SEPTEMBER 24, 2007 TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION MINUTES SEPTEMBER 24, 2007 TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION MINUTES SEPTEMBER 24, 2007 TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION MINUTES

MINUTES

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA

TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

FEBRUARY 25, 2008


CALL TO ORDER: Chair Shepherd called the meeting to order at 7:01 PM at Rancho Palos Verdes Community Room

ROLL CALL: PRESENT: Chair Shepherd, Commissioners Bilezerian, Parfenov, Wells, Wright

ABSENT: Commissioner Kramer, Vice Chair Willens

ALSO PRESENT: Jack Rydell, Traffic Engineer, Priority Engineering, Inc.: Jim Bell, Director, Public Works; Siamak Motahari, Senior Engineer, Public Works; Sgt. Paul Creason, Sheriff's Department; Frances M. Mooney, Recording Secretary, (Douglas Stern, Mayor, Rancho Palos Verdes attended as an observer)

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

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved to move the Public Comments subsequent to Sheriff’s Status Report, seconded by Commissioner Wright.

Motion approved:

Ayes 5, Nays 0

Absent: Commissioner Kramer and Vice Chair Willens

CHAIR’S COMMUNICATION:

1.

Chair Shepherd reminded Staff to prepare a cumulative list of action items.

2.

Chair Shepherd referred to a Letter to the Editor in the Peninsula News on Saturday, February 23, 2008, from Councilman Long as it relates to the Traffic Safety Commission’s milestones and deliverables. She explained that

Councilman Long’s issue with Commissioner Wright has nothing to do with the Traffic Safety Commission. She stated that Councilman Long brings up something in the last paragraph that is very disturbing to her, and she hopes would be disturbing to the rest of the Commissioners. Chair Shepherd distributed copies of the letter to the Commissioners and read the last paragraph:

“I too have some disappointments with City government. Over the past two years, the Traffic Commission has missed a number of the goals set forth by the City Council. About two years ago, then Mayor Wolowicz and I urged the Commission staff to come up with a plan for improving the safety of Palos Verdes Drive East. We still have no such plan. I urge Commissioner Wright as one of the City’s Traffic Commissioners to devote his time to the Traffic Commission’s unfulfilled task where he may be able to provide more constructive service to our City.”

Chair Shepherd explained this is disturbing to her because it states that the Commission has missed a number of its goals. She thinks they should address that and discuss it under Agenda Item 3 of New Business.

SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT REPORT:

Sgt. Creason reported that the numbers before the Commission were presented to the Regional Crime Commission a couple of weeks ago, and they report the period from September through December 2007 and how they relate to the previous two years. He reported overall collisions of 19, falling between the previous two years; hazardous citations were 398 on average, the enforcement index is at 51, and he explained that 20 or above is their goal.

Sgt. Creason reported that the search for a missing 23-year-old Rancho Palos Verdes resident was called off on Sunday afternoon, February 24, 2008.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

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

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

Senior Engineer Motahari reported that Staff sent a letter to the developer regarding payment, Staff will meet with the City Attorney next week to review the documents, and subsequent to that Staff will meet with the developers on March 4, 2008.

Chair Shepherd suggested that Mr. and Mrs. Kritzer contact Senior Engineer Motahari directly instead of coming all the way to these meetings every month. She explained that the issues cannot be discussed in detail under Public Comments and they can

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 2 of 56

obtain updates by phone. She suggested that if that does not work they could then come to the meeting.

Kris Nishihira, 1241 Bloomwood Road, referred to speed bumps in the Strathmore area, commenting that there is an approval in the budget to accomplish this. He stated that he lives on Bloomwood, which is part of the steepest hills in the Strathmore area and, although they have stop signs, there are cars going 50-60 mph through the stop signs daily. He explained that skid marks are 40 feet long from cars that were driving too fast. He stated that there are kids in the neighborhood and they have kids and it is a safety concern for many residents. He reported that about ten years ago, his brother’s car was rear ended while parked uphill on Bloomwood; and about two years ago, a neighbor’s car was rear ended about 2:00 am. Mr. Nishihira stated that he wanted to bring some attention to this and hopefully get this project grandfathered into the budget to get the speed bumps in place to slow down the traffic.

Chair Shepherd commented that this project is pending revision of the Traffic Calming Plan, which is on the City Council agenda for March 4, 2008, and suggested that Mr. Nishihira watch for the agenda.

Senior Engineer Motahari explained they are looking at this in Public Works internally as projects that were first before, but funds must be approved and, following that, Staff will review the projects and make recommendations to the City Council.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if Mr. Nishihira attributes the problem to the speed or the volume of traffic.

Mr. Nishihira responded that it is the speed, but he is concerned that a Target store will be built on the San Pedro side and he thinks many of the cars will use the Strathmore area to get to and from the complexes and a new school. He believes there will be a lot of traffic on Western that will come through their neighborhood as a shortcut, but more importantly, the speed. He stated that he does not know if Staff made a projection, but he would assume that on any day they were sitting there, cars are speeding through that stop sign at 50-60 mph.

Sgt. Creason asked what time the speeding occurs.

Mr. Nishihira responded that it could be at 6:00 pm when he is washing his car, but there is no rhyme or reason and it could be anytime. He stated that he sees the Sheriffs hiding at Mount Hood and they are giving out tickets every time for rolling at the stop sign.

Chair Shepherd explained that the Commission is working with the homeowners’ association, and developed a plan for Mr. Nishihira’s neighborhood; they provided the first enforcement there and yard signs, so they have started the preliminary steps that lead to an engineering review.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 3 of 56

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that approximately one year ago the Traffic Safety Commission approved an engineering program and recommended 12 speed humps.

Bill van den Hoek, 1135 Bloomwood Road, stated that he and his wife are area coordinators for Neighborhood Watch in the Strathmore community, and want to speak regarding the issue of the installation of speed humps. He explained that beginning about three years ago they conferred with the City’s Traffic Safety Commission requesting that they implement traffic-calming measures in Strathmore. Two problems exist in their area: First, they have cut-through traffic by individuals wanting to access the 110 Harbor Freeway area every morning and evening Monday through Friday. Secondly, they have a safety problem with speeders, and they have a number of families with young children in their area; five of their streets are involved in a cut-through from Western Avenue and the area adjacent to Westmont Drive. These streets are Toscanini, Mt. Shasta, Bloomwood Road, Mt. Ranier, and Mt. Rose. The City has already completed several steps concerning their request; mainly, the installation of traffic counters, light standard radar counters, and radar trailers, and there are patrol cars on occasion. Mr. van den Hoek believes all the engineering work has been completed. Over a year ago, the City provided them with 75 colorful signs reminding traffic to “Drive 25, Keep our Kids Alive”. These were appropriately displayed throughout their community and the signs had some effect for the first few weeks, but after the drivers realized there was no enforcement, the speeding returned as usual. As requested by the Traffic Safety Commission they canvassed all the residents of the streets involved and submitted signed petitions with a net 78% approval by the residents requesting the installation of speed humps. They believe that the traffic problem in Strathmore will only be magnified with the completion of the new Target store east of them at the intersection of Gaffey Street and Capitol Drive. In addition, the proposed 1,500 plus units of the Ponte Vista project on Western Avenue could affect their street. He is aware that three areas in Rancho Palos Verdes have speed humps already installed: Mira Vista, Enrose, and General, and only a drive down these streets will reveal how effective they are. All of these were provided by City taxes.

Jane van den Hoek, 1135 Bloomwood Road, said thank you to Traffic Engineer Rydell who has worked with them through this whole time and has been a buffer between the residents and the Commission, and they appreciate his time. She added to her husband’s comments, saying it has come to their attention that because of the City’s budget problems the residents might be required to pay for the installation of the speed humps. They believe this is grossly unfair because they submitted their request three years ago under the old guidelines, and there has been no delay on their part; they have done everything the City asked of them and are still awaiting approval. As a result, they believe that this should be taken into consideration, they should be grandfathered in, and they would appreciate the Commission’s consideration in this regard. They were initially the ones who got the stop sign installed which helped a little; they had it for over six months and then got word that the City wanted to take it out, so they had to petition again and then it was left in and it did slow (traffic) down some. They would appreciate any consideration or intervention with the City Council regarding being grandfathered in because they do not think it is fair to the residents.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 4 of 56

Tom Redfield, 31273 Ganado Drive, speaking for the Coalition for Concerned Citizens and as the official traffic coordinator between Mediterranea Homeowners’ Association Board of Directors and the City on traffic issues. Mr. Redfield stated that this is not a complaint—it is a heads up. He explained that they have been arguing back and forth with Marymount leadership over the number of accidents that have occurred involving their students for several years, and their numbers never jibe with Marymount. In the last few years, they broke the code when they saw some serious accidents, but people were not hurt. One of the neighbors asked one of the Deputies if he would report it and the Deputy said they do not report accidents unless someone is hurt. The neighbor asked the Deputy to please report it and discussed how many accidents were occurring involving Marymount students. A couple of weeks ago a Marymount student came up the hill, lost control, and bombed the car out; they asked the Deputy if he would report it and he said they usually do not report it unless someone is hurt. They did more checking with the Mayor, the Director of Public Works, the Traffic Safety Commission, and the Deputies, and one of the problems they talked about was historic communication because they see these accidents around Marymount and the switchback but the numbers don’t total up and are a lot lower than the ones the residents report. One of the issues Mr. Redfield talked with Traffic Engineer Rydell about is that if they don’t know all the serious accidents if they are not reported, it hurts the ability to get grants from the State or wherever because the accidents are underreported. Mr. Redfield’s understanding is the Sheriff has a protocol and he is not getting involved with the protocol, but the residents are going to pursue this issue. They do not want to take Deputies away from other work for every fender bender, but they think when residents call in serious accidents they should be reported by the Deputies. They would like to see if they could change the protocol, as they understand it, to reporting all accidents when a Deputy is on the scene, because it will help the work of the Traffic Engineers and the Commission in getting more grants and make them more aware of the seriousness of the problems.

Chair Shepherd stated that she has heard this before as well in other situations and actually in other cities. She asked Sgt. Creason how the Commission could work with the Sheriff’s Department to revise that policy.

Sgt. Creason responded that he was unaware of any problems in not documenting TC reports; if they are occurring and there is significant damage the California Vehicle Code states that the Deputies should take a report. All the information must be transferred to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

Chair Shepherd questioned that if there is an accident and it is reported to the insurance company, does it go to the DMV, or does the Sheriff’s Department file a report. She asked if that is how it works.

Sgt. Creason stated that it would still go to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 5 of 56

Chair Shepherd clarified, that this is true in an accident where a person contacts their insurance company.

Sgt. Creason responded that is correct.

Chair Shepherd asked if that is on a system that the City can tap into or that they have in the past; she does not understand why the City cannot get that data.

Sgt. Creason responded that he did not know there was a problem, and suggested he might need to go to precincts and talk to the Deputies and make sure they are taking reports when there is significant damage; they should be and they better be if there is enough damage. If someone is going off the roadway and doing several thousand dollars worth of damage to a vehicle, the Deputies should be writing a report.

Commissioner Wright reported that if someone is involved in an accident and it is not reported by a law enforcement agency, drivers are required to fill out a DMV report if damage is over a certain amount of money. For example, if it is vehicle versus vehicle resulting in no injuries, and no law enforcement officers ever show up, if neither of them reports it, they just make an agreement in advance that they will take care of the damage. If they do not fill out the form for the DMV, no one would ever know that the collision occurred. He asked if that is correct.

Sgt. Creason said yes; regarding fault, there is no way the Sheriff’s Department would ever know about it.

Mr. Redfield reported that this information came from the two Deputies where the residents actually saw them follow through at the intersection of Ganado and Palos Verdes Drive East (PVDE). It reminded him that over the years, they have had this problem with Staff reports, where someone will say there were so many accidents and Staff responds that they only had one in the last two years. Mr. Redfield explained that the light bulb came on only recently when they talked with the Deputies. He stated that they are not criticizing anyone; if that is the protocol, then that is the protocol. He commented that he is glad that the Mayor is here and the Director of Public Works so maybe they can get some feedback and they can understand how to deal with this. He explained that the accidents he is talking about are when Deputies are there. Someone says there is a serious accident and do not know if anyone is hurt at the time. The Deputies arrive—two in a row—and one told him (Mr. Redfield) and one told a neighbor that they do not report those. The residents said they would like the Deputies to report them, but received no indication that the Deputies would do so.

Sgt. Creason suggested that in an incident like that, if he is not satisfied with what the Deputy is telling him he should call the Station and ask to talk with a supervisor.

Mr. Redfield explained that he would if he thought that was the Sheriff’s Department’s policy, but as the Deputies have told him and others, they think this is more or less standard.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 6 of 56

Sgt. Creason explained that the Deputies have a lot of leeway out in the field and each collision is unique, but he would say as a rule that when there is a significant amount of damage the Deputies should be writing a TC report.

Mr. Redfield thanked Sgt. Creason, but stated that he would like official feedback eventually through the system from Carolyn Petru or whoever is the appropriate person.

Chair Shepherd explained that several times in the past, residents have referred to accidents during traffic calming hearings and they brought pictures of accidents that look significant, but they are not tied into the Traffic Engineer’s report because it is not in the data that he was able to extract, and they see that all the time. She stated that the Commission could not use those accidents as part of their criteria to base their decision because maybe there were no injuries, no one was called to the scene, and it goes unreported, and this is not the first time she has heard that. Chair Shepherd suggested that maybe Staff could help with that and as a Commission they can put it on the agenda and ask Staff to bring back some methodology, put the information in the newsletter, or find a way to communicate it.

