OCTOBER 23, 2006 TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION MINUTES OCTOBER 23, 2006 TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION MINUTES

MINUTES

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA

TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

OCTOBER 23, 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 Parfenov led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Wright moved to approve the Agenda as presented, seconded by Commissioner Bilezerian.

Motion approved:
Ayes 5; Nays 0

CHAIR’S COMMUNICATION:

Acting Chair Willens reported that he spoke with Chair Shepherd yesterday and she is feeling much better, but called today to say that she would not attend this meeting.

SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT REPORT:

Sgt. Creason presented his traffic report through August 2006, comparing corresponding totals from 2005 and 2004. He reported total collisions as 17 for 2006 and 23 for 2005; Injuries 6 for 2006 and 8 in 2005; enforcement index is 91, and explained that their goal is 20 or above. He reported hazardous citations of 525 for 2006 and 371 in 2005, commenting that the Sheriff’s Department believes they are doing quite well. Sgt. Creason explained that in May and June 2006 the Sheriff’s Department conducted the seat belt enforcement program, which resulted in hazardous citations of 622 in May and 564 in June.

Acting Chair Willens asked about a fatal accident on northbound Hawthorne a couple of weeks ago near Rolling Hills Road involving a single vehicle.

Sgt. Creason was not aware of the accident because it was in Torrance. He introduced Deputy Evans who is shared by Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates as well as Rancho Palos Verdes, and will take up the slack when Deputy Knox is not on duty a few days a week.

Acting Chair Willens thanked Deputy Evans for being at the meeting.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if anyone knew about the rollover accident at Crest Road and Crenshaw Boulevard.

Sgt. Creason responded that he did not have any information on it but will look it up and provide it at the next meeting.

Commissioner Mevers asked what the Sheriff’s Department did to cut parking citations in half.

Sgt. Creason responded that they are down two Traffic Control Officers at present; that two more were hired, but they are in background check.

Tom Redfield, 31273 Ganado Drive, explained that he worked with Deputy Greg Evans and encouraged the Commissioners who have not done so to ride along with Deputy Evans or Deputy Knox. He explained that Deputy Evans went to different areas at different times and in different patterns than Deputy Knox, and also went to areas that were patrolled before. He commented that they went to Toscanini where traffic is not as heavy as the major arteries, but one-third of the vehicles were speeding symmetrically and going through stop signs. Mr. Redfield stated that it made a big impression; that when you come to a meeting and complain about a particular area, the City puts up a couple more signs and the problem continues. He explained that now, when the Deputies hear about a problem, they immediately focus on those areas; that the public respect is great, they know the Deputies are there, and they cannot believe how much faster the action comes from the Sheriff’s Department after they speak to the Commission. Mr. Redfield reported that the Commission may not think about it, but the signs they authorized for Toscanini are very impressive and the public is energized with what the Commission and the Sheriff’s Department is doing. He emphasized that if the Commissioners have not been on a ride-along they are missing out; that he has worked with Deputy Knox four times and commented that it is amazing to see the differences in the cities where the Deputies patrol.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

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

Acting Chair Willens opened Public Comments.

Jim O’Donnell, 27601 Bandra Place, stated that he represents the Rolling Hills Rivera Homeowners’ Association and explained that it is a neighborhood of approximately 750 homes adjacent to Western Avenue south of the cemetery down to Toscanini. He stated that the only access in and out of the neighborhood is Western Avenue, and there is a middle school in the middle of their neighborhood that causes traffic problems. Mr. O’Donnell explained that he is here to ask for three things. He would like to have a traffic control Officer on Western Avenue at least to Avenida Aprenda and maybe at Toscanini as well, with the ability to override the traffic signals temporarily during the peak traffic hours when traffic goes in and out of the school because the residents are trapped in or out of their neighborhood for about half an hour in the morning and evening. Mr. O’Donnell stated that a traffic control Officer on Western Avenue would be very useful, and pointed out that there is a traffic control Officer on Palos Verdes Drive East near Miraleste middle school and on Palos Verdes Drive North near Rancho Vista, so he knows these traffic control Officers do exist and are effective. He stated that they could certainly benefit with at least one, and he would like the Commission to consider that. Secondly, Mr. O’Donnell explained that the traffic comes roaring up and down the streets from Western to the school, and many neighbors would like to see traffic humps installed. He explained that he understands that there is a bias in the City against traffic humps, but he is reminded that the Commission was very effective in the patrol on General Street, which used to be a thoroughfare; and the residents finally got traffic humps on General and he drives it enough to see that it is very effective. Mr. O’Donnell stated that he would like to see traffic humps from Western up to the school, naming the streets as Redondella, Avenida Aprenda, Toscanini, and Delasonde. Lastly, Mr. O’Donnell asked that the Commission install “No Parking” signs on trash collection day so that vehicles will be off the street and the trash collectors can do their job, and he hopes that posted signs would be effective. Currently he stated that it is very hard to get the streets cleared so the sweepers can sweep the streets.

Stanley and Marilyn Kritzer, 3832 Pirate Drive, asked for a status report on the traffic signal at Palos Verdes Drive South and Forrestal.

Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that the status has not changed; that Staff is still working with the Trump organization regarding conditions of approval for their development and the traffic signal is one of those conditions.

Mrs. Kritzer commented that there was an article in the Palos Verdes Newspaper and stated that the conditions were listed, but it did not list the traffic signal.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that a number of the conditions were not listed; that he believes that those listed were the two of major interest to the newspaper, but it is still on the table.

Acting Chair Willens suggested that Mr. and Mrs. Kritzer check the date for the next meeting because November and December meetings are combined.

Acting Chair Willens closed Public Comments.

OLD BUSINESS:

1. VIA RIVERA AND RUE VALOIS - ALL-WAY STOP CONTROLS

Recommendation:

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

Traffic Engineer’s Report

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this item was discussed at the August 28, 2006 Traffic Safety Commission meeting. He explained that this recommendation was made based on visibility; however, the limitation of visibility is caused by potential on-street parking in front of residences. At the August meeting the Commission directed Staff to discuss this issue with those residents who would be affected because there is some interest in potentially installing stopping prohibitions instead of an all-way stop to address the visibility issue. To accomplish that, Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Staff put door hangers on four residences and explained what Staff was proposing and asked the residents to contact the Staff and provide additional information. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the AASHTO stopping sight distance requirement for the 25 mph speed limit was 250 feet, and Staff used the prevailing speed of traffic rounded up to 35 mph. He reported that there is only 120 feet of visibility from Rue Valois looking north onto Via Rivera, saying that the City has all-way stop control warrants, and visibility is a justification. Traffic Engineer Rydell presented a slide with an aerial view of the location and reported that the visibility restriction is for vehicles on Rue Valois viewing vehicles to the north on Via Rivera. He presented a picture taken at motorist eye level from the perspective of a motorist stopped at the intersection.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that the four residences that would be impacted by installation of red curb consist of 30929, 30935, 30943, and 30949 Rue Valois. To date, two of the residents (30935 and 30949) have contacted Staff, and both residents stated that they were opposed to installing red curb in front of their residences and would prefer that all-way stop controls be installed instead. In addition, he reported that Staff received one anonymous phone message and a phone call from a resident on the east side of Via Rivera requesting stop controls instead of red curb.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that, based on the input from residents who would be affected by the installation of red curb, it remains Staff’s recommendation to install all-way stop controls at Via Rivera and Rue Valois.

Commission Questions of Staff

Acting Chair Willens expressed his hope that the Commission can avoid starting all over again on this issue since about an hour was spent discussing it at the August meeting.

Commissioner Mevers asked if there are any stop signs at all on the intersection.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that there is a stop control on the stem, which is Rue Valois, and the traffic on Via Rivera does not have a stop and that is where the visibility comes into play.

Commissioner Mevers asked what is hidden from the people on the other street.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that there is not enough visibility to see a car coming down Via Rivera in either direction if a driver is stopped at Rue Valois, and if a car pulls out there is not enough room for them to stop when they see a car.

Commissioner Mevers commented that the cars on Rue Valois are stopped.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the cars on Via Rivera are coming down at 35 mph and if a car pulled out from Rue Valois, not being able to see that far up, the car on Via Rivera does not have sufficient time to stop before hitting them.

Commissioner Parfenov asked what was the concern of the residents on the east side of the street who were opposed to the red curb.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that their concern was that it would move vehicles from the west side to the east side of the street, and they felt that it would decrease safety if there were more cars parked there because it is the inside of the curve. The comment of that person also was that they felt if a stop sign is installed drivers will not go as fast.

Commissioner Wright and Acting Chair Willens had no questions.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if there was any discussion about removing the shrubbery and landscaping the parkway to enhance the sight distance, or just door hangers and responses.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that it was just door hangers and then Staff talked with the residents about it. He believes they still need to install the red curb and get the vehicles off the street because the cars that are parked there would still cause some problems, and that is the issue more than anything else.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if Staff has any accident data for the last five years at this intersection.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that there were no accidents reported.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked how many years ago the 85th percentile speed was determined.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that it was probably twice in the last two years using the stealthstat; once two years ago and again about one year ago.

Commissioner Bilezerian reiterated that there were no accidents in five years and in the two most recent years the speed was identified as 33 mph.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this is definitely a situation that is a judgment call, and stated that he could understand why Commissioner Bilezerian asked those questions.

