AUGUST 27, 2007 TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION MINUTES APRIL 23, 2007 TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION MINUTES APRIL 23, 2007 TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION MINUTES

MINUTES

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA

TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

JANUARY 29, 2007

CALL TO ORDER:  Chair Shepherd called the meeting to order at 7:07 PM at Rancho Palos Verdes Community Room

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

                                    ABSENT:      None

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

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

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

ACTION TAKEN:

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

Motion approved:
Ayes 7; Nays 0

CHAIR’S COMMUNICATION:

Chair Shepherd explained that the Commission needs a subcommittee to work with the Emergency Preparedness Committee to discuss evacuation plans regarding traffic ingress and egress in case of an emergency.  She pointed out that the Chair of the Emergency Preparedness Committee is present in the audience.  Chair Shepherd asked that the Commissioners think about it and contact her within the next three weeks if they want to volunteer.  She stated that she would work with the Chair of the Emergency Preparedness Committee to decide on strategies and how they and the Commission can work together on recommendations to develop a plan.

SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT REPORT:

Sgt. Creason explained that he has no written report at this time because the quarterly figures would not be reviewed by the City Council until Thursday, February 1, 2007.  He reported that in December, there were 27 collisions including 8 injury collisions; 473 hazardous citations; and 10 vehicle related arrests.  Sgt. Creason commented that Deputies Knox and Evans are doing a fantastic job.

Chair Shepherd concurred, and added that on Palos Verdes Drive East, Palos Verdes Drive South, and Miraleste, if the Deputies see speeders they tag them.  She commented that their diligence is paying off.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

 

Senior Engineer Dragoo introduced Siamak Motahari who is working with the City as a Senior Engineer, and explained that he will eventually be moving into Senior Engineer Dragoo’s seat at Commission meetings.

Chair Shepherd welcomed Senior Engineer Motahari on behalf of the Commission.

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

Stanley and Marilyn Kritzer, 3832 Pirate Drive.  Mr. Kritzer explained that they are present to inquire about the status of the traffic signal at Palos Verdes Drive South and Forrestal.

Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that the team met with the Trump organization in the middle of January and again raised the item of the traffic signal at that location.  He reported that the Trump negotiating team seemed receptive to the idea and confirmed its position on their group of 12 items they are working through and will report to Staff in March.

Mrs. Kritzer asked where this item is on the list of 12.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that it is somewhere in the middle.

Chair Shepherd asked when the bond account expires for this specific traffic signal.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that many different bonds expire at different times; that the traffic signal bond will be renewed when the project is accepted, and will be in place for either a three- or five-year period following acceptance of the project.  He explained that the project has not yet been accepted.

Mr. Kritzer stated that they would return next month for a status report.

George Spatola, 32614 Coastsite Drive, explained that he is present to represent the homeowners’ association in Palos Verdes City Club regarding a traffic problem at the corner of Seahill and Palos Verdes Drive South, adjacent to St. Peters Church.  Mr. Spatola explained that trying to egress from Seahill onto Palos Verdes Drive South going left is a very hazardous condition for the residents of 240 units who create much traffic as well as surrounding private homes and apartment buildings.  Mr. Spatola explained that several very serious accidents have occurred recently because people are traveling too fast from San Pedro along Palos Verdes Drive South from Western to Hawthorne Boulevard because there are no traffic signals or stop signs on Palos Verdes Drive South to impede them.  Mr. Spatola acknowledged that the Deputies do help by trying to stop some speeders or those who turn recklessly because they cannot see traffic coming from the east as they approach.  Because of these problems, Mr. Spatola stated that the community is asking the City to install a traffic signal to allow drivers to get out of the Seahill location to go east if that is possible.  He explained that the Terranea community is considering a traffic signal, but that will not help their community with traffic coming from the east on Palos Verdes Drive South.  Mr. Spatola stated that he has spoken with Traffic Engineer Rydell and he indicated that at the least the City could cut down some of the foliage in front of St. Peters Church.  He concluded saying that he is a ten-year resident of the area, and if it were possible, he would like an investigation of the area to determine a way to provide more safety for the drivers.

Chair Shepherd explained that the procedure would involve an investigation by Staff to determine if the item should be placed on the agenda for consideration by the Commission.  She asked if there are reports of accidents or injuries at that intersection.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that in March 2006 there were two accidents; that Staff has communicated with Mr. Spatola over the past couple of months trying to explain that Staff evaluated the situation, and this location is on the Traffic Signal Priority list.  He explained that meanwhile Staff is trying to find vegetation reductions or anything they can do to help and the signal is justified, but funding is not available.

Chair Shepherd assured Mr. Spatola that Staff has not neglected their concerns, and they are doing everything possible to expedite a solution to their problem.

Frank Glaser, 30184 Via Rivera, explained that for three or four years he has been heading the effort to put a signal on Via Rivera and they got to the top of the list.  He explained that now a year has passed and they are off the top of the list, saying that they need funding so it can be done before someone is killed.  Mr. Glaser stated that there is so much money being spent on everything else and asked that the money should be put where it belongs because the residents need it, they have a school to consider, the traffic is ridiculous, and this issue has been put off for too long.

OLD BUSINESS:

 

1.         PALOS VERDES DRIVE EAST SOUTH OF CREST ROAD TEMPORARY LANE REDUCTION

  • Consider public comment regarding the proposed reduction in through travel lanes on Palos Verdes Drive East between Crest Road and Ganado Drive.

 

  • Approve the temporary traffic channelization modifications as shown in Attachment A.

Traffic Engineer’s Report

Traffic Engineer Rydell presented slides with a summary of the issues and aerial views of the locations and proposed modifications.  He also presented his Staff report, which explained the background of this issue as follows:

“At the January 26, 2004 meeting of the former Traffic Committee, a recommendation was made by Staff to modify the existing striping at and near the intersection of Ganado Drive at Palos Verdes Drive East (PVDE). This request originated with citizen concern over motorist behavior and speeding on PVDE, as well as difficulty in exiting Ganado Drive.

“Staff’s recommendation, which was approved by the Traffic Committee at the July 26, 2004 meeting, generally included the following:

  • Restripe the intersection of PVDE and Ganado Drive to provide a clearly delineated southbound right-turn only lane;
  • Install northbound and southbound acceleration lanes on PVDE for motorists exiting Ganado Drive;
  • Eliminate parking on the west side of PVDE south of Ganado Drive;
  • Restripe PVDE between Ganado Drive and Calle Aventura to provide one southbound through lane.

 

“The striping was installed in late 2004.  Based on citizen dissatisfaction, various modifications were made to the striping on PVDE following installation.  As discussed at the October 23, 2006 Traffic Safety Commission meeting, there remains concern that the right-turn pocket is difficult for some motorists to negotiate and there remains a desire to modify the striping between Crest Road and Ganado Drive to one through lane in each direction.  During the October 23 meeting, it was agreed that Staff would develop a temporary modification to the channelization in order to address the citizen concerns.“

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that Staff is aware that there are speeding issues and poor motorist behavior in that area.  He explained that one reason for delaying some of the changes was the Marymount College EIR which is currently underway, but it starts and stops, and Staff wants to determine from a traffic perspective what the College modifications would do to that area to see if changes were necessary based on that.  Staff also wanted to delay making changes because at the October 2006 meeting Staff presented a report, and the Traffic Safety Commission concurred, recommending the following temporary modifications discussed in his Staff 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.  PVDE has a downgrade from north to south.  There is an existing 35 mph speed limit sign located on the west side of PVDE south of Crest Road.

“As discussed at the October Traffic Safety Commission meeting, it is Staff’s intention (supported by the Traffic Safety Commission’s approval of the agenda item from that meeting) to address traffic issues on PVDE in a comprehensive and integrated manner.  To accomplish that, Staff will be organizing community workshops to discuss the traffic problems and potential solutions for PVDE from Palos Verdes Drive South to the north City Limit.  The result of these workshops is expected to be a series of recommendations for the Traffic Safety Commission to consider and for Staff to implement.  Because of the anticipated results of these efforts, it is Staff’s position that the actions recommended in this report be installed on a temporary basis and with temporary measures.  This will ensure that substantial funds are not expended on actions that may or may not be consistent with the ultimate improvements for PVDE.  Therefore, Staff is intending to install any approved recommendations utilizing temporary traffic controls devices similar to what would be used for construction zones.

“To address issues with the southbound right-turn only pocket at Ganado Drive, it is recommended that the pocket length be increased approximately 100 feet for a total pocket length of 150 feet.  In addition, there will be a 90 foot long opening for vehicle to enter the pocket.  This change should provide sufficient length for motorists to merge into the right-turn pocket and decelerate without feeling pressure from motorists behind them to do so at a higher than desired speed.

“To address concerns over the two southbound through lanes from north of Crest Road to Ganado Drive, it is recommended that the outside (#2) through lane on PVDE from a point just north of Crest Road to Ganado Drive be closed off utilizing flexible delineators and barricades.  South of Crest Road, openings will be provided at intersections and private driveways to provide motorists with the necessary access.  The technique used will be similar to that incorporated when roadway construction takes place on the side of the roadway and traffic flow must be reduced to one lane of travel.  This action will have a reducing effect on motorist speeds and will eliminate the high-speed merging that often takes place south of Crest Road.  It should be noted that the most recent volume counts for this portion of PVDE revealed an average daily traffic of approximately 2,900 vehicles.  One lane of travel in each direction can easily accommodate this volume with no adverse impact on flow or delay.  Parking on the west side of PVDE will be eliminated from Crest Road southerly due to the presence of the delineators.

“The final modification would eliminate the northbound inside (#1) through lane immediately after the acceleration lane north of Ganado Drive.  The change will extend to Casalina Drive, where there is a left-turn pocket.  There will be no change to the existing channelization north of Casilina Drive, allowing for traffic patterns to remain the same at Crest Road and Marymount College.

“The draft traffic control plans are shown in Attachment A, (of the Staff report) with schematic plans showing the general lane closures illustrated in Attachment B.  As noted, all existing markings, striping and signs that conflict with the traffic control plan will be removed.  The delineators and barricades will be reflectorized orange and white, which is consistent with the color for construction projects.  Due to the multitude of signs, delineators, striping and markings, the City’s Traffic Engineer will oversee the installation in the field to ensure that any necessary changes are incorporated immediately.“

Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out that the reason for using these tools is cost-effectiveness for the City, because the tools could be relocated throughout the City once the modifications are finalized, especially the delineators and signs.  He explained that it would be less costly than re-striping immediately and potentially changing it again.  Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that his schematic on the slide presentation does not include all the technical tools Staff will use such as signage, delineators, and barricades, but complete information is provided on Attachments A and B of the Staff report on circle pages 6 through 14.

Traffic Engineer Rydell concluded that the purpose of these measures is to address the concerns of the citizens and his concerns about the existing design.  He explained that he discussed this approach with the Mediterranea Homeowners’ Association (HOA) and he believes Staff has their support, adding that some tweaking may be required, but the intent and the critical components will remain the same.  Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out that the area will look like a construction zone, and the HOA understands that.

Commission Questions of Staff

Chair Shepherd asked about aesthetics and commented that there are other HOAs in the surrounding area in addition to Mediterranea, and she sees the plan as an interesting and do-able plan; however, she has a concern with the aesthetics and how long they would remain installed.  She suggested that this is something that the residents and their guests in an area of million and multi-million dollar homes will have to look at for a long time, possibly for years.  She is not sure that all the HOAs would be happy with it, and asked if Staff has any alternatives other than what she considers a very ugly section of roadway.

Traffic Engineer Rydell suggested that the alternative would be to install the modifications permanently, referring to the striping; that it would cost more, and may need to be modified, which is why he suggested the cost-effective approach.  He explained that Staff did their best to notify the other HOAs along PVDE so they would have an opportunity to talk about it.

Chair Shepherd stated that their HOA was not contacted to her knowledge, and suggested weighing the expense of permanent re-striping, excluding plants, etc., so that re-striping could be considered in place of cones, delineators, and barricades, and whatever else might be required.

Traffic Engineer Rydell suggested that there would probably not be many complaints just for striping.  In his opinion, as they look toward reducing Palos Verdes Drive East to one lane permanently, they probably are talking about some median work or planting, which is expensive and must be programmed out over a period of time.  He stated that if they just stripe it they might not get complaints; that if it looks like two lanes of traffic, drivers will travel on it, whereas striping just blocks off the extra lane of traffic.

Chair Shepherd asked if Traffic Engineer Rydell has any suggestions other than a median to solve that problem, referring to his statement that without the delineators, Staff would have to install a median.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that, from experience, if people drive over the striped-out area, Staff would install raised pavement markers; that fewer people would drive over them, but some still went over them, so Staff would still have the same issue.

Chair Shepherd suggested that the Commission wait until the residents speak.

