CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA
TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION
FEBRUARY 27, 2006
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 Mevers, Parfenov, Willens, Wright
ABSENT: Commissioners Klein and Lewis
ALSO PRESENT: Jack Rydell, Traffic Engineer, Wildan; Ron Dragoo, Senior Engineer, Public Works; Deputy Reece Souza, Sheriff's Department; Frances M. Mooney, Recording Secretary
Chair Shepherd reported that Commissioner Lewis resigned from the Traffic Safety Commission to take a position on the Planning Commission.
Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that Commissioner Klein was called away for a family emergency.
FLAG SALUTE: Commissioner Wright led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Commissioner Willens moved to approve the Agenda as presented, seconded by Commissioner Parfenov.
1. Appointment of Ad Hoc Committee
Chair Shepherd deferred this item to a later time.
2. Cyclists in the City on the Switchbacks and Palos Verdes Drive East
Chair Shepherd explained that the City Council has requested that the Traffic Safety Commission study the issue of cyclists in the City, primarily on the switchbacks and Palos Verdes Drive East. She requested three volunteers to examine issues related to that. Chair Shepherd explained that the Mayor received a call regarding cyclists who want to ride four or five deep, obstructing traffic flow and creating safety concerns.
Commissioners Wright and Parfenov volunteered.
Commissioner Mevers asked what the volunteers would do.
Chair Shepherd explained that the group would analyze and evaluate what is going on with cyclists on the hill within Rancho Palos Verdes, and return to the Commission with recommendations on what can be done to mitigate the problems; including what the problems are and who they are affecting. She explained that the Sheriff’s Department stated that cyclists do have the right to ride on City streets, but they must keep up with the same mph as other vehicles or move to the shoulder of the road. She reported that, for some time, the cyclists have been riding uphill four or five deep and traffic cannot go around them on Palos Verdes Drive East; that they are going slower than the traffic allows and the cyclists do not move over because there is no shoulder, and they say it is not safe. Chair Shepherd explained that she participated in a conference call with the Mayor, Councilman Long, Deputy Knox, and Acting Director Ray Holland of Public Works, to discuss issues of proper signage, how much signage, and other issues relative to this problem. She reported that they decided to appoint a group to study the situation.
SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT REPORT:
Deputy Reece Souza represented the Sheriff’s Department, and explained that there is no report due to Sgt. Creason’s absence to attend to a family emergency.
Commissioner Wright referred to five or six Deputies in the Portuguese Bend area where a car had gone off the road on the ocean side, and asked Deputy Souza if he was aware of this.
Deputy Souza responded that he has not seen any report to date.
1. ON-STREET PARKING OF VEHICLES
Staff recommends that the Traffic Safety Commission: 1) Receive a presentation from Staff regarding ordinances used by jurisdictions; 2) Open the public hearing to receive public comments on issues related to parking restrictions on city streets; 3) Provide direction to Staff on how to proceed with this item.
Chair Shepherd expressed surprise that no residents appeared at the meeting to comment on this item.
Commissioner Willens asked if this item was publicized in the usual manner.
Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that it was.
Commissioner Willens asked if anyone called about the meeting.
Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that no one called.
Chair Shepherd asked if it were on the Web and went through Listserv.
Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that it was.
Chair Shepherd commented that the public would have another opportunity, and that this is more of a workshop or scoping meeting for the Commission at this point, and people may arrive later in the meeting.
Traffic Engineer’s Report
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that his presentation would be brief, and that Staff is not making any recommendations regarding the potential Ordinances; that they have just developed some Ordinances for discussion. He explained that the on-street parking issue has been in progress for some time, starting with the Planning Department’s consideration of oversized vehicle issues on private property, which raised the question of where the vehicles would go from there—assuming surface streets. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff was asked during the past year to develop Ordinances; they used different approaches as outlined in the staff report, and now have alternatives for the Commission to consider. Traffic Engineer Rydell commented that the staff report presented is very lengthy and very in-depth, and explained that he would review each Ordinance briefly. The staff report included an attachment entitled “Chronology of Actions Related to RV Parking”, copies of the five Ordinances for consideration identified as Attachments A through E, and Options A through E presenting samples of Ordinances from various municipalities.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that four of the potential Ordinances refer specifically to oversized vehicles, however it is ultimately defined; and one relates to all vehicles in response to direction from the City Council to consider parking restrictions across the board.
Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to circle page 4, and began with a review of Ordinance Option A, a general ban of on-street parking of oversized vehicles. He explained that it is probably the most restrictive of the five Ordinances, prohibiting parking of all oversized vehicles on all City streets unless they are actively engaged in loading, unloading, or for activities required for use of the vehicle. He stated that the vehicle could only be parked adjacent to the registered owner’s residence for a period not to exceed two hours. Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out the addendum containing similar Ordinances of other localities, including Orange, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, and Newport Beach.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed Ordinance Option B, which has an overnight restriction of oversized vehicles, meaning they can be parked any time, as long as it is not between 2:00 am and 5:00 am, and requiring that the vehicles be moved every day. He clarified that the vehicle can only be parked in front of the registered owner’s residence, and explained that every Ordinance addresses the concern that people are parking in front of their neighbor’s property. Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out the addendum containing similar Ordinances of other localities, including Cypress, Seal Beach, Dana Point, and Santa Monica.
Traffic Engineer Rydell described Ordinance Option C, with 72-hour permit parking up to four times per year. He explained that residents can park in front of their residence for up to 72 hours, but they must do it by permit and are limited to four permits during any calendar year. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this would also provide a revenue source to the City to help pay for staff and enforcement issues related to the Ordinance. Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out the addendum containing a similar Ordinance for Vista.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Ordinance Option D is also 72-hour permit parking, but that there is no maximum number of times the vehicle can be parked in front of the residence; however, the vehicle must be moved every 24 hours at least one-tenth of a mile. He stated that different cities have different distances, and they generally relate to the size of the lot; the vehicle must be removed every 24 hours if the distance exceeds the resident’s lot size. He explained that the City would have fees related to the permits, and any Ordinance involving permits would allow Staff to review each request for a permit and, if they determine that the location is unsafe for any reason, Staff can deny a permit. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that this is not necessarily equitable across the board, but that is the condition because every Ordinance is requiring applicants to park in front of their residence. Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out the addendum containing a similar Ordinance for Del Mar.
Traffic Engineer Rydell described Ordinance Option E as an overnight ban of on-street parking of all vehicles between the hours of 2:00 am and 5:00 am. Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out the addendum containing similar Ordinances of other localities, including Beverly Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, and San Marino.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that all of the Ordinances contain exclusions, and he stated that starting on circle page 9 are draft Ordinances that Staff created based on the Ordinances of cities with similar provisions. Referring to Ordinance Option "A" on circle page 10, Traffic Engineer Rydell briefly reviewed the exemptions under 10.XX.030 (A), Items 1 through 7, which are the same in potential Ordinance Options A through D as follows:
Exemptions pertaining to proposed Ordinances A through D
1. Oversized vehicles making pick-ups or deliveries of goods, wares, or merchandise from or to any building or structure.
