APRIL 25, 2005 TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION MINUTES APRIL 25, 2005 TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION MINUTES

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA

TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION MINUTES

REGULAR MEETING

APRIL 25, 2005

CALL TO ORDER: Vice Chair Willens called the meeting to order at 7:07 PM at Rancho Palos Verdes Community Room

ROLL CALL:

PRESENT: Commissioners: Vice Chair Willens, Commissioners Klein, Lewis, Wright, and Parfenov

ABSENT: Chair Shepherd, Commissioner Mevers

ALSO PRESENT: Jack Rydell, Traffic Engineer, Wildan; Ron Dragoo, Senior Engineer, Public Works; Sgt. Paul Creason, Sheriff's Department; Frances M. Mooney, Recording Secretary

FLAG SALUTE: Commissioner Wright led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

SWEARING IN OF NEW COMMISSIONERS:

Carolyn Petru, Assistant City Manager/City Clerk, swore in Commissioners Klein and Parfenov before the meeting.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

Commissioner Wright asked if the agenda can be posted on the website, and Senior Engineer Dragoo said this can be done, and it can be linked to the Traffic Safety Commission page.

Commissioner Klein moved to accept Agenda, seconded by Commissioner Wright.

 

Motion Approved:

Ayes 5; Nays 0

AUDIENCE COMMENTS NOT ON AGENDA:

Larry Clark, Mayor, City of Rancho Palos Verdes, congratulated the new Commissioners on their appointments on behalf of himself, the City Council, and the City staff. He reported that this Commission ties into one of the Council's four strategic goals, which is citywide safety and traffic calming; adding that the Commission will find that a whole diversity of areas will come before them. He asked that the Commission be proactive in seeking out matters of importance from the standpoint of City safety and traffic. He suggested that, on a future agenda, the Commission, with staff, come up with a work plan for the year that would encapsulate some of the things that staff sees coming before the Commission, and include some brainstorming and their thought process as to things that the Commissioners believe should be addressed by this new Commission. Following that, he suggested that when they reach a consensus, they bring it forward to the City Council. The Mayor stated that he will propose to his colleagues and the City leadership that they have a joint City Council/Traffic Safety Commission workshop. He explained that the Commission would then get a better sense of the City Council; the Council would get a better sense of how the Commission is operating and their philosophy and points of view; and they can collaborate. Mayor Clark shared his personal interest in the use of technology to control speeding in the City. He explained that this would involve the use of radar ticketing cameras. He explained that under the current California Vehicle Code the ability to use cameras for traffic control is limited to signaled intersections, with exceptions including work being done by the League of California Cities' Policy Committee that deals with Public Works and traffic, and their discussions on work in progress in San Jose and other cities in this area. He encouraged staff to provide some input on that to the Commission. He shared his personal preference for leveraged technology as is currently used in Europe. Mayor Clark presented each of the Commissioners with a City pin.

Martin Addleman, 1988 West General Street, Rancho Palos Verdes, speaking on his own behalf, thanked the Commission for keeping him informed with a copy of the Commission's Plan. He expressed confidence in the Commission and stated that it is nice to be kept in the loop and be part of what is going on, and will forward his impression to others in the community. He explained that he collected signatures for the Plan being put into effect. He reported that he has seen what the traffic flow and patterns have caused in the neighborhood; that people are leaving the neighborhood, especially on Summerland where three homes went up for sale in the last month; he hopes that the situation will calm down so that this part of the community isn't so transient. He wished the Commission luck, and hopes that all goes well.

Tom Redfield, 31273 Ganado Drive, Chair of Renewal and Renaissance Coalition, represented a citywide coalition of several hundred people with two overall goals: (1) to preserve and improve the remaining quality of life in the City, including traffic and safety and, (2) improve quality of City government. He commented that this is the only significant group trying to get citywide traffic calming in place. Mr. Redfield explained that two years ago, because of the group's efforts, the Council adopted the Citywide Traffic Calming Program as one of their four strategic goals and progress has been made despite some delays. He reported that it was adopted the first year with a unanimous vote, and a 4-1 vote the second year because one Council member felt there was a lack of money. He explained that all four goals are considered to be of equal importance, but the others have more money involved. He added that the other three goals are the NCCP Open Space Acquisition, the infrastructure, and the Open Space Task Force. Mr. Redfield explained that this is the first time they have a Commission that is chartered to implement a citywide plan; that the Charter for the previous Committee did not have that assignment. He reported that after 2 PM every weekday and on weekends there is no dedicated traffic enforcement in this City, and as a result, some people are taking advantage of this; and their group is trying to get one or two additional deputies. He reported that Senior Engineer Nicole Jules created a Traffic Calming Program, and the Sheriff's Department has a supplementary Plan RPV and has talked about how they can join in the City's Plan. He explained that the final ingredient is having this Commission with the ability to initiate and take to the City Council a citywide Traffic Calming Program. Mr. Redfield offered help to the Commission from his group in their efforts on this issue.

SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT REPORT:

1. Citation Report:

Sgt. Creason introduced himself to the new Commissioners and explained that he is the Traffic Supervisor at the Lomita Sheriff's Station. He invited the Commissioners to call him anytime with their questions or concerns at (310) 891-3206. He explained that the last he recalls is that the Citation Report would be presented on a quarterly basis, and asked if this is still satisfactory.

Senior Engineer Dragoo said he recalls from the April 11, 2005 meeting that there would be quarterly reports and monthly fill-in reports.

Commissioner Wright asked if there is a significant difference in the numbers in the quarterly versus monthly reports.

Sgt. Creason replied that both are included whether it is quarterly or monthly; however, if he does a quarterly report he also provides the last two years compared to the previous year, and that was what the previous Committee preferred.

Vice Chair Willens added that they were looking at the current year versus prior year for that same period.

Sgt. Creason commented that he could not give the Commission the information until after he gives it to the Council.

Vice Chair Willens asked how the Council gets that information, for what period of time--quarterly or monthly.

Sgt. Creason responded that they get it quarterly at the Regional Law Enforcement meeting; that it is distributed to the City Manager along with City Managers from the other two cities in the region.

Vice Chair Willens clarified that once it is given to the City Managers, it can be given to the Commission, and Sgt. Creason said that is correct. Commissioner Willens asked what is the point of monthly reports and what information would be provided.

Sgt. Creason replied that he would provide number of citations, number of collisions categorized as injury or non-injury, citations by hazardous or non-hazardous. He stated that specifying one way or the other would be good.

Vice Chair Willens clarified that it should be monthly, quarterly, or both, and Sgt. Creason agreed. Vice Chair Willens asked if anyone has any preference.

Commissioner Klein commented that, in a former position with the City of Placentia, they received brief monthly reports and it was very helpful.

Commissioner Lewis stated that he would prefer a quarterly report that provides the previous years for comparison, except for items that should be brought to the Commission's attention on a monthly basis.

Commissioner Wright stated that in gathering information for a City Police Department, as experienced in previous employment, it became very important to watch the information month to month in order to determine what action was appropriate. He stated that he thinks that it is important to have monthly reports to be proactive.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if the location of accidents could be included.

Sgt. Creason responded that staff could provide this, but it is a large number of accidents.

Vice Chair Willens commented that a quarterly report that shows the trends with updates as needed on important items would be acceptable. He explained that there was some confusion with comparing information in the monthly reports.

Sgt. Creason explained that monthly figures did not correspond with previous year figures.

Vice Chair Willens asked if Sgt. Creason could do it in a way that would actually compare it to that period for the prior year.

Sgt. Creason explained that if he were to prepare it tonight he would provide figures for January, February, and March of this year and the stats for 2004 and 2003 for the same months.

Vice Chair Willens asked what the Commission would get for the next quarter.

Sgt. Creason responded that they would get April, May, and June for this year and corresponding figures for the same months in 2004 and 2003.

Vice Chair Willens suggested that this would work, and if not, they can try it a different way.

Commissioner Wright asked if the Commissioners could call Sgt. Creason and get information easily if the they had a complaint from the public about how many accidents occurred, or how many citations were written on Hawthorne Boulevard.

Sgt. Creason said he could be contacted directly or asked during a meeting and he could provide this information.

Commissioner Parfenov addressed his concern with the location of accidents, saying that if there is a cluster of activity in certain locations there is obviously something wrong, possibly conditions that can be corrected quickly.

Vice Chair Willens asked if Sgt. Creason would communicate with staff if there were an issue like this that should be an agenda item, or does he have to bring it to the Commission to request that it be put on an agenda.

Sgt. Creason responded that staff calls him directly.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that staff does that automatically; that one of his functions is to identify problems. He explained that staff gets the accident reports every month and they have a pin map of the locations.

Vice Chair Willens recommended that the Commission receive quarterly reports, and there was no objection. Vice Chair Willens clarified that no vote is needed to establish this procedure.

Sgt. Creason stated that the next report would be at the May 23, 2005 meeting, and he will look at April as well and report back if there was anything significant.

2. Vehicle Accident Fatality:

Sgt. Creason reported that on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 at 2:50 PM in the afternoon there was a vehicle collision with a fatality. He reported that a motorcyclist going down the Hill south on Palos Verdes Drive East went over the center divider and into a car windshield and the motorcyclist was killed. He stated that the deceased was a San Pedro resident, married with one child; there were no alcohol or drugs on board; he was not speeding. Sgt. Creason reported that his wife explained that her husband traveled that route daily on his bike, and they are not aware of any attempt or reason for suicide.

OLD BUSINESS:

  1. MIRA VISTA NEIGHBORHOOD TRAFFIC CALMING PLAN STATUS UPDATE

Recommendation:

Receive and file

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that voluminous reports were distributed at the April 11, 2005 Commission meeting. Mr. Rydell reviewed the status of the issues involved to complete Step 1 (non-construction items) and Step 2 (speed humps) of the Traffic Calming Plan and referred to the speed hump plan during his presentation. He reported what was included and the status as follows:

    • Signs have been installed to establish a 3-ton weight limit restriction within the neighborhood.

