Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

SEPTEMBER 21, 2004 TEAM RPV SEPTEMBER 21, 2004 TEAM RPV

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS

DATE: SEPTEMBER 21, 2004

SUBJECT: TEAM RPV

Staff Coordinator: Nicole Jules, Sr. Engineer

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  1. Approve the Traffic Committee’s recommendation to approve the TEAM RPV City Wide Traffic Enforcement Program.
  2. Request Staff to agendize a contract amendment with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and a budget adjustment.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

On January 10, 2004, the City Council, at its Tactical Planning workshop, established a goal to control speeding in residential neighborhoods. As a result, a joint workshop with the Traffic Committee was held to discuss plans of reducing traffic in residential neighborhoods. At that meeting, a proposal from the Lomita Sheriff’s Department, in conjunction with Staff, was presented that introduced a new idea for RPV. That proposal was also presented to the Traffic Committee for consideration and presentation to the City Council.

The Traffic committee voted unanimously to forward a recommendation to the City Council for approval of full implementation of TEAM RPV as presented. TEAM RPV is a comprehensive, citywide enforcement program that incorporates both enforcement and education as a means to speed reduction. This program will be managed by Staff and implemented by the Lomita Sheriff’s Department. Coordination will be the key to success. Other elements included in the program are the systematic use of a police decoy car, speed radar trailers, speed feedback signs, and stealth data collection systems to measure effectiveness. Education elements include the use of the City’s website, City Talk for PSA’s, meetings with the PVPUSD and PTSA, and the use of magnets, bumper stickers, and/or lawns signs to get the word out.

The goal of this program is to reduce speeds in residential neighborhoods to the posted speed limit and improve the livability of the community through positive citizen feedback. The desire is to achieve similar speed reduction results to those of the Basswood speed humps, which have resulted in a reduction of the 85th percentile speed to less than 30 miles per hour.

BACKGROUND

Staff receives traffic related requests from residents on a daily basis. Often times the requests are for stop signs, speed humps, striping, signal modifications, or even law enforcement presence to slow down traffic. Although stop signs and speed humps may or may not be the ultimate solution, the common concern is safety. Residents do not feel safe with the perception of excessive speeding and high volumes on their streets.

When Staff receives traffic-related requests, a process is followed to efficiently address residents concern. An initial investigation is conducted to assess existing conditions, accident history, speeds, and volume data. The initial investigation may result in corrective measures that can either be done right away if it is a low-cost remedy or in a recommendation to be forwarded to the Traffic Committee for consideration. The requestor is involved and informed of the recommendations and in some cases is required to submit a petition with the required number of neighborhood signatures. In the event the recommended measure is a costly solution and/or requires an ordinance, the recommendation is forwarded to City Council for approval.

The process that Staff follows is outlined in the City’s Neighborhood Traffic Calming Manual. This manual outlines the tools that Staff uses to recommend a particular measure. These tools are commonly known as the 3 E’s of traffic calming; Education, Engineering and Enforcement. RPV utilizes the 3 E’s, however our emphasis in the past has been on the engineering, rather than education and enforcement.

Three case studies that exemplify our current process are the Basswood Speed Hump Pilot program, the Via Rivera Speed Reduction Pilot Program, and the South Eastview Neighborhood Traffic Calming plan. Each case identifies traffic calming measures that were used or proposed to address neighborhood concerns.

New ideas and new tools are needed to put an increased emphasis on the other 2 E’s of traffic calming. Captain Jay Zuanich from the Lomita Sheriff’s Department has presented a proposal for an enforcement program that addresses Education and Enforcement. The proposal is called Traffic Enforcement And Maintenance (TEAM) RPV. TEAM RPV was first introduced to the City Council and Traffic Committee on March 30, 2004 at the Joint CC/TC meeting.

At the July 26, 2004 Traffic Committee meeting, Staff in conjunction with the Sheriff’s Department presented the TEAM RPV concept in full detail. The Traffic Committee voted unanimously (6-0) to forward a recommendation to the City Council for approval of the TEAM RPV program.

DISCUSSION

Current Enforcement Levels

The City of RPV currently has 2 traffic officers that we share with the City’s of Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates. We receive 60% of the two traffic officer’s time. Our enforcement coverage occurs Monday through Friday 6am to 2pm. There is no coverage on the weekends, school dismissal times and during the evening commute hours. In addition to the two officers, we have access to one sheriff decoy car and one speed radar board, approximately 2-3 days a week. However, the City cannot utilize the decoy car and speed radar trailer at the same time.

Existing Enforcement Needs

To date, there are 11 neighborhoods and 10 schools with identified traffic concerns and enforcement needs. These identified neighborhoods are displayed in Figure 1.

