CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA
TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION
JULY 25, 2005
CALL TO ORDER: Chair Shepherd called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM at Rancho Palos Verdes Community Room
ROLL CALL: PRESENT: Chair Shepherd, Commissioners Klein, Lewis, Mevers, Parfenov, Wright
ABSENT: Commissioner Willens
ALSO PRESENT: Dean Allison, Director, Public Works; 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 Klein led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Chair Shepherd suggested, since there is only one speaker for Item 3 of New Business and four speakers on Item 1 that the speaker on Item 3 be allowed to present first.
Commissioner Lewis moved to swap Item 3 with Item 1 of New Business, seconded by Commissioner Klein.
This section of the Agenda is for audience comments for items not on the Agenda.
Tom Redfield, 31273 Ganado Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, expressed thanks and encouragement for greater progress to the staff and Commission for the information available on the Commission website. He stated that the residents appreciate that the Agenda and other documents are available even though not everything is posted yet.
Mr. Redfield explained that the Mediterranea Homeowners Association had a request recently for Minutes, and asked if they will be put on the website.
Chair Shepherd explained that there are past Minutes on the website.
Mr. Redfield asked if there is a timeline when the Minutes will be ready.
Chair Shepherd explained the procedure, saying that they must be routed to Commissioners for review presented at the next meeting for approval, and she cannot say for certain when they will be on the website but when approved they would be ready for public view.
Director Allison suggested that the Commission follow the City Council procedure of posting only the approved Minutes.
Mr. Redfield asked if it would be possible to have a Listserv automatic message saying that the Minutes are now available.
Chair Shepherd stated that they would take this under advisement and e-mail Mr. Redfield when they have an answer.
Director Allison explained that this is more of an IT issue than a Public Works issue and they will try to work together to get this issue resolved.
SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT REPORT:
Sgt. Creason reviewed information regarding R.P.V. Summer Operation Switchbacks for July 16 and July 17, 2005. Sgt. Creason updated the report for Saturday, July 23, 2005, reporting that a Deputy on duty from 8 am – 2 pm wrote five citations, two for speed and three for equipment violations. Regarding residency, Sgt. Creason reported that three were Rancho Palos Verdes residents, one from Torrance, and one from Lomita, and they were all cars. He reported that on Sunday, July 24, 2005, two Deputies were on duty from 10 am – 5 pm and they wrote 14 citations; ten were to cars—nine for speeding and one for following too close. Regarding residency, he explained there were seven for Rancho Palos Verdes, two for San Pedro, one for Palos Verdes Estates; the other four were for motorcycles, all for speeding. Regarding residency, he explained there were two from Torrance, one from Rancho Palos Verdes, and one from San Pedro.
Chair Shepherd asked if Sgt. Creason thinks there would be more residents from Rancho Palos Verdes during weekdays, referring to the speed of motorcycles.
Sgt. Creason responded that he does not know; that the motorcyclist who was killed in March was from San Pedro, and it was during the week.
Chair Shepherd commented that drivers are expecting the Deputies to be on duty on Saturday and Sunday, and suggested randomly placing officers on duty after hours during rush hours in the middle of the week.
Commissioner Mevers asked if the number of citations is going down during the three-week period.
Sgt. Creason responded that he was off work for three weeks and does not have an answer to the question, but will review it during the next few weeks.
Commissioner Parfenov asked if Sgt. Creason could present a chart with the numbers.
Chair Shepherd commented that this would be appropriate at the end of the project, and Sgt. Creason agreed.
Commissioner Wright asked if they are using radar for speeders, and Sgt. Creason responded that radar is used.
Director Allison explained that construction projects probably affected the numbers, even though Public Works was not working over the weekends. Director Allison stated that the Council directed that the enforcement program be conducted on the weekends.
Chair Shepherd commented that the public was informed of the weekend enforcement, and suggested that changing it to weekdays might change the pattern.
Sgt. Creason responded that the weekday Deputies are not precluded from covering the area included in the program.
1. ON-STREET PARKING OF OVERSIZED VEHICLES
That the Chair of the Traffic Safety Commission and the Director of Public Works sign the attached memorandum to the City Council dated July 25, 2005 entitled On-Street Parking of Oversized Vehicles.
Director Allison introduced the item to give some background to the Commission, saying that the issue of Public works in general started at the Planning Commission and Council level when there was concern about RV owners parking their vehicles on their property and the manner in which they parked them. He explained that the Council wanted the Planning Department to look at the issue citywide. Director Allison stated that there are regulations regarding on-street and off-street parking that are strict, but there is a need for modifications. He explained that the Council concluded that, if they try to discourage people from parking their vehicles on their personal property, it would spill over into the issue of parking on the street.
Director Allison explained that the former Traffic Committee struggled with the issue of how wide an area of regulation they want to apply to these vehicles, including how long they can be parked, and if the vehicle should be covered. He explained that staff felt strongly that the Commission should focus on the safety aspects of RV parking, such as narrow roadways and curved roadways, and that grade plays a part in this also. Director Allison stated that the Municipal Code allows the City to regulate vehicles that are near intersections, saying basically that vehicles over six feet in height are not allowed to park within seven feet of an intersection. He explained that the former Traffic Committee concluded that they needed to focus on the safety aspects, and that is where they were when this issue was last considered. Director Allison explained that the staff report and attachments begin from that point forward.
Director Allison explained that the Municipal Code states that you cannot cite an oversized vehicle in a certain location unless it is posted, and stated that this is a difficult thing to do. He stated that he and Traffic Engineer Rydell will have to work with the City Attorney, and they think they have a way around it.
Traffic Engineer’s Report
Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed the staff report, saying that this is a very complex situation; that the former Traffic Committee discussed this and tried to determine what issues should be addressed and whether they could be implemented, and they never reached a final agreement.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that it is very clear now that the City Council wants the Commission to formulate one or more recommendations for them to consider. Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed the staff recommendation explaining, from a staff perspective, that regulations would include sight distance issues (which is a safety consideration) and encroachment by large vehicles in the traveled width because Rancho Palos Verdes has many narrow roadways. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that they are recommending that the Commission and staff focus on these two issues.
Traffic Engineer Rydell commented that there are many options on how to accomplish this and suggested that they first define oversized vehicles in Rancho Palos Verdes. He explained that they can restrict the time oversized vehicles can park in one location, commenting that they already have a 72-hour restriction, but there are loopholes around that. He explained that some cities have stated that the vehicle must be moved a significant distance; that they are also considering options that would not be extremely restrictive, but address the issue of oversized vehicle parking—possibly a permitting process. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that they have considered areas where safe parking of oversized vehicles can be permitted where the road is wide enough and straight enough; adding that they have questioned whether they are allowing parking where it is not safe.
Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to circle page 8, which states:
? “A new ordinance must be adopted to allow staff the ability to post signs to prohibit the parking of recreational and other oversized vehicles that:
o Restrict sight distance for motorists on public roadways;
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this is staff’s direction now; that he and the Director have discussed it with the City Attorney, and it may provide the City Council with a couple of options.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that regulation may be better than complete prohibition; however, the City could prohibit oversized vehicle parking in the City, except in safe locations, and that can be accomplished through a permit process. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this would avoid posting signs.
Commissioner Mevers commented that the City already has a process in place and referred to dumpsters.
Traffic Engineer Rydell commented that this may be the general concept behind what is being discussed, and explained that dumpsters are regulated in a different way. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the City could require that oversized vehicles have a permit to park on City streets; and vehicles could be parked as long as it does not violate the requirements outlined in the permit process. He explained that, by having advance notification, signs would not be required throughout the City; the City has told them for example that they cannot park the vehicle on a road that is less than a certain width within a horizontal curve; they can deal with weight limits, proximity to intersections, and multi-use driveways. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that they have talked with the City Attorney about markings and street signs at the entrance points to the City, discussing issues such as if it will it hold up in court.
Chair Shepherd distributed copies of the Laguna Niguel ordinance, which was used as a reference by the former Traffic Committee, and documents from the October 25, 2004 agenda packet. Chair Shepherd asked if anyone from staff contacted the current traffic safety representative from Laguna Niguel to find out their concerns during formation of the ordinance as it relates to signage and enforcement. Chair Shepherd stated that their ordinance is very successful.