Commissioner Wright suggested that when the Sheriff receives a call, if a Deputy responds even if it is a solo accident, a call is still generated that would show up in a report, and asked if that is correct. In other words if Staff queries how many accidents were reported at Ganado and Palos Verdes Drive East; that could be another method of compiling data could it not, if something was not recorded officially. If nothing else, he asked if Sgt. Creason has the authority to pull up calls for service reports that Deputies respond to at a particular location.

Sgt. Creason responded that there are two different systems; the numbers he provided tonight are in one database, and the one Commissioner Wright is talking about would be in another.

Commissioner Wright questioned that if further research was needed that might be a method by which the City could gather that information, and asked if that is correct.

Sgt. Creason said yes.

Chair Shepherd stopped the discussion and directed that the item be scheduled on a future agenda for further discussion.

OLD BUSINESS:

ON-STREET PARKING OF OVERSIZED VEHICLES

Recommendations:

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 7 of 56

Provide comments and direction on the improved options to implement the Traffic Safety Commission's objectives relative to parking controls for Oversized Vehicles on City streets, and/or approve the attached Ordinance to be presented to the City Council, per the attached on-street parking restriction draft Ordinance, (Attachment A: The comments given by Traffic Safety Commission on January 28, 2008 are incorporated in the draft ordinance.).

Chair Shepherd explained that the Commission directed Staff at the January 28, 2008 meeting to make corrections and additions, and that the City Attorney participate in this issue regarding enforcement and permitting, and Staff is bringing this back as requested for reconsideration.

Traffic Engineer’s Report

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff wanted to make sure that it was very clear to the Traffic Safety Commission what the draft Ordinance includes as far as the number of permits that can be obtained by a citizen: 140 permits per year can be obtained by a citizen.

Chair Shepherd asked what the provision was before Senior Engineer Dragoo revised the Ordinance.

Commissioner Bilezerian explained that the original draft Ordinance allowed 28 permits that consisted of three days for the outbound and two days for the inbound on one permit.

Chair Shepherd asked how many permits are in the revised number.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that it adds up to the same number.

Chair Shepherd clarified that it adds up the same as far as the number of days, but it does not add up the same as paperwork and administrative work necessary for 140 permits.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that is correct.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed the Staff report prepared by Senior Engineer Dragoo and reviewed by Director Bell. He reported that at the January 28, 2008 meeting there were six comments made by the Traffic Safety Commission, three of which Staff has incorporated into the draft Ordinance (Attachment A) as follows:

�� Section 10.XX.020.A.3 Prohibition: Allow oversized vehicles to park on City streets for six hours without a permit when emergency repairs are necessary.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 8 of 56

�� Section 10.XX.020.A.3 Prohibition: Emergency repairs shall not be made to oversized vehicles while it is legally parked displaying a valid permit.

�� Section 10.XX.040.B Permit Process: Each permit will be valid beginning at Midnight, expiring at Midnight the following day.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that the City Attorney and her Staff are still working on the draft Ordinances, and if anything of significance is identified by them, Staff will bring this issue back before the Traffic Safety Commission.

The remaining three comments from the Traffic Safety Commission were as follows:

��

A requirement for site certification by the City’s Traffic Engineer has not been included in the draft Ordinance.

��

The City Council will be informed that the cost of the permit was anticipated to be $10 for five days when the draft Ordinance was originally approved by the Traffic Safety Commission.

��

Considerations to improve the permit process including incorporating language on the back of the permit that will require the owner of the vehicle/property owner to only park the vehicle in a location that is not hazardous to others are in progress.

Traffic Engineer Rydell commented on the site certification, and explained that the rationale behind that is that the City’s Traffic Engineer cannot certify that a site is safe; they can identify if there is a problem with the location. Second, they thought about a $10 permit fee, and he does not know if that is the case any longer.

Chair Shepherd explained that the Commission asked Staff to make that decision and report as an Information Item or a Receive and File regarding what they recommended.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that there are still specific details for the permit process that are under evaluation to find out how they can make it work, including some information on each permit related to a reasonable location. He explained that as this evolves and Staff deals with the legal issues, it will be going to City Council in March and asked if that is correct.

Senior Engineer Motahari responded that is correct if there are no comments from the City Attorney.

Commission Questions of Staff

Commissioner Wells proposed that he can get 140 permits per year and his wife can get 140 permits per year if permitted by resident and not by address, and asked if that is correct.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 9 of 56

Chair Shepherd and Traffic Engineer Rydell commented they thought it was by address.

Commissioner Wells asked where the Ordinance says that.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the way he reads the Ordinance it says 140 permits can be issued to any single property owner.

Commissioner Wells reiterated that he and his wife could each get 140 permits.

Commissioner Bilezerian suggested that the intent is to restrict 140 permits to the vehicle or is it to restrict it to how many permits an owner can get; that you could have each person who resides there as joint tenants and a husband and wife each could own their own recreational vehicle (RV).

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that the definition was determined by the Traffic Safety Commission, but he does not think they were talking about 280 permits; he thinks they were talking about a resident.

Chair Shepherd stated that was not the intent but they need to make sure that it is spelled out specifically so there is no gray area.

Traffic Engineer Rydell clarified that the intent is for 140 permits for the property’s vehicle.

Commissioner Wells suggested a maximum of 140 permits for an eligible property or residence because if there is someone else in their apartment they cannot get one unless they get the property owner of that building to apply for it, and it does not have to be the property owner’s vehicle.

Chair Shepherd suggested that if it cannot be ironed out by the Traffic Safety Commission, then the City Attorney would have to determine the appropriate wording.

Commissioner Bilezerian suggested that there could be a single person or a combination of people that own multiple properties throughout the City, so if the intent is to issue a permit for no more than one vehicle per residence, the property owned throughout the City needs to be addressed.

Chair Shepherd stated that she would assume that the intent was for the RV that belongs to the person who lives at that address, and if they happen to live at another location and they have another RV that they would also be able to start the 140 permit process at a separate address.

Commissioner Bilezerian suggested, theoretically, if you own two homes in the City, you could move your RV from one home to another home if the Ordinance is based on address.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 10 of 56

Commissioner Parfenov referred to the statement in the Ordinance regarding vehicles parked adjacent to the address; you cannot leave and bring it back to the main residence.

Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to 10.XX.020, Prohibition, Section A.1, “In front of the residence of the person who owns or has possession, custody or control of the vehicle…” He stated that the word “residence” does not mean the owner; it could be if you are an apartment dweller, but an apartment dweller could not get a permit because the permit only goes to the person who owns the vehicle. They need to make sure there is no misunderstanding on that either. He stated that a renter could not get a permit for an RV.

Commissioner Wells explained that the apartment owner would get the permit.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that the apartment owner could not get the permit because the permit is only for the person who owns or has possession of the vehicle. If you do not own the vehicle and if you cannot park it in front of where you live, you cannot get a permit.

Commissioner Wells clarified that the Ordinance is limiting the permit to people who own the property that they dwell in but do not rent; so an entire group of people is excluded, and he does not believe that is the Commission’s intent.

Chair Shepherd explained that a different body approved this Ordinance and the Traffic Safety Commission is trying to clear up the elements of it. The only issue before the Traffic Safety Commission now is the discussion by Staff and the City Attorney regarding whether it could be legally implemented and legally enforced based on how it was written before it goes to City Council. They were not to come back and change the Ordinance.

Commissioner Wells asked if the Traffic Safety Commission considers itself as being directed to agree with this draft Ordinance to be passed along to City Council, or are they directed to give the City Council or the Planning Commission a yeah or nay to this whether the Traffic Safety Commission agrees or does not agree with the Ordinance.

Chair Shepherd stated that the Traffic Safety Commission already adopted this recommendation to City Council over a year and a half ago and, while it waited for City Council, the City Attorney raised the implementation issues. If the Commission wants to do something else, that is up to all of the Commissioners and if they do not understand it, they should not send it forth. She stated that the 140 permits is a change and that is what Staff recommended in order to implement the permitting process, streamline it administratively, and make it legally enforceable.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 11 of 56

Senior Engineer Motahari stated that in his opinion it was 140; now the processing is different. What Staff wanted to bring to the attention of the Commission is that a person can park an RV in front of their house for 140 days, the old plan and the new plan.

Chair Shepherd clarified that the vehicle cannot be parked for 140 consecutive days.

Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to 10.XX.040 Permit Process, Paragraph F: “The permitted vehicle shall be absent from the residence for a minimum of 24 hours following departure”.

Director Bell explained that some time ago the Oversized Vehicle Ordinance was approved by the Traffic Safety Commission. There were some inherent difficulties in it that, if put in place as written, would be very difficult to implement, and Traffic Engineer Rydell was right; they actually had a de facto certification requirement by the way the original Ordinance was structured. What Staff attempted to do was to make a more straightforward process; it is still something that will be burdensome to Staff, so that is an issue because their Staff is very limited and they have many very important roles in the City. This is not a personnel efficient effort; it will cost Staff effort. This Commission can do anything: They can choose to study it closer, they can accept the changes, comply with the original intent and forward it to City Council, or they can choose to do something different with it. Director Bell stated that all of those are based upon the Commission’s wishes. It would be a recommendation of this body that Staff would want to bring to the City Council, and their wishes are part of this draft.

Commissioner Parvenov commented that the original provision allowed three days for departure and two days for return. He questioned that with this instruction, for example; if he left on Friday and came back on Sunday, would he still need a permit for Saturday when he is not there, or just for Friday and Sunday when his oversized vehicle would be in front of his house.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that the permit is needed when the vehicle is parked in front of his residence.

Chair Shepherd commented that Commissioner Parfenov was not at the meeting when the Commission discussed the placard, and asked Director Bell to describe how it works.

Director Bell explained that Public Works copied a system that is used at a university that has a permit process. The parking pass is effective on the date it is activated; if the pass was not activated you could not put an inactivated pass on your car, you would be ticketed, and possibly towed away. Staff is asking for a very similar process that puts the duty on the homeowner. There is a compliance part of it with the neighbor looking at the permit because they will be irritated that the motor home is out there, and if it is not properly identified the neighbor will report it. It is also a method for the Police Department to look at the vehicle. Director Bell explained that the idea is that the property owner could purchase their permits and use them as needed throughout the

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 12 of 56

year and that would be effective. Another possibility when considering implementation strategies is that homeowners’ associations (HOAs) could obtain permits under certain guidelines and sell them to people in the neighborhood, assuming that there are property owners who were not thinking in advance.

Commissioner Parfenov questioned if an HOA could handle this.

Director Bell explained that it is not part of the Ordinance, but it is a possibility.

Chair Shepherd explained that some residents who live in a parking-prohibited neighborhood can purchase parking stickers from either the HOA or the City, and the City does have a program like that.

Commissioner Wells commented on apartment residents and stated that it is not his intent to discriminate against a renter so that they cannot park their oversized vehicle in front of their apartment building in some manner. This Ordinance according to Traffic Engineer Rydell seems to indicate that it is discriminatory against renters, and is that fair.

Commissioner Bilezerian explained that the Commission discussed this at length when they went through the hearings, and based on the public and HOAs that were here they probably had a minimal turnout of people representing any parking for any homeowner. It is a perceived problem in the City; there are very few calls, probably one or two a month. One of the things to be considered is that the Traffic Safety Commission felt that they were enacting something at the direction of the City Council to have the least impact but provide some provisions to prevent an influx of RVs from other cities.

Chair Shepherd explained that she did not remember the issue related to apartments, but believes it was the potential number of RVs and the possibility that they would begin parking in front of neighbors’ homes. She commented that there are not many apartment complexes in the City.

Commissioner Wright commented on the density and commented that on Hawthorne he does not know where they would park an RV.

Commissioner Bilezerian said he does not believe the original draft required Staff or the Traffic Engineer to certify with a signature that a place is safe; he believes that the Commission’s intent was for someone to inspect the site to verify that they are not trying to park a 45 foot-long vehicle where there is only 30 feet of curb. In his opinion, they were not intending to certify safety; but if a certification is required he would support it if that is what Staff, Director Bell, and the City Attorney want the Commission to do.

Director Bell commented that the original draft as written implied a certification requirement with a safety determination, and unqualified Staff would not do that; a Traffic Engineer would have to do that, and Public Works does not support that concept. This current concept makes the driver subject to California Motor Vehicle law. If Staff

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 13 of 56

found a situation to be unsafe, the Police Department would enforce it; under the permit process, Public Works would not want to accept the site as safe.

Commissioner Bilezerian concurred with Director Bell’s comments. He explained that his biggest issue is that 140 days consisting of 28 permits for three days outbound and two days inbound originally was $10 for five days or a maximum of $280 annually. The current provision changes the cost to $10 for each day or a maximum of $1,400 annually, which is five times more than the original $280. He stated that if that is the City’s cost that is fine. His concern is that if the residents who are impacted are not advised of the potential increase in cost to them, it is probably not very fair. He commented that the Commission is changing what was originally approved.

Chair Shepherd commented that the increase in cost was mentioned at the January 28, 2008 meeting as a concern and other options were supposed to be brought to this meeting and she does not see any.

Director Bell explained that he thinks the fee should be set at a rate that is reasonable; Staff had some initial concepts of what this could be; that it was a pairing of what it would take for Public Works to monitor the permits, write them, secure the permits; and some of those estimates are still being done. Director Bell suggested that the question of dollars should not be a burden of the Traffic Safety Commission, but should be what it takes to run the permit.

Commissioner Bilezerian said he has no objection to raising the fee, but his question is if the RV owners and HOAs are aware of what the Traffic Safety Commission is doing at this point, and are they included in the process and aware of the increase in cost.

Director Bell stated that he would pass on the concerns Commissioner Bilezerian expressed.

Chair Shepherd opened the Public Hearing.

