CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA
TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION
JANUARY 30, 2006
CALL TO ORDER: Chair Shepherd called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at Rancho Palos Verdes Community Room
ROLL CALL: PRESENT: Chair Shepherd, Commissioners Mevers, Parfenov, Willens, Wright
ABSENT: Commissioners Klein and Lewis
ALSO PRESENT: Ron Dragoo, Senior Engineer, Public Works Department; Sgt. Paul Creason, Sheriff's Department; Ara Mihranian, Senior Planner, Planning, Building & Code Enforcement Department; Frances M. Mooney, Recording Secretary
FLAG SALUTE: Commissioner Wright led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Chair Shepherd moved that “Public Comments” be moved from its current location to follow the “Sheriff’s Status Report”, seconded by Commissioner Wright.
Senior Engineer Dragoo clarified that the Minutes to be considered for approval were for the December 12, 2005 Meeting, and were included in the agenda packet.
1. Appointment of Ad Hoc Committees:
a. Technology Subcommittee
Chair Shepherd asked for volunteers for this ad hoc committee and commented that Commissioners Parfenov and Klein have expressed an interest. Commissioner Mevers volunteered to serve on this subcommittee. Chair Shepherd will contact Commissioner Klein to verify if he is interested, and will consider this a tentative appointment until confirmed. Chair Shepherd suggested that the subcommittee study the issues over a three-month period and report to the Commission with their analysis at that time.
b. Subcommittee to study revision of the Traffic Calming Program
Chair Shepherd volunteered to serve on this ad hoc committee and asked Vice Chair Willens and Commissioner Wright to join her to work with Traffic Engineer Rydell for a three-month period. She commented that Senior Engineer Dragoo might also join in the discussions for Staff input if his time permits. Chair Shepherd stated that at the end of three months, the committee would return with a draft revision for the Commission’s consideration.
2. Review of School Representatives:
Chair Shepherd presented a matrix of assignments, taking into consideration choices made by the Commissioners; stating that assignments to those schools that had no volunteers were made based on proximity to the Commissioners’ homes. Commissioner Wright volunteered to be the contact for Cornerstone Elementary School. Chair Shepherd explained that it is not necessary to have two Commissioners assigned to each school, but having an alternate would provide a backup. She suggested that a backup is not needed for Marymount College, and she will verify with Commissioner Lewis that his tentative assignment to Soleado Elementary School is acceptable. Commissioners present had no objection to the assignments as presented. Chair Shepherd asked that the Commissioners make contact with their assigned schools within the next thirty days and decide which Commissioner will be the lead person.
Chair Shepherd referred to a handout from Senior Engineer Dragoo that Traffic Engineer Rydell prepared, listing 14 suggested items to discuss with school representatives upon implementation of the Traffic Safety Commission’s School Liaison Program.
Chair Shepherd moved approval of the list of assignments for the School Liaison Program as presented below:
Cornerstone Elementary School Commissioner Wright
Seconded by Commissioner Wright.
SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT REPORT:
Sgt. Creason explained he will distribute the quarterly report to City Staff next week, and he will present it to the Commission at the next meeting. He reported that the new Deputy continues to do a good job, and that he made an arrest on Saturday, January 28, on the switchback for speeding and narcotics possession.
Chair Shepherd stated that she has noticed the change on the switchbacks, Palos Verdes Drive East, and on Miraleste. She commented that the new Deputy is not in a targeted area and no one knows where he will be, so drivers are on their best behavior. Chair Shepherd stated that she would let the City Council know that the Commission is pleased with the improvement, and that it is money well spent.
Sgt. Creason stated that his guess is that the new Deputy is improving the performance of the other traffic enforcement Deputies by his example.
This section of the agenda is for audience comments for items not on the agenda.
Barry Hildebrand, 3560 Vigilance, used the white board to draw a diagram of the junction of Palos Verdes Drive East and Palos Verdes Drive South that was remodeled within the last couple of years to include plants in the median, which now have grown so much that they obstruct the view from a regular-sized car. He suggested that the plants be replaced with grass or plants that stay close to the ground to avoid a serious accident.
Chair Shepherd asked if the City or the Trump organization planted them.
Mr. Hildebrand responded that the Trump organization planted them because it is in his contract with the City.
Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that Staff would contact the Trump organization and ask them to trim the plants. He explained that they are responsible for maintenance, and can establish a schedule for trimming.
1. MARYMOUNT COLLEGE FACILITIES EXPANSION PROJECT – DISCUSSION OF TRAFFIC RELATED IMPACTS TO BE ADDRESSED THROUGH THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT
1. Staff recommends that the Traffic Safety Commission discuss the proposed project and develop specific traffic related comments which will be forwarded to City Planning Staff for inclusion in the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR).
Chair Shepherd commented that the Traffic Safety Commission would have an opportunity to send their comments to the Planning Commission.
Senior Planner Mirhanian stated that the Planning Department could forward the comments to the Planning Commission. He explained that the Traffic Safety Commission has participated in the two scoping meetings, and the Planning Department is looking for any other information that they can file and perhaps include in the draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). Senior Planner Mihranian stated that not all comments have been addressed yet, so there still is an opportunity to consider the comments from the Traffic Safety Commission.
Chair Shepherd explained that this Commission did not receive an executive summary on what the traffic-related comments were from the scoping meetings, and were not able to review that information. She added that not all Commissioners were present at both scoping meetings.
Senior Engineer’s Report
Senior Engineer Dragoo introduced this item and explained that the purpose of it will be to discuss additional requirements or conditions that Staff or the Traffic Safety Commission may have, compile them and give them to Senior Planner Mihranian. Senior Engineer Dragoo presented an on-screen diagram of the existing site plan and the proposed site plan relating to the expansion project to assist in the discussion. He explained that Commissioner Mevers and the Staff have also prepared presentations for discussion and consideration. Senior Engineer Dragoo asked Commissioner Mevers to proceed with his presentation.
Presentation by Commissioner Mevers
Commissioner Mevers’ presentation considered topics under headings identified for each subject as follows:
“What is needed to address traffic impact of Marymount expansion”
Commissioner Mevers distributed copies of his presentation and showed copies on the screen. He explained that his purpose was to provide information to get the discussion started; that what this Commission is trying to do is get sufficient numerical definition for pre-construction, during-construction phase, and post-construction so that the Staff and Commission can propose reasonable traffic control measures.
Commissioner Mevers explained that, after sitting through the two scoping meetings where attendees were both pro and con, he believes the Commission should try to couch their data in terms that address the claims and concerns of both the college and the local homeowners. He explained that his concerns would be selected intersections, traffic measurements, traffic-measurement methodology, construction-related traffic, and a parking analysis.
