

4.

Approval of the Roundtables June 21, 2011, Meeting Notes


Participants approved the Roundtables June 21, 2011, meeting notes.

5.

Central Iowa Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Plan


The MPO staff opened the meeting by asking the Roundtable members to discuss the status of the Central Iowa Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Plan (Connect) in their communities. Staff asked members if Connect is being referred to during the planning process. Andrea Chase asked if Connect was presented to the communities for adoption. Staff noted that Connect has not been formally presented to the communities. Chair Jim Lane noted that the communities of Norwalk, Altoona, and Ankeny have included some elements of Connect in their own documents but have not gone as-far-as to use the term Complete Streets.

Agenda Report
MPO Bicycle and Pedestrian Roundtable

John Peterson stated that the communities should not be expected to adopt Connect. He noted that he viewed the document more as guidance and not as local policy. Staff noted that Chapter 7, Objective 1, Action 1.1, Benchmark 1.1.1, states that the Roundtable should recommend that each community adopt Connect. Ruth Randleman added that the language of this benchmark was intended to unify the region behind the plan. Discussion ensued concerning the adoption of Connect by the local communities. Loren Lown noted that it would be beneficial for the MPO staff to prepare a presentation for the local city councils to provide them with information on Connect and to encourage each community to participate in the plans implementation. Mr. Lown noted that the presentation could provide guidance to the council on which departments are best suited to address the various sections of Connect. Mr. Peterson reiterated that the plan is a regional document and does not determine local policy. He stated that the plan is a toolkit for local governments and is intended to provide guidance, not to direct policy. Mr. Peterson went on to state that presenting before local councils or organizing staff workshops would get the information to local staffs so they can choose whether to tie Connect into their local plans. Chair Lane noted that the plan was designed to engage multiple groups and that part of the Roundtables job is to make sure these groups are aware of the benchmarks they could be addressing. The Roundtable agreed that presenting Connect to the local city councils was something the MPO staff should begin doing.

6.

Complete Street Legislation


The Roundtable did not discuss this item.

7.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Funding in Federal Transportation Bill


Chair Lane noted that the current proposals for transportation reauthorization reduce or eliminate the funding sources bicycle and pedestrian projects rely on for completion. He encouraged Roundtable members to take the time to write their elected officials. Chair Lane also noted that the Roundtable should keep track of what happens to funding sources in the reauthorization bill. Mr. Lown commented that Transportation Enhancements are an important and stable source of funding. He pointed out that this funding needs to continue so the local trail system can be maintained and expanded in the future. Discussion ensued regarding the transportation reauthorization proposals and how each proposal will affect funding sources for bicycle and pedestrian projects in central Iowa.

8.

National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project The MPO staff informed the group about the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation (NBPD) Project. Staff encouraged the roundtable to participate in the September national count week. Carl Voss noted that participation is important and that the bicycle friendly community committee recommended that communities in central Iowa begin counting bicycle usage. Mr. Voss stated that this type of count is important because it counts users on the street, not

Agenda Report
MPO Bicycle and Pedestrian Roundtable

just on trails. He went on to encourage all the local communities to participate. Ruth Randleman pointed out that getting these counts would help to determine the economic impact bicycle and pedestrian users have in the metro area. Staff expressed its concern that if participating in the counts is left up to the individual communities the counts might not be completed. Staff encouraged the Roundtable to consider soliciting count locations from the local communities and have a Roundtable subcommittee organize the volunteers. Discussion ensued concerning the Roundtables involvement in the NBPD Project. The Roundtable members expressed their concern over trying to organize the event on a regional basis. The group agreed that the best way forward was to let the individual communities decide if they would participate. The members agreed that the role of the MPO staff and the Roundtable would be to promote the event. Chair Lane noted that the communities that participate could share their data with the MPO staff. 9. Transportation Event with Congressman Leonard Boswell
The MPO staff informed the Roundtable of Congressman Leonard Boswells transportation event to be held before the MPO Policy Committee meeting on August 18, 2011. Staff encouraged the Roundtable members to attend the event and show their support for the Complete Streets Act of 2011 and the continuation of Transportation Enhancements, Federal Recreational Trails, and the Safe Routes to School funding programs.

10.

Bike-and-Ride Data
Roundtable participants reviewed the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) and CyRide bike-and-ride counts for June 2011.

11. 12. 13.

Other Items of Interest to the Roundtable Future Agenda Items Next Roundtable Meeting Date
The next Roundtable meeting is scheduled for August 16, 2011, at noon.

IX.

Adjournment
The July 19, 2011, Roundtable meeting adjourned at 1:10 p.m.