    • The County and Caltrans are working jointly and work is underway for traffic signal coordination on Western Avenue, and this project is scheduled to be operational by the end of the summer.

    • The regulation was approved by the City Council and signs have been installed for multi-stop controls on Trudie Drive and Highmore Avenue, and he has been informed that the residents are very happy that they can now get out of Highmore Avenue.

    • Traffic Engineer Rydell provided a draft plan (circle page 5) to the Commissioners regarding speed humps that shows the location of the humps as follows: 3 on Trudie, 1 on MacArthur, 3 on Enrose, 1 on Crestwood, and 4 on General. He explained that he will make his revisions by the end of the week and forward the final plans to Senior Engineer Dragoo for funding approval by the City Council. He explained that upon approval, the plans would be advertised for construction with an estimated completion of construction by August 2005.

    • Complete "Before" speed and volume data collection is underway, which Mr. Rydell explained is a big part of what they are doing, although there are still unknowns. They have identified every conceivable location in the neighborhood where they could have problems. He explained that he is about half way through the count, using the City's StealthStat measurement devices to get a 24-hour count to get speed and volume measurements. Mr. Rydell reported that he would check the data and the counts would all be taken before the end of the school year. He stated that they would also be taking a license plate survey, which is a labor-intensive process where he and several other people will go to the location and actually match up cars at different locations to help understand exactly which route people are taking. He explained that this is used only in special situations to collect as much data as possible. This project will also be completed before the end of the school year.

Commission Discussion:

Vice Chair Willens asked what will happen after all these projects are completed. Does it come back to the Commission as an agenda item.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that is correct; that staff will explain the results, and if there are any issues that need to be mitigated they will come back with recommendations on how to correct the issues.

Vice Chair Willens asked if the Commission could expect this in the Fall.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that if this is completed by August they will give it a 60-day period and then take a count, so they will probably come back in late Fall.

Vice Chair Willens commented that if there were serious problems they would probably hear about it through public comments not on the agenda anyway.

Commissioner Klein commented on the two humps on MacArthur, saying that he would think that the sharp curve would slow people down.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that they worked closely with the homeowners' association and he has guaranteed them that the humps that they installed do not adversely affect traffic safety. He stated that if he were asked if some of them were superfluous, he would say, possibly; but this is what the community wanted and that the City wanted to get their support for this project. He added that the hump on MacArthur is as close to Trotwood as possible, and is designed to reduce speed on MacArthur as well.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if there are any updated volume statistics, referring to Enrose Avenue.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it depends on when the volume counts were taken. He explained that counts were taken that year during both school and when school was off for spring break, and that school traffic significantly affects the bypass traffic issue. He commented that, as far as traffic calming goes, Enrose probably has the least problem of any of the streets; but because it is right in the middle it is part of the backbone of this entire plan, and overlooking Enrose would cause quite a few problems and must be viewed in the big picture.

Commissioner Klein asked if it would be better for the community, referring to MacArthur near the curve, if the humps were somewhere else where they would be more effective. He read from the Plan booklet which states, "L intersection corner areas are generally not appropriate for speed humps", and repeated his comment regarding the possibility that the curve would slow people down. He suggested that maybe there could be the same number of humps, but put them on other streets.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that they do not put speed humps in curves. He explained that this is the route that needed attention, and they had to choose the streets where they could identify problems and address them. He stated that he does not feel they could put the humps in other locations

Commissioner Wright commented that the Engineers are trying to create a nice balance with what the people want in the community versus where Mr. Rydell believes is professional. He asked if people in the community were asking for speed humps, with or without good reason.

Traffic Engineer Rydell described traffic calming as an art as much as a science, and explained that the science part ends where he does not put things where it will be unsafe. He explained that this was a huge process in the community and they tried to compromise as much as possible because they are doing it to help the community. He explained that if it was not going to be a problem and there was some benefit, they were flexible.

Commissioner Parfenov referred to the plan on circle page 5 regarding the speed hump on MacArthur and commented that the speed limit is 21 MPH, which is below the speed limit; and asked if it would be an unnecessary hump, considering the cost.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that this was one of the issues, and that he will not say that it is necessary, but it is not unsafe. He reported that the community felt very strongly that they wanted one there, and their job in this situation was to try to work with the community to find a solution that would satisfy them.

Vice Chair Willens reported that the reason it got to this point is that they got enough residents to sign the petition and they were able to circumvent some of the hoops that otherwise they were trying to get through and could not.