There were no speakers in the audience on this Agenda item.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Wright moved to approve the Staff recommendation for Item 1 of Old Business to “Install all-way stop controls at the intersection of Via Rivera and Rue Valois, seconded by Commissioner Parfenov.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Parfenov asked if there is a way to clear the shrubbery that blocks the visibility even when a vehicle is not parked there.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that there are two options: All-way stops or prohibiting stopping in that area and reducing the shrub height down to 24” or lower, and the shrubbery maintenance would go hand-in-hand with the stopping prohibition.

Commissioner Wright stated that he has talked with several people who live in that area and all have expressed concern about the speed and the manner that people travel on those particular streets, and also the recklessness of the drivers. In his opinion based on what he has seen, Commissioner Wright commented that having a stop sign for Via Rivera is not a bad thing at all, although he understands that stop signs are not a speed control device, but it provides law enforcement with another enforcement tool. He suggested that eventually drivers would slow down when approaching the stop sign because of the possibility of a citation. He stated that if that is what residents want and if Staff thinks it is a good idea, it sounds good to him.

Commissioner Bilezerian stated that he does not think the Commission is really looking at the impact of putting an all-way stop here because he thinks the primary problem is that drivers approach from Hawthorne and there is a downhill slope where drivers are picking up speed; he thinks it is an unwarranted stop sign and would impact people traveling from the opposite direction away from Hawthorne Boulevard up the hill. He believes this would put a stop sign where there is no problem with sight distance on Via Rivera heading away from Hawthorne Boulevard, and he believes if a stop sign is installed, unwarranted, with no cross traffic, people will roll the stop sign. Commissioner Bilezerian stated that there is also the stop and start for everyone 24/7, additional noise pollution, waste of fuel that people do not want to deal with, and the effect on neighbors with all the stopping and starting. Commissioner Bilezerian suggested that it would solve the problem on one side with a negative impact on the other side. He stated that he could not support all-way stop controls at this intersection.

Acting Chair Willens stated that he does not feel strongly about this either way, although he believes that if sight distance is an issue, just because there have not been any accidents there, one could happen if sight distance is a problem and there is no reason to wait for an accident to happen. He is not convinced that it is that much of a burden, and the residents there seem to want the all-way stop controls, so he does not see any reason not to install them, although he might be swayed.

Commissioner Wright referred to the traffic moving uphill on Via Rivera, saying he drives that street somewhat frequently, and his experience is that vehicles seem to speed up when they go uphill and sometimes travel faster than going downhill, and he stated that drivers do exceed the speed limit going up that hill. He expressed disagreement with the concept that a stop sign is not a speed-altering device, but stated that he is not an expert at that. In relation to the visibility issue, Commissioner Wright stated that if the City has identified a hazard because of long-range visibility and does not put a stop sign there after identifying it, his concern would be the City’s liability when an accident does occur. He suggested that chopping down trees and bushes would probably do that, but, as Staff said, without installing red curbs it would not solve the problem.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if the Motion could be amended.

Acting Chair Willens stated that he believes that the maker of the Motion would have to amend it.

Commissioner Parfenov suggested that it might be more effective if installation goes forward that it be coupled with law enforcement Officers in place during the peak morning and afternoon hours so people will adjust to the changing conditions of the road until it becomes a habit.

Acting Chair Willens suggested that it does not have to be part of the Motion, and the Commission can just ask the Sheriff’s Department to provide a directed patrol, and asked if that is correct.

Sgt. Creason confirmed that this could be done.

ACTION TAKEN:

Motion approved:

ROLL CALL VOTE

Ayes 3; Acting Chair Willens, Commissioners Parfenov, Wright
Nays 2; Commissioners Bilezerian, Mevers

NEW BUSINESS:

1. PALOS VERDES DRIVE EAST COMPREHENSIVE ROADWAY IMPROVEMENTS

Recommendations:

1. Establish the following approach to addressing traffic conditions on Palos Verdes Drive East:

a. Agendize the item for the November 2006 Traffic Safety Commission meeting.
b. Allow public comment regarding traffic conditions on Palos Verdes Drive East and document community input for consideration.
c. Schedule a workshop for this item with the Traffic Safety Commission Sub-Committee and City Staff to develop recommendations.
d. Instruct Staff to return to the Traffic Safety Commission with specific recommendations within 60 days from the date of the workshop.

Traffic Engineer’s Report

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Palos Verdes Drive East has been discussed on numerous occasions as a location that would benefit from proactive, comprehensive actions to enhance safety for motorists, cyclists, equestrians, and pedestrians. He explained that Issues that have been identified include speeding and other violations of the California Vehicle Code, accidents, and inadequate space for cyclists, equestrians, and pedestrians, and difficulties accessing intersecting streets and driveways. He added that there is also a school, a library, and a fire station in that area. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that he and Senior Engineer Dragoo prepared information for the Equestrian Committee in an effort to provide them with a reasonable path and crossing. He explained that this item is brought before the Traffic Safety Commission as a means to formalize the process and expedite action.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that Staff believes that it is time to address Palos Verdes Drive East on a comprehensive basis from Palos Verdes Drive South to the north City limits. He explained that Staff is trying to integrate solutions throughout Palos Verdes Drive East and he expressed the hope that the Commission will approve the recommendations as outlined. Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed the recommendations.

Acting Chair Willens clarified that Staff proposes that this issue be agendized merely for the purpose of public comment as opposed to presenting any specific defined issues to be voted on by the Commission, and asked if that is correct.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that that is correct, adding that Staff is also considering an enhanced notification program, not just posting the meeting on the website, with targeted notification to residents of the City as well as those directly affected. Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed the remainder of his report, which was presented as follows:

“Palos Verdes Drive East (PVDE) is a major north/south arterial located on the east side of the City. Except for a short portion near Crest Road, it has one lane in each direction. The posted speed limit was last set in July 2004 and is 35 mph except for the portion between Miraleste Drive and the north City Limit, where the speed limit is 30 mph. The roadway is rolling, with numerous sharp horizontal curves. Visibility is often limited at intersecting roadways and driveways.

“PVDE is fairly narrow, with 12-foot wide lanes in each direction and little room for shoulders. There are sporadic sidewalk and walkway improvements, varying from concrete to asphalt to native material. Due to the extensive use of the roadway for a variety of different purposes, a thorough, carefully formulated set of improvements is necessary to enhance safety for all users.

“The first step in developing recommendations is to provide a forum for community input as it relates to perceived problems on PVDE and potential solutions. It is anticipated that the joint November-December 2006 Traffic Safety Commission meeting can be used for this purpose. In advance of this meeting, Staff will attempt to contact various groups and organizations that may be interested in speaking, ensuring that every reasonable effort is made to solicit input. This information can then be used in a workshop setting, where the Traffic Safety Commission Sub-Committee for this project and Staff can better identify the issues associated with the roadway and develop options to enhance safety while maintaining adequate traffic circulation. The workshop is intended to promote discussion of various ideas between the Sub-Committee and Staff, with the result being clear direction to Staff on development of a comprehensive set of improvements. Without a workshop forum, there is concern that future Traffic Safety Commission meetings will be used solely for this item to the detriment of other City matters.

“After completion of the workshop, Staff will be tasked with refining the results and returning to the Traffic Safety Commission with detailed recommendations for approval. This will provide the community with a second opportunity to voice their opinions regarding the recommendations. It will also offer the full Traffic Safety Commission with specific, detailed recommendations for consideration and action.”

Commission Questions of Staff

Acting Chair Willens asked if Staff proposes any sort of limits on what people can talk about concerning Palos Verdes Drive East.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that that is what Staff is envisioning because they want that information available to the subcommittee and Staff.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if Staff is looking at the scale of the Marymount College expansion project Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it depends on how many people show up, saying that Staff has ideas of what issues are involved, but he does not want to overlook anyone’s concerns or forego any of their input.

Acting Chair Willens asked, for planning purposes, what Traffic Engineer Rydell’s thoughts are about attendance, and asked if Staff expects 100 people or 25 people.

Traffic Engineer Rydell said he would like to think they will get closer to 100, and he is hoping that this is an opportunity for the public to get involved in one of the biggest issues in the City.

Commissioner Wright asked if, when thinking about the groups of people that would come to discuss this issue with the Commission, most of them in concert with one another; are most of them in agreement with what needs to be done, for instance the equestrian group, with the exception of bicyclists, or will there be a bunch of people in disagreement about everything.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he does not know if there will be disagreement and he does not want to speak for them, but he does believe that geographically the residents of Palos Verdes Drive East focus on their own problems; the south side focuses on the area from Marymount College down to Palos Verdes Drive South. He explained that Staff has a whole different group that they hear from in the north side of the City, and Miraleste Drive and Palos Verdes Drive East is probably another group, so each group has voices that want to be heard.

Commissioner Wright commented that common interests would include speed, accidents, equestrian issues, and those types of things that are part of the whole picture. He referred to previous discussions by the Commission about having a group of residents meet with someone from the Council about the bicycling issue, and asked if anyone knows if this is in progress.

Sgt. Creason reported that the Sheriff’s Department had a meeting with the bicyclists in this room approximately one week ago, but there was no one from the City; however, he, four or five peer leaders, his Captain, Deputy Knox, and a couple of other Deputies attended and they talked about many things. He stated that he encouraged them to come to this meeting and the City Council meeting.

