Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS

DATE: APRIL 15, 2003

SUBJECT: VIA RIVERA – PILOT PROGRAM INTERIM REPORT

Staff Coordinator: Nicole Jules, Sr. Engineer

RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. Receive and File Via Rivera Interim Report.
2. Continue the pilot program in its current form.
3. Present Final Report of Pilot Program to Council in 2 months after completion.

Respectfully Submitted,
Dean E. Allison
Director of Public Works

Reviewed,
Les Evans
City Manager

Attachments:

Via Rivera Interim Report dated April 7, 2003

TO: DEAN ALLISON, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS

FROM: NICOLE JULES, SENIOR ENGINEER

DATE: APRIL 7, 2003

SUBJECT: VIA RIVERA PILOT PROGRAM INTERIM REPORT

The Via Rivera Traffic Calming Pilot Program is a three-month observation period that utilizes speed trailers and intermittent police enforcement as a means of reducing vehicle speeds on Via Rivera. On January 7, 2003, City Council approved the implementation of the pilot program. Tuesday, January 21, 2003 marked the first day of the program which has been in effect for a total of ten weeks, the program was scheduled to be completed on April 19, 2003.

Two rented speed trailers, one for each direction of travel, were placed on Via Rivera at strategic locations for high visibility to traveling motorists. The speed trailers are in operation daily between 7AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday. On three occasions, one of the trailers malfunctioned, resulting in the use of the City-owned speed trailer.

The Lomita Sheriff’s Department deployed an officer for two hours daily to enforce the speed limit on Via Rivera. The officer’s enforcement location is not clearly visible to the motoring public so as not to influence driver behavior . Attachment "A" includes enforcement reports, from the Lomita Sheriff’s department, through March 28, 2003. To date, 52 citations have been issued, of which 41 were for speeding. During the week of March 17, 2003 and March 21, 2003, no citations were issued at all. Feedback from the Deputy’s conducting the special enforcement include "the trailers are working". The following table summarizes the number of citations issued per weeks of enforcement. A detail of the times and days for citations is shown on Attachment "A".

TABLE 1 – CITATION SUMMARY

ENFORCEMENT WEEK

NUMBER OF CITATIONS

1 (01/21/03 – 01/24/03)

8

2 (01/27/03 – 01/31/03)

7

3 (02/03/03 – 02/07/03)

8

4 (02/10/03 – 02/14/03)

3

5 (02/17/03 – 02/21/03)

6

6 (02/24/03 – 02/28/03)

5

7 (03/03/03 – 03/07/03)

7

8 (03/10/03 – 03/14/03)

4

9 (03/17/03 – 03/21/03)

0

10 (03/24/03 – 03/28/03)

4

In addition to the enforcement, speed surveys were scheduled every three weeks to monitor and track vehicle speeds on a 24-hour basis. Table 2 displays the days in which speed surveys were taken and future scheduled speed surveys. The first speed survey taken during the pilot program was conducted during the 3rd week of enforcement. Unfortunately, data from this survey was omitted because the speed counting machine sustained damage from the street sweeper resulting in incomplete data. Another speed count was ordered and conducted during the 4th week of enforcement. Due to the urgent nature of the speed count, a different speed count firm was utilized rather than the City’s usual speed count firm. Utilizing a different firm resulted in variations and inconsistency in the data. The second and third speed surveys were conducted by the City’s regular speed count firm, which yielded data with a higher level of confidence.

The pilot program proposed to conduct speed surveys every three weeks so as to minimize the expenditures for the program. The cost to conduct these surveys is $3,550 for the three-month program, which includes data collection (5 times) and engineering analysis. To conduct speed surveys every day for the duration of the program will approximately cost an additional $710 per week of survey.

During the 9th week of enforcement (the third speed survey), a resident phoned the Public Works department requesting the speed counters to be removed because the sound of vehicles going over the speed measuring tubes, disturbed his household. Immediately, the speed counters were removed. This resulted in partial speed data for the 9th week of enforcement. Table 2 summarizes the speed data collection times.

Table 2 - Via Rivera Speed Zone Study schedule

 

Date Scheduled

Date Conducted

Count Duration

1.

February 3, 2003

February 14, 2003

7 days

2.

February 24, 2003

March 3, 2003

5 days

3.

March 17, 2003

March 17, 2003

7 days shortened to 5 days

4.

April 7, 2003

*** Program Suspended until further notice ***

5.

April 28, 2003

   

A summary of the percent of vehicles traveling 30 mph or higher is shown on Attachment "B". This summary charts the percentage of vehicles traveling 30 mph or higher between 7:00am and 8:00pm, Monday through Friday, as well as time blocks when the enforcement occurred and the number of citations issued on that day. One noticeable trend is that the percentage of vehicles traveling over 30mph increases in the evening hours when the speed trailers and police enforcement has ended. Additionally as seen on Saturday 2/16/03 and Sunday 2/17/03, when there is no enforcement or speed trailers, during enforcement week #4, the percentage of vehicles traveling over 30 mph on both days are higher than the week day percentages. Staff anticipates conducting another weekend count to confirm this observation.

Also looking at the graphs included in Attachment "B" there is evidence of similar vehicle behavior once the trailers are removed. As seen on the Second Count (Enforcement Week #7) and Third Count (Enforcement Week #9) after 5:00pm, the percentage of vehicles traveling over 30 mph continues to increase. This is during the period in which the trailers are removed.

In conclusion, the Via Rivera Pilot Program is approximately 75% complete to date. Speed trailers appear to reduce speeds during 7am and 5pm when they are visible. Enforcement has continued and will resume with two remaining weeks of the original three-month commitment.