A. Vehicles registered to a non-disabled driver of a disabled person are not exempt.
6. Buses when loading or unloading passengers at established zones.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the exemptions are reasonable, allowing for flexibility. He described the five potential Ordinances as ranging from not too restrictive to the very restrictive Option E Ordinance, which restricts on-street parking of all vehicles. The exemptions for potential Option E Ordinance are different from those listed above, and are outlined on circle page 24 in Attachment E of the staff report as follows:
Exemptions pertaining to proposed Ordinance E
1. Any vehicle registered with the state department of motor vehicles to a disabled person as defined in Section 22511.5 of the California Vehicle Code and displaying a distinguishable placard or license plate issued by the state department of motor vehicles subject to the following provisions.
A. Vehicles registered to a non-disabled driver of a disabled person are not exempt.
2. Any emergency vehicle in service.
Traffic Engineer Rydell concluded, saying that this information is presented as a starting point for discussion, deliberation, and modifications if necessary.
Chair Shepherd commended and thanked Staff for the comprehensive staff report, and commented that it is beyond her expectations.
Commissioner Willens asked that the Minutes reflect the fact that no residents are present for the public hearing, which is agendized as a public hearing to receive public comments. He stated that it is difficult to know what the public wants when they are not present, and he is disappointed because he was eager to hear what some people have to say about it. Commissioner Willens asked if Staff knows how many RVs are registered within the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, or if there is a way to find out.
Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that he does not know.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that one of the problems is how to define a recreational vehicle.
Commissioner Willens asked how RVs are registered, and if boats are considered RVs.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the Ordinances all treat unattached vehicles, such as boats and trailers, as oversized vehicles.
Commissioner Willens suggested that if they were to go to the DMV and ask how many RVs are registered to people who live in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, regardless of how they define it, he does not know how this information could be requested. He explained that he is struggling with the question of how many vehicles are being considered, and suggested that it could be 100 or 1,000.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff does not receive any complaints, that there have been just a couple in the past.
Commissioner Willens suggested that the problem is not that there are so many complaints that the Commission must regulate them in some way.
Chair Shepherd stated that part of the reason they do not have complaints is because if your neighbor is infringing on your space by parking an RV in your sight area or in front of your house, residents do not call because there is no other resolve except for enforcement of the 72-hour provision. She explained that this provision only requires moving the vehicle a short distance. She reported that in her random check with residents who have that issue or who own RVs, that is the reason they are not calling; that the residents do not want to go to war with neighbors who just move their vehicles a few inches to comply with the provision. She stated that she does not believe that this is a gauge for saying there is no problem.
Commissioner Wright suggested that the City may not get the calls, but questioned if the Sheriff gets the calls.
Deputy Souza responded that it is not the quantity of calls, but is generally the quantity of calls from one person who might call often, and in response the neighbor just moves the vehicle back and forth. Deputy Souza referred to the question of registration of oversized vehicles, and explained that the DMV has oversized vehicles categorized and that motor homes are registered differently. He explained that the DMV uses permanent trailer status that is a five-year registration for boat trailers, cargo haulers, and the big fixed-wheel trailers, which are registered differently from the car-hauler-type trailers. Deputy Souza stated that the DMV could provide the registration information, but would have to run all the different possible types of licenses.
Commissioner Willens suggested that if the Commission was just trying to find out how many motor homes there are for example, perhaps the DMV could provide an estimate. He explained that if it is not possible, then the rest of his questions do not matter.
Chair Shepherd suggested that the Planning Commission might have obtained that information when they worked on private property issues.
Commissioner Willens asked if there are legal challenges to any of these types of Ordinances, and if the Traffic Safety Commission will withstand challenges if there were any, suggesting that some of the Ordinances are probably new and others have been in effect for some time.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that Staff does not know if the Ordinances will withstand challenges, and explained that during a conference call with the City Attorney one of her concerns was about restricting parking based on approximate location of the vehicle. He explained that every City that Staff talked with may have had concerns, but they have not had any problems with enforcement to date.
Commissioner Willens asked if any of these cities are in the midst of litigation by an individual or group to try to overturn one of the Ordinances that were passed.
Traffic Engineer Rydell said they have not, and other cities are considering it; that La Mesa, for example, just went to their City Council to discuss how they want to handle it, and ultimately decided to use the 72-hour provision. However, he explained that they were not concerned legally and decided to go forward.
Chair Shepherd commented that Beverly Hills has had restrictions for a long time and she does not remember that parking was ever allowed overnight there; that it was one of the first cities to restrict parking.
Commissioner Willens commented that the Beverly Hills Ordinance is the most restrictive of all, and he stated that he would be surprised that some of the cities could actually get away with having passed these Ordinances and not having anyone try to challenge them.
Chair Shepherd suggested that possibly someone initially did.
Commissioner Parfenov asked if it is viable to exercise a manual count of RVs by physically going through the City and counting the number of RVs or boats.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that they could drive by and see what is out there at any one time; that in his capacity as Traffic Engineer he is driving around the City all the time, and he does not see that many RVs.
Chair Shepherd suggested that some people are on trips and others have their vehicles in a storage facility, and the best solution is to ask the DMV for registration records for the City.
Commissioner Wright referred to the public safety issue that was discussed in the past, and asked if there are any accident reports that the Commission can show are directly attributable to lack of visibility because of an RV, such as a child running into the street or a car backing out of a driveway.
Deputy Souza responded that he can think of one crash, and he reviews most of them.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that the City gets requests to address visibility issues all the time such as trees, but has never had a request to investigate something because of an RV parked, although it may have happened.
Deputy Souza reported that seven or eight years ago he wrote a ticket where there is no parking of a vehicle over six feet tall, but it was challenged because of the height issue. He explained that it went to the Superior Court in Redondo Beach and he is not sure of the outcome, but it was treated more seriously than a regular traffic ticket. Deputy Souza suggested that this is similar in the sense that the Ordinances regulate parking based on the size of the vehicle.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that the Vehicle Code allows the City to prohibit vehicles over six feet tall from parking within 100 feet of an intersection.
Commissioner Wright stated that there is no record of complaints, huge personals, or code safety issues, and asked what prompted the City Council to make this a priority issue.
Chair Shepherd reported that it was because there are complaints coming to the City Council, and reiterated the fact that people do not call the Sheriff, which causes them to be at war with their neighbors; that they have requested that the City do something so that they can hide behind an Ordinance. She stated that this is her understanding.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that he has had comments similar to what Chair Shepherd is saying expressed to him by the citizens, not in a request to do something, but the complaint is the same.
Commissioner Wright asked if there are many of those types of complaints.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that there are not many.
Commissioner Wright stated that this is an important issue, and suggested that it does not appear to be a public safety issue--that his main concern was the sight hindrance, using the example of a child running in front of an RV into the street and being hit by a car. He commented on previous consideration of this issue by the former Traffic Committee.
Chair Shepherd responded that it was not a major agenda item until now. She distributed copies of a proposal from Mel Hughes, Chair of the Emergency Preparedness Committee, entitled “Overnight Parking Ban on Residential Streets Proposal”.