Acting Chair Willens commented that the bicyclists want everyone to get out of their way.

Sgt. Creason responded that they want the number two lane of Palos Verdes Drive South.

Commissioner Wright asked if that would be a cantankerous issue for the Commission.

Sgt. Creason stated that the Vehicle Code is very clear so he does not believe it should be an issue.

Traffic Engineer Rydell opined that what they are talking about here, a public forum and a workshop, should be cantankerous situations, but when Staff comes back with recommendations it might be a different situation, but they must start the process.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if there are issues with other communities beyond Palos Verdes Drive East, and explained that the reason he asks is that when he went on a ride-along with Deputy Knox there were quite a few people who were cited for speeding violations but they were not City residents and quite a few were from Long Beach and other cities. He asked if Staff plans to reach out beyond Rancho Palos Verdes.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that the stakeholders that Staff would attempt to reach out to include bicycle groups, and Staff has dealt with them on other issues within the City; Staff would want bicyclists to represent themselves if they so choose, not necessarily residents.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if, other than bicycle groups, Staff would contact any other interest groups.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he does not know if Staff has identified all the target groups yet, but they will try to incorporate everyone who accesses the road.

Commissioner Mevers questioned if, since this is an arterial road, there are limitations on what the Commission can do, other than the limitations in connection with a residential street.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that there are limitations because an arterial road carries higher volumes of vehicles and is intended for travel at a slightly higher speed, although that is something they should discuss. He stated that Palos Verdes Drive East is a very different type of arterial than most cities, and Staff must be cognizant of the fact that this is a specific arterial and they must deal with it very uniquely within the bounds of good traffic engineering.

Commissioner Mevers suggested that Staff could set much lower speed limits than are currently in place, and that would not be a problem.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that he would not say that, but he would say that what Commissioner Mevers is suggesting is what Staff and the subcommittee would be dealing with in the workshop if the Commission approves the recommendations.

Commissioner Mevers commented that when Traffic Engineer Rydell talked about the workshop he talked about the Commission’s subcommittee, and asked why not the Commission.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that first of all he does not believe the entire Commission can do that, and that is why they talked about the Brown Act; that he believes the Commission must have a subcommittee to work with Staff to develop recommendations. Secondly, Chair Shepherd has talked about a subcommittee over the past couple of months, and Staff is trying to follow up in that direction and he believes that was the intent of the Commission.

Commissioner Mevers clarified that the subcommittee must be less than a quorum.

Acting Chair Willens stated that it must be three or less.

Acting Chair Willens opened the Public Hearing.

Lois Karp, 31115 Ganado Drive, stated that she came to the meeting tonight to ask the Commission to remove New Business Item 2 from this workshop, saying that we have the intersection of Ganado Drive and Palos Verdes Drive East and have been working on it for more than three years starting when this Commission was the Traffic Committee and they are still working on it.

Acting Chair Willens stated that it is already separate.

Ms. Karp stated that the Commission is talking about the many groups for the workshop and for looking at Palos Verdes Drive East, and she is just asking that this particular intersection not be included; that when they get to New Business Item 2, they can solve that problem.

Acting Chair Willens responded that it is probably worth that attempt, and he thinks that is why Staff had it separated.

George Zugsmith, 3746 Hightide, yielded his time to Abbas Mohaddes on New Business Items 1 and 2.

Abbas Mohaddes, 3432 Seaglen Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, 90275, stated that the observations he is making this evening do not represent his Mohaddes Associates Traffic Engineering firm, one of the largest in California, and his observations and opinions are purely his own as a resident. He acknowledged Traffic Engineer Rydell’s wonderful cooperation during their communications during the last many months, most recently this week when he provided a sketch of the corridor under discussion.

Acting Chair Willens asked Mr. Mohaddes if he is speaking on New Business Item 1 or Item 2.

Mr. Mohaddes responded that he is speaking on Item 1 and will then speak on Item 2.

Acting Chair Willens asked Mr. Mohaddes to address Item 1 now and, after the Staff report on Item 2 he can speak on that issue because the Staff report on Item 2 has not been presented.

Mr. Mohaddes continued with Item 1, saying that doing a comprehensive workshop is a great idea. He explained that he has lived at this address for over 14 years and has done a study for the City, and it is his observation and opinion that there are really unique and separate traffic conditions as expressed by Traffic Engineer Rydell along the corridor. He suggested that having the entire group in one workshop is not very productive, and he would suggest for reconsideration workshops separating it into one workshop for each group that has common issues, such as the area south of Marymount College where there are pure specific issues; when you go from there to Miraleste there are significant and drastic changes, and so on. Mr. Mohaddes explained that he has walked, run, biked, flown, and done almost every move that could be done on that section, and that concluded his remarks on Item 1.

Acting Chair Willens closed the Public Hearing.

Commission Discussion

Acting Chair Willens commented that December 11 is getting close to the holidays and if this will be a four or five hour marathon where 100 people want to talk for three minutes it will be a pretty late night even if that is all they are doing. He suggested that it might be better to do it in January, and asked if there is anything else urgent that could be scheduled in December. He explained that this is only his opinion and if the other Commissioners want the December meeting that is fine with him, and he is just thinking of some of the long meetings they have had in the past.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if he is worried about the turnout.

Acting Chair Willens explained that he is worried about having a huge crowd where everyone wants to speak and having a very long meeting.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if it is acceptable to, instead of having public comments at this meeting, have the comments at the workshop instead and have Staff bring those issues back to the Commission for consideration. He questioned whether the public comments at the workshop and those at the Commission meeting would be repeating the same issues.

Traffic Engineer Rydell suggested that the workshop, in his estimation, is the subcommittee and Staff developing recommendations; it is not a hearing.

Acting Chair Willens suggested that the dilemma is that, until the Commission hears from the public, Staff does not have a way to define what it is that they want to recommend.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that he does not believe it is appropriate for Staff to make recommendations without giving the public an opportunity to voice their concerns first.

Acting Chair Willens stated that the public would have that opportunity if they were part of the workshop, but if they are not part of the workshop Traffic Engineer Rydell is correct.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the workshop must be separate for anything to be accomplished.

Commissioner Bilezerian clarified that the public comments will be heard at a Commission meeting and then the Staff and subcommittee will have the workshop, or can they have public comments at the workshop with the subcommittee and Staff.

Traffic Engineer Rydell estimated that the public comments will probably take four hours; then they will have to develop recommendations, which is probably a six-hour process for the subcommittee and Staff, with three hours a week.

Commissioner Mevers agreed with Traffic Engineer Rydell, and believes that the whole Commission should hear the comments from the public and not just certain ones because the Commission will react based on what they have heard when the workshop brings forth their recommendations.

Commissioner Wright suggested it would be very similar to the Marymount College issue where they heard what everyone had to say without making any decisions.

Acting Chair Willens stated that it would not be possible to have the hearing at the Community Center in this meeting room, and his only concern is whether the meeting is held in December or January. He asked if anyone knows if Hesse Park is available for December 11.

Traffic Engineer Rydell suggested that Miraleste Intermediate School on Palos Verdes Drive East is a more appropriate location.

Acting Chair Willens asked again if the meeting should be held in December or January.

Commissioner Mevers suggested that it will be painful either way, so why not just do it in December.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if the subcommittee is formed yet.

Acting Chair Willens responded that it would not be formed until after the public hearing.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved to approve Recommendation 1-a through 1-d for New Business Item 1 on circle page 12 of the Staff report:
1. Establish the following approach to addressing traffic conditions on Palos Verdes Drive East:
a. Agendize the item for the joint November-December 2006 Traffic Safety Commission meeting.
b. Allow public comment regarding traffic conditions on Palos Verdes Drive East and document community input for consideration.
c. Schedule a workshop for this item with the Traffic Safety Commission Sub-Committee and City Staff to develop recommendations.
d. Instruct Staff to return to the Traffic Safety Commission with specific recommendations within 60 days from the date of the workshop.

Seconded by Commissioner Mevers.

Motion approved:
Ayes 5; Nays 0

NEW BUSINESS:

2. PALOS VERDES DRIVE EAST SOUTH OF CREST ROAD TRAFFIC CONTROLS
Recommendations:
1. Install one additional 35 mph speed limit sign on the west side of Palos Verdes Drive East approximately 1,000 feet north of Crest Road.
2. Install a “RADAR ENFORCED” sign below the 35 mph speed limit sign identified above and the existing 35 mph speed limit sign on the west side of Palos Verdes Drive East south of Crest Road.
3. Request additional enforcement from the Lomita Sheriff Station for Palos Verdes Drive East.

Traffic Engineer’s Report

Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed his Staff report as follows:

“Speeding and traffic safety on Palos Verdes Drive East (PVDE), especially in the vicinity of the switchbacks south of Ganado Drive, have been serious issues for some time. Emphasizing the situation was a recent serious accident that occurred on PVDE at the intersection of Ganado Drive. This incident involved a southbound motorist leaving Marymount College at a high rate of speed who collided with a vehicle attempting to exit Ganado Drive. A concurrent item on this month’s Traffic Safety Commission agenda addresses pursuing comprehensive traffic recommendations for the entirety of PVDE. In the interim, the recommendations included in this report are intended to enhance traffic safety.”