Traffic Engineer Rydell commented that the Laguna Niguel ordinance is not restricting parking in certain areas and allowing parking in others; it is prohibiting parking, and that is different from what the staff is proposing. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that it has not been challenged in court as far as the Rancho Palos Verdes City Attorney knows. He explained that some cities are comfortable with prohibiting oversized vehicles in a blanket format throughout the City. He explained that staff is working from the standpoint that there are locations they believe are not safe, and that parking can be allowed in those areas that are safe.
Chair Shepherd commented that this is the staff recommendation, but does not mean that the Commission will adopt it.
Director Allison explained that the City is trying to develop something that is strictly a traffic safety issue, and Laguna Niguel approached it from a different perspective—not necessarily right or wrong.
Chair Shepherd stated that traffic safety is an element in it because the result is that it is safer.
Director Allison commented that people have a tolerance for looking at an RV across the street for a certain amount of time, and after that, they want it to be removed; that Laguna Niguel has taken an approach based on aesthetics.
Chair Shepherd stated that the Laguna Niguel traffic representative would say something very different; that they took it from a traffic safety perspective and their body is what pushed it forward. Chair Shepherd stated that aesthetics is important, and she knows it is not for this body, but it needs to be considered because Rancho Palos Verdes is an affluent community that does not want to see RV parking. Chair Shepherd suggested that the Planning Commission might be the appropriate body to address those issues TCS should weigh in on the issue.
Director Allison stated that the problems staff is trying to overcome are from a traffic safety perspective. He added that if a vehicle cannot park on a curve it may be parked in front of a neighbor’s house. Director Allison explained that staff recognizes that it is a problem as proposed, but think they can overcome this with the permit process.
Chair Shepherd suggested that it is a major problem, and expressed concern that the permit will be issued at the staff level where a decision will be made on the permit criteria. She suggested that if the City prohibits all oversized vehicles, there are no repercussions. Chair Shepherd referred to circle page 7 of the agenda packet, and questioned the statement that “Parking of oversized vehicles is a very minor problem”. She commented that it is only a minor problem because the City does not receive calls; that the reason they do not get calls is because of the dynamic of what happens when residents do that.
Chair Shepherd gave an example of a neighbor with an RV parked in front of your house, and it affects you coming in and out of the driveway or sight distance—suggesting it is a safety issue. She described that you ask your neighbor politely to move it in front of their own house or somewhere else; they move it, and then park it back again. Chair Shepherd said that, unlike a dumpster that you know is temporary, the RV can be there 24/7 and that if you call, there is no ordinance to support you. She explained that when the Sheriff tickets the vehicle, the owner has 72 hours to move it; and the neighbor assumes that since you asked them to move it the first time, you are probably the one who called the Sheriff and had them ticketed. She stated that you would rather not have an enemy of your neighbor and everyone knows that, so you let it go and hope that the City will eventually provide some assistance. Chair Shepherd explained that you could see over or around a car, but not an RV. She stated that when the City says they do not have complaints does not mean that the problem doesn’t exist.
Traffic Engineer Rydell asked Chair Shepherd to consider what vehicles they are targeting; that the City’s ability to establish an ordinance, whether by permit or blanket restriction, is based on the size of the vehicle. He explained that, depending on what that cutoff is, they may throw a very wide or very narrow net; a wide net would prohibit parking of some vehicles that are not recreational vehicles, but could be a pickup truck. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that too large a limit will still get some RVs and if the intent is to get RVs off the street, that still may not be accomplished; they need to be aware that there will be vehicles that slip through or do not get caught if they use a blanket approach. He suggested that a permit process at least allows vehicles that may be prohibited under a blanket approach to park if it is safe to do so, and this is something to consider.
Commissioner Lewis commented that, if the Commission goes to a permit model, would there be a procedure for establishing permit criteria.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that they would have very clear guidelines on where they would not allow vehicles based on traffic safety criteria; that because it is part of the ordinance going through Council, the City would have approved the criteria.
Commissioner Lewis asked if it would cover large boats on a trailer.
Commissioner Wright asked if staff finds, based on experience, that there are people who could park on their property but choose to park on the street.
Director Allison said it is hard to tell.
Commissioner Wright asked if the City enacted an ordinance that prohibits parking, would the Sheriff’s Department have the manpower to enforce it on a regular basis? He commented that he does not know how many oversized vehicles would be involved.
Sgt. Creason stated that he did not think that would be an issue.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that the permit process would allow enforcement that is more effective; first, citizens would have to get a permit to allow them to park at all, and they would have to display it. He explained that the permit would be revoked if they do not abide by the rules of the permit.
Commissioner Wright asked if the vehicle would be towed.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that they would lose their right to park within the City.
Director Allison commented that, in his opinion, they would not be towed the first time.; and that staff has not gotten that far in the planning process.
Commissioner Wright commented that eventually that would be the ultimate consequence in his opinion.
Commissioner Parfenov asked what methodology would be used to decide if a location is safe or unsafe.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that some of the criteria staff would consider would be the roadway width, the location with respect to curves, roadway grade, location in relation to multi-use driveways and intersections.
Commissioner Parfenov asked if this would be determined on a case-by-case basis, or for the whole City.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that they would develop criteria that provide safety throughout the City; for example, if a roadway were less than a certain width, oversized vehicle parking would not be permitted on that roadway, and that would apply to any roadway in the City that falls into those criteria. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that one of the advantages is that they can develop criteria that can be citywide, and that reduces the City’s requirement to respond to every single case.
Chair Shepherd asked about multi-use driveways and intersections. Chair Shepherd gave an example of a very wide residential street with an oversized vehicle parked in the middle of two driveways, and both residents have sight problems, even with the width of the street. Chair Shepherd asked how the width would have anything to do with the ability to see around the vehicle when coming out of the driveway.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that width has to do with the traveled way; that they do not want people parking oversized vehicles on a narrow street in such a manner that other vehicles cannot get through.
Chair Shepherd stated that, even with the width being taken care of, it is still an issue. Chair Shepherd gave an example from her personal experience when a dumpster was temporarily parked between her driveway and a neighbor’s driveway, commenting that an RV is not a temporary situation, therefore the intrusion, sight issues, etc., can be permanent.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that (1) there will be issues with a suburban or a Hummer parked there as well; and (2) being a valid question, how do you deal with that. Mr. Rydell explained that it would be part of the engineering criteria, and staff is not prepared to answer that question. He explained that the California Vehicle Code states that the City can restrict vehicles over six feet from parking within 100 feet of an intersection, and potentially, the City could say an RV cannot be parked within a certain distance from a private driveway. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the City is not trying to perpetuate a bad situation, but are trying to provide the City with the ability to let these vehicles park where they are not posing a hazard. Mr. Rydell explained that, with the permitting process, they could evaluate the criteria for situations Chair Shepherd described.
Chair Shepherd asked why, when there is a viable alternative to restrict oversized vehicles altogether, does staff not like that; and why do they not recommend an option to restrict.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded, because there are areas where it is safe to park an RV.
Director Allison responded that staff has not found a basis from a traffic safety perspective for prohibiting oversized vehicles from all streets, but it is not a bad idea.
Chair Shepherd stated that she respectfully disagrees; that in her opinion, no matter where an RV is parked on the street it is a safety issue.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that staff believes that the appropriate approach is the same one they take on traffic calming—to use the least restrictive measures possible to obtain the desired results.
Commissioner Parfenov commented about a Hummer being considered an oversized vehicle; and stated that in this wealthy community many people have Hummers, Suburbans, and Tahoes, which are quite broad. Commissioner Parfenov suggested that if they are considered oversized vehicles, then the City is restricting private cars.
Chair Shepherd stated that this would not happen if it was spelled out; that Laguna Niguel has weight, height, and other standards so that these vehicles would not fall into that category. Chair Shepherd stated that she has a matrix that was not included in the packet with four pages of research done by the former Traffic Committee on cities throughout California as well as other States. Chair Shepherd stated that they are all being successful, and she does not understand what is wrong with Rancho Palos Verdes looking into the same restrictions.