Commissioner Willens moved, in order to facilitate public comment, that at some month appropriate to the Agenda, this item be placed back on the Agenda as a recommendation that the Traffic Safety Commission recommend to the City Council one of the proposed Ordinances as set forth in Options A through E, or some alternative that may result from Commission discussion or public comments, seconded by Commissioner Wright.
In response to Chair Shepherd’s concerns regarding action on this item at this meeting,
Chair Shepherd referred to the document from Mel Hughes, explaining that it has been given to members of the City Council. She pointed out that the first paragraph might be helpful in addressing concerns regarding public safety. Chair Shepherd read from the proposal “ . . . to reduce the amount of oil, gasoline, and other automobile fluids from reaching the ocean through run-off from City streets, improve sight distances along residential streets, improve traffic flow, and improve emergency vehicle access to residential streets, and to keep streets clean and in good repair.” She explained that this document is to be added to the Commission’s discussion items, commenting that it seems to mimic some of what is already spelled out as options. She explained that Mr. Hughes lives in the neighborhood with the Mayor, which she believes is San Nicholas, and there are problems with RVs as well as complaints; that the complaints are not coming to Staff, but are going to members of advisory groups of Commissions. She explained that the complaints are ignored because there is nothing to do but cite violators for 72 hours. Chair Shepherd reported that with many accidents she witnessed on City streets, if there is not an injury and the Sheriff is not called, it would not be in their database. She explained that she has had near misses with children when it is necessary to go on the other side of opposing traffic to avoid a parked oversized vehicle.
Commissioner Wright suggested that if all the things in the referenced paragraph in Mr. Hughes document were important, he would tend to say that the City should ban on-street parking of all oversized vehicles.
Chair Shepherd stated that Mr. Hughes is suggesting a ban with certain caveats. She stated that there is a trend across the country, and in California, that because homes are so expensive, multiple families are buying homes by pooling their funds. She explained that this results in multiple vehicles with a two-car garage, with many vehicles parked on the streets; and some cities are trying to prevent this before it happens. She stated that in discussions with Mr. Hughes, he reported that some communities are making restrictions on the number of cars that should be in the garage based on square footage, the number of cars in the driveway depending on the length, and the number of cars permitted on the street.
Commissioner Parfenov reported on a situation in his former community where people were using the garage for storage, and an Ordinance was passed to require that at least one car must be in the garage.
Chair Shepherd asked if the Traffic Engineer is aware of this type of Ordinance.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he does not know, but recalled that the City of Lawndale was having this problem because multiple families were moving into single-family homes, and there is actually no parking in Lawndale whatsoever.
Chair Shepherd reported that special needs housing is increasing, and that is causing parking issues as well. She explained that the former Traffic Committee considered this.
Commissioner Wright mentioned a neighborhood of single-family homes on Nantasket off Seacove next to a high-density apartment complex, and stated that Nantasket is a parking lot. He commented that he does not know how many apartments or condominium complexes have inadequate parking, but it would be a controversial issue to ban all street parking and questioned if it can even be done, and he does not know what those people would do.
Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to apartment complexes on Hawthorne, where residents park on the frontage road on the opposite side. He explained that he spoke to the residents about a permit-parking program, and stated that this is a very real issue.
Chair Shepherd suggested that people either will not live there or will park in their carports or will be given two parking spaces and that is all they have—or they will buy a home—commenting that you do not buy a home in Beverly Hills if you want to park on the street.
Commissioner Parfenov commented that this issue is quite prominent in any area with dense housing and there is no parking on the street because it was not thought that people would have so many cars.
Chair Shepherd suggested that public safety is a very real concern because when there are densely parked streets there are issues with children at play and exiting driveways.
Commissioner Willens moved to amend his Motion to state that Ordinances A through E regarding “On-Street Parking of Vehicles” be placed on the Agenda of a future Traffic Safety Commission meeting in order for the Commission to come to a vote to recommend one of these Ordinances or some other alternative to the City Council, seconded by Commissioner Wright.
Chair Shepherd questioned that if the Motion passes, and this item is put on an agenda and is worded to make a recommendation to the City Council and there is still no public present, does that concern Commissioner Willens.
Commissioner Willens responded that it does not. He explained that the Commission will make a decision at some point, and the public will either express their views or not. Commissioner Willens stated that what he does not want is for the Commission to spend time debating the details of every Ordinance, and do the same thing the next time it is on the agenda.
Chair Shepherd suggested that the Commissioners discuss their concerns regarding specific elements of each Ordinance, since the basic elements are the same for all of them except for Ordinance Option E.
Commissioner Mevers commented on Ordinance A, saying that his concern is that the main method for enforcement is citizen pitted against citizen, explaining that during the view restoration project the animosity in his neighborhood was very bad because it was citizen against citizen. He explained that the same situation exists in Torrance because they are trying to do an RV exclusion. Commissioner Mevers suggested that giving residents an Ordinance to hide behind does not mean that the resident will not know who has caused the problem, and he believes the Commission should develop a method of enforcement that does not rely on a complaint—if there is a rule against it, enforce it, whether there is a complaint or not. He suggested that this would require special people for parking enforcement. He asked who keeps track of the cars, referring to the time limits. Referring to the exemptions, Commissioner Mevers asked if those who are exempt are totally exempt, and what does exemption mean.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it means that this Ordinance does not apply to vehicles in this condition; for example, referring to Ordinance A on circle page 10, Item 4 under Exemptions: “Oversized vehicles belonging to federal, state, or local authorities.” He explained that this Ordinance does not regulate them—a fire engine can park in front of a house for more than two hours. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that none of the Ordinances presented eliminate the 72-hour parking Ordinance that is already in the Municipal Code.
Chair Shepherd clarified that anything under “Exemptions” is still under the 72-hour rule.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that this is correct.
Commissioner Mevers reiterated that he does not find the current method of enforcement acceptable. He referred to the 72-hour permit parking, and stated that the City would issue the permit and charge a fee. He suggested that RFI technology be used in conjunction with the permit to actually encode it, so someone driving by could check without having to look or stop, and the fee would cover that. He explained that it would make the job of the enforcement person relatively easy in determining when the permit had expired.
Commissioner Wright stated that RFI is a great technology, but from his experience in law enforcement, one of the techniques, rather than marking the tire, is to put a rock on top of the tire and if it is still there when the officer returns he knows the tire did not move. He explained that it was a verifiable way to know that the vehicle was not moved. Commissioner Wright suggested that the RFI technology is excellent and has many good uses, but it might be an expensive investment for the City or the Sheriff since there are other ways of doing it.
Commissioner Mevers reported that he checked the Internet and found that “read/write” is more expensive than “read only” and suggested that only the sensor is needed and that is the expensive part. He questioned how many sensors would be needed, and stated that the City cannot afford multi-person enforcement, and probably would have a single vehicle and person doing this. He emphasized that the person does not even have to get close to the vehicle. He explained that the resident can wrap the sensor in aluminum foil so that there is no signal, but in that case, the resident is at fault.