“Concerns regarding proposed scope for the traffic impact analysis” and “Traffic Measurements”
Regarding traffic measurements, Commissioner Mevers stated that a number of intersections are listed. He commented that he can appreciate why so many are listed, especially those along Western Avenue, because this is a CALTRANS request. Commissioner Mevers suggested, depending upon man-hours required at each location for traffic measurements, that the prime concern is the traffic around Palos Verdes Drive East and Miraleste. He suggested that if the time spent on that could be rated, he thinks that the college traffic will diffuse rapidly once it gets away from the college. He suggested that when they get down to the various intersections and look at the traffic movement, the normal traffic would probably dominate what is seen. Commissioner Mevers added that he does not know if this is possible or what CALTRANS dictates.
“College traffic measurement methodology”
Commissioner Mevers stated that his understanding is that measurements will be made of traffic going in and out of the college parking lot and, under those circumstances, they would catch an awful lot of them. However, he heard claims at the two scoping meetings of extensive traffic parked along Palos Verdes Drive East and Crest Road. Commissioner Mevers stated that if measurements are made only going in and out of the driveway, there is a lot of traffic that will be missed. He explained that his understanding of the traffic flow measurement is that traffic measurements were being taken out of the off-site locations and subtracting that from the normal traffic measurements. He stated that this did not appear to address the claims made by some of the homeowners who were concerned that college students living in an area far from shopping and entertainment would cause traffic in and out of the dormitories. He explained that this is in opposition to the college claim that it would actually reduce the traffic. Commissioner Mevers suggested finding a location that is similar to what exists at Marymount where there are dorms located quite a distance from entertainment and shopping; that the only place he could think of was UC Santa Barbara. He stated that if a statistical measurement could be made there, sampling 100 students that live in the dorm, and find out how often they move in and out, they would come up with a reasonable sample of what is going on.
Commissioner Mevers considered that instead of simply counting cars going by, they could they develop a long-standing method that could be used in other areas. He referred to an occupancy index per vehicle used by CALTRANS about three years ago in Southern California—how many people in a car on average—resulting in their average of 1.2 people per automobile, adding he is not certain that number is correct. He stated that if you know that, and you know the number of people in a location, then it is easy to make that multiplication. He suggested using a fudge factor to consider ride sharing, buses, and similar means of transportation. He explained that this might be a method of comparing it to the traffic measurements, because later on there will be a situation where it will not be easy to make measurements directly when the traffic is light going in and out of the school.
“Traffic definition for college activities”
Commissioner Mevers stated that he read there will be cultural events twice weekly between 1800 and 2300 hours; 20 soccer matches, 14 to 20 tennis matches; and additional matches for SCC Tournaments. He commented that in both cases, if the City understood the seating capacity and had an occupancy index number, that number could be multiplied by the seating capacity with an appropriate fudge factor, and an estimate of the traffic could be determined. Regarding the Summer Youth Program, Commissioner Mevers suggested that would be difficult because the number of counselors, children, and parents involved would not be known. In addition, Commissioner Mevers explained that 14 community organizations make use of on-campus facilities for their activities; suggesting that if seating capacity and frequency of utilization were known, an estimate of the traffic involved could be made.
“Traffic concerns during construction phase”
Commissioner Mevers stated that the worst traffic problems would be during the three-year period. He first considered parking, and questioned how often there would be periods when on-campus parking would not be available for everyone, such as the faculty, students, and workers, and where they would park. He commented on construction traffic including approximately 30-40 construction personnel.
Commissioner Mevers stated that he understands that 10,000 cubic yards of dirt would have to be moved. He explained that after looking at available trucks, the largest he found would haul 20 cubic yards a haul; explaining that to put 20 cubic yards of dirt in a truck is between 15 and 20 thousand pounds, and it will take 500 truckloads to haul out the dirt, probably within a period of one or two months. Commissioner Mevers reported that an architect friend of his stated that there are too many variables involved (size of building, what it is made of, how much cement) to estimate accurately, but he would guess that it would take between 50 and 100 truckloads to haul out the demolition refuse.
Commissioner Mevers addressed ingress and egress of heavy construction equipment, such as earth moving, building cranes, and other heavy equipment, as well as construction materials, such as concrete, asphalt, stone, lumber, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, etc. He commented that interior/exterior items would include furniture, carpeting, and landscaping. He questioned how often oversized loads would be going in and out of the campus that would require street blockage or traffic control. Commissioner Mevers addressed traffic schedules, reporting that, according to Commissioner Parfenov, UCLA has rigid rules regarding the time of day that construction vehicles could enter and leave the campus to avoid conflicts with normal traffic. He asked if traffic movement would be necessary between sunset and sunrise.
Commissioner Mevers referred to Attachment D, and stated that it appears that extensive use will be made of residential parking limits. He reported that comments during meetings on this project revealed that parking on Palos Verdes Drive East and Crest Road is a source of irritation for the local homeowners; and if drivers start parking on Narino and Casilina, it will cause additional difficulties. He suggested, for purposes of the DEIR, that the Commission limit consideration to just on-campus parking until the City, Staff, and Traffic Safety Commission can develop proposed procedures or restrictions for parking. Commissioner Mevers concluded his presentation, saying that he hoped these comments would stimulate discussion from the Staff and Commissioners.
Chair Shepherd stated that Commissioner Parfenov volunteered to try to acquire the UCLA document. He will distribute it to the Staff and Commissioners when it becomes available.
Commissioner Mevers stated his concern is to have sufficient numerical data so the Commission can develop procedures for traffic control.
Chair Shepherd clarified that the consultants will consider lessons learned from previous construction projects.
Senior Planner Mihranian explained that the consultants are experts at this; that they have traffic professionals who are working on it and they know there are several intersections being studied; that there is a certain methodology and timing that are standards in the industry for measuring traffic, usually in the morning and evening. He explained that for this project, because it is unique and students have a different schedule, the analysis has been expanded to account for the students.
Commissioner Mevers explained that what worries him is the total number of locations with expanded times and how they will differentiate between college traffic and normal traffic. He suggested that as you get closer to the college, the traffic would be because of the students, faculty, and Staff.
Chair Shepherd stated that the beauty of this is that there are only two ways in and out, and any increase in traffic or numbers on the campus will significantly affect those numbers at the key intersections coming into the community. She explained that someone coming from Los Angeles or San Pedro will use various streets on the Peninsula to come into the area, and those numbers will be considered in the traffic study.
Senior Planner Mihranian reported that there are living facilities on Palos Verdes Drive North, so the consultants can deduce where the trips are ending up based on some of the numbers, and certain assumptions can be made. He suggested the Commission defer this to the consultant. He explained that the Traffic Safety Commission, separate from what the Planning Commission is looking at, would have an opportunity to review and discuss the traffic circulation section of the DEIR, which will be given to them. The Traffic Safety Commission can then forward their comments, and the consultant will be here to explain their methodology. Senior Planner Mihranian emphasized that the Planning Department has taken past history into account regarding the intersections, and Staff has received input from CALTRANS and the City of Los Angeles.
