CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA
TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION
AUGUST 22, 2005
CALL TO ORDER: Chair Shepherd called the meeting to order at 7:07 PM at Rancho Palos Verdes Community Room
ROLL CALL: PRESENT: Chair Shepherd, Commissioners Klein, Lewis, Mevers, Parfenov, Willens
ABSENT: Commissioner Wright
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 Willens led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Commissioner Lewis moved to swap New Business Item 1 with Item 2 for the convenience of speakers in the audience, seconded by Commissioner Willens.
Ayes 6; Nays 0
Chair Shepherd reminded the audience of the need to complete the speaker’s form if they intend to speak to the Commission regarding an agenda item. She also informed them that each individual would have a time limit of three minutes.
Chair Shepherd instructed the Commissioners to be careful not to have an appearance of conflict of interest, and advised them to recuse themselves if the item pertains to them personally.
Chair Shepherd suggested setting a time during the meeting when the Commission will review what remains on the agenda; for example, at 9:30 pm the Commission would review the remaining items on the agenda and estimate how long it will take to complete. Chair Shepherd asked the Commissioners to think about it, and asked staff to schedule it for the September agenda for discussion.
Director Allison stated that the Planning Commission policy is to not begin a new item after 11:00 pm.
This section of the agenda is for audience comments for items not on the agenda.
SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT REPORT:
Sgt. Creason reported on the increased enforcement on switchbacks as follows:
Date Citations Violation Vehicles Residency
7/30/05 23 Speeding 21 cars 12 RPV
7/31/05 13 Speeding 10 cars 5 RPV
Sgt. Creason reported that he was on duty on Sunday, 7/31/05, and said that most of the activity was between 10 am and 2 pm and then slowed down.
8/6/05 20 Speeding All cars 7 RPV
8/7/05 6 Speeding 4 cars 3 RPV
Chair Shepherd asked where the other drivers resided, and if there is a second largest number.
Sgt. Creason responded that drivers were from all areas of the South Bay, mentioning Torrance and Harbor City, and explained that this count was discontinued recently.
8/12/05 16 Speeding all cars 9 RPV
8/13/05 5 Equipment 4 cars 2 RPV
8/14/05 16 Speeding 13 cars 7 RPV
Sgt. Creason explained that the numbers are remaining consistent. He reported that through 8/14/05 they have written 234 citations, split 2/3 cars, 1/3 motorcycles.
Chair Shepherd asked if Sgt. Creason could give the Commission a percentage of Rancho Palos Verdes residents versus non-residents at the end of the program.
Sgt. Creason stated that he could do that. He also referred to an article entitled "La Palma Council Limits Overnight Street Parking" dated July 27, 2005, and explained that it refers to restrictions for RVs and not just oversized vehicles.
Commissioner Mevers commented that Sgt. Creason’s report sounds disturbing because it does not indicate any progress by giving out speeding tickets.
Sgt. Creason reported on comments from a Deputy who was on duty early in the day this past weekend and they caught a couple of guys on motorcycles who commented that they got out there early because they heard that the Deputies were on duty around noon and in the afternoon. Sgt. Creason explained that the motorcyclists were trying to avoid the Deputies.
Commissioner Mevers suggested that the presence of the Deputies should be advertised in other ways, and asked if they tried the newspapers.
Chair Shepherd explained that it has been in the newspapers and there was a press conference on Channel 3.
Commissioner Mevers commented that there have been over 200 citations in two months on one stretch of road, and asked where is the critical mass.
Sgt. Creason acknowledged the large number of citations, but responded that the presence of the Deputies has slowed people down, preventing collisions and near misses, and possibly saving some bicyclists.
Chair Shepherd commented that she thinks the people using the switchbacks are the same people all the time and they know about the program.
Commissioner Mevers stated that what bothers him is if they need to keep this up this enforcement on a continuous basis.
Sgt. Creason explained that the program ends on September 11, 2005, adding that their highest day for citations was 27 and the lowest was 3.
Director Allison stated that the real test is the average speed before the program started and the average speed one week after the program ends. He suggested that this would be a better index than using the number of citations issued.
Sgt. Creason agreed with Director Allison and explained that their goal is not to write citations, but to slow people down. He stated that when the Deputies are visible, even though they are not writing citations, they are slowing people down.
Commissioner Parfenov asked if drivers are speeding more, slowing down, or still going above the speed limit, based on the citations.
Sgt. Creason explained that they have not done a "before and after" report yet because they only have "before" numbers.
Director Allison explained that the real test is that, if the rate of speed drops to a lower mph, how long does it stay at the lower rate of speed before it inches up again. He stated that from past experience it is very difficult to reduce speed just through enforcement—that both enforcement and education are necessary.
The following items were taken out of order in accordance with the Motion approved under "Approval of Agenda".
2. GOLDEN MEADOW DRIVE
Traffic Engineer’s Report
Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed his staff report with supplementary slides. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Dean Garth made the original request and subsequent e-mails were received from Teresita Avecilla, Linda and Larry Ivins, Omera Olson, and Kim Beaupre. Copies of the e-mails and responses from Director Allison were provided as attachments to the Staff report. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the requests addressed the speed of traffic on Golden Meadow Drive.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Golden Meadow Drive is a single-family local roadway, long and straight with not too much grade; Vista Grande Elementary School is located on the east side of Golden Meadow Drive. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that there are no posted stop signs on Golden Meadow Drive and it is a 25 mph speed limit. Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to the map on circle page 15 showing the project limits of Golden Meadow Drive from Beechfield Drive on the north to its termination in a cul-de-sac south of Abbotswood Drive. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that all the intersections are "T" intersections with the stems on the east side.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the data was obtained using the City’s StealthStat Radar devices in March 2005 at two locations: Purpleridge Drive, which is in the vicinity of the school, and Hedgewood Drive, which is slightly north. Traffic Engineer presented the following numbers for traffic in both directions:
85th % % > Max
Location ADT Speed S.L. Speed 10-mile pace
Hedgewood Dr 1,145 vpd 32 mph 48% 56 mph 22-31 mph
Purpleridge Dr 1,423 vpd 27 mph 17% 64 mph 12-21 mph
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that these counts were taken for 24 hours. He commented that the lower speed of 27 mph on Purpleridge Drive was probably because it is near the school, and when school is in session there is lower speed because there is more congestion.
Chair Shepherd asked if the speed counts were taken during the week.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it was on a Thursday and school was in session. He referred to the StealthStat raw data and pointed out that in "speed versus time" the highest speeds are recorded in the evening and early morning. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that their preliminary findings indicated that pedestrian safety could be enhanced by modifying the existing school crosswalk at Grovespring Drive to create a "high visibility" crosswalk by installing vertical yellow markings within the crosswalk, and that this would provide consistency with the existing "high visibility" crosswalk at Purpleridge Drive.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that secondly, Staff could consider educational tools to ensure that motorists traveling this road on a regular basis are aware of the speed limit to increase voluntary compliance.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that the third major issue is that Staff intends to follow as closely as possible to follow the City’s Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program (NTCP) in this and all future speeding requests. Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out that the program identifies a methodical approach to addressing speeding and/or volume within residential neighborhoods by looking at the problem, identifying the parameters, and evaluating education and enforcement. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that to go beyond that, the NTCP specifies that community involvement is necessary in the form of the petition process that indicates that the community is willing to participate.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed the recommendations and presented a slide showing the "high visibility" crosswalk markings. Traffic Engineer Rydell presented the alternatives for the Commission’s consideration as follows:
Chair Shepherd asked Traffic Engineer Rydell to explain the StealthStat measurement designations of "cars versus speed", etc., for the benefit of the new Commissioners.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that for every StealthStat location where data is gathered he generates three graphs:
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that "Cars vs. Speed" allows them to record the number of cars and the speed they are traveling to obtain the number of vehicles traveling within a speed range.