Chair Shepherd explained that the Commission must understand what is realistic for the City, and currently the City does not have any money for a dedicated person to perform this job. She suggested that the issue is that the Commission must be realistic when implementing anything that might require enforcement and what type of enforcement will be required. She stated that, realistically, the City is not ready for that technology because more than a chip would be required; that even if the permit process is used, the City has only one Code Enforcement Officer currently who is not readily available, and to get one additional person to handle this type of issue is something else to consider. She stated that this could be a recommendation when funds and resources are available, but when talking about enforcement, how else can it be done. Chair Shepherd stated that maybe Staff or the Sheriff could make suggestions. She suggested that neighbors could call the Staff anonymously; the Staff then calls the Sheriff, and who is to know who did it. She explained that she does not know another way to do it. Chair Shepherd used an example of Code Enforcement, saying that people call the Code Enforcement Office to investigate possible violations for a potential problem.
Commissioner Willens disagreed that complaints pit neighbor against neighbor, and that it is not specifically identifiable; that if it were the common wall between two properties and the City received a complaint about the wall, the complaint probably came from the person on the other side of the wall. He explained that if a neighbor has five feet of their vehicle parked across your driveway, chances are they would assume that you had made the complaint, but they should not be parking across your driveway.
Chair Shepherd gave an example of a person on another street in their development calling her as President of the homeowners association about a problem because they pass it every day going in and out.
Commissioner Willens explained that it is similar to the issue of not leaving a car on the street more than 72 hours; that it is never enforced unless people call and complain, because there are no resources to do it any other way.
Chair Shepherd stated that she thinks that the current method is the only method of enforcement that the Commission can consider with any of the potential Ordinances, because there are no resources in place for a dedicated officer or special chips; that even the permits will not generate enough money to pay $150,000 plus for an Officer.
Commissioner Mevers asked if a person for long-term parking problems would have to be part of the Sheriff’s Department.
Chair Shepherd explained that the City has one Code Enforcement Officer who cannot even service the entire City regularly, and she goes out when a complaint is received although she may see something occasionally while driving around. She explained that the Officer responds to phone complaints from residents—possibly for peeling paint, brush clearance, etc.—and there is no Staff available to drive up and down streets to look for parking violations, even though it is a good idea. She explained that in order to move forward with the discussion, it is necessary to know what resources are available; and perhaps the City can implement some type of technology in the future as the City grows. She stated that this must go forward with a recommendation for enforcement to continue through complaints from residents.
Commissioner Mevers asked who keeps track of the time.
Chair Shepherd responded that it is probably the same person who placed the call.
Deputy Souza explained that the Sheriff’s Department has a red tag file; that they get the call, respond, put half the red tag on the car and keep the other half with the time documented on computers; if another call is received, the information is available.
Chair Shepherd gave an example of a parked car that was tagged, and when the time expired, she called the Sheriff and the car was towed away. She explained that it was a stolen car, and commented that maybe the person who called originally must sometimes help remind the Sheriff of the car.
Deputy Souza suggested that if it were in a Deputy’s regular area it would be noticed except on days off.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that there are tire requirements on three of the Ordinances, A, C, and D; that C and D have the permit process, and the start and end time is displayed, making it simple; that A requires two visits because it is also subject to the 72-hour provision.
Chair Shepherd questioned the two site visits, two hours apart, and asked the reason for that.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that an oversized vehicle can only be parked for two hours maximum, and the Sheriff has to observe that it was there for more than two hours.
Chair Shepherd asked if the City could regulate the value of the citation.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that the City Attorney was very adamant at a Council meeting that there are limitations on how much the City can charge for parking tickets; that it must be consistent with the regional amount. He commented that this issue was raised in connection with on-street vending. He explained that parking tickets are what they are; that Staff considered the permit issue, because if they do not approve a permit, the vendors cannot park, and it is a misdemeanor because they do not have a permit. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the Municipal Code defines the cost of violations, and for those it is $1,000.
Chair Shepherd asked that if there were an Ordinance, what would be the maximum citation for parking.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he does not know if it is without a permit.
Deputy Souza stated that he is not sure, but it is not much—possibly $65, although it varies, and most are under $100.
Commissioner Mevers asked if the City is limited in fees that can be charged for a permit.
Traffic Engineer Rydell said no, because the City Council or City Manager can set the permit fee to recoup the City’s cost; that the Director of Finance set 50% recuperation during discussions with the City Council. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that the City can set whatever they need, and it should be set to the point where the City is not paying money to take care of this issue but he would guess that it must be a reasonable amount.
Commissioner Willens suggested that the City cannot set the permit fee in a way that is like a punishment; that the City cannot set it so high that it discourages people merely for the sake of discouragement. He gave an example of not banning RV parking in the City, but making residents pay $1,000 a year for a permit for not doing the same thing.
Commissioner Wright stated that he has only seen citations as the remedy in the potential Ordinances, and asked when the City would tow.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it would be after 72 hours, and Deputy Souza concurred. He referred to circle page 14, “Penalty for Violation”, $75 each day a violation is committed, and after 72 hours the California Vehicle Code allows that the vehicle be towed away. The provisions for violations in the proposed Ordinances were outlined as follows in the staff report with the only difference being reference to “expiration of the issued permit” in Options C and D:
Ordinance Options A, B, and E “Penalty for Violation:
“Vehicles parked in violation of this chapter may be cited immediately and fined $75 for each violation. Each day a violation is committed shall be considered a separate offense subject to the issuance of a separate citation.
“Vehicles parked in violation of this chapter may be removed after 72-hours, pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 22651.”
Ordinance Option C and D “Penalty for Violation:
“Vehicles parked in violation of this chapter may be cited immediately and fined $75 for each violation. Each day a violation is committed shall be considered a separate offense subject to the issuance of a separate citation.
“Vehicles parked in violation of this chapter may be removed 72-hours after expiration of the issued permit, pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 22651.”
Commissioner Wright clarified that every 72-hour violation may be towed if they are marked and do not move.
Chair Shepherd observed that this is for Ordinance Option B.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that this applies to any 72-hour violation.
Chair Shepherd clarified that if the decision is for permit parking only and the permit allows loading and unloading, can a vehicle outside the permit (exempt) be towed or ticketed without the 72-hour issue.
Deputy Souza explained that the vehicle must first be red-tagged.
Chair Shepherd clarified that whether it is by permit or no permit, the City must wait 72 hours, asking if the City is restricted to that.
Deputy Souza explained that there are some exceptions: blocking a driveway, out in the street too far, or for a safety hazard.
Chair Shepherd commented that they have to have time to load and unload, etc.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that if residents do not have a permit they are in violation of the Ordinance and will be fined every day even if the City does not tow the vehicle.
Commissioner Willens suggested that Chair Shepherd is saying, could the Commission create an Ordinance that allows for a vehicle to be towed in less than 72 hours, and stated that the answer is probably no.
Chair Shepherd agreed that this was her question.
Deputy Souza reiterated that it would be short of the exemptions he mentioned previously—blocking a driveway, out in the street too far, or for a safety hazard.