Commissioner Mevers asked if there is any safety requirement where the City would not allow anyone to park.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he has seen locations where parking is prohibited on one side of the street, depending on the width; and there are locations where parking is prohibited on both sides of the street.
Commissioner Mevers described that he lives on a street that may be unique, with a steep grade with a 90-degree angle turn. Commissioner Mevers described a situation that causes drivers to swing out into another lane when a car is parked on the curve. He stated that there is a space of 20- to 30 feet that is a problem when anything is parked there. Commissioner Mevers stated that there are two or three turns, whether going up or down, where that is a problem. In answer to Director Allison’s question, Commissioner Mevers said this is on Ganado Drive.
Chair Shepherd stated that they should not allow a permit for RV parking on that street.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that they would not let anyone park on that street.
Commissioner Mevers stated there are stretches where both sides are lined with parked cars, but in the turns, it is a problem, and he asked how does the City tell someone they cannot park in front of their house.
Chair Shepherd stated that a new process called “On-street parking for all vehicles” is should eventually be reviewed, adding that the City would not permit an RV there, but currently a person who lives there may be able to park down the street where there is no curve.
Commissioner Mevers asked if there is a footage requirement for dumpsters in the permit process.
Director Allison said yes, there is.
Commissioner Mevers clarified that if you cannot put it in front of your house, you cannot have it.
Director Allison stated that is correct, adding the City may have to go in that direction for RVs.
Commissioner Mevers commented that a dumpster is temporary, but the RV is not.
Chair Shepherd explained that is correct unless the ordinance states that it can be separated from this.
Director Allison commented that he does not think it has a traffic safety basis; that it may be safe to put it there for three days, but not for four days; it is either safe or unsafe.
Chair Shepherd stated that it is difficult to make a decision when the Commission does not have the variables, and asked what are we voting for or approving.
Director Allison stated that if Chair Shepherd is asking if what is being proposed tonight is the final ordinance that staff envisions the City Council adopting, the answer is no. City Council needs information from the Planning Department regarding planning, and from the Traffic Safety Commission regarding traffic safety issues so that staff can put it all together.
Chair Shepherd commented that what the Commission is saying here tonight is going to City Council.
Commissioner Klein stated that what he sees on circle page 7 and the modified circle page 8 is that the Commission is asked to approve the start of a process, not the specific regulations regarding where oversized vehicles will or will not be allowed to park.
Director Allison suggested they might want to put that in a memo, stating that there are many other players in this process, and this Commission wants to see the new ordinance before it goes to Council for final adoption.
Chair Shepherd opened the Public Hearing
Lois Karp, 31115 Ganado Drive, President of Mediterranea Homeowners Association, stated that they were involved in bringing this ordinance to the City Council because they have the poster child living in their neighborhood with a 35-foot motor home parked horizontally across the lawn and the driveway, and there is no ordinance against that. She explained that the City made ordinances and the motor home cannot sit on his property, and is now on the street. Ms. Karp said this does not help the neighborhood at all. Ms. Karp stated that they were told they must rely on the 72-hour limit and the neighbor moves the vehicle six inches. She explained that he is told that is not moving it, and he responds that he will park it in front of a neighbor’s house and they can call the Sheriff on him; that this is causing everyone to be mad at each other. Ms. Karp stated that if the City permits for certain areas and not others, the City will create a parking lot on her street for someone else’s vehicle around the corner. She stated that it is an aesthetic issue as well as a safety issue, and it cannot really be divided.
Ms. Karp referred to Laguna Niguel, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, and stated that they have all restricted parking for these types of vehicles, saying that, yes you can bring them home to load and unload, clean, etc., but they do not stay permanently, and that is the point. Ms. Karp stated that they are not talking about a hardship; if you own one of those vehicles, you are not poverty-stricken; you can pay to have it parked somewhere. She stated that Harbor City has lots for those kinds of vehicles that are convenient for Rancho Palos Verdes, and she does not think they have to make it terribly convenient. Ms. Karp stated that they are an eyesore; they are a hazard; and the City must consider all of those issues and nothing short of that is going to keep them from bringing it before the City Council. Ms. Karp explained that the 72-hour limit does not work, even though the City does not get many calls; it is because people get tired of calling the Sheriff and City Hall, and they even have fisticuffs out in the street because there is a lovely view, and residents do not want to be looking at RVs. She asked the staff and Commissioners to think about their own house and asked if they want an RV in front of them.
George Zugsmith, 3746 Hightide Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that he has been involved in government so he knows how things can bog down. He referred to circle page 44 from the June 27, 2005 meeting, regarding submission of an ordinance to the City Council on October 25, 2004 stating “Traffic Committee requests staff to present the attached ordinance to the City Council”. He stated that he inquired about it with e-mails to staff, and no one could produce an ordinance that apparently exists and was supposed to be sent to Council nine months ago, and nothing has happened in between. Mr. Zugsmith explained that this body has evolved from a Committee to a Commission so there is an enforcement hole. He asked why the Commission would want to litigate every one of these permits repeatedly on an individual basis, whether it is a wide or narrow street, and plunge the City into a situation where it is in constant litigation. Mr. Zugsmith suggested that staff or the Commission come to Hightide and see what they call the poster child; that it is not parked in front of houses, so it has nothing to do with the driveways, but it is sight obstructive. He explained that in a community that has million-dollar-plus houses there is no reason to have this; they can afford to store their RV somewhere else. In addition, Mr. Zugsmith stated that we should all be sensitive to the fact that it places their City in some liability; that if the City is on notice that a condition is dangerous, and they knew or should have known of the situation, then by our inaction they are subjecting the City to more liability. Mr. Zugsmith suggested that if the City is going to get a process, as Commissioner Klein suggested, looking at this whole thing, how many years is it going to take to feel that they have the right solution. He added that it has already been nine months, and we have an ordinance that cannot be found and never went to the City Council. Mr. Zugsmith commented that it is an appearance issue, but he does not know if this Commission’s mission, as opposed to the previous Committee, is only to serve for safety as opposed to some concept of appearance in this City.
Tom Redfield, 31273 Ganado Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that they feel very strongly that this issue is positioned wrong; that the Planning Commission struggled with property issues over many months regarding on-street parking solutions, not just safety. Mr. Redfield referred to a Planning Commission document that considered many issues, including property values. He encouraged the Traffic Safety Commission to follow the leadership of the Chair, saying that they have a very special community, and the issue is not just RVs or oversized vehicles; it is people leaving cars in our community and others. Mr. Redfield explained that he represents a citywide coalition, and they had a wrecked car sitting out on the street for years, and it took two years to get it moved.
Mr. Redfield expressed understanding of Director Allison and Traffic Engineer Rydell not wanting to get involved in anything but safety; but he encouraged them to address anything on the streets—the aesthetics, property values, and other related issues—and get public input. He expressed support for starting anew because he said nothing was really achieved by the former Committee. Mr. Redfield acknowledged that it may take a political decision by the City Council about boats, wrecked cars, abandoned vehicles, etc., but suggested that the Commission deal with everything on the street. He suggested that the Commission not rush to see the City Council before they look at that. He explained that their coalition hopes that the Commission will look at the entire package; if it turns out that the Director and Traffic Engineer are right—that the City Council wants them to focus only on safety—so be it.
Earl Robinson, 3234 Corinna Drive, overlooking Marymount College and Crest Road, stated that from what he hears the Commission has some great ideas, but he would urge them not to try to be perfect on this matter, but make some decisions and get something done. He suggested that anything the Commission does can be amended later, but the residents need some help from the Commission. Mr. Robinson stated that he spent over a quarter million dollars remodeling his house; the house next to him was rented, and the next thing he knew he had a parking lot. He explained that the occupants are two people and two children with three cars, a very large pickup, and a trailer out in front; next to his neighbor, the occupants have an unused car and they park on the other side of the road. Mr. Robinson explained that when they get up at 6 am to go to work, the fog is so deep those vehicles cannot be seen, and it is a very dangerous situation because someone could run into those vehicles if they do not know they are there. He explained that there is only enough room on the road for one vehicle in the center. Mr. Robinson stated that he did not move there to overlook a parking lot or things that block views; that if a tree is blocking the view there is an ordinance to handle it. He stated that they need an ordinance here. Mr. Robinson explained that they do not want to restrict so that guests have to park somewhere else, but on the other hand, these vehicles have been there for several months and will be there for several more months unless they have an ordinance. Mr. Robinson suggested that the Commission might find some parking places for these vehicles; that Marymount College is trying to be a very good neighbor, and they have a lot of space and would rent the City some space to be sub-rented to people with large vehicles. He suggested that, if not there, then some other place in the City. Mr. Robinson explained that Rancho Palos Verdes is not the place for oversized vehicles on the street or in the front yard; he urged the Commission to have the toughness to get something passed, and make their neighborhood clean and a place they can be proud of as they drive down the street.
