CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA
TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION
DECEMBER 10, 2007
FRED HESSE COMMUNITY PARK, 29301 HAWTHORNE BOULEVARD
CALL TO ORDER: Chair Shepherd called the meeting to order at 7:10 PM at the Hesse Park Community Room
ROLL CALL: PRESENT: Chair Shepherd, Commissioners Bilezerian, Kramer, Parfenov, Wells, Wright, Vice Chair Willens
ALSO PRESENT: Jack Rydell, Traffic Engineer, Priority Engineering, Inc.; Siamak Motahari, Senior Engineer, Public Works; Ara M. Mihranian, Principal Planner, Department of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement; David Snow, Assistant City Attorney, RPV City Attorney’s Office; Nicole Jules, Traffic Engineer for Marymount Project, Priority Engineering; Paul Martin, Environmental Consultant, RBF Consulting; Sgt. Paul Creason and Deputy Chris Knox, Sheriff's Department; Frances M. Mooney, Recording Secretary
FLAG SALUTE: Traffic Engineer Rydell led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Chair Shepherd suggested that Informational Items be placed after Old Business if the Commission agrees, and it should only take about five minutes. She also suggested that Public Comments be placed after the Sheriff’s status report.
Commissioner Bilezerian moved to place Public Comments subsequent to the Sheriff’s status report and that Informational Items be placed subsequent to Old Business, seconded by Commissioner Wells.
SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT REPORT:
Sgt. Creason reported 27 Collisions in November 2007, two more than October 2007; overall year-to-date 230 or 19 more than 2006. There were 375 Citations for November 2007, a drop of 263 from October 2007 as a direct result of Deputy Knox being absent on weekends. He reported total year-to-date Citations for 2007 of 6,259 compared to 5705 for 2006, with an Enforcement Index of 30.9, commenting that anything 20.0 or above is good.
NOTE: The Minutes are transcribed verbatim as instructed by Staff.
Traffic Engineer Rydell: We submitted it the end of November; it was a fairly aggressive grant application that involved things such as a traffic signal, new pavement flashers, radar feedback signs around Miraleste Intermediate School and PV Drive East. We are very optimistic that we may win that grant.
Traffic Engineer Rydell: That’s a separate study from this that we have undertaken under my direction during the last month or so. We intends on identifying some fairly quick safety improvements in the next week or two. We will bring it before this Commission as an Informational Item and then we’re going to immediately step into the whole stakeholder concept of getting people involved and get some long-term actions for Palos Verdes Drive East (PVDE).
Traffic Engineer Rydell: That is done; we’ve updated to include all of the input that we received from this Commission, and I believe it’s going to the City Council in January, January 18th.
Traffic Engineer Rydell: I completed a truck speed limit survey per the California Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). I think you reviewed it in October; a 25-mph speed limit for southbound trucks coming down from Palos Verdes Drive West. We will also be taking that to City Council next week, and then as soon as that’s adopted we will post the signs.
Traffic Engineer Rydell: That’s something that the Commission has been watching going on, Palos Verdes Drive South (PVDS). We’re in the umpteenth review of signal plans at the intersection, as well as signing and striping plans along PVDS, as well as improvements on site. It seems to be going fine, but we constantly have to deal with minor modifications. Possibly at the next meeting date, since we’re so busy tonight on Marymount, we’ll bring the plans before you as an Informational Item and see if you have any questions.PUBLIC COMMENTS:
This section of the agenda is for audience comments for items not on the agenda.Christina Bothamley, 30714 Via La Cresta, Rancho Palos Verdes, former Chair and Member of the Recreation and Parks Committee
“I’m here tonight just to bring up an item of concern to me and some of my fellow residents of La Cresta and Vallon Drive neighborhood. On many occasions there are cars parking between the service access to Ryan Park and the Vallon Drive signal on Hawthorne Boulevard. This mainly occurs when there’s soccer or volleyball matches at Ryan Park. The parking along Hawthorne Boulevard at that area makes it very difficult for turning in on Vallon Drive for the residents. There are ‘No Stopping at any time’ signs posted there, but quite a number of people ignore that and park there anyway, so she was hoping that maybe you could look into this; maybe they could be ‘No Parking at any time’, maybe the curb could be painted red. But it is an extremely dangerous condition because most cars are coming down past Ryan Park about 45-50-55 mph and if there are cars parking there and they are letting their children out to the park, it makes it very difficult for an access to our neighborhood. So, I would appreciate it if you could look into that.”