Michelle Van Patten, 1884 Jaybrook Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, asked the Commission to make an amendment to the existing draft Ordinance to deny parking of any oversized vehicles, boats, etc., on narrow one-lane streets within Rancho Palos Verdes due to safety considerations. She explained that Jaybrook is very narrow and very winding, and, if you park on each side, only one car can go up and down the street. She explained that right behind her driveway there is a big van with a trailer attached and she cannot back out of her driveway, which is a major safety concern. She stated that the one-lane is her major safety concern. Ms. Van Patten commented on multiple vehicles: When the Commission says 140 permits she agrees with that based on a combination of the address, the owners, and multiple vehicles. She explained that they have one residence with three to five owners at the address and they have ten vehicles on the street pretty much year round; trailers, large vans, trucks, so she thinks there must be a limit. Ms. Van Patten stated that she is not sure if the vehicle can be abutting other properties, anywhere on the street, or is it supposed to be parked in front,

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 14 of 56

because these vehicles are being moved from house to house. She commented that she loves the Sheriff, she knows they do their job, and she understands the 72-hour rule, but she came home at 10:00 pm and was going to call the Sheriff to mark the tire, but decided that wouldn’t work because the resident would just move the vehicle one inch so that does not address the issue. She asked what is legally parked; she guessed she was not sure until Chair Shepherd said it has to be in front of their address, but he has many vehicles and has at least three of them on the street right now. Ms. Van Patten stated that she likes what the Commission has written so far, and her main concern is that it is a very small, narrow street and they are concerned for the children.

Chair Shepherd closed the Public Hearing.

Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to narrow roadways under the Permit Process section, paragraph “G”:

“Issuance of a permit may be denied based upon a review of the location by the Public Works Department upon determination that parking of oversized vehicles would create a hazard or otherwise adversely affect public safety, traffic flow or access.”

Commissioner Wells commented that, knowing Jaybrook quite well, how would a street be deemed unavailable for a parking permit.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff would determine a policy internally to tell the Public Works Department what is appropriate.

Commissioner Wells asked if that policy would be put in place at the time this new process is voted on by the City Council; would that Motion also include the streets that should be denied parking permits because of their narrow width or other safety factors.

Director Bell explained that this permit process does not have the certification part of it; that it is based on the driver, the property owner, making an evaluation that the vehicle is parked correctly. Obviously, the property owner is creating a hazard and creating a problem in an area of too narrow a roadway, and Director Bell assumed that the resident could be cited for that. He explained that if it comes to the attention of Public Works that there are complaints, Staff would have to make a site visit, there is a cost in doing that, and Public Works presumes there will be complaints like that. That is one of the burdens of going into a permit program, and Director Bell stated he thinks there will be more people using this concept; that there will be more parking out there, and with that there will be problems and there are quite a few narrow roadways. He explained that complaints would be handled on a case-by-case basis. At this point, it would be very difficult to say which properties would be involved.

Commissioner Wells questioned if Staff would use the width of the street and the fact that there is parking on both sides of the street.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 15 of 56

Director Bell responded that people do not realize how limited Public Works’ resources are; that his department is so ridiculously small for 50,000 people that to ask Staff to custom parking designs for property, and implement, and confirm that is not possible. Even what is presented here (in the Ordinance) is going over the top. He suggested that it might be more appropriate to ban parking. He commented that while driving around you do not find many people actually parking out there; most people are probably finding alternate places to park, either in rental areas or on their property sites. He suggested that the question is, does the City want to go to this level of regulation or do they want to remove it.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if the Engineers would not be able to say that a particular location is safe to park.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that it is very difficult for any Engineer to say a location is safe, because at that point, what happens if something goes wrong; no Engineer would do that and no Public Works Department would do it either. They can identify, as their resources allow them, if there is a problem.

Commissioner Parfenov asked who is responsible if there is an accident; would it be the owner, because under the current proposal the owner of the oversized vehicle is responsible to fix it.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that the operator of the vehicle is responsible for operating and parking the vehicle appropriately per the California Vehicle Code.

Commissioner Parfenov commented that the City would not issue a permit if the road were not suitable due to inadequate curb space, one-lane road, etc.

Senior Engineer Motahari stated that they could deny, but they would not certify.

Before making a Motion, Commissioner Bilezerian asked Traffic Engineer Rydell if he thinks there is a need to further address single property owner/multiple property owners/address when it comes to issuing a permit, or is the language in the draft Ordinance adequate. He asked if Staff would like to have additional time so they can tweak the language.

Director Bell explained that Staff used the Commission’s Ordinance and put slight changes in place to make it clearer, and he believes they have found something that could be a question. He believes the Commission’s intent was for each owned property, and he thinks that is something that, based on the Commission’s direction, should be put back in the Ordinance. He asked if the Commission wants Staff to put it back in and bring it back for review, or just put it in and send it to the Attorney.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if this would be a problem when Public Works determines whom they issue a permit to and, if Director Bell thinks it would be an issue, he would support that.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 16 of 56

Director Bell stated he thinks there will be issues, and that is part of the whole dilemma; there are people who will not like this. He would say that every property owner, whether they have a motor home or not, would be smart to buy some permits and leave them in a desk drawer, and that would put more vehicles in front of homes. He suggested that neighbors will see a motor home with no permit and will call the City with questions and lighting up the phones at City Hall because they are not happy with motor homes or an eight-foot-wide trailer out there; whether it is safe or not is another question.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if the Commission should ask Staff to look at the potential loopholes.

Commissioner Wright stated that if issues that might be a problem when people apply for a permit were not clarified, it would be difficult for Staff to answer questions.

Commissioner Bilezerian stated that before he makes a Motion, he would like comments from other Commissioners on whether there is a recommendation to have 140 individual permits and whether the Commission should remove the $10 reference and leave the establishment of that up to City Council to be revised on an annual or bi-annual basis, based on input they receive. He stated that he has no objection to removing the $10 fee.

Chair Shepherd suggested making the Motion so there can be discussion.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved to approve the draft Attachment A of the Ordinance by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes related to on-street parking of oversized vehicles with the following recommended changes:

1. That Staff modify language associated with a determination of who would be issued a permit by either ownership or address.

2. Section 10.XX.040, Permit Process, subparagraph H, be modified to read,

“A permit fee for each permit shall be required as established by the City Council”

Seconded by Commissioner Wright”.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Parfenov commented on the $10 permit fee and stated that he believes that the Commission intended to leave it blank and that the language should be corrected.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 17 of 56

Commissioner Wells suggested two amendments to the Motion that could be better understood: (1) Change Section 10.XX.040, Permit Process, paragraph C to read, “No more than one hundred forty (140) permits shall be issued during any calendar year to an single owner-occupied property.”

Chair Shepherd pointed out that Commissioner Wells is referring to Item 1 in the Motion.

Commissioner Wells stated that after Item 1 of the Motion was read back he is comfortable with that, and proceeded to his proposed amendment two: (2) Change Section 10.XX.040, Permit Process, paragraph H to “A permit fee, established by the City Council for each permit shall be required for each permit.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved to approve the amended wording as follows:

1. Change Section 10.XX.040, Permit Process, paragraph C to read:

“No more than one hundred forty (140) permits shall be issued during any calendar year to an single owner-occupied property.”

2. Change Section 10.XX.040, Permit Process, paragraph H to:

“A permit fee, established by the City Council for each permit shall be required for each permit.

Seconded by Commissioner Wright.

Chair Shepherd noted that page numbers were missing from the agenda packet, and asked Staff to make sure that, in the future, the pages are numbered to make it easier to reference information.

Commission Discussion

Chair Shepherd stated that she would like to see more specific wording in the Motion such as suggested by Commissioner Wells. She asked if the Commissioners want the number to be 140 and, if so, it would need to be permitted by address and not per individual who owns the address or per vehicle attached to the address. She would like to have more direction in the Motion as opposed to leaving it as general, which seems to be leaving it to someone else to make a recommendation that ends up in City Council’s hands, and it is not really the Traffic Safety Commission’s recommendation.

Commissioner Bilezerian commented that if you are a single property owner, is it the Commission’s intent to limit that one person to 140 permits regardless of the number of oversized vehicles they own and the number of properties they own.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 18 of 56

Chair Shepherd commented that if the Commission attaches permitting to a property, then if the applicant owns a property somewhere else in the City, but their daughter or son lives in it, if permitting is by property, then so be it.

Commissioner Bilezerian stated that he is agreeable with Staff tweaking the Ordinance wording as they would like, but if Chair Shepherd is concerned that one person owns two properties in the City, they could theoretically own one vehicle and obtain 280 permits. He asked if it is the Commission’s intent to hold them to 140.

Chair Shepherd responded not necessarily, but 140 in front of whatever property; that the issue is how many times the vehicle is parked. She stated that she is trying to understand this because it was not her selected Ordinance. Something simple for her—and she hopes they send through a minority report—would be either ban them from the City or ban them from 2:00 am to 5:00 am like the surrounding cities are doing, which would make all the administrative issues go away. She explained that it is her minority opinion and she believes one other Commissioner had that opinion. She explained that she is trying to understand the full intent in this to discuss it even though it is not hers.

Director Bell recommended that it be per address and let the ownership and vehicle all shake out; that rather than one owner owning several properties in Rancho Palos Verdes, there is more likely to be one property having more than one set of toys such as a boat, a motorcycle trailer, a trailer, and a motor home. If they end up with all that complexity, it will become more unwieldy. For implementation, he thinks it should be restrictive per address and then it solves another problem; what happens if you have a relative with a motor home come to visit. Would it be reasonable if they come in late at night, park it there with a permit, and they know they have to get it out of there if they stay longer. At least they are legal and many people appreciate that.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if there are any individual property lots such as town homes or condominiums where they have A, B, or C units where they have individual property owners on that lot; for example, there could be one curb frontage for two or three people, and asked if Rancho Palos Verdes has that.

Director Bell responded that he is not sure; that probably most of the apartment-types would be on major streets without much parking available, but the way the Ordinance is structured now it is more conducive to housing units.

Chair Shepherd commented that when the Planning Commission developed their requirements for on-site parking of RVs, she is not sure anyone else noticed what they looked at as far as apartments or condominiums, because there are no driveways. She commented that that issue has already been discussed, and questioned what were the conclusions. She suggested that if you live in an apartment and have an RV you find an off-site location for your vehicle. She suggested that the Planning Commission’s Ordinance must address apartment dwellers, town houses, or condominiums where there is underground parking.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 19 of 56

Director Bell said he doubted that motor homes or RVs are addressed.

Commissioner Parfenov referred to the intersection of Hawthorne and Ravenspur and commented that there is no place to park on Hawthorne so they park at a local resident’s address and he has seen some RVs there.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian amended his Motion to add a third change to the draft Ordinance as follows:

3. Change Section 10.XX.040, Permit Process, Paragraph C, to read “No more than one hundred forty (140) permits shall be issued during any calendar year to a single property owner address.”

Seconded by Commissioner Wright.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Wells questioned that if he lived at 1422 something lane, Unit A, he could park his RV in front of that unit; that is a single address. Maybe it is an apartment or a condominium, but it is a single address and not necessarily a corner-occupied property. He suggested that the Motion is saying to him that he can park his RV directly in front of 1422 something lane.

Chair Shepherd responded that it might not be in front of his unit. It might be in front of someone else’s.

Commissioner Wells stated that he knows he has to park it in front of his unit because that is what the Ordinance says.

Chair Shepherd questioned what if it is also parked in front of someone else’s unit because it is a duplex and there are side-by-side town homes.

Commissioner Wells stated, but he is in front of his unit.

Chair Shepherd responded that she does not think this Ordinance addresses that.

Commissioner Wells stated that they are eliminating the property owner when they say address, and maybe that is what they want. Maybe that does allow the renter to park his RV if he has on-street access because the Motion says it is per address.

Commissioner Bilezerian commented that the Motion is still restricting permits to property owners, and asked if that is correct.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 20 of 56

Director Bell suggested the issue is that when you get into it further you do not want a property owner from another address getting a permit for the neighbor across the street. He thinks the whole notion was that the address that the permit is procured for is for the vehicle that belongs to that address.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if there are two public hearings for an Ordinance being considered for adoption.

Director Bell responded that is correct.

Commissioner Bilezerian pointed out that the public who will be impacted by this Ordinance would have a chance to read it and determine whether or not it will affect them, and they would have the opportunity to express their concerns, which the City Council would consider. He asked if it is fair for the Commission to say that what the Commission has here, except for the tweaking, can go forward and see how people might pay attention a little more and have an opportunity to review and comment.

Chair Shepherd stated that she thinks that is fine, but wants to make sure the Commission is not saying they are tired of it so let’s just let it go and let someone else make the decision; that the Traffic Safety Commission has done their due diligence. She stated that no matter what is presented, the public will have issues and the Council might want something different.

Commissioner Bilezerian commented that the first part of the Motion allows Staff to make the changes, the Traffic Safety Commission has reviewed this draft Ordinance six or seven times, and he feels very comfortable that they have studied it to “a gnat’s eye”, so to speak. He does not think they are pushing something forward without due diligence.

Director Bell commented that he has been told that this parking Ordinance has been around the City in some form, some say for six years or more and others say eight to ten years, and he thinks it might be most appropriate to make sure they are comfortable with it. He explained that one of the duties of this Commission is to assist the City Council, and obviously, this will have a community reaction, and if there were a way to improve it at this level, it would serve the Council well. He commented that he thinks there is some really good dialogue here and he thinks there is probably more thought going on this now than in a very long time. Director Bell recommended that the Commission let Staff make the corrections, bring this back, and make sure the Commission is comfortable with it.

Commissioner Wright commented that the City Attorney has had this Ordinance for a while looking at different aspects of it. He asked if, during the time the Commission waits, it is conceivable that any of the things they have addressed here or any others that they have not considered are going to come back from the City Attorney that will solve some of these issues they are trying to address.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 21 of 56

Director Bell responded that Staff would bring these comments to the City Attorney when Staff puts them in place, and he believes they have a better piece of work now. He suggested that they might get to the point where some small aspects remain that were overlooked, but he thinks overall these changes are seemingly small, and the question is whether they have not thought of some other aspect.