Figure 1 – Traffic Hot Spots

Collision Information

Collisions are a natural concern when it comes to traffic safety. Attachment A is a summary of total collisions in the City that have occurred over the last 5 years. In summary, the City has experienced an average of 253 total collisions per year.

Attachment B is a summary of city wide reported collisions for the past 2 years through July 2004. The City experienced 532 collisions in the past two years, of which 304 are listed in the summary table. The remaining 228 collisions that are not listed are collisions that have occurred either on; Western Avenue (77 collisions), which is under the jurisdiction of Caltrans, private property (50 collisions), or local residential streets (101 collisions) scattered throughout the city. The 101 collisions occurring on local residential street were not included in the summary table because the frequency of collisions, that is 1 collision in 2 years, is usual. A local residential street experiencing more than 1 collision is unusual and warrants attention. Longhill Drive and Toscanini Drive have experienced only 1 collision in the past two years but have been included in the summary table because they have been identified as having a need for traffic calming.

It can be seen that approximately 63% of injury/fatal collisions in the past two years occur on arterials and collectors and approximately 37% occur on local residential streets.

Attachment C is a graphical representation of the two-year collision summary. It shows the number of collisions relative to neighborhoods and specific streets. As seen on Attachment C, collisions are identified with a circle and a number. The number in the circle represents the number of collisions reported on that particular roadway. The size of the circle is representative of the number of collisions.

Citation Rate

The Lomita Sheriff’s Department is reporting that on average approximately 2 tickets can be written in an hour during enforcement activities. During the week of September 6, 2004, a three-day test was conducted on six streets to document how many citations can be issued in an hour. Table 1 summarizes the test.

Table 1 – Citation Issue Test

Location

Date

Time

# Of Citations

Arterials

Hawthorne Blvd near Vallon Drive

9/9/04

8-9 AM

2

Palos Verdes Drive East (switchbacks)

9/9/04

2-3 PM

2

Residential

Ambergate Drive

9/10/04

8-9 AM

2

Via Rivera

9/10/04

5-6 PM

2

School Locations

Ridgecrest Middle School (Whitley Collins)

9/8/04

7:30-8:30 AM

0

Mira Catalina School (Lucania Drive)

9/8/04

2-3 PM

2

As seen in Table 1, citations were issued at 5 of the 6 locations and of the five locations, 2 citations were issued in one hour. Table 2 summarizes our current hourly costs for traffic enforcement services:

Table 2 – Current Costs for Enforcement Services

Enforcement Service

Unit Cost

Yearly Hours

Hourly Cost

1 Deputy & Squad Car

$187,744

2,088

$84.83

I Deputy & Motorcycle

$170,260

1,778

$95.76

On average, the City pays approximately $90.30 per hour for traffic enforcement services. Similarly, the revenues we receive from issuing tickets are approximately $35 per ticket. To cover the current cost for our enforcement services, approximately 2.58 tickets an hour should be written.

Proposed Conditions

TEAM RPV proposes to utilize 3 full-time officers, solely dedicated to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes for traffic enforcement. The TEAM RPV deputies will provide round-the-clock coverage from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday and 11 am to 8:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. The program provides a decoy car and speed radar trailer for our use anytime of the day. Table 3 compares the City’s current enforcement resources to the proposed resources available via TEAM RPV.

Table 3 - Traffic Enforcement Resources

Comparison of Current vs. TEAM RPV

Description of Resources

Current

TEAM RPV

Traffic Officers

2@60% shared

2@60% shared + 3 dedicated

AM Peak Coverage

Yes

Yes

PM Peak Coverage

No

Yes

Weekend Coverage

No

Yes

Decoy Car

60% shared

60% shared + 1 dedicated

Speed Radar Trailer

60% shared

60% shared + 1 dedicated

One of the benefits of TEAM RPV in regards to resources is that the City has flexibility to focus enforcement resources to areas with demonstrated problems, such as those identified in Figure 1.

TEAM RPV dedicates 3 full-time deputies, working 40 hours a week. The entire 40 hours will not be devoted to 100% enforcement. Approximately 20%, or 8 hours, of the deputies time is considered downtime which includes shift briefing, travel to and from the station, lunches, and completing daily logs. Another 20%, or 8 hours, will be allocated towards attending PTA meetings, HOA meetings, door knocking and checking the traffic message phone. Therefore, for a typical 40-hour week, essentially 24 hours per officers will be dedicated solely to enforcement. With 3 dedicated officers, this yields 72 total hours committed to enforcement. If these 72 hours are spread over the 11 hot spot traffic problem areas, the 10 schools and 50% of our arterial needs, each area of concern will receive approximately 2.8 hours of enforcement per week. 50% of arterial needs is based on supplementing the existing traffic officers during the evening commute hours and weekends with TEAM RPV officers. The evening and weekend coverage constitutes 50% of arterial needs. Table 4 summarizes man-hour allocation.