Commissioner Mevers questioned that when the City issues a 72-hour permit and the City has an address, could the vehicle be checked automatically at the end of the 72 hours or would that be too expensive.
Traffic Engineer Rydell said that it should not be a problem depending on how many permits were issued at one time. He explained that it would not require checking every street in the City because they would know which vehicles to check.
Commissioner Mevers stated that this sounds good to him.
Commissioner Willens stated that he does not believe that is realistic because there are so few law enforcement resources and so many higher priorities that there is no way this can happen.
Chair Shepherd explained that there is an expiration date for Public Works on a dumpster permit; that Staff does not go out when it expires to see if the dumpster is removed. However, if someone calls and says the dumpster has been there for months, Staff will look it up and it is a problem; but if no one calls it is not a problem, and it always comes back to the fact that someone has to call.
Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that Staff does clear the permits at some point, although it may not be on the expiration date.
Chair Shepherd stated that the person who called is innocent because the permit has legally expired and the neighbor with the dumpster would never know that it was a phone call, and if that is the concern of the Commission, she would say not to worry about that.
Commissioner Mevers stated that if the Commission creates an Ordinance the City should enforce it.
Senior Engineer Dragoo suggested that the only way the Ordinance could be enforced would be if Council appropriated additional money to fund an enforcement person.
Commissioner Willens explained that the former Traffic Committee spent all last summer talking about how they would get someone for speeding problems in various areas around the schools, and they got another Deputy. He stated that even if the Deputies had enough time to check out these 72-hour tags, wouldn’t the Commission rather have that Deputy using his time to go proactively find and resolve other higher priority problems like speeding. He suggested that, if the Deputy must spend an hour going across the Peninsula to check a red tag, that is an hour that the Deputy is not available to other areas for higher priority problems that the community has complained about before the Commission.
Commissioner Wright commented that when he worked in South Central Los Angeles there were dead times when a Deputy could do that. He explained that one thing he had a difficult time with was when people had a problem but did not have the wherewithal to pick up the phone and call. He emphasized that people have to call; that they can do it anonymously, and someone may or may not know who placed the call, but the burden falls on everyone. He expressed understanding for the fear people have of repercussions from neighbors. Commissioner Wright stated that if someone is not willing to pick up the phone, make the complaint, and follow through, it is not important enough.
Chair Shepherd stated that if that becomes a major concern, there is no reason it could not be written into the Ordinance that calls can be anonymous and Staff will not reveal the caller’s identity. Chair Shepherd directed the discussion back to consideration of the Ordinances, referring to the Ordinance Option B discussion on circle page 5 of the staff report, which states under “Advantages” that “Enforcement can be done without requiring a citizen complaint.” She asked what the difference is between Ordinances B and A, and why all of the Ordinances have the same stipulation.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that in Option A, because the vehicle can park for two hours, someone must notify the Sheriff that it has been there longer; whereas on Option B, no one can park an oversized vehicle between 2:00 am and 5:00 am and if one is parked it is in violation.
Commissioner Parfenov referred to circle page 7, Ordinance Option E, “Overnight Ban of On-Street Parking of all Vehicles”, and questioned if it is too extreme; that with the issue of dense housing, people need to park on the street because there is no space in the garage. He questioned who would enforce this, because he thinks the Sheriff’s Department will run short of Deputies to do so. He referred to Ordinance Option A, which is a general ban of on-street parking of oversized vehicles, and described this as another far-fetched idea. Commissioner Parfenov referred to the definitions of oversized vehicles on circle page 3 as follows:
Any vehicle that exceeds 20 feet in length; or,
Commissioner Parfenov explained that he did some research about the cars that people drive, and explained that one of the top-selling cars, the Hummer H1, actually qualifies as an oversized vehicle; that going further, the 2003 through 2006 models of Silverado qualify, and he described the dimensions of various series of the vehicle.
Chair Shepherd suggested that you park them in the driveway; and asked what Beverly Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, and San Marino do because they have those exact restrictions.
Commissioner Willens explained that one of the concerns he has about comparing this City to Beverly Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, and San Marino, when talking about taking all the cars off the street, is that they have much bigger lots and garages. He added that they probably have much more space for people to park their cars on their properties if they cannot park on the street. He believes that, in Rancho Palos Verdes, there are many areas where it would be impossible to do that; and because of that, this type of Ordinance becomes much more restrictive in a place like this community than it would be in San Marino where they have four-car garages. He stated that he does not believe that Beverly Hills and San Marino are fair comparisons.
Senior Engineer Dragoo agreed, and explained that there are areas in the City where it is not feasible to restrict parking on the street, based on his observations. He stated that some areas have very large lots and very large homes with adequate parking and garage space. He explained that other developments were created in the 1950’s under Los Angeles County; that homes were built on the smallest possible lots; the two-car garage size was restricted to 14 feet wide, and then they put a water heater in it.
Chair Shepherd asked about Hawthorne, Torrance, and La Palma; explaining that Rancho Palos Verdes has a mix of neighborhoods, and the homes in those cities may be comparable to some of the Peninsula communities. She suggested exploring how they are handling the problem.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that Staff has a spreadsheet that has all the agencies and contacts. He reported that the majority of cities do not have an Ordinance; that they use the 72-hour rule.
Commissioner Wright commented that if you do not have enforcement, it does not matter what you do.
Commissioner Willens explained that one thing he would like to see the Commission address is that if they give a recommendation to the City Council, they articulate how the Commission thinks this is a traffic safety Issue, because he does not think it is. He thinks that there are issues of traffic safety that this involves, but that most of the people driving this issue might be talking about traffic, but are more driven by aesthetics. He suggested that the Commission not pretend that it is something that it is not. Commissioner Willens suggested that when Mr. Hughes talks about reducing oil, gasoline, and other automobile fluids from reaching the ocean from runoff from City streets he never heard that before, and he would like to know where that comes from. Commissioner Willens emphasized that he is sure there are traffic aspects to this, such as emergency vehicles; but asked that the Commission make sure that when they make a recommendation as a traffic safety or traffic density issue that that is really what they are doing.
Chair Shepherd stated that parking is a traffic issue, aesthetics cannot be avoided as part of the fallout, and maybe the Commission needs to make their recommendation to the Planning Commission instead of the City Council. She asked Staff if the Planning Commission must review the Municipal Code; that the issues are parking and traffic, and it should come directly from this Commission. She recalled that the Traffic Commissions of Laguna and Torrance went directly to the City Council.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that in this case the Council directed the Traffic Safety Commission to go directly back to the City Council.
Commissioner Willens explained that it originally came to this Commission from the Planning Commission; that now the Council wants the Traffic Safety Commission to handle it. He suggested that this Commission’s obligation is to address it as a traffic issue, saying that he is not convinced that it really is a traffic issue.
Commissioner Wright commented that it almost sounds like the Planning Commission anticipated a problem when they said residents cannot park in their driveway any longer and they expected that all the RVs would be moved to the street, although it does not sound like that is what happened.