Traffic Engineer Rydell emphasized that this agenda item by no means takes the place of the previous item addressing the Palos Verdes Drive East comprehensive roadway improvements, but he thought it was appropriate to resolve this location quickly because of the accident. He explained that there is a speeding issue there; that the area from Marymount College down to Palos Verdes Drive South is a very interesting situation, and Staff has talked about how the speeding issues can be addressed. Traffic Engineer Rydell continued to review his written report as follows:

“Palos Verdes Drive East in the subject vicinity is a north/south arterial roadway with a posted 35 mph speed limit. It varies between 2 and 4 travel lanes in each direction with curb and gutter improvements on both sides. There is a walkway on the west side. Palos Verdes Drive East has a downgrade from north to south. There is an existing 35 mph speed limit sign located on the west side of Palos Verdes Drive East south of Crest Road. Speeding is an ongoing issue in this stretch of roadway, especially in the southbound direction. In an effort to increase motorist awareness of the legal speed limit, it would be beneficial to install one additional 35 mph speed limit sign for southbound traffic prior to Ganado Drive and the following switchbacks. This sign could be located where an advance street name for Ganado Drive currently exists, approximately 1,000 feet north of the intersection. The advance street name sign would be installed below the proposed speed limit sign. To further encourage motorists to obey the legal speed limit, it is appropriate to install “radar enforced” signs in conjunction with both the existing and proposed speed limit signs. Since this roadway has a current Engineering and Traffic Survey supporting the use of radar, this is a legal usage and is supported by the California MUTCD. The Lomita Sheriff Station has provided strong enforcement of traffic laws within the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. To ensure that this location continues to receive appropriate levels of enforcement, Staff will coordinate with the Sheriff to include Palos Verdes Drive East in their enhanced enforcement schedule.”

Traffic Engineer Rydell commented that he believes the City is past the warning stage and those who are driving at excessive speed know what they are doing; that it is not a case of people inadvertently increasing their speed. He explained that the City tries to limit the use of signs, but he believes that this area deserves some additional attention. He stated that he would like to use the radar enforcement under the existing speed limit signs although it is not legally necessary to use radar, but he would like to see if it has an effect as well as work with the Sheriff to get additional speed enforcement. Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to previous speakers’ requests to pull this issue out of the Palos Verdes Drive East roadway improvement issue and address this more robustly. He emphasized that this is not the final solution for the subject area and he does not believe Staff should pull any specific locations from the comprehensive proposal. He referred to comments that it is biting off a lot to have everyone involved, and he understands that. He explained that his reason for making it comprehensive is that the issues cross boundary lines; that when Staff looks at the problems on Palos Verdes Drive East through the switchbacks past Ganado Drive and Marymount College there are very specific issues there, for instance bicyclists. He explained that it is not just that area; it is all along Palos Verdes Drive East, and he is afraid that if Staff compartmentalizes these issues, the right hand will not necessarily coordinate with the left hand. He stated that Staff is looking for a comprehensive bike solution, and it must be all-inclusive, and one of the thoughts is to reduce Palos Verdes Drive East between Marymount College and the switchbacks to one lane. He explained that north of Marymount College it is also two lanes, so if Staff re-stripes one section they must consider going even further, and commented that this illustrates how things build on each other. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that Staff is considering pedestrian access and options for sidewalks, emphasizing that it is not piecemeal; it is the whole thing, and that is why he wants to consider the area comprehensively, and those are his reasons for wanting to make it all-inclusive. He reiterated that the recommendations for traffic controls on Palos Verdes Drive East south of Crest Road are just to put something out there that may help, but is not a replacement for the comprehensive roadway improvements.

Commission Questions of Staff

Commissioner Mevers asked if, when the accident occurred, someone exiting Ganado Drive was attempting a left turn or a right turn.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it was a left turn.

Commissioner Mevers stated that trying to accommodate for a left turn on that street will be a real problem because it is very wide, and asked if Staff thinks speed limit signs and radar would solve the problem.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he does not, and that it is an incremental tool that Staff can install now because he is aware of the accident and he believes it is appropriate to do something. He explained that if Staff was not presenting the comprehensive proposal, they would have prepared a much more robust set of recommendations for this location, but he believes this can be integrated into that recommendation.

Commissioner Mevers asked if it might be necessary to deny left turns out of Ganado Drive onto Palos Verdes Drive East.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded no, but those are things that must be considered.

Commissioner Parfenov commented that this is not only for traffic control going down from the Crest Road area, but also for going up; and reported that on his ride-along with Deputy Knox there was a driver going up the hill at 52 mph where the speed limit is 35 mph near Marymount College, and he was a 61-year-old, not a college student. He questioned if signs should be installed in both directions.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that this accident occurred approaching Ganado Drive, and he is trying to slow drivers down through Ganado Drive into the switchbacks.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if Staff is considering any speed control signs going uphill.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it will be part of what they do with the comprehensive review and his initial concern was what Staff could do as an incremental improvement, considering what the Staff proposes to do in the near future on Palos Verdes Drive East. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that the Commissioners raised good questions and explained that this is why it was so important to Staff to get the comprehensive issue on the agenda.

Commissioner Wright had no questions.

Commissioner Bilezerian had no questions.

Acting Chair Willens had no questions.

Acting Chair Willens opened the Public Hearing.

Acting Chair Willens commented that he realizes that the speakers feel strongly about the issue of Palos Verdes Drive East and asked them to stay focused on this specific agenda item; that all of Palos Verdes Drive East will be discussed at the next meeting.

Lois Karp, 31115 Ganado Drive, explained that she has comments that are specific to New Business Item 2. She explained that for more than three years she, Traffic Engineer Rydell, and Tom Redfield have been working on this intersection and they thought that they had a plan. She stated that Traffic Engineer Rydell had talked about narrowing Palos Verdes Drive East from Marymount College down to Ganado Drive, making it one lane, and installing a bigger turn pocket for a right turn; and that it could not be done for approximately two years because they were waiting for the re-striping and repaving on Palos Verdes Drive East, which was done last year. She stated that when this was completed they did not get the narrowing they had talked about; that they did get a right-hand pocket that everyone complained about, Traffic Engineer Rydell looked at it and agreed it was not exactly the right thing and that this is a work in progress. She explained that Staff tried to fix it up slightly, and said Staff would follow it and see how it works. She stated that obviously it is not working and is not a good arrangement. She reiterated that they have been working on this particular section for more than three years, so to wait for another workshop is useless; that they have been put off and put off, and this last accident was the fifth accident in two years on that very corner, each one worse than before, and this last one nearly took someone’s life. She explained that they had to cut the occupant out of the car and that she spent two weeks in the hospital and is still not fully recovered and that was in August. Ms. Karp stated that the City has great liability because the Staff and residents have been talking about this intersection, and that it needs something; and just putting up a sign is not the answer to this. She stated that their homeowners’ association (HOA) committed three years ago, to trying to fix this. She stated that they are here tonight; that Mr. Mohaddes is their Vice President of Mediterranea, and he has expertise on this, and that is why he is here tonight to talk about it. She explained that she just wants to try to tell the Commission that they cannot wait any longer because people’s lives are at stake. We said we’re going to wait because Marymount College will do an EIR and there will be comprehensive issues; that was in 2003, and then they stopped the EIR and threw it out and never did another one; then they started another one in December, which was supposed to be a draft EIR by April 2006, and it has been on hold since March and is not even finished in its draft stage. She emphasized that they cannot wait for all these things; they keep getting people picked off while they are doing this. Ms. Karp explained that she is asking the Commission to deal with the Ganado Drive intersection now, and not put if off any longer. She stated that if the Commission needs any background on what Staff and the HOA has done she is here to answer questions because other than Traffic Engineer Rydell she does not think any of the Commissioners have been here from the beginning.

Acting Chair Willens commented that he was on the Traffic Committee during part of that and he does remember that they made some decisions, but he does not remember exactly what they were or what was done. He stated that he does understand what Ms. Karp is saying. He explained that as a practical matter, none of the other Commissioners were here; so to expect that they will know the technicalities of that area and be able to act on it when it is not even on the agenda will not be possible. Acting Chair Willens commented that he would like to know what ever did happen with that. He recalls that they spent several meeting talking about the Ganado Drive intersection, and he remembers many hours of technical debate over whether striping should be three feet or two feet, and that was about two summers ago. Acting Chair Willens asked if the City did what the Traffic Committee decided to do or not.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff made some modifications at the intersection, and that there were a couple of competing issues at that time. He stated that they wanted to make some changes and they also wanted to see what would happen with the Marymount College EIR to see how they would deal with the change in striping further up. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that, as Ms. Karp mentioned, that process was started again, but Staff decided they would not want to wait for that any longer, which is the reason they want to go forward with this issue. He acknowledged that Ms. Karp is correct; that he is not satisfied with what was done either and he wants to modify it, but he is very concerned about making modifications there that may or may not fit in with the same channelization changes in other areas.

Betty Riedman, 3668 Cliffsite Drive, yielded her time to Abbas Mohaddes.

George Zugsmith on Hightide, also yielded his time to Abbas Mohaddes.