Table 4

Enforcement Man Hour Allocation

Allocation

Number

3 Deputies @ 40 hrs per week

120 hours

Downtime (20%)

24 hours

Meetings & Door knocking (20%)

24 hours

Time committed to enforcement

72 hours

Identified Traffic Hot Spots

11

Schools

10

50% of Arterials

5

Total Locations for targeted enforcement

26

Enforcement hours per week per location

2.8 hours

In looking at the proposed enforcement man-hour allocation and applying the current ticket writing rate of 2 citations per hour, the maximum number of citations we can expect to in one week would be:

72 hours X 2 citations per hour = 144 citations per week

The approximate amount of revenues would be:

144 citations X $35 per citation = $5,040 per week

Potential Annual revenues = $5,040 X 52 weeks = $262,080

TEAM RPV Program Elements

Elements of the TEAM RPV program include:

  • Scheduled or directed enforcement activities by City’s Traffic Engineer
  • Dedicated Traffic Message Phone
  • Use of supplemental resources including, a decoy car and speed radar trailer to aid in long lasting enforcement effects.
  • Use of City’s website for education and public information
  • Issuance of PSA and appearance on City Talk to discuss traffic safety
  • Use of neighborhood signs (i.e., lawn signs)
  • Use of City entrance signs
  • Meetings with Council of Homeowners Association by Sheriff’s Department and City Traffic Engineer
  • Use of school petitions to involve students and parents
  • Meetings with PTSA, Sheriff’s Department and City Traffic Engineer

Enforcement Schedule

The City Traffic Engineer in coordination with the Sheriff’s Department created a draft schedule of enforcement. As a start, enforcement locations are the 11 identified "hot spots", the 10 school areas and approximately 50% of arterials. Only one half of the City’s arterials will be targeted through the TEAM RPV program because our currently contracted Deputy Sheriff’s will continue to enforce traffic Monday through Friday between the hours of 8am and 2pm. However, the evenings and weekends are not covered. TEAM RPV officers will conduct traffic enforcement activities during the evenings and weekends, which equates to approximately 50% of total arterial coverage time. Details of the enforcement schedule are still being worked out and the results will be made available via the City’s Website and Staff’s monthly reports.

Program Deliverables

During enforcement activities, officers will maintain a log that documents all activities associated with a given location. Staff will generate a report on a monthly basis, which summarizes the daily logs. Information documented by the deputies on the daily log will include:

  • Date, Time and Location of Enforcement Activities
  • Location of citation issued
  • Number of citations issued for a given location
  • Number of enforcement hours
  • Time spent on education elements

Additionally, the Public Works department has purchased two speed/volume collection devices which will be used in conjunction with the enforcement schedule to track vehicle speeds before, during and after an officer has been at a particular location. This information will be used to quantify evidence of reduced speeds.

The City’s website will be used to publish the TEAM RPV reports and provide statistics of speed reduction activities.

FISCAL IMPACT

The total cost to implement TEAM RPV for one year is $463,275.10. This cost includes 3 full-time deputies @ 40 hours per week for one full year, purchasing 1 decoy car, and administrative costs from the City’s Consulting Traffic Engineer for one full year. After the first full year, the unit cost for each growth deputy increases by 41%. The TEAM RPV Program costs are summarized in Table 5.

Table 5

TEAM RPV Enforcement Costs

Service

Unit Cost

Total

3 Deputies (1 year)

$132,971.70*

$398,915.10

1 decoy car

-

$1,000.00

Traffic Engineering Administration (monthly)

$5,280.00

$63,360.00

Grand Total

$463,275.10

*If enforcement continues past one year, the unit cost increases from $132,971.70 to $187,744.02

If City Council decides to implement TEAM RPV as soon as November 2004, the total cost of the program will be pro-rated for 8 months and the FY ’04-’05 impact would be $309,183.40.

CONCLUSION

Adopting Staff’s recommendation approves the TEAM RPV City Wide Traffic Enforcement program. Staff is also recommending that City Council agendize a contract amendment with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and a budget adjustment for the funding of TEAM RPV.

Respectfully Submitted, Reviewed,

________________________

________________________

Dean E. Allison Les Evans
Director of Public Works City Manager

Attachments:

 

September 21, 2004 City Council Meeting - Mira Vista Traffic Calming Plan