Chair Shepherd instructed that Ms. Bothamley’s request be noted in the Minutes and that Staff investigate the situation described and report back to the Commission as an Action Item.Glenn Cornell, 2004 Velez Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes
“I’ve been here before the Commission before and I live in a tract basically across from the area tentatively being developed as Ponte Vista. We have a problem in our tract that I have spoken about before with oversized and recreational vehicles that are parked on residential wide streets. Our tract has a particular problem of having Dotson Middle School in it where a lot of the kids are bussed in, so we have, twice a day, large buses trying to navigate through the residential streets that are then clogged with oversized and recreational size vehicles. In addition, it’s been brought to my attention that in the area around us, and there’s a lot of staff parking, they recently added some structures to that campus and took away some of the staff parking, so now the staff park down along the residential streets. So, again, twice a day we have a real problem with not only kids walking by, but a lot of traffic in the area and it’s just a safety problem looking for a place to happen. Quite frankly I’m surprised there hasn’t been an accident yet. So I hope that this panel will look into this and take measures. I understand that the matter is under study right now, and I would urge you to keep studying it and move it along because we’re very interested. Thank you.”
Chair Shepherd explained that the Commission has finalized their oversized and RV parking recommendations to the City Council. She asked if Staff has any information; that the Commission was reviewing some of the elements and it was going to come back as an Information Item to the Commission just for review.
Senior Engineer Motahari responded that he believes it will go to the City Council in January 2008.
Chair Shepherd suggested that Mr. Cornell track this item on the agenda and come to the meeting and let his voice be heard on that because the City could use his support and the City Council needs to hear from the residents what is actually going on out there.
Conduct a public hearing for the sole purpose of obtaining public comments on Section 5.3 (Traffic and Circulation) of the Marymount College Facilities Expansion project Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR).
The following presentations are verbatim transcription.
Ara Mihranian, Principal Planner, Planning Department
“Before I get into my presentation I have brought some colleagues here I’d like to introduce to you so you’re familiar with our team. Next to me to the left is Dave Snow, he is with the City Attorney’s Office; he’s our Assistant City Attorney. Next to David, Nicole Jules, and some of you may be familiar with Nicole; she was a former RPV staff first in Public Works and she is currently an extension of our staff through Priority Engineering serving as the City’s Traffic Engineer for the Marymount project. Next to Nicole is Paul Martin. He is with our environmental consultant, RBF, and he is going to be here this evening and doing both the bulk of the talk from staff presentations because he has worked on the Traffic and Circulation section of the EIR.
“With that said, I want to remind the Commission that the purpose of tonight’s meeting is solely to receive public comments on the Traffic and Circulation section of the draft EIR that has been circulating since October 24th. Not only do we as staff want to receive comments from the public, but we also want to hear from the Commissioners. So this is an opportunity for you to convey your comments so that we can go back and work in our preparation on the final EIRs, prepare our responses to all the comments that are raised at this hearing, the Planning Commission hearing, and in written comments that are submitted up to the deadline.
“With that said, the draft EIRs that you received several weeks ago were actually made available to the public on October 24th, and the comment period on that document extends all the way to January 4, 2008, so that’s an important reminder to the public that we need to receive your public comments by January 4th. With that, what I’d like to do is just give a brief overview of the project, the project details, the components of the project, highlight some of the relevant points that may be of concern to the Traffic Safety Commission. With this slide here is an aerial of the college campus, which puts in perspective the surrounding neighborhood; the college is basically surrounded by Palos Verdes Drive East (PVDE), it’s approximately 25 acres in size, it’s partially developed with improvements to the college as well as undeveloped land with slump areas and flat areas. You’ve got the San Ramon area here, you’ve got Mira Catalina up here, and you’ve got the Mediterrania neighborhood down below. The existing campus has the improved portions to the north, some of the buildings that exist currently on site; there’s the preschool, there’s the health center, you’ve got the student union, the chapel, some classroom buildings, the library, and you’ve got the auditorium here, as well as some athletic facilities. You’ve got tennis courts and the basketball courts at the current athletic field near the Vista Del Mar neighborhood.
“The proposed project contemplates and considers the expansion of existing buildings; the auditorium, the faculty office building, the student union, and the administrative building. New buildings being considered are two new residence halls, which will introduce student living on campus; an athletic facility, which will shift the current improvements over to this new facility, which will have the indoor component of basketball court as well as stadium seating and then next to it would be an outdoor swimming pool as well as some outdoor fields like tennis courts and a soccer field. There’s also the proposed addition to an existing building, which will be an extension of the library. Some of the site improvement is reconfiguring the parking lot to accommodate 463 parking spaces, relocating the athletic field, which I indicated, from the east end of the campus to the west end, relocating 100,000 cubic yards of combined cut and fill, which will be balanced on site. This table here (circle page 3 under Project Description) just breaks down the square footages that are involved in each of these components of the project.