Commissioner Mevers commented that it looks like at one point there was one person out of 1600 cars traveling at 66 mph, one going 51, a couple going 47, and asked for clarification of the information on the graph on circle page 17.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that what the Commissioners are seeing is that a majority of the vehicles are traveling at 28 mph, with a bell-shaped curve between 35 mph and 17 mph.
Commissioner Mevers stated that he noticed that total time is different for every graph.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that this happens because he leaves the StealthStat in place until the batteries die, and he can extract a 24-hour period to obtain average daily traffic. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the batteries will run more than 24 hours—that it could be 36 hours—and he will take the speed data for the entire period because it is all valuable data.
Commissioner Mevers asked about a reading at two locations on the same day with two different weather conditions, one clear and one cloudy.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this depends on when he arrives at the location, adding that it is not significant because he does not utilize data gathered when it is raining or during inclement weather.
Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to circle page 18 to explain "Speed vs. Time", and explained that this illustrates the average speed of all the vehicles that were measured during a 15-minute period. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that maybe there was one car during a period going 50 mph; during another period, there is significant volume and high speed. He stated that is when Staff coordinates with the Sheriff because they will have more effectiveness with enforcement at that time.
Commissioner Mevers stated that it appears from the graph that almost everything is falling between the 20 to 30 mph range, and it seems that most people are trying to obey the speed limit.
Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to the right side of the graph on circle page 18, and explained that the Ten Mile Pace means the 10 mph range has a weighted number of vehicles traveling within that range.
Commissioner Mevers commented on the speeds breaking above 30 mph at 3:00 am and 5:00 am.
Sgt. Creason responded that it might have been paramedics.
Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to the graph on circle page 19 and explained that it illustrates when there are the greatest volumes, and pointed out the high volumes at 3:00 pm and 8:00 am.
Commissioner Mevers commented that this corresponds to drop-off and pickup at the school.
Commissioner Parfenov compared the high volumes on circle page 19 with the 26- to 28 mph on circle page 18, and commented that the cars are not exceeding the speed limit significantly.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that this makes sense because it is around a school.
Commissioner Mevers stated that the data supports the recommendations, but not the e-mails reporting consistent high-speed traffic. Commissioner Mevers stated that he is interested in hearing what the speakers have to say. He suggested that the data might have been gathered on the wrong day.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that this points out the value of tools like the StealthStat because perception is not always the same as reality, and that is where this comes into play.
Chair Shepherd opened the Public Hearing.
Dean Garth, 28619 Golden Meadow Drive, stated that he is the person who requested the street survey. Mr. Garth distributed information to the Commissioners. He gave Chair Shepherd a copy of the petition that was delivered to the City in 2002, and stated that residents have waited a long time for this issue to be scheduled. Mr. Garth said that in 2002, the Traffic Engineer at that time told him that he got in a car with the Sheriff’s Deputies and drove around and they didn’t see a problem, and that no one has ever called in to the Sheriff’s Department. Mr. Garth reported that in October or November 2004 he came back to the City, met Traffic Engineer Rydell, and gave him a copy of the petition and a copy of his letter to the former Traffic Engineer in 2002, and Traffic Engineer Rydell gave him a different picture than he sees in the graph. Mr. Garth suggested that the information presented to the Commission in the e-mails is more representative of what they actually see as opposed to the traffic at the time. Mr. Garth commented that it seems to be the perception of the City, and continues to be the perception of the City, that this is a problem around the school. Mr. Garth suggested that if the Commission looks at the traffic study at 28500 Golden Meadow where the other StealthStats were placed, they will see a higher speed than is seen at the school. He explained that it seems perfectly natural to him that as people get closer to the school they know there is more enforcement and they are worried about the children. Mr. Garth stated what really is the case is that children stream all the way down to Golden Meadow on both sides of the street. He suggested that the drivers and soccer moms are racing to school because they are late for work and they are trying to get their children to school and racing back out to get to work; and that is the perception the residents see, both coming and going in the morning and afternoon.
Mr. Garth asked the Commission to reconsider their comments that this is a superficial problem and that only a few percent of the people are going over the speed limit. Mr. Garth referred to the number of people in the audience regarding this problem and suggested that if those people were asked, he thinks they are intelligent enough to know when a car is going 25 mph they are traveling at a reasonable speed. Mr. Garth stated that what the residents see is people going considerably faster than 25 mph. Mr. Garth stated that the data does not show it, but it is necessary to be out there day after day, because even though there may be some days where people are obeying the speed limit, most of the time there are many people going well over the speed limit. Mr. Garth explained that it was not paramedics on the street as referred to earlier in the meeting; he stated that he hears young people in hopped-up Honda Civics racing up and down the street at night, and they are just young people—not paramedics.
Mr. Garth asked the Commission to be very careful about doing something around the school because the school does not really seem to be the problem. Mr. Garth referred to the handout and explained that it identifies the total number of people per block that signed the petition, saying that the Commission should look at it askance because the person who circulated the petition may or may not have been very active. Mr. Garth stated that the total number of persons signing the petition including husbands and wives is approximately 71, and of that, there are about 65 families, saying that it goes all up and down the street. Mr. Garth stated that education and enforcement helps, but as soon as it is over the problem comes right back, and he hopes the Commission will do more than that.
Chair Shepherd asked Mr. Garth how many homes are in the area that he mapped out for the Commission.
Mr. Garth responded that there are eight or nine homes per block in a ten-block area, so there may be from 80 to 100 homes just on Golden Meadow.
Chair Shepherd asked if there is a homeowners’ association within that area.
Mr. Garth responded that there is not a homeowners’ association.
Chair Shepherd asked if Staff knows the number of homes within that area, and Staff responded that they do not know.
Commissioner Mevers asked Mr. Garth if residents have noticed a particular time or day during the week when there are more problems than others have. Commissioner Mevers stated that Staff cannot be there taking measurements on a continuous basis, but, maybe Staff can go there one more specific day or time if Mr. Garth can provide that information.
Mr. Garth replied that there is a lot of traffic when school starts, saying that he stopped walking in the area because the traffic was so aggravating; adding that it is not the sheer volume, but also the speed and screeching, etc. Mr. Garth said that he does not have an answer to Commissioner Mevers’ question, but he would guess that there are more problems on Fridays.
Robert Koch, 7016 Brookford Drive, reported that a group of residents walks on Golden Meadow every afternoon between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm. Mr. Koch stated that the average perceived speed is in excess of 35 mph, commenting that it obviously looks a lot different to a person standing on the ground just as it looks different when a person is a passenger in the car. Mr. Koch stated that they regularly see cars that are speeding, saying that if they were on the freeway they would be eligible for a ticket. Mr. Koch explained that the cars cannot be seen clearly enough to get the license, but they arrive at about the same time. Mr. Koch stated that many of the cars coming in speeding go through the stop signs at five- and ten mph, adding that it is very prevalent on Brookford, and said his neighbor refers to it as Brookford mountain. Mr. Koch described cars entering Brookford from Golden Meadow accelerating as if they need the speed to make the hill. Mr. Koch explained that he is the second house from the corner; that he can hear them doing the corner and he cannot look up fast enough to see the cars going by because of the speed. Mr. Koch referred to his perception that much of the activity is related to the school. He also referred to comments during the meeting regarding regular enforcement, and stated that irregular is probably better so that people do not know when they have to be careful.