Chair Shepherd expressed a preference to have the issue brought back to the Commission for review as opposed to just having a report.

Director Bell suggested possibly recommending to the Council that the Ordinance be for a trial period to see how it works and see if they want to make changes to it.

ACTION TAKEN:

The Motion carried on the following roll call vote:

Ayes 3 Commissioners Bilezerian, Parfenov, Wright

Nays 2 Commissioner Wells, Chair Shepherd

Absent 2 Commissioners Kramer, Vice Chair Willens

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Wells commented that some people have worked on this Ordinance for years; two members of the Traffic Safety Commission started last April, and sometimes they have ideas that might help and he thinks that another look would help everyone.

Chair Shepherd referred to the Staff recommendation and asked if the Commission decided that no other Motion is required.

Commissioner Bilezerian clarified that his understanding of his Motion was that they gave direction to Staff to make modifications, incorporate those modifications, and forward the draft Ordinance to City Council.

Chair Shepherd questioned if Commissioner Bilezerian’s Motion stated that, and clarified that Commissioner Bilezerian’s Motion was suggesting corrections.

Commissioner Bilezerian added by way of the Commission that Staff would come back to the Commission with suggested changes.

Chair Shepherd stated that she did not see that in the Motion and she wants to make sure that the Motion says that it is coming back to the Commission.

Commissioner Bilezerian stated that the recommendation says to provide comments and direction to be presented to the City Council. He reiterated that his understanding is that if the Commission provides comments and direction to Staff and that direction is incorporated, then it goes forward to the City Council.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 22 of 56

Chair Shepherd suggested that they might need a Motion for that because she does not believe it was in Commissioner Bilezerian’s Motion, which was to make some corrections. She explained that that Motion has passed and the corrections will be made. She stated that another Motion is needed to direct Staff to bring the draft Ordinance back for the Commission to review.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Wright moved that corrections one through three listed below, recommended in the Motion as moved by Commissioner Bilezerian and seconded by Commissioner Wright, be incorporated into the On-Street Parking of Oversized Vehicle draft Ordinance XXX:

1. Change Section 10.XX.040, Permit Process, paragraph C to read: “No more than one hundred forty (140) permits shall be issued during any calendar year to an single owner-occupied property.”

2. Change Section 10.XX.040, Permit Process, paragraph H to “A permit fee, established by the City Council for each permit shall be required for each permit.

3. Change Section 10.XX.040, Permit Process, Paragraph C, to read “No more than one hundred forty (140) permits shall be issued during any calendar year to a single property owner address.”

Commissioner Wright further moved that Staff prepare a report incorporating those corrections, and bring it back for the Traffic Safety Commission’s consideration, seconded by Commissioner Wells.

Motion approved:

Ayes 5, Nays 0

Absent: Commissioner Kramer, Vice Chair Willens

RECESS AND RECONVENE:

The Commission recessed at 8:50 pm and reconvened at 9:02 pm.

NEW BUSINESS:

1.

HAWTHORNE BOULEVARD NEAR RYAN PARK PARKING PROHIBITIONS

Recommendation

Deny the request to prohibit parking on the west side of Hawthorne Boulevard adjacent to Ryan Park.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 23 of 56

Traffic Engineer’s Report

Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed his written report:

“At the December 10, 2007 Traffic Safety Commission meeting, a resident spoke during the segment for items not on the agenda requesting that parking be prohibited on the west side of Hawthorne Boulevard adjacent to Ryan Park. The resident felt that allowing parking in this area created a traffic hazard.

“Hawthorne Boulevard in the subject vicinity is a major arterial roadway with two travel lanes in each direction separated by a raised median. The inside lane is 12-feet wide while the outside lane is 18-feet wide. There is a relatively steep downgrade to the south, with a horizontal curve at the southern portion of the park. The posted speed limit is 45 mph, with a recently adopted 25 mph truck speed limit for southbound trucks. There are traffic signals north of the park at Dupre Drive (which provides access to the parking lot for the park) and south of the park at Vallon Drive. There is a stairway connecting the parking lot to Hawthorne Boulevard located approximately 500 feet south of Dupre Drive.

“North of Dupre Drive are bike lanes and parking prohibitions in each direction. There is evidence of bike lane striping south of Dupre Drive that was previously removed. It appears that this action was done to allow parking in the vicinity of Ryan Park. During high volume activities, such as holidays and athletic or community events, this is necessary due to the inadequacy of the off-street parking lot to handle the demand. It was also observed that school buses parked on Hawthorne Boulevard near the stairway when organized children activities were taking place. It appears that buses would have significant difficulties turning around in the parking lot if they were to use this facility to load and unload children.

“A review of the three-year reported accident history through October 2007 revealed no accidents involving parked vehicles in this area, or vehicles in the act of parking.

“Based on the lack of reported accident history, the need for additional on-street parking during various events and the apparent inability of school buses to reasonably utilize the parking lot, it appears appropriate to retain on-street parking in this area.”

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that he would recommend against implementing any additional parking prohibitions in that area.

Traffic Engineer Rydell presented alternatives as follows:

“1. Prohibit parking on Hawthorne Boulevard in the vicinity of Ryan Park.

“2. Consider other actions as may be determined.”

ACTION TAKEN:

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 24 of 56

Commissioner Wright moved to accept the recommendation as presented:

“Deny the request to prohibit parking on the west side of Hawthorne Boulevard adjacent to Ryan Park.”

Seconded by Commissioner Wells.

Commission Discussion

Chair Shepherd commented that she has driven that area at different times of day and has not seen any issues with parking.

Commissioner Parfenov commented that the park is small and there are always cars on the street on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Drivers do not want to go into the neighborhoods, so they park along Hawthorne. They need a parking lot but there is just no capacity, and there is no way a bus can turn there because it is too small.

Motion approved:

Ayes 5, Nays 0

Absent: Commissioner Kramer, Vice Chair Willens

NEW BUSINESS:

2.

MIRALESTE DRIVE STRIPING PLAN

Recommendation

Approve the attached striping plan for Miraleste Drive between Palos Verdes Drive East and Via Colinita.

Traffic Engineer’s Report

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this type of project would usually be done as a Staff project; however, when Staff looked at it and considered maintaining the striping on Miraleste Drive he saw the possibility of addressing other issues he is aware of out there. Because of that and the changes he would propose they thought it was appropriate to bring it to the Traffic Safety Commission for consideration and give the public an opportunity to voice opposition if they so chose.

Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed his written report:

“At the request of several residents, Staff has evaluated the need to re-stripe Miraleste Drive between Palos Verdes Drive East (PVDE) and Via Colinita to enhance motorist awareness of the lane assignments. Upon review of the existing striping, Staff has determined that some modifications to the current layout would be appropriate.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 25 of 56

“Miraleste Drive in the subject vicinity is an arterial roadway with a posted 35 mph speed limit. There is one through travel lane in each direction separated by a parkway median. The northbound and southbound barrels vary in width between approximately 24 feet and 30 feet. The travel and parking lanes also vary in width. There is fronting residential development on the outside of each barrel, with substantial on-street parking. At the north end of the project location near Palos Verdes Drive East, there is commercial and institutional (fire department) development. Miraleste Drive terminates at Palos Verdes Drive East and is stop controlled.

“On the southbound barrel, a parking lane begins south of Via Bramante and extends to Via Colinita. The lane is delineated by a white edgeline and raised pavement markers placed within the parking lane and angled at approximately 45 degrees. The raised pavement markers are spaced approximately 100 feet apart. On the northbound barrel, the parking lane extends from Via Colinita to just south of Palos Verdes Drive East. It is marked in a similar fashion to the southbound barrel.

“Staff receives regular complaints from residents regarding speeding on Miraleste Drive. In an effort to address this issue, the striping on Miraleste Drive is proposed to be slightly modified to result in travel lane widths of 12 feet. In some places, this will not result in a change; however other areas within the project limits have travel lanes up to 16 feet wide. This lane width reduction would be expected to have a downward effect on prevailing speeds per current traffic calming knowledge.

“Associated with the lane width reduction, yellow left edgeline striping will be installed adjacent to the center median. This striping will be based on Caltrans Standard Plan A20B, Detail 25, and include raised reflective pavement markers. The striping will be located such that a 2-foot shoulder is created between the edgeline and the median.”

Traffic Engineer Rydell commented that the raised reflective pavement markers would provide visibility in fog as well as nighttime.

“The parking lane will vary in width in order to maintain a constant 12-foot wide travel lane. It will be marked with a white 4-inch stripe parallel to the direction of travel as well as 12-inch stripes placed at a 45 degree angle to the direction of travel. The angled stripes will be spaced approximately 50 feet apart. Currently, the edgelines and diagonal markings are made with raised pavement markers, many of which are no longer in place. It is recommended that the edgeline and angled raised pavement markers be replaced with thermoplastic paint to reduce the adverse affects these devices have on bicyclists. The California Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) specifically states the following in Section 3B.14:

“Raised pavement markers should not substitute for right edge line markings.”

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that part of his issue is to try and protect the City from liability wherever possible, and if they are going against the current Manual of Uniform

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 26 of 56

Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) guidelines, he would suggest that they consider going into conformance. He continued reviewing his written report:

“To enhance the visibility of the painted diagonal stripes, it is recommended that the current spacing of 100 feet (for the raised pavement markers) be decreased to 50 feet. Replacing the raised pavement markers with paint would also be expected to enhance safety for bicyclists, since traveling over the markers introduces a raised object that can be slippery, especially when wet.”

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the negative associated with that is that replacing the raised pavement markers with thermoplastic paint is that some residents might find it is not an advantage to them. They might feel that the raised pavement markers provide an additional visual, an additional tactile effect to keep them away from the parked cars and keeps them in the lane. He stated that paint does not do that; whereas pavement markers would, so he does not necessarily think it is inappropriate that people think that, but he does think it needs discussion. He explained that when you change things, people do not necessarily like it, but he does believe this would enhance safety and would have a positive effect on the roadways. He referred to the six pages in the Staff report that show the striping, and briefly pointed out and explained the changes. Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed the recommendation and presented the alternatives as follows:

“1. Reinstall the existing striping and marking layout.”

“2. Establish a new striping and marking layout different from the recommended plan.”

“3. Consider other actions as may be determined.”

Commission Questions of Staff

Chair Shepherd asked if Public Works provided notification to any of the residents that this meeting was taking place, other than the normal notices.

Senior Engineer Motahari responded that they did not.

Commissioner Parfenov referred to the channelizing lines and asked Traffic Engineer Rydell if it would be just the lines.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it would all be thermoplastic paint.

Commissioner Parfenov referred to modifications at Ravenspur Drive where delineators were used.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 27 of 56

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Ravenspur had a specific problem; motorists were driving through the right-turn only lane and going through the intersection, so that was a different situation.

Commissioner Wells suggested that the thermoplastic paint should also be used on lower Toscanini to give the illusion of a narrower road and would slow drivers down.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that roadway narrowing was one of the alternatives given for Toscanini when Staff made a presentation.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if Staff has a cost estimate for this project.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he does not.

Chair Shepherd returned to the discussion of notification, and asked what is the policy, particularly since the residents on Miraleste are very vocal and no one is here. She explained that the City is changing something the residents are used to and it is directly in front of their homes; that when construction starts the residents might be back here complaining.

Senior Engineer Motahari explained that it is a Code issue, but if the Commission thinks it should be done, the cost is not an issue.

Commissioner Wells explained that when the Mira Vista traffic calming was debated there were signs posted at Crestwood, Trudie, and the intersection of Miraleste and Via Paulina announcing that there would be a meeting about that inviting people to come to the meeting. He asked if that is more cost-effective than sending mailers.

Senior Engineer Motahari stated that it could cost between $400 and $700 depending on how many signs, but he has not made an estimate.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that they have to consider the conflict; that the City is not in compliance with MUTCD, and he takes those issues very seriously. He stated that it is not a “shall”, it is a “should”.

Chair Shepherd commented that it is a safety issue, but not a livability issue.

Commissioner Parfenov stated that visual narrowing with striping is a good idea. He commented that he wanted to see striping at Toscanini as well. Secondly, he asked if the cost of the proposed re-striping installation would be significantly greater than using raised pavement markers.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that raised pavement markers are expensive; they would be more expensive than paint.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if the cost would be greater.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 28 of 56

Senior Engineer Motahari responded that the City would also have to pay for layout; with striping, there is no cost for layout, so it might be a lot.

Commissioner Bilezerian stated that he could not support something without a cost or an implementation schedule, or approve something without knowing what is going to happen next. Would funding be available and what would be the cost.

Senior Engineer Motahari explained that the cost estimate is not available because they have not seen the contract, but it would be in the range of $5,000 to $8,000, which is within the budget that they have.

Commissioner Bilezerian suggested that it would probably be more than that. He suggested that Staff could still prepare a cost estimate without having a bid from a contractor; you just have to decide what is in the budget. He suggested supposing that the project was approved tonight; what would be the next step, is there a plan for how soon it would begin, and what would be the implementation schedule.

Senior Engineer Motahari responded that they have a budget for striping, this would be included in the existing budget, and the work would be done in a matter of months. He explained that Public Works has a contract for striping and they can add projects as they see appropriate. He commented that since there is an issue of residents being against the project, perhaps Staff should think it over.

Commissioner Bilezerian reiterated that there is money in the budget and asked what is Staff’s estimate.

Senior Engineer Motahari responded that it should not cost more than $8,000 to $10,000 at most based on the neighborhoods that have been done.

Commissioner Bilezerian stated that involved in this project is grinding existing striping, and asked if there are chevron lines now.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that most of it is popping out the raised pavement markers (RPMs), which is the majority, and then there is diagonal striping.