“In summary, the existing campus is 92,268 square feet, the college is proposing to demolish 18,022 square feet, add 14,916 square feet plus the new square footage of 121,000 square feet resulting in 210,254 square feet of total structure combined (circle page 3). I just want to go over some of the buildings that are being proposed that I just discussed. We’ve got the residence halls that will be here near the south-facing slope, we’ve got the library that going to connect to this academic building, you’ve got the student union, which will connect to the new athletic facilities and could be an extension of the student union, we’ve got a maintenance building, we’ve got the athletic field shifting from this end of the campus to the west end, we’ve got the tennis courts, the swimming pools in this location, and the soccer athletic field would be over here right off Palos Verdes Drive East. Also, the parking lot...I mentioned that they’re reconfiguring the parking lot...there is current parking in this area, that’s being relocated over in this portion right next to the properties belonging to San Ramon, and they are reconfiguring the entrance to the campus. Currently there is just one entrance to the campus; it’s being reconfigured. Just highlighting some of the buildings, you’re looking at the residence halls here. These are some of the buildings that are being reviewed by the Planning Commission; the athletic facility, the library and the academic buildings, the grading plan, and it’s important to note that of the 100,000 cubic yards it is all being balanced on site.
“What I need to note here is that the Traffic Safety Commission is serving in an advisory capacity to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission is the deciding body on not only the environmental component of the project but as well as the planning application, so what the Planning Commission is relying on is a recommendation from the Traffic Safety Commission in regard to the Traffic and Circulation and parking component for the project. If the project gets appealed??? it will then be forwarded on to the City Council. In looking at the planning cost, it’s just so that the Commission understands what’s involved here. It’s broken down into two areas; one is the environmental review and one has to do with the planning applications. The environmental review is where we are currently at and is pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act and pursuant to CEQA we are working on the draft EIR, and it’s been released which I noted earlier, and now we are trying to get public comments so that we can work on preparing the final EIR. Once action is taken on the EIR, then the Planning Commission will shift gears and review the planning application. And their full application, just for your understanding, there is a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) or revision to the existing CUP that regulates the operation of the college, there’s a grading permit to allow 100,000 cubic yards of grading, there’s a variance for three components of the project, and a master sign permit. Just want to highlight before I shift it over to Paul here, on EIR review process; as some Commissioners may recall, in 2005 we began the process of preparing the EIR document, there was a scoping meeting, the Traffic Safety Commission was invited to join the Planning Commission in receiving public input on components to analyze the EIR. That was the first stage here. Once the initial NOP (Notice of Preparation) went out and we received all the comments, we then went to the next step, which was preparing the draft EIR, which is where we are at this point. Once the comment period ends, the consultants will continue working on preparing the final EIR. A component of final EIR is the Response to Comments, so you’ll see once we reach this step we will then get into the Response to Comments in the final EIR, and the findings and resolutions will be forwarded to the Planning Commission for their consideration. The Traffic Safety Commission will be asked once again to look at the final EIR, and it’s at that point that you will be able to discuss the components of the document and package your recommendation to the Planning Commission.
“What I wanted to emphasize here; these are some of the various topics that are discussed in the EIR, land use, aesthetics, traffic circulation, air quality, noise, geology, and so forth. What you’re focusing on this evening is the Traffic Circulation section, which includes parking. With that said I am going to shift it over to Paul and he will take it from there.”
Paul Martin, RBF Consulting
“Thank you for having me come tonight. I work at RBF Consulting, and I’m here to present the Traffic and Parking Analysis that was included in the Traffic and Circulation section for the proposed project. I’m aiming for about ten minutes for traffic and ten minutes for parking. There’s a lot of data in the PowerPoint slides that will show up on the screen so I’m going to keep it more concise, but feel free to ask questions if you would like me to stand on a slide on some of the information that is provided or we can always come back to it later if you have any questions. The traffic analysis included eleven of study intersections. There are handouts for these slides. I recognize that some of these may look small being up on the screen, so if anyone does not have a copy of the handout there are more on the entry table.
“Eleven study intersections, primarily along Palos Verdes Drive East (PVDE) as well as Western Avenue; traffic data collection occurred in November 2005. As Ara mentioned, in 2005 we got going on this version of the Traffic and Parking Analysis. Traffic counts were collected during the morning rush hour and the evening rush hour as is typical for a typical traffic study. Additionally, for this project, traffic counts were collected during the middle of the day, both midday and in the afternoon and Saturday in the midday. This is more than our usual traffic study would have to make sure to take away the traffic conditions while the school maybe would peak even though the circulation would not peak. Traffic counts were collected while the school’s enrollment during the weekday was identified as 658 students. For the purposes of the Traffic and Parking Analysis, we used the maximum enrollment of the students usually set 793. To account for a lack of full utilization, an increase to the traffic counts was added to account for approximately 140 students. For the weekend there was an increase as well. The student enrollment for the weekend when the counts were collected was based in the Traffic and Parking Study on a maximum enrollment of 83.