Abbas Mohaddes, 3432 Seaglen Drive, again acknowledged all the work that Traffic Engineer Rydell has done and also the Commissioners for their sincerity and passionate approach to this issue. He explained that he has been working with them for about a year and they have discussed this issue several times, and explained that he has been driving this area for 14 years. He stated that the issues they are discussing south of Crest Road and near Ganado Drive are quite complex and said that Traffic Engineer Rydell is right that a comprehensive approach to this is appropriate; he suggested that traffic engineering is as much art as it is science and is so applicable to this area. Mr. Mohaddes referred to the slide and said that they have a threefold major issue at this location. Prior to the most recent modifications, he said they do not necessarily have to describe how that was, but suggested there are many issues such as speeding, confusion, and others. The three issues he sees between Crest Road and Ganado Drive are first the speeding, and he has seen motorists and bikers going really fast, and he likes the gesture of adding the 35 mph supplementing the existing signs and the radar enhancement. He suggested that the next biggest issue is the confusion and said that is what he could describe most; for example he said, imagine driving downgrade on the lane he pointed out on the slide, and intending to make a right turn onto Ganado Drive as many do, only to find yourself getting very close and getting with the speeding traveling vehicles very close in another lane judging to see who gets to that lane, and said that is the cause of many close calls. He said he has been part of no less than a dozen close calls. He described a driver getting into that lane to find himself making a quick right in a very small right turn bed, decelerating, getting to a gore area which is inadequate, to make a full stop, which you almost have to, and then make a right turn. He stated that the confusion to him of trying to get back to this lane and then making a right turn is a huge issue, and he truly believes that is a liability issue for the City. He explained that a driver is going 35 mph, the next lane is going 45, 50, or 55 mph, trying to see who goes to that lane eventually is really the genesis of the speakers asking, and may be Traffic Engineer Rydell’s initial idea, to turn this to one-lane much further up to get this confusion out of the way; perhaps one lane south of Crest Road going down, and then when you get to Ganado Drive, you really need a much longer right-turn bay. He suggested that the Ganado Drive issue is that they have a gore area at Ganado Drive that is at least five feet longer than what it should be; why, because there is a drainage right there 4.8 inches or so into the gore; so he would recommend that immediately, and this is really a liability issue, what you need is a sharp attorney at the next accident to come in and get guys like him to testify. Mr. Mohaddes suggested reducing that gore, extending the bay, and turning this to one lane; perhaps this is all part of the comprehensive and it should be blended, and he could not agree more because of the other issues in both ways, but asked please, please to take this very seriously and do something as soon as possible. Mr. Mohaddes explained that he knows Staff does very well and Traffic Engineer Rydell’s reputation precedes him, and he knows diligent work will prevail on this, but emphasized that timing is of the essence. He stated that these are three major issues; there have been many, many close calls, in fact he is not quite sure how many of the incidents are accidents, and many close calls do not get reported. Mr. Mohaddes explained that it is a dangerous situation, he has lived there for 14 years, he has a nine-year-old daughter who, every time he gets to that point going down, keeps reminding him to be careful and slow down, and he really worries. He thanked the Commission and Staff for allowing him time to speak and he hopes he expressed the desire of the Commission on this issue at least from a technical standpoint, and expressed appreciation for the diligent work on which they will embark with the comprehensive approach.

Craig Whited, 31145 Palos Verdes Drive East, explained that he has lived at the corner of Palos Verdes Drive East and Ganado Drive for 20 years and has seen an awful lot of accidents and heard six; he has personally seen four with the side and two T-bones, and when he says T-bones he is not including the most recent accident. Mr. Whited presented pictures and said he only has three complete sets, and he believes they were also sent to the Mayor. He stated that he spoke to the Mayor earlier this year at their annual homeowners’ association meeting, but he is not representing the HOA; he is trying to represent the community in trying to live through this intersection. Mr. Whited explained that he saw that vehicle going down in front of his house, guessing the driver was going 100 miles an hour. He stated that he lost sight of the vehicle and he heard screeches that went on for so long he thought the vehicle was over the side and four or five Marymount College kids had gone down the hill with a couple hundred feet drop and they were all dead. He stated that they all feel terrible about what happened to Janet Levering; he referred to the pictures and pointed out that she was not T-boned; she was hit nearly head-on although she was still turning sideways because this is a four-lane road. He described that her was actually pushed backwards and is in between two solid signs. Mr. Whited stated that he asked the Mayor ear to ear if he is concerned about this intersection, and the Mayor said yes; are they going to do something about it, and the Mayor said yes; he asked the Mayor if he is concerned about the legal liability of the thing and he said I don’t (audible) that it was a liability. Mr. Whited stated that he agrees with the other speakers that that is potentially a problem, but more of a problem is this; are we being good citizens in this fine community if we allow the situation where there are a lot of non-residents driving that road. Mr. Whited said that his hat is off to Deputy Knox for doing a wonderful job, and said that if he could be there 24/7 they would not have a problem, but he cannot. Mr. Whited stated that he is no traffic engineer, he is an old fighter pilot, and the only thing he can say is that the surety of having to stop might just work. Mr. Whited suggested that it might not, and drivers may roll through there at 10 or 20 mph, but it is better than the alternative; he has seen high-powered sports cars go over the side at least three times, he has seen motorcycles race, and he has seen cars race. Mr. Whited stated that this kid told him that he was going 60 mph in that Cadillac Escalade when he hit her, and Mr. Whited does not believe it and he described that it would have been flat; as it was, the car was only crushed in about 18 inches, but he hit her in the northbound lane, she was going up the hill in the northbound lane, he should have been going southbound in the southbound lane but he lost control in front of Mr. Whited’s house and slid, he guessed 250 feet. Mr. Whited stated that this Commission needs to take the lead before the City has another fatality; he applauds everything the Commission is doing, he encouraged what Traffic Engineer Rydell is doing. Mr. Whited said they have talked with Traffic Engineer Rydell, they cut brush back all the way to the ground practically, they have a 250 foot red stripe, and they have brought it down and it is getting better; so now it is probably reduced only to the likelihood of death occasionally. Mr. Whited stated that he is recommending putting in an absolute, for sure, you know you are going to have to stop; that might just save a number of lives and, if it does not, at least they tried, and without that he is afraid that this City is liable, and he is afraid that every time he goes through that intersection he might get killed.

Acting Chair Willens closed the Public Hearing.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Wright moved for purposes of discussion that the Commission accept the Staff Recommendations 1-3 on Item 2 of New Business on circle page 14 of the Staff report, seconded by Commissioner Bilezerian.

Commission Discussion

Acting Chair Willens stated that he clearly understands what everyone is saying about wanting to have something done now. He explained that he is not in a position to address it because he does not remember what the Committee did previously and does not remember what they agreed to do or if it was done in part or at all, and that it is not what is on the agenda. Acting Chair Willens stated that there are issues here that go beyond what is in this agenda item, and without a Staff recommendation or any information on the specifics of this intersection there is no way the Commission is in a position to make decisions about the kinds of things that the community is asking. He stated that he agrees that the Commission needs to get on this and do something about it, but he does not want to get bogged down with what they should do with this intersection because that is what they have planned to do and that is not what is on the agenda. Acting Chair Willens explained that he does not think it would be fruitful to do it without having a Staff report on all the things that have just been brought up in the community comments. He explained that the Commission wants to talk about what is on the agenda, but he is resistant to letting this become a long discussion of changing the number of lanes, installing stop signs, because none of that is on the agenda. Acting Chair Willens said he is sorry that the Commission cannot move faster for the community, but it must be on the agenda for them to make those kinds of decisions. He explained that he has not heard anyone say whether they are for or against these limited items that are recommended.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if 85th percentile speeds are available for Crest Road and Palos Verdes Drive East.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that Staff recently did an engineering survey.

Commissioner Bilezerian explained that the Commission just approved a stop sign in an earlier report on a residential street with no accidents, they had an 85th percentile speed of 8 mph over the posted speed limit, and the Commission approved that with a 3-2 vote. He referred to an earlier speaker and the accident picture that he described as incredibly serious to him. Commissioner Bilezerian explained that he has been through the EIR process and stated that it took four years for a project in Torrance for the EIR to go through, and it did not include anything but a conceptual striping plan which could change during the design. He asked if Staff has any accident data for the last five years at this location.

Traffic Engineer Rydell said no.

Lois Karp stated that the HOA has pictures of the last five accidents and they would be happy to give them to the Commission.

Commissioner Bilezerian clarified that there were five accidents in two years.

Lois Karp confirmed that is correct.

Commissioner Bilezerian suggested that the Commission may not be addressing the area of the City that they should be addressing after seeing accidents like this; he suggested that this is the type of situation that this Commission has a duty to prevent, or at least approve modifications to increase safety for residents and the City’s visitors. He expressed concern about the comment that the striping applied was different than what was expected; that to him, in Torrance where he works, when they put striping down they cat-track it, they inspect it before it is put down, and if it is not cat-tracked properly they will not let the striping go down.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that that probably was not the same issue; he explained that Ms Karp was talking about their goal, which was to make Palos Verdes Drive East one-way further up, but at the time they wanted to wait until the Marymount College EIR got further along to see if they needed two lanes, and that process was ongoing.

Acting Chair Willens asked when was the last time the Traffic Safety Commission dealt with this, and suggested that it was the summer before last (2004).