Commissioner Bilezerian commented that chevron lines are shown in the aerial view and confirmed that each one must be ground off, and thermoplastic paint would replace all marking in the subject area. He suggested that it would cost more than $8,000.

Senior Engineer Motahari stated that if it is more, they have the money. He explained that they have a typical price for setup and it has to do with the crew; the crew that does the work can set this up in one day, and then do installation in a couple of days. He explained this is how Staff does their eyeball estimate of cost. That is why he said $8,000, but stated that he might be wrong.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 29 of 56

Commissioner Bilezerian asked what if it goes over $8,000.

Senior Engineer Motahari stated that they still have that money in the budget and offered to provide the balance if necessary.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this is a routinely budgeted maintenance issue. He explained that there are a couple of reasons Staff brought it to the Commission: First, to make sure that the Commission is comfortable with the approach in removing the RPMs and replacing them with paint, and that is the biggest issue. The other reason was to make the Commission aware of the slight modification in the layout to make a consistent 12-foot lane. That is why Staff brought it to the Commission, and otherwise it would be a Public Works maintenance issue.

Commissioner Bilezerian stated that he supports the concept and the RPMs for the right edge; he is just curious about the cost and does not think he can approve something without the cost.

Commissioner Wright stated that he agrees that if this is a safety issue it should be done, but he asked if this is the way Staff estimates projects generally money wise, that it will cost between $5,000 and $10,000.

Senior Engineer Motahari explained that when they implement it they come up with that estimate.

Commissioner Wright commented that Staff is in the planning stage, but then the Commission does not know for certain.

Senior Engineer Motahari explained that they had $50,000 last year for the entire City. Staff has taken care of the necessary neighborhoods on the inventory. Then Traffic Engineer Rydell had the idea that this neighborhood could also be improved and they have a contract that has unit prices; but for setting up new striping layouts there is a cost and it is difficult to estimate.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that if they had just gone ahead and re-striped it the Commission would not have seen it. This is why they brought it to the Commission, because Staff feels that policy recommended it and that is what City Council has empowered the Commission to do. Staff is asking if the Commission likes that kind of a policy, that Staff is getting rid of these types of markings, the RPMs, and going to the paint.

Chair Shepherd suggested that what the Commissioners are saying is that when it does come to them they should be considering the cost based on past discussions and a decision to be fiscally responsible. This would include Staff providing assurance that there is a budget, and she directed that in the future a cost estimate should be included. She explained that she understands that Staff has reviewed this already, they have a budget, the money is available, they do not have to go for an amendment, but the

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 30 of 56

Commission is saying they would like to know what it would cost. Chair Shepherd asked if the Commissioners are comfortable with a Receive and File on the cost, or would they like to see the cost before they deliberate.

Senior Engineer Motahari stated that they are not under time pressure on this project and could bring it to the next meeting.

Chair Shepherd stated she does not speak for the other Commissioners but, for the record, Staff should make sure that budget information is provided in the future.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if Staff has an accident history for this area.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that they do not.

Sgt. Creason reported that he looked up the past couple of years and there were no accidents.

Commissioner Parfenov suggested that if being fiscally responsible is the reason they cannot improve the safety, that is not why he would want to do it; that you cannot put a dollar sign on a human life and safety is also important.

Commissioner Bilezerian expressed agreement; however, his question would be were the residents concerned with speeding.

Traffic Engineer Rydell said no.

Senior Engineer Motahari explained that the call he got was that the striping was faded; no one pays attention, especially at nighttime.

Commissioner Bilezerian clarified the problems as (1) speeding, (2) existing striping is fading. He suggested that Staff could make improvements by (1) asking for selective enforcement and (2) refreshing the striping.

Senior Engineer Motahari responded yes.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that refreshing striping would be re-installing the raised pavement markers for the right parking area.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if there is an option to pop off the white pavement markers and install a white thermoplastic edge line.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that that is part of his recommendation.

Commissioner Bilezerian added “only”.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 31 of 56

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that he is also trying to get rid of the diagonal as well, and that is the main issue they are dealing with here.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if selective enforcement has been requested.

Sgt. Creason responded that yes, it has over the years and the Deputies have been there month in and month out. He explained that it goes in cycles; sometimes they write citations and other times they do not.

Commissioner Bilezerian questioned that the problem with speeding is a realistic problem and they do write citations.

Sgt. Creason responded that they do not write as many citations as they did in the past and he has not had any complaints in the last couple of months.

Commissioner Bilezerian suggested that if speeding has been addressed then it is more of a safety issue with the white edge line.

Traffic Engineer Rydell suggested that there still might be a speeding issue, but regarding the issue of improving delineation, he believes the paint would provide much better guidance than the markers, especially in foggy conditions. In addition, he stated that there is a lot of volume on Miraleste Drive; they are looking at 14,000 vehicles a day on Miraleste because it is a primary route, he does receive complaints on a regular basis, and Miraleste is noted as one. He explained that they have many cars, they do have a speeding issue from his perspective, and they have an opportunity to modify the delineation so that it is more consistent with MUTCD, and he believes it would have some speed-reducing effect by itself. He stated that it is a good combination and is a good opportunity to try something because they need to do it anyway. He explained that throughout the City, one of the Director’s approaches is to address these issues and Staff has been doing that, and if you notice throughout the City, there are more striping requests, and this is the next thing on their list.

Chair Shepherd asked what Staff would do if the Commission approved this as recommended and the residents call and say they want the RPMs back. Would that be a budget issue, would it have to come back to the Commission or would Staff make that decision.

Senior Engineer Motahari responded that with safety issues Staff does not go back to the public and ask their opinion.

Chair Shepherd asked how Staff would handle requests from residents to restore the RPMs.

Senior Engineer Motahari responded that the modification is according to MUTCD.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 32 of 56

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that as a Traffic Engineer he would not recommend the RPMs because he does not think they are appropriate.

Chair Shepherd asked why they were installed in the first place.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the Manual is revised every couple of years.

Chair Shepherd pointed out that the RPMs should not substitute for right edge line markings, and suggested they could be in addition to striping, that it does not say they could not be placed on top of the paint, so maybe you can have both.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that you can have both, but his thoughts on taking the RPMs out had to do with bicycle friendliness, which is something Public Works is trying to address in the City as well.

Commissioner Bilezerian commented that RPMs also make it very difficult when doing maintenance or regular slurry seal; that it is very difficult to protect the RPMs because they must be covered with plastic.

Traffic Engineer Rydell commented that he has seen places where the RPMs were not protected and he expressed dissatisfaction with the results.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Wright moved to adopt the recommendation as proposed by Staff to:

“Approve the attached striping plan for Miraleste Drive between Palos Verdes Drive East and Via Colinita.”

Seconded by Commissioner Wells.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Parfenov clarified that the attached striping plan refers to pages one through nine of the Staff report.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded affirmatively.

Commissioner Parfenov stated that he would abstain because of his concern that the local residents were not notified properly even though it is a minor improvement because the neighbors will be quite surprised and might criticize the Commission for not making an announcement. Secondly, he would like to see some hard numbers on both alternative one to “Reinstall the existing striping and marking layout.” and recommendation issues.

ACTION TAKEN:

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 33 of 56

Motion approved:

Ayes 4, Nays 0

Abstained: Commissioner Parfenov

Absent: Commissioner Kramer, Vice Chair Willens

NEW BUSINESS:

3. MANAGEMENT AUDIT REPORT AND Traffic Safety Commission MILESTONES AND BUDGET

Recommendations

1.

Discuss Traffic elements of the management report and provide feedback to City Council.

2.

Discuss and provide written response to City Council regarding their decision of Feb 5, 2008, to approve month-to-month budget for Traffic Management Services contract.

3.

Review Milestones for implementation.

Chair Shepherd stated that she requested that these items be placed on the agenda, which lists the three recommendations above, commenting that Staff obviously combined some items and the Commission would have to pull the recommendations apart. She suggested that they discuss the Management Partners report (City of Rancho Palos Verdes), Organizational Assessment dated February 2008), and stated that the City Council has already had a meeting to review it. She reminded the Commission that Staff presented the milestones to the City Council on February 5, 2008, and suggested a discussion of whether the updated milestones were met. Chair Shepherd explained that the budget item involves the Traffic Engineer and suggested getting information from Staff on what is going on with the Work Plan. She explained that the Committee worked on the Work Plan several months ago to recommend a project perspective on what they thought were mandated programs, desirable programs, and a third category for projects the Commission would like to do. She explained that the Work Plan and the implementation budget were presented to and approved by the Traffic Safety Commission. She reported that it would go to the City Council in March. She asked the Commissioners if they reviewed the elements of the audit that pertain to the Traffic Safety Commission so they can discuss that this evening.

Chair Shepherd suggested that the Commission consider the budget item first, and reported that on February 5, 2008, Staff presented to the City Council a request for a month-to-month budget for the Traffic Engineer position. She explained that it created a dilemma for the Traffic Safety Commission at the time because it raised the question of how the Traffic Engineer would be able to agree to a month-to-month, not knowing at Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 34 of 56

the end of the month if they would be able to continue based on budget. She explained that this is probably going to be Traffic Engineer Rydell’s last meeting with Rancho Palos Verdes, and she is disappointed about that and does not like the way it happened; that she understands that an Engineering Associate would provide support for the Commission. She recommended a discussion about how the budget affects the Commission every time Staff makes a decision; that the Commission has a number of things that must be done, they are behind on some because of budget issues and decisions to pull the Commission’s resources from them from time to time for the last several months. She stated that they could not function appropriately, effectively, and efficiently if they do not have the resources. She suggested that the Commission should discuss it and if they have a position they can make sure it is provided to the City Council.

Director Bell reported that the February 5, 2008 agenda item was for funding so now they can amend the Traffic Engineering Program and add additional funding. In that item the paralleling issue was that the management report indicated a need to look at the Traffic Engineering Program. Therefore, the concept was to go month-to-month on the funding basis and that was put in the month-to-month approval on funding and that would continue the program, but also it was a contractual agreement for Priority Engineering for that funding category. He explained that the month-to-month was built into the funding agenda item, Jack Rydell, Principal of Priority Engineering, was not acceptable to month-to-month; therefore, based on that decision, he did sign one extension but chose not to extend it further. Director Bell explained that they had to arrange for alternate services because they wanted to continue support for this Commission, an obviously very important need. Director Bell introduced Lew Gluesing, Vice President of Wildan, and recalled that Wildan was the contractor for traffic engineering and Traffic Engineer Rydell worked through the Wildan contract up until about one year ago and then under a separate contract. He stated that this is the circumstance they now face. He explained that Mr. Gluesing is very competent in traffic engineering, he and Traffic Engineer Rydell did good work together, and Mr. Gluesing has knowledge of supporting traffic commissions as well as this City specifically. He explained that there are many good programs going, Traffic Engineer Rydell has been very busy, and clearly they need to continue the work programs. Director Bell stated that they have not sorted out how all the aspects would be addressed.

Chair Shepherd explained that when the issue of removing the Commission’s support from Traffic Engineer Rydell came up months ago when the budget was reduced, he was not going to attend Traffic Safety Commission meetings any longer, and there would be no Recording Secretary, etc., she was told in a meeting after the dust settled that it was a misunderstanding. She was told that there was really money in the budget for that position, but it was re-allocated into another slot. If that was the case, why did Staff recommend a month-to-month budget for this position knowing that there was so much work to do when they were told that there was money there for the rest of the year. Chair Shepherd stated that the Traffic Safety Commission has all these projects started as Committees; everything from the Palos Verdes Drive East Comprehensive Study to the Traffic Calming Program to the Work Plan. She explained that the

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 35 of 56

Commission tried to put together a tight Work Plan that would give the Council an understanding of what kind of work was in the pack for the Traffic Safety Commission as well as the Public Works Department. She asked if Wildan is month-to-month also.

Director Bell said yes. He explained that a number of questions have been asked and explained that the City has ongoing and very important traffic needs in the City. Part of the issue has to do with the original contract with Priority Engineering and the specific funding for that contract. He suggested that the Commission heard from a Council Member who attended a Commission meeting that this is an important traffic program.

Chair Shepherd stated that it had nothing to do with a Councilmember. She heard from Staff that Staff was directed to talk to her and clarify the concerns. She explained that a meeting was called by City Manager Carolyn Lehr with Assistant City Manager Carolynn Petru and Chair Shepherd.

Director Bell stated that that conversation was such that there was money in the overall Traffic Program, and that does not mean there is money in the Priority Engineering contract. He explained that the problem there is that they would not fill a position and use those funds toward the Traffic Program and that is what has been done. They have a position that has not been filled and those funds have been funneled into the Traffic Engineering Program.

Chair Shepherd questioned, from a budget standpoint, that you could not usually mix the color of money, and usually the color of money for a full time equivalent (FTE) is different than putting it somewhere else in the program; it has to stay with a FTPE. She explained that when she mentioned that in the meeting, they talked about the dollars for the vacant position and she was assured that if the position were not filled that money would go toward the contract for the consultant. Now we find out there is a request for a month-to-month consultant and yet the money is there for the vacancy because there is no position to fill so they have a favorable variance from July 1 to the current, so that money could have been used without requesting a month-to-month. She stated that labor and non-labor pots should not be mixed.

Director Bell explained that the contract was modified to use that money and asked Staff if that is correct.

Senior Engineer Motahari responded that Staff did ask for those funds and the amount of the authorization was not month-to-month. The budget was allocated for this contract, but there was a clause in there to renew this every month subject to the decision and determination by the report done by the City Council at the workshop and the new budget, so this was an instrument. He explained that he is saying the money in question was used; they did not get money for one month. They got this money until the end of August when they thought all these things would be in order, but there was a clause in there for renewal if there is a need and then they can use it.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 36 of 56

Chair Shepherd stated that that still does not address the month-to-month issue when she knows the money is there. She asked what year.

