AUGUST 28, 2006 TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION MINUTES AUGUST 28, 2006 TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION MINUTES

MINUTES

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA

TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

AUGUST 28, 2006

CALL TO ORDER: Acting Chair Willens called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM at Rancho Palos Verdes Community Room

ROLL CALL: PRESENT: Vice Chair Willens, Commissioners Bilezerian, Mevers, Parfenov, Wright

ABSENT: Chair Shepherd, Commissioner Klein

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

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

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

Acting Chair Willens requested that Public Comments be moved to the beginning of the meeting.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Parfenov moved approval of the Agenda as modified to move Public Comments to the beginning of the meeting, seconded by Commissioner Bilezerian.

Motion approved:
Ayes 5; Nays 0

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

This section of the agenda is for audience comments for items not on the agenda.

Acting Chair Willens opened the Public Hearing.

Stanley and Marilyn Kritzer, 3832 Pirate Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, asked for a report on the status of the engineering work done related to the traffic signal at Forrestal and Palos Verdes Drive South.

Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that Staff met with the Trump group two weeks ago and again requested that they look at the intersection of Forrestal and Palos Verdes Drive South regarding the traffic signal and installation of hardware, which work would be performed by the Trump organization. In return, the City would look at the plan to install a traffic signal at La Rotonda Drive, which currently does not meet the traffic signalization warrants requirement. He explained that there is a possibility of negotiating one traffic signal for the two locations, and Staff’s request is being considered.

Mrs. Kritzer asked if Senior Engineer Dragoo is suggesting that they install the signal at La Rotonda and not at Forrestal.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that he is saying that it would be just the opposite, and in return the City would relieve the Trump organization of the requirement to signalize La Rotonda.

Mr. Kritzer clarified that Staff is waiting for their response, and Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that is correct.

Mr. and Mrs. Kritzer were satisfied that the issue is moving forward, and stated that they will return at the next meeting.

ACTING CHAIR’S COMMUNICATIONS:

Acting Chair Willens had nothing to report.

SHERIFF'S STATUS REPORT:

Sgt. Creason represented the Sheriff’s Department and stated that he had no monthly traffic report because it has not been submitted to the City Council. He described a fatal traffic collision on Palos Verdes Drive South on Friday, August 25, 2006 at approximately 10:25 AM involving four cars. He explained that the party at fault was driving eastbound where the road changes from two lanes to one lane, and the driver hit the south (ocean side) curb, overcorrected, and spun around into a 180° slide as he hit the center divider. Sgt. Creason explained that the car popped up over the center divider and was rear-ended by a car in the number one lane going west, which spun him around. He was then hit head-on by another car traveling west, and he or one of the other cars sideswiped a fourth car. Sgt. Creason explained that one car went off the road on the north side into a ditch and the driver sustained major injuries to his spleen and his lung was cut open. He explained that the worst injury in the other cars was a woman who broke her wrist. The accident is still under investigation and speed was a factor as well.

Sgt. Creason described another collision that took place on Thursday, August 24, 2006 at approximately 2:30 pm at Palos Verdes Drive East and Ganado involving a 17-year-old from Santa Monica driving toward the ocean at possibly 60 mph. Sgt. Creason explained that the driver could not negotiate the curve, slid out in front of oncoming traffic, and collided with a woman who lives on Ganado who was pulling out to make a left turn, and she suffered a broken pelvis and cuts and scratches on her face. He reported that the juvenile complained of pain in his chest; that he was driving an SUV and the woman was driving a smaller Lexus.

OLD BUSINESS:

1. ON-STREET PARKING OF OVERSIZED VEHICLES

Based on direction received from the Traffic Safety Commission during the July 24, 2006 meeting, the following recommendations were developed and are presented here for consideration:

Recommendations:

1. Consider approval of the attached on-street parking restriction ordinance as modified per direction from the Traffic Safety Commission on July 24, 2006 (Attachment A).

2. Consider the merits of the attached on-street parking restriction alternatives that were rejected at previous Traffic Safety Commission meetings and prepare opinions for each (Attachments B-D).

3. Forward the approved ordinance and the rejected alternatives, with opinions for each, to the City Council for adoption.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed the Staff report including Attachments A through D, and presented slides. He explained that the Commission considered this item at the April, June, and July 2006 Commission meetings, and the main issues discussed were as follows:

 Implementation of a permit parking program that would allow 72-hour parking in front of the owner’s residence;
 The number of permits per applicant each year, acknowledging that there are reasons why a permit may be denied based on safety issues, even though the applicant is a Rancho Palos Verdes resident;
 Definitions of an oversized vehicle;
 Clarification of the fact that issuance of a permit does not allow activities that are prohibited by other City codes, regulations, or ordinances.

Traffic Engineer’s Report

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that at the July 24, 2006 meeting the Commission discussed and asked Staff to revise the number of permits that were to be available to a resident annually, address the return-permit item; and change the size thresholds for oversized vehicles. He explained that the current ordinance that Staff is presenting to the Commission for approval asks them to consider the following modifications as outlined in the Staff report:

 Requires a permit issued from the City to park an oversized vehicle on public streets.
 Specifies that the number of permits a resident may obtain be limited to 28 during any 12-month period (change from two previous alternative ordinances that limited the number of permits any resident may receive during a 12-month period to four and 24, respectively).
 Specified that each issued permit also include a “return permit” valid for 48 hours to allow for unloading from trips. (Change from previous alternative ordinances that limited the “return permit” duration to 24 hours).
 Allows parking for a maximum of 72 hours in front of the owner’s residence upon issuance of a permit.
 Specifies an oversized vehicle as any single vehicle or combination of vehicles that

o Exceeds 22 feet in length (change from previous length threshold of 20 feet);
o or, exceeds 84 inches (7 feet) in width;
o or, exceeds 96 inches (8 feet) in height.

 Specifies that non-motorized vehicles, including trailers, camper shells, etc., be considered an oversized vehicle.
 Specifies that any violation of the terms of the permit may result in revocation of the privilege of obtaining future permits.
 Specifies that no permit would be issued for locations where Staff determines roadway conditions are such that oversized vehicle parking would compromise public safety. Potential conditions include, but are not limited to, grade, horizontal and vertical curvature, and driveway locations.
 Specifies that each permit would include a $10 fee for permit program administration.

Traffic Engineer Rydell emphasized that the goal of having a permit program, whatever form it takes, is to eliminate non-residents from parking their RVs or oversized vehicles within the City limits of Rancho Palos Verdes, and this will in no way prohibit any owner of a recreational vehicle or oversized vehicle from parking on their property if it is done within the regulations of the RPV Planning Department. He explained that Staff decided to stay with the $10 permit fee, and if a resident wanted to use the maximum number of permits allowed during a calendar year it would cost $280; and Staff did not think that was prohibitive.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff is asking the Commission to consider the approval of the modified ordinance as shown on circle page 5, 6, 7, and 8, with the revisions identified. He referred to the rejected ordinances in Attachments B through D and pointed out the reasons they were rejected by the Commission as follows:

Attachment B (circle pages 9-12) Permit program has no maximum number of permits available to residents (paragraph A under Permit Process on circle page 11).

Attachment C (circle pages 13-15) Allows parking for a maximum of two hours while actively engaged in loading and unloading of the vehicle in front of the owner’s property (paragraph A-1 under Prohibition on circle page 14).

Attachment D (circle pages 16-18) Prohibits parking between 2:00 AM and 5:00 AM on the street (paragraph A under Prohibition on circle page 17).

Traffic Engineer Rydell concluded saying that Staff is asking that pros and cons be developed regarding the three rejected ordinances so that when the approved ordinance goes to City Council, they can also see what the thought process was about the three very different alternatives.

Acting Chair Willens referred to the Commission’s questions for Staff and explained that in the past he has found it to be a problem. He advised that, while he is Chairing the meetings, he would like to streamline the process with a more structured approach and asked that Commissioners limit this portion of the meeting to questions for Staff as opposed to opinions, discussion, or commentary. Following that, Acting Chair Willens explained that they would then proceed to public comments, a Motion, and Commission discussion, stating that he believes the meeting will move along much faster that way.

In response to Commissioner Parfenov’s question regarding no comments, Acting Chair Willens clarified that he is not saying no to comments, but is asking the Commissioners to save comments until Commission Discussion, and limit this section to questions of Staff’s report.

Commission Questions of Staff

Commissioner Mevers had no questions.

Commissioner Bilezerian referred to circle page 6, under Prohibition, paragraph A-1, and stated that previous discussion regarding corner lots should not have the prohibition “In front of the residence…” if, under the evaluation by Staff when they go out to review it, a corner lot could potentially have two frontages. His question was that in revising the language, does “In front of the residence…” refer to the address frontage or multiple frontages on a corner lot.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that his intention was that it was contiguous to the property and he could not come up with phrasing to deal with it. He explained that the City Attorney will review the ordinance once again and maybe she can determine the proper wording.

Commissioner Bilezerian commented that just to make sure that, if this goes forward, when Staff does the evaluation, a side yard could be considered “In front of…”

Acting Chair Willens had two questions; (1) the only things that were changed in what is now presented to the Commission as Attachment A, the suggested ordinance, are things that were discussed last time; and he questioned that nothing else has been added or changed that were not discussed by the Commission.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that that is correct.

Secondly, Acting Chair Willens commented with regard to the recommendation that the Commission consider the merits of the alternatives and prepare opinions for each, and stated that he is not sure he understands the motivation behind that to the extent that the Minutes contain the Commission’s lengthy discussions about the pros and cons of all the alternatives. He said he is wondering what Traffic Engineer Rydell is specifically suggesting that the Commission do differently than what they have already done to explain their rationale for the alternatives.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that there are two mechanisms Staff would suggest for the Commission to consider; one is that as part of this discussion of the alternatives they would list the pros and cons of each and summarize them in the form of a letter that would be attached. He explained that the other way is to have each Commissioner send their bulleted list to Staff and they will incorporate that into a communication to let the City Council know what the process was because these are four very different alternatives.

