TO: HONORABLE MAYOR & CITY COUNCIL
FROM: CITY MANAGER
DATE: SEPTEMBER 10, 2005
SUBJECT: VIA RIVERA TRAFFIC CALMING AND TEAM RPV
Provide direction to staff.
Several Councilmembers have asked when the issue of traffic calming on Via Rivera might be revisited as well as whether or not the TEAM RPV concept would return for discussion. The last action of the City Council on each respective issue is shown below:
Via Rivera Traffic Calming
Budget Workshop Draft Minutes (May 31, 2005)
Jim Sweeney, Rancho Palos Verdes, requested Council place consideration of speed humps in Via Rivera on an upcoming agenda. He indicated that there had been three serious accidents on his street that year; that a survey petitioning for speed humps in October 2001 received no opposition; and, that the Traffic Safety Commissionpreviously advised them that their neighborhood would be addressed after the City completed the installation of speed humps in the Basswood area. He urged the Council to take action soon to address and correct the problem of speeding in Via Rivera.
Councilman Stern, noting that it had been some time since a pilot enforcement program had been approved for Via Rivera, inquired if staff had any plans to bring this matter back for further Council consideration.
Director Allison advised that, since that pilot program was enacted and the results reported back to Council, enforcement had only been deployed by request and no other formal action was planned.
Councilman Stern recommended that the matter be revisited.
Councilman Long endorsed that sentiment.
Mayor Pro Tem Wolowicz noted that he attended a meeting on the subject and recollected there were two distinct groups: one included a number of people from the neighborhood who were quite vocal in their opposition. He inquired if there have been subsequent homeowners association or neighborhood meetings.
Mr. Sweeney answered that to his knowledge there had been no further meeting. He stated that the majority of people opposed to speed humps fear being inconvenienced, saying that the residents on Basswood were also very opposed to speed humps in their neighborhood because they, too, did not want to be detained. He indicated that accidents had occurred in his neighborhood and opined that a very bad situation was created when people were more concerned about themselves than the neighborhood’s children.
Mayor Clark advised Mr. Sweeney that the Traffic Safety Commissionhad been reconstituted into a Traffic Safety Commission with a broader set of responsibilities, and added that he believed the new Commission would readdress this topic soon and return it to Council for further consideration.
Council Meeting Minutes (September 21, 2004)
Councilman Long moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to delete Item 10-A, Citywide Traffic Enforcement: TEAM RPV, from the Agenda.
Councilman Long explained his removal of Item 10-A, saying he believed it confused matters to discuss it concurrently with 10-B and also it was premature to discuss it since the City’s five-year budget model had not been determined and it was unknown what the City’s revenues would be.
Mayor Pro Tem Clark indicated Councilman Long made some salient points although he did not necessarily agree with them all. He requested a poll of audience members to determine the numbers present to address 10-A and 10-B, the Mira Vista Traffic Calming Plan, and, if there was a significant difference, reorder the Agenda to take first the item with the preponderance of speakers.
Councilman Wolowicz asked Councilman Long if he visualized 10-A being postponed until the budget issues are resolved or to some date certain, saying it was a very significant item that he would not like to see postponed indefinitely.
Councilman Long stated he believed it would be more appropriate to address the matter after the November election.
Mayor Gardiner disagreed with postponing Item 10-A, saying it was on the agenda and people were present to speak on the matter. He remarked citywide traffic calming is an overall policy which affects all areas of the city, and delaying it suggested a breakdown of the problem into specific areas, saying it would be a mistake to address the matters piecemeal by discussing Mira Vista independently of the overarching questions of traffic calming throughout the city.
Councilman Stern said, while he appreciated the Mayor’s comments, he was persuaded by Councilman Long’s position that 10-A was a very significant budgetary matter which he did not view as a substitute answer for the Mira Vista situation. He indicated he would vote in favor of the motion, noting Council could devote all their attention to 10-A and still not do it justice given the magnitude of the item.
Mayor Gardiner requested a show of hands of those present to address Mira Vista, traffic calming only, or those present to address both items.
The hand count indicated a significant preponderance of citizens present for the Mira Vista matter.
Mayor Gardiner opined it sets a very dangerous precedent to determine public policy based on a hand count. He argued against the implication of budgetary issues being involved in the citywide traffic calming plan, saying there is considerable dispute as to what those budgetary issues are and it prejudges the discussion by basing it on a presumption about financial matters the Council has no opportunity to hear.
Councilman Long indicated his motion to amend the Agenda was made prior to any survey of the room and reiterated it will make a tremendous difference in his evaluation of TEAM RPV to discuss the five-year budget model and know whether the proposed Baca sales tax increase will pass. He indicated his motion to remove 10-A and delay it until after the November election will lessen the possibility that he would vote making certain assumptions only to learn afterwards those assumptions were wrong.
Councilman Stern agreed wholeheartedly and noted, if the Baca tax measure passes, the City will receive in excess of $2 million devoted for law enforcement activities.
Mayor Pro Tem Clark stated Council should attempt to address 10-A during this meeting or a subsequent one.
Councilman Wolowicz suggested discussing 10-B before 10-A.
Councilman Long queried, even if Council had the opportunity to address 10-A during the meeting, would they really want to discuss it and make a decision on it.
Mayor Pro Tem Clark remarked Councilman Long’s comment implied that addressing 10-A meant a decision would have to be made, saying many matters come before Council which take more than one meeting to decide.
Councilman Long stated that point was well taken and moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to place Item 10-A behind 10-B for purposes of discussion.
The motion carried without objection.
Staff and the Commission believe it would be helpful to receive direction from the City Council on these issues. Should the Traffic Safety Commission re-visit Via Rivera Traffic Calming? If so, are there specific directions or advice, that that Council may wish to provide to the Commission and staff?
Regarding TEAM RPV, the Baca tax measure failed, the Council has reviewed the Fve- year model and has adopted the 2005-06 City budget. Is there some direction the Council wishes to provide to the Commission and Staff regarding the future of TEAM RPV?
Director of Public Works