NEW BUSINESS:

1. PALOS VERDES DRIVE SOUTH, PALOS VERDES DRIVE EAST, HAWTHORNE BOULEVARD, PARKING RESTRICTIONS, T2004-124

Staff Recommendation:

    1. Replace all parking restriction signs at the view turnouts on Palos Verdes Drive South (4), Palos Verdes Drive East (3), and Hawthorne Boulevard (1) with R30A signs stating:

"No Parking 9 PM - 6 AM" with arrows

Traffic Engineer’s Report:

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Director Allison made this request because there were concerns about unsavory activity at some of the turnouts in the City. He explained that they originally considered parking restrictions on nine turnouts; four on Palos Verdes Drive South, three on Palos Verdes Drive East, and one on Hawthorne Boulevard at Vallon. As listed in the staff report, there are different parking restrictions on most of the turnouts as follows:

  • Pt Vicente Fishing Access turnout - No Parking 9 pm - 6 am
  • Wayfarer's Chapel Turnout - 30 minute parking 7 am - 6 pm except Sunday
  • Conqueror Drive Turnout - No parking after dusk
  • Turnout west of Palos Verdes Drive East

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that after reviewing the situation, they decided on the recommendation being presented to the Commission for "No Parking 9 PM - 6 AM" with arrows.

Commission Discussion:

Vice Chair Willens explained his understanding of how the Commission works, which is different from the Committee. He described that the way it is supposed to work is that once staff presents its report, the Commission has an opportunity to ask questions of staff. He suggested that the best way to do that is if they go in some sort of a logical order, with follow-up questions permitted as needed. Following questions and clarification from staff, there would be a Motion, followed by discussion of the Motion, and a vote to approve or not.

Commissioner Lewis expressed agreement with the procedure, and asked at what point public comments will fit into the procedure.

Vice Chair Willens asked staff input on this question, and they agreed this should be after the Commission asks questions of staff. Vice Chair Willens stated that this should also be clarified with Chair Shepherd.

Vice Chair Willens clarified that the following procedure will be in place for this meeting:

  1. Staff presents their report
  2. Commission asks questions and clarification of staff
  3. Public comments, if any
  4. Motion
  5. Discussion of Motion
  6. Action taken on Motion

Commissioner Wright stated that if there is no parking time limit, referring to 30-minute parking at Wayfarer's Chapel, it is possible that people will use these turnout areas as parking facilities so they can go to the beach for long periods of time.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that this definitely is one of the potential consequences; if they do not have restrictions, people can have unlimited time; if they have restrictions, they might not have time to go hiking. He acknowledged that it is a tradeoff.

Commissioner Lewis asked if any effort was made to publicize the problem of unsavory behavior in these areas.

Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that public notification was sent according to procedure, as well as putting it in the newspaper. He said he will explore the possibility of putting it on the website as well.

Commissioner Lewis commented that at one point there was an option to be notified with electronic traffic updates through an e-mail subscription, and asked if that would be part of a website notification.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that it would be part of the agenda.

Vice Chair Willens asked how staff came to the recommendations on time such as 9 PM or dusk.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the reason he decided against dusk resulted from a study he read regarding turning restrictions when children are present; it stated that there are many more traffic violations if the sign reads "No right turn when children are present" than when the sign reads "No right turns from 7 AM - 9 AM". He concluded that "dusk" is ambiguous, whereas hours that allow them to do whatever it is they want to do and makes it very easy for enforcement.

Commissioner Wright asked if this timeframe is acceptable to the Sheriff's Department.

Sgt. Creason said yes it is.

Vice Chair Willens asked if 9 PM is a little early, and how did they come to that time as opposed to 10 PM or 11 PM.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that they already had one like that, and it was two hours after sunset.

Vice Chair Willens opened public comments.

Tom Redfield, 31273 Ganado Drive, referred to the upper part of Palos Verdes Drive East where there is no parking at the turnout, and asked if the sign is going to be large enough to be seen easily.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that it might be appropriate to put in some new signs, so it is very clear.

Mr. Redfield said that the "No parking" signs on the one where they cannot park are too small in some people's opinion.

Vice Chair Willens asked if someone would like to make a Motion.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Klein moved to accept staff recommendation as set forth on circle page 21, seconded by Commissioner Wright.

Commission Discussion:

Commissioner Klein commented that people should be able to use these facilities for as much of the 24-hour period as makes sense. He was satisfied with 6 AM, but would favor changing 9 PM to 10 PM just to make sure that people can use the facilities for as long as is practical and still not get into the issue with the unsavory acts or characters.

Commissioner Lewis stated that he is comfortable with 9 PM, and recommended going with it and then see if there are any complaints.

Commissioner Wright asked if there is anything earth shattering going on between 9 PM and 10 PM. He asked Sgt. Creason what the Sheriff's Department has seen going on in those turnouts.

Sgt. Creason stated that they have not had too many calls that he is aware of; occasionally there are cars hanging out there. He stated that when he was there at the fatal accident he saw beer bottles or cans. He said they know what is going on, but it is not such a big problem that they are focusing on it.

Commissioner Wright asked, from a law enforcement point of view in terms of a safety issue, if Sgt. Creason sees a problem with extending the hours to later at night.