Chair Shepherd said that it depends on whom you talk with and how adamant the neighbor is who has a problem. She said, for example, that a couple who spoke before the Commission had a huge trailer that was parked on the street, and they had a problem with that because the street was very narrow and did not leave enough space for two-way traffic. The complaint was how to get the trailer off the street. She explained that the neighbors hauled the trailer back into a dirt area on the side of the house, and technically it has to be parked on an asphalt or concrete pad or on pavers—it cannot be on grass. Chair Shepherd explained that the complainants gave up and decided they would rather have it illegally parked in the driveway than legally parked on the street. She described the trailer as almost as big as the garage and almost as tall as the house, and appears to be used to haul ATVs and is large enough for a car.
Traffic Engineer Rydell referred back to the Ordinance provisions, and reported on the following cities:
La Palma uses 72 hours with no Ordinance;
Deputy Souza questioned that Rancho Palos Verdes has an Ordinance for commercial vehicles.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that the vehicles must be completely commercial.
Commissioner Parfenov referred to a newspaper article from Sgt. Creason and it states that La Palma restrictions are from 2:00 am to 5:00 am except by permit.
Deputy Souza reported that La Palma is strict on their restrictions and have their own parking enforcement, with a couple of Deputies working graveyard.
Chair Shepherd explained that Beverly Hills has mansions but there are a lot of small homes, duplexes, and triplexes, but all the streets are no parking; and she questioned how they do that.
Deputy Souza suggested that they enforce it during dead time.
Commissioner Wright stated that 3:00 am is good dead time. He explained that while driving up and down residential streets an Officer might find someone breaking in.
Chair Shepherd suggested that cities have been using restrictions for years so it must be doable, even in mixed neighborhoods, and perhaps more research is necessary.
Deputy Souza reported that in some cities, residents must bring in their registrations to show the number of vehicles at a specific address, and the cities issue six-month permits.
Chair Shepherd asked if there is anything to preclude the Commission from having a strict Ordinance, which is not feasible for some neighborhoods, with some type of exemption for that particular area or street.
Deputy Souza suggested the City could do it through a permit process.
Commissioner Willens explained that many places have permit parking for specific streets.
Deputy Souza explained that residents in Rolling Hills Estates call the Sheriff’s Department if they are going to be on the street, and the Sheriff writes it in the book; other stations in Lakewood and Cerritos require them to come to the station.
Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to circle page 11, Item 7 under “Exemptions”, which states, “When the City Council has determined by resolution that the parking of oversized vehicles on certain streets or properties shall be permitted.”
Commissioner Willens reported that in Hollywood there are streets off Melrose with permit parking only, because traffic from Melrose was preventing residents from parking in front of their homes; and if there is no curb a permit is not issued.
Chair Shepherd suggested that it could be done for neighborhoods like Trudie with a similar provision to allow a specific number of cars per residence.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this is where it came from so that those cities could make exceptions. He commented that Rancho Palos Verdes already has permit parking around schools for example.
Commissioner Willens explained that he is struggling with an issue. He gave an example of one person or any number of people coming to the Commission and saying they live on a specific street, and complaining that they have a problem with people speeding, and they want the City to install speed bumps or a stop sign. He suggested it was five people, and the Commission determined that it is not a big enough problem to restrict or legislate for the entire community on the basis of one person’s or three people’s complaint. He stated that it seems to him like that is what the Commission is doing—legislating for the whole community on an issue that has one, or three, or five complaints. Commissioner Willens suggested that if the City Council wants to do that as a matter of general policy because of traffic, aesthetics, and other considerations, that is fine.
Chair Shepherd stated that she does not believe this is the case, because this item is not based on anyone complaining, but is a proactive approach to an issue at the request of the City Council.
Commissioner Wright commented that he looks at it from a traffic safety point of view, which, until now, the facts do not appear to confirm. He stated that aesthetics is someone else’s issue. He questioned whether this is a traffic safety issue, and stated that if it is he wants to see the facts that show that; that if it is, he is strongly in favor of doing whatever is necessary, otherwise he is happy with the 72-hour regulation where someone complains and the City responds.
Chair Shepherd responded that this is not what happens; that after 72 hours the Sheriff tags the vehicle, the resident moves the vehicle a few inches and it is still in the same location.
Commissioner Wright explained that methods that are more creative are necessary when someone is playing that game, such as towing, and asked if he is wrong.
Deputy Souza explained that the Sheriff’s Department does not use red tags to target people who want to park motor homes in front of their house; that the purpose is to take care of potential abandoned vehicles. He explained that they do not have to wait 72 hours if they can justify that it is abandoned. Deputy Souza stated that residents sometimes use the provision that way.
Commissioner Wright commented that it becomes a contest between people, and the Sheriff’s Department cannot take sides; that it then goes back to the other issue of being unenforceable or taking them all off the streets, and anything else does not really matter because either it will not be or cannot be enforced.
Chair Shepherd responded “unless you have something on the books”; that in order to make a call on this you have to hear complaints, and if that is the basis of making a decision, the Commission will never make a decision to recommend any kind of restrictions. She explained that, in talking with the Laguna contact, that is not what they could base it on either; that they had the same issue with no one wanting to call because they did not want to be identified, but she is not sure what their Ordinance was based on.
Commissioner Wright stated that in Laguna Beach it was probably more of an aesthetics issue, and if that is the issue it is ok with him, but it is someone else’s’ call.
Chair Shepherd stated that it is the City Council’s call; that Rancho Palos Verdes is no longer a community of $30,000 homes. She agreed that this Commission must look at it from the perspective of traffic safety, parking, sight distance, and other aspects of how it affects traffic flow. She explained that aesthetics is related, but this Commission cannot make their decision based on whether things look nice or not.
Commissioner Willens stated that he would be interested in the traffic factors, as opposed to any other factors, that led to the actions taken by other cities—what was their reasoning, what was their support, what were the things that they took into consideration traffic-wise—possibly width of the streets, traffic flow, emergency ingress and egress.
Chair Shepherd volunteered to review information in PowerPoint presentations sent to her by the Traffic Engineer from Laguna, which their staff used in presentations to their City Council. (ACTION ITEM NOTED BY AJS) She suggested that it might contain answers to the Commission’s questions regarding traffic concerns. She explained that she thinks the information is there because Laguna spearheaded this. Chair Shepherd read from a document referring to a Rolling Hills procedure, which states “In determining hardship for an annual permit, the City Manager shall be guided by the number of vehicles in the applicant’s household, the garage space available to the applicant, other alternatives, off-street parking available, and the effect on traffic flow and safety.” She interpreted that as, there are ways to consider individuals who have no other place to park their car. Chair Shepherd commented that Torrance, La Palma, and Hawthorne have new Ordinances that might have other helpful information.
Commissioner Willens asked what Torrance does for traffic consulting.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it is in-house. He suggested, very respectfully, that justifying Ordinances is not the same thing as the reason why they are created in the first place; that it sounds bad, but it is just the reality. He explained that of the two other cities he consults for, one went with the 72-hour provision because they have a large number of RVs and did not want to face the strong opposition they were getting. He stated that Del Mar approved an Ordinance because it is a very affluent city like Rancho Palos Verdes, and they did not like the image it was portraying for their city. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that from the beginning Staff has not believed that an Ordinance is necessary to take care of traffic safety; they believe they can do it with the existing tools at their disposal, and that is why Staff has not actively recommended any of the potential Ordinances, and are not pushing any of them.