Acting Chair Willens opened the Public Hearing.

Ernie Giannioses, 5344 Manitowac Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that both Torrance and City of Los Angeles have resolved their differences and sent their processes forward, and he thinks that the City of Los Angeles, the largest City with the most problems, has come up with the best resolution; which is no parking between 2:00 AM and 6:00 AM in certain areas. He explained that Los Angeles has identified problem areas and they will post those areas; that there is also a permit process, and it sounds to him very logical and very easy to administer. Regarding the proposed Rancho Palos Verdes permit process, Staff reports that it will be administered by the Director of Public Works; he asked exactly what the process will be and what a person does to get a permit—come in to City Hall, via telephone, or on the Internet. He recommended that it should be a very simple process. Regarding the return permit process the time allowed was cut from 72- to 48-hours and he believes in most cases it would be better if there was 72 hours on both ends or the process were reversed because when residents return from a trip they not only unload, but they must clean the RV. Mr. Giannioses explained that when a resident picks up the RV to bring it to the house it is generally clean, and they load up and take off; but when they return they must clean it up and restock it and get ready for the next time. Mr. Giannioses suggested that the process is actually lengthier on the return trip than it is when leaving.

Acting Chair Willens closed the Public Hearing.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved to approve the draft ordinance as presented on Attachment A in accordance with the recommendations listed on the Agenda:

1. Consider approval of the attached on-street parking restriction ordinance as modified per direction from the Traffic Safety Commission on July 24, 2006 (Attachment A).

2. Consider the merits of the attached on-street parking restriction alternatives that were rejected at previous Traffic Safety Commission meetings and prepare opinions for each (Attachments B-D).

3. Forward the approved ordinance and the rejected alternatives, with opinions for each, to the City Council for adoption.

Seconded by Commissioner Wright.

Commission Discussion

Acting Chair Willens suggested that the Commission not have a free-for-all discussion; rather each Commissioner speak once and then go around one more time, and that should cover the discussion, unless someone has objections, and there were no objections.

Commissioner Parfenov referred to previous discussions regarding how residents can apply for permits with an Internet option, and asked if that is possible.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that it is possible, but there is one technical thing that must be done involving the website. He explained that prior to being eligible for a permit there would probably be a one-page application that would talk about very generic components of where the RV would be stored on the street during loading and unloading, a site visit by a Staff person to evaluate the site to verify that it is a good site, and that would be a one-time inspection. He explained that once it is approved, any future permits could be completed through the Internet site.

Commissioner Parfenov clarified that the initial permit process would be completed in the City offices, and Senior Engineer Dragoo concurred.

Commissioner Mevers referred to Attachments B, C, and D, and commented that there is just one paragraph in each that is different from Attachment A. He asked if it is these paragraphs that Staff wants the Commissioners to comment on with reasons why they were rejected.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded no; that the Commission will make a decision on one of the alternatives, and what Staff is talking about is what are the pros and cons of the other three alternatives that were not selected.

Commissioner Mevers stated that what the Commission did not like about them was the paragraphs that were removed.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that there was more to it; for example, one was two-hour parking, one was 72-hour, and each one was different.

Commissioner Mevers asked if, before the approved ordinance goes to the City Council, the procedures will be in place or at least defined regarding how residents will obtain the permits.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded yes—that Staff will define the procedures including working out the Internet issue for accepting monies, the process of evaluating the resident’s property, and he estimates that this would be approximately a two-month process of fine-tuning before presenting it to the City Council.

Commissioner Mevers asked if Ernie Giannioses could give input into these procedures.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that Staff would love to have his input as well as anyone else who wants to help, and he encouraged residents to call him.

Acting Chair Willens suggested that if this issue should be debated, the Commission should do that now, and also anything the Commissioners have to say about the proposed Motion before they have a vote.

Commissioner Wright asked if there is a reason for the current 72/48 permit hours for loading and unloading, as opposed to the way suggested by Ernie Giannioses to reverse it to 48/72. He explained that he was not at the last two meetings, so does not know if this was already debated.

Commissioner Bilezerian commented that there was an opportunity to discuss this at the last meeting, but it could be discussed further at the City Council. He stated that he does not support any of the other ordinances other than Attachment B, which he originally voted for when the majority of the body voted differently. He stated that he does support Attachment B more than Attachment A; however, he does feel comfortable with Attachment A at this point. Regarding Attachment C, the two-hour ordinance, he does not feel that was justified based on the low number of calls received over a number of years, and he thought that was an excessive requirement. Regarding Attachment D with the 2:00 AM –5:00 AM restriction, he thinks that is excessive based on the low number of calls for the past two years.

Acting Chair Willens stated that he supports the Motion, explaining that the Motion does not explain how the alternatives and opinions will be handled, and he is resistant to doing that in the first place because he believes it is easy enough to see what the Commission deliberated in the Minutes. Acting Chair Willens suggested that when Staff gives their report to the City Council they could give an explanation of why the Commission decided for one attachment over another. Notwithstanding that, he suggested, if the Commissioners are going to give opinions for the alternatives, that rather than debating the four alternatives and what they do or do not say once again, which is what they have been doing already, that Staff prepare a chart or something similar and the Commission could sign off on it at the next meeting. Other than that, Acting Chair Willens does not think it is necessary to belabor the alternatives because he is sure the Council will start all over again from scratch, and there is plenty of information in the Minutes for the Council to see that information. He explained that he does not want to spend more time than necessary because there are more pressing issues that have been waiting for six months while the Commission dealt with this issue. He explained that he does not expect the City Council to review 300 pages of meeting Minutes, but Staff is familiar enough with this issue to come up with a distilled version of the pros and cons of the alternatives and how the Commission determined that they would support Attachment A, unless Staff has some objection. Acting Chair Willens reiterated his position from long ago that he is not convinced that this is a traffic issue to begin with, but is very comfortable that the Commission has given it more than sufficient attention to send it on to the City Council and let them debate and decide how to deal with this.

Commissioner Parfenov expressed agreement with Acting Chair Willens for the same reasons.

Acting Chair Willens asked if the maker of the Motion wants to amend it to add that Staff will prepare the alternatives or something to that effect.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian amended his Motion and moved to approve the draft ordinance as presented on Attachment A in accordance with the recommendations listed on the Agenda as follows:

1. Consider approval of the attached on-street parking restriction ordinance as modified per direction from the Traffic Safety Commission on July 23, 2006 (Attachment A).
2. Consider the merits of the attached on-street parking restriction alternatives that were rejected at previous Traffic Safety Commission meetings and prepare opinions for each (Attachments B-D).
3. Forward the approved ordinance and the rejected alternatives, with opinions for each, to the City Council for adoption.

Commissioner Bilezerian further moved that Staff will request that the Commissioners provide their pro and con points on the other draft ordinances within 30 calendar days, and also incorporate in bullet number three that the Commission forwards this approved ordinance with comments from the Commissioners on the rejected ordinances to the City Council for adoption, seconded by Commissioner Wright.

Motion approved:
Ayes 5; Nays 0

NEW BUSINESS:

1. VIA RIVERA ALL-WAY STOP CONTROLS

Recommendations:

1. Install all-way stop control at the intersection of Via Rivera and Rue Valois.
2. Install all-way stop control at the intersection of Via Rivera and Rue La Fleur.
3. Install all-way stop control at the intersection of Via Rivera and Via Borica.

Traffic Engineer’s Report

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that this item was discussed at the July 24, 2006 meeting, and Staff thought it was important to have the stop controls separated from the traffic calming because stop controls are not traffic calming issues. He reviewed the locations as outlined in the recommendations that are being considered for all-way-stop controls. He explained that these requests were initiated through the traffic calming investigation and they are now a separate matter. Traffic Engineer Rydell presented slides to show each location and the proposed signage and described each area as detailed in the Staff report.

Via Rivera and Rue Valois - Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that the intersection of Via Rivera and Rue Valois have standard stop controls with posted stop signs, stop limit markings, and white limit lines; there is a downgrade from north to south with a horizontal curve to the right for northbound traffic; and because it is a single-family residential neighborhood there is quite a lot of on-street parking. He reported that during the traffic calming study Staff determined that the critical 85th percentile speed was approximately 33 mph in that area and one other main issue on this roadway is that it is the main route to Pt. Vicente Elementary School so there is much school traffic. Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out on the aerial view of the intersection that Rue Valois is the stem of the T-intersection from the west, and that going from south to north there is a slight horizontal curve; there is one lane of travel in each direction, separated by double yellow centerline striping, and the posted speed limit is 25 mph. He explained that the issue here is that from Rue Valois there are some visibility issues. He explained that for a 33 mph speed (rounded to 35 mph) American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) provides stopping sight guidelines of 250’; however, when viewed from the field, if there is parking on the west side of Via Rivera, there is only 120’ of visibility which is substantially less than recommended. He reported that the City of Rancho Palos Verdes has developed their own all-way-stop control warrants, and one of them specifically talks about insufficient visibility for prevailing speed of traffic as justification for all-way-stop controls, and in this case that certainly applies. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that another issue that came into play is that this is the first real intersection going into a residential area that has an elementary school, and some motorists continue that mindset when coming down a 45 mph major arterial. Traffic Engineer Rydell presented a slide that shows what a motorist on Rue Valois would be looking at observing traffic to the north; he explained that the picture was taken at motorist eye height of 3.5’ and 10’ back from the traveled way, and during the afternoon peak the west side begins to fill up with cars parking alongside the roadway and the visibility is significantly limited there and Staff believes this is a situation that warrants an all-way-stop control.