Lucas Nishioka, 6809 Clovercliff Drive, expressed concern with the traffic on Golden Meadow as it affects Purpleridge Drive. Mr. Nishioka explained that many people drop children off at Vista Grande School using Purpleridge Drive, and exit by going around to Abbottswood Drive. Mr. Nishioka explained that traffic may not be going fast around the school, but just outside of that zone, he is sure it is a lot faster. Mr. Nishioka stated that he does not believe that the high visibility crosswalks will work because drivers will race to get across. Mr. Nishioka stated that people are coming into the crosswalk between parked cars and this is a visibility issue. Mr. Nishioka explained that his wife was walking with their child and had partially entered the crosswalk when a car pulled up to the crosswalk, and the car behind them pulled around the car and almost hit them. Mr. Nishioka stated that he thinks that there is an accident waiting to happen—not if, but when. Mr. Nishioka explained that he is a concerned parent and a doctor and he sees a lot of trauma, and it is not good to see a pedestrian versus a car because he knows who will win in that situation. Mr. Nishioka asked the Commission to be proactive rather than reactive after a tragedy; that he is speaking from his own and his wife’s experience, and he thinks the Commission needs to do something.
Dr. Patricia Vincent, 5413 Eau Claire Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, explained that she is the Principal of Grande Vista Elementary School, which is on the corner of Purpleridge and Golden Meadow. Dr. Vincent explained that the residents at the meeting are parents as well as residents, and they have echoed the school’s sentiments exactly. Dr. Vincent thanked the Commission for their continuous help and support in establishing a parking pickup program as well as the signage the City has provided around the school, and stated that it has been a help to the parents. Dr. Vincent explained that, in spite of that, it is a major problem and they do see speeding on Golden Meadow and Purpleridge. Dr. Vincent explained that her purpose in being at the meeting is to say that anything the Commission can do to deter the speeding will be greatly appreciated; that they have had several near misses with children and vehicles. Dr. Vincent explained that she is out there every single day in the afternoon dealing with traffic, saying that she has a much better use of her time than monitoring and supervising traffic. Dr. Vincent reported that the school works with the City every year to address school issues. She explained that one suggestion two years ago was to put stop signs at Purpleridge and further down where children are picked up; another suggestion was to make Purpleridge one-way, and the residents vetoed it. Dr. Vincent explained that, as a resident of Basswood, with the aid of speed humps, they have really deterred the speeders in that area, and she encouraged the Commission to consider speed humps as an option.
Chair Shepherd closed the Public Hearing.
Commissioner Lewis asked if there is any accident history in this area.
Sgt. Creason responded that none were reported.
Commissioner Mevers referred to the maximum number of vehicles, and stated that it appears that the problems occur when children are dropped off or picked up, and there does not appear to be any dense traffic other than that. Commissioner Mevers suggested that the school might have an effect on the parents by educating them about the problems they may create with excessive speeding or not watching for children in the crosswalks.
Dr. Vincent reported that the school sends out regular communications to the parents, they invite the Sheriff’s Department to come and speak with the parents regarding traffic, they do a continuing and regular parent education program, and she has shared the Traffic Safety Commission Minutes and memorandums with the parents.
Chair Shepherd asked if the school allows parents to enter the campus to drop off and pick up the children and circle around as many campuses have done.
Dr. Vincent replied that they do not allow parents to enter the parking because they had a near fatality there several years ago.
Chair Shepherd asked if Dr. Vincent is amenable to considering the parking lot as an option to reduce the traffic congestion on Golden Meadow.
Dr. Vincent responded that they have so many drop off and pick up times that the main time Chair Shepherd is referring to is when the 5th grade students start at 8:45 am, and at 2:56 pm when the whole school gets out at once. Dr. Vincent reported that a Traffic Engineer and the Sheriff’s Department came to the school to look at the situation.
Chair Shepherd stated that the City’s current Traffic Engineer has not looked at that possibility at this point and asked if Dr. Vincent would be willing to meet with him and a member of the Commission and Staff to look at that.
Dr. Vincent responded that they have looked considered that option, but law enforcement did not make that recommendation, and that it would not change the congestion on Golden Meadow and Purpleridge because they are going to egress either way.
Chair Shepherd stated that the Commission does not know that until they have findings from the City’s Engineers and the Sheriff’s Department, and asked if the school has recommended this.
Dr. Vincent stated that the school did that two years ago, and is now working with the Commission.
Sgt. Creason stated that he remembers going to the school a couple of years ago, but does not remember making a recommendation either way.
Chair Shepherd explained that, as a member of the former Traffic Committee, she does not recall any particular finding, and that is why she is asking.
Director Allison reported that four or five years ago Staff evaluated several schools in the City and have a very successful example of how the on-campus drop-off works with the Silver Spur Elementary School. Director Allison explained that it does take cooperation with the school district and interested parents. He explained that three or four cars drive up and drop off the children on the proper side of the car, and there would not be congestion in the street that he witnessed at this location; that it would be similar to a valet program. Director Allison referred to Golden Meadow south of the school before Grovespring, and stated that Staff believes there is an ideal place to cue up to get into the campus and leave through Purpleridge. Director Allison explained that he does not know if it will work, but Staff would like to work with Dr. Vincent on that if the School District is interested.
Dr. Vincent responded that they are amenable to anything that might be successful, but currently their valet program has drop-offs on both Golden Meadow and Purpleridge and it works beautifully. Dr. Vincent reported that parents were able to have through-traffic moving, as well as a valet line in place; that this is the third year they have done this, and their pick up and drop off is superior compared to what it was when the City looked at it. Dr. Vincent stated that is not really the issue; that the problem is the speeding on Golden Meadow.
Chair Shepherd suggested that the Commission consider assigning a Commission member to develop a working relationship with this school and have each Commissioner periodically go to the school on school days next year to see what the issues are and understand what measures the Commission might recommend. Chair Shepherd explained that the Commission is looking for anything that may have a potential impact on traffic.
Dr. Vincent stated that this is the best traffic pattern they have ever had at Vista Grande, and that within 12 minutes all of the children are safely in their vehicles and exiting campus. Dr. Vincent said that only the speeding on Golden Meadow and Purpleridge that remains.
Commissioner Mevers asked if the parents picking up the children are causing the speeding problem when they leave the school.
Dr. Vincent responded that if they are in the valet lane, they usually go straight up the hill when they pull out, and she does not know what they are doing down the road.
Commissioner Mevers expressed concern that the data does not show a problem during that period, and the Commission needs numerical data.
Commissioner Lewis moved approval of the recommendations on circle page 11, with an amendment to Recommendation 5 as indicated below:
Motion seconded by Commissioner Klein.
Commissioner Klein explained that in his experience a large part of slowing people down on the streets is to have proper enforcement. Commissioner Klein stated that he would encourage the City to have the Sheriff’s Department on duty shortly after school opens to calm the residents and children, and to make their presence known to any speeders that might be in the area.
Commissioner Willens expressed support for the Motion. Commissioner Willens addressed the audience and stated that he respects what speakers said and, and it is not his intention to minimize the situation. However, Commissioner Willens explained that the Commission has spent much time to develop a Traffic Calming Plan, which sets forth standardized steps to follow, and he believes that is what the Commission should do. Commissioner Willens stated that he made the same comment on another similar item recently, and stated that there is no reason to have a Traffic Calming Plan if the Commission is not going to use and follow it. Commissioner Willens explained that, regardless of what has happened on this issue in the past, he is considering the information before him at this time, and it is his opinion that it should be handled in a standardized manner. Regarding the issue of proper notification, Commissioner Willens asked Staff to explain who is notified and how they are notified, because there seems to be confusion on this issue.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that when they identified a problem on Golden Meadow Drive Staff mailed postcards to everyone on Golden Meadow.