Senior Engineer Motahari responded August 2008.

Chair Shepherd asked, if the money was approved through August 2008, then why the need for a month-to-month when we are not even close to August; we could have gone three months. If Staff needed more time for the audit to be reviewed, there was no need to do a month-to-month when the money was there. She stated that the presentation to the City Council made her think that Staff was requesting a month-to-month because they wanted time to review the management audit and see what the findings were. She questioned why restrict and break up the smooth pattern; why not have a smoother transition if they are going to change for whatever reason. She stated that the Traffic Safety Commission has been thrilled with Traffic Engineer Rydell; she can speak for herself, and her Vice Chair. Chair Shepherd said she does not know how the other Commissioners feel, but if there is not a performance or budget issue, then why did they not let it go three or four months down the road until they found out what would happen with the audit and then come back with a recommendation. She suggested that the month-to-month aspect would make it difficult for anyone in any position; maybe Wildan can do it because they are a large company. They can just give Public Works a person this month and a new person next month, but no contractor worth his salt would accept a month-to-month contract and the City would not accept it if it was vice versa. She suggested that her point is it does not sound like she is hearing all the pieces of the puzzle; something is missing. She stated that it was not Council’s idea to have a month-to-month contract; it was a Staff recommendation to ask Council to approve it.

Director Bell explained that this is how the funding is arranged; this is how it is prudent to look at the funding portion of this program. He explained that right now, the funds are being dedicated. At what point do they implement the management audit recommendations and which ones they implement remains to be seen.

Chair Shepherd explained that it is her observation that it might be inappropriate to have the new person here (in the audience), and she would not have done it that way.

Commissioner Wells commented that there is money in the budget for a traffic program, and asked if he heard that correctly.

Chair Shepherd responded that that is what Director Bell said; that it is for the Traffic Program.

Commissioner Wells clarified that the money for the contract for this Traffic Engineer does not come from the funds set aside for the Traffic Program, and asked if that is a correct statement.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 37 of 56

Director Bell explained that the Traffic Program includes a position that is not filled, it also includes the Traffic Engineer’s services, and there are several dollar components within the Program.

Commissioner Wells referred to the position that is not filled and asked, does that have a dollar amount set for that contract.

Director Bell responded yes.

Commissioner Wells clarified that that dollar amount is not agreeable between the City and the contractor.

Director Bell stated that he does not think there is any question about that part. They are choosing not to fill it because of the existing circumstances. He believes that the part they are talking about here in the management audit is the City’s need to improve how they engage in traffic engineering services and there might be some other decisions. They need to look at bringing Staff into this picture and look at the Program; that many of the pieces that this Commission has asked for, prompted by the expansion of the Program, will come at an additional cost. Director Bell explained that the original contract for traffic engineering services was a very small portion, around $46,900, and they need to address the more comprehensive Program, saying it has not been addressed very well for years.

Chair Shepherd commented that they spent over six figures on that position for several years going back and looking at the budget. They have talked about this in the budget meetings; they have had regular amendments to the budget, and this goes back to before Traffic Engineer Rydell was in that position. She explained that in asking for the $40,000 or whatever was requested they should have known, because the actual expenditures over the past six years exceed that by two or three times. That is why Staff says do not worry about it because they expected it to be more than stated, and for four or five years they have had the same vacancy so they can utilize that money. She suggested that, if necessary, they could attach the funds from the vacancy to the budget area.

Director Bell stated that the position has been vacant for approximately one to one and one-half years. What they are talking about is expansion of the Program, and that will involve a budget policy issue; how far do they want to go and how do they want to address it, and that is why, appropriately, they went to a month-to-month and they will not have all the answers in one month.

Commissioner Wells stated it would seem to him that if they have the budget for Traffic Engineer Rydell, he does not understand why they are rocking the boat because it seems they are looking for other people to answer a very simple question. Traffic Engineer Rydell has worked for the Traffic Safety Commission, they are trying to get things done with him, and he does not understand that if they have the money for him, why do they not keep him.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 38 of 56

Director Bell explained that Traffic Engineer Rydell is not willing to accept the funding basis.

Commissioner Wells stated that the City wants to hire this position month-to-month, and if the City is not willing to hire Traffic Engineer Rydell on a contract that is not month-to-month; it must be because they want to fill the position on a month-to-month basis. He asked if he is wrong about that.

Chair Shepherd commented that is what she understands.

Commissioner Wells continued that the City has the money to hire Traffic Engineer Rydell’s services, but they are choosing, because of some recommendation from some party, to study it for however long and only have the Traffic Engineer on a month-to-month basis while the City takes this long time to study to see who gets to make the final decision. He asked if it would not be more prudent to keep Traffic Engineer Rydell on a contract extension until August with the existing available funds. Then during that time, the powers that be that need to study and come up with the recommendations where they accept the new contract for Traffic Engineer Rydell or if they want to go month-to-month, they can make that decision then. He suggested that to go month-to-month, which negates Traffic Engineer Rydell’s ability to be of great service to this City and they are doing that so that somebody somewhere can be in a decision-making role, does not seem like the residents of Rancho Palos Verdes are getting the best value for the dollars spent.

Director Bell responded that that is part of the business side that the City must look at, and is outside the realm of the Traffic Safety Commission.

Chair Shepherd stated that it is not, because the Traffic Safety Commission is charged to provide something to the City Council; they expect certain products from this body. She explained that the Commission has a responsibility to the Mayor and the City Council, and if the Director is making a management decision that would affect that, the Traffic Safety Commission should be involved and should have some input, even though they could not make the final decision. Chair Shepherd stated that when Staff does something like this and takes it to City Council and the Traffic Safety Commission knows nothing about it, it puts the Commission in a very poor position. She explained that she and other Commissioners have spent hours volunteering more than just in this meeting, weeks and weeks talking and meeting with Staff trying to get things done. She stated that she has to differ with Director Bell saying it is a decision he has to make and the Commission has no say in the matter. She explained that she does not like to hear that from Staff because it infuriates her when she knows the time she and the other Commissioners devote to this and they do not get to participate in issues that affect them. Chair Shepherd stated that if they want to do that it is fine; take away everything, take away the whole Commission if that is what is needed and if that is what City Council wants. She continued, but as long as the Traffic Safety Commission is expected to do things, they need support; they need a smooth transition if decisions are

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 39 of 56

being made because of budget, and they understand that, but on this one, they were so apart. Chair Shepherd explained that she is not pointing a finger at the Director; that he is the only person here so he gets to hear this and gets the attack, but suggested that somewhere the process is broken. She stated that the Commission is still not getting a direct answer. She suggested that somewhere in the management plan this was not the best way to do it; if this was a corporation, they would be filing bankruptcy now, because what the Traffic Safety Commission needs to perform their work is being taken away.

Director Bell responded that Staff is not interested in denying the Traffic Safety Commission the support needed to get the job done. The reason they brought forward how the contract decision was made not to continue the contract, and there was no finality of this month-to-month funding, that was a decision made by Priority Engineering.

Chair Shepherd suggested that no one would want to do that because there is no guarantee that there would be a renewal at the end of the month, and a consultant cannot work like that. She explained that the City could work like that with Wildan; if the consultant were not needed next month, he would be placed somewhere else. She suggested the new representative might be here for six months on a month-to-month because that is the relationship they have with Wildan, but the representative would not be unemployed if the City decides to make a change. She explained that the Traffic Safety Commission has projects pending and they and the new representative would have to get used to each other. Chair Shepherd suggested that the Traffic Safety Commission is not being supported and there is not the type of commitment to the Traffic Safety Commission that they need and thought they should expect.

Director Bell disagreed, and explained that Public Works’ ambition to address traffic safety are far more pronounced, they need to increase their level of work in this program area. He believes that was part of the budget policy workshop and part of the program plan. He referred to the history, which was $46,000 for traffic engineering services, and stated that is not appropriate for a two million dollar program.

Chair Shepherd commented that was not what was spent, that was only what was budgeted.

Director Bell explained that what they did in this program was not satisfactory for a comprehensive traffic program. The point is, Public Works is re-inventing what they are serving the community with, and Traffic Engineer Rydell has done a good job in many of these aspects and has been working toward the plan.

Chair Shepherd explained that the point is that the Work Plan was reviewed, approved by the Traffic Safety Commission, and forwarded to City Council, and the Council has yet to see it. She suggested that if the Council had seen the Work Plan before they saw the recommendation for the month-to-month, they might not have approved the month-to-month unless there was another reason. Maybe if the Council did not think there was

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 40 of 56

enough work product; they should have seen that Work Plan and they would have understood how important it was to keep a smooth working synergy between Public Works and the Traffic Safety Commission. Chair Shepherd explained that nothing Director Bell said so far makes this logical to her and it seems to her that they are taking a few steps back.

Director Bell explained that they had to take the following steps based on the conditions and that is where they are now.

Chair Shepherd stated that Director Bell keeps making it back to the fault of the person who did not sign the contract, but Traffic Engineer Rydell was not given a choice.

Commissioner Wright commented that there has been a history going on since the beginning of July to August, and he thinks it is important to encapsulate that before he asks questions—something that involved him and Chair Shepherd. He explained that in the early part of July and early August they were involved in one of the many things they work on away from the monthly meetings, referring to traffic calming. He remembers that while sitting in one of those meetings someone told him that they were going to, explaining that he was paraphrasing, lose the services of Traffic Engineer Rydell, and they were both shocked by that. He stated that a couple of people sitting in this room had discussed this apparently. He knows for a fact, without pointing a finger at Senior Engineer Motahari, that this was the conversation he noticed, three of them sitting at the table. They were very concerned about that, they brought it to the Commission that Traffic Engineer Rydell’s salary would be reduced to one day a week or something similar, that they would lose the ability to have a Recording Secretary and the Commission would have to take the notes themselves and have someone reproduce them. At some point, Chair Shepherd went to a Mayor’s breakfast and spoke to the Mayor, and the Commission was then told that it was all a big mistake, that the junior engineer, i.e. Senior Engineer Motahari, had totally got things wrong and that the Traffic Safety Commission was not going to lose their Traffic Engineer or Recording Secretary. Interestingly enough, the meeting either before or after that, there was no Traffic Engineer or Recording Secretary present and, in fact, Senior Engineer Motahari took the notes. Commissioner Wright stated that he does not know where they were wrong in what they were saying or what they were told, and he has a problem with that. He explained that a couple of meetings ago the Traffic Safety Commission was told that they needed to approve the Work Plan, wherein it would free up money so that, in essence, Traffic Engineer Rydell could be paid. He explained that maybe he is paraphrasing that wrong, but he believes that was his understanding of it.

Chair Shepherd commented that the Committee was putting the Work Plan together for Senior Engineer Motahari to prepare a Staff report to go to City Council to show the money needed to implement what was on the Work Plan, and that was supposed to help Senior Engineer Motahari have supporting documentation to request additional funds in the budget.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 41 of 56

Commissioner Wright explained that he and Chair Shepherd both had questions about that, and ultimately the Traffic Safety Commission voted to approve that money going out, and his feeling was that now they have Traffic Engineer Rydell; someone they have worked with and for whom they have a great deal of respect. He explained that he has worked with Traffic Engineers in the past as a Traffic Sergeant, and has not seen anything Traffic Engineer Rydell has done professionally that he would ever disagree with, and now we are at this point; Traffic Engineer Rydell is gone. Commissioner Wright asked Traffic Engineer Rydell if it is his understanding that his leaving from here is because he would not accept the month-to-month contract.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he signed a contract through March 1, 2008, and that is the only one he is signing.

Commissioner Wright asked if Traffic Engineer Rydell had any inkling this was coming or did anyone suggest to you that this would happen.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that he knew a couple of days before it went to City Council.

Commissioner Wright asked if Traffic Engineer Rydell had at any time a conversation, or have you ever offered your services so that you could still work for the City in the capacity as a Traffic Engineer and agree to work within the City’s budget so that you could stay here. He asked if Traffic Engineer Rydell had ever proposed any plan that would allow that to happen in his estimation.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he and the Director had talked about different ways over the past year probably.

Commissioner Wright commented that he personally has never heard of these plans.

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that these conversations were between him and the Director.

Commissioner Wright stated that Traffic Engineer Rydell was recently involved in the Marymount EIR, and asked if that is correct.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he was involved in the traffic part of it.

Commissioner Wright asked, in that draft EIR, were there any disagreements or were there any changes Traffic Engineer Rydell saw that needed to be made in the traffic part of the EIR that were not currently in it, and that were not in any previous versions. Did he have some recommendations or observations resulting from his involvement with that EIR.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he had talked at the December 10, 2007 meeting.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 42 of 56

Commissioner Wright asked if they agreed or disagreed with what was in the report that night in the draft EIR.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that the draft EIR was fairly good; he had thoughts just like anyone else sitting there.

Commissioner Wright asked if there were issues resulting from that; any disagreements from the City with you about what your observations were about that draft EIR, and, if so, were you all in agreement.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he has no idea exactly what their conversations were; they talked about many things. He commented that he is not going down that road.

Commissioner Wright commented that that answered his question. He suggested that maybe there is some logical reason for all this; maybe it was just happenstance that the three issues he talked about previously occurred. May it is just happenstance that the Traffic Safety Commission was told they were not going to have a Traffic Engineer at their meetings and he would only be available one day a week. Maybe it was happenstance that they were told all of a sudden in a “Letter to the Editor” by then Mayor Long, that it was all a big mistake, it was all Senior Engineer Motahari’s fault, and that the Traffic Safety Commission would always have that support anyway. Maybe they were all happenstance, but he has a problem with it and maybe it warrants further attention. He stated that he does not see any reason, especially since Traffic Engineer Rydell has been willing to work with the City in terms of working within the budget, unless there is a performance issue, and if there is, that is fine. Commissioner Wright expressed agreement with Commissioner Wells.