Commissioner Parvenov asked if it would be possible to put the barriers on Crest Road and Palos Verdes Drive East because drivers coming from Crest Road must make a sharp right turn and then there is the cross traffic.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that this is a standard way of doing it for Caltrans, and that is what he is trying to follow for a work zone.
Commissioner Parfenov asked how safe this would be for motorists making a right turn.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that he does not see where there is a problem.

Chair Shepherd questioned that if the City incurs the cost of re-striping now and later finds that the City accepts Marymount’s finalized plan, and traffic patterns change, causing the need to re-stripe, what would prohibit Marymount from being responsible to incur the cost, if their project was found to be the cause of the traffic safety issues. 

Traffic Engineer Rydell suggested that it could be a mitigation, or on the opposite side if the City had already made the changes, they have existing conditions; the City has changed them, and now the City would make Marymount pay to change them back or make further modifications.  He stated that there could be arguments made on both sides.

Chair Shepherd suggested that if the City had to make the street safer in 2007, and in 2010 there is another requirement because the Marymount development has expanded and changed the traffic pattern, then they have some responsibility to pay for improvements.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that another issue is that the more extensive the improvements proposed by Staff, the longer it will take to build, because if it takes more money they may not have more money from the City.  He explained that, as recommended in October, he felt they needed a timely improvement, and they can do this very timely.  He stated that if other improvements must be made and they do not have the money for signing and striping and they have to go back for money, they might not get it done in a timely manner.

Chair Shepherd stated that she would still like to see numbers; that before she can make a firm decision she would like to see what this proposal costs with delineators, barricades, etc., versus a moderate re-striping plan, not to include medians.  She clarified that she is describing something that the city can do that is aesthetically more pleasing and still does the job.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that what she is suggesting would require design work, which would mean the City would pay for the design.  He explained that what he is presenting is the design, and the tools incorporated in this design can be re-used in other locations throughout the City; that if the Commission wants a signing and striping plan prepared, it will cost more money.

Chair Shepherd stated that everything costs money, but she would like to see what a “lot” of money is, and this should come from a financial package; that the Commission cannot make sound decisions or recommendations to the City Council if they do not know what are the financial impacts of such decisions.    Chair Shepherd asked if this design could be used for signing and striping.

Traffic Engineer Rydell said, but you need design and that is the point he is making; that what Chair Shepherd is talking about is different.

Chair Shepherd stated that the City would have to pay for another design.

  •  

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that this is not hard, and agreed that they would need a signing and striping design, which takes a lot more time.

Senior Engineer Dragoo suggested that Staff could return with a cost proposal to develop a signing and striping plan that would essentially perform this operation in a more permanent fashion.

Chair Shepherd stated that she would like to see that, and said that she appreciates what Traffic Engineer Rydell is saying and knows he is trying to do the best thing for safety as well as timeliness, but she would like to see exactly what the specifics are before a decision is made by the Commission.

Commissioner Wright asked Traffic Engineer Rydell if he is correct that, based on the October 2006 meeting, the area in question creates a specific type of hazard.

Traffic Engineer Rydell concurred.

Commissioner Wright suggested that what Traffic Engineer Rydell has proposed is a plan that, in the short term, would eliminate the potential for accidents for that particular area.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that it would enhance safety.

Commissioner Wright suggested that without knowing anything else that may happen in the future, at least on a temporary basis, this will enhance safety for people driving up and down the road, and asked if that is correct.

Traffic Engineer Rydell said he believes so.

Commissioner Bilezerian referred to the number of sheets presented, approximately four to five sheets, and asked from a design perspective if Traffic Engineer Rydell would say that a fair estimate per sheet would be probably $5,000 to $6,000 to prepare a signing and striping plan.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he usually uses $1,500 per sheet.

Commissioner Bilezerian suggested that at $1,500 per sheet, at the low end of five sheets, the cost would be $7,500, for design of a permanent signing and striping plan.  Construction-wise, Commissioner Bilezerian guessed $30,000.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he believes so.

Commissioner Bilezerian suggested it might even be $50,000.

Chair Shepherd questioned, as opposed to . . .

Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to the movable tools and explained that they are reusable.

Chair Shepherd asked if Staff has these tools already or will they need to be purchased.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that the City would need to purchase them.

Chair Shepherd explained that she still does not have a budget, even though she has a rough number for a signing and striping plan and the actual striping labor, but she has nothing with which to compare it.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it would be $5,000 to $10,000 to install the movable tools.

Commissioner Bilezerian pointed out that the City also has the responsibility of the ongoing maintenance every day that it is out there.  He suggested looking at northbound Hawthorne at Ravenspur to get an idea of what it takes to maintain temporary traffic controls.

Traffic Engineer Rydell commented that that is actually permanent.

Chair Shepherd opened the Public Hearing.

Lois Karp, 31115 Ganado Drive, referred to what Traffic Engineer Rydell is presenting, and stated that the residents take it very seriously; that she worked with Traffic Engineer Rydell and Tom Redfield at the site near the end of 2006 and then Traffic Engineer Rydell sent them what he was thinking about, which is almost identical to this.  She reported that the Mediterranea HOA met on January 27, 2007; the aerial drawings were enlarged and displayed and comment from the residents was requested.  She stated that the modifications were temporary and would not be beautiful, but they did not specify whether it would be years or months, and she assumed it would be under one year and not go on forever.  She reported that everyone’s’ reaction to the fact that it would not be lovely and would be temporary was a willingness to have that.  She explained that she reported in October on the accident that occurred in August, and no one wants to see that again; that everyone now is overly cautious coming out of that intersection, which is ok but it makes everyone very nervous.  Ms. Karp stated that she is here to say that Mediterranea, with just 239 homes, is 100% in favor of putting up the temporary barriers.  She explained that, as Traffic Engineer Rydell described it to them, and she conveyed it to the residents, this is not only temporary, but if something must be tweaked in the plan it can be done before it is installed permanently.  She concurred that starting with the temporary and moving to permanent is a good thing.  She referred to Staff comments regarding waiting on the Marymount development and reported that Marymount has just amended their construction plan.  She explained that from start to finish, after they have all the entitlements and review of the EIRs, from the time they put the spade in the ground it is an eight-year project, so she does not think they can wait for Marymount.  She added that Marymount is six years behind schedule now, having started this in the year 2000, and if they are talking about eight years she is sure they are looking at twelve.  She does not think they should be part of this equation; that the purpose is to make a safer intersection, the City has liability because they know about this terrible incident, and her point is that this temporary solution should be tried and then moved to a permanent installation, but let’s not take years about it.

James Zugsmith, 3746 Hightide, yielded his time to Lois Karp.

James Gordon, 3538 Bendigo Drive, thanked the Commission for what they are doing and stated that he thinks it is an elegant solution whether temporary or permanent.  He referred to the latest accident, describing 280 feet of skid marks by a brand new SUV and the impact on the driver’s side door of the lady who was pulled out of the vehicle, which was carried into a wall.  He explained that this is something that cannot be completely prevented if you have a 17-year-old kid driving an Escalade at maybe 70 to 100 mph making a 280-foot skid on the left front tire all the way.  Mr. Gordon believes that the structure here is very necessary and definitely an improvement.  He stated that extending the right-turn pocket from 50 feet to 100 feet plus the 90 foot opening for a vehicle to enter the pocket is excellent, and having a vehicle confined in that one lane coming down the hill would obviously have a beneficial effect.  Mr. Gordon thanked Staff and the Commission.

Tom Redfield, 31273 Ganado Drive, explained that he is present as the lead coordinator between the City and the Mediterranea HOA.  He is completely in support of what Traffic Engineer Rydell has done now and in the past several years on this intersection.  He explained that when Bill Shurmer was Chair he recommended not just dealing with this intersection where they have accident after accident, but recommended that the City expand the investigation to include the switchback and Crest Road, and Traffic Engineer Rydell has done that.  He explained that Lois Karp and he and a few of the residents from his cul-de-sac studied this plan, and stated that it might not be the most beautiful thing but in their opinion, safety trumps the beauty of it.  He stated that it will not be expensive, but any speeder is going to resent this thing.  Mr. Redfield stated that they have tried everything including several month-long tests; a year of a great Deputy, Chris Knox, other Deputies, and enforcement alone cannot slow the wild out-of-control speeds.  He suggested that mostly they have many Marymount students, but they have motorcyclists and other people racing cars.  He pointed out that this is a total package and is the most creative thing the residents have seen.  Mr. Redfield stated that they are always supportive of their Commission Chair, addressing Chair Shepherd’s concerns and saying he thinks he has a solution; but they cannot wait.  He thanked the Commission for cutting them out of another two- or three-year further study of the entire length of Palos Verdes Drive East, saying the residents cannot wait and there is no need to.  Mr. Redfield explained that this is a minimal cost thing and it is temporary.  He stated that his solution would be to not wait until they find out what the costs are down the road because there may be some changes in this test; that they need that out there.  Mr. Redfield suggested that it will slow traffic, there are very few residents living along that stretch, maybe a half dozen houses where they might not like the orange things out in the street.  He explained that they have talked to many of them and have not had a single objection to that.  He requested that the Commission go ahead tonight and approve this and that will slow the traffic; then the Commission can make whatever adjustment they want in six months or a year.  Mr. Redfield stated that this is the most innovative solution the residents have seen.  He stated that they know that narrowing of traffic is very important and there will eventually be more of this in the City because on Miraleste Drive you can see how drivers slow down when they have a single lane versus two lanes with drivers trying to get around the slow people.  Mr. Redfield concluded, saying that he hopes the Commission will go along with this, and then they can look at permanent changes and the residents will support them.

Chair Shepherd closed the Public Hearing.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Willens recalled from a meeting six or eight months ago that different colors were available for movable tools and striping and Staff is presenting orange in the report.  He explained that he is thinking of the ones on Silverspur and asked if there is any reason why a different color could not be used that would be less obnoxious and still serve the purpose.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that for these applications orange is the Caltrans standard and he wants to wake up the motorists; he always thought of it as a temporary issue and he was looking for impact.

Commissioner Parfenov referred to the white traffic controls at Ravenspur Drive and Hawthorne and asked if they were effective.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that they are, and explained that Staff recommended white at that point which he thinks is appropriate because this is permanent, and Staff has asked to have them replaced again to make sure that they are constantly in a decent state of repair.

Commissioner Mevers expressed appreciation for Traffic Engineer Rydell’s approach to use system engineering for the entire route of Palos Verdes Drive East.  However, he suggested that it seems to him that this particular location is more or less isolated; there is no equestrian traffic, there are probably bicycles on weekends, but in his opinion, what Traffic Engineer Rydell proposes could be easily implemented.  He suggested keeping it there for a year, making small changes as needed, and at the end of that year decide on something permanent.  He explained that he does not see, if the Commission did that, that it would have a deep impact on what they might do downstream on Palos Verdes Drive East at other locations.

Traffic Engineer Rydell expressed agreement with Commissioner Mevers, and explained that he thinks it has to do with bicycle traffic and whether bicycles will be allowed on Palos Verdes Drive East, and if so, how they are integrated.  He explained that when the Commission reaches that conclusion, what they do on the south side of Palos Verdes Drive East is consistent with somewhere else.

Commissioner Mevers suggested that when drivers get past four lanes to two lanes on Palos Verdes Drive East bicycles would always be a problem because there is no road or special path to use and they will have to evade the traffic if it is allowed at all.  He stated that the same situation exists here; so whatever the Commission decides, it will not change what they do here.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that if they want it they have room for bike lanes, but he is not ready to make any judgments on the bikes yet because he does not know; he would like to think Staff could propose a well thought out solution, but he does not know what it is yet.

Commissioner Mevers asked if a year would be sufficient to find out if there are problems or not with what the Commission is doing; and in the meantime the Commission has a situation where it actually has some control over this difficult traffic problem.

Traffic Engineer Rydell suggested that Staff would know quickly how this would work.

Commissioner Mevers suggested that they might want to tweak it a couple of times, but within a year they should know what the problems are, especially since it will be multi years before Marymount has something going.

Traffic Engineer Rydell concurred.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Willens moved to approve the temporary traffic channelization modifications as shown in Attachment “A” on circle pages 6 through 10, seconded by Commissioner Klein.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Mevers requested that a time limit be included in the Motion, explaining that after a certain period the Commission will review and evaluate it and direct that it be permanent.

Chair Shepherd asked for clarification on the term “temporary”.

Commissioner Willens suggested that if there is a problem the Commission or Staff will hear about it from the community; by putting a time limit on it he is thinking they might not be at the point where they can do something permanent in “X” amount of time and putting a time limit on it might be unrealistic.

Chair Shepherd asked what the striping budget is for 2007.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that there really is not a striping budget, but the Public Works budget is $50,000 for 2007/2008.