Chair Shepherd noted an action item for Senior Engineer Dragoo, and asked for the number of registered RVs, trailer hitches, and whatever else is in that classification.
Commissioner Willens asked if the Commission thinks it is important to know how many people will be affected.
Chair Shepherd responded that it would not make a difference in her decision, but she would like to know.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that Staff would follow through and try to find the number of RVs registered. He commented that Commissioner Parfenov made an important point regarding the size of vehicles in using a Hummer as an example of a vehicle that is as large as an RV, and Staff cannot provide a full picture.
Commissioner Willens suggested getting a ballpark estimate, understanding that those exceptions are not included, and that is the best the Commission could do.
Commissioner Parfenov suggested that it could be hundreds or thousands. He commented that the Commission does not know how many of these vehicles there are now—it could be just ten of them hypothetically—and it makes enforcement easy, because when a permit is issued, you know where the stamps are and it does not cost much to enforce it. However, he suggested that when talking about 500 that may be an issue because enforcement would be hard if the City does not have the resources for that.
Commissioner Wright commented on vehicles that fall within the guidelines and mentioned construction vehicles.
Commissioner Willens guessed that there would be almost as many other large vehicles similar to the Hummers, large pickup trucks, and others as there are RVs.
Commissioner Parfenov commented that the Ford Excursion comes very close to that.
Commissioner Willens mentioned suburbans.
Commissioner Wright asked if the speed limit in a residential area is sufficiently slow enough that a driver should, in most circumstances, be able to avoid a collision, assuming that the RV is not parked right at the driveway.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that you cannot see that, and that is the problem.
Commissioner Wright asked, for the sake of argument, if a 25-mph speed limit is slow enough, if people were paying attention, to avoid a collision.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that there are too many variables such as the grade, how far the vehicle is parked from the driveway, and is the RV going to be any different from when a driver has the extra visibility.
Commissioner Willens referred to discussions of these issues by the former Traffic Committee, which were never resolved, and said that he would like to see the Commission try to find some answers before recommending something to the City Council under the guise of a traffic safety recommendation if it is not.
Chair Shepherd recalled that the Council said not to look at something in tunnel vision, but to consider surrounding issues as well.
Deputy Souza commented that if it is a safety issue, how will restricting parking between 2:00 am and 5:00 am help.
Chair Shepherd responded that there are problems on Trudie and General at night with people speeding and sideswiping cars because there is parking on both sides of the street, and the residents would approve of having restricted parking at night.
Traffic Engineer Rydell commented that the thought behind overnight parking is that moving the vehicle every night will become such a nuisance that it is better just to keep it off the street.
Commissioner Wright explained that he has an issue with creating an Ordinance that will not be enforced for something that is not really a safety issue but is just another law.
Chair Shepherd clarified that Commissioner Wright does not want the Traffic Safety Commission to be involved in it unless it is a strong safety issue; that he would rather have some other body make the recommendation.
Commissioner Wright responded that would be true for an aesthetic reason, but that he does not believe in making law just for the sake of making law.
Chair Shepherd stated that she could not make a decision for the Traffic Safety Commission just based on aesthetics.
Commissioner Willens suggested that the Commission flush out the traffic elements; that the Commission definitely needs to hear from the community if they are interested in being heard as to what they think the traffic safety elements of RV or other on-street parking are, and then make a recommendation.
Chair Shepherd asked if the Commissioners have any other issues for Staff to address, add, revise, or provide for the next meeting before returning to consideration of the Motion to bring the item back to give the public an opportunity to speak.
Commissioner Parfenov proposed alternatives as follows:
1. Prohibit parking of oversized vehicles within 100 feet of an intersection. He explained that there is an inconsistency with red curb and a no-parking sign.
2. Allow oversized vehicles to park for a short period of time when they prepare for a trip or load and unload passengers. He explained that a citation would be issued for the first violation.
3. Allow permit parking of oversized vehicles issued by the City for a period of six months or for 72-hour permit parking. He explained that this would accommodate guests who come in from other cities or from across the country.
Chair Shepherd suggested that Laguna has a similar provision for guests.
Commissioner Parfenov commented that he feels it is unfair not to add this, because many people come in as guests, and around Christmas, they may stay for a few days.
Commissioner Willens explained that his Motion allows for discussion of alternatives at the appropriate time and suggested that this might already be incorporated in the proposed Ordinances. He asked if the Commission wants to actually incorporate Commissioner Parfenov’s suggestions as an additional item, or leave open the general concept of discussing and recommending alternatives to what Staff presents.
Chair Shepherd suggested that this is part of the guidelines for the Ordinance—how the City implements and enforces the Ordinance, rather than the Ordinance itself.
Commissioner Parfenov stated that he is proposing a separate Ordinance as an alternative.
Chair Shepherd reiterated that most of these are part of the guidelines regarding implementation and enforcement.
Commissioner Parfenov explained that the only one referred to currently is the first one regarding 100 feet from the intersection. He explained that he does not think the guest permit was anywhere in the Ordinances.
Traffic Engineer Rydell confirmed that guest permits were not included.
Chair Shepherd repeated that guest permits are part of the Laguna Niguel Ordinance.
Commissioner Willens agreed that it is a good idea, but just like any Motion, when the Commission discusses what to approve, they can always add specific elements at that time; for example, guest permits are a great idea, but do they need to add it now or when the Commission votes on an Ordinance with modifications. Commissioner Willens asked if it would be easier on Staff or facilitate discussion to have these suggestions incorporated into the agenda package as opposed to presenting them at the time.
Commissioner Parfenov explained that, since his suggested items are not stated in the current Ordinance Options, he wants to have a separate Ordinance which will include everything so there are not any loopholes.
Chair Shepherd stated that the Commission is discussing a Motion on the floor, and suggested that before they even entertain Commissioner Parfenov’s proposal, they move on to that Motion, and possibly consider another Motion after action on the current one.
Commissioner Wright asked if Commissioner Parfenov’s suggestions could be added to one of the current Ordinances that meet with his approval.
Commissioner Parfenov responded that Staff could add this as an addendum.
Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to circle page 17, Ordinance Option C, Item A under “Permit Process” and read “The Director of Public Works or his or her designee shall issue a permit for oversized vehicles to any resident of the City, or bona fide guest of such resident . . .” and explained that it probably came from Laguna Niguel. He explained that this provision is also included in Ordinance Option D. He commented that both Ordinances use a permit process.
Chair Shepherd directed the discussion back to the pending Motion.
Commissioner Mevers asked if the Commission would present a list of items when they have an audience.
Chair Shepherd explained that that is what the Motion is, but explained that whether there is an audience or not, the Commission will try to act on this item.