Director Allison explained that two notices were sent regarding this problem—one regarding Council and another regarding the Traffic Safety Commission—that this is standard procedure, and the residents are directed to the website to view the Staff report.
Chair Shepherd affirmed Commissioner Willens’ statements regarding the Traffic Calming Plan and explained that Staff, the Traffic Safety Commission, and Council approved the Plan and that is what the Commission must follow. Chair Shepherd advised the audience that the Plan is available on the website and in hard copy for their reference, or they can contact the Department.
Commissioner Lewis stated that he has nothing to add.
Commissioner Parfenov referred to the 100 cars reported in the data when parents are dropping off children, and almost 100 during pickup time, and stated this is significant. Commissioner Parfenov suggested that parents be reminded of the safety issue. Commissioner Parfenov stated that the Plan is a systematic process and he believes the Commission should follow it, adding that it should yield some results.
Chair Shepherd stated that she supports the Motion. Chair Shepherd referred to three intersections at Starstone Drive, Larkvale Drive, and Cherty Drive that she checked, and she reported that these intersections have trees at the corner that block the street signs southbound on the left side of Golden Meadow. Chair Shepherd suggested that Staff might want to look at all the intersections in the area.
Ayes 6; Nays 0
Install 25 feet of red curb on the north side of Manitowac Drive from White fox Drive easterly.
Traffic Engineer’s Report
Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed his report and presented supplementary slides. He explained that Susan Schneider made the request for this investigation, and is concerned about vehicles traveling westbound on Manitowac Drive approaching the subject intersection.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Manitowac Drive is a 36-foot wide local roadway with single-family residential fronting development on all approaches. He reported that the alignment is generally straight, although there is a downgrade from east to west; there are posted STOP signs on Whitefox Drive; it is a T-intersection; and a review of the accident history at this location revealed no reported intersection accidents during the three-year period ending April 2005.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that all pictures of the location are taken at motorists’ height or 3.5 feet above the roadway, and ten feet back from the edge of the traveled way. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this procedure is required by the American Association of Standard Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to measure visibility. Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out the car parked at the subject location and the shrubbery and hedges that affect visibility. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that, for the posted speed limit of 25 mph, the minimum stopping sight distance per AASHTO standards is approximately 155 feet, and his field investigation revealed that visibility for motorists on Whitefox Drive, viewing vehicles on Manitowac Drive in the easterly direction, is limited by the shrubs, vehicles, and roadway downgrade. He stated that installing 25 feet of red curb would provide that added visibility per AASHTO standards. Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that there is sufficient parking in that area to allow Staff to install 25 feet of red curb.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff is recommending installation of 25 feet of red curb on the north side of Manitowac Drive from Whitefox Drive easterly. He explained that alternatives might be to (1) deny the recommendation, (2) install a different amount of red curb, or (3) consider other traffic controls as may be determined. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff was unable to make contact with the resident north of the proposed red curb, but a notice was mailed to the home to notify the resident that this item was scheduled before the Commission. He explained that parking would need to be prohibited on the north side of Manitowac Drive from the BCR at Whitefox Drive to a point easterly, and three on-street parking spaces would be retained between the end of the red curb and the next driveway easterly.
In summary, Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that one of the reasons Staff wanted to being this item to the Commission is that there are many locations where this type of situation may present itself, and Staff wants to have a very thorough dialogue with the Commission on what direction the City wants to go in this type of situation. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff wants to know if they should bring this type of situation before the Commission each time and whether they want to put red curb in residential areas. He explained that they have recommended red curb, but actually, Staff would like to have direction from the Commission.
Commissioner Willens asked what specifically was done to try to contact the homeowner, and how long ago the resident was notified.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that he knocked on the door and advised the resident by mail last week of this meeting at this time.
Commissioner Willens asked if there is some way of knowing who lives there to make sure the notice is going to the proper people, and stated that he is not suggesting that Staff do this.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that they have the address, and stated that notices were mailed to that address and the petitioner.
Director Allison stated that he shares the Commission’s concerns regarding notification, especially if it is in front of someone’s home, but in this case, the red curb would be on the side of the home.
Sgt. Creason referred to the slide and asked if that is a fire hydrant in front of the house.
Chair Shepherd responded that she did not see a fire hydrant at the location.
Commissioner Klein asked if the City has any jurisdiction over bushes in the parkway strip, and expressed concern that even with no cars parked, there is shrubbery that could limit a driver’s visibility.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that the City has authority in the right-of-way, but when he did the measurements, he determined that the visibility would be adequate if the vehicle was not parked there.
Chair Shepherd stated that pine trees and other shrubbery were in her sight distance even without the parked car, and she believes it is an issue that she would like to discuss with Staff.
Commissioner Mevers asked why it is not necessary to remove the hedge.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that it was not necessary to provide the 155 feet.
Commissioner Mevers asked if there is a height limit for shrubbery.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that Staff has done that in other locations, and they usually trim to 18" above eye level, but in this case, visibility would be acceptable if the vehicle was not parked; that it is something Staff can consider in the future, but is not an issue at this time.
Chair Shepherd encouraged the Commissioners to view the locations personally on a regular basis as a motorist. She explained that the Planning Commissioners are required to make visits or they cannot vote on an item.
Commissioner Parfenov stated that the car was not there when he was at the location, but his view was still blocked.
Chair Shepherd opened the Public Hearing.
Susan Schneider, 26628 Fond Du Lac Road, stated that she shares the Commissioners’ observations about the bush and suggested that it be trimmed. She explained that if it was thinned, light would be visible through the bush and that would help a lot, but she is concerned that about a possible collision with an oncoming vehicle traveling at the 25 mph speed limit if it cannot be seen. Ms. Schneider explained that her main concern is a large SUV with black glass, and stated that nothing can be seen through or around it. Ms. Schneider stated that she thinks both the car and the SUV belong to the residents across the street.
Chair Shepherd closed the Public Hearing.
Commissioner Willens moved to accept the Staff Recommendation as set forth in circle page 4 as follows:
Install 25 feet of red curb on the north side of Manitowac Drive from Whitefox Drive easterly.
Motion seconded by Commissioner Klein.
Commissioner Willens expressed support for the recommendation, and stated that he does not believe this type of situation needs to be handled by the Commission every time. Commissioner Willens presented an outline of the steps he would suggest as follows:
Commissioner Willens stated that it is his personal opinion that if the petitioner(s) does not have a problem with it, he does not see why the Commission should have a problem with it.
Commissioner Mevers compared the problem to oversized vehicles parking in unsafe locations. He stated that he does not know if the criteria have been developed, but if it is proposed to go in that direction, it might be a reasonable way of doing it also; adding that if a vehicle is restricted from parking, they should have an opportunity to present their argument.
Commissioner Parfenov asked if the vehicle belongs to the resident of the home under discussion.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that they do not know who owns the vehicle.
Commissioner Parfenov commented that this is the residence affected by the red curb, but suggested that the vehicle could belong to anyone on this street or someone who just dropped it off; that if it is necessary to know who owns it, other residents should be contacted as well.
Commissioner Lewis recused himself from discussing this item because the subject location is close to his home.
Chair Shepherd suggested that if there is a sight distance problem and it is related to safety, she believes that the Staff and Commission have the jurisdiction to make that recommendation. Chair Shepherd stated that there is no need for the Commission to apologize or try to identify the owner of the vehicle who parks at the location. Chair Shepherd stated that she does not agree with Commissioner Willens; that this is an issue of red curb in a residential area, which is a new and sensitive issue. Chair Shepherd explained that the City has a very passive approach on red curbs and shrubs even if it is in the City’s jurisdiction. Chair Shepherd referred to the situation on Trudie where shrubs appeared to be blocking sight distance, explaining that residents on both sides of the street were contacted before any trimming was done. Chair Shepherd stated that she believes it needs to come before the Commission because it is particularly sensitive at this time; that these are precedent-setting issues, and a precedent in the future may allow residents to become accustomed to it. Chair Shepherd stated that one of the Commission’s roles is to maintain a humanistic approach to issues in the communities, rather than delegating the responsibility to the Staff to make all the decisions. In summary, Chair Shepherd stated that it is a good idea to try to establish a procedure, but thinks these issues need the Commission’s attention until they are sure that everyone is comfortable on the part of the structure.