Via Rivera and Rue La Fleur – Traffic Engineer Rydell presented an aerial slide and explained that this intersection is at the northeast corner of Pt. Vicente Elementary School. It has a flat grade and a horizontal curve to the right for northbound traffic. He explained that the school is located on the southwest corner of the intersection, there are yellow school crosswalks on the south and west legs, and Rue La Fleur is stopped at Via Rivera with a stop sign, “STOP” pavement markings and a white limit line. He explained that there are some issues with limited visibility looking to the south, but not nearly as significant as the previous intersection because at the southwest corner of the intersection there is a lot of vegetation and if drivers are stopped at the limit line they cannot see that far; when they creep over they can see with unlimited visibility, but at that point their car is in the school crosswalk, and that is not something the City wants to encourage. Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Staff believes that this location is appropriate for all-way-stops for several reasons; one is that it is adjacent to an elementary school, which has very significant pedestrian volumes including small children and their parents, and it is a safety issue, and additional stop controls would enhance pedestrian safety at this location. He explained that another major issue is that any time the City can enhance pedestrian safety around a school they are also reducing vehicular trips, and the goal in most cities is to try and get people back to walking to local neighborhood schools and away from driving to schools; and that is why there is a lot of state money available to encourage this, and an all-way-stop control could certainly encourage that. Traffic Engineer Rydell suggested that by installing all-way-stop controls, the City is taking away another major point of indecision from motorists regarding what to do when children are crossing; that motorists coming to the schools are faced with many different conflicts such as other motorists, pedestrians, school buses, and many issues going on simultaneously. He stated that these are the reasons that Staff is recommending all-way-stop controls at Via Rivera and Rue La Fleur.

Via Rivera and Via Borica – Traffic Engineer Rydell presented an aerial view slide of the area, and pointed out that it is a T-intersection with the stem on the west with Via Rivera comprising the south and west legs and Via Borica comprising the north leg. He explained that the stem is Via Rivera, the south approach is Via Rivera, and the north approach is Via Borica; the north and west approaches of this intersection are stop controlled and the others are not, and northbound traffic on Via Rivera is not required to stop. He commented that it is a very unusual configuration, and at most T-intersections there is one of four possible controls: (1) no posting, traffic on the stem must yield to traffic on the through highway, (2) stem stops, (3) all-way-stops, (4) this configuration of approaches stops is seldom seen. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that he believes this is confusing and was confusing to him the first time he went to the location. He believes the City can enhance traffic safety by putting this intersection on a more typical basis, and that would be to either control the stem or control all three, but controlling just two is confusing.

Traffic Engineer Rydell concluded that Staff is recommending all-way-stops at the three subject intersections: Via Rivera at Rue Valois for visibility; Via La Fleur because it is a marked school crossing adjacent to a school; and Via Borica because it is a very unusual and unexpected stop control pattern.

Commission Questions of Staff

Commissioner Mevers questioned how Staff decides between an all-way-stop and putting a stop on one part of the roadway; for instance Via Rivera and Rue Valois, and he said he was disturbed at Traffic Engineer Rydell’s comment that it is a good way of controlling speed when he started off by saying he does not do that.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that he did not say it was a good way of controlling speed; that he does not use stop control for speed control.

Commissioner Mevers stated that there was a comment about people coming off of Hawthorne still in the mindset of going fast and this will slow them down.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he said some motorists continue that mindset when coming down a 45 mph major arterial and they are not thinking in terms of leaving a major arterial and going into a residential neighborhood.

Commissioner Mevers questioned that a stop sign gets around that.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that a stop sign would give them time to realize that something has changed.

Commissioner Mevers questioned what if they painted stripes on the street.

Traffic Engineer Rydell asked what kind of stripes.

Commissioner Mevers responded that he does not know—something that would get their attention.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he does not understand what Commissioner Mevers is suggesting.

Commissioner Mevers explained that he is having difficulty understanding exactly how Staff decides whether to use all-way-stops or simply putting a stop on the street where people cannot see to make a turn, and they should stop and be very careful before proceeding and that is understandable. He stated that the all-way-stops near the school may have some reason, but he is still not really sure how Staff is making that decision. He asked if Traffic Engineer Rydell can give an interpretation or should it be obvious.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it should not be obvious, and that is one of the reasons why there are traffic control engineers who have experience. He explained that stop signs are really not a cookie cutter approach and there is a lot of engineering judgment that goes into making a decision; that there are warrants for volumes, accidents, and visibility is a major component in the analysis of most cities about where stop signs and all-way-stops should be installed. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that at this particular location it is a visibility issue in his opinion, but he coupled the visibility with understanding of what is actually happening on that roadway; they have motorists ignoring many traffic laws, such as crossing over the double yellow, speeding, and many factors at this location that he believes are decreasing traffic safety. He stated that a positive stop control at this location would enhance that traffic safety by at least installing some controls that he believes may positively affect the negatives that are going on at present. He explained that it is a combination of the warrants, and visibility is one of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes’ warrants and can be justified solely on visibility.

Commissioner Mevers clarified that he is referring to four-way-stops, not just visibility having to do with one of the streets intersecting.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that is correct; that for three-way stops and all-way-stops, one of the warrants is visibility.

Commissioner Mevers asked if Staff must use volume on the streets to make their decision.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it is certainly beneficial, but it is not a requirement. He explained that those are some of the factors that go into making a decision, and that is one of the reasons why this Commission does not see most of the all-way-stops that he turns down; they only see the ones he is proposing or if someone appeals one that he has denied. He asked that the Commission not get the misconception that when he presents an all-way-stop issue that it is the only one he considered; that it is only one-tenth of what goes on in the field.

Commissioner Wright asked if, when Staff looks at traffic calming in these areas, acknowledging that this is not traffic calming, will these two go along appreciably together—stop signs and traffic calming—will it all work together ultimately.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he does not think of it that way; that whether Staff did traffic calming on Via Rivera or not, he would recommend the all-way-stop program.

Commissioner Wright questioned if it would take away from traffic calming later on, and asked if that was something that could happen there.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that if this was a different location, it might. He referred to stories about Bloomwood in the Toscannini neighborhood where they dropped an all-way-stop in the middle of nowhere, and that is a problem; that is one of the reasons why Staff does not want to put in all-way-stops that are not warranted because they will be violated and that causes more problems. He explained that in this case Staff does not know which direction they will go with traffic calming and that is part of the informational items he will discuss at the end of the meeting. He stated that this is a stand-alone item and it does not adversely affect the traffic calming recommendations or alternatives being presented for the neighborhood and it will fit in very nicely, but it is a stand-alone item.

Commissioner Bilezerian referred to visibility being a problem and asked if red curb exists behind the landscaping on the south side of Via Rivera.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded no; that there are five residences that affect the visibility.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if it could be appropriate as a next step of the evaluation of all-way-stops to consider asking the homeowners to remove the landscaping from the public right-of-way, which he believes the City could request them to do, as well as increasing the red curb.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that there are options such as removing the vegetation, which would help; that the big issue he looked at is the parking, and if the City is willing to take out all the parking then they do not have a problem, but five houses would lose their parking. He stated that it is his belief that that is probably a less acceptable alternative, in this City and this neighborhood, to take away on-street parking for a residential area, but it is an alternative.

Commissioner Bilezerian clarified that the impact would be five homes with about 50’ frontage each.

Traffic Engineer Rydell agreed.

Commissioner Bilezerian estimated that approximately 250’ of red curb would have to be installed and landscaping removed in order to take the alternative to a stop sign.

Traffic Engineer Rydell commented that he estimates that approximately 120’ of landscaping would have to be removed.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if Staff would be comfortable taking that issue out to a community meeting, or would he like the Commission to resolve the stop sign issue versus that alternative here this evening before Staff goes to a community meeting. In other words, would Staff like to ask the people how they feel about additional red curb and losing parking or should the Commission make the decision without them present.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that the Commission could do that, but it has been his experience that the residents will not want to lose their parking, and he is not sure the City wants to do that on a residential street, but it is an option.

Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that apart from that, the neighborhood at higher elevations than this location have been very vocal in their opposition to any kind of traffic control, traffic calming, and traffic devices.

Commissioner Bilezerian stated that he is not talking about the neighborhood, but only the five people affected.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that it is not a viable alternative, but it is an alternative.

Commissioner Bilezerian explained that what he is suggesting is that they look past that step to go right to the stop signs.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that that is why he wanted to see how many residences would be affected, and when he got to that number he was not sure they would agree to the alternative.

Acting Chair Willens asked what is the distance from where Via Rivera starts at Hawthorne to Rue Valois.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it is between 300-400’.

Acting Chair Willens asked what is the estimated total distance being considered from Rue Valois to Via Borica and, if they are talking about having three stop signs in that stretch, what distance are they talking about.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it is from Rue Valois up to the four-way at Rue De La Pierre, which is 1400’, plus 400’ to the next one, and another 300-400’ after that.

Commissioner Parfenov referred to the Via Rivera and Rue Valois intersection shown on circle page 20 regarding drivers crossing the centerline when negotiating the curve; he asked if Staff is suggesting that all-way-stops will eliminate that.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that he is suggesting that more positive traffic control and guidance in this area would possibly alleviate some of this behavior because it more tightly guides what motorists should be doing. He explained that currently there is not a whole lot of guidance and drivers come flying down the hill, violating the speed limit, not obeying the centerline striping and are crossing over; on one hand you could question why they will obey the stop sign, but on the other hand Staff is talking about a regular pattern along the street of all-way-stops on the route to and from school. He believes that, as part of a regular pattern, they can be effective; but if they are isolated he does not think it is a good idea. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that what Staff will do if the Commission approves this location as well as Via Rivera and Rue La Fleur is establish a route to school with regular all-way-stops, which will provide more positive guidance.