Commissioner Mevers suggested that a list of items contained in the Ordinances could be prepared so that the Commission does not have to refer to several Ordinances and could decide from the list what they want in an Ordinance.
Chair Shepherd said the Commission could decide that, and could narrow the options to one or two.
Commissioner Willens stated that he is not prepared to do that because he does not have the input from the community that would allow him to include or exclude any parts of the options. He explained that he is comfortable presenting all of this to see what everyone thinks about it. Commissioner Willens presumed that Commissioner Mevers is suggesting pre-screening elements of the provisions to decide whether they will even get to the next step, and he does not think the Commission is prepared to do that, and he is not prepared to do it.
Commissioner Mevers commented that that is not exactly what he had in mind. He explained that there are characteristics in each Ordinance, and if they had a list of provisions that the Commission wants to see in the final Ordinance, they could find out what the audience does or does not like, or what they suggest be added to it; and from that they could develop an Ordinance.
Commissioner Wright stated that, assuming there is an audience or not, the Commission does not have to accept any of the Ordinances presented at this meeting; they can put together whatever they want, and asked Commissioner Mevers if that is what he is proposing.
Commissioner Mevers responded that that is correct.
Commissioner Wright suggested that the Commission can do this, but it will be at the next meeting.
Commissioner Willens stated that he does not think that presenting these items on the agenda prevents the Commission from doing that; that the question is whether the Commission wants to do that now or later.
Chair Shepherd questioned that if there is no public interest the next time this item is on the agenda, can the Commission move forward, and will the Commissioners be any more prepared than they are now.
Commissioner Willens responded that he will be prepared because he will know that the public does not care enough to have input, and he can make the decision himself. He explained that he wants the item presented on the agenda in such a way that it is very clear to the community that the Commission plans to make a decision on it, commenting that it was not presented on this agenda in that way and perhaps that is why the public did not appear.
Chair Shepherd expressed disappointment that there is no public comment because it will cause a delay; that the Commission has accomplished something, but could not have made a firm decision at this meeting.
Commissioner Mevers asked if RV owners have come to previous meetings to object to what the Commission might be doing.
Chair Shepherd responded that there were a couple of residents, but nothing adamant; however, the Planning Commission had a very large turnout when they were preparing a policy for off-street parking of RVs. She explained that the Planning Commission might have statistics on RV ownership as a result. Chair Shepherd explained that members of Good Sams Club expressed strong opposition to what the Planning Commission already did.
Commissioner Mevers stated that he has heard comments from residents who are mostly in favor of getting RVs off the street, explaining that he hears it as a traffic problem disguised as aesthetics.
Chair Shepherd suggested that even though the Commission may not hear from the public, the community would have another opportunity to speak when the issue goes to the City Council.
Commissioner Mevers reported on the Torrance Ordinance, saying that when the public in favor of getting the RVs off the street caused the Council to move forward, the RV owners began appearing at the meetings.
Chair Shepherd suggested that the public might wait until the Traffic Safety Commission makes a recommendation to the City Council and then appear in large groups, as happened with the traffic-calming issue.
Motion approved as amended:
This section of the agenda is for audience comments for items not on the agenda.
RECEIVE AND FILE:
Citywide Traffic Signal Priority List Update
The report was received and filed.
1. Public Works Department Report
a. Golden Meadow Drive Update
b. Mira Vista Traffic Calming Update
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff is half finished with traffic counts, and they should be completed within a week if it does not rain. He explained that he has not seen all the numbers, but the volumes have dropped significantly throughout the neighborhood and he does not know why.
Chair Shepherd commented that it is probably because Western Avenue is open. She asked if the counts are down from before the speed humps were installed.
Traffic Engineer Rydell said yes, that Staff is performing the after-study; that in two of the three counts that he has received so far, there were significant drops on Via Colinita east of Miraleste (down 1700 cars per day), and the volumes have not increased on Summerland.
Chair Shepherd asked if there is a grade issue for speed humps.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that there is, but they do not have a bypass issue. He explained that Staff would come back with the full data.
c. Toscanini Area Traffic Calming Update
Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that Staff is correcting a spelling error.
d. Via Rivera update
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Staff has developed some options and done some studies and they need to bring this before the Commission. He explained that Staff is ready to present the report as soon as the Commission has a full evening to devote to this issue.
Chair Shepherd asked if a revised Traffic Calming Program is needed before agendizing this item, saying that the Committee has not been formed yet.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it depends on what the new policy is and what factors change; that a couple of very important issues may change. He commented that Chair Shepherd’s thought has a lot of merit as long as they are willing to make those revisions in a timely manner. He explained that the City Council has instructed Staff to come back, the community is eager to see something happen; and as long as the Traffic Calming Plan update is completed in a timely manner, he would definitely think it is a good idea to wait
e. PVDE Equestrian Access Plan Update
Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that Staff has prepared a plan, as reported at the last meeting, and forwarded it to the Equestrian Committee. He stated that the City does not have funds to make the necessary improvements. He explained that Staff is presenting their cost estimate to the City Council for a small stretch of Palos Verdes Drive East, and will include it as a budget item in their proposals for next year. He advised that the City Council is aware that there is a problem, and may devote funds to the project.
Chair Shepherd asked when Staff is planning to implement the horse street crossing on Palos Verdes Drive East.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff’s recommendation was to install a signalized crossing actuated with flashers that alert approaching vehicles in advance that there is activity in the crosswalk. He stated that other areas have done this. He explained that the signal would be in the tangent at Headland; drivers would always get the red light on Palos Verdes Drive East when the button is pushed by either an equestrian or a vet. He explained that the key was that in advance the City had to tie into advance flashers with a sign that said “When flashing, crosswalk ahead in use” or something similar.
Deputy Souza reported that he filed a DUI involving a horse that jumped off the stringer median. The horse was hit by a girl in a small car and went through the windshield. The rider was taken to the hospital and found to have high blood alcohol, and the Sheriff filed a DUI on the rider. In response to questions, Deputy Souza stated that the horse did not make it.
Chair Shepherd asked if Staff is actually considering installation of a crosswalk.
Traffic Engineer responded yes, that it could be done safely if a crossing is provided; that he is not sure how they are getting across now without being hit. He explained that Staff knows they are crossing there because of the horse droppings; that they go up the east side of Palos Verdes Drive East, cross at Headland, go around Headland, get back on and go to Bronco.
Chair Shepherd asked if it would be a pedestrian crossing as well, becoming more of a stop-and-go area because pedestrians start using it, and does that increase the safety concerns.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that whenever there is a stop, the potential for accidents is increased, but there is an issue with the need to cross there. He explained that Staff made a recommendation and the Equestrian Committee must decide if they like it or not; then, it comes to the Traffic Safety Commission.
2. Other Traffic Safety Commission Business
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Approval of minutes of January 30, 2006
Commissioner Willens moved to defer this item so that Commissioner Parfenov’s revisions can be reviewed, incorporated, and considered at the next meeting, seconded by Commissioner Wright.
MEETING ADJOURNED AT 9:58 P.M. TO THE NEXT REGULARLY SCHEDULED TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION MEETING, MARCH 27, 2006.