“Signalized intersections were analyzed based on the volume and capacity rating, the V/C rating. This ratio is trying to identify how well the intersection operates and typically you assign grades, a level of service, LOS, grade; grades A through F, F being the worst. Intersections are identified based on the V/C ratio, we have it on the screen and we can get into those values if needed more later. Unsignalized intersections are also assigned an LOS grade, but this criteria is rather delay in effect; how long a car or an average motorist is delayed moving through that intersection. We wanted to present at least the existing conditions; on the screen we have a coned optic showing the intersections and how they operate for both the morning and the evening rush hours. This slide shows morning rush hours; intersections that are shown in green are operating acceptably, which for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes is A-C; Level of Service D is acceptable, we’ve shown that as a yellow color to indicate that you are nearing capacity at this intersection. Two intersections are shown in yellow, nearing capacity at LOS D; and then there’s three intersections shown there in red, those would be levels that are E or F, deficient intersections. For the pm peak hour there’s two intersections that are deficient, and two intersections that are nearing deficient; the rest are all acceptable Level of Service operations.
“For the purposes of the traffic study we identified two major components associated with the project; the junior college buildings, so does the library, so does the office for the administration, for classrooms; the second being dormitories...the dormitory buildings. So, on the junior college square footage there is: Demolished 18,000 square feet, and proposed 77,000 square feet for a net increase in the junior college component of over 59,000 square feet. The dormitories included 128 rooms, with 255 occupants. For the purposes of the traffic study, the apartment category was used from industry standardized published rates. The industry standardized published rates do not have dormitories as a category, so from our standpoint we identified them simply as apartments; the standard rates do include a junior college category.
“I recognize this slide has a lot of data so we’ve actually broken it into the two following slides. It is the exact slide that came out of the Traffic and Circulation section, Table 5.3-29. The next slide shows, hopefully a little bigger for the viewers, the different components of the project and the trip generation. So in a typical traffic study you go through and you try and identify when you’re having net increases or you’re adding something to the project site, what is the traffic associated with that. This part shows the morning rush hours and the evening rush hours for the peak hour-long results. The pointer indicates the end results; in the morning it was 120 peak-hour trips, in the evening rush hour 129 peak hours. The daily trip generation total 1,561. Next slide; this slide shows how the two mid-day time periods that were studied for a full weekday, so the mid-day was sometime between 11 am and 1 pm, one hour between that time. Again there is 120 total trips, and in the afternoon 126 peak-hour trips. The Saturday trip generation is 134 peak-hour trips, and the daily trips forecasted on a Saturday as 1,478. Once we’ve identified the trip generation for the project, then the traffic study will then assign those trips to the system using a trip distribution result. If there are 100% of trips, where do those 100% trips go? The traffic indicates that approximately 5% continue left toward Hawthorne Boulevard, about 30% headed east toward San Pedro, about 65% head north and to the northeast. Once the traffic analysis was prepared then we assign trips to the system, we then review the Level of Service for the intersections. Intersections that are significantly impacted are identified so that a scenario of Existing Plus Project; this is a scenario that if you were to add the public to the existing conditions, two intersections are identified as being impacted...Palos Verdes Drive East and Miraleste, with the second being Western Avenue at Trudie and Capitol.
“This slide shows mitigation measures recommended in the traffic study to address those impacts. For the Palos Verdes Drive East/Miraleste intersection, our recommendation was to signalize the intersection and to include a westbound right-turn overlap, which would provide a green arrow as part of making a right turn traveling up the hill on Miraleste to make a right turn and go north on PV Drive East. The second mitigation measure is a re-stripe of the approach. Today’s condition at Western and Trudie is shown in the graphic on the screen. It really shows there is a lack of striping out there today; it’s not really identifying one or the other, but when you typically observe cars lined up in two lanes, the first being a shared through left, so if you are going to make a left turn you go to the left edge of the roadway up against the center line. And then there’s typically room for cars to make a de facto right, here shown as a dashed arrow; de facto meaning cars can typically make a right turn, although it’s not identified as a right turn with pavement delineations, striping on the roadway. The recommendation was to more formally stripe this approach to have a left turn and a through right-shared lane. The traffic analysis then goes to a cumulative year 2012, and again we want to analyze what are the conditions of the project when the impacts potentially from the project when you go to 2012. One of the assumptions included in this analysis was changing Palos Verdes Drive at Crest Road in front of the college from four lanes to two lanes. The second was increased growth on Western Avenue consistent with roadways from L.A. County Congestion Management Program, and the third item is inclusion of cumulative trips associated with 16 projects in the study area; 16 approved or foreseeable projects; these projects that politically generate problems with multiple jurisdictions in the area, not just Rancho Palos Verdes, but City of L. A., Rolling Hills, but cities in the area that would potentially have projects that would affect the study intersection.