Chair Shepherd asked if that is already allocated.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded no, that it is for projects throughout the City; that the outcome of this meeting will determine what he does about turning this request into more of a project and requesting that it be included in the 2007/08 budget.  He explained that for a specific project Staff addresses the striping recommendations when they are prepared.

Chair Shepherd asked if the budget has been approved.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded yes and no.

Chair Shepherd asked if the Staff has other striping projects that have not come before the Commission because they are not engineering projects.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded yes; that those are the projects that typically consume that $50,000.

Chair Shepherd questioned that if they were to re-stripe this, we could actually put this on the calendar and go forward with this, but we would use a good portion of the funds; $30,000 or so or maybe most of the funds; 80% of the funds would be used for this project.

Senior Engineer Dragoo asked if she is talking about permanent striping now.

Chair Shepherd responded yes.

Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that if the Commission decided that is the direction they want to go he would prepare a report to present to the City Council as a recommendation of the Traffic Safety Commission for a proposed project asking for funding and authorization to proceed.

Chair Shepherd asked if barricades and delineators also go to the City Council as a recommendation.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded no, because it is within the department’s discretionary spending.

Commissioner Willens modified his Motion.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Willens moved to approve the temporary traffic channelization modifications as shown in Attachment A on circle pages 6 through 10, and moved that the Commission direct Staff to communicate and consult with the homeowners in that area within one year and let the Commission know what modifications must be made, seconded by Commissioner Klein.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Wright clarified that this will allow for modifications that need to take place in between time, and asked if that is correct.

Commissioner Willens explained that he believes Staff intended that if there were minor tweaks necessary they would take care of them.

Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that Staff would modify the temporary items as needed.

Chair Shepherd asked Staff to place the modification reviews on a regular schedule so that it is not just done whenever they find time.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that Staff could report to the Commission quarterly.

Chair Shepherd emphasized that she having difficulty with the aesthetics issue; she is not having any difficulty with the need to do it right away or with the design.  She apologized to the Mediterranea HOA, saying that she tries to support everything that they want to do regarding traffic safety because it makes sense.  However, she is stuck on the aesthetics issue and the length of time the tools will be in place, and is unsure if she can vote to approve this due to these factors.  Chair Shepherd explained that she does not know how it is going to look.  She suggested that if Staff brought a PowerPoint presentation or some type of graphic or visual pictures and placed these tools in to show how it would look with the orange delineators that would help, because she is counting these and it looks extremely busy.  Chair Shepherd explained that her logic tells her it is going to work and would at least give drivers more space movement where they want it and she would like them to have that, but she is having a problem with the aesthetics.  She stated that she has no objection to spending more money because she is listening to Lois Karp, she personally knows the situation, and it will be some time before Marymount will proceed.  She does not think they should wait to improve their infrastructure based on Marymount making a decision on development.  Chair Shepherd stated that she would actually like to spend the money to do it permanently.  She explained that she understands what Staff is saying, but would like to do something temporary for three months or six months and then evaluate if it works before actually striping.  She would rather see something like that where for six months they put up the delineators and barricades, and if this works, then at the end of that six-month period the Commission will approve or recommend that City Council approve a plan to re-stripe and make this permanent, but not after living with this for two or three years.  Chair Shepherd suggested do something now and make it temporary for six months if that is enough time for Staff to evaluate it.  She suggested that in the seventh month they go directly into engineering, directly into the striping plan, go to the City Council, and ask for approval of the project; after reviewing the cost, that is what she would like to do.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that that was always his intent; that Staff would do this quickly.  As far as how long it would last, Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that he feels like everyone else and does not want it to last any longer than necessary.

Chair Shepherd stated that she would like to see the Commission make a decision tonight to say that it will be six months of temporary construction; for example, let’s say Staff has a construction project, the six-month project is over, the permit has expired, these things are gone, and Staff begins a striping plan.  However they have to move the cones and delineators around to modify the plan, you have an engineer and design it so that they have what they need immediately.  If this is not going to work, you’ll know within a finite period of time, tweak it a little bit over six months; if it is working, just go ahead with it and the Commission approves the entire plan.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if the Commission wants to ask the Motion maker to reduce the time frame to six months.

Commissioner Willens stated that he has no problem reducing the time frame, but he is not prepared to have his Motion say that after six months the project should go forward without coming back to the Commission with a status report, and if Staff reports that it is working, then the Commission can approve making it permanent.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked Traffic Engineer Rydell if he thinks six months is an adequate time frame to evaluate the temporary traffic control devices.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that six months would be fine; that, as Senior Engineer Dragoo knows, the only thing Staff does not want to be locked into is that they want whatever they do permanently at this location to be compatible with other areas of Palos Verdes Drive East.  Staff does not want to find out it will take nine months to figure out what they are doing.

Commissioner Willens stated that this was his original concern, that it must fit into the Palos Verdes Drive East comprehensive plan in the long run; and to say the Commission will make this decision in six months or nine months, past experience tells him that one year would be optimistic.  He explained that he just does not want to get the Commission tied into something that does not ultimately fit into the rest of the scheme; if they have something temporary at this location, even though it will last for a while, at least it will fit into the scheme in the long run.

Commissioner Klein stated that there is more involved than just cars; there are people on bicycles, and it will take time to evaluate how Staff can stripe the lanes for them regardless of what is happening on the rest of Palos Verdes Drive East and seeing how that part of the plan meshes with this part of the plan.  He does not believe that a year is too long, and Staff always has the option of coming back to the Commission if it is completed sooner than one year.  He expressed support for the Motion as it stands.

Commissioner Willens stated that he would leave the Motion as stated.

Motion approved:
Ayes 6; Nays 1 (Chair Shepherd)

Chair Shepherd asked that the Minutes reflect her reasons for opposing the Motion.  She thanked the residents of the Mediterranea HOA for all their hard work with Staff on this project.

OLD BUSINESS:

 

2.         VIA RIVERA TRAFFIC CALMING
1.         Accept the petition requesting installation of three speed humps on Via Rivera between Rue Valois and Rue De La Pierre.
2.         Consider public comment regarding the proposed installation of the three speed humps.
3.         Request funding from City Council for design and construction of the project.

  • Authorize Staff to prepare construction design plans, specifications, and estimate for speed hump installation and proceed with construction.

Chair Shepherd announced that there are 25 speakers and asked for a show of hands of those for and against the recommendations.  She suggested that residents combine their three minutes in the interest of time.  She requested that if a speaker is duplicating what you would say, if you would be satisfied not to speak, you can just stand and announce that you are in favor of the previous speaker and that will be noted, and this will provide the Commission with a count of who is for or against.  She also reminded the speakers that she will be strict regarding the time limit and will cut speakers off when the light turns red.

Traffic Engineer’s Report

Traffic Engineer Rydell reminded the audience that the former Traffic Committee, now the Traffic Safety Commission, previously recommended speed humps in 2001; however, that was rejected by the City Council.  He reported that other alternatives were presented at that time and the Traffic Committee did not approve those because they felt that speed humps were the appropriate action.  Again, in 2002 speed humps were recommended by the Traffic Committee and rejected by the City Council.  In 2003, an extensive pilot program was implemented, and the reason this is presented again is that at the 2005 joint City Council/Traffic Safety Commission meeting the City Council specifically directed the Commission to re-evaluate this issue.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Staff took counts on Via Rivera between Rue De La Pierre essentially midway.  In 2001 there was an 85th percentile prevailing speed of 35-36 mph, one was northbound and one was southbound; 91% of the drivers were exceeding the speed limit with volumes of approximately 2300, and that is what initially prompted the Traffic Committee to believe that some action should be taken.  In October 2004, Staff again took information and found that the prevailing speed was 33 mph with 67% exceeding the speed limit with slightly higher volumes, which may have contributed to why the volumes were lower.  Based on the October 2004 information Staff again addressed this to confirm that the situation was the same.  Staff took counts the end of November and early December of 2006 and found a prevailing speed of 36 mph with 85% exceeding the speed limit and the volumes were down slightly.  In July 2006, the Traffic Safety Commission listened to a Staff report that listed four alternatives.  The Commission directed Staff to provide them to the community along Via Rivera within the subject limits that warranted speed humps.  Staff provided the alternatives to the community and the residents circulated a petition, which Staff has reviewed, and the petition indicated that of the 40 residences in that area on Via Rivera, 36 supported speed humps.

Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out on a slide that there is a stop sign at Hawthorne, Staff has recently installed all-way stops at Rue Valois, there are a couple of speed limit signs, and there is an all-way stop at Rue De La Pierre at the school.  He reported that farther north, Staff has recently installed all-way stops at Rue La Fleur and they have all-way stops at Via Rivera and Via Borica.  Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that the recommendations addressed in the petition that were supported by the residents were for three speed humps as shown on the slide and are all located on Via Rivera between Rue Valois and Rue De La Pierre.  As a comparison Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that when the speed hump issue went before the Traffic Committee and City Council five speed humps were recommended that that is now reduced to three.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Staff would like to recommend that the Commission accept the fact that they have a petition, signed and authenticated by Staff with the 36 of 40 residents supporting speed humps; consider the public comment which is to come, and present a recommendation to City Council requesting funding for design and construction of three speed humps.  He explained that from Staff’s position, the community on Via Rivera within the limits has satisfied the requirements of the City’s Traffic Calming Program for speed humps and that is why they are supporting it.

Commission Questions of Staff

 

Commissioner Willens asked, if the Commission were to approve asking Staff to go to City Council with a request for funding, that would leave it up to the Council to decide if they want to do it or not, and asked if he is correct.  He suggested that it is not a rubber stamp and all these people will be there and go through this again.

Traffic Engineer Rydell commented that this is what they did on Mira Vista.

Chair Shepherd asked why the petition boundaries are different from Mira Vista because this petition is only for the strip of homes between Rue Valois and Rue De La Pierre as opposed to the entire neighborhood or the entire length of Via Rivera, which is not within the Traffic Calming Program.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that Via Rivera followed the Traffic Calming Program.

Chair Shepherd stated that she is pointing out that the Traffic Calming Plan is a published document and for audience clarification, does this process go against what is in the booklet.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he does not believe it does.

Chair Shepherd explained that the previous Committee talked about this type of situation with Mira Vista, and people asked why the issue could not be narrowed down to just the street where speed humps would be installed as opposed to the entire community.  She reported that the Committee had a debate over it and they determined that the entire community had to be petitioned.  She suggested that this issue will be raised because they have a published book that they have asked the residents to utilize and this is what the Commission follows to help them with their petitions.  Chair Shepherd explained that Staff and the Traffic Committee visited Mira Vista and ended up expanding the petition because of the specialized demographics, everyone drives through all these streets and the Commission must know how all of them feel.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that it was a different situation and referred to Item 8 on page 5 of the Traffic Calming Plan and quoted, “A petition requesting traffic calming devices if signed by 60% of the property owners on the impacted block is submitted to the Public Works Department . . .” and commented that is what is considered a neighborhood.

Chair Shepherd commented that this is after the initial vote, and she was thinking of the initial petition where Mira Vista came into play, and the petition had to go throughout the entire community.

Members of the audience responded no, that it did not.

Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that the process was somewhat circumvented when the City Council recommended looking at this area one more time.

Chair Shepherd referred to Basswood and suggested that the entire street petitioned, not just a small block; that it is just important for the Commission to be consistent with City policy, not to say which one she prefers.

Traffic Engineer Rydell concurred, saying that he is very objective about this whole issue and he believes that according to that program it is the affected block where the traffic controls would be installed.

Chair Shepherd opened the Public Hearing.

John Westenhaver, 30902 Rue De La Pierre, stated that he supports calming of traffic on Via Rivera but he thinks everyone should be sure that the correct data from the correct time is being reviewed.  He explained that the notes he was given refer to some unacceptable speeds during some period, but it certainly was not during the period since the stop signs were installed.  To the best of his knowledge, Mr. Westenhaver stated that the stop signs were installed sometime in December or early January but he is not sure, but within the last 60 days.  He suggested that any data used to decide what will be done be current data consistent with the current environment.  Assuming that the data is still accurate, Mr. Westenhaver suggested installing another stop sign in the middle, or maybe two if necessary, to slow the drivers down.  He stated that he agrees completely with the need to slow them down.  He explained that he takes that road twice every day and sometimes more often and would hate to keep his teeth rattling in his head every time he goes over one of those bumps even at 20 mph or 15 mph.  Mr. Westenhaver suggested that Staff and the Commission examine the data and make sure it is current before making a decision.

Chair Shepherd asked when Staff installed the stop signs.

Traffic Engineer Rydell answered that the Commission approved the stop signs in October but he does not know when they were installed.

The response became a discussion with everyone talking at once and no one was audible.

Chair Shepherd explained that it is very hard for the Commission to make a decision based on November data if they do not know what effect those stop signs had on the numbers, and she cannot make a decision if she must base any part of her decision on that data.  She clarified for the audience that a stop sign is not a speed control device but just designates right-of-way, so installing a stop sign is not for reducing speed.  Chair Shepherd reiterated that the Commission could not make a decision until they have current data.