Chair Shepherd referred to the demographics, and questioned where the college targets their marketing and where the students are coming from over a certain span of time, considering students from local communities, other counties, and out of the country. She explained that might be a factor in the traffic pattern; that although future enrollment cannot be projected, the sources where the college has marketed can be examined to determine where the students are coming from,
Senior Planner Mihranian questioned if they are coming from the living facilities, off-campus housing, or other locations.
Chair Shepherd commented that the residential campus as it stands would be eliminated if the expansion project becomes a final project, and the students would all be living on this site. She suggested that traffic from the residential site to the new site should not be a factor, and asked if the college plans to have housing in addition to dorms.
Senior Planner Mihranian reported that all the facilities would be closed, except that the Palos Verdes Drive North facility will have housing.
Chair Shepherd inquired about introduction of a summer program to bring high school students from Torrance and other areas, so that instead of a relaxed traffic pattern during the summer, there will be a 365-day-a-year-campus with resulting traffic.
Senior Planner Mihranian stated that he would defer that question to the college regarding their summer program. He explained that he knows there is an entitlement for a Conditional Use Permit to have a summer program for day care and sports activities.
Chair Shepherd asked if someone in the audience could provide information regarding summer school for high school students on the campus at Marymount.
Dr. Thomas McFadden, President of Marymount College said no, and explained that the college has provided the summer program for approximately 20 years at two high school campuses. He stated that Marymount is the agency that handles that at two high school campuses in Palos Verdes. He stated that for the last five or six years they also do that for Torrance Unified School District, but it takes place at West and South High Schools in Torrance, and one elementary school in Torrance. He stated that they do the same thing for the first year at Burbank School District and this will be the second or third year for the Beverly Hills School District. He explained that all that takes place at those school districts, and none of those students come to the Marymount campus for instruction, sports activities, or anything else.
Chair Shepherd asked if there is a plan for that to change.
Dr. McFadden responded that there is no plan to change that.
Senior Planner Mihranian explained that the college just oversees the operation of the summer school program, but does not provide facilities for instruction.
Dr. McFadden explained that there is another issue; that for 20 years the college has offered a summer program for ages 6 to 11, and for a number of years the college conducted that because there was a need in the community, and the community brought to their attention their desire to have a camp for youngsters. Dr. McFadden stated that a very small part of the program was instruction with a variety of other activities including use of the swimming pool, art training, and various track and field events starting at 8:30 am until 3:30 pm during the time when the college was not regularly in session. Dr. McFadden described what he meant by “regularly in session”, saying that they have summer school for the college students, and the number taking classes then is much less than during the typical fall and spring semesters, so there is no problem with the traffic or parking on campus because of the summer program. He reported that two years ago a complaint was made that this kind of activity was not consistent with the Conditional Use Permit that the college had because they had an outside non-profit agency run that program. Because of that, rather than changing the Conditional Use Permit at that time, they stopped that program, and the program went to Miraleste Junior High. He stated that it was not held during the school year, and it was farmed out by Marymount. He explained that many of their neighbors thought it was a tremendous loss to the community that the college was not able to offer that program. As a result, Marymount put the program in as an alternate additional item within the Conditional Use Permit so that Marymount College would be able to run the program for youngsters from July 1 to about the first week in August.
Commissioner Parfenov referred to page 4 of Commissioner Mevers’ presentation and stated that he agrees that the in and out traffic from the college will not give exact numbers unless they know the exact directions where drivers are from, which can be obtained using GPS devices attached to vehicles. He stated that there would also be privacy issues in obtaining precise data.
Commissioner Wright expressed concern with on-campus housing; that now instead of having people driving up to the campus and leaving at the end of the school day, there will be more people leaving the campus and coming back, and there may be quite a bit more traffic going up and down the hill. He referred to the intersections considered so far, and questioned if that takes into account locations where the students may be going off campus for entertainment and other reasons, and how does it affect traffic in those directions.
Chair Shepherd stated that, in comparing a dorm to an apartment complex, the Commission usually uses ten trips per day as the standard for a household; that a student in classes is similar to being at work. She questioned that if that standard is used, it will be necessary to determine how the units are set up, the number of students per unit, density, etc., to use a unit measurement to determine traffic. She stated that she knows how the density of a household is measured, and asked what the method is for determining the density of an apartment or condominium complex.
Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that Staff looks at that a little differently, and believes they use six trips per day as opposed to ten.
Chair Shepherd asked if the standard for a dormitory or an apartment complex is different for condominiums, or are condominiums and apartments looked at the same way. She stated that there is probably not a standard for dormitories because they are not studied in the same way; and she thinks the Commission should consider that, since they use it as a way to determine how much ingress/egress activity there will be. She suggested that if a standard does not exist for the City or State, the Commission should establish one that seems reasonable. Chair Shepherd stated that she would like the consultant to address that.
Senior Planner Mihranian explained that the consultant is RBF and they work for the City under contract, and they will be treated like City Staff.
Commissioner Wright asked if the campus will have a store where students can buy food and will the dormitory have kitchens; explaining that this will affect traffic if students leave the campus for shopping.
Chair Shepherd compared the situations to her experience in college when she lived on the campus for a short time and then moved to an apartment. She explained that even though there were beautiful facilities on the campus with a cafeteria and enough food, students still want to go shopping, visit friends off campus to go to the pizza parlor or out for drinks; so there still was a lot of movement in and out of the campus. Chair Shepherd stated that an issue she believes was brought up at the scoping meetings was plans for extracurricular activities that are not necessarily Marymount activities, but other organizations that rent the space in the athletic building for sports, concerts, and other events. She questioned how often that is going to happen, and suggested that it will affect parking, and the overflow may be on Palos Verdes Drive East and other streets in the area. She explained that the residents are already complaining about the intrusion, with students hanging out at the cars and in front of homes.
Commissioner Mevers stated that he is still curious as to why the construction traffic problem was left out of the discussion in the proposed “Scope of Traffic Impact” memo.
Senior Planner Mihranian stated that he would make sure the consultant is aware of this because it is part of the application submittal, adding that various components of the DEIR do look at pre-construction and post-construction, and he is pretty sure there will be discussion and analysis on that issue.
Commissioner Mevers explained that it was brought to his attention that heavy trucks, fully loaded, will be going downhill; whereas in San Ramon Canyon it was heavy trucks going uphill. He said he wondered if there was a more dangerous situation here in that respect, stating that there is no other way except Palos Verdes Drive East.
Chair Shepherd commented that the trucks have to creep because of the weight and the winding roads.
Commissioner Mevers suggested that if, out of 500 trucks, one of them lost its brakes on Palos Verdes Drive East it would tie up traffic for days.
Commissioner Parfenov commented on the vulnerability of bicycles and the effect of trucks on bicycle traffic.