Sgt. Creason stated that he does not think it would be an issue either way.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if 6 AM could be changed to 5 AM, saying that some people like to watch the sunset and he likes to watch the sunrise, referring to the earlier sunrise in the summer months.

Vice Chair Willens commented that if there is not any severe problem he thinks 9 PM is too early, and asked if there is anything that anyone sees from those turnouts besides the ocean, such as city light views or anything else. He stated that he is thinking of people who want to go up there after dark to see the lights, and in that sense he thinks 9 PM is too early and 10 PM or 11 PM would be more reasonable. Staff responded that these turnouts all face the ocean, and the only other views might be ships or a full moon.

Commissioner Klein asked if it would work from midnight to 6 AM.

Sgt. Creason responded that he would prefer it to be a little earlier than midnight and extend to 5 AM.

Commissioner Lewis commented that this would apply to all the turnouts in the City, and thinks that 10 PM to 5 AM is a good choice.

Vice Chair Willens expressed agreement with Commissioner Lewis.

Commissioner Klein commented that these signs apply to the ocean-facing signs, and suggested that there is no reason there could not be a different policy for the ones that face the city lights.

Vice Chair Willens stated for clarification that none of the turnouts under discussion fall into the city lights category at this time, and staff confirmed that this is correct. Vice Chair Willens stated that this could be addressed in the future for other areas.

Commissioner Parfenov pointed out that the turnout on Hawthorne Boulevard south of Vallon Drive is the only one that overlooks the city lights, looking southeast to Portuguese Bend. Mr. Parfenov referred to the environmental group "Heal the Bay", and commented that they sometimes have to wake up early for beach cleanup and research, which is one of the reasons for his suggestion of the earlier AM limit.

Commissioner Klein polled the Commissioners regarding the choices of 11 PM to 5 AM or 10 PM to 5 AM. The Commissioners were comfortable with 10 PM to 5 AM.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Klein moved to accept the staff recommendation as set forth in circle page 21:

Replace all parking restriction signs at the view turnouts on Palos Verdes Drive South (4), Palos Verdes Drive East (3), and Hawthorne Boulevard (1) with R30A signs stating:

"No Parking 9 PM - 6 AM" with arrows

except that "No parking 9 PM to 6 AM" will be changed to "10 PM to 5 AM", seconded by Commissioner Wright.

Motion approved:

Ayes 5; Nays 0

NEW BUSINESS:

  1. MT. SHASTA DRIVE AND TOSCANINI DRIVE MULTI-WAY STOP CONTROL
  2. Staff Recommendations:

    1. Deny request for multi-way stop control.
    2. Continue evaluating the area for traffic calming measures.

Traffic Engineer’s Report:

Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to his report beginning on circle page 6. He reported that a citizen who was specifically concerned about speeding made this request. He explained that this is a traffic calming type issue. He informed the Commission that this citizen also knows that the staff is working with the community on traffic calming and this issue will be coming before the Commission, possibly at the next meeting; but because the community wanted staff to look at multi-way stop control as well, they are treating that as a separate issue. Mr. Rydell commented that stop signs are a completely different matter than the issues involved in turnouts and speed humps. He explained that stop signs involve safety and liability, and staff feels fairly strongly about their recommendations because they are based on sound engineering. He reported that there are Federal, State, and City guidelines for multi-way stop controls, and city guidelines are the most lenient; that cities look at the same issues, but the State and Federal number thresholds are typically lower as is also the case with the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated these are the types of things the Commission may or may not see in the future. He stated that they receive many requests for stop signs, and he is not sure if the Commission wants to see every single one that has absolutely no chance of being approved. Mr. Rydell explained that if people want to appeal staff's recommendation, that is one thing; but he thought this was a good one to present to go through the staff review process, so that when the next one comes through that is a little tighter it won't be the first time the Commission has seen warrants.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this particular location is a T intersection. He said that some radar data was taken on Mt. Shasta to determine the possibility of some stop controls, and found they had a prevailing speed of 28 MPH. He explained that they checked the visibility at the intersection and found that there was sufficient stopping sight distance per AASHTO (American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials) standards, so they definitely have enough sight distance. He referred to circle pages 12 and 13. He explained that at this type of site he personally takes a PM peak hour count, which is the highest volume, and found the following volumes:

    • Mt. Shasta Drive - south approach: 81 vehicles
    • Mt. Shasta Drive - north approach: 83 vehicles
    • Toscanini Drive - west approach: 76 vehicles

Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to circle page 12, an exhibit entitled "Warrants for the installation of all-way stop control", which is used to determine if there is enough volume to warrant it or not. Mr. Rydell briefly reviewed the criteria set forth in the document, and explained their general interpretation and how staff determined the checklist items as satisfied or not satisfied. He commented at one point that stop signs are a very valuable tool, but if they install stop signs where they are not warranted, it creates disregard and people go through it. He emphasized that stop signs are not used for speed control. Mr. Rydell concluded that based on the results of this exhibit, he recommended that the request be denied.

