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TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL
FROM: DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS
DATE: JANUARY 7, 2003
SUBJECT: TRAFFIC CALMING ON VIA RIVERA – ENFORCED SPEED DISPLAY BOARDS – PILOT PROGRAM
Staff Coordinator: Nicole Jules, Sr. Engineer
At the December 3, 2002 City Council meeting, staff presented information regarding photo radar enforcement as a traffic calming measure on Via Rivera. The City Council requested staff to generate a three-month enhanced enforcement plan which utilizes speed display boards coupled with increased random police enforcement along Via Rivera between Rue De La Pierre and Via Del Mar. This staff report presents and requests funding for the plan.
Staff proposes to implement a three-month pilot program utilizing two rented speed trailers along Via Rivera with intermittent random police enforcement and data collection. The pilot program will commence in early January after the winter break when school has resumed.
Speed board display
Speed display boards have proven to be a viable tool in automated speed control devices. The display board itself, is not used to enforce speed limits. The device measures and displays the speeds of approaching vehicles. As a stand-alone device, the display board is an information tool, but augmented with police enforcement, it has proven to reduce speeds.
Two speed trailers will be placed on Via Rivera at strategic locations. Each trailer rents for about $1,200 per month. The trailers will display both the speed limit as well as the speed of each motorist. Staff chose to rent the trailers to allow the City’s other trailer to be deployed at other locations throughout the City.
As an added measure for increased effectiveness, random enforcement, of two hours per day, by the Lomita Sheriff’s department will be deployed during this three-month period. Approximately 120 hours of enforcement will occur during the three-month program. Random police enforcement will vary in that on some days it will take place in the morning hours, and on some days it will be in the afternoon. The enforcement will generally take place during school drop off and pick up times, but not necessarily. In addition the Sheriff’s "dummy" car will be randomly placed on Via Rivera during this pilot program as an added enforcement tool.
The enforcement along Via Rivera will supplement the City’s daily enforcement activities. The cost for the additional 120 hours of increased enforcement on Via Rivera is $6,780. A copy of the Lomita Sheriff’s Via Rivera Traffic Enforcement Operations Plan is attached.
Data collection and analysis
The final element to the Pilot Program is data collection and analysis. Vehicle speed data is critical to evaluate program effectiveness. Vehicle speed data will be collected by the use of pneumatic tubes across the roadway prior to, during and following the pilot program deployment. This method of data collection is consistent with previously collected data on Via Rivera. Subsequent to collection, the data will be analyzed and presented in tables and exhibits for inclusion into the Final Report.
The data collection and enforcement log kept by the Sheriff will have adequate precision to correlate vehicle speeds with presence of the Sheriff. This will allow staff to evaluate if real speed reduction along Via Rivera is achieved, or if speed reduction occurs only during times when the Sheriff is present.
The cost for data collection and analysis is $3,550.
The following table summarizes the cost of implementing the Pilot Program.
Pilot Program Deployment Cost
If the pilot program proves to be effective and the City Council wishes to continue the pilot program at the recommended level of enforcement costs will be:
Staff will investigate grant opportunities at the Office of Traffic Safety or Safe Routes to School for this pilot program and any future enhanced enforcement program that may be utilized at this location or other locations in the City.
At the December 3, 2002 meeting the City Council requested staff to investigate the possibility of expanding the school zone around the Point Vicente School to see if such an expansion would provide an opportunity to increase the amount of fine assessed for motorists exceeding the speed limit along all portions of Via Rivera. Staff has not been able to fully investigate this possibility but will make an oral presentation to the City Council.
Notification of motorist
After the December 3, 2002 City Council meeting, Councilmember Gardiner received an email from a resident suggesting that the City notify, by letter, residents of West Palos Verdes Estates of the City’s intention to increase enforcement along Via Rivera, see attached email. Staff does not recommend sending a letter to residents regarding our intentions to increase the enforcement of posted speed limits on any roadway. If notification is desired, a more appropriate method would be to notify with advisory signs along Via Rivera.
Adopting the staff recommendations will approve and fund a three-month pilot program that deploys speed trailers, random police enforcement and data collection along Via Rivera. Upon completion of the program staff will prepare a report to determine the effectiveness of the program and present the report to the City Council.
If Staff’s recommendation to implement the pilot program for Via Rivera is approved, the estimated total cost for program deployment is $17,530.
Funding for this project was included in the adopted FY 2001-02 Budget; however, it was not carried over as continuing appropriations. Therefore, an adjustment to the budget is required. The funding sources for this project include $10,750 of Gas Tax Funds and $6,780 of General Funds. The FY2002-03 projected ending Gas Tax Fund balance is $374,639.
The FY2002-2003 estimated General fund revenues in excess of adopted expenditures are only $827. Therefore, the additional appropriation for this project cannot be funded within this year’s anticipated revenues and will have to be drawn from the General fund reserve. The amount of the project General fund reserve available for appropriation (which is the total General fund reserve less the General fund reserve policy level of $6,451,870) is summarized below.