Commissioner Parfenov asked Chair Shepherd to clarify her comments regarding apologizing in reference to her discussion on the vehicle.
Chair Shepherd reiterated that she believes the Commission does not need to be concerned with who is parking there and whether or not they will be impacted; that currently the vehicle is parked where it blocks sight distance and makes the approach to the intersection unsafe. Chair Shepherd stated that she viewed the location with and without the car, and stated that the vehicle and some of the shrubbery affect the sight distance, and her only concern is that it should be safe to approach the intersection. Chair Shepherd expressed agreement with the speaker, Ms. Schneider--that an oncoming vehicle traveling at the 25 mph speed limit cannot be seen soon enough to avoid a potential collision, and a motorist must creep up to the intersection for adequate visibility.
Commissioner Parfenov agreed, and stated that he viewed the location and could see the potential for accidents; that if Staff knocked on one door they would not necessarily have to knock on everyone’s door.
Chair Shepherd agreed, and commented that the houses have garages and driveways.
Commissioner Willens explained that he is not concerned with who is parking the vehicle there, as long as it does not belong to the adjacent resident. Commissioner Willens explained that Chair Shepherd’s comments raised a question in his mind, and he asked Staff for an estimate of how many red-curb requests are received in a year.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it is probably more than ten but less than twenty.
Director Allison referred to the question of when these situations become a Traffic Safety Commission issue, referring to Traffic Engineer Rydell’s point that there are an infinite number of possibilities for this type of situation in the City. He suggested that there is nothing unique about this location, and there are streets with more complicated problems. Director Allison asked for Commission direction regarding when to bring these issues before them. Director Allison stated that he believes that if Staff is able to notify and speak with the property owner whose frontage is impacted and conduct a Staff investigation, perhaps the item could be scheduled as an informational item. Director Allison suggested that it be brought before the Commission if one of three things occurs: (1) if the request is denied; (2) if the property owner disagrees with Staff’s judgment, and wants to speak to the Commission; and (3) if the property owner has not been contacted. Director Allison stated that in this circumstance, Staff would want to present a Staff report similar to the one presented on the Whitefox Drive issue.
Chair Shepherd asked if these steps would apply whether the red curb is in front or beside the resident’s property. Chair Shepherd commented that in this case it is a corner; that in most cases there will always be a corner for a site review because it will be an intersection. Chair Shepherd asked; if the frontage is on another street and it will not affect the resident’s parking, what would be the issue?
Director Allison reiterated that if the property owner disagrees with the Staff’s decision, he would like them to have the added step of coming to a public quorum to discuss it. He stated that he believes that these steps should be followed regardless of the parking situation or whether it is brought before the Commission.
Commissioner Willens stated that Director Allison’s outline is similar to his suggestions. Commissioner Willens suggested that a compromise might be considered, suggesting:
Commissioner Mevers asked what the procedure would be if the property owner agrees to the Staff recommendation.
Director Allison explained that is the only difference between his outline and Commissioner Willen’s, and it is a good issue for the Commission to consider.
Commissioner Willens stated that he does not see any reason to bring it to the Commission if the property owner agrees with the recommendation, other than to report that a red curb was installed with the property owner’s agreement.
Chair Shepherd suggested that neighborhoods or individuals sometimes agree to something that might not be prudent, suggesting that she could request a red curb in front of her home because she does not want anyone to park there.
Director Allison stated that Staff would probably not be recommending red curb in front of houses without an issue.
Commissioner Lewis suggested adding a fourth item to the list, to paint it with a red brush and get community reaction. Commissioner Lewis also suggested putting these four items on the Agenda for September to be considered for adoption in accordance with the Brown Act.
Chair Shepherd added that since this is a new procedure, if the Commission adopts it, they might want to consider having these issues come before the Commission for a period of six months or some specific test-period of time.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that there are a couple of reasons why red curb would be installed: (1) a sight distance issue according to AASHTO guidelines, and (2) meeting Staff procedures that specify when to install red curb or not. He explained that the question that Staff brought is; do they want to have a policy to address these issues for liability protection and consistency? Traffic Engineer Rydell asked, if there is insufficient visibility, do they install red curb? If the answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no, then it is not a safety issue—it is an opinion issue.
Chair Shepherd agreed that a decision is appropriate on whether a policy is needed and a proposed policy should be scheduled on the next Agenda; and if approved, it will be incorporated into the Staff procedures.
Director Allison explained that there is already a heavy Agenda for September.
Chair Shepherd stated that it does not have to be next month, but should be on an Agenda at some future time for consideration.
Commissioner Mevers agreed with having a policy and guidelines to follow, but stated that if a homeowner objects, the Commission must listen.
Chair Shepherd stated that there is an appeal process.
Director Allison suggested that further discussion regarding the policy could be considered when this issue is rescheduled as a full Agenda item.
Chair Shepherd directed the Commission’s attention to the Motion on the floor to:
"Install 25 feet of red curb on the north side of Manitowac Drive from Whitefox Drive easterly".
Chair Shepherd stated that she would like to add an amendment to the main Motion to add trimming where necessary, and asked Traffic Engineer Rydell for his opinion.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that he does not think it is necessary, but has no objection. He explained that typically in situations like this, when they do trim vegetation they trim it to 18" above eye level.
Director Allison suggested that Staff would have to go back to the location to make a determination and consider this as a separate issue.
Chair Shepherd explained that unless the situation was viewed personally at the location, it could not be evaluated by looking at the pictures. She explained the problem with the plant life at the location, referring to tall shrubs and pine tree branches extending into the roadway.
Commissioner Klein referred to Traffic Engineer Rydell’s statement that the location meets AASHTO guidelines with red curb and no vehicle parked there, and he thinks that the City is safe legally by following guidelines used in this country.
Chair Shepherd commented that she will wait to see how it looks after the red curb is installed.
Commissioner Willens explained that the only reason he is hesitant to amend his Motion is not because he disagrees with the concept, but it is not part of the package at this meeting, and before he would start trimming or cutting down plant life, he would like the public to have an opportunity to speak to the Commission. Commissioner Willens explained that this is can be considered later if necessary.
Ayes 5; Nays 0; Commissioner Lewis abstained.
Stanley Schneider, 26628 Fond Du Lac Road, reported that 155’ is based on 25 mph, and a curve makes it more hazardous; that it is the end of a steep hill, and if speed were measured at the end of the hill, the number would be higher than 155’. Mr. Schneider expressed appreciation to the Commission for taking the first step.
Install flexible channelizers on the right-turn only lane painted island for northbound Hawthorne Boulevard at Ravenspur Drive East as shown on Attachment B.