Commission Discussion:

Commissioner Wright stated that he went to the location just to see it because he was not familiar with the area, and commented that, in police work when he used to work traffic, they had areas they called cherry patches. He explained that this was the kind of place they would look for; where they had a stop sign and people would go through the stop sign with some frequency.

Commissioner Lewis thanked staff for such an informative packet.

Vice Chair Willens asked if the person(s) who made the request is notified of the results and how the recommendation was reached if the request is denied.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that staff explains the results and the complainants are very angry at the anomalies.

Vice Chair Willens opened public comments.

Dennis Powers, 1411 Toscanini Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, explained that his home is on Toscanini Drive, the first house on the right as you go uphill. He explained that cars traveling on Mt. Shasta Drive and making a left or right turn going up Toscanini are going up a hill; and people take both of those corners to the right and the left at a very high rate of speed. He stated that, because of the angles involved, many times they are not in control of their vehicles, and they do not really have a way to stop them because they are busy over-correcting. He explained that there are quite a few pedestrians around--senior citizens, children, people out there at that time of the day. He explained that when drivers are turning onto Toscanini they are accelerating, and they are coming out of that curve at a good rate of speed--30- to 35 MPH--because they are accelerating uphill. He gave an example of people going from Mt. Shasta Drive, making a right turn coming out of San Pedro Gardens condominium complex; that there is quite a lot of traffic from there. Mr. Powers referred to the aerial picture and pointed out a large curve. He explained that vehicles are picking up speed as they go around the curve and often they make a right turn and end up in the downhill lane. He explained that when they are going in the other direction on Mt. Shasta and making a left turn going up the hill, they go over and hit the curb, and they have hit the wall a few times over there. He described It as very dangerous; that this is like the major artery, and the only flat area in this location; and there is nowhere for people to cross the street safely. He stated that you must go all the way up to Western before you find a place to cross the street. He explained that many senior citizens live there; his in-laws live on Mt. Rushmore, which is one street over from Mt. Shasta. He stated that kids are constantly coming down the hill on Toscanini on their skateboards and motor scooters; that they come down on the wrong side of the street, and if a car comes around the corner too fast it is pretty much over. He said they have not had a problem like that, but he has lived there 9 1/2 years and there have been many close calls. Mr. Powers pointed out a wall that has been hit consistently, and a curve where people go too fast and they cannot correct. Mr. Powers asked Sgt. Creason if he has experience in this area, and asked if they have many complaints.

Sgt. Creason stated that he has not received any complaints.

Mr. Powers stated that the Sheriff's Department has sit in front of his house and given tickets to people coming down the hill, but not the people going around the corners too fast; and that is one of his major concerns. Mr. Powers re-emphasized his concerns regarding the children on skateboards and motor scooters, and added that at sunset, drivers are completely blinded when they come around the corner; and those coming out of the condominiums from a shaded area hit the bright sunlight and cannot see what they are doing. Mr. Powers expressed understanding of the regulations limiting the staff and appreciation for them looking at it.

Commissioner Wright asked if is there a particular time of day that this is an issue, acknowledging Mr. Powers' comments regarding sunset.

Mr. Powers stated that this happens when the sun goes down about 5:30- to 6:30 PM; when the senior citizens are out walking during the daytime; when kids are coming home from school; and on the weekends when people are home and are going up to Western, there is pretty erratic driving then.

Commissioner Wright asked if the offenders are mostly younger people.

Mr. Powers responded that mostly it would be the younger people; that some of the older folks would pretty much lose control of the vehicle if they take the corner a little too fast. He described a situation involving driving on Mt. Shasta to make a left turn on Toscanini, saying that if you put your left turn indicator on and are going down Mt. Shasta, the road curves to the right slightly and the blinker will actually turn off before you turn left. He stated that this is because you are going right and then make a sharp left and going up a hill, so you really start losing control.

Commissioner Klein asked if there are stripes going down the middle of the road.

Vice Chair Willens referred Commissioner Klein to circle page 9, which shows an aerial view of the location.

Mr. Powers commented that it looks like there are some stripes, but it is not very clear.

Mr. Addleman stated that there are some because he goes there from his house.

Commissioner Klein asked if there is anything except stop signs that could help with this problem.

Traffic Engineer Rydell answered that the problem of speeding is addressed in Item 2 of the recommendation, "continue evaluating the area for traffic calming measures"; that this refers not only to this location, but to all the streets in that neighborhood

Vice Chair Willens asked if that is something Mr. Rydell can look into and then put it on a future agenda.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that they plan to bring it to the next meeting.

Mr. Powers thanked the staff again for responding to his request and notifying him that it was on the agenda.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Lewis moved adoption of the staff recommendations 1 and 2 as presented:

    1. Deny request for multi-way stop control.
    2. Continue evaluating the area for traffic calming measures.

seconded by Commissioner Klein.