Senior Planner Mihranian responded that construction traffic will be considered; that in the application for earth moving, Staff will calculate the number of trips based on truck size. He referred to Commissioner Mevers’ statement regarding a truck size of 20 cubic yards, saying that is quite a large truck and is real extreme.
Commissioner Mevers stated that it would take 500 trips with the larger trucks, and with smaller trucks, it might take 700 trips.
Senior Planner Mihranian explained that the analysis would be included in the traffic circulation section; how many trips based on the quantity of earth, excavation and export, the average truck size, where it is going, and it will offer mitigation measures. He explained that the Traffic Safety Commission could look at that and add conditions that it will recommend to the Planning Commission such as specific times for the construction truck traffic in the morning or evening. He explained that the Commission could consider these options during their evaluation of the project.
Commissioner Mevers asked if enough is known now about the construction that the Commission and Staff can know when construction will occur.
Senior Planner Mihranian responded that a phase schedule is part of the application; that it is part of the binder, and the consultant will have that for the Commission.
Commissioner Parfenov asked if the noise problems would be mitigated, and commented that the Port of Los Angeles uses machinery that creates less emissions and noise.
Senior Planner Mihranian reported that in terms of air quality the DEIR addresses construction and post-construction and there are two aspects of the analysis.
Chair Shepherd expressed concern about parking on-campus and the number of parking spaces. She commented that students, like their parents, do not have sports cars but many of them have SUVs. She expressed concern about the ratio of compact spaces to full-size spaces, and she does not believe there is enough parking on campus for this project. Chair Shepherd stated that she does not want to see any cars parking on Palos Verdes Drive East or in the residential community—“Period!” She explained that this is an opinion of only one Commissioner, but that is how she feels about this project; that if there are 100 too many parking spaces on-campus, let it be. She explained that the Commission must look at parking spaces for not only the dormitories and the Staff, but also all of the extra traffic coming in for the events. She referred to parents who bring their children to the summer program, people playing tennis, using the library, coming to eat in the restaurant/cafeteria—because the students are still living there if they choose not to go home in the summer, and they still need their parking spaces. Chair Shepherd stated that she wants to see that there is enough parking 100% of the time no matter what is going on, and she does not see that in any of the documents she has reviewed; she does not think parking is adequate, nor is the size of the parking spaces adequate. She believes this will result in parking in the residential areas and does not think that is acceptable.
Senior Engineer Dragoo suggested the possibility of a parking garage.
“Marymount College Expansion Comments”
Senior Engineer Dragoo presented a document containing six items that he and Traffic Engineer Rydell prepared after the December 12, 2005 public hearing, distributed it to the Commission and Staff, and offered copies to the audience for reference.
Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that the first comment was addressed at the January 10, 2006 meeting. He referred to the second comment, asking if students would use Western Avenue and where would they go during student trips to stores and restaurants. He suggested that the on-campus housing would require all of these trips that are now being made by students to now be made specifically from Rancho Palos Verdes streets, whereas now they may or may not. He stated that there may be an impact there, and Staff asked that the consultant review this.
Regarding comment three, Senior Engineer Dragoo asked if vehicles for students housed on the campus could be parked at a remote site, such as a park-and-ride site, with a shuttle service provided to transport them to the campus.
Senior Engineer Dragoo pointed out that comment four dovetailed the previous question, and referred to comments asking for more on-site parking, which he explained would be desirable to alleviate on-street parking. He explained that the more parking spaces that are on-site would necessarily result in additional traffic—more parking, more traffic. He suggested that restricting the number of on-site parking spaces in conjunction with an on-site park-and-ride area could be considered as an alternative.
Chair Shepherd commented that a permit-parking process is also suggested, and clarified that what Senior Engineer Dragoo is suggesting is that in addition, if that fails, there is something to fall back on, such as controlling on-street parking through a permit-parking process.
Senior Engineer Dragoo referred to item five which asks if there is any mechanism to restrict college traffic to arterials instead of using the Mira Vista neighborhood.
Senior Engineer Dragoo read comment six as follows: “Comments supporting the expansion included the benefits to the community of additional facilities, such as the athletic facilities, enhanced library, etc. The traffic study (we would ask) should evaluate the additional traffic created by these additional facilities. Facilities utilized by RPV citizens will generate additional traffic on RPV streets”. He summarized, saying that whatever wonderful things we bring in, we are creating our own traffic.
Chair Shepherd suggested that when students first move on campus, the first thing the college would say is that they want access to their vehicles to come and go as they please. She opined that for students to be dependent on a shuttle to come and get them and take them somewhere would be very hard to enforce, and the college may not be willing or able to enforce it. Chair Shepherd asked Senior Engineer Dragoo if these suggestions will go forward to Senior Planner Mihranian and the consultant, and he responded that this is correct. Chair Shepherd suggested that, unless there is anything to add or objection to anything presented, these are the suggestions that will go forward.
Commissioner Parfenov referred to the geologic structure of this area composed of Miocene era rocks, which is prone to slides. He stated that it is important to use those trucks that will be most efficient at transporting this type of soil from the site of construction.
Chair Shepherd opened the Public Hearing.
Mitchell Hahn, 31245 Ganado Drive, read from a list of questions. He commented on increased load, saying that the Commissioners captured a lot of this. The list included weekends, meetings at the facility, facility maintenance requirement and trash once the facility is in operation, extra food service, and laundry service. He suggested that once the dorms become a destination, people would be coming from other places where the view is not quite as good to hang out, and he believes there will be a bigger load associated with that. He referred to cost of construction—how long, how much—adding that he thinks restricting the time of day is a good idea, but stated that it will also extend the duration of construction. Mr. Hahn suggested that the answers must be integrated with the increased load because of the resort that is going in and the activity involving building on Western, stating that this will change the whole answer. He added that the Trump organization continues to increase their activity. Mr. Hahn suggested that at some point, the Staff and Commission will have to choose an option, and recommended the lowest bid option. Mr. Hahn commented that he thought the apartment comparison was a good discussion; however, he stated that students have a lot more energy than the average apartment dweller, and expressed concern that they will go in all different directions. He explained that the college provides buses, and while traveling that road he can see through the buses and sees one bus driver’s head and that is about it, so he does not see too much usage of those buses, commenting that it might be heavier during the day when he is at work. Mr. Hahn stated that he has had occasion to use the intersection of Palos Verdes Drive East and Miraleste at about 3:45 pm when the students come out of the school (not the college) and walk across the crosswalk. He explained that traffic stacks up to 15 or 20 cars deep waiting to make a turn onto Palos Verdes Drive East, and any increased load there will cause a problem. He added that if the City puts a traffic light there, then there is another traffic light next to the gas station and it will just snowball.
Lois Karp, 31115 Ganado Drive, addressed a non-related subject regarding the “Merge” sign at Ganado when heading south on Palos Verdes Drive East and turning right on Ganado; and stated that the new “Merge” sign is leaning and needs to be pounded into the ground.