Commissioner Parfenov commented that Traffic Engineer Rydell is important to the Traffic Safety Commission and this was unexpected. That means they have to make adjustments involving the milestones.

Chair Shepherd explained that she is sorry that it had to come to this; if it is not a performance issue it would have been nice to work out an arrangement to maintain this relationship through the transition of taking on the management audit while they still have consistent staffing in place. She reported that the milestones went forward and they already had to re-invent their milestones, which are not exactly representative of what the Traffic Safety Commission would have told City Council. She explained that Staff put together the milestones and said they would not go to Council until March, so she did not give them her attention. Unfortunately, the Milestones Staff report went forward February 5, 2008 without proper input from the Traffic Safety Commission. They now have a commitment imposed by Staff on the Commission and a revision to the milestones without the Commission weighing in properly—not that she did not look at them, but they did not weigh in properly because of a misunderstanding. Now only two items are being moved to March, not the whole thing. Chair Shepherd explained

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 43 of 56

that the Commission’s need to re-assess their ability to perform their milestones is because of the hiccup with the budget and Traffic Engineer Rydell was missing for a couple of months before it was ironed out. She stated that with all of this, the Commission would have to get back up to speed. Their milestones will be affected and, even though it went to Council on February 5, they will probably have another item going to Council that will change the milestones again. She explained that she does not think it is appropriate for Staff to do it for them. Her issue goes beyond Traffic Engineer Rydell to the management of the program, the support the Commission has, and the relationship between the Commission, the Staff, and the Council. She explained that she would like them to take a position as a Commission, but that she speaks for herself.

Commissioner Wells asked if she is talking about a letter or resolution.

Chair Shepherd responded that she has nothing specific in mind other than just doing more than discussing it among themselves.

Commissioner Wright commented on the last paragraph of the Letter to the Editor by Councilman Long. He stated that the vast majority of it he thinks is very pathetic, but it is the last paragraph that really matters. Commissioner Wright explained that the rest of it does not really matter because it is directed at him, but when Councilman Long attacks this Commission and the people who volunteer their time, and suggests that they are not doing their job, himself in particular, he thinks that is pathetic, and that deserves a response. Commissioner Wright commented that the Mayor is sitting in this room right now and he would like to know if the rest of the Council feels this way, not about him personally, but about this particular issue.

Chair Shepherd explained to Mayor Stern that she does not want to put him on the spot since he is at this meeting, but she would like to know. She stated that she would probably ask the rest of the City Council if they feel that the Traffic Safety Commission is not fulfilling their duties because the Commission has never had anyone sit in this room who had issues with their performance; certainly Councilman Long has not been there. She stated that she has never heard directly from a Councilperson that they had issues with the Traffic Safety Commission’s performance; if they did they should come forward and address the Commission directly. She stated that she is curious if the rest of the Council feels that way as well; if not, maybe you (Mayor Stern) can address that as well and say whatever he wants to say, but that is a question she would like to ask the other four members of the Council. If they all feel that way, she would like to know why someone has not mentioned that to the Commission. She explained that the issues between Commissioner Wright and Councilman Long should have nothing to do with the Traffic Safety Commission except that he is on the Commission, and it is inappropriate for Councilman Long to use that to attack the Commission.

Commissioner Parfenov asked, regarding the controversy, if this decision was made before the Management Partners audit or after.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 44 of 56

Director Bell responded that, as he understands it, it was before that; the Management Partners presentation to the City Council was two weeks later, so there was information that leads them to believe that this needed to be addressed.

Commissioner Parfenov referred to page 106 of the Organizational Assessment by Management Partners, which refers in the last paragraph to $200,000 expense for staff services to provide support to the Commission based on the audit. He asked if that was based on the budget.

Director Bell explained that numerous programs were assigned through this Commission and obviously, Staff are involved in it as well. He stated that there is quite an extensive history in the budget that the Traffic Engineer was budgeted in the $45,000-$46,000 range and the actual expenditure to support the Commission has been approximately $120,000 plus other programs, not including Staff.

Chair Shepherd questioned that the $120,000 was not supporting just the Commission; that was supporting the Department of Public Works, was it not.

Director Bell explained that the sad reality is that much of the historical Public Works’ portions were not fully addressed, and more of it went to traffic calming addressed for this Commission. He explained that Public Works must address a far more comprehensive package and that is why they have been addressing the Work Plans; that is why Senior Engineer Motahari is on this and was working with Traffic Engineer Rydell. He stated that they are doing much more as a Public Works Department, and he feels they did not do much for the Public Works Department in years past. Director Bell suggested that you drive around the streets and see a lack of prisms, you can see a change now; he sees all the striping issues they have done, regulatory signage along the guardrails, many things need to be better addressed.

Chair Shepherd commented that they developed, approved, and agreed with the Work Plan.

Director Bell explained that this is a new direction. When you look at the history of money spent, it was spent for livability, not for comprehensive traffic safety programs and that is what they are looking at. Director Bell explained that they still have to look at the livability component and that is what is in the crosshairs here; this City has not properly addressed traffic and that is why they are all faced with an issue. They have a budget number, they have a list of Citywide projects, and they have not met the budget in the traffic area; it has not been properly addressed, and it needs to be. He explained that in the interest of the City, the Commission is to expand programs and that comes at a cost. They are now taking a look at how they address those, that is why the Work Program is being developed; you establish a zero-based program, determine what it costs to run the City, and run it, program it correctly. They have to decide how they provide these services. That is part of why they went month-to-month because they need to re-invent how they do business; change players, probably—not or could, but how do they do the business is what they need to look at and that is what is on the

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 45 of 56

table. Compare the funding, compare the Work Programs, and come up with meaningful ways to get the job done, and that means more than one piece of work, and you’re right; that has not been done before and it needs to be done now. They need to resolve issues like this and then go forward, and is it a budget issue; absolutely it is.

Chair Shepherd asked if the Commissioners received a request from Management Partners to complete a multiple-choice survey, and Commissioner Wright said he received it. She noted that two Commissioners responded according to the statistics on page 143 of the Management Partners report. She stated that she did not receive it.

Chair Shepherd opened the Public Hearing.

Tom Redfield, 31273 Ganado Drive, represented the R & R Coalition. He explained that this has been going on with the Traffic Committee/Traffic Safety Commission for at least nine years that he has been involved. He explained that the former City Manager and the former Director of Public Works had no interest, no support, no focus, no nothing, and they had a weak traffic consultant; that they tried to get rid of Traffic Engineer Rydell in those days and it did not work because he did a wonderful job. Mr. Redfield explained that the residents were very excited to have a new Director, Jim Bell, in a very tough position because he has to tow the City Manager’s line or that’s it. Mr. Redfield suggested that the reason the Commission was not asked about their opinion on the survey was that Staff probably filled it out for them, as they change the feedback from the Commission, as they change the agenda. He stated that they heard it again tonight, they heard it last week, it should be recommendations three and four, etc. He stated that what has been going on is getting worse. He explained that the new City Manager came in because she would support Director Bell. Mr. Redfield suggested that saying this is about confusion and misunderstanding is baloney. He explained why he said that: About the same time they went through Council to straighten out this misunderstanding, the City Manager directed Chair Shepherd never, under any circumstances, to go to any member of the City Council individually, together, for anything; it should go through her, and Chair Shepherd objected. The second indication is that she told Chair Shepherd she was supposed to change her recommendations on her letter to the City Council to coincide with hers and Chair Shepherd refused to do it, and now they have another hassle and it goes on and on

Mr. Redfield explained that as a resident he could say things the Chair cannot say. He explained that he respects Director Bell greatly, he does fantastic work when the City is understaffed and underpaid and a thousand other things, but there is no excuse to treat someone like Traffic Engineer Rydell… Mr. Redfield stated that they did not hear Director Bell saying what a great loss this would be to the City; he cannot say that kind of stuff. They had to do what they did, there was no reason to do it, there was no justification for doing it; he hopes that Mayor Stern, who is a specialist that straightened out the Open Space Task Force that had the same kind of system that was broken. He explained that Chair Shepherd, the Vice Chair last time, and the rest of the Commission said the process is broken, there are Staff people who are put in a tough position because they are engineers, and they are not specialists in traffic. The only expert the

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 46 of 56

Commission had was the traffic consultant, and it is not fair to them. Mr. Redfield explained that at one time they had Nicole Jules, who was a professional traffic Staff person who could not get anything done because Dean Allison would not let her.

Mr. Redfield explained that he has watched this thing go on and on; they had a dysfunctional Traffic Committee and they now have that Councilman Long who has charged that this is a dysfunctional Traffic Safety Commission. He stated that it is getting worse, and he would encourage the Commission to talk with the Mayor and the Council. Mr. Redfield stated that at the last Traffic Safety Commission meeting (Note: no date stated), “you were not there, he was not there, and the Vice Chair was not there to represent” (Note: no names stated, Vice Chair was present 1/28/08 and 12/10/07). He stated that Director Bell tried to explain where they were, saying, well, there is work going on at Palos Verdes Drive East and so forth; he did not say that he and Traffic Engineer Rydell together worked on all the tremendous work that is not going to City Council. He stated that the City Council had a right to think the Traffic Safety Commission is not doing anything because they are not involved with the City Council. Mr. Redfield expressed appreciation for the opportunity to clarify what is really going on.

Suzanne Wright explained that something has been troubling her as she sat through the Council meetings and looking at the management report and just hearing the random comments. She stated that there seems to be an overriding sentiment with the current bureaucracy in the City that citizen oversight and citizen Commissions are a waste of time and a waste of money and to her that is really scary and troubling. She stated that they live in a community where there are such incredibly intelligent, educated people who want to be involved in their government, and in any democracy that should be such a wonderful thing that democratically elected officials want to grab on to. She commented that the fact that Commissioner Bilezerian understands slurries and whatever that kind of paint is amazing to her, but she sees that every single time she walks in and sees a Commission sitting. Ms. Wright stated that the quality of people that they have on their Commissions is extraordinary, and they get this incredible free work out of them with these amazing minds; obviously, you are Madam Chair, for business. Ms. Wright explained that it is very frightening to her that there seems to be this overriding tenor about let’s get rid of Commissions. She referred to the management report and some of the things the City Manager said: It’s a long rose line, these people are a waste of our time, and we want to be in charge.

Having said that it is an overriding issue, Ms. Wright presented questions that she hoped the Commission would ask of Traffic Engineer Rydell. She suggested that there is something very odd about this as everyone has noticed; the fact that you would sit there and say, Well we’re really not sure what we need to do between now and August, so we’re just going to change horses in mid-stream and go month-to-month. She stated that her first question to Traffic Engineer Rydell if she was sitting on the Commission is, would you have been willing to just continue with your current contract until August. Would you have been willing to stay the course until August. She explained that if the answer to that is yes, then why this incredible urgency to go month-to-month, which is not, as the Chair pointed out, something that very few companies, particularly the ones

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 47 of 56

that would give them the same person month after month, year after year who had the knowledge of the City, would be able to engage in. She stated that she would think there was some urgency to push Traffic Engineer Rydell out between now and August, and something must have changed, and it is very unfair what that is and she thinks everyone is struggling with that. She asked how many other consultants with the City are month-to-month; that it seems a very unusual arrangement to her, and she would like to know if there are any others. Or, if based on the management report, there is a desire to do that because it just does not seem to make a lot of sense; and again, if there is not another consultant that has been asked to go month-to-month, why here, why now. Ms. Wright said she would like to know if this kind of month-to-month contract has ever happened before in the City’s history with consultants. She would like to know what the amount of funding in Traffic Engineer Rydell’s current contract is as she is not clear as to whether or not that contract of necessity has to stop at the end of March or what the renewal aspects of it were.

Ms. Wright stated that the last thing she would like to know is, there is a statement Commissioner Parfenov made stating that there was something in the management report about $200,000 to support this Commission, and it sounded like the response was very muddy. She did not get whether or not that was to support the programs that they institute or whether it was to support their time sitting here discussing things, and it does not seem like the report makes it clear how they arrived at that number. She pointed out that another problem with the management report is the enormous turnover of Staff that is occurring under the current City Manager’s tenure. She stated that this just seems to be another person that got tremendous tenure with the City that knows the City, and all of a sudden since this City Manager has been in place there’s another person with tremendous knowledge walking out.

Chair Shepherd closed the Public Hearing.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Wright said he would imagine that after this meeting there will be a series of hate-filled e-mails floating around, particularly about him from Councilman Long. If those are reflected back on this Commission or Committee, there should be somebody here to put him in check. If Councilman Long were going to say those things about a group of people who are all volunteers, there would be repercussions to him and to those in elected positions. Commissioner Wright stated that he thinks that is something people need to look at and make sure that people act in a professional manner and keep their issues between the individuals and not the volunteers who are trying to a good thing.

Chair Shepherd suggested that the Commission would need some time to find out what the Staff’s plan is for the meetings in the absence of the Traffic Engineer. She said the Commission seems to be subject to the whims of what Staff is doing. She does not know how comfortable she feels about that because the Commission has things they need to accomplish, and they are not sure whether they can accomplish those until they Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 48 of 56

know what Staff is doing, and they have subjected the Commission to having to wait and see. She explained that the Committee for the Palos Verdes Drive East Comprehensive Study is on hold because they do not know where that is going. The Technology Committee is on hold because they have not heard from the Councilmember who wants a specific product, and in all of those, the Commission needs the support of the consultant engineer. She explained that she is at a loss as to how they go forward. She suggested that the milestones should come back next month, and they need to delve into them and understand what they are and how the Commission is going to deliver; Staff has put together some deliverable dates for the Commission to make sure it is something the Commission can live with and accomplish. Chair Shepherd stated that she does not know what the Commission can do about the Management Partners audit. She explained that this is their finding and recommendations and it does not mean that the City Council agrees with them. She suggested that everyone’s perception is based on their own experience, and maybe they have not experienced a City like Rancho Palos Verdes, and do not understand how valuable the advisory Commissions and Committees are to the residents and the City Council. Regarding the budget, she stated that she wants the Commission to be more involved if they know that whatever decisions are made would impact the Commission’s ability to provide the service that is expected of them.