Chair Shepherd stated that Mr. Robinson or his wife e-mailed her about this, and asked if the trailer in the driveway, referring to the photos provided by Mr. Robinson, is the one now parked in the street attached to one of the vehicles.
Mr. Robinson responded that it is.
Chair Shepherd commented that the trailer is much wider than the other vehicles and is out into the roadway.
Mr. Robinson agreed, and stated that it is dangerous, and he gets scared when there is fog and you cannot see approximately eight or ten feet away.
Chair Shepherd closed the Public Hearing
Commissioner Wright asked staff if they have a place where these vehicles can be parked where they are not creating an issue for a residential street.
Director Allison responded that Public Works has not explored that at all.
Chair Shepherd referred to a speaker’s reference to an ordinance that the staff could not find, and read an excerpt from a Traffic Committee report to staff to “take the Laguna Niguel ordinance and copy in the City of Rancho Palos in place of Laguna Niguel and bring it back to the Committee for a vote” and that never happened. This request is referred to in the matrix on August 23, 2004. Chair Shepherd explained that this is why the ordinance referred to does not exist.
Director Allison commented that what the Commission is seeing tonight is fairly similar to what the former Traffic Committee approved; that is why staff brought this before the Commission tonight, and it is their starting point.
Commissioner Klein thanked the audience and the speakers for expressing their point of view; saying that he would like to find some compromise, taking into account the safety considerations and the needs of the public. Commissioner Klein stated that there might be ways to do that but they have not found all the answers yet. He suggested coordinating with the City Attorney and other agencies and coming back with a list of criteria, which could include granting permits based on specific conditions.
Commissioner Wright commented that he finds it interesting that this issue has now been advertised twice and there is no one here to speak on the side of people who want to park their RVs on the street.
Commissioner Lewis moved that the Commission approve the modified version of the memo to the Mayor and City Council on circle pages 7 and 8 of the agenda packet that were handed to the Commission tonight with the following revisions:
? Change the first paragraph on page 1 (circle page 7) to read;
“That an ordinance be adopted to allow staff the ability to prohibit regulate the parking of recreational and other oversized vehicles that . . .”
? Change the first and second sentences of the first paragraph in arrow point 8 on page 2 (circle page 8) to read;
“A new ordinance must be adopted to allow staff the ability to post signs to prohibit regulate the parking of recreational and other oversized vehicles that . . .”
? Change the final paragraph on page 2 (circle page 8) to read;
“As listed above, in discussion with the Los Angeles County Sheriff and the City Attorney, enforcement of this ordinance will may require that appropriate signs be posted, depending upon the method of regulation employed.”
Commissioner Lewis further moved that, in addition to all the changes reflected in this revised document, the following additional language be added for the final paragraph:
“That the Traffic Safety Commission request staff to return with concrete proposals and alternatives before this issue goes to the City Council; that those proposals shall include:
? Absolute Prohibition,
Commissioner Lewis further moved that the Traffic Safety Commission make it a priority at the August meeting to rank those alternatives and provide the top three to the City Council;
Commissioner Lewis further moved that when this issue returns in August that all of the materials that the Chairperson has be included in the packet so that the rest of the Commission will have the benefit of that prior work product.
Commissioner Lewis further moved adoption of all of the changes to the most recent version of this memo; that the Chairperson and Director Allison sign it, and the additional paragraph that he discussed be added to it.
Motion seconded by Commissioner Klein.
Chair Shepherd clarified that this is in the form of a memo to the City Council, and stated that the Motion, as she understands it, is to accept it. Chair Shepherd stated however, it also sounds like Commissioner Lewis has changed it from the City Council to items from recommendations down, including the staff recommendations, and not treating it as a memo to the City Council. Chair Shepherd explained that it is actually set forth as a memo to the City Council signed by the Chair and Director Allison. Chair Shepherd stated that the Motion appears to not send this memo to the City Council, but requests staff to provide more detail and bring it back next month. She asked if Commissioner Lewis is suggesting that they not sign this memo and send it to the City Council as it is. She stated that this is the memo that is supposed to go to the City Council, and asked if this is correct.
Commissioner Lewis responded affirmatively.
Director Allison explained that he believes what the Chair is hearing is that Commissioner Lewis wants this to be turned into a staff report.
Commissioner Lewis responded affirmatively.
Director Allison explained that staff recommendations start on circle page 7 as revised. Director Allison stated that they need to understand more clearly the provisions of the Motion, and asked if these are alternatives that generate further alternatives, or blanket prohibition citywide for RV parking.
Commissioner Lewis responded that is correct.
Director Allison clarified that in addition to blanket prohibition, the other alternatives are to make the permit process more specific; and the third was a revision to the 72-hour law.
Commissioner Lewis stated that there was a discussion regarding modifications to the 72-hour law or living with it as written. Commissioner Lewis explained that when it is time to vote on this issue, he wants to ensure that the Commission is in a position to provide the City Council with the Commission’s top choice and their two alternatives, with the benefits of each.
Director Allison clarified that Commissioner Lewis wants staff to talk about rank, or will the Commission do that at the August meeting.
Commissioner Lewis stated that the staff does not have to do this, but if staff has a consensus that would be great, but it will be a discussion item for the Commission. Commissioner Lewis commented that he thinks it was appropriate for staff to start from a safety perspective and not touch aesthetics.
Director Allison stated that staff is very comfortable going in that direction, but likes having direction from the Commission.
Chair Shepherd commented that staff is doing what they are supposed to do, but the Commission also sees other aspects, and there is nothing wrong with coming out of that box to consider those issues. Chair Shepherd explained that if they cannot make a decision on the other aspects, perhaps another body like the Planning Commission could consider it if the Traffic Safety Commission expresses its opinion.
Commissioner Mevers asked if staff has considered the possible legal problems in connection with the permit process.
Director Allison responded that staff will not generate something that is a problem, and suggested that Chair Shepherd may want to request a memo from the City Attorney on the legal aspects of the three options.
Commissioner Klein asked if the City can legally enforce the prohibition of parking of oversized vehicles, and if so, under what conditions. Commissioner Klein explained that he can see several categories, one from the safety aspects such as narrow streets and curves; adding that the other streets meet the safety criteria, but the neighbors do not want it. Commissioner Klein suggested that possibly one way to get through it is to prohibit parking from midnight to 5 am every day as another way to deal with it even if the street meets all the other safety criteria.
Chair Shepherd responded that she will send the Commissioners a matrix of what other cities have done regarding hours; that some cities have restricted parking between certain hours and allow parking of recreational vehicles for certain periods of time for visitors with a permit displayed on the vehicles that specifies parking criteria. Chair Shepherd added that permits could be required for limited-time parking for loading and unloading. Chair Shepherd will send the matrix via e-mail to the Director to be part of the agenda packet for August. In answer to Commissioner Klein’s question, staff could contact Laguna Niguel and ask them how they enforce this, as well as the other cities on the Peninsula and Beverly Hills.
Commissioner Klein suggested a possible restriction for specific days of the week with breaks of a few days.
Sgt. Creason reported that Rolling Hills Estates has a restriction of hours; he believes it is from 3 am to 5 am. He explained that the Sheriff’s Department does not actively go out and look for violations, but responds to calls.
Commissioner Mevers asked if this discussion is regarding just oversized vehicles—not all vehicles.