Regarding the Marymount expansion project, Ms. Karp referred to the traffic count of students and others going in and out of the college, and she believes the City should do a traffic count of the residential campus at Palos Verdes Drive North where students live now. She suggested that this would give a good idea of how many times they go in and out; that there is only one exit and it might be a good indication of how many trips students are making. Regarding construction, she stated that in the EIR started in 2003 that was not completed, there was construction road on the plan and an additional entrance to the college during construction; and she has not heard that mentioned at any of the meetings. She commented that if the construction traffic will come through the front gate with all the students, she does not believe that will work. Ms. Karp referred to the staging area, which is near the soccer field according to the Staff report, and stated that it is a very dangerous curve; that they do not want to have a road coming in the middle of that curve. She believes that is a major consideration, and the City needs to determine where a road will be because she does not believe that kind of construction can be done without a construction road.
Ms. Karp referred to the parking problem and explained that when the students arrive in the morning they do not park in the parking lot, stating that it is not the fault of the college—it is the students. She explained that they prefer to park on the street because there is one entrance leaving, and when they are finished with class they want to leave “now”; they do not want to be lined up in the parking lot waiting to get out. She reported that, even when the parking lot is not full, they are always in the street; and stated that there has to be a way to get them in and out of the parking lot more efficiently, and to make them use the parking lot and not the streets. Ms. Karp stated that her suggestion is to have no parking on the streets, and she cannot think of any other way to do that. She explained that they do have a safety problem; they do have a light there, but the kids just cross the street without looking at the light and cross anywhere if their car is across the street. She stated that they open a car door and they are there. She suggested that if there were no parking on that arterial, it would be a safer place.
In addition, Ms. Karp reported that there is no parking enforcement; kids park in front of a fire hydrant, in the red zones, and she has reported them to the Sheriff’s Department. She explained that it is not a priority item, and the Sheriff’s Department will come when they have time. She questioned if they could have a Meter Maid or someone to cope with this who could come up and give tickets, explaining that she was a college student, and she knows that when you got a ticket you never parked in that place again. She stated that she does not think anything gets to the students quite as quickly as that. Ms. Karp explained that on the first day of school for many years they have had a problem on San Ramon, which has permit parking only. She stated that the students do not read the signs. They go into San Ramon and park all over the place; they park in people’s driveway, and the Sheriff has had to come out and get kids out of their street, and they did not give them tickets. They went into the college to make them come out and move their cars, and she does not believe that made much of an impression. Ms. Karp stated that she believes they should be more strict about following the parking code whether you are a student or a resident, commenting that this is part of life. She stated that implementing permit parking for the residents because you do not want the students parking there is really a last resort because it is very inconvenient. She suggested that you do it because you do not have any other choice, and she would not like to see all the rest of the streets around there with parking by permit only.
Jim Gordon, 3538 Bendigo Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, saluted Commissioner Mevers for the very thoughtful, thorough job, and stated that he appreciated his work and that it is nice to see that quality of work from this Commission. Mr. Gordon explained that he has already submitted information to Senior Planner Mihranian for consideration, and he is here to speak on that information. He commented that Palos Verdes Drive East is a very dangerous road and there is a history of that in a document entitled “Switters Street Widening, etc.”, and suggested that if it could be updated it would help give one idea. Secondly, Mr. Gordon stated that the Traffic Committee, on February 14, 2004, did a traffic study for one day at a couple of intersections. He described one as Ganado and Palos Verdes Drive East, and Palos Verdes Drive East and Ganado, and another one he is not sure of, and stated that the City has those records and it shows both the traffic counts for a 24-hour period. Mr. Gordon addressed a third item, and stated that in October of 1990, the college made statements about the traffic situation at the college in an application to the Southern California Air Quality Management District that were quite similar to the findings in the February 2004 study. He explained that 16 years ago the Rancho Palos Verdes Council put some conditions in their Conditional Use Permit (CUP) on the area campus, and he believes the operative statement is that the Planning Commission also stipulated that any commercial use of the campus, including sub-leasing, shall require an amendment to the CUP. Mr. Gordon explained that it is his understanding that the concern that Dr. McFadden mentioned about two years ago when somebody complained was really because that condition apparently had not been met. Mr. Gordon stated that he does not know what the problem was because the college had been doing it for approximately 14 years without getting the proper permission or approval.
Senior Engineer Dragoo commented on the “Switters”; he knows the “Switters” are put together based on information from the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
Mr. Gordon stated that he should be in the amended report because he was hit by an 18-year-old on Palos Verdes Drive East near the Miraleste gas station, and all three vehicles were disabled. Mr. Gordon explained that the driver was not on drugs; he had low blood sugar and it acts like being on drugs, and he went into the pepper trees. Mr. Gordon explained that he was a local resident and a Marymount student.
Chair Shepherd stated that the Commission should not assume anything in case it was forgotten, and asked Senior Engineer Dragoo to add this to the list.
Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that the downside of the “Switters” is that they are six months to one year behind.
Commissioner Wright stated that some smaller accidents do not get to “Switters” at all.
Sgt. Creason stated that the Sheriff’s Department sends everything to the CHP, and occasionally they kick some things back for correction because CHP did not like the way the Sheriff’s Department prepared the report, so he knows they are paying attention.
Barry Hildebrand, 3560 Vigilance Drive, referred to a UCLA study regarding the construction phase. He suggested to the Commission that they look at Harbor College because they are going through a 200-million-dollar expansion right now for renovation. He explained that they are not excavating anything as far as he knows, but they have two ways in and out of their campus also, and it is a lot closer in magnitude to this project rather than something that is happening at UCLA, which is probably about a billion dollars. Mr. Hildebrand suggested that the consultant might look at the Harbor College plans right now. On the subject of how many trip-ends are generated by the dorm—and he thinks as suggested maybe looking at apartment houses—he is sure that the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) has numbers on that because dorms have been around for a long time on campuses, and he does not think they have to invent anything. Lastly, Mr. Hildebrand mentioned, as Lois Karp stated, that there is only one way into the school and one way out currently. He explained that about four years ago when the Traffic Committee studied and made suggestions to the previous EIR consultant, they suggested re-aligning the exit so that it was more normal to Palos Verdes Drive East. He explained that it comes in and out at an obtuse angle now, and if it can be straightened out so that it is more normal, it would generate a better flow of cars on the campus. In addition, he reported that they suggested that the driveway just north of the main driveway, which has a chain across it now, be made a one-way “out” exit only; and put tire poppers on the road surface so that no cars could come in there, but they could exit. He suggested that it would alleviate this problem when students want to leave the campus and they would not have to go to the main entrance to leave. Mr. Hildebrand explained that he believes he talked with Dr. McFadden about why the new plans do not show the main entry as octagonal, and he said he thinks there was a correction that should be made.
Michael Laughlin with PSOMAS, representing Marymount College, was present to answer questions.
Chair Shepherd closed the Public Hearing.
