TO: HONORABLE MAYOR & CITY COUNCIL
FROM: CITY MANAGER
DATE: MARCH 15, 2005
SUBJECT: WESTERN AVENUE TASK FORCE
Consider the need for, and what the purpose would be, of a Joint Rancho Palos Verdes/City of Los Angeles Western Avenue Task Force
The Western Avenue Corridor Task Force was originally formed in November 1996 by the Palos Verdes Peninsula and the San Pedro Peninsula Chambers of Commerce. The Western Avenue Corridor Task Force was established to improve transportation, public safety and business development along the Western Avenue corridor. The Rancho Palos Verdes City Council appointed one of its members to serve on this regional committee. Members of the original Task Force included representatives from the Los Angeles City Council, the County Supervisor’s office, Senator Karnette’s office and Assemblymember Lowenthal’s office as well as business owners, other government officials and representatives of homeowner associations and utility companies. The Task Force successfully convinced Caltrans to add needed traffic signals and remove and replace street trees that were tearing up the sidewalk. In addition, the Task Force completed a business survey that was shared with real estate brokers and other potential businesses interested in locating along Western. The Task Force became inactive in 2003 as its membership dwindled.
Mayor Clark and Councilwoman Hahn hosted a press conference on February 3, 2005 to call attention to the problems on Western Avenue and to promote cooperation between the cities of Rancho Palos Verdes and Los Angeles in improving conditions on the shared portions of Western Avenue between Palos Verdes Drive North and Summerland Street. A Caltrans representative was also expected to participate in the press conference, but did not appear. At the press conference, Councilwoman Hahn proposed, and Mayor Clark agreed, to reestablish the Joint Task Force to focus on Western Avenue traffic and pavement condition issues.
At their meeting of February 15, 2005, the City Council discussed the merits of creating a Joint Task Force with the City of Los Angeles. Since Mayor Clark was not in attendance at that meeting, and since Councilman Gardiner indicated he would not be able to attend the March 1, 2005 meeting, the matter was continued to March 15, 2005.
The discussion at the February 15, 2005 Council meeting focused on what the purpose and goals of the Task Force would be. Rather than ask staff to bring back recommendations on these issues, the Council decided they would rather have an open discussion of the Task Force idea.
According to a March 1st e-mail message from Jerry Gaines, Councilwoman Janice Hahn called for an organizational meeting of the Task Force members she appointed on February 28, 2005. At this meeting some preliminary goals were set and reports were given by CALTRANS and the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Transportation. A tentative time line was set for work to be completed by May 31, 2005. Preference was shown to hold meetings on the first and third Thursdays at 4:00 p.m. (location to be determined), and Mr. Gaines was asked to fill the role of Interim Chair.
Attachments: E-mail from Jerry Gaines
Draft Task Force Minutes of February 28, 2005
Task Force Attendance @ February 28, 2005 Meeting