Commission Discussion:

Commissioner Wright commented that, in his experience, when something happens, residents call in and if the police department had the means and availability, they would send a car to the location to investigate--essentially dealing with it on a complaint basis. He commented that Sgt. Creason said they have not received any calls.

Sgt. Creason responded that they could provide drifting patrols if requested.

Commissioner Wright suggested that Mr. Powers has that option in the interim until the traffic calming study is completed.

Mr. Powers responded that the Sheriff's Department has been very good about that.

Vice Chair Willens commented that the Commission is restricted in what they can do with stop signs, and encouraged Mr. Powers to stay on top of this and follow up at the next meeting.

Motion Approved:

Ayes 5; Nays 0

NEW BUSINESS:

3. MIRALESTE PLAZA PVPTA BUS STOP RELOCATION

Staff Recommendations:

    1. Request the Palos Verdes Peninsula Transit Authority (PVPTA) to relocate their Miraleste Plaza bus stops from within the plaza parking lot to one of the following locations, listed in order of preference:

    1. North side of Bramante Plaza between Via Bramante and Via Del Plaza;
    2. West side of Via Bramante north of Bramante Plaza;
    3. North side of Bramante Plaza between Via Lorenzo and Via Bramante;
    4. East side of Bramante Plaza between Via Sieno and Via Lorenzo.

    1. Upon concurrence from PVPTA, present recommendations to the Rancho Palos Verdes Traffic Safety Commission (Commission) for approval.
    2. Upon approval, remove the existing bus stop signing, striping and markings and install new signing, striping, and markings at the appropriate locations.

Traffic Engineers Report:

Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed the staff report. He reported that the Palos Verdes Peninsula Transit Authority (PVPTA) does drop-offs and pick-ups in Miraleste Plaza, and there are concerns that this is not the safest way to do this. He explained that they have received input from both citizens who are not satisfied with the situation, and the Assistant Administrator for PVPTA, Martin Gombert. They wanted staff to identify other bus stop locations. Staff concluded that dropping off children in the middle of a commercial district presented a safety issue. Mr. Rydell referred to circle page 39, which identified potential alternate locations for bus stops, listed as Items "a" through "d" in order of preference. He explained that they are all close enough to the existing bus stops that they can be accessed easily from Miraleste Plaza, and they have appropriate nearby parking to accommodate parents who wait to pick up their children. Mr. Rydell stated that there are pros and cons at each of the four locations. He referred to circle pages 36 and 37, which describe each location in detail. Mr. Rydell briefly described Item "a" as the choice location because of the convenient route, sidewalk access, and parking facilities. He described Item "b" as the second choice because it is on the main route from Miraleste Drive.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that these were all discussed with PVPTA and they like the ideas. He explained that staff felt that it was appropriate to bring them to the Commission and get their approval before they finalize anything with PVPTA on relocation, if (A) the Commission wants relocation, and (B) the Commission agrees with the choices staff has made. He explained that they plan to go back to PVPTA after the Commission has made its decision and proceed with the relocation of the bus stops.

Vice Chair Willens asked who has the final say in deciding on the relocation.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it is the City.

Vice Chair Willens clarified that the City is working with PVPTA to determine their preferences, but ultimately they really do not have the authority to make the final decision.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that the City has to approve the funding, and the issue involves traffic safety on City roadways.

Vice Chair Willens asked if these locations have been presented to PVPTA.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that PVPTA likes the ideas presented by staff, and is satisfied with all four locations.

Commissioner Parfenov asked for a summary of the problems with the existing stops.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that, at present, the buses are stopping in the middle of Miraleste Plaza; because it is a commercial district there are extensive parking maneuvers going on, combined with the conflict of school-age pedestrians, creating a safety problem. Mr. Rydell explained that they are trying to separate the pedestrians who are waiting for a bus from the vehicle traffic associated with the commercial development.

Commissioner Wright commented that he was at Miraleste Plaza today and stated that he would not want to walk through the area, let alone have children walk through it.

Vice Chair Willens asked what is the nature and extent of the multi-unit residential adjacent to Item "a" on circle page 36.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it is an apartment building.

Vice Chair Willens asked if the ingress and egress from the apartment building would conflict with the bus stop.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that the driveway access is on Via Bramante, which is farther north.

Commissioner Lewis thanked staff for a great packet.

Commissioner Klein asked if, once the Commission makes the recommendation, there is a mechanism for the public to have input, such as posting it in the Plaza.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that they would have to work with PVPTA to find out how they educate their riders regarding a change in the route.

Commissioner Klein asked when staff would know if there is any opposition to this relocation.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that the comments they have received indicate that people do not like where the bus stops are now.

Vice Chair Willens stated that tonight would be an opportunity for a public hearing, and since it is on the agenda, the notice requirements have been met. Mr. Willens expressed confusion as to why, if PVPTA has already said they are fine with any of these, does the Commission need to approve, then it goes back to PVPTA, and comes back again to the Commission. He suggested that it would save some time and effort if they could take care of it now.