Traffic Engineer’s Report
Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed his report with supplemental slides, stating that the subject location was identified as requiring further study to address a higher than expected accident history. He explained that the right-turn only lane painted island for northbound Hawthorne Boulevard at Ravenspur Drive East was continually violated, and this was emphasized in their review of the accident report. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this issue was presented as an "Informational Item" at the July 25, 2005 Traffic Safety Commission meeting, but Staff realized that this is a new type of control being recommended and that it should be considered by the Commission.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Hawthorne Boulevard near Ravenspur Drive East has two lanes in each direction, a southbound left-turn pocket and a raised median separating the direction of travel. He stated that the posted limit is 40 mph, and there is an existing traffic signal less than 300 feet north of Ravenspur Drive East at Indian Peak Road. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that there are sidewalk, curb and gutter improvements on both sides with no fronting development, and directions are well delineated.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that there were 11 reported accidents involving northbound vehicles violating the right-turn only regulation during the three-year period ending May 2005; ten involved southbound left-turning vehicles and one involved a westbound left-turning vehicle, all vehicles being struck by northbound through-traffic vehicles. Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to the slide with an aerial view of the location showing pavement striping and markings, signs, and the painted island with raised markings.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that, to reduce the number of accidents, it is desirable to provide additional guidance to motorists indicating that the right-turn only lane cannot be used for through travel. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff recommends that this could be accomplished by installing flexible channelizers around the perimeter of the existing marked island; that northbound motorists would then have clear notification that the right-turn only lane does not provide continuous travel through the intersection. He stated that alternatives would be to deny the recommendation to install channelizers, or install some other type of channelizers or traffic controls as the Commission deems appropriate.
Traffic Engineer Rydell described the recommended channelizers as Class 1 flexible post, surface-mounted, reflectorized and 36 inches high per Caltrans Standard Plan A73C; and that in the event a vehicle travels through the channelizers there would be no significant damage to the vehicle.
Chair Shepherd commented that this intersection has been an on-going problem for several years
Commissioner Mevers asked if this would preclude making a left turn from the southbound direction.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it would not because the island ends at the southern edge of the center lane into Ravenspur Drive.
Commissioner Mevers stated that there is a traffic light on Highridge for a "U’ turn, so why not restrict left turns at this intersection.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the accidents are caused by people violating the right-turn lane, not the people turning left; that southbound motorists turning left are being confused because traffic is stopped for them, and a northbound vehicle going through the right-turn only lane causes a problem.
Chair Shepherd reported that she watched the intersection for approximately five minutes and was amazed at the number of cars going through the right-turn lane.
Sgt. Creason reported that he reviewed the numbers for the last three years as well, and the Sheriff’s Department wrote 199 citations for that location.
Director Allison explained that if the problem can be prevented with channelizers, the City could almost relieve one Traffic Officer on duty there because so much time is spent on enforcement at this location.
Commissioner Mevers stated that if it does not work, it could be undone.
Commissioner Willens moved to adopt the staff recommendation as set forth on circle page 24 with the amendment as follows:
Install flexible white channelizers with a yellow top on the right-turn only lane painted island for northbound Hawthorne Boulevard at Ravenspur Drive East as shown on Attachment B of the Traffic Engineer’s Report.
Motion seconded by Commissioner Klein.
Commissioner Willens stated that this problem needs to be solved, and he supports the recommendation. Commissioner Willens informed the Commissioners that they can see them in place at Silver Spur just north of Montemalaga Drive to stop traffic that was trying to make left turns onto southbound Silver Spur, explaining that they are in the middle of the road and are white with colored tops, and it seems to work. Commissioner Willens explained that he really does not like the idea of yellow, but thinks that white with some color on top and he suggested yellow because the only choice on the slide that was white had a yellow top.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the top part of the channelizer is reflective.
Commissioner Lewis asked if there is any reason why there is one color against the other.
Traffic Engineer Rydell said that he has seen all of the channelizers as part of the Caltrans Standard Plan, and sees no reason why the Commission cannot choose white.
Commissioner Willens amended his Motion to read:
Install flexible white channelizers with a yellow top on the right-turn only lane painted island for northbound Hawthorne Boulevard at Ravenspur Drive East as shown on Attachment B of the Traffic Engineer’s Report.
Motion seconded by Commissioner Klein.
Ayes 6; Nays 0
Chair Shepherd asked when the installation would be complete.
Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that it should not be more than a month.
Chair Shepherd asked that Staff notify the Commissioners after installation.
Commissioner Klein asked that Staff give the Commission a follow-up report as an informational item 30 to 60 days, or whatever time is prudent, after the channelizers are installed.
DISCUSSION TOPICS FOR SEPTEMBER 10, 2005 JOINT CITY COUNCIL MEETING:
1. Request Council to provide input on Traffic Safety Commission mission and/or objectives; (i.e. narrow focus, traffic safety, or broad-brush look at issues; Charter, etc.)
Chair Shepherd asked if a time has been determined for the joint meeting.
Director Allison reported that the meeting would be held from 9:00 am until 12:00 noon at Hesse Park on Saturday, September 10, 2005.
Chair Shepherd suggested that the Commission review the proposed topics and narrow them down to two.
Director Allison suggested that one of the items be specific to RV parking as to how wide a purview the Council wants to place on the Commission because he thinks the Commission will struggle with this if they do not get direction from the City Council.
Commissioner Lewis said that his only concern with this topic is that it could take up the whole meeting.
Commissioner Klein stated that he read the Traffic Safety Commission Charter and the Planning Commission’s Charter, and it is his interpretation that this Commission’s purview is safety-related matters on the streets, and the Planning Commission has the Charter and authority to deal with parking on private property.
Director Allison suggested that in the middle are non-safety issues on the public right-of-way.
Chair Shepherd suggested that the Council may have different ideas than the Commission sees in its Charter because, not only is this an RV parking issue, but it may roll over into vehicle street parking in general including aesthetics regarding signage. Chair Shepherd expressed agreement with Commissioner Lewis regarding the length of time it might take, but suggested that wording the topic to the specific subject could avoid this problem.
Director Allison suggested asking for general direction on the non-parking issues and specific direction on the RV issue. Director Allison referred to the Longpoint Project, and expressed concern that the Traffic Safety Commission may find itself in the same position if they do not get specific direction from the Council.
Chair Shepherd explained that if they consider RV parking as a topic, Items 1 and 2 would be resolved under that topic if worded correctly.
Commissioner Klein stated that he agrees with what has been said, but would also like clear direction on who does what, referring to the Traffic Safety Commission and the Planning Commission, and what is done especially on the middle ground issues that are not clearly defined.
Director Allison stated that this information would be helpful because the Department will prepare the Staff report.
Commissioner Lewis suggested wording it to validate that the guidance the Commission receives on Items 1 and 2 on the Agenda also applies to RV situations, and that it be workable guidance.
Commissioner Parfenov suggested that the Commission should differentiate between RVs and oversized vehicles, because the Commission’s discussions have focused on oversized vehicles, which includes RVs.
Chair Shepherd suggested calling it oversized/RVs.
Commissioner Parfenov explained that sometimes there is a difference between oversized vehicles and RVs, because an oversized vehicle could be a monster truck.
Chair Shepherd stated that she believes the former Traffic Committee was asked to address trailers and boats on trailers and the same type of vehicles that they addressed when it came from the Planning Commission.
Commissioner Willens stated that it was brought to the Committee as oversized vehicles.
Chair Shepherd "oversized/RVs" will cover everything.
Director Allison stated that Staff will blend both issues in the Staff report as a multi-topic, and recommended that the Commission authorize Chair Shepherd to work with Staff on the report.
Chair Shepherd clarified that RV is specific, but Items 1 and 2 are the discussion topics regarding how specific, how broad, and how the Council would like the Commission to handle the oversized parking.
Commissioner Klein added that it should also include direction that the Traffic Safety Commission has a Charter to regulate safety on streets, and the Planning Commission’s Charter appears to regulate private property. Commissioner Klein referred to the Agenda item on July 25, 2005 when speakers referred to the "poster child" parking on private property. Commissioner Klein stated that he does not think this Commission can consider that type of issue, and that is why he would like clarification on middle-ground issues such as this because it is not clear.