Mr. Westenhaver stated that it might help the kids going to school.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that there is 1400 feet between stop signs and he does not believe that anyone on this Commission, and certainly not any engineer, would say that the effect on speed of stop signs would extend for 700 feet in the middle of this; it does not happen.  Secondly, Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that if the Commission is not going to do anything until there is additional speed information, they are invalidating the petition circulated to the residents at the time the Commission asked them to circulate it.

Chair Shepherd asked when the Commission asked the residents to circulate the petition.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he believes it was in July.

Chair Shepherd stated she does not believe that invalidates the petition.

Traffic Engineer Rydell said now Chair Shepherd is saying that if the data comes back different, then traffic calming is not required now, and that invalidates the petition.

Commissioner Willens questioned whether it would affect the Commission’s decision-making as to what solutions should be implemented based upon the data; that conditions have obviously changed, and maybe ultimately it has not changed anything in the results, but it has obviously changed the conditions.  He explained that he is questioning whether that is something important for the Commission to know when deciding whether there should be speed humps installed, and that might in some part depend upon what has happened since the stop signs were installed.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the stop signs north of the school have no impact, and they are only talking about the stop signs at Rue Valois.  He pointed out that there are three separate years of data; 2001, 2004, and 2006 all show between 33 mph and 36 mph as the prevailing speed.

Chair Shepherd pointed out that they were all before the installation of the stop signs.

Traffic Engineer Rydell considered that if Staff takes the data again, one of two things would happen.  He is hearing public interest that Chair Shepherd is correct that the data may have changed.  He questioned that if it does not change, does that mean that that argument goes out the window.

Chair Shepherd said that of course it does if the data does not change, but how do they know that without new data.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that Staff will take more counts; but this Commission instructed Staff and the community to proceed with the petition process in August, and they did that; now she is saying fine, but until the Commission gets more data they cannot make a decision and that does not make a lot of sense to him.

Chair Shepherd stated that she understands that, but if this was on the agenda in January there should have been time since the installation of stop signs to get the information to the Commission tonight so they would not have to ask for it.  She added that she does not know when they were installed, but if they were installed in December and Staff knew this item was coming up on the January agenda and they were going to give the Commission data to make a decision on, was there enough time, even with the holidays.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that he was in the same situation as she is; he does not know the exact date that the signs were installed.

Chair Shepherd stated, based on comments from the audience, that it was sometime in December, and again asked if there was enough time to get more data.

Traffic Engineer Rydell commented that it was a different situation, and that school was out.

Commissioner Bilezerian referred to recommendation one in the Staff report of July 24, 2006, “Acknowledge the previous traffic calming recommendation including five speed humps and additional all-way stop controls.” and asked if all of the recommendations that were acknowledged have been installed; both the humps and the all-way stop controls.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that the all-way stops have been installed.

Commissioner Bilezerian stated that there is a previous recommendation in the Staff report of July 24, 2006 to do humps and all-way stops and the Commission separated the all-way stops out and implemented that.  He explained that Staff has not installed the humps, so there is no impact positively on speed control in these areas, so that recommendation has been stalled, and asked if that is correct.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it is correct.

Commissioner Bilezerian suggested that the Commission has not seen the result of the previous recommendation.  He suggested that the feasibility of recommendation two in the July 24, 2006 Staff report, “Consider the feasibility of the following traffic calming options . . .” referring to subheadings ‘a’ through ‘d’., and asked if the Commission considers those to be additional traffic calming options that were mentioned in recommendation three “Consider Public Comment on additional traffic calming options”.

Chair Shepherd pointed out to clear up the confusion that Commissioner Bilezerian is referring to recommendations in a previous Staff report on circle page 17, and clarified for the audience that the Commission is considering the recommendations for January 29, 2007 on circle page 15.  Chair Shepherd explained that she is not saying that this would hinder the Commission necessarily from making a decision; it is just that they would like to have the current data at some point also.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that if that were the case, the best approach would be for Staff to get the data and present it at the next meeting.

Commissioner Willens asked if the Commission is trying to make incremental steps and if something works in the first step there is no reason to go to step five, and suggested waiting to see what happens in step one, and then if it did not work go to step two.  He stated he does not think it changes the petition at all; it was signed, Staff has the petition, and no one is going to request another petition.  Commissioner Willens explained that he just wants to know if the stop signs are working.  He stated that he is not suggesting that the residents submit another petition.

Chair Shepherd asked for a show of hands of how many people are in favor of or against the installation of the speed humps on Via Rivera.

A show of hands indicated 36 members of the audience were in favor of speed humps and one against.

Chair Shepherd asked how many live within the range from Rue Valois to Rue De La Pierre on Via Rivera.

A member of the audience responded that they all live there.

Chair Shepherd asked if they all signed the petition.

One member of the audience responded that he did not sign the petition.

Commissioner Bilezerian questioned that 36 out of 40 signed the petition and someone called it a split.

Chair Shepherd explained the history of this issue for the new Commissioners.  She stated that the Traffic Committee recommended five speed humps for Via Rivera.  The recommendation went to the Council and they heard public comments from residents beyond the boundaries in question.  She explained that the Council did not approve the speed humps and wanted the Traffic Committee to come back with other options and recommended enforcement, which only worked when the Deputies were present.  She explained that when there was no visible traffic control present, the traffic pattern started up again.  The issue came back to the Traffic Committee for additional mitigation to see if they could control and move traffic differently, which resulted in a recommendation for stop signs to help the pattern and make it safer for the children, and that is where the Commission is today.

Commissioner Bilezerian reconfirmed that 36 out of 40 residents on the impacted block signed a petition in favor of speed humps, which is well over the 60% required by the guidelines in the Traffic Calming Plan.  He quoted from the document, “If a petition requesting traffic calming devices is signed by 60% of the property owners on the impacted block is submitted to the Public Works Department, preliminary engineering plans and cost estimates for the traffic calming devices will be prepared by the Public Works Department”.  Commissioner Bilezerian stated that if the Commission accepts the petition in Recommendation 1, it does not say anything about considering what is in Recommendation 2, which essentially directs the Commission to go with Recommendations 3 and 4; and he asked if that is correct.

Chair Shepherd said yes, with one exception, which is that City Council is adamant that the Commission should receive public comment on every issue.  She explained that even though they have followed these guidelines the Commission must hear public comment, so the Commission does not necessarily have to hear from all 36 who signed the petition and are in favor of speed humps because the Commission already knows that.  However, she explained, the Commission does have to hear from everyone else who wants to speak in favor of or against the installation.  She emphasized and clarified that the Commission will listen to all speakers, whether they signed the petition or not.

John Werner, 30840 Via Rivera, explained that he and his wife moved onto Via Rivera in 2005 and he understands the concerns of some that a stop sign was just installed and they should wait and see what impact it has on the traffic.  He explained that he lives almost exactly half way between the two stop signs, and the cars still go speeding by at an excessive rate of speed through that neighborhood.  Mr. Werner stated that he understands that speed humps are really a pain in the neck to people with respect to emergency vehicles, but suggested that they have to balance the interests here, especially considering the overturned vehicle a couple of weeks ago.  He described that the car literally turned itself upside down, went straight through the intersection, and had their been a kid there or had it been during the day, someone would be dead.  He explained that it was not some punk teenager; it was a 22-year-old man, and he thinks the people who are opposed to the speed humps are more concerned about having easy and quick access to Hawthorne Boulevard than they are to issues concerning fire trucks and other things of that nature.  Mr. Werner asked the Commission to please install the speed humps because he is watching cars speed past his house and he is just waiting for the day when some little kid is hit.

Joe Kotlanski, 7236 Berryhill Drive, explained that he has lived there for 45 years and he applauds slowing down traffic.  He stated that he has seen Berryhill go from a dirt road to a dead-end street that ended up at the top of Berryhill where it was turned into a lot, and since then traffic has gone rapidly.  Mr. Kotlanski pointed out the location of his home on the slide and explained the route of traffic, saying that they come up Berryhill “like a shot out of hell” and they go down Berryhill the same way.  He asked the Commission to please help them on Berryhill; that forty years ago there were many children there and the street ended at Via Victoria; now they get all of the traffic that’s slowed down and all the people that do not like this and they come whizzing down Berryhill.  He reported that at Via Lorado, there is a very steep curve with many cliffs, so drivers use Berryhill.  He stated that he is asking the Commission to do something about Berryhill along with the rest of the issues.  He explained that when he left home tonight at sundown, and he does not know who did it, there were two portable stop signs directly in front of his house; one going up the street and one coming down the street.  He asked who put them there, adding that they are City stop signs and someone put them there after the sun went down.  Mr. Kotlanski suggested that the Commission could slow down traffic in the area without pinching it down so drivers cannot go, but not doing it at the expense of everyone else, and especially those on Berryhill.  He stated that they have a very high volume of traffic there and it is also a conduit for vandalism, saying that this past weekend a group came and broke windows in the cars all along the street on Berryhill.  He stated that if the Commission is going to slow traffic down on one side, they should slow it down on the other side too, and he is for the fact that the Commission is stopping them.

Bea Feldman, 30727 Via Rivera south of Rue De La Pierre, stated that the residents heard the accident; that she is up at 4:00 am and traffic starts about that time and ranges from about 35 mph to at least 60 mph and this is every single day.  She explained that she has actually sat in her kitchen where she can see the stop sign and this is what happens on a daily basis.  Ms. Feldman stated that she is in favor of speed humps.

Russ Urban, 30808 Via Rivera, reported that the struggle to calm traffic on Via Rivera began in 1995; since then, there have been parked cars totaled, cats killed, and close calls for residents.  He explained that at the last meeting in July 2006, many reasons for speed humps on Via Rivera were discussed, and he reviewed briefly the more important reasons for humps.  Mr. Urban reported that since February 28, 2003 there has been nine accidents, four of which and possibly five were due to speed.  He explained that a resident of lower Via Rivera will be going over their latest accident in detail and they have a picture of the overturned vehicle beside the sign advertising pizza Friday night for the kids, at the school and where people walk their dogs, and two hours later somebody is dead.  Mr. Urban explained that after the last accident he talked with a neighbor who lives above the affected area who commented, “Can you believe this happened in our neighborhood.”  Mr. Urban reported that 13 of 19 citations issued from April 21 to May 5 were for drivers living on Via Borica, Via Rivera, and Rue De La Pierre; that overall during the pilot enforcement program the approximate percentage of citations for the local area was 56%, and Sheriff’s Deputies issued a total of 71 citations.  Mr. Urban reported that one of the residents of upper Via Rivera totaled a parked car on a straightaway portion of Via Rivera on March 2004 due to inattentive speed and driving.  Alvin Loi (phonetic), a construction engineer, determined that his speed was between 34 mph and 36 mph; had speed humps been installed at the time, considering that the average reduction in speed with humps installed is a little over seven mph, evasive action could have taken place and the accident would have been avoided.  Mr. Urban suggested that some might say that this accident was an aberration, but he does not think nine accidents in this amount of time is an aberration.  He stated that the residents appreciate the speed enforcement given by the Lomita Sheriff’s, especially Officer Knox, but they cannot be on Via Rivera all the time, but after they leave, the speeds creep up.  He referred to a question at the last meeting about the effect of speed humps; a study done by the neighborhood traffic management shows that speed humps reduce speed an average of 7.3 mph with a 79% public satisfaction rate.  He referred to a Palos Verdes News editorial stating that humps are not everyone’s favorite choice, but they may be the best in an imperfect world.  Mr. Urban referred to a book by Dan Burton entitled “Streets, sidewalks, people, and cars; the System’s guide to traffic calming” saying that traffic calming is an investment in the community, and in this government-funded book it is stated that speed humps are best used where problems are very localized and can be controlled with this single measure.  Mr. Urban stated that the residents have compromised from their original request for five humps down to three and they request that the Commission give them back a safe neighborhood.  Mr. Urban explained that he teaches third grade and they have discussed communities for kids, and he would like their street to be part of a real community, a real neighborhood.  He emphasized that it is very important that the Commission approve these because they will make a huge difference in their lives.

Tracy Shannon, 30152 Via Borica, commented that Via Rivera is the only exit to Hawthorne Boulevard in the entire community.  She suggested that the addition of the two stop signs on that street might actually help the speeding even though it is not a huge deterrent.  She stated that drivers could not actually hit 50 mph from a dead stop within 250 feet unless they have a Ferrari or something.  Ms. Shannon expressed agreement that most of the neighborhood is actually acknowledging the fact that it is a neighborhood street and an exit street, and they are doing their best to make sure that they are being safe about this.  She acknowledged that it is a public street and the many events on weekends cause much traffic in and out of the area.  Ms. Shannon explained that her main reason for being here is concern for the increased time involved for emergency vehicles to access the neighborhood.  She has heard statements about it not being much time, but ten seconds for each speed bump can actually result in a delay of a person getting medical care when they are exiting the neighborhood after they have picked up a patient in the ambulance.  She believes that if Staff does another speed report, referring to the data with the additional stop signs, the data may or may not be the same, but she believes it is only fair to see if those two additional stop signs actually help with traffic control in their neighborhood.