Traffic Engineer Rydell concurred that this extra step is not necessary.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Lewis moved approval of the staff recommendations as amended to delete recommendation 2 on circle page 35, to read as follows:

1. Request the Palos Verdes Peninsula Transit Authority (PVPTA) to relocate their Miraleste Plaza bus stops from within the plaza parking lot to one of the following locations, listed in order of preference:

a. North side of Bramante Plaza between Via Bramante and Via Del Plaza;

b. West side of Via Bramante north of Bramante Plaza;

c. North side of Bramante Plaza between Via Lorenzo and Via Bramante;

d. East side of Bramante Plaza between Via Sieno and Via Lorenzo.

    1. Upon concurrence from PVPTA, present recommendations to the Rancho Palos Verdes Traffic Safety Commission (Commission) for approval.
    2. Upon approval, remove the existing bus stop signing, striping and markings and install new signing, striping, and markings at the appropriate locations.

seconded by Commissioner Wright.

Motion approved:

Ayes 5; Nays 0

RECEIVE AND FILE:

  • PVDS and Conqueror Drive Traffic Concerns
  • Hawthorne Boulevard and Seamount Drive/Eddinghill Drive Left-Turn Phasing
  • Crenshaw Boulevard and Crestridge Road Left-Turn Phasing

Traffic Engineer's Report:

Traffic Engineer Rydell requested that these items be rescheduled to the next meeting so that the written reports can be provided. He gave a brief report on Hawthorne Boulevard and Crenshaw Boulevard left-turn phasing; saying that neither intersection, which are signalized, has protected left turn phasing lights. He explained that as part of the City's traffic signal prioritization program staff has identified those two locations as candidates for left-turn phasing and staff has submitted applications to the State for funding. He stated that neither of them completely met the warrants for protected left-turn phasing, but they were both very close. He stated that it did not necessarily justify expenditure of City funds at this time, but they went ahead and applied for the Hazard Elimination Safety Grant Program.

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:

      1. Public Works Department Report.

    1. Western Avenue Task Force

Senior Engineer Dragoo informed the Commission that Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn put a Western Avenue Task Force together to address speed or lack thereof and congestion on Western Avenue. He explained that the charge is to look at all solutions regardless of cost and come back by early summer with recommendations to help Councilwoman Hahn with her implementation. He explained that, as the Commissioners are all now Traffic Safety Committee members and experts in the area of Traffic Safety Committee operations, they are all welcome to attend and see what goes on. He said meetings so far have been on alternating Thursdays; with future meetings being on Thursday, May 5, 2005 at Coco's Restaurant at 4:00 PM and May 19, 2005 at 4:00 PM.

2. Other Traffic Safety Commission Business:

a. Resurfacing on Palos Verdes Drive East:

Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that the City does have a contract to accomplish this work and they will be starting work roughly on Monday, May 16. He explained that activities will include some dig outs, replacing failed areas of roadway, and slurry. He described the area as being from Palos Verdes Drive South, up the switchbacks, and up to Miraleste Plaza. He explained that there is a recommendation to close those switchbacks for a day while work is being done, and said there is no other way to work safely. He stated that there will be a lot of signage out there and a lot of notification. He explained the process and described it as safety work. He stated that he will put a crawl on the City's Cable TV channel and have advance notification on the City's website.

Commissioner Wright asked what is the projected time to complete the project.

Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that the closure would be for an estimated two days, probably not back-to-back; there will probably be several days of parallel work. He explained that there are 30 working days in the contract; they begin on May 16 and should complete on June 20, including the holiday; there will be traffic control the entire time. He stated that beyond the switchbacks at Granado up to the Miraleste Plaza area they will have lane closures.

b. Grants for Suggested Routes to School:

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that they often get money for the City through grant programs. He explained that there is another program for suggested routes to school at the end of June, and staff is putting together the paperwork for that. He asked the Commissioners to let staff know if there are any suggestions that might link to this issue.

c. Vice Chair Willens' requests:

i. Vice Chair Willens requested that the agenda be put on the website under the Traffic Safety Commission, and the whole package if possible.

Senior Engineer Dragoo said that the agenda can be put on the website and he will research the possibility of including the agenda package.

ii. Vice Chair Willens asked what the procedure is by which a Vice Chair is either appointed or voted upon so that it can be done correctly.

Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that it is his understanding that Vice Chair is adopted or appointed by the Commissioners.

Vice Chair Willens asked that this item be put it on the agenda for the next meeting.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Recommendation:

Approval of Minutes of April 11, 2005

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Wright moved to approve the Minutes of April 11, 2005 as presented, seconded by Commissioner Lewis.

Motion approved:

Ayes 5; Nays 0

ADJOURNMENT:

Meeting adjourned on Motion by Commissioner Wright, seconded by Commissioner Lewis with a unanimous vote, at 9:02 PM to May 23, 2005 at 7:00 PM, City of Rancho Palos Verdes Community Room.