Chair Shepherd responded that this is only regarding on-street parking of oversized vehicles. Chair Shepherd explained that this question has arisen in other settings; that at some point, the Commission will address parking of all vehicles on City streets, but not at this time.
Commissioner Mevers stated that he thought Council had asked the Commission to consider parking on the streets and asked if that is correct.
Chair Shepherd responded permits are required for any car on-street parking on a few streets within the City.
Director Allison explained that this might be for areas around schools where there are not enough parking spaces.
Chair Shepherd referred to an article in the Daily Breeze regarding an ordinance approved by Manhattan Beach regarding Mariposa Highschool, where permit parking has been implemented because of the intense traffic problems with high school students who drive. Chair Shepherd will e-mail the article to the staff and Commissioners, and she asked the Commissioners to e-mail questions to Director Allison so they could be provided as an FYI in the packet.
Commissioner Lewis suggested letting the public know that next month the Commission would consider blanket prohibition or the permitting process or something else so that they know this would be going to the City Council as recommendations.
Chair Shepherd stated that it is on Listserv and is available for anyone to see.
Commissioner Lewis asked that the note to the public specify “RVs and oversized vehicles”.
This item was taken out of order in accordance with the Motion under “Approval of Agenda”.
3. MARGUERITE DRIVE OUTLET SIGNAGE
1. Install a 25 mph speed limit sign on the north side of Marguerite Drive west of Palos Verdes Drive West.
2. Deny the request for Non-standard signage on Marguerite Drive.
Traffic Engineer’s Report
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Mr. Mehran Moshfaghi of the Lunada Point Homeowners’ Association made this request. He explained that they were concerned because Marguerite Drive and Laurel Drive are cul-de-sacs that are accessed from Palos Verdes Drive West, just south of the City boundary. He reported that staff has talked to the homeowners’ group regarding traffic calming in this area and other issues; that traffic calming remedies were not pursued because these streets do not have the traffic volumes that would satisfy the City’s thresholds and speeds were not inconsistent with the 25 MPH speed limit. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that the issue was turned over to the homeowners’ association to discuss how they would like to pursue this issue regarding pedestrian access and other traffic issues. The homeowners’ association returned specific requests for speed limit signs, “Children at Play” signs, and a sign that would warn residents coming into the area that it did not have an outlet.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that there is currently a “No Outlet” sign, and referred to a slide of circle page 33 showing its location. Mr. Rydell stated that this is a standard sign used for many cul-de-sacs with single family residential on both sides of the street. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that staff agreed that a 25 mph speed limit sign would be appropriate; that the non-standard outlet or access signage be denied because they have the appropriate standard signs for this type of situation. He explained that they do not see a benefit for motorists in replacing the signs with signs that are more confusing. Mr. Rydell stated that “Children at Play” signs are not standard, not approved, and they create a false sense of security on the part of the children and parents; and it exposes the City to a certain degree of liability.
Commissioner Mevers asked if the City wants to install 25 mph signs in all residential areas.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it depends on the location; that within a residential neighborhood, unless they are dealing with traffic calming issues, that is where they would install these signs. Mr. Rydell explained that this is a situation where motorists are going from an arterial to a residential area, and it is appropriate to put a 25 mph at the entrance as a reminder to motorists of the transition.
Commissioner Mevers stated that he has noticed several other similar arrangements along Palos Verdes Drive West where there are 25 mph speed limits.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that if residents come to the City with an identifiable problem, staff would consider that.
Commissioner Mevers commented that there are 23 homes in that area with signs stating that there is no outlet, and he would assume that most of the people going into the street are residents. Commissioner Mevers stated that, if there is a speeding problem, perhaps their homeowners’ association could contact every individual in each of the homes, and that would handle it better than installing a sign. Commissioner Mevers commented that he is puzzled by what staff thinks this will accomplish.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that it is an educational tool to remind motorists of the speed limit; that the reason it makes sense for this location is because it is accessed from an arterial, rather than going from one residential street to another.
Commissioner Mevers suggested that, if that is the reason, then a 25 mph speed limit sign should be put at every entrance to a residential street from an arterial.
Commissioner Wright commented that when turning off Palos Verdes Drive West onto Marguerite Drive, the street is rather wide and there is a big field and not a lot of homes at the entrance; in addition, it is a downhill grade with a sweeping turn. Commissioner Wright stated that considering all these factors, he could see where service people or construction people might pick up speed, and it may or may not be residents.
Commissioner Parfenov stated that he was in that neighborhood recently and watched cars for 20 or 25 minutes. Commissioner Parfenov stated that there were four cars, two of which were probably residents since they did not come out, and they all appeared to be going faster, gaining velocity because of the downhill curve. He reported that the other two might have been dropping off residents because they came back in five or ten minutes. Commissioner Parfenov asked if there was any comment from the homeowners’ association.
Chair Shepherd explained that they have not opened the public hearing yet, so they do not have that information.
Chair Shepherd opened the Public Hearing
Mehran Moshfaghi, 67 Marguerite Drive, stated that they have two problems on Marguerite, the first being the steep curve at the top. He explained that the problem is a lot of people who do not live there and people who think that Marguerite is a continuation of Paseo Del Mar, and they go to the end of the street and turn around. Mr. Moshfaghi stated that there are also homeowners, and unless you put your foot on the brake, the car automatically accelerates because of the grade. He explained that is why a 25 mph sign might serve as a reminder. Mr. Moshfaghi said secondly, that when driving south on Palos Verdes Drive West and making a right turn, by the time you see the sign it is too late because it is right at the intersection. He stated that he has seen people turn around there and try to make a u-turn, but more often, they go to the end of the street. Mr. Moshfaghi believes that it is a safety issue because, especially on weekends when children are playing, there are motorists pleasure driving who make a mistake. Mr. Moshfaghi explained that this is why he asked Traffic Engineer Rydell to review the location and make suggestions for modifications to the signage.
Commissioner Mevers asked if Mr. Moshfaghi is saying that the “No Outlet” sign is not visible or noticeable soon enough.
Mr. Moshfaghi referred to the slide and gave an example of driving south on Palos Verdes Drive West at 30 mph saying you can see the street. Mr. Moshfaghi explained that depending upon the approach, because of the angle of the sign, you might not see the “No Outlet” sign until it is too late, and from another approach, you may see it, take corrective action, and go straight.
Chair Shepherd explained that there is a sign for the northbound traffic on Palos Verdes Drive West that tells drivers that Marguerite Drive is ahead so that they can prepare for a left turn. She suggested adding “No Coastal Access” to the existing corresponding southbound sign, so that it will be seen before reaching Marguerite Drive, with the same blue color and the Rancho Palos Verdes Logo and an arrow pointing to the right. Chair Shepherd explained that this would alert drivers in advance of reaching the intersection.
Director Allison responded that they can put a sign there that most people would understand, but he is concerned with the number of signs.
Chair Shepherd asked about having the “No Outlet” sign at a 90-degree angle so that it is seen before the turn.
Director Allison stated that it is hard to get the driver going south on Palos Verdes Drive West because if the sign is moved to that angle, you confuse most of the people going south. Director Allison stated that the value of the sign is more for the driver trying to make a left turn, and if the “No Outlet” sign is placed further from the curb, it might not be seen until a driver has turned into Marguerite Drive.
Traffic Engineer Rydell commented that having two signs does not help that; but when making a right turn, if you do not see the “No Outlet” sign, you will definitely see the “No Coastal Access” sign.
Chair Shepherd commented that if a driver stops because they suddenly realize they cannot go into the street they could cause an accident because of their efforts to correct.
Commissioner Wright stated that if people are making u-turns after turning into that street right past the island, a driver traveling at high speed coming up that hill could create a hazardous situation.
Mr. Moshfaghi commented that there are very few people coming north on Palos Verdes Drive West who make a left turn, and that most of the traffic enters from the south.
A member of the audience commented that no one going north would make that mistake.
Chair Shepherd asked if staff could suggest anything that would not add to the aesthetic signage issues, but would attack the right turn into Marguerite.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that this is the type of sign used at every location in California for this type of situation, and that is where they are supposed to be.
Chair Shepherd asked how many feet in is the sign from the corner.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that it would be 25 feet.