Caroline Vierzba, 30706 Rue De La Pierre, stated that she has been at this address for 29 years and at the time they purchased their home, they realized that they were living on the corner across from Point Vicente.  She explained that with living on that street comes a lot of things that residents consider as a family in the community, including the traffic that is parked there on the weekends for soccer games; but they purchased that home knowing there would be traffic issues and those are things that they took as part of their home.  She suggested that for those in a particular neighborhood to allow 40 people on this short street dictate what is to be the primary artery into their neighborhood for emergency vehicles she believes is unjust for them as taxpayers.  Ms. Vierzba stated that she is vehemently opposed to speed humps and she speaks for her neighbor.  She explained that her home was not included in the petition and she lives on the corner; that she too is up at 4:30 am, and she does not see any traffic on that street in the morning with the exception of maybe four or five cars and the morning newspapers.  She stated that as far as traffic, there are some cars that do not stop at the intersection and that has been going on for 29 years, but as far as excessive speed she thinks that the new stop signs need to be taken into consideration.  She stated that traffic has slowed down but there will always be people who are speeding; and when talking about speed, why just stop at one block, why not go around Rue La Fleur and Rue Valois since there is speeding and accidents there too and a student was killed on Rue La Fleur.  Mr. Vierzba requested that the Commission consider the other people who live in that same community who are taxpayers.  She suggested that the people on Via Rivera knew when they bought their home that there would be traffic coming up and down that street, it is a given and they cannot get away from it.

Chair Shepherd asked that speakers express their preference for or against speed humps.

Cathy Shweiri, 30515 Rue De La Pierre, stated that she is all for safety and slower speeds, but she is definitely against the speed humps.  She explained that although speed humps are not intended to divert traffic they will divert a certain percentage of traffic into other roadways within their neighborhood.  She stated that at this time they have traffic congestion on Rue De La Pierre because it is the entrance to the elementary school; that she and her husband took into this into consideration when moving into this neighborhood.  She explained that everyone just deals with the amount of congestion.  However, she explained that any addition to this congestion might also lead to equally hazardous traffic safety issues.  She suggested that what the Commission should think about is not so much throwing out the baby with the bath water, but looking at the entire picture and any potential for problems on the neighboring streets.  She suggested that they should not be shortsighted and look at this one particular street; that at this time they should take a look at all of the streets, how they are connected, how traffic patterns flow, and consider safety issues that may result in the future so they are looking at everything as a whole.  She explained that she would like the Commission to look at it now.  Ms. Shweiri stated that she was not aware that Recommendation 4 was the actual item and that islands in the center of the street was out of consideration and she is not sure why that is or if it can be brought back for consideration.  She explained that the traffic flow is coming down from Via Borica at an increased speed because it is a straightaway to the all-way stops at Via Rivera and Rue De La Pierre and suggested that intersection has enough room for one of the mini traffic circles to let people know they are coming to a stop.  Ms. Shweiri concluded saying that she just does not want everyone to be shortsighted and to consider all the safety issues.

Commissioner Wright asked that if Staff did a traffic calming study on this entire neighborhood, and the decision at the conclusion of the study was that traffic would be diverted down Ms. Shweiri’s street and the solution was speed humps on her street, would that be acceptable to her, or is she against speed humps as a whole.

Cathy Shweiri responded that the way the streets are she does not see that as coming up as an issue, and if it did she would have to consider it then based on all the previous information, studies, and facts.  She stated that she does not even think that would be realistic but if it is she would have to look at the statistics then.  She added that, based on Option 4 in the report of January 29, 2007 on circle page 16 (installation of landscaped center islands), she recognized that there were extensive costs involved.  However, she stated that if their primary concern were truly safety, she would like them to put their money where their heart is and where their priorities are, and if it is safety then let us look at safety.

Chair Shepherd asked if Traffic Engineer Rydell can address the issue as mentioned, and what other types of engineering devices have been considered and were removed from consideration.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff did not recommend speed humps.  He stated that they recommended four options that the Via Rivera community could consider including enhanced enforcement, installation of high visibility edgeline striping to visually narrow the roadway in an attempt to slow down traffic, installation of three speed humps, and installation of a series of landscaped islands from Rue Valois north to the school that would physically narrow the roadway so that drivers would have to go around them.  He explained that the islands do the same things horizontally that speed humps do vertically.  Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that all four of those options were discussed with the Traffic Safety Commission; the Board of the HOA agreed that any of the four would have been acceptable to the residents, and at that point Staff turned it over to the Via Rivera residents to decide what they wanted to do.  He pointed out that Staff did not have a vested interest in any of the options.

Cathy Shweiri stated that her one suggestion was to install a mini circle in an area where it was proposed earlier.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff uses mini circles at intersections, and he believes that Staff did originally consider one at Rue Valois, and when stop signs were installed, there was absolutely no purpose for a mini circle.

Cathy Shweiri clarified that she is talking about the four-way stop at Rue De La Pierre and Via Rivera.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that Staff does not put in a traffic signal where they already have the all-way stops.

Chair Shepherd suggested that Ms. Shweiri call Traffic Engineer Rydell and he can explain outside the meeting.

Commissioner Mevers suggested that everyone is in agreement that speed control is needed, and the real argument is whether to do it with speed humps or not.

George Shweiri, 30515 Rue De La Pierre, stated that he is against speed humps.  He explained that when they moved into the neighborhood they understood there would be a lot of traffic coming from the school across the street, and there is quite a bit of traffic especially in the morning and at dismissal.  He stated that he understands the safety issue, and the impact on safety would be on emergency vehicles trying to get into the neighborhood as well as diversion of cars that will come off Via Rivera and possibly Hawthorne Boulevard to the school.  He believes that there will be less traffic coming up Via Rivera, coming down Hawthorne, coming up Palos Verdes Drive West, and coming into their neighborhood just to bypass the speed humps.  He suggested that if Staff installs speed humps they may or may not slow things down, but drivers will be redirected to the other side of the neighborhood and create another problem.

Beverly Dunn, 30470 Via Rivera, stated that she is against speed humps.  She referred to the 36 of 40 residents on the impacted block and stated that this is what the petition covers; however, she said this street is a major artery for the entire neighborhood.  She explained that she does not have a viable solution for getting out of the neighborhood other than staying home.  Ms. Dunn referred to a petition circulated by the neighbors other than those 40 homes within the past few years and they collected 200 plus votes against speed humps, and she does not believe that included the entire community that was affected, only a few of the streets.  She suggested that this should be a significant factor considered; that it is not just the people in the subject location, it is the citizens of the community; they are severely impacted, and they do not want speed humps.  Ms. Dunn reiterated that the Council has vetoed this issue a couple of times already, and as a resident of the community she feels like this is mental harassment, and she does not understand why they continue to expend energy and resources on the issue that has been rejected by a resounding number of residents.  Ms. Dunn suggested that when the Sheriff’s Deputies are present the citations and ticketing would increase.  She asked when is significant ticketing and when is significant traffic business extreme, commenting on soccer games, the school, and the fact that Via Rivera is used by many residents.  She asked what is the definition of significant, and she asked relatively speaking what they are discussing.  Ms. Dunn asked the Commission to consider those who use the street on a daily basis who have so far not been counted and to her that is unjust.
Chair Shepherd explained that the Commission is obligated to review this issue and bring their findings to the City Council after their recommendations.  She reported that the Council actually decided on additional targeted enforcement and asked that at the end of the enforcement period the Commission review the results and discuss it with the community again and come back with additional recommendations.  Chair Shepherd explained that this is why Ms. Dunn finds herself here today.  She reminded the speaker that the Council requested this process due to the fact that so many of the residents who attended the Council meeting had objections to the five speed humps on Via Rivera.  She explained that the Council wanted to try something else because they listened and wanted the Commission to try to find something that most of the residents could agree upon, and that is what the Commission is trying to do now.

Ms. Dunn stated that it seems that over the years the single focus is speed humps only.

Anthony Nagy, 30432 Via Victoria, stated that he is against the speed humps.  Mr. Nagy stated that if the Commission looks at the July Minutes, the City has implemented something that looks like one of the alternatives that came out of that session.  He stated that he would like to second some of the thoughts heard here that the City has not even tried to see how well this works yet; that they need to have the traffic department get some data so that the residents understand what to do.  Mr. Nagy ventured to say that the numbers would look a lot better than what he saw up there in the past, and he urged the Commission, before they make a decision, to look very carefully at that data and see what it tells them.  Mr. Nagy explained that the other point he would like to make has to do with the petitions.  He suggested that it looks to him like the latest petition was cherry-picked because it did not come around his house.  He suggested that the numbers were probably biased because it represents that small group of people who drive around the area where the speed humps are proposed.  Mr. Nagy stated that people in the other neighborhoods, as they heard from previous speakers, are also impacted and they want to have a voice in the decision.  Mr. Nagy stated that he appreciates the groups giving them the opportunity to give another side of the issue.

Brent Goodrich, 30143 Via Rivera, stated that he is opposed to speed humps.  Mr. Goodrich reiterated that this issue has come up many times before and was voted down by the City Council three times, and he suggested they ask themselves why that happened.  He suggested that the answer to that question is that once the greater community of more than 250 homeowners, all of whom use Via Rivera, have learned that this is in the offing they have turned out en masse before the City Council to strenuously voice their objections.  He stated that the City Council has wisely understood that this is not a fair solution for the community at large.  Mr. Nagy explained that he has spoken to the City Council about this, so he can say that.  He stated that the City Council and the residents of Via Rivera are not the only ones who are opposed to this.  He explained that the Fire Department of this City told the City in response to one of the earlier rounds of this:  “The ways that speed humps potentially impact the survival rate of critically ill patients suffering from medical emergencies such as heart attack, drowning, choking, and trauma may also reduce one’s chance of being rescued by a structure fire.  Speed humps cause further injury to certain patients transferring by ambulances.  Speed humps and civil measures cause injury to firefighters and damage to firefighters vehicles.”  Mr. Goodrich stated that that is a safety issue for the firefighters as well as the hundreds of residents who live upstream from the speed humps and that should be taken into account as well.  Regarding the process, Mr. Nagy stated that it is surprising to him, as a battle-scarred veteran of this process, that the first inkling he had about what appears to be a year-long process is a card he received Friday (January 26, 2007) afternoon at 3:00 pm, postmarked Thursday.  Mr. Nagy submitted to the Commission that Staff says, “Furthermore, the recommendations presented here require a public input and consensus-building process.”  He stated that it restarted from the beginning and that is what they said in July.  Mr. Nagy asked why is it that hundreds of homeowners more than the 36 received no notice whatsoever until Friday and said that is not fair.  He suggested that Staff has known for years that the much larger community feels strongly about this.  He expressed agreement with the Chair that this matter, the petition, should have been circulated to the entire area, and someone said that it affects the block.  Mr. Nagy said if they look at the diagram, how many of the 36 that signed will be impacted fully by these three speed humps—they are not, at best a couple of homes.  He suggested that the people who would be affected by the speed humps are the hundreds of others who got no notice until Friday.  Mr. Nagy suggested that what Staff should do is gather the data regarding the effect of the stop signs, prepare this matter, and give appropriate notice to the entire community.

Commissioner Wright stated that Mr. Nagy and several previous speakers made reference to the issues of the Fire Department and asked if he has the name of someone so that the Commission can see that data.

Mr. Nagy reported that his wife contacted the Fire Department today and she was told that they were going to come forward with a letter.

Chair Shepherd explained that at the meeting with the City Council, the Fire Department was present and spoke to the City Council and they, the Fire Department, is against speed humps for those reasons.  She explained that the information should be available from the Battalion Chief.  She explained that for some time the Fire Department had no policy but now they do have a policy on whether they recommend speed humps.

Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that Staff does notify residents in the areas of upcoming meetings when the Traffic Safety Commission directs them to do so.  However, he explained that Staff sends notices to residents after the Commissioners receive the agenda packets.  He explained that typically the packets are delivered Tuesday through Thursday to the Commissioners, which means that the notification of the public meeting would follow that, probably the day following delivery.

Mr. Nagy stated that the card was postmarked Thursday.

Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that the agenda packets were delivered Wednesday to the Commission so following City policy this is when Staff mails notification of public meetings.

Mr. Nagy noted that the website states that if anyone sends a comment by e-mail it should be sent by 5:00 pm on Thursday, and residents did not get the notice until the day after.