“Again, we go through and identify which intersections are potentially impacted by the project. We have the same first two intersections; PV Drive East at Miraleste; the second, Western at Trudie; and the third being Palos Verdes Drive East at Palos Verdes Drive South...PV Drive East being ________. Again, we go through and identify what mitigation measures can be recommended to reduce the significant impact. The first two are the same. At PV Drive East and Miraleste the same mitigation measures as identified before work. At PV Drive/Miraleste, include a signal and a westbound right-turn overlap to make right turns. The second intersection is a re-stripe of the eastbound approach; and the third is to include a raised median at PV Drive East and PV Drive South to allow for two-stage gap acceptance. We have a graphic to explain it because it’s more like theoretical discussion; hopefully this helps to clear it up. Today’s condition at the intersection of PV Drive East and PV Drive South is shown on the screen with the graphic. In the center of the roadway there is no raised median, there’s nothing really here to help cars that are coming down the hill and want to make a left turn to head to the east toward San Pedro. The next slide shows the recommended measures, which include construction of a raised median and to modify the median that exists out there today to allow an acceleration. What this does is allow a two-stage gap acceptance; it allows cars to make the left-turn movement in two stages. First they make the left turn here (on slide) after making sure there is no westbound traffic coming from Palos Verdes Drive...that would be the first stage; the second stage would be in the acceleration lane, then to proceed east on PV Drive South when there’s a gap headed for San Pedro, when there’s a gap in traffic, when there’s an opportunity to enter the flow of traffic, the second stage of the gap acceptance. Today, when cars are slowing there they have to do both things at once; they have to watch both eastbound and westbound traffic, they have to keep track of both ways to make sure it’s clear to go. With this opportunity you break it up into two steps.
“In summary for traffic, we have three significant impacts. Two are fully mitigated and we have a graphic to indicate that on Miraleste and PV Drive East, as well as Trudie and Western, these are fully mitigated because they are permanently existing Plus Project measures and they are at the burden of the project’s 100%. Then we have partial mitigation, or not full mitigation, at PV Drive East and PV Drive South because this is a mitigation that was recommended to address a cumulative impact; it’s not the full burden for the college for their proposed project. Therefore, the school will only have to pay a proportionate share. So this mitigation measure, from an environmental standpoint, may not be fully implemented by the time the project comes online or by the year 2012 when those other 16 projects are alone. So from a traffic study standpoint, we recommended three mitigation measures that reduced the impact to us in 2012, but due to the proportionate share, the impact down at PV Drive East and PV Drive South remains significant and unavoidable.”
“The Parking Analysis, again in November 2005 we identified the study area. The Parking Study Area consists of Marymount College; all the surface parking provided on the campus that will be zones A through F as shown in the graphic on the screen. Additionally we counted parking spaces provided on the streets adjacent to the college to make sure to quantify how much parking is associated with the college that will impose on the roadways. There is one zone shown on the screen, ‘H’ as circled. We identified it as second to be counted, but in reality there is a red curb for the entirety of segment H. From a parking standpoint, when we collect the data, we really just want to collect everywhere regardless of whether it’s red curb or not into the study of the college and make sure that we quantify it if there’s any cars parked illegally.
“The next slide is the Parking Capacity. On the college there’s 343 parking spaces provided off-street, on the college campus. Then there’s numbers for the parking capacity along the roadways adjacent to the college within the study area. The numbers identify the capacity and that capacity is derived from the length of a segment divided by 25 feet. By using that you’ve got adequate space to put _______ cars and put space in front and behind to allow parallel parking and moving. Next slide shows some of the basic assumptions of the data collection. Parking counts were in November 2005, data collection occurred hourly from 7 am to 11 pm, we collected counts on two separate weekdays and on a Saturday and a Sunday, and the highest weekday was used in the analysis, and the highest of the weekend, which was a Saturday count, was used in the analysis. We wanted to identify the peak parking activity on the streets. We noted that during a weekday there was 49 parked vehicles on the street adjacent to the college at 2 pm on a typical weekday when our parking counts occurred; 49 cars parked on the street while there were 59 parking spaces still available, unoccupied on the campus. The weekend on a Saturday there were nine cars parked on the street when there were 255 parking spaces available on the campus.
“The next slide talks about the Parking Code Requirement based on the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. The City has a category for colleges and universities, and they include three criteria. The first criteria is one space per two students, the second is one space per two employees or faculty, and then one space per five student seats. Those all add up and we’ll get into that on an upcoming table. Next we tried to quantify, based on City Code, what parking would be required for the second major component, the dormitories. The City has a category called multi-family, and that identifies one space per bedroom unit and 25% of that value to accommodate guests. Next we wanted to review to see if you were to apply today’s City Code to this college campus, how much parking would be required. We applied the City’s requirement to the number of students, employees, and student seats and get a final tally of 621 spaces. If you were to apply today’s City Code to the college campus as it is today, 621 spaces would be required based on this analysis. Since the college provides today 343 spaces on the campus there was a deficiency identified as 278. Again, this table is going to be repeated for a few slides. Next we analyze, based on City Code, how the parking appears based on both the college component and the dormitories, and this is just the proposed project so we see no new students, we do see 12 new employees and faculty, and 131 new student seats. We also see the dormitories required per City Code and we should note that the dormitory assumes dual occupancy of most of the bedrooms within the dorms. So we see the number of occupants in the dormitory as 255, and parking is calculated. The total forecast basis required for just the proposed project is 351; the proposed project includes 120 more spaces, so we see a deficiency of 231. Now we combine those two prior slides, today’s conditions plus the proposed project; we apply all that and we see a tally of 972 spaces required based on City Code. This contrasts to the parking spaces provided as 463, a forecast deficiency of 509. This is based on strict interpretation of the City Code.