Chair Shepherd asked Senior Engineer Dragoo and Senior Planner Mihranian to make sure that the issue of the pedestrian impact is included when they forward this to the consultant, since it is something that the Commission really did not discuss. She suggested that it is very critical in the traffic pattern what happens, certainly at Miraleste and Palos Verdes Drive East, with the students, people who are walking in groups, and joggers; and there really is no pedestrian traffic control there. She stated that it would be a concern about how they are addressing pedestrian traffic; not just at that intersection, but also at the entrance to the college, from access roads, maybe even across Ganado where people are trying to cross over. Chair Shepherd explained that her first concern would be the students that are at Miraleste High and Miraleste Intermediate schools and how the increase in traffic in this area would affect pedestrian traffic in general. Chair Shepherd stated that they must consider all the new developments. She referred to Western Avenue, whether the high school takes a portion of it from LAUSD or whether it takes the full 2300 units; that still has to be taken into consideration for this particular geographic area for Terranea, for Trump when it is up and running, and when all the homes are built and occupied. She pointed out that right now, they are only talking about golfers that are not really used to it yet, but once Trump starts to market more and there are more events there such as weddings at the restaurant and additional holiday bids, all of a sudden, it becomes a focus point for the South Bay. Chair Shepherd pointed out that there will be an increase in the laundry service, service vehicles, trash trucks, food delivery; maybe not seven days a week, but there will be that flow on a regular basis. Chair Shepherd commented that storm drain impact has not been mentioned, but explained that as they get into user fees, more funds, and a plan for the storm drain repair, that will impact more streets than anything else that is happening on Western. She questioned that while this is going on, will the City also be detouring traffic for storm drain repair around the City, and she has not heard how that might be considered in this EIR. She asked if that is something that will be moving from place to place, how long does the average storm drain project take, and is there an estimate on that—three months, six months.
Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that without CALTRANS the City does not have that much money.
Chair Shepherd commented that usually the City does one or two; if it is near a major arterial or a collector it will impact the traffic flow and that should be taken into consideration because people will have to make other arrangements to get around. She suggested that maybe they cannot use Palos Verdes Drive East because of construction. Chair Shepherd referred to comments regarding visitors, suggesting that it is critical when students have visitors in their dorm rooms; more parking, more trips, and at what time do they leave. Chair Shepherd asked if the Commissioners and Staff agree that the ITE report should be a reference source for the dormitory issue.
Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that the ITE report has analyzed it before, so it would be useful.
Chair Shepherd suggested that this is unique in that a community college type of environment is usually community based, but Marymount markets itself outside of the community which causes a whole different impact on traffic and other circumstances.
Commissioner Willens moved that the Traffic Safety Commission adopt the Staff recommendation to discuss the proposed project and develop specific traffic related comments which will be forwarded to City Planning Staff for inclusion in the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), and;
Commissioner Willens further moved to forward the following information for inclusion in the consultant’s report:
Traffic Safety Commission’s comments
Seconded by Commissioner Wright.
Commissioner Mevers expressed disappointment, saying that he thought he would get some arguments following his presentation, especially from the people at the college.
Chair Shepherd suggested that Commissioner Mevers is just pleasantly surprised.
Commissioner Mevers asked if anyone had any comments.
Chair Shepherd stated that, technically, comments would be out of order, but allowed Dr. McFadden to speak since he had already started to respond.
Dr. Thomas McFadden, President of Marymount College, stated that he thinks RBS is an excellent consulting firm. He believes that they will take into consideration the recommendations made at this meeting and he thinks they will find some of them worthy of inclusion in the DEIR, and that others are already being covered or that it would be impossible to gauge the impact. Dr. McFadden stated that he does not think the consultant will cut back on any of the areas or intersections that they will have to study, saying he would be happy if they did because it costs less money. Dr. McFadden stated that he believes the comments will be looked upon as whether they are worthy of study or not. Dr. McFadden explained that there are some difficulties that he would point out to the consultants about measuring the traffic at Palos Verdes Drive North. He commented that there are similar difficulties, suggesting thinking of two different situations and describing Palos Verdes Drive North with no meal plans, no athletic facilities, no library, and no computer labs. He suggested that you cannot gauge the traffic at that kind of a facility, and compare that to the traffic that will be generated at a site that has fewer students, access to a library, access to food service and computer labs, and recreation services; that it is just apples and oranges.
RECESS AND RECONVENE:
The Commission recessed at 8:47 pm and reconvened at 9:03 pm.
Senior Engineer Mihranian and Commissioner Willens were not present for the remainder of the meeting.
2. PALOS VERDES DRIVE SOUTH AT FORRESTAL DRIVE SIGNAGE
1. Deny request for additional signage.
Senior Engineer’s Report
Senior Engineer Dragoo reviewed the Staff report, stating that Matt Humphreys made the request. He referred to slides of the subject location and explained that signage along Palos Verdes Drive South for cross streets is typically in the center median between east- and westbound traffic with large letters that are clearly visible and easily seen by oncoming traffic. He explained that there is a different situation at Forrestal; the median is narrow with a left-turn pocket specifically for the eastbound traffic from San Pedro. Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that there is no median signage in this area due to sight distance restrictions. He stated that people living in the area call Staff from time to time, asking for median signs because visitors have difficulty finding their streets. He explained that the signs in the pictures are one east and one west, stating that the one that a driver would see if driving east on Palos Verdes Drive South, away from Trump National, is difficult to see. Staff knows they cannot put a larger sign in the median, and the request asks for a larger sign in the median to make it all standard.
Commissioner Mevers commented on the funds available from the Trump organization to install a traffic signal. He suggested that the sign could be put on the traffic light when it is installed.
Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that Staff will definitely do that, but explained that what he was trying to accomplish with this was to finally tell residents in the area that Staff could not do what the residents ask because it is a safety problem, saying it will make his job a little less difficult in responding to residents. However, he explained that there is still a problem with seeing the sign as people enter the Forrestal area. Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that he asked Traffic Engineer Rydell to consider re-locating the sign, and he hopes they can do that soon because it is an issue and it is not something he just wants to ignore because there is additional work needed there. In conclusion, Senior Engineer Dragoo requested that the Traffic Safety Commission deny the request for the large sign, and possibly include something in the Motion about investigating re-locating the existing sign to a more visible location.
Chair Shepherd summarized that Senior Engineer Dragoo and the consultant are going to look into possible revisions to the signage at this location, whether it be changing the size or height of the sign, or changing the location. She suggested that Staff would evaluate that and come up with a solution, and return to the Commission with a Receive and File report on the status.
Senior Engineer Dragoo agreed that this is the plan.
Chair Shepherd opened the Public Hearing.