Chair Shepherd reminded the audience that “Listserv” is also available if the residents have e-mail, and they can sign up to be notified of areas of interest and they will automatically receive a notice of pending meetings or public hearing announcements.  Chair Shepherd explained that there were some timetable issues; the Staff report was not online in a timely manner and was not available until today.

Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that the Information Technology Department had a problem.

Chair Shepherd expressed agreement with Mr. Nagy that this is unacceptable, and explained that it was an electronic problem.  She stated that she would make a note of it and see what can be done.

Commissioner Mevers suggested that the answer is to put this hearing over one meeting so that everyone can attend.

Joe Kotlanski, asked if Staff got answers to why the portable stop signs were placed on Berryhill in the middle of the street.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that it could be because of the windstorm and the crews just have not been out to install the permanent signs, and asked if they were permanent signs.

Mr. Kotlanski explained that they were in front of his house in front of the driveway in the middle of the street, five houses from the corner.

Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that Staff would have someone out there tomorrow.

Chair Shepherd suggested that Mr. Kotlanski call Senior Engineer Dragoo tomorrow or talk with him after the meeting.

Peter Hoorelback, 30935 Via Rivera, stated that he has lived on Via Rivera for about 30 years and he spends time yelling at drivers to slow down.  He explained that he had three little kids who are all grown now so that is not a big problem for him, but he was worried all the time when they were babies.  Mr. Hoorelback pointed out his home on the slide and stated that the stop sign was installed and in front of his home, the traffic has slowed down, and he pointed out the problem area where drivers pick up speed as if it was Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.  He stated that he is sympathetic to the residents because he would not want all this school traffic.  Mr. Hoorelback explained that he knew there would be traffic when he moved in and he was ok with that; that it is how fast drivers are going.  He stated that a traffic signal would be excellent at the intersection of Via Rivera and Hawthorne, saying that he would invite anyone to try and make a left turn on Hawthorne during peak hours with traffic traveling at 60 mph when you cannot see out there because there is a right-turn lane.  Mr. Hoorelback stated that he does not want speed humps; he does not know what he wants there, but he is very sensitive to the residents.  He stated that the problem is the coffee, cell phones, and let’s get out of school for various reasons, they speed down the street, and he pointed out the location on the slide.

Daniel Quintiliani, 30817 Via Rivera, stated that he is for speed humps and he lives on Via Rivera; he presented what he said was probably the most up to date and poignant data in the form of a photo of the vehicle that overturned.  He explained that at 4:00 am, there is no police officer in that neighborhood and stop signs will not slow people down.  He thinks there is only one thing that will, and that is the speed humps.  Mr. Quintiliani paraphrased from a letter written by his neighbor, Verdo Miketi, who said in no way could a 25 mph car shear off a fire hydrant, shear off a street sign, shear down a palm tree, and shear off the left front wheel of a car; he stated that the damage to the car is shown in the photo.  He stated that the only thing that will prevent speeding down Via Rivera is speed humps.

Bill Shurmer, 32468 Sea Raven Drive, stated that he is for the speed humps.  He said when he left the Traffic Committee, and he was on the Committee for seven years, he thought he would probably never be speaking in this room again.  However, he feels that Via Rivera was short-changed; that in his deliberations in not only months, but years, that he spent reviewing Via Rivera he sat on that street every time of day and put a speed gun on it with Traffic Engineer Rydell to look at traffic.  He explained that what brings him back today is the one issue that was before the Committee in all those years.  Mr. Shurmer stated that he saw convenience win out over safety, and that brings him back here today.  He offered to enlighten some folks regarding stop sign issues, explaining that a stop sign is used at streets where there is very little through traffic at the end.  He suggested that unfortunately, when people see a stop sign they feel that if there is no traffic they can start going through it, and they start going through them faster and faster, sometimes almost 25 mph.  He suggested that the stop sign and the speed humps dovetail with each other; if someone goes up the hill through the stop sign and they see the speed hump, that will slow them back down because if they make that they start speeding down through the straightaway.  Mr. Shurmer pointed that they have a straightaway and a school zone and it is a lethal situation as indicated by the numbers produced on Via Rivera.  He referred to comments on emergency response and he is still sympathetic so he started calling and asking questions of many people.  He asked not only about the bodily injury possibility, but also about the damage to the vehicle, and not one time, even though the Fire Department said this in front of the City Council, did they ever state that they could give him data that showed a vehicle damaged by speed humps.  Also, he explained that while they are concerned that the vehicle will be slowed down, his question if there was any bodily injury as a result of speed humps the answer was no.  Mr. Shurmer referred to who is impacted, and stated that everyone is impacted.  He explained that if speed humps are installed and you know the speed limit is 25 or 30 mph with speed humps installed, as are the ones in Mira Vista, you would not be impacted because you will be going the speed limit.  He stated that the only way you would be impacted is if you speed, and therein is the reason for traffic calming.  Mr. Shurmer stated that it is for these reasons, if this Traffic Safety Commission does not either continue this or turn it down, he recommends that they move it forward to the City Council for approval; and again the reason is that safety must be the primary concern.

Tom Redfield, 31273 Ganado Drive, explained that he is speaking now as the Chair of their Citywide Coalition, and he is not going to change anyone’s opinion tonight he feels sure because speed humps are one of the most emotional issues in the City probably, certainly as far as traffic.  Mr. Redfield offered some perspective, saying that he heard the same comments for two years on Mira Vista; that it would reduce the values of the homes, they were dangerous, they would wreck the cars, they would jar people, they would hold up the fire equipment, they would divert traffic, and on and on.  For your information he explained, their goal was to oppose speed humps for the first two or three years when the City Council was turning them down.  In his opinion, the Council turned them down because the area was almost evenly split and they preferred to see if there were alternatives.  Mr. Redfield stated that he has been out there six times with the traffic enforcement Deputies for an hour or two, and there was more enforcement there than in any other area of the City except for the major arteries and it has not worked.  He expressed agreement with Mr. Shurmer’s statement about stop signs and drivers rolling through them when no one is around and it only slows them down a little in the immediate area.  Mr. Redfield suggested that the residents are looking for some magic solution, but at some point his suggestion is to consider what he thinks is the finest traffic expert with soul, who does not live in their City but works here and studies these things and has years of experience.  Mr. Redfield explained that Barry Hildebrand served with Bill Shurmer and they always went through years of study and that was the best solution.  He stated that he totally supports the idea that if you are following the speed limit you can go over the humps on Mira Vista.  He stated that they are different from the ones on Basswood, and one of the reasons Mira Vista fought so hard against them was because they were looking at the Basswood humps which jar drivers and slow them down to 10 mph and they are too steep.  He explained that the enforcement and stop signs were tried and they were getting more enforcement than any other community in the City; the cars travel so fast that they cut across the center line, go through the stop signs, and on and on.  Mr. Redfield stated that his only suggestion is that he listened for two years to Mira Vista, it was very emotional, and they said exactly the same things.  He reported that the speed humps were installed and for the last year, he has been going up and down every one of the streets.  He stated that there has not been a single peep to his knowledge or that has been reported.  He stated that the Fire Department has always had a policy that they do not like speed humps but if everything else was tried, they are now supportive and have had no problems he is aware of with Mira Vista.  If there is diversion going on they put speed humps on a couple other main streets and it solved the problem.  Again, Mr. Redfield stated, he understands emotions; there were hundreds of people screaming at each other for two years and there has not been a peep and it has worked out wonderfully, and he just hopes the Commission will go ahead and approve it now.

Commissioner Bilezerian left the meeting at approximately 9:15 pm.

RECESS AND RECONVENE:

The Commission recessed at 9:40 pm and reconvened at 9:54 pm.

The public hearing continued.

Frank Glaser, 30184 Via Rivera, stated that he is against speed humps.  Mr. Glaser explained that he started on this issue and the traffic signal in the 1990s and he is for safe traffic control and he understands the problems.  He reported that he has talked with the Fire Department and stressed that the Fire Department would have an effect on him and his wife; that he is 73 years old, has blocked arteries, and his doctor advised him not to get into this thing.  Mr. Glaser stated that if he dies because they cannot get in or out, he and his wife would not be happy.  He emphasized that it is an important issue to them; that there are 250 to 300 houses in that area and they have talked about Via Rivera being the main egress, and suggested that these issues relating to speed humps on one block of Via Rivera are typical of speeds all the way around.  Mr. Glaser asked that the Commission extend the study not just to Berryhill.  He wants it to cover the rest of Via Rivera and every street that exits out of there because he truly believes Staff will find the same thing.  He suggested then going through the rest of Rancho Palos Verdes because they all have the same problems.  He suggested that it is an issue that cannot be resolved in this small way with three speed humps; that the last time he checked $65,000 has been spent on this issue and that was a while back, and is probably much more since that time.  He explained that he has been working on this for all these years and the dollars have been clicking by, and the street light that he wanted could have been in there a long time ago and that would have maybe saved additional lives.  Mr. Glaser asked that the City not do something they will regret later; that when Mr. Shurmer said that Mira Vista has been fine since their speed humps were installed it is because people give up; he is ready to give up because he does not want to get sick over this.

Commissioner Wright suggested supposing that a traffic calming study were done and as a result of that study speed humps were going to be installed on his street, would he accept that.

Mr. Glaser responded that if he was a Commissioner he would say yes; as a resident his answer is not no, but hell no, because he would not want them if he lived there.  He also said don’t even think of putting that little circular thing in there because drivers will just run through there and everything else.

Ken Denefl, 30802 Via Rivera, stated that the 36 residents who signed the petition are the people who will be subjected to the bumps, and they all said yes.  The other people who live up the hill will not have the bumps and do not want them.  He explained that the 36 residents will be the ones who see and hear the bumps if drivers speed, and they are the ones who volunteered to suffer.  He reported that the Japanese government owns the other four houses.

Ann Shaw, 30026 Via Borica, stated that she continues to oppose speed humps.  She reported that she has lived in this area for 40 years and during that time she served on the Planning Commission for three years as their first Chair and on the City Council for six years.  She reported that she is stating that because she has been through an awful lot of traffic discussions also, so she appreciates what the Commission and Staff is doing and she understands.  Ms. Shaw explained that when this issue first came up and to her attention, she counted the homes above the intersection of Rue De La Pierre and Via Rivera.  She reported that there are over 400 homes, not people but homes, in the extended area, and she does not believe she even counted the houses on Via Loredo or Berryhill because they would not increase, in her estimation, what would be coming down Via Rivera.  She commented that it is a huge neighborhood.  Ms. Shaw referred to the Fire Department issue and read from the LAFD Code, Section C. “Speed humps shall not be located on a thoroughfare which impacts an area servicing 75 homes or residential units”.  Ms. Shaw reported that like many of her neighbors, she is over 65 years old, statistically Rancho Palos Verdes has 20% 55 or older, and in the 2000 census, they expect this to be 30%.  She stated that they have many old people up there who may need emergency vehicles and they do not want the delay.  Ms. Shaw reported that she was involved in the collection of signatures in the area; they collected 225 signatures, but did not canvass the entire area, that it was almost 100% of people on Via Borica, Via Rivera, and some of Via Victoria, considering most of the streets that come down in the subject direction.  Ms. Shaw stated that she talked with the Sheriff a couple of years ago to ask about accidents and was told there were no accidents on Via Rivera, although there may have been some since then, but the only accident he knew about was one at the corner of Hawthorne and Via Rivera.

Kathy Anderson, 30219 Via Rivera, stated that she is against speed humps, and she dittos the arguments of those who are opposed.  She referred to the schools and the traffic, reporting that there is a Montessori school, and she thinks that for the good of everyone they need that stop light because of the schools and the traffic compounding people trying to leave their main exit on Via Rivera.  Ms. Anderson suggested that there is much more of a drastic accident there because there will usually be multiple people in the car with children being carried back and forth.  Ms. Anderson stated that she is all for Mr. Glaser’s argument that, instead of spending this money over and over again about studying the speed humps, that the Commission consider the stop light instead.  She referred to the unfortunate car accident that is being used as an example of the danger of speed in the section that wants the speed humps.  She stated that it happened at 4:30 am and asked if anyone knows what happened to that kid, suggesting that maybe he fell asleep, maybe he had too much to drink.  She thinks this could happen up on her section of Via Rivera too.  She suggested that the traffic signal could be timed for peak periods when school starts and ends and residents are leaving and returning from work.  Other residents asked her to tell the Commission to have it timed correctly for the dangerous time.