Commissioner Parfenov referred to vegetation at the southwest corner of the intersection at Via Rivera and Rue La Fleur near the school, and suggested that even with stop signs you would need to watch out for vegetation, and asked if that could be trimmed.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the speeds in that area are nearly the same as the speeds in the other area, and there is nearly 155’ of visibility at that intersection, which corresponds to a 25 mph speed limit. He explained that it is not the same situation or problem as Via Rivera and Rue Valois. He pointed out the picture on circle page 22 looking to the south, and stated that if he was driving south he would not be convinced to recommend all-way-stop controls, but based on other reasons it helps resolve this particular issue.

Commissioner Parfenov referred to exiting Hawthorne and approaching the first stop-through and commented on discussions about drivers going from a major arterial into a residential street. He also referred to the July 24, 2006 meeting Minutes, traffic calming options, in Recommendation 2-c “Install high visibility edgeline striping and additional all-way-stop controls. He asked if edgeline striping would be appropriate at this location, and commented that Staff had discussed this as one of the ways to go to remind drivers that they are entering a residential street, and asked if that is an option.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated he considers it an option but does not believe the neighborhood does; they are not sure it is aesthetically appropriate for the neighborhood based on the information he has received.

Commissioner Parfenov commented that people do run stop signs and red lights, and sometimes stop signs can give a false sense of security because they assume if they stop the opposing motorist will also stop, but they might not recognize the stop sign because they are still in the mindset of an arterial. He acknowledged that it might not be aesthetically pleasing, but it would make them mindful that it is no longer Hawthorne Boulevard.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that his option would be to install another flow-through, but he does not believe the neighborhood will buy it, and stated that Commissioner Parfenov’s argument is exactly the same as what he used as far as the issues about stop signs. He explained that there are negatives associated with all-way stop controls and that is why it is important that stop signs be installed for the right reasons whether it is volumes, accidents, or visibility in conjunction with other factors. He explained that he tried to consider it as a whole, because individually why not restrict the parking to solve the problem; but then he considered if it there was a better way to control the flow of traffic along the corridor to and from school. He explained that looking at the factors individually he probably would not have considered all-way stop controls, but when combined this appeared to be the best approach to enhance safety in this area. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that each of the Commissioners brings up very good points that are very appropriate to think about.

Commissioner Parfenov reiterated his previous comments regarding a false sense of security with a stop sign after entering the residential neighborhood from Hawthorne Boulevard.

Acting Chair Willens confirmed that there are no speakers and there will be no public hearing on this item. He asked Commissioner Bilezerian if he would be willing to make a Motion. He asked that Commissioner Bilezerian incorporate his thoughts about the red curb into the Motion so the Commission can break that intersection out from the other two, so that the Commission can move forward and save the other intersection for further discussion.

Commissioner Bilezerian offered to make the Motion, and asked if the Commission is to act on all three collectively or can they be considered individually.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reminded the Commission that they always have the options of developing alternatives and modifying the Staff recommendations. He recommended that the Commission approve two of them and go in a different direction on the other one.

Acting Chair Willens clarified that Staff does not need to have all or nothing at the same time.

Traffic Engineer Rydell confirmed that that is correct.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved to approve Recommendations 2 and 3 on circle page 19 of the Staff report as presented:

2. Install all-way stop control at the intersection of Via Rivera and Rue La Fleur.
3. Install all-way stop control at the intersection of Via Rivera and Via Borica.

Commissioner Bilezerian further moved on the Motion for Recommendation 1:

1. Install all-way stop control at the intersection of Via Rivera and Rue Valois.

To further explore the option of increasing visibility by installing red curb on the south side of Via Rivera north of Rue Valois, seconded by Commissioner Parfenov.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Parfenov had no comments.

Commissioner Mevers referred to Senior Engineer Dragoo’s comments about the residents of upper Via Rivera who have been rather vocal on traffic control, not necessarily traffic calming, and asked what he has heard.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that the concerns he has heard were all specific to traffic calming.

Commissioner Mevers explained that the reason he is asking is that Staff was talking about putting striping in this neighborhood close to where Staff is talking about, and the residents objected to that, and it seems to him that there is more than just this community to be considered. He explained that he is not sure what the objections were from people further up the hill because there is no one here to object.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that edgeline striping, speed humps, and traffic circle medians are all traffic calming devices; and traffic calming is a different issue than traffic safety. He described traffic calming as a livability issue where the neighborhood feels they have a problem, they have lost control of their street, they cannot walk safely, they have too much noise, and other factors. He explained that because it is a livability issue, the traffic calming puts it on the shoulders of the community and neighborhoods decide what they want. He explained that if there is a traffic safety issue, Staff would come to the Commission directly; with a traffic calming issue, the residents do have a right to decide how much inconvenience they are willing to live with and what they want to have done to their neighborhood, and edgeline striping is a traffic calming issue.

Commissioner Mevers clarified that neighborhoods do not decide on traffic safety issues.

Commissioner Wright presented edgeline striping versus stop; he asked if, in Staff’s opinion, one outweighs the other, is one safer than the other, or are they both equal.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that edgeline striping is a traffic-calming tool that visually narrows a roadway and has the effect of decreasing motorist’s speed. He explained that it would not decrease motorist’s speed to the point that it eliminates a visibility issue.

Commissioner Wright asked if, based on Traffic Engineer Rydell’s experience, a stop sign would slow someone down more effectively, realizing that people can make bad decisions and roll through stop signs. He asked if people have more of a propensity to roll through stop signs versus the striping.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that in the immediate area of the control, yes; but one of the problems with stop signs, especially if motorists think they should not have to be stopping, is that they will increase their speed between controls to make up for lost time, and that is one of the issues Staff is always dealing with. He explained that this is one of the reasons why he does not believe it is appropriate to put stop signs in at the drop of a hat.

Commissioner Wright commented that anything the City does here, stop signs included, would also depend a great deal on enforcement to go along with it to have much of an effect, and asked if that is correct.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that he would defer to the Sheriff to answer that, but would say that isolated stop controls or any other measures where there is a conflict cannot succeed without enforcement, whether it is a pattern of controls or a conflict that makes people believe they need to stop, those function much better on their own. His feeling is that especially with the all-way at Rue La Fleur, if the Commission decides to approve that, and the existing one at Rue De La Pierre—that with those two in place, he believes that Rue Valois will be fairly self-enforcing. He believes people get into the mode that they will be stopping at the intersections along the way to school, and it is not unusual to see that; if you drive through Los Angeles you will see that at every other intersection you are stopping.

Commissioner Wright commented that it makes it easy for Deputy Knox to sit by the side of the road and look for drivers rolling through stop signs.

Traffic Engineer Rydell asked to clarify that if the Commission follows the recommendation that is preferred and they want Staff to consider the red curb for enhancement of visibility, do they want Staff to approach the residents who will be affected, find out if they are in favor of it or not, and come back to the Commission next month with that answer. He stated that if they go for it, that is fine, and if they do not want it, does the Commission want Staff to come back with this recommendation again.

Commissioner Bilezerian stated that it is not that he disagrees with the engineering judgment, but he thinks since it is in the report that there are no accidents reported in a certain period, it seems to him that the people who use this intersection are able to do so in a reasonable, prudent, and safe manner. The installation of a stop sign for the drivers on Rue Valois looking to the left at the downhill traffic there is a visibility problem based on what Traffic Engineer Rydell has showed the Commission. However, looking to the right at the picture in the Staff report there is no visibility problem, so the people heading up the hill are forced to stop by law, and now you have the start up noise or the noise pollution associated with that, possibly from screaming tires. Commissioner Bilezerian stated in the form of direction, that the first step would be to say that the Traffic Safety Commission does not want to put a stop sign there until the red curb and the parking problem is considered. If the residents do not want that, then the Commission will reconsider stop signs for the residents. He explained that he is not convinced that the Commission must approve a stop sign if there are no accidents.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that he is satisfied with the clarification.

Acting Chair Willens stated that he basically agrees with Commissioner Bilezerian, he has no problem with the other two recommendations, and he is not sure that he would have a problem installing a stop sign on Rue Valois, but Commissioner Bilezerian makes a good point that before doing that the alternatives should be explored. He also agreed that Staff should bring it back next month as old business and give the Commission a recommendation, even if it is the same recommendation with more detail, to show that Staff considered other alternatives including the red curbing, and why they would not want to do that. As part of that, he asked that the residents be an active part of the discussion. He stated that he also tends to believe that Staff has a lot of experience with this and they do not make these recommendations lightly, and if Staff recommends something with a legitimate reason and can articulate why, and there are no people from the community complaining that they do not want it, that carries a lot of weight for him.

ACTION TAKEN:

Motion approved:
Ayes 5; Nays 0

NEW BUSINESS:

2. CREST ROAD AND ANACAPA DRIVE FLASHING BEACON

Recommendation:

1. Deny the request for installation of a flashing beacon on Crest Road in advance of Anacapa Drive.

Traffic Engineer’s Report

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Public Works Staff recently received written correspondence from the Vantage Pointe Homeowners Association requesting installation of flashing beacons on Crest Road at Anacapa Lane. This request was prompted by a concern that heavy fog in the area reduces visibility such that turning out of Anacapa Lane is difficult. He stated that this is not the first request received about conditions at different locations along Crest Road, especially when it is foggy. He explained that Staff has had requests for flashing beacons in the past but they have always denied the requests.