Barry Hildebrand, 3560 Vigilance Drive, reported that he lives in that community and that George Fink, who is the President of the Ladera Linda Homeowners’ Association, knew that Mr. Hildebrand would be at the meeting to speak on another item and asked him to comment on this issue. He explained that Mr. Fink did not tell him that he also requested a sign in the median, and expressed agreement with Senior Engineer Dragoo that putting a sign in the median is not the solution. Mr. Hildebrand referred to the diagram on circle page 7 and stated that the sign for westbound traffic is approximately 100 feet from the corner. He explained several problems: that drivers are traveling at about 45 mph; the sign has four things listed to decipher; the sign is a whole lane over from the traffic lane because you cannot make a left turn there, so drivers are not looking for the sign. Mr. Hildebrand suggested that the sign be moved up, referring to circle page 6, to about 300’ from where it is; closer to Aqua Vista Drive where there is no view impairment to traffic coming westbound on Palos Verdes Drive South. He added that it would give drivers enough time to decipher the four messages on the sign and make the decision to get into the right-turn lane pocket to make the turn. Mr. Hildebrand stated that this location would not impair anyone’s line of sight from Forrestal looking eastbound.
Mr. Hildebrand referred to the other direction and suggested moving the sign farther west, saying that it would give a driver adequate time to read the sign and get into the left turn pocket. Mr. Hildebrand agreed with Senior Engineer Dragoo’s recommendation to instruct the Traffic Engineer to move the signage in both directions a couple hundred feet or so away from the intersection. He explained that he would tell Mr. Fink that Staff would not put a sign in the median.
Chair Shepherd closed the Public Hearing.
Chair Shepherd commented that this is a very busy sign, and asked Senior Engineer Dragoo if the City ordinarily has directional signs for schools throughout the City.
Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that they are not doing it throughout the City, although he knows there are locations where they are used.
Chair Shepherd pointed out that all that is needed is the sign for the street if you know the name of the street where the school is located, and a sign for the school is not really needed. She explained that what Mr. Hildebrand is talking about is that drivers are trying to dissect four different things on the sign, and maybe the Montessori School does not need a sign. She suggested that the City may receive complaints if it is removed because a precedent has been set, but she does not believe it is required; that it is causing more of a safety issue by having too much information to read as drivers pass.
Commissioner Wright stated that he drives that road quite a bit. He stated that, in his opinion, it is a rather dangerous intersection to begin with, although he is not aware of the accident history. Commissioner Wright stated that he has had people pull out in front of him at night especially when they come out of the Trump facility trying to get across the intersection where you don’t see cars coming. He explained that when you add this sign to the mix when you are trying to gather all the information to find a place at nighttime and you come across this intersection, he believes it is a real hazard, especially with all that information. He stated that he has never understood why it has all that information.
Chair Shepherd suggested that the school sign could be eliminated; that there may be a precedent set for parks, because people may not have the address of a park, but the school does. She suggested that when Staff is studying this issue they could investigate the possibility of removing the school sign.
Commissioner Wright stated that moving the signs back in both directions would definitely help a lot.
Commissioner Parfenov commented that by moving the sign back and making the sign itself less cluttered would increase visibility.
Barry Hildebrand asked to speak, and commented on Commissioner Mevers’ suggestion about the traffic signal. He stated that, even though the money is there, he does not believe that the warrants can be satisfied to put a traffic light there because cross-traffic is negligible compared to 13,000 or 16,000 cars on Palos Verdes Drive South. He stated that there is not enough pedestrian traffic, almost no cross traffic; that when Trump has a huge event there might be some cross traffic, but most of the time traffic is negligible. Mr. Hildebrand stated that he does not know where it is on the list.
Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that it is on the list and it satisfies the warrants. He reported that there were three accidents in the past two and one-half years--one broadside and two rear ends.
Commissioner Wright stated that he did not make his comments based on any prior knowledge of the accident history, and now speeds appear to be going up, especially coming out of Trump, although the traffic is light.
Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that he believes there will be an increase because of traffic out of Trump, and he has noticed that drivers dart out.
Commissioner Wright stated that it is very difficult at night because of the angle of the cars when drivers try to get across traffic.
Chair Shepherd moved to accept the Staff recommendation to deny the request for additional signage. Chair Shepherd further moved to request Staff to investigate improvement in location for better visibility, and the feasibility of removing the Montessori School sign from both east- and westbound signs, seconded by Commissioner Wright.
3. WESTERN AVENUE AND SUMMERLAND STREET GUIDE SIGNS
1. Deny request for sign.
Commissioner Parfenov reported that he did not visit this location due to the fact that he thought it was not necessary for this specific case.
Chair Shepherd stated that this is more of a Receive and File, but that there are other issues related to it that Senior Engineer Dragoo would explain.
Senior Engineer’s Report
Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that a request was received from Carol Efaw to investigate the subject area with respect to installing a church guide sign on Western Avenue near Summerland Street. He explained that his reason for preparing a report for this issue is similar to that for Item 2, and stated that he did request changes for signage, striping, and parking along Western Avenue, commenting that Western Avenue is completely out of the City’s jurisdiction and is governed by the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS). Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that the person who made the request was insisting that he bring this item to the Commission when advised that Staff could not install a sign. He explained that he directed her to make the request to CALTRANS, and explained to her that it is a State highway and CALTRANS would have to approve the sign.
Chair Shepherd asked if Staff informed Carol Efaw that the Commission was considering the item at this meeting.
Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that he did inform Ms. Efaw, but she told him that she could not attend. He explained that his hope is that, in addressing her request for a church guide sign and denying that, and directing Staff to go back to the requestor to tell her that she must make the request to CALTRANS; and additionally, asking Staff to direct all future requests for changes along Western for signage, striping, or parking changes to CALTRANS, it will help his workload. He explained that it would also help the residents understand that Western Avenue is a State highway and that is not managed by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.
Sgt. Creason commented that he could see that this part of Western is clearly not in the City according to the map on circle page 10. However, he stated that part of Western is in the City, and asked if the City maintains that section.
Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that the City has input into changes that CALTRANS wants to implement, but the City cannot order work; the City cannot order changes in signage, striping, parking, or traffic signals, or repair potholes on a State highway.
Commissioner Parfenov moved to accept Recommendations 1 and 2 as follows:
1. Deny request for sign.
Seconded by Commissioner Wright.
RECEIVE AND FILE:
Citywide Traffic Signal Priority List Update
1. Public Works Department Report
a. RV Parking Ordinance Update
Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that the RV Ordinance is completed, and the report is ready and waiting to come to the Traffic Safety Commission at the next meeting or the one following as the Commission desires.
Chair Shepherd explained that the Commission is considering limiting the agenda to this one item, since it is very controversial and will be very lengthy.
Commissioner Mevers asked if they should refer to it as oversized vehicles.
Chair Shepherd responded that it should be oversized/RVs.
Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that the ordinance could include everything and that is one of the options in the Staff report—bicycles, cars, and motorcycles.