Commissioner Parfenov referred to the same item and a speaker who complained that a resident had a truck and a boat that was on their private property, but since it was near an intersection, it was blocking the view of an incoming truck, referring to the speaker who presented site pictures for the Commissioners to review.
Chair Shepherd explained that the speaker who presented pictures was concerned about street parking—not about the trailer parked in their driveway. Chair Shepherd explained that Staff would include that type of issue in the report, and asked if alternatives should also be included.
Director Allison agreed that this should be included as part of the discussion, because the question arises as to whether Staff generates options for this body who then narrows it down to a single optional solution that goes to the Council; or does the Commission present possible options and have the Council consider all the possibilities?
Chair Shepherd stated that a new Charter addresses a minority- and majority viewpoint, and the Council wants to see both. She stated that some of that is there but not as specific as the Commission needs.
Commissioner Mevers explained that this was an issue at the last meeting, and the question was that these are the recommendations and alternatives, but what are the options that Staff discarded and why were they discarded.
Director Allison suggested asking Council if Staff should go through an entire process for the recommendations or options that Staff considered, but then discarded; does City Council want Staff to spend the same amount of time on the alternatives?
Commissioner Mevers suggested that the answer may be pretty straight forward; commenting that why would the Council want Staff to spend that much time on something that was discarded for valid reasons.
Chair Shepherd clarified that this would be Topic 2.
Commissioner Willens moved that Staff work in conjunction with Chair Shepherd to prepare the Traffic Safety Commission’s discussion topics for the September 10, 2005 City Council Workshop, seconded by Commissioner Lewis.
Ayes 6; Nays 0
RECESS AND RECONVENE:
The Commission recessed at 9:37 pm and reconvened at 9:47 pm.
RECEIVE AND FILE:
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that he studied the location, and believes it is appropriate to bring it back to the Commission as a recommendation. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that there is more to the problem than just installing a red curb because there is a history regarding lack of available parking. He asked for direction from the Commission regarding how much red curb is acceptable when approaching an intersection. He explained that the red curb in the area is supplementing "No Stopping" signs, and red curb is widely known as no stopping, and he saw signs that were inconsistent. Traffic Engineer Rydell also asked for Commission direction regarding when Staff should supplement red curb with signs.
Chair Shepherd asked if this can be part of the Agenda item Staff report when the Commission reviews policy regarding red curbs.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it could be, or could be part of this item.
Commissioner Klein suggested that Staff would provide recommendations based on accepted practice.
Traffic Engineer Rydell agreed, and explained that whatever decision was reached by the Commission could be applied throughout the City.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that this request applied to the driveway to the multi-unit residential and explained that there is an advance warning sign that is appropriate, and there will be no further action at this time.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Staff is in the process of obtaining Ordinances from various agencies throughout Orange, Los Angeles, and San Diego Counties that will give the Commission additional background information to use in making their decisions.
Commissioner Lewis asked if this would be brought to the Commission meeting on September 26.
Director Allison explained that Staff hopes it will be ready for the October meeting, but that there is a lot of work involved.
Director Allison provided a copy of the updated Traffic Signal Installation Priority List for reference.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff is waiting for written input from Los Angeles County because there are issues related to their synchronization program that will affect the priority list. He explained, however, that Staff is considering a recommendation that will incorporate the County’s input. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the list was updated per Chair Shepherd’s request; that there are no studies or counts older than 2002, and accidents are updated through June 2005; also included is the Caltrans study of Western and Peninsula Verde Drive that was generated by a resident within Rancho Palos Verdes. He explained that Western Avenue is a Caltrans-maintained roadway, and Caltrans would make recommendations. He reported that Caltrans has asked the City for a funding contribution.
Director Allison stated that if the County verifies in writing what they told Staff on the phone, Staff will probably not recommend a traffic signal at Hawthorne Boulevard and Ravenspur; however, if the County fails to put it in writing, Staff will probably install a signal at that intersection.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that the speed humps are installed; Staff has verified in the field that there are 12 people on the Rancho Palos Verdes side.
Commissioner Parfenov referred to e-mails asking if the speed humps are 3" high, and asked if they are all standard.
Director Allison responded that he has been told, and Staff is waiting for certification from the City’s inspector, that the speed humps are 12’ by 3".
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that he watched the humps being measured and feels very comfortable with that.
Director Allison explained that Staff has worked on this project for three years. He described the installation process, and stated that Staff took photos during the installation that are available if anyone is interested in seeing them.
Chair Shepherd asked for clarification regarding whether they are humps or bumps.
Director Allison stated that the sign says "bumps".
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that "humps" is the proper term; that the State Supplement to MUDCUD understands and states that many people are confused, and determined that "bumps" for a sign is as acceptable as "humps" even though technically they are "humps". He explained that Rancho Palos Verdes calls them humps and signs them as "humps".
Chair Shepherd questioned that signs should be consistent throughout Rancho Palos Verdes.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that Staff intends to replace many signs, and at that time, they will replace "bumps" with "humps".
Traffic Engineer Rydell described the feedback from residents, explaining that some people did not like the humps; some were not satisfied with the height, which Staff verified and is correct; and some people were unhappy with the signs. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff will remove all internal signs and will only post signs at the four entry locations to the neighborhood—Enrose Avenue north of Summerland, Wycliff Avenue north of Summerland, Trudie Drive west of Western, and Crestwood Drive west of Western. He explained that the signs will say "Speed Humps" with a plaque underneath that says "Ahead" to give proper notification; that this will give Staff some flexibility if they decide to install more humps in that neighborhood in the future.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that the radar feedback sign was placed on Toscannini west of Mount Shasta; Staff contacted the neighborhood leadership because, as part of their recommendation there was an item to fabricate, distribute, and expect the community to install properly designed lawn signs. He explained that Staff met with the neighborhood, gave them the lawn samples, and asked them to decide what they like and contact the City so they can proceed. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff will not start their "after" study until the lawn signs are implemented because that was part of the recommendations.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this is an internal process where Staff goes to all the schools to study the crosswalks, signs, markings, red curbs and crosswalks adjacent to crosswalks. He explained that any missing signs or markings will generate a request for installation, and anything incorrectly placed will be replaced per Caltrans standards, and any damaged or faded marking will be replaced. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that he has that information, and is providing work orders to get that process started.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this request was initiated by Chair Shepherd who suggested that Staff modify striping on Palos Verdes Drive East near Via Frescati to further separate travel lanes. He explained that the existing striping is adequate per Caltrans standards; however, when Staff investigated the area they identified a mechanism to accomplish the desired result and stated that it does require a detailed striping design.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Staff is working with the equestrian community regarding their concern about access along Palos Verdes Drive East as well as a crossing location from east to west side near Headland and Bronco to go into Rolling Hills. He explained that Staff would meet with them again on August 25 for a follow-up; that the equestrian community is interested in becoming actively involved in this process and contribute information that Staff needs to intelligently provide access routes and crossings.
Chair Shepherd asked if Staff has addressed their questions to the Equestrian Committee.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that the Committee has been involved, but the specifics have not been discussed. He reported that Staff has already initiated vegetation trimming and some striping activities, and Staff is also currently evaluating, in conjunction with the information the equestrians are providing, how Staff can provide a safe and appropriate crossing.
Chair Shepherd asked whom Traffic Engineer Rydell has been talking with so that she can answer questions of the Equestrian Committee Chair at the Mayor’s breakfast.