Traffic Engineer Rydell presented a slide with an aerial view of the area between Hawthorne Boulevard and Crenshaw Boulevard and explained that Crest Road is an arterial roadway with two travel lanes and a bike lane in each direction. There are left-turn pockets at each intersection between Hawthorne Boulevard and Crenshaw Boulevard. Crest Road has a posted 45 mph speed limit and stopping is prohibited on both sides.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that on Crest Road within the study area, there are intersections at the following roadways:

Cresta Verde (2 locations) La Croix Drive
Anacapa Lane Sea Terrace Drive
Highridge Road Whitley Collins Drive
Mila Lane

Of these locations, Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Highridge Road is controlled by a traffic signal, and the others are stop controlled; there are advance street name signs at La Croix Drive, Anacapa Lane, Sea Terrace Drive, Highridge Road and Whitley Collins Drive; there are no advance street name signs at Cresta Verde, which is on the western portion, and Mila Lane, which is on the eastern portion. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that there are times of the year when there is very substantial fog along Crest Road. A review of the accident history at Crest Road and Anacapa lane revealed one reported accident during the three-year period ending May 2006. This accident, occurring on December 13, 2003, involved a vehicle making a left turn when it was unsafe to do so and broadsiding a vehicle on Crest Road. There was no fog at the time of the accident and the roadway was dry. He explained that flashing beacons are a very useful tool when trying to enhance a road sign, at midblock crosswalks, at obstructions in or immediately adjacent to the roadway, and on approaches to intersections where additional warning is required or where special conditions exist.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this issue and his reason for thinking a flashing beacon is not appropriate is that it would not enhance safety in his opinion; that from personal experience he knows that when it is very foggy you cannot see the signal at Highridge until you are right on top of it, and you have to know it is there, and this would be the same with a flashing beacon. He stated that of equal importance is the fact that Anacapa, other than Highridge, has the same conditions as the other intersections, and any action taken at one intersection should be taken at all other locations that experience similar conditions. He explained that if this is not done the City takes on a certain liability exposure. He explained that flashing beacons are not unreasonably expensive, but they are still $3,000 each.

Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out that fog conditions appear at various times during the year as well as various times of the day, and any flashing beacon would need to be operated only during the times when the condition exists, because if it is operating continuously it loses its effectiveness. He explained that this is operationally difficult and labor intensive. He concluded saying that based on this information he does not believe that a flashing beacon should be placed in this vicinity. However, he added that the City has started a program of aggressively restriping the roadways on a regular basis to enhance awareness of the edgelines and limit striping, and Staff would make sure that Crest Road continues to be an integral part of that program.

Commission questions of Staff

Commissioner Parfenov referred to the restriping program, and asked if that should be part of the recommendation.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it is an ongoing program.

Commissioner Wright commented that if drivers cannot see the flashing beacons, what good would the striping do in terms of how you would see the center section.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that drivers could see things when they get close to it, and if striping is continuous and in good shape motorists will have that guide to make sure they are in a proper lane.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if the homeowners’ association (HOA) has representation or reason to request this for other locations or are they only representing this intersection.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the request was received in the form of a letter, this was the only intersection requested, and he believes they are in the city of Rolling Hills Estates.

Acting Chair Willens opened the Public Hearing.

Mike Ciminera, 48 Santa Cruz, Vantage Point, stated that Staff did a good job in looking at their request. He reviewed comments that represent the 67 homeowners living in the area. He explained that he is a member of the Vantage Point Homeowners’ Association Board and introduced Rob Yart, President of the Association, and Mort Rogani and Cynthia Rollins, who are also on the Board. He thanked the Commission for the opportunity to request their help in avoiding what they consider to be a potentially dangerous driving hazard that may occur at the intersection of Crest Road and Anacapa Lane, which is the entrance to Vantage Point, during the time of very heavy fog concentrations. He explained that the areas affected by the very heavy fog concentrations are Vantage Point, Cresta Verdes, Seabreeze, the area of Crest Road, and Hawthorne. By way of background, Mr. Ciminera explained that Vantage Point contains 67 homes, and many people in that area are working professionals like himself, as well as over thirty young children in that area, so there is a lot of traffic movement out of that area onto Crest Road. He explained that the Association and the Board have worked very hard at ensuring the safety aspects of their area, for example; they are strictly enforcing a 15 mph speed limit by a “watch” in their area through their Board meetings, and people are keeping track of those who are exceeding the speed limit. He explained that when they exceed the limit, the HOA sends them a letter to lower the speed, because there are many children in the area on bicycles and scooters, etc. He stated that the HOA is also installing a digitized video system that will keep track of people coming in and out of their area, which is also for security, but if someone is speeding they can get them, referring to service vehicles as well as cars coming in and out of the area. He explained that the HOA has also installed street reflectors in fog conditions that are very helpful in maintaining passage on the road because it gets extremely foggy. With these facts in mind, Mr. Ciminera stated that they did communicate to the Public Works Department of Rolling Hills Estates, probably not correctly initially, about this hazardous driving condition in the fog on August 17 and received notification from the Traffic Safety Commission Staff that the recommendation was to deny it. He stated that their community, on a unanimous basis, has requested before to act quickly and try to find a solution to eliminate this potentially dangerous hazard. Mr. Ciminera explained that in any mishap, whether it is in aerospace or an airliner or a crash, there is always root causes right before they get to the corrective action. He suggested that in this case the root causes are the underlying facts that could lead to an accident by the following according to the folks that live in their area and the Board: It appears that there has been an increase in the severity of the fog lasting for several weeks at a time, and the fog is more intense over the last several years; there has been a significant increase in traffic on Crest due to the increase in developments like Seabreeze and all the building that is going on, and people are coming up Hawthorne and using Crest as a through street or main drag; they also believe that the speed limit is being exceeded, and due to the geometry of Crest there is not a straight-line view due to the curvature shown by Staff. He explained that what they are asking the Commission to do in this case, and they would like to work with them on this because they do not have a solution, is to come up with some type of control. He stated that the drivers transporting people, and those coming out of the area in heavy fog will not turn left on Crest—they turn right with a great deal of trepidation and go all the way down in order to come back the other way if they have to go that way. Mr. Ciminera concluded saying that they are asking for the Commission’s help to come up with some kind of a control in order to avoid what they consider to be a potentially dangerous situation.

Commissioner Bilezerian clarified that Mr. Ciminera mentioned that Rolling Hills Estates’ Traffic Commission voted to deny this request when he approached them.

Mr. Ciminera responded no, that they received a letter from the Staff that was pretty much in line with what Traffic Engineer Rydell said; that they were going to deny a beacon, and the Board members are here to appeal that. They do not have a technical solution in mind, many of them are engineers, and they are asking for the Commission’s help because there are many worried people in their community who will not turn left.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked, when they are doing the 15 mph speed enforcement, if there is any financial contribution on the part of motorists in their community to do that enforcement.

Mr. Ciminera responded that they pay a very heavy association fee.

Commissioner Bilezerian clarified his question and asked if there is any financial offering that this community HOA would be willing to offer to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes for a flashing beacon or other technical device.

Mr. Ciminera stated that he cannot speak for that and they would have to take it up with the Board and put it to the community, but it is something they could look at.

Acting Chair Willens closed the Public Hearing.

Commissioner Bilezerian commented that he was pleased to hear the speaker acknowledge that he does not speak for everyone in the community. He explained that he concurs with the study and investigation made by Traffic Engineer Rydell that there are no accidents, fog is a problem everywhere else, and what warrants this location versus others. He suggested that if the City works with this homeowners’ group and they are willing to fund this on their own, would that be an overriding justification to approve their request.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that he would say no. He explained that residents helping fund traffic devices is very common in traffic calming, but this is a traffic safety issue and is being brought up as a safety issue, not a visibility issue; he believes that if the City gets into a situation where they are installing traffic safety devices based on who is willing to contribute to it, it could be construed as not putting in the same level of effort for those who are not willing to pay for it.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved to concur with the Staff recommendation:

 Deny the request for installation of a flashing beacon on Crest Road in advance of Anacapa Drive.

Based on the information provided and also on the basis that another city has taken action to deny the same request, seconded by Commissioner Mevers.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Parfenov commented on the discussion regarding lack of visibility seeing traffic lights during fog, and suggested the possibility that the Technology Subcommittee could explore the use of motion sensors that can be set for certain conditions.

Commissioner Mevers stated that the technology exists and has for many years, explaining that every major airport in the nation has what they call visibility maneuvering to provide runway visual range and a method of determining a visibility number. He explained that the difficulty is installation and safety regulations, even though it is basically like a flashlight, but if the City had such a thing and wanted to control all the intersections they would have to have a variable speed. He suggested that they are talking about technology that, within the framework of traffic control, may not exist although the local airport may have it. He stated that certainly the technology does exist, and a person who is an engineer probably knows that.

There were no comments from the remaining Commissioners or Acting Chair Willens.

Motion approved:
Ayes 4; Nays 0
Commissioner Parfenov abstained.

RECESS AND RECONVENE:

The Commission recessed at 8:48 pm and reconvened at 8:50 pm.

NEW BUSINESS:

3. CRENSHAW BOULEVARD AND CRESTRIDGE ROAD ADDITIONAL TRAFFIC CONTROLS

Recommendations:

1. Install Right Turn on Red prohibitions for westbound motorists on Crestridge Road at Crenshaw Boulevard.

2. Retain the protected left-turn phasing recommendation for Crenshaw Boulevard at Crestridge Road on Citywide Traffic Signal Modification Prioritization List and continue to pursue funding sources.