Lois Karp guessed that that is probably correct, adding that the Commission was still a Traffic Committee when they made the plan to narrow it to one lane.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff wanted to find out if they needed the capacity because of the Marymount College expansion and that put it on hold for awhile; that he understands what the community was looking for and hopes, at this point, that he has made it very clear that he concurs that they want to go one way through that stretch. He explained that now that Staff has decided that the Marymount College project starts and stops, they will not wait for that, and the issue with developing a plan now is that there are issues that must be addressed simultaneously. Traffic Engineer Rydell suggested, what if they wanted to go with one lane from Crest Road all the way to Palos Verdes Drive South; Staff can stripe it for one lane, but then what will they do north of Crest Road since they need to deal with that. He explained that they also have to decide if they will allow bicycles and will need to stripe bike lanes; these are the reasons he wanted to combine the issues, and if they did not have many competing issues they could probably go ahead now that they have decided to go forward, but it is complex. He stated that this is why Staff agendized the Crest/Ganado issue because they must resolve this problem.

Senior Engineer Dragoo expressed concern about the comments that striping that was installed was not per plan, saying that it was.

Lois Karp responded that it was not what the HOA was shown, and it was not what the homeowners agreed to; that the HOA had worked with Traffic Engineer Rydell for a long time and they were totally shocked and called him the day the striping was painted to ask what is this. She asked, if Staff changed it along the way, why did no one communicate with Tom Redfield or her because they were part of this plan representing the homeowners for all this time, and then someone changes it and leaves them out, saying it was very bad communication.

Acting Chair Willens stated that the Commission will not debate that right now, and if it was on the agenda he would be happy to address it but he does not think it is appropriate to be addressing it here. He reiterated that none of the Commissioners except him know what she is talking about.

Commissioner Bilezerian stated that his concerns are the number of accidents, the timeframe that Ms. Karp has expressed during which the improvements they have been waiting for have not happened, and the amount of time it will take to evaluate the other issues and implement them.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that that is one of the reasons that time limits were included in the recommendations for comprehensive improvements.

Commissioner Bilezerian stated that the time limits concern him; that he is new to the Commission, but at his first meeting (4/24/06) the Commission approved the 25 mph speed limit sign on the west side of Fond du Lac Road south of Basswood Avenue and that sign has not yet been installed, so seeing that something that was approved within six or seven months concerns him too. He urged everyone to take this intersection seriously and try to implement something as soon as possible that will at least eliminate the accident source and control speeding for now and then work with the other issues.

Acting Chair Willens asked if Commissioner Bilezerian is proposing that the Commission does something tonight, does he want to turn it into one lane tonight.

Commissioner Bilezerian said no we cannot do that, but he just wanted to make clear that based on the action the Commission took tonight to install a stop sign at an unwarranted intersection to try to slow speeds down, the Commission needs to take the same type of approach on this Ganado Drive intersection.

Commissioner Wright stated that he absolutely agrees because whether the Commissioners are traffic engineers or not, they are all residents of the City and the main concern they all have, whether they are using numbers or people’s personal feelings, the Commission’s main interest is in protecting folks. He added that whether it is putting a stop sign on Via Rivera or installing whatever control is needed at Palos Verdes Drive East and Ganado Drive, the Commission must do it. Commissioner Wright explained that he was in public service for many years and he knows how the process works with governments and it is a slow process. He explained that he would be very interested to hear what they are talking about in terms of acting on this particular issue if they do not break it out separately. He asked how soon then could the Commission address this particular intersection in the comprehensive process.

Traffic Engineer Rydell presented a hypothetical situation for the Commission to consider, and referred to Alternative 3 “Consider other alternatives as may be determined”, and explained that technically the Commission can discuss other items even though it is not part of Staff’s recommendations. If the Commission wanted to discuss all-way stops there, that is certainly open for discussion. He clarified that he is not suggesting anything, he is just saying that the Commission has the option to discuss anything.

Acting Chair Willens explained that he is not saying that he wants to avoid doing anything; he is asking for someone to present an idea as to how the Commission can help the community faster in some concrete way without getting into a three-hour discussion of why they should put in all-way stop signs when the Commission does not even have any information regarding why they should or should not do that. He asked that everyone please do not think he is trying to put this off; he just does not know how the Commission can do anything specific tonight without more information, and he would like to hear from the Commissioners some ideas as to how this intersection can be separated out, if necessary, to consider it on a tighter timeframe or along with the comprehensive approach.

Traffic Engineer Rydell offered to present another option for the Commission to consider, commenting that he thinks they are in agreement that they want one lane on Palos Verdes Drive East; he stated that the Commission can instruct Staff to develop either temporary striping just between Crest Road and somewhere south of Ganado Drive or whatever limits necessary to expedite creating one lane from Crest Road southerly. He explained that the issues would be either (1) it could be temporary, or (2) if it was permanent; that when the Commission considers the Palos Verdes Drive East comprehensive approach, they may end up having to make modifications again, but Staff could come up with some temporary changes that address it with the understanding that they will have to fine tune it as they deal with the area north of Crest Road.

Acting Chair Willens asked if that would require Staff to bring it to the Commission for consideration, or can the Commission just say go for it and then Staff goes and does whatever they are going to do.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he thinks the Commission can do that; that Alternative 3 gives them that authority to decide what they want to do, and if their instructions to him are to come up with a temporary one lane from Crest Road southerly and bring it back at the joint meeting for their approval, then that is what Staff will do.

Acting Chair Willens clarified that he does not think it is appropriate for the Commission to say, ok, go create a one-lane plan, we will approve one lane and you decide what you want to do with it, and then go do it; because then you do not get to hear from the community, or what if the Commission has concerns about it. He clarified if he understands what Traffic Engineer Rydell is saying, he thinks something like that might be a viable alternative provided that it is an instruction and Staff develops a plan to bring back to the Commission as opposed to going ahead and implementing it and hopefully it will all work out.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that Staff will develop a temporary plan and work with the community; it will not be aesthetically pleasing, but it will happen very quickly. Staff can bring the plan back to the next meeting and push the comprehensive hearing forward to January as Acting Chair Willens suggested so the Commission can deal with this issue.

Acting Chair Willens suggested that the Commission would not be able to complete this issue in half an hour and then deal with a whole night’s work of talking about the comprehensive plan.

Traffic Engineer Rydell agreed that this will become the hot topic for the next meeting, and once it is approved Staff can get it constructed as a New Year’s present, assuming that the homeowners support it.

Commissioner Parfenov commented that when everyone says it is urgent, it is even more so now after seeing the pictures. He asked why does it take so long to address this issue and move forward.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that they are moving forward, and the reason it was taking a while before is because Staff was waiting to see if Marymount College was going to tell them that they had to have four lanes, and Staff decided they would not wait any longer.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if Staff has any contacts with Marymount College.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that Staff has been involved in reviewing the EIR and telling them what to look for and the traffic study has not been done yet. He explained that the Marymount College expansion is a very complex issue that has started and stopped and is currently starting again, but Staff has seen this before and does not know what will happen.

Commissioner Parfenov asked what are the traffic numbers.

Traffic Engineer Rydell estimates that the traffic volumes are approximately 7,000 a day, but that is a guess since there is no survey.

Commissioner Parfenov referred to Alternative 3, and asked if a traffic signal is being considered at this location.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it is not warranted; that Staff did an all-way stop control analysis when they started this process but it does not mean that they could not look at it from a visibility perspective rather than volume for accidents. He explained that even if they go down to one lane they could still have problems with people going through it.

Commissioner Parfenov commented except the right lane, and at least it would be more orderly with a traffic light.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that first of all it would have to be incorporated into the signal prioritization list because unless money was given to the City the people who are concerned with all the signals that are ranked higher on the list would not be happy about that.

Commissioner Parfenov argued that this intersection has a previous history of accidents, and he is pretty sure that the local community at the Ganado Drive intersection might be amenable to a co-pay to push this thing along.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that the City could not ask the residents to pay for traffic safety.

Commissioner Parfenov clarified that he is not suggesting co-pay for a signal, but co-pay in terms of providing some education.

Traffic Engineer Rydell suggested that there is something on the table, which is the temporary re-striping.

Acting Chair Willens asked to make a suggestion, and stated, if it is the inclination of this Commission to consider an overall solution to this particular intersection in December, that the Commission approve some sort of Motion that Staff comes back in December with a comprehensive recommendation for temporary striping of Palos Verdes Drive East at Ganado Drive, which report incorporates some of these concerns that have been brought up about speed and other issues. He suggested that the Commission would do that in December and do the comprehensive hearing in January. Acting Chair Willens stated that if the Commission will talk about all this in December there is no point in talking about it now because they will be rehashing the same thing.

Commissioner Bilezerian commented asked if, when Staff decided they want to go with a one-lane road in each direction, the plan was adopted conceptually.

Traffic Engineer Rydell said no, that there was no plan adopted; that this is something Staff discussed with various members of the community and internally and thought it was appropriate, and when considering how it would affect other areas farther north, they came up with the idea of a comprehensive solution.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if this was before the college proposed the EIR.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded no, that this has been going on for many years.

Commissioner Bilezerian stated that in his experience with EIRs you can evaluate different scenarios, you can have overriding conditions and alternatives, and there may be something in the EIR that says you need to have four lanes because of traffic volumes, but due to safety of the overriding conditions safety would restrict the impact. He added that the Council could decide if the impacts that have a safety benefit override a four-lane roadway. Commissioner Bilezerian asked if there is anything in the EIR regarding one lane versus two lanes.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that Marymount College has not completed the traffic section; all they have done is take the counts, and they have been at that stage for a long time.

Acting Chair Willens stated that the Commission must do what it has to do and cannot wait for the College.