Director Allison reported that the equestrians were asked to bring their items to the Equestrian Committee and have the Committee make recommendations on priorities, which they have done. He explained that their top priority is to establish a crossing from one side of Palos Verdes Drive East to the other, stating that the equestrians’ solution is to put a stop sign on Palos Verdes Drive East. Director Allison stated that there are traffic issues, and Staff believes that some day there will be a recommendation to put a crossing there, and it may be an in-street light crossing on Palos Verdes Drive East. Director Allison explained that their very first contacts regarding that crossing were Ray Van Dinther and Madeline Ryan, who are on the Equestrian Committee.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that the feedback signs are at the same location as last month at Toscannini Drive west of Mount Shasta and Palos Verdes Drive South at Seahill Drive; that Staff’s intent is to move them every two months. He reported that the radar trailers were placed on the arterials at Crestwood and Hawthorne, Palos Verdes Drive East southwest of Silver Spur; and on other streets—Basswood, Beachgate, Crestridge, Eddinghill, and Toscannini. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff has a comprehensive schedule under review currently for the signs and trailers; it is prepared in conjunction with speeding requests and the citywide program, and in coordination with the Sheriff’s Department.
Commissioner Willens asked that Montemalaga west of Silver Spur in both directions between Montemalaga and the City limit be included on the list. He explained that there is a problem on both sides of the stop sign at Basswood, primarily west of Basswood.
Director Allison explained that the radar trailers are left overnight on arterial roadways where it can measure both early- and late rush-hour traffic, stating that they get more coverage for less time and less cost.
Chair Shepherd asked how soon Golden Meadow would be on the schedule.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that Golden Meadow is on the schedule for both feedback signs and radar trailers.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that the phone calls on this location have stopped. He reported that Staff has coordinated with the Mediterranea Homeowners’ Association and they have several requests including parking issues, red curb, and people driving over the island. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that this item is scheduled for the September 26 Traffic Safety Commission meeting and the Homeowners’ Association is aware that it is scheduled.
Chair Shepherd asked if anyone has driven down Santa Cruz near Mira Vista, and commented that there is a stop sign at every "T".
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that the City of Los Angeles has a plan for that area and he is in contact with their representatives.
Chair Shepherd stated that there is no traffic control for the right-of-way at those locations.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that the City of Los Angeles has a creative stop sign warrant approach that they are testing, and there are questions regarding whether it is appropriate.
Chair Shepherd asked if there is space on the September 26 Agenda to schedule the issue of Commission representatives for the schools. If so, she suggested that Staff provide the list of all the schools to the Commissioners so they have an opportunity to review it and choose schools convenient to them, so that she does not have to assign one that is inconveniently located. Chair Shepherd explained the procedure as periodically reviewing traffic patterns, meeting with the Principal, and occasionally with the PTA, to identify concerns from their vantage point on traffic issues. Chair Shepherd explained that Staff would also give information to the school representatives from the Commission if necessary.
Director Allison reported that there are approximately 12 schools in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Chair Shepherd explained that there would be one- to three Commissioners for each school.
Director Allison stated that he will have the list sent before the next meeting, and responses/choices should be returned only to Pam Mitchell in Public Works.
Commissioner Willens reported that he is getting a lot of junk RPV e-mail and asked if the City has a filter.
Director Allison stated that the City does have a very strong filter, but explained that because Commissioner Willens’ e-mail address is on a website, spammers get the addresses, explaining that Staff also gets junk e-mail.
Parfenov – Brief summary and handouts:
Chair Shepherd introduced this item, explaining that Commissioner Parfenov will give a brief five-minute overview of the issue to determine when the item will be agendized at a future time.
Commissioner Parfenov described a situation where the sun hits the eyes of a driver or causes a glare in the windshield below the visor and decreases the driving ability of the driver. Commissioner Parfenov suggested that using existing technology could prevent the number of traffic accidents. Commissioner Parfenov explained that it is cost-efficient because it is all-inclusive. He explained that results are obtained with satellite imagery; that the City already pays $6,000 for RJS, which includes this technology, to produce pictures for the attachments to the Staff reports, so that his idea would not create additional cost. Commissioner Parfenov stated that this project would use existing technology more efficiently and allow drivers to proceed safely through the danger zones.
Chair Shepherd stated that the Commission needs to know what type of presentation Commissioner Parfenov would like to make including the subject, why he thinks it is important, and how long it would take to present it, before it can be scheduled as an Agenda item if the Commission thinks it is appropriate.
Commissioner Parfenov responded that the project is entitled "Traffic Control, Monitoring, and Prediction Project (TCMP)"; that the presentation would include 25 or 30 slides; that it is important because Rancho Palos Verdes has a hilly terrain and drivers must always adapt to the changing road and the sunshine in the temperate California climate. Commissioner Parfenov explained that the sun hits the eyes of the driver directly, and the visor does not always help because of the glare in the window or the position of the sun; the purpose of this project is to prevent the driver’s confusion in this situation and prevent accidents. Commissioner Parfenov explained that this technology could predict the blinding time, where and when exactly, up to a minute, it will happen, using latitude and longitude. Commissioner Parfenov explained that his formal presentation would include a three-step process with data position, data analysis, and implementation. Commissioner Parfenov explained that this project would involve the Planning Commission, City Council, Public Works, Sheriff’s Department, and the Finance Department. He explained that grants are available from the Federal government and State of California to improve the infrastructure and for research and development.
Traffic Engineer Rydell summarized that Commissioner Parfenov wants to bring this proposal to the September 26 meeting for approval to begin working with Staff on a more detailed program for presentation to the City Council with a request for funding to implement this program, and asked if that is correct.
Commissioner Parfenov said no.
Traffic Engineer Rydell asked what Commissioner Parfenov wants the Traffic Safety Commission to do with this next month.
Commissioner Parfenov stated that he would like to present the full version to determine if it is plausible, because the City Council is looking for proactive solutions, and because this program will directly affect the issue of traffic accidents. Commissioner Parfenov stated that this program will look at the statistical data and other sources, analyze the data, and make predictions.
Commissioner Lewis asked what would the next step be.
Director Allison asked what the recommendation would be in a Staff report.
Chair Shepherd clarified that if it was an executive summary or a Staff report, what would Commissioner Parfenov recommend that the Commission could understand?
Director Allison stated that the Commission must consider cost and budgetary issues. Director Allison suggested that he and Commissioner Parfenov work together to prepare a presentation and a recommendation to bring to the Commission.
Chair Shepherd stated that they should also decide what subject description to put on the Agenda.
Commissioner Willens suggested that, as part of whatever presentation is made, his first question would be how many accidents have been caused by drivers being blinded, and perhaps that information can be included if it is available.
Commissioner Parfenov stated that accidents happen because of sun blindness when the driver gets blinded and then proceeds and has an accident. He explained that it is not always clear-cut, because if there is minor damage to the vehicle the driver may not report it.
Director Allison stated that he and Commissioner Parfenov would work together on this item and determine when it will be ready for the Agenda.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Approval of minutes of June 27, 2005
Approval of minutes of July 25, 2005
There was a discussion of the deadline for return of the Commissioners’ corrections to the Minutes because of a new procedure, transferring responsibility for all Minutes corrections from Pam Mitchell to the Recording Secretary. The Staff and Commission agreed that the Friday before the Monday before the next meeting would allow enough time for corrections, processing of the Minutes, and mailing of Agenda packets so that Commissioners receive the packet on the Wednesday before the Commission meeting. Alternative wording was suggested for the same deadline as the Friday before the week that the Agenda packets must be mailed.
Commissioner Willens moved approval of the June 27, 2005 Minutes, seconded by Commissioner Lewis.
Ayes 6; Nays 0
The Minutes of July 25, 2005 were deferred for further corrections until the September 26, 2005 meeting.
MEETING ADJOURNED AT 10:35 PM TO THE JOINT MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL AND TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2005 AT HESSE PARK.