BURLINGTON PUBLIC WORKS COMMISSION MEETING
645 Pine Street
Minutes – November 2, 2005
Commissioners Present: Commissioners Absent:
Alberry, Bob Cicchetti, Margaret
Baker, Jason Shenton, Jonathan
Agenda was accepted.
2 Public Forum
3 Red Light Photo Enforcement
Cpl. Philip Small, Traffic Enforcement Office for the Burlington Police Dept. is
to introduce a pilot program a concept of enforcement, talk about possible
solutions and receive feedback.
The Streets of Burlington:
Thousands of cars and trucks
7 main arteries to Burlington
Leading to approximately 375 streets
40 major intersections
Results from a survey of Burlington citizens’ indicated that the #1 concern is
traffic safety and enforcement. In response to the survey B.P.D has
increased traffic patrols, conducted public awareness campaign, and
increased enforcement. The result is that the speeds have decreased as well
as the number of accidents.
Automated Video Enforcement is an additional tool to make the intersection
24/7 remote system monitoring
Collision Avoidance safety features
Deterrent against traffic violations
The view of the approach angle (using high resolution video) and the
departure of the intersection which includes the color of the traffic light. This
system will be used as a deterrent to bring down the accidents rates at
problem intersections. City Council would have the option to cancel or
authorize the development the program.
Baker commented about seeing a timer at the traffic lights that counts down
the time it will take to turn red and also counts down to green. Also expressed
concern about privacy issues. Cpl. Small responded by saying that this would
be used for enforcement only, instead of having an officer at the intersection
there would be cameras instead.
4 Proposed Amendments to Chapter 12
Baldwin, Assistant Director Technical Services and Burlington Electrical
Inspector Shelley Warren, stated that they would like to propose four
amendments to Chapter 12 of the Burlington Code of Ordinances.
The amendment to Sec. 12-60 is being proposed at the request of
the Public Works Commission to clarify that a Journeymen
electrician may wire a single family owner occupied home.
The amendment to Sec. 12-38 is being proposed to provide a written
requirement that reflects our enforcement that a licensed
representative of the contractor attends electrical inspections.
The amendment to Sec. 12-58 is being proposed to provide a written
statement regarding the electrical licensing requirements to perform
electrical installations in all buildings in the City. Currently, Chapter
12 adopts the State licensing requirements, which do not apply to
single family and two family homes. Chapter 12, Sec. 12-24 requires
a license to apply for a permit, but there is no language that applies
to who may do the work other than the adoption of the State
Sec. 12-4 is a new section, which is being proposed to reflect the
wiring requirements for the inner fire district. Currently, we only have
the requirements of Chapter 8, sec. 8-10 which doesn’t specifically
address non-combustible wiring methods, but only refer to non-
combustible construction. This requirement for non-combustible
wiring methods (metal conduit, metal clad cables, etc.) has
historically been enforced based on the requirements of Chapter 8,
but it would be helpful to clarify its application to wiring in Chapter 12.
Clarification regarding Sec. 12-58 and the current acceptance of non
licensed people, wiring buildings: Staff proposed enforcing the section as
written or deleting it from Chapter 12, and continuing to allow helpers the way
the State does. The Commission supported enforcing this section as written.
The commission stipulated the condition that the contractors would be given
adequate notice and the change would only affect work done on permits
drawn after the date on the announcement.
Commission also requested clarification that Journeymen electricians may
obtain permits for work done in owner occupied, single family homes.
Dugan stated that section 12-22b (the ordinance exempted the permitting
and licensing requirements for wiring under 50 volts) should be eliminated
because it’s in conflict of the State code.
Padgett moved to accept staff recommendations. Baker second.
5 Transportation Projects Update
Bradley, DPW Transportation Planner stated that he would like to update the
commission of 3 transportation projects.
Hydrogen Fueling Facility – The City is partnering with EVermont on a
demonstration project exploring the use of Hydrogen as a renewable
transportation fuel. This station will use electricity – generated by Burlington
Electric Department’s wind turbine – to split purified water into hydrogen and
oxygen. The hydrogen will then be compressed and stored on site, and
dispensed into a vehicle modified to run on hydrogen. The vehicle, a Prius,
can be described as running entirely on wind power, using hydrogen as an
The project has received zoning permits. EVermont and its partner, Northern
Power, have engaged a contractor and are pursuing their construction
permits. The DPW agreement with EVermont will be in the form of a three
year lease valued at ~10,000.00. Construction will commence as soon as
weather permits and should last approximately six weeks. If that were not
possible, they would just do the site work and come back in the Spring to
install and begin the demonstration project.
Natural Gas Fueling Facility – The original RFP went out and the responses
came back a higher dollar amount than anticipated. Made some changes and
reissued a RFP. Proposals are due November 28th, and hope to award a
contract by mid-December. The target date of commissioning this facility is
June 1, 2006. UVM has submitted their purchase orders for the initial two
vehicles and sometime this summer determine what level of capacity is
needed for the remaining six vehicles. In the near future we will be back for
approval to proceed with the project.
South End Neighborhood Transit Center – This will be a park and ride
located behind Sears Lane. The City’s consultants, Vanasse Hangen and
Brustlin (VHB) are finishing work on the feasibility study and environmental
documentation for this proposed structured parking and transit facility and
associated amenities – site improvements, site organization, and streetscape
improvements. The City is partnering with the Campus Area Transportation
Management Association (CATMA) and the CCTA in the planning and
development of this facility. We anticipate utilizing earmarked funds
administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and matched locally
by CATMA to complete this project.