Chair Shepherd commented that you can see the street sign that says “Marguerite” but you cannot see the yellow “No Outlet” sign.
Commissioner Parfenov referred to circle page 33, and asked if the “No Outlet” sign could be moved toward the fence behind it to allow southbound traffic to see it.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that the sign would still be parallel to Palos Verdes Drive West.
Chair Shepherd suggested not adding another sign, but adding “No Coastal Access” to the existing Marguerite Drive sign at the intersection.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that it does establish a precedent in the City, and the Commission will need to be prepared to put those at other locations. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that this is where staff is coming from; that they have the appropriate signs.
Commissioner Lewis moved approval of the following recommendations as presented:
1. Install a 25 mph speed limit sign on the north side of Marguerite Drive west of Palos Verdes Drive West.
2. Deny the request for Non-standard signage on Marguerite Drive.
Seconded by Chair Shepherd.
Commissioner Mevers stated that the Commission has to assume that drivers cannot see the sign, because if they assume that they ignore the sign then they will ignore the speed limit sign. Commissioner Mevers stated that the real problem is trying to make the “No Outlet” sign visible, commenting on Mr. Moshfaghi’s statement that the main problem is on weekends. Commissioner Mevers stated that putting up the 25 mph speed limit signs does not make sense to him.
Commissioner Wright asked if residents would be allowed to put up their own sign.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that residents cannot put any kind of sign on any public right of way, and regarding “Children at Play” signs, they have seen homemade signs put on private property. Mr. Rydell explained that if it does not mimic a traffic control device it is not illegal.
Director Allison explained that staff has been informed that there are some being used, but staff does not search them out.
Chair Shepherd stated that no traffic official will recommend these signs, saying it is the worst thing to do because children are not supposed to be playing in a street used for vehicles, and because it creates a false sense of security.
Commissioner Lewis commented that, before a vote on the Motion, he would summarize that staff starts with safety, and there is no safety concern in terms of vehicle or collision history in this situation; that a 25 mph sign might be sufficient; and that the additional non-standard signage is the direction the Commission wants the City to go.
Ayes 4 (Chair Shepherd, Commissioners Klein, Lewis, and
RECESS AND RECONVENE:
The Commission recessed at 9:20 pm and reconvened at 9:32 pm.
The following item was taken out of order to accommodate a speaker in the audience.
2. PACIFICA DEL MAR BLUE CURB
1. Install Blue Curb (handicap parking zone) on the north side of Pacifica Del Mar at its westerly terminus, adjacent to the trailhead as shown on the attached sketch.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed the staff report, stating that Ms. Beryl Tilley requested that staff review this location with respect to the need for blue curb (handicap parking zone) at the end of Pacifica Del Mar near its termination. He explained that Ms. Tilley requested this action on behalf of a handicapped resident who utilizes the trail facility on a regular basis. Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that the City recently installed a red curb in that same general area; and explained that the authority comes from the California Vehicle Code, Section 22511.7.
Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to the slides, pointing out the location and conditions in the area, and the location of the proposed blue curb if approved. Mr. Rydell explained that this facility has access to the public; that staff can consider blue curb, especially for a public facility, to ensure that they are meeting the ADA guidelines. He explained that, because of the available on-street parking and a limited number of residences, staff believes this would be an appropriate location to install a handicapped-parking zone, not only for the person that Ms. Tilley is representing, but also for any person displaying the appropriate placard in their vehicle. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that staff would recommend installing 20 feet of blue curb on the north side of Pacifica Del Mar adjacent to the trailhead, which is also adjacent to the red curb.
Chair Shepherd asked if there is restricted hourly parking along that roadway, or is it open to the public.
Commissioner Wright commented that there is always parking available when he goes there during the week.
Chair Shepherd opened the Public Hearing
Ms. Beryl Tilley, 29026 Indian Valley, reported that a handicapped resident parks his car on Pacifica Del Mar, walks very slowly, and stops frequently and rests, and must park further up the street because people park right up to the red curb. She explained that a blue curb would give him some space.
Chair Shepherd closed the Public Hearing
Commissioner Lewis moved to approve Recommendation 1 as written:
1. Install Blue Curb (handicap parking zone) on the north side of Pacifica Del Mar at its westerly terminus, adjacent to the trailhead as shown on the attached sketch.
Seconded by Commissioner Wright.
Commissioner Mevers asked if parking is limited to the north side.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that there is parking on both sides of the street.
Commissioner Parfenov asked if modifications are needed to modify the curb to accommodate people with disabilities.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that at this point most cities are not willing to install handicapped ramps for on-street parking, but will install handicapped parking zones. He explained that they would allow what is recommended in this situation; that it is not an operational issue, but is not an issue that Rancho Palos Verdes wants to take on. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that the red curb is needed so that maintenance people have access to the facility and can drive onto the trail.
Director Allison stated that this must go to the City Council.
Commissioner Lewis asked why this should go to the City Council.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that, where the City is installing something that could result in a citation, it should go before the City Council.
1. HAWTHORNE BOULEVARD AND ALTA VISTA DRIVE TRAFFIC CONTROLS
1. Install W81L chevrons on the west side of Hawthorne
Boulevard near Alta Vista Drive as shown on the attached sketch.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this request was received from Ms. Agatha Felactu, who lives along Hawthorne Boulevard south of Alta Vista Drive, to address traffic conditions in that area because of a recent accident. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that there is a downgrade on Hawthorne Boulevard from Los Verdes Drive, and a horizontal curve to the left from Alta Vista to Dupre Drive. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that a review of traffic history revealed five accidents in the area in the past three years involving southbound vehicles losing control, and that excessive speed was an issue in all those accidents. Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that of the five accidents, two resulted in injuries and one was a fatality.
Traffic Engineer Rydell presented slides of the locations, the 40 mph signs, curve signs, and pointed out the area where the accidents are occurring. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this location requires action to better notify drivers of the curve, with chevrons in the curve area. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that, in addition, they would schedule placement of the radar trailer in the area and request additional speed enforcement by the Lomita Sheriff’s Station.
Commissioner Mevers commented that the condition is worse past Dupre, and wondered why the accidents were not in that area.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the area Commissioner Mevers is referring to has flashing beacons and chevrons already in place, and the curve and speed advisory signs.
Commissioner Wright asked if there is adequate enforcement on Hawthorne Boulevard.
Sgt. Creason stated that they are hitting it hard, both uphill and downhill on Hawthorne Boulevard.
Commissioner Mevers commented that he is surprised that there are problems there when there is a traffic light at Dupre.
Director Allison suggested that maybe people are enamored by the view and are distracted.
Commissioner Parfenov commented that coming out from Alta Vista you see the ocean.
Chair Shepherd commented that Ms. Agatha Felactu is not present.
Sgt. Creason commented that it was a significant accident, and she may have assumed that it would receive the necessary attention.
Commissioner Mevers asked how many chevrons would be installed.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that there will be somewhere between four to seven.
Commissioner Parfenov asked how large they will be.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that they would be about eight feet.
Commissioner Parfenov commented that drivers go 45 mph and above, and asked how effective the chevrons will be as a visual warning.
Commissioner Mevers responded that even though the curve is visible, if staff assumes that drivers do not know that a curve is there, they have to assume that the chevrons will be effective.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that three of the five accidents did occur late at night, and the drivers may not have seen the curve; that reflective signs should enhance the warning signs already in place.
Commissioner Wright moved to approve the staff recommendations as presented:
1. Install W81L chevrons on the west side of Hawthorne
Boulevard near Alta Vista Drive as shown on the attached sketch.
Seconded by Commissioner Parfenov.
Commissioner Mevers commented that some places warn of a stop ahead with rumble strips, and asked if that is an alternative.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that they are very loud. He explained that residents in the area can hear the sound, and there is a strong backlash against rumble strips. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that they have installed rumble strips in some locations and had to remove them.
Chair Shepherd reminded the Commissioners to stay with issues surrounding the Motion and limit discussion to the Motion on the floor.
Commissioner Mevers suggested that alternatives to the recommendations be included in the staff reports.