Commissioner Wells asked if Staff would allow the Commission to be part of the process.

Chair Shepherd responded that they should communicate with Council to make sure that Staff allows them. She explained that ultimately the Council manages the City and Staff reports to Council; the Commission reports to Council, they do not report to Staff, so it depends on what Council would like from the Commission. She explained that was her understanding, but Staff was allowed to disconnect that relationship and she is confused, and it all comes directly from who their bosses are, and the Commission reports to the Council. The Commission feels like their hands are tied and they have to let Council know that.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked if, because two Commissioners are absent, it would be appropriate to postpone this to the next meeting. He commented that one absentee is a long-term Commissioner, and it would give the others more time to review the report.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved to postpone any recommendations and decisions on New Business, Item 3 of the agenda, which is:

“Management Audit Report and Traffic Safety Commission’s Milestones and Budget”,

And move it to the March 24, 2008 meeting, seconded by Commissioner Wright.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 49 of 56

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Parfenov commented on the milestones and referred to Item 4 in the Executive Summary section of the Staff report dated February 5, 2008, from Director Bell:

“The City’s Traffic Engineer is working on a wide variety of new technology options for Rancho Palos Verdes’ traffic system. The Traffic Safety Commission is planning to form a subcommittee for further work. Work is anticipated to be completed by the end of August 2008.”

Commissioner Parfenov commented that he does not see the language that they are working on technology this weekend, and they are almost ready to prepare their final project. He explained that he and Commissioner Kramer are working on the language.

Chair Shepherd explained that it does not say that because, at the time of his request, Councilman Clark, who actually requested the product, wanted development of a Legislative Bill that would go to Sacramento. He suggested, possibly a pilot program that the City of Rancho Palos Verdes could work in partnership with some of the members of the California League of Cities, and had a specific product he wanted to see. Councilman Clark was going to meet with the members of the Technology Committee and explain exactly what was expected, and this is on hold because they are waiting for a response from Councilman Clark. Chair Shepherd explained that the Technology Committee did provide a product a couple of years ago, but that is not what the Councilman is looking for; that is not governmental legislation. She explained that the Technology Committee needs direction from Councilman Clark. She explained that if the Committee is working on something that they feel comfortable presenting, not knowing what his work product request was, then that is not for her to say; that working without knowing what the work product is seems problematic.

Commissioner Parfenov responded that if what the Committee is preparing is not what is wanted, they would definitely work with Councilman Clark rather than something that is not needed.

Chair Shepherd explained that she understood from two conversations with the City Manager about this issue that she (the City Manager) was going be the liaison to coordinate a meeting to get the information and provide it to the Commission, but she (Chair Shepherd) has not heard from the City Manager for a while. Chair Shepherd e-mailed the City Manager a couple of weeks ago, and she said that her efforts had not yet generated a response. Chair Shepherd suggested that Director Bell might remind her that she agreed to talk with Councilman Clark about this. Chair Shepherd explained that Councilman Clark had a specific design at the Budget Workshop when he made the initial request. She explained that Traffic Engineer Rydell was probably going to work with the Committee on one of the issues, and found out that Los Angeles and Beverly Hills got together and had already sent something to Sacramento and it failed. She stated that she provided the packet to Councilman Clark and let him know it was from Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 50 of 56

Traffic Engineer Rydell and that, if this was where they were headed, it was unsuccessful, and asked if there was something else he would like the Traffic Safety Commission to do. She explained that they are waiting on a response from him, because the Commission would have to tweak their proposal and send it to Sacramento again; they cannot send the same thing because it would fail two separate times. She explained that Commissioners Parvenov and Kramer were copied on that probably almost a year ago.

ACTION TAKEN:

Motion approved:

Ayes 5, Nays 0

Absent: Commissioner Kramer, Vice Chair Willens

RECEIVE AND FILE:

1. Action Items Matrix

Chair Shepherd commented that the Commission should have a hard copy of the matrix to review. It should include items like the striping of Miraleste and the request for information on the technology deliverables with columns to show the discussion, approval, and completion dates. She explained that if someone said the Commission is not doing their job, a cumulative matrix would show over a period of time what kind of things were discussed in a summary form, and she has been asking for this over the past two years. In response to Senior Engineer Motahari, the matrix should also include requests for information, requests to contact someone, requests for stop signs, and administrative issues. She explained that this would be an action item, and she would work with him if necessary.

2. Commission response to e-mails from residents.

Chair Shepherd explained that when the Commissioners receive e-mail through rpv.com, Senior Engineer Motahari and Traffic Engineer Rydell get a copy also. She stated that someone from Public Works should inform the Commissioners that a response was sent to the resident. She asked that when Staff responds to the resident, they should cc the e-mail response to the Commissioners. She explained that this enables the Commissioners to be informed if the resident asks them about it, and the resident knows that the Commission is in the loop.

Commissioner Bilezerian asked how Staff responds to a resident’s e-mail.

Senior Engineer Motahari responded that he answers via e-mail, but mostly phone calls.

Chair Shepherd asked, if the resident sends e-mail does Staff respond by phone.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 51 of 56

Senior Engineer Motahari responded that Staff responds to e-mail via e-mail, but there are different types of communication. Residents come to the counter, they call, and they send communications.

Commissioner Bilezerian stated that he is specifically concerned with e-mail sent to the traffic Commissioners through the City’s e-mail address.

Chair Shepherd explained that residents can click on a link called traffic@rpv.com and, when they do that, all of the Commissioners get that e-mail including Senior Engineer Motahari and probably Director Bell. She explained that the Commissioners can give only a limited response to a resident for a number of reasons and she is trying to get clarification from the City Attorney regarding how far the Commissioners can go. She recalled that the previous Committee asked this question of the City Attorney and, based on her response, the Committee members decided collectively that they would just say, “We are in receipt of your e-mail. Staff will be addressing your issue as soon as possible.” or something similar. They were told by the City Attorney at that time that the Committee could not address the issue or solve the resident’s problem because it must be agendized and the Committee members would be outside of their authority to do that. She explained that rather than the Commission doing anything, they are hoping that Staff would respond before it got too late and it looked like no one was responsive. She explained that the Commission will not know how quickly Staff responds and what the response was, and the Commissioners want to be included in the response via a copy to them.

Senior Engineer Motahari asked if that included all communications or just e-mails.

Chair Shepherd responded just e-mails. She explained that she is requesting this between now and next month because the Commission will actually get a paragraph from the City Attorney that will address exactly what the limitations are and then Senior Engineer Motahari can go from there.

Commissioner Wright explained that the residents think they are talking to the Commissioners directly, which they are; but if they do not get a response, it reflects poorly on this body versus it is not their fault.

Chair Shepherd explained that the Commissioners have not been responding and some issues are very large; that she has been sending a message to Senior Engineer Motahari asking him to respond and copy the Commissioners so they know she responded.

Commissioner Bilezerian suggested that the website manager could be asked if they could include a note to the effect that “Traffic Commissioners do not respond directly to you; however a Staff person will respond.”

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 52 of 56

Chair Shepherd suggested they wait for the response from the City Attorney before adding a disclaimer because there might be something in her guidelines that the Commissioners could say, and different wording could be in the disclaimer.

Commissioner Bilezerian stated that he fully supports that the Commissioners individually should not respond because they would have different opinions. He just wants to be included in the response so he knows how it was followed up.

Chair Shepherd asked that this item be listed on the Action Items Matrix along with the response from the City Attorney.

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS

Public Works Department Report:

1. Safe Route to School Grant Application Status

Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that this grant and the Highway Safety Improvement Program grant were awarded. They are still fighting with CALTRANS to get the Master Agreement done, and there is a conference call tomorrow with that person to try to get this issue resolved.

2. Palos Verdes Drive East Comprehensive Study Status

Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff and the Traffic Safety Commission have made some significant advances. At this point the Committee will be giving Senior Engineer Motahari the draft early action report before he is gone near the end of the week. He explained that Staff has comprehensively inventoried the signage, guardrails, and roadside issues along Palos Verdes Drive East in entirety. They have completed a comprehensive accident analysis of every reported accident identifying where and what types of problems exist, recommended additional warning signs, curb warning signs, speed limit signs, delineators, new guard rails, improved guard rails, new guard-rail treatment, and anything that is not up to standard. The report has identified $280,000 worth of improvements, and Staff wrote a Grant to send the end of this month that would pay for the improvements if approved. He stated that this does not change the striping issue on Miraleste. He explained that the improvements could be handled very quickly if the Grant is approved.

Chair Shepherd asked if the new Traffic Engineer is efficient at writing Grants.

Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he is very good at it, and stated that Lew Gluesing is a great Traffic Engineer.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 53 of 56

Senior Engineer Motahari asked if this Early Action would be on the agenda for the Commission’s review or as a Receive and File.

Chair Shepherd asked if it is going to the City Council; that she recalls it being mentioned in connection with the Milestones at the February 5, 2008 Council meeting.

Senior Engineer Motahari assumed that it should go because they need matching funds, but asked if it should be brought to the Traffic Safety Commission before then.

Commissioner Wright suggested that it would be beneficial for the Traffic Safety Commission to see what happened.

Chair Shepherd asked that Staff add this item to the March agenda.

Commissioner Parfenov asked if measurements were taken.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that they took volume measurements, speed measurements, and turning counts at intersections, and said that this study includes everything.

3. Updated Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program Status: City Council, March 4, 2008. Traffic Safety Commission recommending Alternatives

a.

Residents Funding

b.

Shared Funding

Senior Engineer Motahari reminded the Commission that they approved full Resident Funding and Staff is recommending Alternative 2, Shared Funding.

4. Oversized Vehicles parking restrictions

Senior Engineer Motahari reported that should the draft ordinance be approved by Traffic Safety Commission tonight, it would be presented to the City Council in March 2008.

Other Traffic Safety Commission Business:

1. Comments regarding transition of Traffic Engineers

Traffic Engineer Rydell expressed appreciation for everyone’s support. He explained that he has known Lew Gluesing for a long time; he is a very good Traffic Engineer, he managed the Wildan Los Angeles traffic office at the same time he (Traffic Engineer Rydell) managed the San Diego office. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that he is committed to providing Mr. Gluesing all the

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 54 of 56

information and help needed to help the Commission and Staff; and to the extent that he can help he will make sure that nothing gets lost.

Chair Shepherd explained that she is sorry the Commission was not able to weigh in on the decision that was made, and said that Traffic Engineer Rydell will be missed.

Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that the Director’s decision is the right one; that he will make a big difference in this City, and he wishes he could be part of it. He suggested that there would be a noticeable improvement between the efforts of the Director and Staff.

2. Western Avenue traffic conditions during opening of Target store

Commissioner Wells reported that the first 70 intersections of 127 slated for installation between May 2008 and February 2009 include Summerland and Western, Crestwood and Western, Park Western and Western, Trudie and Western, and Delasonde and Western. He explained that this would not include Toscanini and Western, and Caddington and Western because those fall within the City limits of Rancho Palos Verdes, as does Palos Verdes Drive North and Western which falls within the city of Lomita. He explained that the funding has been arranged; that they do not have any word on the size of the Ponte Vista project. Commissioner Wells advised that they want to stay away from Western on March 6 unless they can walk to it because Target will have their grand opening at the top level of the terracing. He reported that both left-turn lane pockets heading northbound on Western Avenue are woefully too short to handle that kind of traffic, and traffic between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm backs up on Western as people try to make an unsignalized left turn up into the terraces, and it also backs up into the left-turn arrow at Caddington.

3. Daily Breeze article February 23, 2008 regarding traffic

Chair Shepherd asked if anyone read the article in the February 23, 2008 Daily Breeze regarding traffic and suggested it is available online for those who did not see it.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Recommendation:

Approval of minutes of October 22, December 10 and January 28, 2007

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved to approve the Minutes of October 22, 2007, seconded by Commissioner Wright.

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 55 of 56

Traffic Safety Commission Minutes

February 25, 2008

Page 56 of 56

Motion approved:

Ayes 5, Nays 0

Absent: Commissioner Kramer, Vice Chair Willens

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Wright moved to approve the Minutes of December 10, 2007, seconded by Commissioner Wells.

Motion approved:

Ayes 5, Nays 0

Absent: Commissioner Kramer, Vice Chair Willens

Chair Shepherd asked if the comments originally attached to the December 10, 2007 Minutes should be included and approved with the Minutes. She explained that she, Traffic Engineer Rydell, and Senior Engineer Motahari prepared the bullet-point document and it was a summary of comments on the Marymount DEIR from the December 10, 2007 meeting, including comments extracted from the Minutes and additional comments received via e-mail. She explained that the document was prepared for submission to the Planning Department.

Senior Engineer Motahari explained that the document was placed in the agenda packet for information, and since the reports and Minutes were copied back to back, the comments document was attached to the Minutes in error, and that is why the Minutes were not approved at that meeting.

ACTION TAKEN:

Commissioner Bilezerian moved to defer approval of the Minutes of January 28, 2008 meeting until March 24, 2008, seconded by Commissioner Wells.

Motion approved:

Ayes 5, Nays 0

Absent: Commissioner Kramer, Vice Chair Willens

ADJOURNMENT:

The meeting adjourned at 11:40 PM to the next regularly scheduled Traffic Safety Commission meeting, Monday, March 24, 2008.