Traffic Engineer’s Report

Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed the Staff report with supplemental slides. He reported that as requested by several residents, Staff again reviewed the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and Crestridge Road with respect to the need for installation of left-turn phasing for Crenshaw Boulevard. This location was previously evaluated in May 2004 and February 2005, and has been included in the recently submitted Traffic Signal Prioritization List for traffic signal modifications. In addition, the most recent request at this location by Ms. Janet Thrall addressed the need for additional controls for westbound motorists on Crestridge Road attempting to make a right turn onto northbound Crenshaw Boulevard.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Crenshaw Boulevard in the subject vicinity is a four-lane arterial roadway with a 45 mph speed limit; at the subject intersection, there are two through lanes, one right-turn lane and one left-turn lane for both directions. He described that this intersection is controlled by a three-phase traffic signal, meaning that it is a split phase with westbound movements getting the green light exclusively, then the eastbound movements get the green exclusively, and then the southbound movements get the green; northbound/southbound being Crenshaw Boulevard, east and west green is Crestridge road. He explained that the primary reason for that at this location is the extremely heavy left turn movement from eastbound Crestridge onto northbound Crenshaw. Traffic Engineer Rydell showed an aerial of the intersection, pointing out the curve to the right from south to north with a downgrade from south to north, and south of the intersection there is also an elevation difference at Crenshaw Boulevard between northbound and southbound traffic. He presented a photo taken from where a motorist would be making a right turn on red after stopping at the crosswalk at the south approach to Crenshaw Boulevard, and explained that the photo was taken from the southbound left-turn lane on Crenshaw. He explained that this is generally why Staff receives requests for protected left-turn phasing on Crenshaw because residents believe that the cars coming northbound on Crenshaw approaching the intersection are driving at a fairly high rate of speed on a curve. He explained that visibility for the northbound turn is very good.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported on the accident history through July 2006 at this location as follows:

12-Month History - 1 accident

 A southbound vehicle proceeding through the intersection failed to stop at the red light and collided with an eastbound vehicle traveling through the intersection (injury – 9/21/05).

Traffic Engineer Rydell commented that either protected left-turn phasing or right-turn-on-red prohibition would not have prevented this accident.

24-Month History – 4 accidents

 The above accident.
 A northbound vehicle making a u-turn failed to yield the right-of-way and collided with a southbound vehicle traveling through the intersection (PDO – 5/24/05).
 An eastbound vehicle making a left turn failed to stop at the red light and collided with a southbound vehicle traveling through the intersection (injury - 8/5/04).
 A northbound vehicle making a left-turn failed to yield the right-of-way and collided with a southbound vehicle traveling through the intersection (injury - 8/76/04).

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that two of these accidents would have been preventable by left-turn phasing; that they were both northbound vehicles making a left turn and they had no visibility restrictions. A right turn on red would not have stopped any of those accidents.

36-Month History – 6 accidents

 The above accidents.
 A southbound vehicle making a left turn failed to yield the right-of-way and collided with a northbound vehicle traveling through the intersection (injury - 1/4/04).
 A westbound vehicle with a trailer making a left turn collided with a westbound vehicle making a right turn when its trailer bounced (PDO – 8/7/03).

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that three of these accidents were preventable by left-turn phasing; one of them fit the criteria of being a southbound vehicle, and right-turn-on-red would not have been preventable by right-turn prohibitions.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that left-turn phasing is not warranted at this time by Caltrans standards, and that the guidelines include analysis of accidents, delay for vehicles making a left turn, sight distance, and other engineering judgments. However, he added that in Rancho Palos Verdes there are 12 signals that Staff wants to change; that seven of them do have protected left-turn phasing, and it is not unusual to install protected left-turn phasing at most intersections. He explained that left-turn phasing degrades the operation and efficiency of the signalized intersection, but at this location he does not believe left-turn phasing would degrade the intersection to an unacceptable level, and Staff would not oppose it. He stated that even though the warrants are not met, that just means that it is not urgently needed; however, they are expensive, and he explained that the last two left-turn phasings that he installed at different intersections were in the $150,000-$200,000 range because they must replace all the signal poles. He explained that because of that, if it is not satisfying the warrants, especially the accident warrants, the City looks for funding. He reported that Staff has applied for Hazard Elimination safety funding from the State in the past year, and they will continue to apply for funding to do that; that this is the number one intersection in the City where they would like to install left-turn phasing if they had the funds.

Traffic Engineer Rydell also reviewed the need for right-turn-on-red and stated that it is not a right—it is a privilege—and you make the movement if it is safe to do so. He commented that motorists are not required to make a right turn on red, and if they are uncomfortable they should not do it. Traffic Engineer Rydell read from the last paragraph of the Staff report on circle page 31, “As previously stated, when westbound traffic receives a green light there is no conflicting movement due to the three-phase signal operation. These motorists have the right-of-way to make a left-turn, right turn or proceed straight through the intersection. Motorists making right turns are expected to either wait for a green indication or make a right turn on red only when safe to do so. However the roadway alignment that limits visibility of northbound vehicles on Crenshaw Boulevard may result in some motorists making poor driving decisions. Therefore, establishing right-turn-on-red prohibitions for westbound motorists may provide the additional control to maintain traffic safety.” He explained that he read that to make it very clear that he does not feel strongly about a right turn on red, he does not think it is necessary, he believes it is an issue that is appropriate for this Commission to weigh their issues on. Is it necessary—he stated that this is something that the Commission will have to decide. He questioned if it will inconvenience motorists—yes, it will significantly inconvenience the motorists.

Traffic Engineer Rydell added that Staff received late correspondence (copies distributed to Commission at meeting) from George and Barbara Gleghorn urging that no changes be made to the present right turn controls. Traffic Engineer Rydell noted that they explained that such a right turn was prohibited several years ago and did not meet with strong support.

In conclusion, Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff would continue to seek funding for protected left-turn phasing for Crenshaw at Crestridge and it is a good suggestion if they can get money for it. He explained that that is why Recommendation 2 on circle page 28 is written to “Retain the protected left-turn phasing recommendation…and continue to pursue funding sources.” Referring to Recommendation 1 on the same page, it states “Install Right Turn on Red prohibitions…” and he explained that he hopes he has made himself clear that it is not something that he would fight hard for, that it would have a degradation to the intersection, and he would leave this up to the Commission to decide.

Commission Questions of Staff

Acting Chair Willens expressed concern about the late correspondence via e-mail, and is wondering if Staff can respond to it. He summarized the communication as being from George J. Gleghorn and Barbara M. Gleghorn, 28850 Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, and states that they are against a right-turn-on-red prohibition; that some years ago such a right turn was prohibited and the community petitioned to have the controls changed to the way it is now, which he interprets to mean that at one time it was prohibited and then it was changed, and now the Commission is talking about prohibiting it again. Acting Chair Willens stated that he is concerned that the Commission does not have any information as to what that was all about or when it happened. He explained that his question is that maybe Staff was not aware that this was done and then reversed at some point in the past. He asked Staff if they know what the residents are talking about.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he is not aware of the history and it may be a record retention issue as well as much turnover in the Public Works Department. He explained that this happened long before any of the current Staff was employed, and if the history is not available there is no way Staff would know about it.

Acting Chair Willens asked if Staff had an opportunity to investigate this, and asked if there is a way they could do so now; that he does not want to debate an issue that was already debated without having the benefit of that information.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that he is not sure the information is even available, and asked how long ago this happened.

A member of the audience responded that it was approximately ten years ago.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he was not aware of this until now; that in support of this information a couple came into the office last week trying to not have it pursued because of some of the same issues described in the e-mail.

Acting Chair Willens asked for a show of hands to determine if anyone in the audience is in support of a red-curb prohibition, or are they all against it.

Responses from the audience indicated that they are all against it.

Acting Chair Willens asked if anyone is present to address the left turn.

One member in the audience responded.

Acting Chair Willens commented that he is not sure why the Commission even needs to debate that, and asked who requested this.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it is in the report, and one person requested the report as follows: “Ms. Janet Thrall addressed the need for additional controls for westbound motorists on Crestridge Road attempting to make a right turn onto northbound Crenshaw Boulevard.” He explained that one person is enough to initiate an investigation on a location.

Janet Thrall stood and announced that she initiated the conversation about this intersection.

Acting Chair Willens invited the resident who identified herself as the requestor to speak on the issue. He clarified that she is not the one who was asking for a red-curb prohibition, and asked if that is correct.

Ms. Thrall explained that her main request was for a left turn coming up Crenshaw.

Acting Chair Willens clarified that he is asking about the right turn on red, and asked if that is what she was asking.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he had a phone conversation with Ms. Thrall.

Acting Chair Willens stated that the meeting will continue with Commissioners’ questions of Staff, and explained that they will take speakers in the normal process.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if there were any accidents involving people trying to turn north on Crenshaw from the east approach and getting hit from behind and the cars going off on Crenshaw.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that there were no reported accidents in the last three years.

Acting Chair Willens opened the Public Hearing.

Howard Thrall, 28762 Crestridge Road, explained that this is not a huge issue from his personal point of view, but it is an important issue because their daughter was almost caught making that turn turning off of Crestridge onto Crenshaw on a red light and this is what raised the issue for them. He explained that their daughter is a young driver, in a minority in their community and less experienced than other drivers; she pulled up to the stop sign, and they were following behind her; she looked up the hill and did not see anyone, pulled out, and there were people coming down the hill at 50 mph regularly. Fortunately, he explained, the drivers slowed down and she did not get hit. He stated that most people would stay in the lane they turn into when they pull out, but she pulled out into the far lane and it did not give a speeding car an opportunity to go around so they had to stop. He explained that they thought it would make sense with that type of a driver as was commented, to enhance good decision-making, if they had eliminated that option by just making it a right turn on a red light. Mr. Thrall explained that the other issue was the reaction to the increased traffic the residents expect coming in all directions because of additional development planned on the other side of Crestridge, and they thought that would be an enhancement; although from that turn when coming up Crenshaw and turning west onto Crestridge there is much better visibility than when turning right. Personally, he believes that is less of an issue than the one going downhill.