“The next slide takes into account the fact that in the City Code we have these two components of junior college and dormitory; and the first one identifies the number of enrolled students. We’ve actually reduced that by 250 because down here in the dormitory category we already include 250 students so there’s a possibility of double counting in the slide before that showed a deficiency of about 500. Now when you take that double counting into account it reduces the demand of the required 847 and the deficiency drops down from about 500 to about 380. Today the college exists and the parking activity can be measured. An additional approach was taken of the parking review that is really a review of the observed parking activity and takes into account the City Code from the proposed uses that cannot be measured today. So the next slide: when you have identified a ratio based on a peak parking activity observed at 372 vehicles, this is the number of vehicles observed to park both on the campus and on the street adjacent to the college, was 372 vehicles. That occurred at 11 am on a weekday of parking counts. At that time the student enrollment was 658 students, so we come up with a parking ratio of 0.57 vehicles per student. This really required some backup. Not every student who is enrolled in the campus is necessarily parking on the campus at the same time there is peak activity. Again, we did that for the Saturday, the weekend, the ratio was 0.12. It should be noted the weekend does take into account additional enrollment associated with weekend students.
“The next slide, again there’s a lot of data here, I’ll try and go through it and hopefully the handouts help. We have multiple line items to try and review this approach. First we look at the dormitory; we said there’s 255 occupants, the parking demand for the project is 255 for that component, dormitory guests again is 64, again we see based on City Code a requirement for six spaces for 12 new faculty, and then there are other students now not living on campus, 543 is multiplied times the parking ratio we identified; 543 times 0.57 gives us 310. Again we’ve identified the parking requirement based on net new student seats with a total requirement of 661 spaces. Since the school is required at completion, the project will include 463 spaces with a deficiency of 198 parking spaces based on this analysis.
“The next slide review this for the Saturday condition and without going into detail I would just highlight the surplus is identified as 37 parking spaces based on the ratio and observed count. Since we did see a deficiency in the weekday parking count, based on observed counts on the campus, mitigation measures were recommended. The first is to restrict dormitory guest parking in the middle of the day for most of the parking peaks. The second is to institute a program that the college would administer that would identify a parking program to reduce parking demand on the campus. That reduction required for such a program is 23% of demand; so it’s a reduction of parking activity, the school would administrate it, the parking percent of the reduction of 23% would occur when there is maximum enrollment of between 751 and 793, and that percentage reduces as the enrollment figures reduce. The parking program would be reviewed by City staff on an annual basis, the program would identify past year achievement and the forthcoming year goals, policies, how the reduction is going to be achieved for whatever the enrollment is expected to be for the next year. Lastly, just to codify the maximum student enrollment, a mitigation measure is identified as maximum enrollment 793 students on the weekdays, and the weekend, 83 students.
“We talked about a parking program to reduce the parking demand on the campus, we’ve identified some ways to reduce the parking. This is by no means an inclusive list. It’s just some ideas to throw out there and these are included in the Traffic and Circulation section. Some of it included carpool activity, increased shuttle, incentives, or permanent restriction, maybe for the dormitory residents or other residents such as Palos Verdes North residents. One other item included in the Traffic and Safety Circulation section was a recommendation that the City Council consider a restricted parking permit program on the streets adjacent to the college. This is identified to ensure that parking impact on the streets adjacent to the college is minimized. This would be a parking program similar to what’s in place today on San Ramon, where San Ramon residents are given permits and only those residents can park on the street. This is something that would be under consideration when it’s petitioned by the residents, and would identify the districts for enforcement, such as the Crest Road district or PV Drive East district. And again, we’ve run through and analyzed what the end result would be for the parking demand if all these mitigation measures are included. With those mitigation measures, there is a surplus of three parking spaces that incorporate the mitigation measures.
“The summarizing parking; there is one significant impact which was the on-site parking supply. This impact was fully mitigated through the recommended measures. It included potentially the consideration of a parking permit program by the City Council. In summary, the parking impact was reduced to less than significant. That is the last slide, and I’m available for questions now or later, as you like.”
Note: The following discussion is verbatim transcription without quotation marks.
Commission Discussion (Traffic questions)
Note: The following questions and answers are verbatim without using quotation marks.
Commissioner Bilezerian: Going back to the traffic portion, you indicated that there would be significant impact at two intersections without another work project in the first initial year.