Commissioner Mevers commented that, if the Commission approves one lane in both directions, he can see where it may help the problem of drivers coming down the hill who want to make a right turn into Ganado Drive; however, there will still be difficulty trying to make a left turn from Ganado Drive onto Crest Road, or a left turn from Crest Road onto Palos Verdes Drive East. He stated that the kinds of accidents they have seen were all caused by people attempting to make a right turn onto Ganado Drive if that is the main section where accidents occur, but it sounds like it is more of a problem for someone making left turns out of there being involved in an accident.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that there is one way that making it one lane the entire length between Ganado Drive and Crest Road would help; first, when you have one lane you have one person observing the speed limit and it has a slow-down effect on everyone behind them; secondly, by taking it to one lane, he can give drivers an extended right-turn pocket that will allow them to decelerate much better. Third, he explained that depending on how Staff lines this up, it will push the traffic slightly closer to the center for better visibility because drivers will be able to see further.

Commissioner Mevers commented that drivers turning out of Ganado Drive going uphill cannot see too far, especially if someone is going more than 25 mph.

Commissioner Bilezerian stated that he just hopes the Commission takes the same approach that they did with the other intersection; that if you are using the 85th percentile speed to determine eligible sight distance and you look to the left you have a sight distance of probably 500 or 600 feet, and he does not think they have that on this configuration. He stated that the Commission approved a stop sign for that, but is not saying that a stop sign is the solution, but the Commission obviously needs to do something.

Acting Chair Willens said he understands that this is an emotional issue, but he does not want this to become a free-for-all. He explained that there is a process by which the Commission tries to do this, and the way they try not to do it is to not have everyone debating back and forth in the audience. He asked if anyone has something they want to say that will take 15 seconds or less.

Abbas Mohaddes asked to speak for the community. He stated that Traffic Engineer Rydell has an excellent idea and is proposing a temporary solution based on the specific arguments that the HOA suggested that the community likes, and the Commission endorsed that Staff work with the community and come to the December meeting with a proposal.

Acting Chair Willens asked if everyone likes that idea, and the audience expressed unanimous agreement.

Craig Whited stated that they already have a 250 foot clear area and 250 feet of red curbing, and they have gone as far as they can around that curb; as long as the traffic is going 35 mph, the posted speed limit is not a problem; if someone is going 65 mph, people coming out of Ganado Drive are dead.

Commissioner Wright withdrew his previous Motion and presented a new Motion.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Wright moved to add an additional Item 4 to the recommendations for New Business Item 2, which would request that the Traffic Engineer, together with Staff, develop a single lane option for Palos Verdes Drive East between Crest Road and Ganado Drive, which would incorporate the 35 mph speed limit sign as addressed in Recommendation 1 and the radar enforced sign as addressed in Recommendation 2, and schedule it on the Agenda for the December 11, 2006 meeting for consideration by the Commission, seconded by Commissioner Mevers.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Parfenov clarified that the single-line striping would be going down from Crest Road, and Commissioner Wright confirmed that is correct.

Commissioner Mevers stated that it sounded like Traffic Engineer Rydell’s comment suggested that even though the striping would be temporary to start off with, if the Commission goes to a one lane both up and down configuration, that they basically can address not all, but most of the problems at that particular intersection; he asked if he is correct.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that the Commission is addressing a glaring issue, and explained that by going to one lane in each direction they affect many parameters of this roadway and how it is operating, and if all the pieces fit together they will see an improvement. He explained that it does not address installing some type of traffic control at the intersection.

Commissioner Mevers questioned if this can be installed on a temporary basis to find out how it will work.

Traffic Engineer Rydell said yes, and that is what he would recommend because it can be done very quickly. He said the idea is that they will probably have to tweak it as they go through the comprehensive study; that he would rather tweak delineators than remove paint.

Commissioner Mevers questioned that if they do this, would it be a complex procedure; how often would Staff have to get out there to make people know if they have been successful or not.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that Staff would be giving the community what they want, one lane from Crest Road southerly; it will address an issue that will improve conditions by making it easier to make that right turn, and it will have some effect on slowing down traffic.

Commissioner Parfenov asked what about the rest of Ganado Drive; will it improve it.

Acting Chair Willens discouraged further discussion, saying that they are getting into the specifics of a plan that has not yet been presented.

Commissioner Bilezerian suggested that instead of directing Staff to implement a two-lane roadway, that the Commission direct Staff to work with the community to implement traffic control modifications on a temporary basis that would improve safety on this section of the roadway, and come back to the Commission.

Acting Chair Willens suggested that Commissioner Wright withdraw his Motion and Commissioner Bilezerian will restate it.

Commissioner Wright withdrew the second of his two previous Motions.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved to adopt Recommendations 1-3 of New Business Item 2 as follows:

1. Install one additional 35 mph speed limit sign on the west side of Palos Verdes Drive East approximately 1,000 feet north of Crest Road.
2. Install a “RADAR ENFORCED” sign below the 35 mph speed limit sign identified above and the existing 35 mph speed limit sign on the west side of Palos Verdes Drive East south of Crest Road.
3. Request additional enforcement from the Lomita Sheriff Station for Palos Verdes Drive East.

Commissioner Bilezerian further moved to add Recommendation 4:

4. Direct Staff and the City’s Traffic Engineer to meet with the community to design traffic control modifications on a temporary basis to improve the safety on Palos Verdes Drive East between Crest Road and Ganado Drive, seconded by Commissioner Mevers.

Motion approved:
Ayes 5; Nays 0

Acting Chair Willens reiterated that this item will be considered on December 11, 2006 and the comprehensive hearing will be scheduled in January 2007.

RECESS AND RECONVENE:

The Commission recessed at 9:00 pm and reconvened at 9:07 pm.

NEW BUSINESS:

3. HIGH VISIBILITY SCHOOL CROSSWALKS

Recommendations:

1. Establish the following policy for existing and future school crosswalks:

a. Install high visibility ladder crosswalks at all school (yellow) crosswalks adjacent to school boundaries.
b. Install high visibility ladder crosswalks at all uncontrolled school (yellow) crosswalks not adjacent to school boundaries.
c. When any marked crossing at an intersection qualifies for a high visibility crosswalk, all other marked crossings at the intersection shall also be high visibility crosswalks.

Traffic Engineer’s Report

Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed his report presented as follows with supplementary slides of typical locations and crosswalk designs:

“There are 11 public schools within the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. This includes one high school, two intermediate schools, seven elementary schools and one satellite elementary school. Crosswalks were categorized as follows:

 Located adjacent or not-adjacent to a school boundary;
 High visibility or standard crosswalk;
 Whether the crossing is controlled (traffic signal or stop sign) or uncontrolled.

“Field review of these sites revealed the following existing school crosswalks:

High Visibility Standard
Location Controlled Uncontrolled Controlled Uncontrolled
Adjacent to School 6 3 32 10
Not Adjacent to School 4 1 9 6

“High visibility crosswalks are a valuable tool to raise consciousness of a marked pedestrian crossing. Motorist awareness of the crosswalk is enhanced, providing greater opportunity for them to modify their driving behavior to address potential pedestrian conflicts. Furthermore, pedestrians become more aware of the appropriate crossing locations. This may encourage them to also modify their crossing behavior and remain within the crosswalks as opposed to wandering across the roadway at unexpected locations. Use of high visibility crosswalk markings also improves crosswalk detection for people with low vision and cognitive impairments.

“High visibility crosswalks can be created through several techniques. The most common are diagonal, ladder and continental markings (illustrations noted in report).

“Studies have shown that continental and ladder crosswalks are the most effective high visibility crosswalks in terms of motorist compliance. To minimize maintenance costs, they are also more desirable than zebra or solid crosswalks since vehicle wheels mainly run between the lines, reducing the need to repaint or otherwise maintain visibility. The California MUTCD and Section 21368 of the California Vehicle Code specify that if one crosswalk at an intersection is yellow, then all other crosswalks at the intersection should also be yellow.

“Based on this principle, the above recommended policy states that if one marked crossing at an intersection is a high visibility crosswalk, all other marked crossings should also be high visibility crosswalks.

“The recommendation to install high visibility crosswalks at all marked school crossings adjacent to school boundaries is based on the premise that school age children present the High Visibility School Crosswalk Recommendation October 23, 2006 Page 3 greatest potential conflict with vehicles and must therefore be provided with enhanced protection. Crosswalks adjacent to school boundaries will generally contain the greatest number of children and also typically generate a substantial number of vehicles. Therefore, these marked crossings should be high visibility crosswalks even if they are controlled by traffic signals or stop signs. By applying this approach throughout the City at school locations, consistency will be maintained and enhanced motorist notification would be established in a systematic fashion.

“The recommendation to install high visibility crosswalks at all uncontrolled marked school crossings, whether adjacent to a school boundary or not, continues the principles of the previous recommendation. School age children are again provided with enhanced crossings, but the automatic application of high visibility crosswalks is limited to uncontrolled crossing locations. This ensures that additional notification is provided at locations where motorists may not be aware of the potential for pedestrian crossings. Based on the above information, we anticipate that 48 existing crossings would qualify for upgrade to high visibility crosswalks. 16 would be at uncontrolled locations and 32 at controlled intersections, including eight (8) at the high school. This work could be integrated into the City’s current striping program.