Otis Wright, 30420 Via Victoria, stated that he is against speed humps primarily for reasons discussed by John Westenhaver who indicated that the climate has changed and a lot of this is based on an engineering study that was done in preparation for the July 2006 Commission meeting.  He reported that since then they have stop signs all up and down Via Rivera, and it is time for a new study.  Mr. Wright explained that from what he understands this is the question, and he referred to Recommendation 1, “Accept the petition . . .”  He explained that he is not sure that is the purpose of the petition as he understands it from the Traffic Calming Plan, paragraph 6, Engineering Analysis, “If 60% of the impacted residents request additional traffic analysis, then a neighborhood traffic study will be prepared with a review of accident history . . .”  Mr. Wright stated that that is all that this should be about, just an additional study, which is what the first speaker requested in light of the changed circumstances.  Mr. Wright stated that another item he would like to mention, aside from due process arguments if 36 homes can affect 400 homes, is the unintended and unexpected impact speed humps, coupled with these stop signs, is going to cause on Berryhill.  He suggested that drivers will avoid ingress and egress from Via Rivera and simply use Berryhill, which is a much more dangerous roadway; it is steeper, it is “S” shaped, and the sight lines are much more obscure that they are on Via Rivera.  Mr. Wright suggested that there will be a danger of increased traffic on Berryhill, and by diverting traffic to Berryhill, he thinks the City will create problems.

Greg L. Reinhardt, 30829 Via Rivera, stated that he is in favor of everyone who has been for and against this whole thing ever since 1999 when he first became involved.  He stated that he is for speed humps, including the one that will be in front of his house.  Mr. Reinhardt explained that not only has traffic grown, the vehicles have grown in size and horsepower and are loaded with every distraction that can be bought, they have pet names like SUV and multi-purpose vehicle.  Mr. Reinhardt stated that he witnesses in amazement when he sees such technology that is being piloted recklessly by soccer moms, engineers, professional, and business people who operate at breakneck speed past his home; now their sons and daughters are licensed and have new cars and try to conquer the Rivera Audubon.  Mr. Reinhardt commented on his neighbors living in cul-de-sacs where there is no traffic or speeding problem.  He suggested changing the aerial view to identify cul-de-sacs and through streets, which he stated will show the whole story; he said it is not about safety, it is about the convenience of the people who decided to live in cul-de-sacs.  Mr. Reinhardt referred to comments that there is only one entrance into this place, one major thoroughfare, and said there are four; they do not want the traffic on the other streets.  He questioned what has not changed in their neighborhood currently.  He explained that Via Rivera was designed and built in the ‘50s or earlier and it has not changed.  He reported that it has the same length, the same blind curves, and the same width that provides two lanes with no dividers of cars, trucks, motor homes, and dumpsters parked on both sides of the street.

Bryan Weaver, 30458 Via Rivera, explained that he lives just beyond the edge of the Point Vicente School, and he is against the speed humps.  Mr. Weaver stated that he has been a teacher at Chadwick School for 20 years and he teaches all grades, and he chose to send both of his children to Point Vicente School.  He explained that when he occasionally walks them to school they are taking their lives in their hands.  He explained that the thing that gets him about this meeting is that he applauds the people who live on the subject block for being organized, and commented that there is a little bit of City government speaking here; that the squeaky wheel gets fixed first.  He stated that this problem is all over Via Rivera, and he wants to thank whoever installed the stop signs recently.  He explained that all of a sudden he could sleep through the night because cars are not going 60 mph off the top of the hill.  He stated that when he walked his third-grade child across the street last year they had to jump out of the road because drivers come flying down and stare the residents down, and it is pretty upsetting.  Mr. Weaver reiterated that the problem is all over, he is a five-year resident and has seen a Deputy on his street only once during that time, but he sees them in the subject area all the time and suggested they come up to his area to fill up the City coffers.  He explained that the stop signs are great but now drivers are going through them.  Mr. Weaver stated that when he drives on Via Rivera, he is the guy in a red Porsche going 25 mph on the subject strip and many times, he must pull over to let someone zip by because he is obeying the law and they want to go faster.  He stated that something must be done, but he does not believe in speed humps because of concerns with fire safety and senior citizens.  He would like to see a traffic report about how many emergency vehicles use that road.

Chair Shepherd asked if this is a perceived speeding problem; are the residents having a speeding problem, or are they against the humps but you know you have a speeding problem.  She asked the audience if they agree that there is a speeding problem in the development regardless of where it is, and the majority in the audience responded affirmatively.

Barry Hildebrand, 3560 Vigilance, Rancho Palos Verdes, explained that he does not live in the area under discussion.  He reported that he was on the first Committee that put together the Traffic Calming Policy, and that when it was time for a vote, the Traffic Committee took the lead of the Planning Commission, which sends out notices to residents 500 feet around.  He explained that the notices covered much more than the street affected.  Mr. Hildebrand explained that the Committee sent that to the City Council for approval and the Council said the City will never get traffic calming approval if they invite everyone in the region to vote on it, and directed them to make it the affected street only and that is what is in the Traffic Calming Policy now.  He explained that there was an amendment that changed where a petition should be circulated.  Mr. Hildebrand referred to a speaker who was upset regarding the notice to residents on Friday afternoon, and stated that it is legal because notices cannot be sent until the Commissioners get their agenda packets.  He explained that Friday afternoon was 72 hours before this meeting and that is all the legal public notice that is required.  Regarding the Fire Department access, he pointed out that in looking at the geometry, most of the residents live to the north and the Fire Department is coming from Abalone Cove, and they can avoid the speed humps.  He stated that the only time they would go on the street with speed humps would be when someone on that street needed services.  Mr. Hildebrand explained that he and Bill Shurmer got rubberized speed humps from Santa Barbara and put them on Forrestal Drive behind the gates and had an engine from Abalone drive over them many times.  Afterward they asked the driver how he felt; he said he did not feel a thing and they worked fine.  Mr. Hildebrand explained that the firefighter’s boss drove up later in the Chief’s car and told them that he did not like them.  He stated that that is what the residents see in the memo from the Fire Department.  He explained that the Fire Department would tell you that they do not like them but, if the City has tried everything else, they will take them.  Mr. Hildebrand stated that the residents should be taking them for this street.

Chair Shepherd closed the Public Hearing.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Willens moved that the Commission approve Recommendations 1, 3, and 4, as follows:
1.         Accept the petition requesting installation of three speed humps on Via Rivera between Rue Valois and Rue De La Pierre.
3.         Request funding from City Council for design and construction of the project.

  1. Authorize Staff to prepare construction design plans, specifications and estimate for speed hump installation and proceed with construction.

Seconded by Commissioner Wright.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Wright commented regarding the traffic signal and stated that from his experience it probably will not make much of a difference in the speeds traveled on Via Rivera.  Based on everything he has heard the only thing that is material to him is the issue about the Fire Department, and he would like to know more about that.  He explained that in 26 years of public service as a police officer he has never seen the Fire Department roll through a residential area any faster than probably 20 mph because they cannot stop fast if they go any faster than that.  However, if the Fire Department says it is a problem he would like to know about it.  Other than that, Commissioner Wright stated that it is probably best that the City Council look at this because they will get it eventually anyway.

Commissioner Parfenov suggested that the major obstacle in this proposed solution is speed humps; that he is not sure why everyone is married to this idea that speed humps are the only effective means of traffic control.  He suggested, for example, using edge line striping as a way of visually narrowing the road, or constructing dividers in the middle of the road to physically limit speeds; that as soon as drivers have a wide road they will speed because they feel comfortable, and once they feel uncomfortable, they will speed less.  Commissioner Parfenov reiterated his opinion that speed humps are not the only effective option.  Commissioner Parfenov stated that there are 36 homes and the traffic from the schools, and referred to a report prepared by the Technology Sub-Committee consisting of him and Commissioners Mevers and Klein.  Commissioner Parfenov explained that they have spent the last several months researching the technologies that can be applied as described in the report entitled “Application of Technology to Traffic Management” that could be used instead of speed humps.

Commissioner Mevers expressed concern that with the rules the Commission must follow there is not much they can do, and referred to comments such as trying to solve a local problem that is really a wide area problem, and the Commission is being told by the rules that they must do it.  He  said that what really bothers him is that if the Commission sends it to the City Council, the people from upper Via Rivera will protest; the Council will throw it out, and the Commission will have to start over again, and he hates wasting time.

Commissioner Klein yielded his time to Commissioner Willens.

Commissioner Willens stated that no matter what the Commission does there will be unhappy people, but he does not know the answer; that this is beginning to sound like Mira Vista did two years ago, and he remembers hearing many of the same arguments, many of which were brought up by Mr. Redfield, in the discussions about Mira Vista.  He expressed agreement with Commissioner Mevers.  Commissioner Willens explained that when they first started he thinks most people here noticed the fact that he had concerns about making a decision about this without the most recent data.  He stated that as they have been talking, he is looking at the Traffic Calming Plan and he thinks the Plan is unambiguous about what it requires the Commission to do.  Commissioner Willens suggested that the residents may not like the Traffic Calming Plan, and the Commission is talking about revising it.  However, this Plan was approved by the City Council and it clearly says that “If 60% of the property owners on the impacted block signed a petition, it will go to the City Council for determination of whether the traffic calming measure will be implemented”.  Commissioner Willens stated that he does not see that the Commission has a lot of discretion here to be debating whether they like or do not like humps, or think or do not think there should be humps.  He stated that that is not what the plan says, and he may agree or disagree with humps, but he does not think that is the question.  Commissioner Willens stated that the speakers are the same people with the same concerns, and everyone who spoke tonight has a concern that can be supported in some way or another.  However, ultimately the City Council will have to decide on the needs of the 36 people who are dealing with this every day, more than the needs of the 400 people above that.  Commissioner Willens encouraged the residents, if this is approved tonight, to attend the City Council meeting and voice their opinions.  He explained that he does understand both sides of the issue although he has not been on the Commission or Committee to consider this issue from the beginning, as have some of the residents who have spoken on this issue.  He explained that he has been here to deal with Mira Vista and stated that he does have to agree with Mr. Redfield about all the gloom and doom which are all valid concerns, but he has not heard a single one of those things being an issue in Mira Vista since speed humps were installed.  Commissioner Willens asked to add something to his Motion, which requested approval of Recommendations 1, 3, and 4.

Commissioner Klein pointed out that Recommendation 4 was revised in the original Motion to strike “proceed with”.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Willens amended his Motion to add:  Instruct Staff to compile the more recent speed and traffic data regarding whether there is any affect on speeds as a result of the stop signs and incorporate it into the packet for consideration by the City Council, seconded by Commissioner Wright.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Klein stated that he is in favor of some type of speed hump at this time and explained that he drives speed humps in Los Angeles, Rancho Palos Verdes, and other cities with a speed limit of 25 mph; if the correct type of speed hump is installed, motorists can drive the speed limit.  Commissioner Klein explained that the legal speed limit on Via Rivera is 25 mph.  He explained that these speed humps will allow people to drive the speed limit; therefore, as long as the residents agree that the speed limit should not be exceeded he does not see why there should be an objection to installing some sort of speed hump that limits the speed to 25 mph.  He would like Commissioner Willens to consider one further amendment in his Motion to modify the speed hump recommendation to a speed table type of recommendation, which would allow drivers to reach even slightly higher speeds and still fall within the 25 mph speed limit.  He explained that a speed table is a 22 foot raised section of pavement as he understands it, with a six foot gradual increase in height to the maximum of three inches at the start and end and then a ten foot flat section in the middle.

Chair Shepherd explained that during recess, she mentioned the speed table option to Commissioner Klein as a compromise for both the Council and the residents if the speed humps were objectionable.  The other issue with Mira Vista that she spoke with Commissioner Willens about is that this neighborhood and their issues started to look like Mira Vista very quickly into the discussion, and they had the same issues.  She explained that Mira Vista came to the Commission for General Street, one street in their community, and when General Street was evaluated, the Commission realized after listening to other members of the community who resided on other streets within the community that this kind of issue existed elsewhere.  Chair Shepherd explained that the Commission realized that it was a global problem and decided to table the discussion for General Street and expand it to the entire area.  Chair Shepherd stated that since the Commission has already been informed by the City Council that they have heard from the entire community, which was not pleased with the previous recommendation; maybe now that it has been presented to the Commission as a global problem, they might need to look at it as they did with Mira Vista.  She explained that she knows that is not what the residents on Via Rivera on the impacted block would like to hear now, because they want something done.  She understands that; but she is also thinking that the Commission may do themselves and the residents a disservice as well as the Council if they do not look at the big picture.

Traffic Engineer Rydell added that to do that they need to take a few steps back in the traffic calming process, because this portion of Via Rivera already went through the petition process to have Staff consider traffic calming devices; the rest of the neighborhood has not, and that is an integral part of the process.  He stated that before Staff would start evaluating specific traffic engineering solutions for the rest of the area, that area would have to submit a petition to the City asking for traffic calming solutions for their streets as well.

Chair Shepherd questioned whether that would take the Commission from being a proactive to a reactive body.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that it is consistent with the Traffic Calming Plan because this portion of Via Rivera has already been through the petition process and the City must do something for them, and the rest of them have not.