Paul Martin: Yes.
Commissioner Bilezerian: I just wanted to make it perfectly clear that a significant impact to the intersection is when the Level of Service (LOS) changes or decreases by one category or more, correct.
Paul Martin: Yes.
Commissioner Bilezerian: So if you are at category E, a significant impact is going to LOS C or D, correct.
Paul Martin: There are multiple criteria for a significant impact, but that is one of them.
Commissioner Bilezerian: I’m just trying to clarify so everybody understands what a significant impact is to an intersection, and one of them I understand is a change in the Level of Service, and if that is correct.
Paul Martin: Yes. One of the criteria for identifying a significant impact is if the intersection changes from accessible operation to deficient operation when the project trips are added.
Commissioner Bilezerian: So when you mitigate the impact to an intersection by re-striping and the other mitigation factors, what happens? Do you maintain the same LOS or do you increase a better LOS. Could you explain that to the public?
Paul Martin: Yes. Mitigation measures are recommended to achieve better than pre-project conditions, so while we didn’t necessarily show the end results for the following year necessarily, the mitigation measures are recommended to achieve better than pre-project conditions and get the intersection back to what it was before the project was applicable.
Commissioner Bilezerian: As far as the mitigation at PV East and PV South, you indicated that there were 16 other projects who have a proportionate share in PV South, so basically if I understand this correctly; if the other 16 projects do not go through but this one does, will there be a significant impact at that particular intersection that would not be mitigated because we only have a portion of the money for improvement that you’ve identified that need the money from the 16 other developments to construct the needs.
Paul Martin: The analysis wasn’t prepared necessarily, in the year 2012, to see if those 16 projects would not occur, but the Marymount College project did occur to see if there was any impact or not. But the existing post project does show that that intersection is not impacted when the college trips are added to the existing condition.
Commissioner Bilezerian: And so, they’re saying that only Marymount’s project is constructed and the other 16 are not, then there is not a significant impact to that intersection.
Paul Martin: The existing post-project scenario shows only the two intersections that are impacted north of the college, and PV Drive East and PV Drive South were not impacted, and I think that’s important to realize.
Commissioner Wright: Mine is kind of traffic and parking and it’s just for a point of clarification. When you did your traffic counts and parking counts, did that occur over a number of days or how many days did you actually take the counts.
Paul Martin: Traffic counts occurred on a typical weekday, which typical means one on a Tuesday and one on a Thursday; then the weekend counts were Saturday counts.
Commissioner Wright: And how many counts weekday counts did you do and weekend counts.
Paul Martin: The traffic counts were on one day.
Commissioner Wright: How about parking.
Paul Martin: Parking was collected for two weekdays and on the weekend it was collected for both a Saturday and a Sunday. The analysis just used the higher; of whichever one was higher for the weekend, and the Saturdays were higher than the Sundays count.
Commissioner Wright: On the one day that you did the traffic count, do you feel that one day...I guess in November 2005...do you feel that was enough to get an adequate picture of what the traffic count would be on any other given day over a period of time.
Paul Martin: Yes. Typically the traffic counts would occur on one day, and then a lot of the traffic counts would be something that City Staff would also review to make sure that it was consistent with what they’ve seen before it was done.
Chair Shepherd: Paul, I would like to ask our Staff, either Nicole or Jack, if they agree with that, and many times we disagree on just having a traffic count on one day that doesn’t give a full picture. There’s many different occurrences, especially with a college campus, on how many classes are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays versus Tuesdays and Thursdays. And so I’d like to ask our Engineers if they agree with one day being sufficient. I’ve tended to disagree; I think more days would make me feel more comfortable with the data.
Commissioner Wright: I would think it would vary between the Fall Semester versus the Spring Semester.
Chair Shepherd: Right. November is close to the holiday, depending on what week in November; maybe some students are on early leave because of the holidays. I don’t know what date you took it. Mondays might be slower; I know on the freeways, Mondays and Fridays are slower because of flexible work schedules, so how does that work from an educational institution. Maybe Nicole and Jack could speak to a one-day count versus multiple-day counts.
Traffic Engineer Rydell: I would prefer to Nicole to answer.
Traffic Engineer Jules: Well Madam Chairman, just as you alluded to having a single-day count may not be representative of multiple activities from an institution, and yes, if you have multiple days or count over multiple days you’ll get a better picture as to the fluctuations in the traffic pattern. Just to answer your question, I do think that having counts on multiple days will tell a better story.
Chair Shepherd: So with that Paul (Martin), I’d like to request that one of our comments, our first official issue would be to look into counts that are taken on multiple days. Do you agree?
Paul Martin: Yes.
Commissioner Kramer: I want to thank you for your presentation first of all. My understanding is that currently there are no students living on-site at the Marymount campus. Is that correct?
Paul Martin: Far as I know.