Janet Thrall, 28762 Crestridge Road, explained that she did send the letter and talked with Traffic Engineer Rydell, and she expressed appreciation for the Commission’s attention and involvement in this because safety is a concern. She stated that when she spoke with Staff one of the questions was about the speed before coming down Crenshaw from Crest and Crenshaw, and people are not observing the speed limit, whatever it is. She explained that when drivers have the light to turn left when coming up Crenshaw, they jam it because there is not a great deal of visibility and there is a lot of high vegetation. She acknowledged that Staff says that visibility is ok but she challenges that because Staff is probably making that judgment on whatever the speed limit is, and people are racing because of the elevation, and those are her concerns. She reported that some of the homeowners have called her—friends of theirs from book clubs—they have their young children and they want to be able to walk to Ridgecrest, which is in the neighborhood with an intermediate school there, and they do not feel safe having their children walk across the crosswalk over to the art center. She explained that it is because of the speed, and she knows the City cannot put speed bumps there; but it was said there are extra officers in that section coming down Crenshaw, although she said that she is on that road all the time and she has not seen increased patrols.

Sherry Skari, 5305 Middlecrest Road, explained that she is a past Board member of the Ridgecrest Homeowners’ Association and none of the current Board members were able to attend today, but she has an e-mail from Terry Cochran who is the President of their HOA and she asked to read from it as follows: “I am the President of the Ridgecrest HOA and I and the other current elected Officers are opposed to the implementation of the prohibition of right turns with respect to vehicles exiting our community on a right turn. I have contacted five other past members of our Board and a number of our residents and all of them are opposed to the right-turn prohibition. No one in our community that I have spoken with is in favor of this prohibition.” Ms. Skari explained that Terry has been their President for the last two years and has lived in Ridgecrest for approximately five years. Ms. Skari explained that when she was on the homeowners Board they talked about putting in a “no right turn on red”, but after discussing it with other long-time residents they found that it was done ten or fifteen years ago, it was implemented, and people started to ignore it because they did not think it was necessary. She explained that neighbors then called police officers to monitor that intersection and issue tickets, resulting in irritation and frustration about this right turn on red, and after approximately a year the neighbors got together and had it rescinded, and she is not sure of the date but it has been done before. She reported that it is Terry’s and the current Board’s recommendation that this not be implemented and it is her personal feeling also; that she would like to be able to make a choice that when she thinks it is safe she will make a right turn, and if she thinks it is not safe, she will not, and no one behind her beeping will force her to make a right turn.

Kathy Hesse, 5201 Middlecrest, spoke out against the right-turn-on-red proposal. She referred to the Staff report, which stated that there have been no accidents due to the right-turn on red prohibition; that there have been some problems but she does not know that the right-turn-on-red prohibition would solve the problem. She believes that it should be left to the discretion of the driver to turn right or wait for the green light, and the problems with excessive speed could be dealt with in other ways. She stated that as has already been pointed out, it is a local legend that this happened ten years ago and the neighborhood was so frustrated and furious it lasted ten months before the prohibition was rescinded, so she does not think they need to do that again.

Michael Sulman, 5205 Middlecrest Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, reported that he has lived in his home for more than 26 years and he did experience this no right-turn-on-red, which resulted in traffic tie-ups and a lot of frustration among the neighborhood residents. He stated that he sees absolutely no reason to go back to what was previously tried and found it unnecessary and problematic, and believes people should be permitted to use their own judgment and make a right turn on red when it is safe to do so.

Acting Chair Willens asked if Mr. Sulman knows how it was that the prohibition was implemented in the first place.

Mr. Sulman referred the question to another speaker for a response. Acting Chair Willens gave the next speaker an additional 30 seconds to answer his question.

George Gleghorn, 28850 Crestridge, Rancho Palos Verdes in the Ridgecrest development, explained that when they moved into their house 43 years ago there were no stop signals at Crestridge and Crenshaw, that there were four right stops on Crestridge in both directions, and free flow on Crenshaw up and down the hill. He explained that over a number of years there were a number of accidents, some of them very bad and at least one or two fatal, and the homeowners in the area got together and petitioned either the County or the City to please install a standard stop sign and eventually it happened. Mr. Gleghorn stated that when it happened a sign was put up stating “no right turn on red”. He explained that traffic has increased with the development higher up the hill over the years and become worse and worse; on the other hand, the no-right-turn-on-red caused traffic to back up on Crestridge. He explained that because of the phased signaling it is longer than usual and Crenshaw is phasing, so you sit there for three or four minutes while you wait to get across because you have to wait for the green signal. He explained that they are the first light after Crenshaw, and the people from the other way have an even longer wait, and it does get frustrating. He explained that the residents petitioned, and it was a City at that time, to remove the right turn on red, and it did take about ten months to have it approved. Mr. Gleghorn explained that he was hoping that Staff would have records of that so they would know the reasoning. He understands, although he was not going to end negotiations, that as part of the deal, that the City made the right-hand curb lane of Crenshaw a right turn only coming down the hill. He referred to the pictures on circle page 30, and stated that the right-hand lane coming downhill is prominently displayed as right turn only; he referred to another lane that is about two cars wide, so a right-turn person coming out of there turning into the right hand lane is shielded by people coming down the second lane. He suggested that one of the compromises is to build this right turn only lane to prevent people from hugging the curb. Mr. Gleghorn pointed out the foliage that hangs out and suggested that if it is cut back there would be a better view clear up the hill; that it is still dangerous because drivers come down there at 60 mph and the drivers turning right must be very careful, but if they wait until there is an open space, there is time to turn and stay in the right hand lane. He stated that he is among those who urge that the Commission deny the recommendation to prohibit a right turn on red.

Acting Chair Willens thanked Mr. Gleghorn for knowing the answers to the historical questions.

Barbara Gleghorn, 28850 Crestridge Road, stated that all the reasons that she had have already been said. She stated that she is among those who would request that the Commission deny the installation of the right-turn-on-red prohibitions.

Acting Chair Willens closed the Public Hearing.

Acting Chair Willens commented that the left-turn signal is already on the Signal Prioritization List, and asked Staff if it is number one on the list.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded yes.

Acting Chair Willens reminded the Commission that they discussed this last summer, and even if the Commission did nothing with regard to the left turn, it is just a matter of getting the money and working their way down the list.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that this is why Staff made the recommendation to leave it as it is.

Acting Chair Willens asked for a Motion.

Commissioner Bilezerian commented that this Motion will be based on the following data that he read in the report stating that no accidents have been reported at this intersection related to westbound and northbound and he feels that installation of a sign prohibiting this movement would encourage needless delays and enforcement would be an issue.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved to deny Recommendation 1:

1. Not to Install Right Turn on Red prohibitions for westbound motorists on Crestridge Road at Crenshaw Boulevard.

Commissioner Bilezerian further moved to approve Recommendation 2:

2. Retain the protected left-turn phasing recommendation for Crenshaw Boulevard at Crestridge Road on Citywide and continue to pursue funding sources.

Seconded by Commissioner Wright.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Parfenov referred to one accident listed on circle page 29 regarding a westbound vehicle making a left turn colliding with a westbound vehicle, and asked if this car was turning out of Crestridge.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that there were two vehicles pulling out westbound; one was a passenger vehicle, and one was a truck with a trailer—a gardening combo—and as the truck started turning the trailer bounced and clipped the car next to it.

Commissioner Parfenov referred to left-turn phasing on Crestridge turning left to go uphill.

Traffic Engineer Rydell clarified that Staff is referring to the protected left-turn phasing on Crenshaw Boulevard in both directions.

Commissioner Wright addressed Mr. and Mrs. Thrall and commented that being the father of two adult daughters and one teenage son, he completely understands their concern for what happened to their daughter; but wondered if they now feel the same about the right turn issue, and suggested that it is probably more of an issue of dealing with speeders coming down the hill.

Mr. Thrall explained that they share the same frustrations as their neighbors in terms of not wanting to be stuck in that area. He explained that they did not know the history or the strong emotions associated with their neighbors or they probably would not have raised the issue in the first place.

Acting Chair Willens stated that he also understands, and commented that the Commission has these issues come up all the time where a few people have understandable and legitimate concerns, and then there are people who do not understand that at all. He explained that his problem with it is that it has already been tried and he does not see anything different today that would cause him to try again to prohibit the right turn on red, and primarily for that reason he agrees with the comments already made. Acting Chair Willens stated that he supports the Motion.

Motion approved:
Ayes 5; Nays 0

RECEIVE AND FILE:

NONE

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS

1. Public Works Department Report.

a. Toscanini Area Traffic Calming Update.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Staff went through phase one previously with speed limit signs, pavement markings, enforcement, radar feedback signs in two locations, radar trailer, and distributed lawn signs. He commented that some lawn signs have been stolen. He reported that Staff has received very good feedback from the community regarding the radar feedback signs at Toscanini Drive west of Mt. Shasta Drive, and also on Bloomwood Road near Mt. Rose Road. He commented that from time to time radar feedback signs had to be repaired. Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that counts were delayed due to delays in lawn sign distribution; Staff did the “after” counts in June 2006. He presented the results on a slide as follows:

% Exceeding
Speed Limit Speeds VPD
Location Before/After Before/After Before/After

Toscanini Drive 79%/86% 37/37 mph 2,103/2,041
Mount Shasta Drive 24%/79% 28/33 mph 3,319/1,803
Mount Ranier Road 39%/44% 30/29 mph 563/491
Caddington Drive 24%/54% 28/30 mph 934/409
Bloomwood Road 79%/22% 36/26 mph 1,888/1917

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Staff is now working with the neighborhood to find out what they want to do; that he reviewed the other phases and the data does show that Staff really did not accomplish what they hoped for, so now the residents are in the process of petitions and it is back in their court.

b. Via Rivera update.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that he met with some members of the Via Rivera neighborhood; that their leader is away and will return in a couple of weeks. He reported that he talked with them about the islands regarding the specifics about design, location, pros and cons, and they are thinking about it and when their group comes back Staff will talk with them again. He explained that he asked the residents to at least make an effort to talk with the people in upper Via Rivera who are violently opposed to any traffic calming; that it is beneficial to them to put forth that effort. He explained that those people do not want to compromise, and that is why Staff gave them four different alternatives to think about. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that what he would like to do is come back and talk about having a community meeting, and he thinks it should be done in front of this Commission so they hear everyone’s input; following that, Staff would return with actual recommendations on how to proceed.