Chair Shepherd clarified that the Commission is supposed to be reviewing a parking ordinance separate from oversized vehicle parking based on the City Council actions, so the Commission is looking at two separate issues.
b. Mira Vista Traffic Calming Update
Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that counts are currently underway for Mira Vista also known as the South Eastview area, and will be completed in the next couple of weeks. He stated that Staff would disseminate that information in report format to the Traffic Safety Commission, probably at the March meeting. He explained that he plans to include in the report the before and after speed hump data; and after that they will investigate any additional work that is needed in the area for traffic calming. He explained that preliminary results of the traffic counts show that speeds are down and volumes are up; and as long as speeds are down, the humps appear to be effective.
Chair Shepherd commented that speed was the reason for the investigation, and the volumes are probably up because of the storm drain. She explained that she has to wait to make a turn on Palos Verdes Drive East and Miraleste much longer now during non-peak hours than previously, and believes that traffic is trying to avoid Western by using Palos Verdes Drive East.
c. Toscanini Area Traffic Calming Update
Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that Staff ordered additional speed-limit signs and expects to receive them by February 14; that Staff has generated a work order for additional striping in the roadways so that speed limits will be listed on the roadways. He explained that the markings on the street are adjacent to the speed-limit signs, and they have ordered traffic-calming signs for the lawns; that they are coming from Minnesota for $3.00 each, because locally they would cost $7.00 each.
Chair Shepherd asked if the City is restricting how long the lawn signs can be on display before they become an eyesore.
Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that the signs in one area were up between six months and one year; explaining that at six months they were deteriorating, and after one year, they were removed because the middle of the signs had fallen away.
Chair Shepherd commented that Staff should look into this because when the signs deteriorate they bring down the neighborhood and the aesthetics, and the City needs to be careful not to add blight in implementing the traffic calming measures.
Commissioner Mevers commented that there were signs on First Street lawns for about two months and they all disappeared at one time; and he assumed that whoever had distributed them, came along and collected them.
Chair Shepherd suggested that a provision be included in the Traffic Calming Program with a stipulation regarding the length of time lawn signs should be displayed, and who is responsible for removing them.
d. Via Rivera update
Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that there are traffic calming issues on Via Rivera as well, and that is another issue that will demand a lot of time, so there are two large time demand issues waiting for consideration.
e. Hawthorne Blvd near Silver Spur Rd Traffic Control
Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that this item was added specifically because they were doing storm drain work downhill from Silver Spur on Hawthorne. He stated that the pipe was in the same condition as the one on Western Avenue, and Staff was fortunate to repair this before the road fell apart. He explained that in order to make the repairs, a lot of traffic control was necessary; and the City does not have funds to keep CALTRANS there for several months.
Commissioner Parfenov asked if Senior Engineer Dragoo was referring to north or south of Silver Spur.
Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that it is north of Silver Spur on Hawthorne Boulevard, about 500 feet from the intersection.
f. PVDE Equestrian Access Plan Update
Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that Staff has given their recommendations and cost estimate to the Equestrian Committee and it is in their Committee until further notice.
g. Radar Trailer/Feedback Sign Deployment Update
Senior Engineer Dragoo pointed out the Staff report and schedule that was provided to the Commissioners for their information, and stated that Staff is on schedule.
h. Western Avenue
Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that the Commission would see big changes in Western Avenue. He explained that Staff completed the City’s work by extending the pipe to the right-of-way on the west side of Western Avenue, underneath the slope, and beneath the properties located on top of the hill. They tunneled and replaced the pipe that was broken and aligned the pipe from Pontevedera Drive, which is the street that runs parallel to Western to the west. He explained that from that point they went between the homes, down the hill, and into the big pit in Western Avenue, and put a liner through that entire pipe last week. He stated that, additionally last week, CALTRANS put in the last two pieces of pipe, so now that pipe is complete; CALTRANS backfilled that hole, removed their shoring, and peeled off concrete today for the curb and gutter. He explained that on Saturday they replaced the driveway approach to the Smart and Final entrance; tomorrow they will be paving, and on Wednesday they will finish repair to the medians so that traffic will be going their separate ways on Western Avenue. CALTRANS’ target date to have traffic open for the evening commute is Wednesday (February 8, 2006) with no traffic control. He commented that Western Avenue has been closed since May 2005.
2. Other Traffic Safety Commission Business
a. Chair Shepherd requested that the Commissioners begin thinking about what month the Commission could double up on a meeting and have two in one month due to the backlog and the two large items. She suggested that RV parking should probably be considered first and Via Rivera second. She explained that it would be desirable to have all seven Commissioners attend those two meetings, and commented that Commissioners Lewis and Willens may be unavailable in February and March due to childbirth. She suggested that possibly Staff could send out a schedule of dates and check the room availability for two meetings in one month.
Commissioner Mevers commented on the RV issue, saying that it has been going on since before his time on the Commission. He asked if there are people arguing against doing anything and if there is something on record.
Chair Shepherd responded that a few months before the Traffic Committee was dissolved this issue was brought before Committee and there were many speakers with pros and cons, with examples of safety problems, site distance, boat trailers, and other issues. She explained that many of the speakers were in favor of some type of ordinance regarding parking on the street. Chair Shepherd suggested giving copies of the Minutes of that meeting to the Commissioners for review. She commented on the availability of several new ordinances passed by other cities that are now available for reference.
Commissioner Mevers stated that he feels much better about the issue when the nay Sayers can come in and have their say.
Chair Shepherd pointed out that the ordinance will go from this Commission to the Planning Commission and then to City Council, so there will be three opportunities for residents to have their say.
Commissioner Wright commented that a certain segment of the population uses the meetings as a forum to speak on matters that are not material to the subject, and the arguments are not compelling at all.
Chair Shepherd explained that this City allows for a forum for residents to just vent, and sometimes residents just need to express themselves even though they are not for or against an issue, and this is not true in some cities. She explained that in a small community like Rancho Palos Verdes they have an opportunity to do that; that residents are satisfied that they had an opportunity to speak whether they are satisfied with the outcome or not. Chair Shepherd stated that many people who come back to speak on the RV issue have already expressed themselves in the past.
b. Commissioner Parfenov requested that Staff investigate the intersection of Armaga Spring Road and Via Porto Grande. He explained that it is a straight road, a quarter- or half-mile long, with an apartment complex, a church on it, and a junior high school nearby. He explained that he observed students crossing the street and cars zooming by.
Chair Shepherd noted that the school is Ridgecrest Intermediate, and recalled that the Commission has addressed some traffic calming issues in that location.
Sgt. Creason asked when this is happening.
Commissioner Parfenov responded that it is in the morning and evening, that the speeders are on Armaga Spring Road, which is a narrow road with quite extensive traffic.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Commissioner Wright moved to approve the Minutes of December 12, 2005, seconded by Commissioner Mevers.
MEETING ADJOURNED AT 9:50 PM TO THE NEXT REGULARLY SCHEDULED TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION MEETING, FEBRUARY 27, 2006.