Chair Shepherd explained that with Mira Vista, the Traffic Committee did not say they would just review General Street, then come back later, and work out the issues of the other streets.  The other streets did not come before the City with a petition.  The Committee decided to be proactive about it.  She explained that it is just a suggestion and this is her single opinion; that she has driven through this area, it is a bigger picture and maybe they might have to wait.  She explained that the Commission has heard enough from people who live on other streets surrounding and flowing into Via Rivera and they all agree that there is a speeding problem in their neighborhood.  Chair Shepherd asked what the data tells them; they know there if a speeding problem from their counts of volume and speed.

Traffic Engineer Rydell suggested that Commissioner Wright asked the pertinent question twice, saying do you not like speed humps here, and if you had an issue on your street would you want them.  He stated that he is not so sure that he heard that they want them on their street; that it is not that they do not want to put traffic calming on Via Rivera, they want it on the whole neighborhood, and he is not sure he heard that.  He heard more that they do not want speed humps on Via Rivera.  Traffic Engineer Rydell repeated that he did not hear that they wanted traffic calming on their neighborhood, he just heard that they did not want speed humps on Via Rivera.

Chair Shepherd stated that she heard speed humps, and asked what happened to the broad brush of traffic calming options, and what supports the 36 or 40 residents honed in on.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that what he is driving at is that he did not hear the community that was opposed to humps on Via Rivera say they wanted the City to look at the whole picture, only a couple or very few, and most of them did not want what is proposed.  Traffic Engineer Rydell reiterated that the Traffic Calming Program requires that they must submit a petition saying they want the City to look at it.

Chair Shepherd asked if Mira Vista did that.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that Mira Vista has been going on for so long, and he came in half way through the process.  He stated that he is just trying to follow the rules now.

Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that in the petition that was circulated, just as a point of clarification, he just confirmed that there were additional alternatives presented to the residents who signed the petition and they selected speed humps from the choices available to them.  He explained that in just looking at the general configuration of Via Rivera and how it is an outlet similar to Trudie down by Western, or Crestwood at Western, he suggested that these streets channel traffic similar to Via Rivera.  Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that there is a network up there and if the Commission just addressed General, everyone would avoid General and come down the next street; he pointed out that this cannot be accomplished on Via Rivera in that section where the humps are proposed.

In response to requests to speak, Chair Shepherd informed that the public hearing is closed and asked if the speakers had a point of clarification, and two speakers responded affirmatively.

Barry Hildebrand reported that what happened on Mira Vista was that a very active lady on General who wanted traffic calmed on her street, and another very active lady on Trudie requested traffic calming.  He explained that they were both on the Board of the same HOA whose President lived on Enrose; the HOA was just starting to talk about community issues, and it jelled into the idea of looking into the whole community.  Mr. Hildebrand stated that the reason was that they did not want separate streets being modified because traffic would divert to Crestwood to get to Western.  He explained that the HOA came to the then Traffic Committee and asked that a solution be formulated for the whole neighborhood.

Bill Shurmer offered another point of clarification, referring to the Summerland area; it was not the Trudie, Enrose, General issue, it was the other part because it went straight down to Western and that is what was included in the second go-around.  He explained that the other areas discussed tonight have never gone through the other “e’s” and would go straight to engineering.  On Via Rivera they had to do education and enforcement and that always came before engineering, and they have now reached engineering.  He suggested that the Commission has to back up on that because the rest of the neighborhood has not even gone through the first two steps.

Commissioner Willens asked Staff if there is any reason why speed tables would not serve essentially the same purpose and have the same effect as humps.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that speed tables do not have as much of a speed-reducing effect, although they do have a significant effect and, from his standpoint, if that is the direction the Commission wants to go he would support that as well.

Commissioner Klein suggested that the Commission would not always be throwing back speed humps to the City Council, and they are dealing with some Fire Department and other emergency vehicle issues.

Commissioner Willens stated that he is willing to amend his Motion to incorporate that.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Willens moved that the Commission approve recommendations 1 and 3 as presented in the Staff report on circle page 15, and approve recommendation 4 as modified below:
1.         Accept the petition requesting installation of three speed humps on Via Rivera between Rue Valois and Rue De La Pierre.
3.         Request funding from City Council for design and construction of the project.
4.         Authorize Staff to prepare construction design plans, specifications and estimate for speed hump or speed table installation and proceed with construction, speed table installation and construction being an alternative to speed humps.
Commissioner Willens further moved that the most recent speed and traffic data be collected and incorporated into the packet, based upon the recent stop sign installation, for consideration by the City Council.

Seconded by Commissioner Wright.

Commission Discussion

Chair Shepherd asked if the Commission would have any concerns if the data showed a significant change in the recommendations.

Commissioner Willens responded that he does not think so, because the residents submitted the petition, and if the Commission is accepting the petition then it must go to the City Council.

Chair Shepherd questioned that if the Commission does not have all of the data how can they make a decision.

Commissioner Willens stated that the Commission is not making a decision.

Chair Shepherd argued that they are making a decision; that this body is recommending to City Council for them to approve, saying that the Commission has looked at all of the information and we recommend A,B.C, and D for Via Rivera traffic calming based on all of the Commission’s findings.

Commissioner Wright suggested that the pertinent question is, will the City Council want to know that information regarding a new traffic survey of the area since the bottom line is that the Council will be making that decision, and his guess is probably yes.

Commissioner Mevers asked if there are HOAs above the intersection that the Commission could contact regarding the idea of speed tables.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he could not answer that question.

Members of the audience responded that they are not aware of any.

Chair Shepherd reviewed the recommendation and clarified that there is nothing the Commission must do except accept the petition, which is protocol; they have considered the public testimony; and they are not making a decision, but are just passing the petition and recommendation on to City Council.  She suggested that Recommendation 3 requests funding from the Council for design and construction of the project, and that then says the Commission approves of the project; and Recommendation 4 authorizes Staff to prepare construction design plans, specifications, and estimates for speed humps or speed tables installation, which will come after the funding, and she questioned “then proceed with construction”.

Commissioner Klein explained that “proceed with” was removed.

Commissioner Willens explained that it was removed purposely because he believes it is the City Council’s job to decide if they want to proceed.

Chair Shepherd clarified that the Commission is passing the petition on, but are requesting funding for design and construction of the project, which means they are approving the project; not just passing it on.

The Motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:  Commissioners Klein, Willens, and Wright - 3
NAYS:  Commissioners Mevers, Parfenov - 2
Abstained:  Chair Shepherd - 1

Commissioner Parfenov explained that the problem is throughout the neighborhood and there are other alternatives to speed humps or speed tables, and that is why he is opposed to the Motion.

Chair Shepherd reminded the Commissioners of one of the Council’s objectives for the Commission; that the Commission should provide options.  She does not believe that the Commission has performed due diligence or given the Council options, but has given them what the Commission had before them and have not discussed what other options could be given to the Council so that when they look at this they do not just have three humps or tables.  She explained that the Commission has given them the tables.  She suggested some other type of engineering alternative that the Commission has discussed and then they have just said it has merit or not.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that he does not see Staff approaching City Council that way; he sees them approaching Council the way this Traffic Safety Commission handled it in July, stating that they have four alternatives, and he believes that those are the alternatives.  He suggested that the fact that the community did not choose the other three does not mean that Staff and the Traffic Safety Commission did not come up with four viable alternatives.

Chair Shepherd instructed that when Staff prepares the Staff report, and she and the Vice Chair would like to review it, they need to be sure that that is included.  She stated that that is the charge that was given to the Traffic Safety Commission by City Council; to make sure that when Staff presents items such as this they provide options for them to look at and why they were recommended.  She emphasized that Staff needs to make clear to the Council that the options were deliberated upon and the community chose this and it may not be what the Commission’s or Staff’s choice would have been.  If it is not the Commission’s choice, they need to make that clear that the Commission is just sending it through because the community had 36 out of 40.  She suggested that the Commission is not saying that even though the community wants it, this is what the Commission thinks is a more viable alternative, and she does not see that in this particular Motion.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that that is why the Traffic Calming Program was written.  He stated that in his mind, Staff did do what the City Council instructed them to do; come up with viable alternatives, and he thinks they should have a group work on it together.

NEW BUSINESS:

 

None

RECEIVE AND FILE:

 

None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS

 

  1. Public Works Department Report.
    1. Toscanini Area Traffic Calming Update.

 

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Toscanini has also submitted a petition.

Chair Shepherd questioned if they did not like the signage and education.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it did not work.

    1. Via Rivera Traffic Calming Update.  There was no report.

 

    1. Long Point Development Review Update.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Staff is in the third review of the street plan at the intersection of Palos Verdes Drive South and Long Point, with a fourth review of their on-site plan for the private roads.  He explained that the biggest issue now is ADA compliance, and Staff is having a disagreement over the ADA requirements.

Chair Shepherd recommended standing firm.

Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that additionally, off Nantasket, they propose installing temporary parking spaces to access the right-of-way next to the curb return for public access to public trails.  The trails for coastal access are required; that it is temporary during construction, and that too was required as part of the conditions of approval of the project.

Commissioner Wright commented that there is a parking issue there.

Senior Engineer Dragoo added that a total 100 public parking places, which would be located on-site and through their facility are required at the completion of the project.

Commissioner Wright commented that parking there is a nightmare already, and asked if they are the ones who decided it was going to be there or did the City say that.

Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that the City Council said that.  He said the way he sees the construction schedule, they will be working out there and will continue through approximately July 2008, and it will be a long drawn-out process.  He explained that the temporary parking would be sitting there for some time.

Commissioner Willens announced for the record that Chair Shepherd excused herself from the meeting at 10:58 pm, and, as Vice Chair, he presided over the remainder of the meeting.

    1. Traffic Safety Commission Meeting Notification Process.  Nothing to report.

 

2.         Other Traffic Safety Commission Business

  1. Oversized Vehicle Parking

 

Commissioner Mevers questioned when the issue of oversized vehicle parking would go to the City Council.

Senior Engineer Dragoo said it has been ready since November, but due to circumstances beyond Staff’s control, it has been rescheduled several times.  He reported that tentatively they plan to take it to the City Council at the first meeting in March.  He explained that Staff will take an item at the City Manager’s request on February 6, 2007 regarding a ban of all parking on streets, but Staff decided some time ago not to address that currently.  He explained that Traffic Engineer Rydell prepared an informational item report asking if the City Council really wants Staff to address that, and he anticipates that the answer will be no, clarifying that this would ban all parking of all vehicles overnight on all streets.

Technology Sub-Committee

 

Commissioner Mevers explained that the Sub-Committee wanted to submit their report on “Application of Technology to Traffic Management” and intended to do it at the December meeting when the full Commission could review it.  He explained that they have a draft copy and want the Commission’s feedback so they can make any necessary changes.  Copies were provided to all Commissioners.

Acting Chair Willens suggested that the Commissioners take the copies, review them, and provide feedback.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if it would be possible for the Commissioners to bring their feedback to the next meeting.

Acting Chair Willens responded that he does not know what the agenda will look like, so he does not know if it will officially be on the agenda, but he will certainly look at it.  He explained that they will try to get it on the agenda, but Staff makes up their own agenda.

Commissioner Mevers explained that the Sub-Committee is asking for ten or 15 minutes for review and constructive criticism from the Commission.

Acting Chair Willens suggested trying to do that if possible.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Recommendation:
Approval of minutes of October 23, 2006
ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Wright moved approval of the Minutes of October 23, 2006 as presented, seconded by Commissioner Mevers.

Motion approved:
Ayes 4; Nays 0
Abstained; 1 (Commissioner Klein was not present at the October meeting)

ADJOURNMENT:

Acting Chair Willens asked if anyone cannot attend the next meeting on February 26, 2007.

Commissioner Klein stated that he will not be available, and when he informed the Chair, she said that the meeting could be rescheduled for one week before or after the scheduled date of February 26, 2007.

Acting Chair Willens stated that it would depend on Staff issues.

Commissioner Klein suggested the first Monday in March, which would be March 5, 2007.

Acting Chair Willens stated that he is not sure if he will attend but Chair Shepherd would be available.  Personally, he explained that he would prefer to leave it as is but will go with the consensus.  He asked what Staff plans to schedule on the agenda.

Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that Toscanini would be scheduled and a smaller item.

Commissioner Klein asked if Toscanini would generate as much of a crowd as was present at this meeting.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that the issue might not have as much opposition because of where it is situated, that people who drive through do not live in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Senior Engineer Dragoo added that Staff would notify the entire community the same way they did this group.

Acting Chair Willens asked if they have a meeting the first Monday in March and then have the regular meeting the fourth Monday in March, would it create a problem for Staff with the intervening time.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it is not a problem except that he probably just cannot get the Staff reports completed in one week, but he still has three weeks to complete two reports.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Mevers moved to adjourn at 11:09 PM to the rescheduled regular meeting of the Traffic Safety Commission on March 5, 2007, seconded by Commissioner Parfenov.

Motion approved:

  1. Ayes 5; Nays 0