There have been two very well attended neighborhood meetings and a
presentation to the City Council is scheduled for November 21st. V.H.B. is
scheduled to finish their work in early December. Then return to the City
Council for approval to draw down Federal Transit funds and to contract the
design for the facility.
Goodkind explained the latest possible changes to the Southern Connector
project. It will be presented at the City Council Meeting on November 21st.
6 North St & North Willard St – 4 Way Stop
Bradley, DPW Transportation Planner, stated that in response to the
Commissions request to review neighborhood communication regarding the
4-way stop conversion from a signalized intersection. Included in the memo
A timeline of events (neighborhood and staff meetings, Commission
approvals and directives)
Copies of the notifications and communications to residents
Staff recommendations and warrant studies
The petition signed by residents of the affected streets, including
corner households and intersected affected.
Alberry suggested that the appropriate City Councilor of the affected ward be
notified of any proposed changes.
7 Blanket Ordinance Driveway Parking Prohibition
Baldwin, Assistant Director Technical Services, reminded the commission
that there is an issue of people parking too close to driveways. There is an
associate risk for those exiting their driveways, and attempting to enter the
traffic stream of the adjoining street section. Additionally, many of the
residential parking requests we receive are precipitated by the real need to
gain safe reasonable access to the person’s property. After examining and
researching this issue, staff would propose that the department pursue the 5
foot driveway prohibition, and that staff enter into a dialogue with the police
department and the city attorney’s office. In addition present this proposal to
all of the NPA’s and the City Council Transportation, Energy, and Utilities
Committee, seeking their input and comments. At the end of that process,
report back to the commission (within 90 days) seeking a decision by the
DPW Commission to amend, accept or reject the proposal.
Padgett suggested that enforcement be complaint driven. Dugan also
expressed concern with the cost of striping the parking spaces. Baldwin
explained that striping could occur only in the areas where parking demand is
excessive and that striping would only be a supplement of signs, the
8 Snow Fighting Program
Goodkind, DPW Director stated that each year staff provides the City Council
with a report on the upcoming snow-fighting program. In the last 4 years the
communication consists of an explanation of the practices and policies as
well as a listing of equipment and personnel involved.
After undertaking the a comprehensive review of the program, the changes
are as follows:
1. Nine additional snow lights will be added to the system, targeting
2. Deal with the problem of understaffing, keep 6 temporary employees
from the summer program, and offer over-time to other City
3. Have more spare vehicles available as back up.
4. Attempt to reduce the route cycle times from 5 –7 hours to 4-6 hours.
5. Pre-salting using treated salt designed to stay on the road longer.
6. Managing storms by 2 person teams rather than 1 manager.
7. Upgrade weather forecasting software.
8. Improve accident-reporting procedures.
9. Training the first week of November.
9 Street Capital Program
Goodkind stated that the current Street Capital Program, while doing good
work, is under-funded. This means that at the rate of spending, we are not
keeping up with the overall rate of deterioration of the system. It also means
that if we set the priority as streets with the most traffic, with our limited funds,
we may never get to the many neighborhood streets that need attention. In
the presentation there is a 5-year plan/5-Year Future/Problem Side Streets
map, a Pavement Life Cycle chart, Pavement Commission Index (PCI) Chart.
Various revenue options were discussed; ranging from a bond specifically
to pay for neighborhood street repairs to be paid back by the Street
Program over 20 years, another increase in the dedicated tax or a shift in
policy allowing all paving money to be spent on the neighborhood streets
for x years until that demand is met.
This proposal will be presented to the City Council Transportation, Energy
and Utilities Committee.
Alberry suggested presenting the Commission with a chart showing the
funding and spending for each program within the Street Capital Program.
10 Update on Siphon Replacement Program
Goodkind stated that the original schedule did have some slack in it and that
the project construction would be further along by now. There was some
unexpected archaeological finds on the site. G.W. Savage, the general
contractor has been doing some site work, but Michaels which is the
company that will do the directional boring, will do the majority of the work.
They will drill/bore under the river a minimum of 20 feet beneath the riverbank
and install a high-density polyethylene pipe. They will start work on-site on
November 7th, drilling will last 3-4 weeks providing no problems arise.
Meanwhile, the general contractor will be preparing the connections on both
sides of the riverbanks by which this bored pipe will be connected to the
original siphon. Construction will continue with schedule completion by the
end of the year.
Presented was a price comparison of the basic elements of the project
showing the engineers estimates, contractors bid and quantities.
11 October Monthly Budget
Reports were just received and handed out at the meeting. Goodkind is
watching the Street Dept. budget – revenue vs. expense not doing as well as
12 Minutes of 10/5/05
Cannot approve the minutes, due to attendance of the commissioners.
13 Chairs’ Report
14 Directors’ Report
Leaf pick-up postponed one week. Leaves haven’t completely fallen
Bid proposal was advertised for repairs on the Wyndham garage with
bids due on December 1, 2005 and a project start date of April 2006.
15 Commissioner’s Communication
Padgett asked if staff is still working on traffic calming on Prospect
Pkwy. Baldwin stated that a neighborhood meeting is scheduled to get
a decision/direction of how they want to proceed.
Alberry asked if the Lakeview Garage will open on time. Goodkind
stated that there are problems with the electrical systems – and the
garage should open before Thanksgiving or shortly after.
16 Committee Reports
17 Policy Update
Padgett moves to adjourn. Dugan second, unanimous.