Acting Chair Willens commented that the Commission was talking about doing that as a workshop.

Commissioner Mevers asked if Staff is getting any response from the neighbors in upper Via Rivera, commenting that there was no one here when this was last considered.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that the ex-Mayor was here and she is violently opposed to speed humps or anything, and they are the residents who shelved this the first time around five or six years ago, so that is why Staff is trying to find a meeting of the minds.

Commissioner Mevers stated that it is his personal opinion that the islands might be more acceptable to them.

c. Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program Update.

Acting Chair Willens reported that this was Chair Shepherd’s baby and she will not be at meetings for a couple of months, and he does not want to leave her out of these discussions. He suggested that he will find out in the near future if she will be absent longer than anticipated and then the Commission can decide if they can wait for her return. He explained that she has been on this Commission for a long time and he knows she would want to be part of that deliberation and discussion.

d. Hawthorne Blvd/Grayslake Road Traffic Light Modification Accident Analysis.

Traffic Engineer Rydell recalled that in March 2005 Staff removed the protected permissive left-turn phasing for Hawthorne Boulevard at that intersection because they had a huge accident problem, specifically on the permissive phase. He presented a slide with the accident history before November 2004, which was before modifications were implemented. He pointed out the location at southbound Hawthorne Boulevard turning left into northbound Hawthorne Boulevard, where nine injury accidents out of twelve took place. In the opposite direction he stated there were five accidents, two of which happened on the permissive cycle. Since modified, Traffic Engineer Rydell reported there were no accidents related to those two movements, and Staff is convinced that the Commission’s actions significantly improved traffic safety conditions.

Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that for a period of two weeks after they made the change the Public Works Department received at least three-dozen complaints on what a horrible thing they had done.

Commissioner Bilezerian reported that he lives off of Highridge and he made that movement every day from southbound Hawthorne to eastbound Highridge, and he noticed the impact and thinks Staff did a good job. He commented that one of the things he noticed is that the way it is programmed works great because it does provide a double cycling, so there is a left arrow first and that clears out the pocket; there are heavy peak times when additional vehicles try to get into the pocket and they have to wait their turn. However, he explained that in off-peak hours when there is no opposing northbound traffic, the double cycle still allows the conditional left turn. He reported that a second benefit to that intersection is the right-turn overlap for people on Highridge heading northbound to reach Hawthorne and turn right to go northbound on Hawthorne.

Commissioner Bilezerian received compliments from Staff and the Commissioners as a true historian in describing the benefits of the modification.

e. Hawthorne/Ravenspur Right Lane Modifications Accident Analysis.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that there was a right-turn lane modification going northbound on Hawthorne at Ravenspur, and people were violating it. He explained that there was just a temporary painted island, but in August 2005 Staff returned to the Commission with a suggestion to install flexible delineators and that was implemented in September 2005. He explained that before anything was done from June 2002 to May 2005 there were eleven accidents because drivers were sliding through the right-turn only lane; that since the location was modified there were no reported accidents since September 2005 through June 2006.

Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that he did receive one phone call from a woman who told him that the delineators make a horrible noise on her car.

f. Long Point Development Review Update.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Senior Engineer Dragoo and other Staff are reviewing the site plan both on the property, on a public right-of-way traffic signal plan, and they are performing the technical reviews at this time.

Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that the Trump organization has been conditioned to install a traffic signal there, and the developer has come forward and asked to install that traffic signal fast, possibly to facilitate their trucks entering and leaving the property during their development operations.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that it might be an issue because he just reviewed their “haul route” for construction, and he cannot say it was approved yet, but they probably would not be having that if a signal might assist them in their efforts.

g. Summary of Sheriff Ride Along.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported on his ride-along with Deputy Knox a couple of months ago, and he explained that he learned a lot, not only watching how Deputy Knox did his business and treated people, but how Deputy Knox performs enforcement helps Staff when they design projects. He stated that it helps him know where the Deputy will be in determining appropriate placement of signs or other devices. He stated that it helped him as an engineer and would probably help the Commission as well, and he expressed appreciation to Deputy Knox for the opportunity to ride with him.

h. Update on California MUTCD.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that in 2004 California adopted the Federal Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices; that they also had a supplement, so it was necessary to go back and forth between two books. Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that at the end of May 2006 a draft California MUTCD was prepared, which is one book; that it combines the regular manual with any changes that California wants specifically. He explained that it has not yet been approved by the State of California, but the comment period has closed and it should be approved within the next couple of months. He commented that it consolidates everything.

i. Annual Traffic Count Program.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Staff has started a speed and volume Traffic Count Program at approximately 22 locations, mostly arterials, with the intent that speed and volume counts be taken at least annually at all of the locations so they can have the tools to know exactly what is going on. He explained that Staff is trying to formalize their method of gathering data and utilizing it.

j. Route 213 Adaptive Signal Control System Improvement Project

Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that this is a project that the State has currently or will soon be put out to bid; that they plan to begin work in October, it is a computer-commanded system that will be linked to a Los Angeles County control management center. He reported that they would connect and change controllers at each intersection from Summerland north along Western Avenue; that the State will modify each signal independently, and there will be impact along Western Avenue from October for a period of approximately 13 months.

Commissioner Mevers asked if what he is talking about is volume speed sensors that will feed information to a computer that will send out radio signals to various traffic lights to change timing.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that there is a certain amount that they can adjust it, and they will also have closed circuitry video at certain intersections so they can have visual inspections.

Commissioner Mevers commented that if the first program does not work well they could fine-tune it.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that that is his understanding, and commented that none of those signals are maintained by Rancho Palos Verdes so Staff does not have any control over them.

k. Ambergate Drive and Monero Drive

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that this is on the traffic-calming list, but at this point there are a couple of other neighborhoods in front of it. He explained that the last time Staff looked at it they did some work and it did not solve the speeding. He explained that they are in the same process as Toscanini where the residents will do a petition to determine if they want to do anything further.

2. Other Traffic Safety Commission Business

Commissioner Parfenov asked who would compile the agenda while Chair Shepherd is absent.

Acting Chair Willens responded that he would.

Commissioner Parfenov stated that the Technology Subcommittee will compile another report, and explained that they would like to have time on the agenda for that.

Acting Chair Willens suggested waiting until he can see how heavy the agendas are and he will make sure to fit the subcommittee into the schedule.

Commissioner Mevers stated that there are many problems associated with implementation; that they have the ideas, but do not know how to put them into affect.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Recommendation:

Approval of minutes of May 22, 2006

Commissioner Parfenov submitted additional revisions to the Minutes on circle page 52, paragraph 6 to read “…it is likely the residents on this street, not the other people who are taking detours, who contribute to speeding.”

Commissioner Parfenov requested that the Recording Secretary check the tape for missing information on circle page 51 between paragraphs 1 and 2 under Commission Discussion, consisting of a comment by Commissioner Willens. The tape was checked and Commissioner Willens’ comment, while very quiet, was heard as “Commissioner Willens commented that he believes the maker of the Motion must make the amendment.” This was added to the Minutes.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved approval of the Minutes of May 22, 2006 with Commissioner Parfenov’s revisions, seconded by Commissioner Wright.

Motion approved:
Ayes 5; Nays 0

Approval of minutes of June 26, 2006

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved approval of the Minutes of June 26, 2006, seconded by Commissioner Parfenov.

Motion approved:
Ayes 5; Nays 0

Approval of minutes of July 24, 2006

Commissioner Parfenov submitted additional revisions to circle page 134, paragraph 4, to read “…because the income demographics vary, and some people would rather keep their vehicle in violation, knowing that nothing will happen and it is cheaper for them to pay the fine.”

Commissioner Parfenov submitted additional revisions to circle page 148, paragraph 7, to read “…does not have a permit, it is would be a violation…”

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved approval of the Minutes of July 24, 2006 as revised by Commissioner Parfenov, seconded by Commissioner Wright.

Motion approved:
Ayes 5; Nays 0

Acting Chair Willens asked what the process is for routing the Minutes; clarifying that the Recording Secretary transcribes the Minutes, Pam Mitchell, Administrative Staff Assistant, e-mails them to the Commissioners for review and corrections. He asked how far in advance of the proposed meeting are the Commissioners getting proposed Minutes to review for revisions. Acting Chair Willens explained that he would like to get to a point where the Minutes can be reviewed, revised, and the revisions reviewed for inclusion before the meeting. He explained that he is concerned with the potential time that might be spent at a meeting if all Commissioners had late revisions.

The Recording Secretary explained that the Draft Minutes are e-mailed to Ms. Mitchell two weeks following the meeting, and assumed that they are sent to the Commissioners for review soon after that.

Acting Chair Willens explained that the problem is the second two weeks, which involves the Commissioners reviewing the Minutes, getting the revisions back to the Recording Secretary to incorporate, and back to the Commissioners to check them again. Acting Chair Willens explained that he would talk with Ms. Mitchell to try and resolve the problem.

The Recording Secretary apologized to Acting Chair Willens for referring to him as Commissioner in the Roll Call in the Minutes instead of Vice Chair and explained that she will correct this in these and future Minutes.

Acting Chair Willens expressed appreciation to the Commission for their patience with the change in meeting procedures. He stated he, as Acting Chair, is going to make sure that the Commission will strictly follow the rules relating to public comment, and explained that he is trying to conclude the meeting at a reasonable time.

Commissioner Bilezerian urged Acting Chair Willens to continue in the same direction.

ADJOURNMENT:

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved to adjourn at 10:00 PM to the next regular meeting of the Traffic Safety Commission on September 25, 2006, seconded by Commissioner Parfenov.

Motion approved:
Ayes 5; Nays 0