Chair Shepherd stated that staff usually does this and referred to “Alternatives” on circle page 15, and commented that they are not specific steps or other devices—just “Consider other traffic controls as may be determined”. Chair Shepherd stated this discussion should take place after the staff presentation.
Commissioner Mevers suggested that while staff is formulating the recommendations, there are considerations that have been rejected that could be included as alternatives, and suggested alternatives that are more specific so that the Commission has some information regarding the discussion that took place.
Chair Shepherd suggested that the Commissioners ask what other alternatives are available on a case-by-case basis.
Director Allison suggested that a good way to do that might be to ask what the thought process was behind the recommendations, or how did staff reach this conclusion.
Chair Shepherd asked if the radar feedback signs could be incorporated into the radar trailer schedule as a component of the radar-in-education concept.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this would be discussed in the informational items.
4. TRAFFIC SIGNAL ALL-RED CLEARANCE INTERVALS
Modify the signal timing at all City maintained traffic signals to include a 2.0 second all-red clearance interval.
Traffic Engineer’s Report
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that this is an internally generated item; that staff would like to establish throughout the City a consistent procedure for all-red clearance intervals on traffic signals, explaining that, during the all-red phase, no movement is allowed and everyone gets a red signal. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that there are safety benefits derived from this procedure, that it allows intersections to clear. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that currently the City maintains 12 traffic signals, and of those, three have a 2.0-second all-red clearance and none have a one-second clearance.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that all-red clearances are not required by either the Federal or State traffic manuals, but every agency he knows uses them. Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out documents included with the staff report from various traffic engineering articles and regulatory agencies that discuss factors involved in making decisions regarding this procedure. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that consistency makes a big difference for liability especially, and staff is in the business of reducing liability using safety measures. He explained that for most intersections this would not adversely affect how the City operates traffic enforcement; however, all-red clearance does have a significant affect on accident rates.
Traffic Engineer Rydell summarized that staff recommends that they modify all of the City-maintained signals to 2.0 seconds, the maximum recommended.
Commissioner Mevers asked if there would be uniform yellow signals as well as red intervals.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that yellow intervals are very different from red; that yellow time is dependent upon width, speed, and geometric conditions, and is different for every signal based on these factors.
Commissioner Parfenov referred to the three locations with 2.0-second all-red intervals and asked if this was the original configuration, or was it modified after the accidents.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it was modified after the accidents, and commented that they will still have a certain number of accidents, but they hope to reduce the number.
Commissioner Klein referred to one article from the ITE Journal, and commented that it has a formula for red-clearance depending on street width. Commissioner Klein asked if Traffic Engineer Rydell is saying that staff does not have to consider that for the application in Rancho Palos Verdes; that it is ok to make it uniform.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this application is one of the approaches used by some agencies, but other agencies will go with the consistent number because it is more defensible.
Commissioner Klein asked if the City could defend it either way.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the 2.0-second interval is recommended by Caltrans, and staff decided to err on the side of safety, since it will not adversely affect the traffic flow.
Director Allison stated that currently the signals are not configured either way—not consistent and not calculated—and staff wants it to be consistent.
Commissioner Klein asked if there are other traffic signals that are under the control of the County or State that may not have the red clearance; where a driver might get used to all this time at traffic signals, and then approach another set where he thinks he can run the light because of the time difference.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that it does not hurt Rancho Palos Verdes because every agency that he spoke with in Los Angeles County has guidelines, but do not necessarily have a consistent clearance interval at all their locations, and it is their decision.
Director Allison explained that the State controls all the signals on Western Avenue and some intersections on Hawthorne Boulevard, and Rancho Palos Verdes pays the State on a monthly basis. Director Allison added that if Commissioner Klein would like that information, staff could provide it to him.
Chair Shepherd asked if there would be a mix of signal timing.
Director Allison responded that staff does not know at this time.
Commissioner Klein asked if the City would want to try to coordinate the signals with the State.
Director Allison stated that he would be curious to find out.
Commissioner Wright stated that, if it costs nothing and saves lives, he does not see a downside to it.
Commissioner Mevers commented that the more problems with people running red lights, the more this might help, and he is very much in favor of the recommendation.
Commissioner Parfenov commented that when a light turns green, drivers assume that it is safe to proceed, and stated that he believes 2.0 seconds is sufficient for traffic to clear.
Commissioner Wright moved to adopt the recommendation on circle page 37 in its entirety to:
1. Modify the signal timing at all City maintained traffic signals to include a 2.0 second all-red clearance interval.
Seconded by Commissioner Klein.
Chair Shepherd offered an Amendment to add a second recommendation to the Motion, “That staff contact the County or other municipalities to research and coordinate their current traffic signalization between Rancho Palos Verdes and the County of Los Angeles and develop a partnership”.
Director Allison suggested just notifying the other agencies of what Rancho Palos Verdes is doing and let them decide, adding that the question is, does Rancho Palos Verdes want to do anything differently.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that staff has coordinated with Los Angeles County regarding their signal synchronization on Hawthorne, and that they do different things for different reasons.
Commissioner Mevers commented that he does not understand where there is a conflict.
Commissioner Klein explained that it is a safety issue; that someone traveling down Hawthorne goes through the two signals from either Rolling Hills Estates or Palos Verdes Estates and they do not have the 2.0 second clearance, so they do not wait for someone who might be running the light.
Commissioner Mevers referred to the Houston situation and explained that the problem was that they did not have enough delay, so the populace literally adopted one.
Commissioner Wright moved to amend the Motion to add Recommendation 2 as follows:
2. That staff notify the appropriate agencies of the change in signal timing at all Rancho Palos Verdes maintained traffic signals to include a 2.0 second all-red clearance interval.
Seconded by Commissioner Klein.
Motion approved as amended:
RECEIVE AND FILE:
1. Public Works Department Report
a. Deployment of Resources – Speed Trailers and Feedback Signs
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that staff has placed one radar feedback sign on the westbound direction on Toscanini Drive west of Mt. Shasta Drive as part of the traffic calming on Toscanini. Traffic Engineer Rydell commented that it could not be placed in the other direction without installing posts. The other radar feedback sign was placed on Palos Verdes Drive South at Seahill Drive in the eastbound direction. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that they are seeing effectiveness with drivers slowing down; and with enforcement from the Sheriff, they expect they will continue to be effective.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported staff has identified quite a few locations where the radar trailers are needed. He reported that during July they were placed on Crest Road, Hawthorne Boulevard, Silver Spur Road, Via Rivera, Basswood, Crestridge, Miraleste, and Eddinghill. Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that staff is almost finished developing a new comprehensive schedule for the radar trailers and feedback signs. He explained that they will put the locations on a three-month rotation on various days of the week, and are coordinating the radar trailers with the feedback signs. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that they are trying to leave the signs in place for two months. Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that they would pursue more feedback signs during the next grant program.
Director Allison commented that when people call with a speeding problem on their street, staff can respond with the radar trailer.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the schedules are being prepared for every day; around schools, they do not schedule when school is in session; they will be on Hawthorne Boulevard at some location every week, as well as Palos Verdes Drive South.
b. Mira Vista Traffic Calming Update
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that information on this project will be on the website; that the reports are complete and were distributed this morning. Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that staff has established contact with the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (DOT) and will work with them on whatever staff does in the future. He reported that the construction contract to install speed humps was awarded to Sully-Miller with a notice to proceed on August 1, 2005, and construction is expected to be completed by the end of August.
c. Toscanini Area Traffic Calming Update
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that work orders were issued for the speed limit signs and pavement markings, and they will be installed very shortly. He explained that staff has spoken with the Sheriff to increase enforcement, in addition to the signs; staff has spoken with the block captain of that neighborhood and staff will meet with their steering group to review everything the Commission has approved and work on implementing the program.
d. PVDE Increased Enforcement Update
There was nothing to report.
e. Hawthorne Blvd and Dupre Dr Traffic Signal Action Update
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that he received a call from a motorist who was not getting a green light on Dupre. Staff talked with the maintenance contractor and it was determined that the loops were not working. Staff authorized the contractor to provide an estimate and authorized him to replace the loops; the loops were replaced, however, they will not be turned back on until tomorrow morning. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that, while the loops are inactive, the signal is on recall status, meaning that staff receives a call for every cycle for a short span of time.
f. Hawthorne Blvd and Ravenspur Dr East Channelization Modification
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that staff has identified an issue with northbound motorists on Hawthorne Boulevard at Ravenspur Drive East; drivers were going through the right-turn only lane, resulting in accidents. He reported that there are appropriate traffic controls at the locations, but drivers are not paying attention. Staff believes that additional action is needed to alleviate the situation, and work orders were issued to install a series of surface-mounted orange delineators
Chair Shepherd thanked the Director and staff for resolving this problem without bringing it to the Commission, commenting that the Committee could not reach agreement on a solution.