“Installing high visibility crosswalks at other locations, such as remote school crossings at controlled intersections and all non-school crossings is not recommended at this time. This approach is desirable to ensure that high visibility crosswalks are not applied at every location, but are reserved for those marked crossings where safety would be clearly enhanced by their use. Information contained in all traffic engineering guidelines and procedures are clear that the indiscriminate use of such devices reduces their effectiveness at all locations. When motorists encounter them at numerous locations, they merely become background information and do not convey the necessary direction to apply additional caution.”

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Staff will incorporate the cost of installing the high visibility crosswalks in the Public Works existing striping budget, although every year he applies for OTS grants and that will be included in the application he is preparing for this year; that he also times it according to when Staff slurries in the City of Los Angeles. Traffic Engineer Rydell concluded, saying he would like to have the Commission’s approval to have this as their policy within the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Commission Questions of Staff

Commissioner Parfenov referred to Recommendation 1-b, “Install high visibility ladder crosswalks at all uncontrolled school (yellow) crosswalks not adjacent to school boundaries.” He asked how far from the school; one block, two, three.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it varies, but it is on the suggested route to the school. He pointed out the existing crosswalks and explained that Staff drove every school and that is where they came up with the information, and said the crosswalks are typically within a block or two of the school.

Commissioner Parfenov clarified that the crosswalks follow the pattern where the children are crossing on the way to and from school.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded affirmatively.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved to approve Recommendations 1-a through 1-c on Agenda Item New Business 3 as follows:

1. Establish the following policy for existing and future school crosswalks:

a. Install high visibility ladder crosswalks at all school (yellow) crosswalks adjacent to school boundaries.
b. Install high visibility ladder crosswalks at all uncontrolled school (yellow) crosswalks not adjacent to school boundaries.
c. When any marked crossing at an intersection qualifies for a high visibility crosswalk, all other marked crossings at the intersection shall also be high visibility crosswalks.

Seconded by Commissioner Parfenov.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Mevers complimented the Commission for being proactive, especially in doing something when there is not even an accident report, and it is a good way to go.

Commissioner Bilezerian stated for informational purposes that he thinks this is a very important improvement in the community and that there are grant programs at the Federal and State levels; that the fiscal 2007 State School Program is now accepting applications, and Torrance was successful in 2006 for $227,000. He explained that only seven applications are being accepted and offered to provide the list.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that they have the information and Staff has started identifying.

Commissioner Bilezerian explained that it only requires ten cents on the dollar.

ACTION TAKEN:

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 a petition is currently circulating throughout the neighborhood; that the issue was previously considered by the Commission and a before-and-after data study was presented by Staff which concluded that there is still a speeding problem in that neighborhood. He stated that the Commission authorized Staff to work with the community to circulate a petition, and Staff provided input on their petition. He explained that he does not have current status on the project, but some people have already written to the City Council saying that they do not want speed humps. Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Staff made it clear to Acting Director Holland, who has made it clear to City Council, that Staff is not supporting or endorsing speed humps, but is just helping the residents get through the process.

Deputy Knox made a comment from the audience that Deputy Evans is out there hitting speeders hard the past few weeks two or three afternoons a week, commenting that there are a lot of speeders doing cut-through traffic.

b. Via Rivera Traffic Calming Update.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that the residents are also circulating a petition; that he received a phone call last week from Russ Irvin who is spearheading up there, and he has 98% support and would be submitting the petition. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that he would guess that Via Rivera would be the next traffic-calming item that the Commission will hear. He reminded the Commission that the residents were given some options, saying that they did not want to go with speed humps.

Commissioner Wright inquired if there is still the battle with the residents on the upper part of Via Rivera.

Traffic Engineer Rydell agreed, and explained that Staff did make efforts to contact those people and negotiate with them; that the Commission approved three speed humps instead of five which was shot down before, so Staff hopes that will be a compromise that will be acceptable.

c. Long Point Development Review Update.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Staff has completed the third review of the on-site plan, which is the development, and the second review of the street plan, which is Palos Verdes Drive South. He reported that Staff is battling with the Trump organization non-stop; that they have a traffic signal going in at the intersection of Palos Verdes Drive South in the development at Long Point.

d. Traffic Safety Commission Meeting Notification Process.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff decided they were not doing all they could to make sure that the community is notified of what is on the agenda. He explained that there is information on the website, but some people do not read it. He reported that Staff has a list of all the HOAs in the City, they have contact people, and letters were sent to all contacts advising them that Public Works has a new notification policy. Staff explained in the letter that Staff wants to know the name of every point person of every HOA and any other key Board members who want to be notified. Staff will put them on an automated e-mail that sends out the agenda every month so they will know which items are scheduled every month, commenting that they will get a proactive notification. He stated that it is up to them to then notify their members; that when there is an item scheduled that affects a specific person, Staff notifies them directly, but they cannot notify everyone. He suggested that if they notify the HOAs, Staff has gone that extra step, and Staff asks in the letter that the HOAs keep them notified of the current people and the contact information.

Commissioner Parfenov confirmed that the HOA would disseminate the information.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff would add to their list whoever is designated by the HOA Board, adding that the letter initially went to the last known head on record for each organization.

e. Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that this additional item is a tag-along to the Traffic Safety Commission notification process, and specifically deals with polling of Commissioners prior to the meeting to determine a quorum. He explained that Staff would discontinue the immediate polling on the day of the meeting; that the date of the next meeting will be established at the end of the current meeting and determine availability of Commissioners for the next meeting. He stated that if a Commissioner knows a couple of weeks before the meeting that they cannot attend, Staff would appreciate a phone call. He stated that the Commission would assemble on the published meeting day, and if there is a quorum, if four Commissioners are present, then the meeting will be conducted; if three Commissioners are here, there is no quorum publicly.

Acting Chair Willens asked if the Commissioners will no longer receive an e-mail asking the Commissioners to respond by Thursday, which he thought worked fine; he inquired if Staff no longer wants to do it that way.

Senior Engineer Dragoo said no; that the Administrator wants the meeting held so the public has the opportunity to appear and see that the Commissioners are not here.

Commissioner Wright asked, regarding the quorum issue, if that will be across the board for every committee or commission, or is that just for the Traffic Safety Commission.

Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that that is how the Council and the Planning Commission operate, and the Brown Act requires that the doors be open at 7:00 pm. He reported on what happened at the last meeting; that he opened the doors at 7:00 pm, there were people leaving, and he stood there in an empty room and read the declaration that there was not a quorum and announced the next meeting.

f. Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that Chair Shepherd asked him to advise the Commission that the subcommittee on traffic calming will meet sometime before the next regular meeting of the Traffic Safety Commission and Staff will bring an item to the December 11, 2006 meeting addressing traffic calming.

2. Other Traffic Safety Commission Business

a. Commissioner Parfenov stated that the Technology Subcommittee would also have a subject ready for the next meeting. He also thanked the Sheriff’s squad for the ride-along on Friday, September 15, 2006 for a full eight hours with eleven citations, and that nine of them were for speeding and two for unsafe lane changes. He explained that the levels of speed were shocking; that one person was going 69 mph in a 45 mph zone on Palos Verdes Drive South.

b. Commissioner Bilezerian asked when the Oversized Vehicle Ordinance would be considered by the City Council.

c. Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that on November 7, 2006 Staff will take the concept to Council, they will advise Staff during that meeting how they would like them to proceed; whether they want an Ordinance to come back to them, or they will modify what the Commission has already approved. He stated that Staff would know more by the next Traffic Safety Commission meeting.

d. Commissioner Parfenov asked to clarify that on the December 11, 2006 agenda the Commission will address the comprehensive study.

Acting Chair Willens responded that on December 11 the Commission would consider street striping in connection with the Ganado Drive intersection and the comprehensive hearing would be held at the January 2006 meeting.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Recommendation:

Approval of minutes of August 28, 2006

Acting Chair Willens referred to circle page 61 and apologized for not having made this correction earlier. He referred to the second to last paragraph before “Adjournment”, and corrected to read as follows: “Acting Chair Willens expressed appreciation to the Commission for their patience with the change in meeting procedures. He stated that 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.

Senior Engineer Dragoo clarified that the direction is to review the tape and revise as appropriate.

Acting Chair Willens directed that all references to him as Chair be changed to Acting Chair in the Minutes of August 28, 2006 and October 23, 2006.

The Recording Secretary reported that several sections of Roberts’ Rules state that in the absence of the regular Chair, the presiding Officer should be referred to as “Chair”, and she offered to further research references to this issue if so directed, or just make the changes as requested.

Acting Chair Willens directed the Recording Secretary to look this up, and if there is a question of interpretation, change all references to “Acting Chair”.

Senior Engineer Dragoo clarified that the direction is to clarify “Chair” and if in question, change it to “Acting Chair”.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Wright moved to approve the Minutes of August 28, 2006 as modified, seconded by Commissioner Bilezerian.

Motion approved:
Ayes 5; Nays 0

ADJOURNMENT:

Acting Chair Willens asked if any of the Commissioners have a problem with attendance on December 11, explaining that if he cannot reschedule a conflict he would not be able to attend. The remaining Commissioners present plan to attend the next meeting.

Acting Chair Willens stated that the January 2007 meeting should be held at a different location.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved to adjourn at 9:34 PM to the next regular meeting of the Traffic Safety Commission on December 11, 2006, seconded by Commissioner Parfenov.

Motion approved:
Ayes 5; Nays 0