Traffic Engineer Rydell continued, saying that the delineators are flexible and provide a very clear visual of that turn.
g. Traffic Items on Website Update
Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that staff reports and agendas are being posted as they are completed and after they have been delivered to the Commissioners. He reported that a follow-up agenda is also on the website, as well as existing items such as directions from the Council to the Commission on Mira Vista Traffic Calming, the Plan, and the approved Traffic Commission Minutes. He explained that he is working with the IT staff to improve the website.
h. Hawthorne Blvd and PVDW 7-11- Development Update
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that staff was recently advised by the Planning Department that the gas station at this location will be redeveloped into a 7-11 with fuel pumps. Staff has requested information from the Planning Department regarding the impact on traffic patterns, and Public Works will review this information when it is received.
Chair Shepherd asked if this would come before the Commission after staff reviews the initial study.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that is correct.
i. PVDE and Ganado Dr Striping Modification Update
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that striping modifications were completed that were approved by the former Traffic Committee over a year ago. It was an effort to increase safety on Ganado Drive. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that staff has received numerous complaints from citizens regarding the striping modifications; that the significant changes they made include installation of a northbound and southbound acceleration lane from Ganado Drive, a southbound right-turn pocket, and striping to maintain the northbound lane.
Commissioner Mevers commented that drivers must to get used to it.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that citizens do not like the right-turn only pocket at Ganado, and staff has received complaints. He explained that this was brought before the Traffic Committee numerous times, the public was involved, the homeowners’ association was supportive, and staff is happy with what they did.
Chair Shepherd referred to Items 2 and 3 that follow, saying that they are the result of a request she made of staff to provide information items where the staff can discuss issues and “no action” items, and the Commission can bring issues to the attention of the staff. Chair Shepherd explained that this would make it possible for staff and the Commission to be proactive, rather than reactive, as requested by the City Council. Chair Shepherd asked if there is any difference between General Business and Directed Business and Comments.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that his thought was that General Business would refer to items for the Commission, and Directed Business and Comments would refer to items for staff.
2. Traffic Safety Commission General Business
a. Joint Meeting of Traffic Safety Commission and City Council
Chair Shepherd explained that Commissioner Parfenov’s item is an action item related to the Agenda for the Joint Meeting of the Traffic Safety Commission and City Council. She explained that Commissioner Parfenov’s item will be scheduled for the August Commission meeting, and asked him to briefly explain the topic of his presentation.
Commissioner Parfenov explained that his topic, entitled “Traffic Control, Monitoring and Prediction Project (TCMP)”, would address preventive action rather than waiting for something to happen. He explained that he has done extensive research, and the presentation will take approximately ten minutes at the Commission meeting with three minutes for discussion.
Commissioner Lewis asked that copies of the slides be included in the packet.
Chair Shepherd explained that it would be an Agenda item, so all information will be sent with the packets.
Director Allison reported that the proposed date for the Joint Meeting is tentatively September 24, 2005 from 9 am to Noon. Director Allison suggested that any items from the Commission should be packaged well and be concise.
Chair Shepherd explained that, from past experience, the Commission would have very little time during the three hours, because the Council will probably be giving direction.
Commissioner Lewis commented on the issues he has considered as topics, such as parking cars on City streets, which might be a subject for a workshop. Secondly, he mentioned signage.
Director Allison suggested that Commissioner Lewis might present it as the Council’s philosophy on signage.
Commissioner Parfenov asked if his item would be on the Agenda.
Chair Shepherd explained that it will be under an Agenda item entitled “Joint Meeting with City Council”, and topics suggested by the Commissioners will be listed under the item. Chair Shepherd asked that the Commissioners send their topics to Senior Engineer Dragoo to be placed on the Agenda.
b. Location of August Meeting
Commissioner Lewis suggested that the issue of RV parking next month might generate a lot of community interest, and asked if there is a way to monitor interest and, if necessary, move the meeting to Hesse Park.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that they have done that in the past.
Director Allison stated that he will ask the City Attorney to attend the meeting also.
3. Traffic Safety Commission Directed Business and Comments
a. Signs and Striping on Palos Verdes Drive East
Chair Shepherd commented on the signs that say it is unsafe for bicycles, and mentioned that the Director was under the impression that there was still a sign at the entrance to the switchback of Palos Verdes Drive South coming up the switchback. Chair Shepherd reported that there was indeed no sign at that point. Director Allison stated and that sign must have been removed somehow, and he was not aware of this. Chair Shepherd explained that the Commissioners are out and about and can call things like this to staff’s attention on a regular basis and should do so.
Chair Shepherd commented on the white stripes on Palos Verdes Drive East, which has been re-striped because of the slurry; that the way it is striped it is pushing some of the traffic away from the dirt slope into the center on a curve. She explained that she has driven it the past few days to test it and believes that it is very unsafe for drivers and may cause head-on collisions. She described the location as Via Frascati, south of the Chevron station. Chair Shepherd suggested that a staff member drive out there. In addition, Chair Shepherd stated that it is being used as an unsafe bike route and provides a false sense of security.
Director Allison explained that he is hearing Chair Shepherd say to give more space to the drivers, not the bicycles, and Chair Shepherd agreed. Director Allison stated that staff will investigate the location, and clarified that it is northbound at Via Frascati near Miraleste Plaza.
Chair Shepherd suggested that it should be looked at from Miraleste to San Ramon.
Director Allison stated that they would look at this location from both directions.
Commissioner Mevers commented that he has a problem with
that curve also, and it is a situation asking for a problem.
Commissioner Parfenov commented on a problem regarding striping at the intersection of Ridgegate and Highridge and an oversized vehicle that parks near the intersection, blocking the view of the stop sign. He suggested that staff install a red curb because it interferes with drivers wanting to make a right turn.
Director Allison stated that staff would look at that location.
c. Via Capri near Hawthorne Boulevard
Commissioner Klein stated that he lives on Via Capri near Hawthorne, and the homeowners’ association has expressed concern several times about turning right on Hawthorne where you cannot see cars coming out. Commissioner Klein asked if it is possible to put a sensor sign that would either warn residents coming out of the driveway, or warn the motorists coming up Hawthorne that there is a car about to pull out. He explained that there are signs there now that say “Driveway” but it still does not solve the problem.
Director Allison responded that Commissioner Klein is asking for something unusual.
Commissioner Klein explained that he has seen these sensor signs being used in other cities. He described them as being used to stop traffic from entering a roadway from a garage or blind entrance when it is unsafe to do so, or to warn drivers on a roadway with a “Slow Down – Cars Entering Roadway” message which starts to flash when cars exit a driveway. Commissioner Klein commented that they are probably costly.
Chair Shepherd cautioned the Commissioners about asking for things that affect their own neighborhoods and the need to remain objective.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Approval of minutes of June 27, 2005
Approval of the Minutes will be deferred until the August meeting due to a staff absence. Staff will send an e-mail copy for editing purposes. Chair Shepherd asked that staff specify a deadline to return the edited copy so the Minutes can be included in the August packet.
Commissioner Klein asked where the Commissioners should e-mail their questions or comments on oversized vehicles.
Director Allison suggested that they be sent to Traffic Engineer Rydell.
Chair Shepherd commented that she does not think the Commission should change the venue for the August Commission meeting unless it is absolutely necessary, so there is no confusion on the part of the public, unless there will be a very large attendance anticipated.
MEETING ADJOURNED AT 11:00 PM TO REGULAR MEETING OF THE TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION OF AUGUST 22, 2005.