Commissioner Kramer: And so, the plan is to build dormitories where students are going to be housed on campus. My question is, when you analyzed the traffic patterns, are you taking into account the fact that students are no longer commuting from off-site locations. A percentage of the students will already be on campus, and so therefore not only will that mitigate some of the traffic, but also at the peak hours I would think in the morning and afternoon commute times there might be less students traveling on the road during that time and it might be spread out throughout other times of the day. I was wondering how this was all taken into account.
Paul Martin: On the exhibit showing the trip generation there were multiple levels of information. I didn’t want to go through all of them without losing the crowd, but what you’re getting at is an aspect that was included in the traffic study called Internal Trip Capture Reduction. This is the reduction of traffic to account for compatible land uses; the junior college, as well as the dormitories. And the reduction was included in the traffic study to account for the fact that dormitory residents may be able to walk to classes now or walk to the library, and that percentage is included in the reduction in trip generation.
Commissioner Parfenov: On the Forecast Trip Distributions, how did you base your percentage; did you base it on a model or existing conditions.
Paul Martin: I’ll pull up the trip distribution slide and see what we’ve got here. Trip distribution for the project is identified based on the traffic at the college and is generally based on today’s conditions. The traffic coming out of the driveway to the school is the basis for the starting point. For the trips coming out of the college, based on measured counts is the first step; and then from there, the trip distribution is based on major roadways nearby, which is the freeways or 25th down to San Pedro, major roadways such as Western for identification of access for the remaining roadways, and identification of services such as retail or residential. It is not necessarily a lot of trips. Showing the distribution exhibit heading west towards Hawthorne, to reflect the nature of most of the trips going that way may be heading towards residential lanes; there aren’t necessarily services such as commercial or, you know, shops or restaurants headed in that direction. Those services are more closely reached along western. So the trips coming down from the school are identified first based on the trips out of the driveway, and then we look at the roadways in the area as well as land uses and services...where all those are accessible.
Commissioner Wells: What you’re saying is 20% of the traffic now for the college goes through the intersection of PV Drive and Western and then heads north on Western. The Palos Verdes North off-campus housing facility is on Palos Verdes Drive North. How come we don’t see a traffic count taken at the intersection of Western Avenue and Palos Verdes Drive North or the actual most direct route between the college and that off-campus housing; Palos Verdes Drive North and Palos Verdes Drive East. The little black dot that says 40% on Trudie Drive is just a little bit to the left of where my house is, so it’s important to me. In the trip generation for on-campus housing, could you or did you estimate the possibility that students would have to go find entertainment, go shopping, have jobs; the jobs aren’t up there by the college, but they’re down the hill. Is that taken in the 610 count, the count for students living in the dormitories. They’ll be going up and down the hill at all hours of the day and night, in fog.
Paul Martin: Yes. So the trip generation for the dormitory component is the one that is identified as apartments for the traffic study, and that category from the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and that category from the ITE has published documents identifying what typical rates are. So we use the ITE rates for parking categories, and now there is a request; someone living in an apartment who comes and goes at various times of the day, maybe to a job or to a school, not just during rush hour but various times of the day; so all those trips are included in that parking count.
Chair Shepherd: I’m going to ask Jack a question. We’re used to hearing ten trips per day at the average.
Traffic Engineer Rydell: For a single-family home.
Chair Shepherd: For single-family housing, so the apartment factor is quite different.
Traffic Engineer Rydell: It’s different from this campus.
Commissioner Wells: In the 16 projects that were listed on here I do not see the Marshals that’s going in on the top level of the terraces on Western Avenue; the new shopping center. I don’t know if you noticed or not, but Mary Star of the Seas High School campus; the northwest entry is now open, and the access for students and parents is Western Avenue to S. John Montgomery Drive, north of Toscanini and even north of Avenida Aprenda and Delasonde/Westmont, so in the two years since November 2005 and December 2007 life has changed on Western Avenue. Also, you used the DOT .6 of one percent added traffic for the L. A. County. I don’t know if you’ve taken a read at the Western Avenue Taskforce summary and documents that were produced by the Western Avenue Taskforce, which worked with CALTRANS and the L. A. Department of Transportation, and their statement is that there’s a one percent increase per year on Western Avenue between Palos Verdes Drive North and 25th Street, so I see a little bit of difference in that numbering too. Just wanted to let you be aware of that, but traffic is different now very significantly than it was in November of 2005. Also, you do know that the Ponte Vista EIR is now in the Planning Department. They want 1,950 condominium units there with a significant traffic impact on that, and it probably will end up being their entitlements will probably get approved before these entitlements. And, could that be used as a factor in looking at this EIR.
Paul Martin: The similar projects you have identified, we identified the 16 similar projects through coordination with the adjacent jurisdictions as well as the fine staff of Rancho Palos Verdes, so I would have to defer to Ara if any of those items were not included.
Commissioner Wells: And for your information, the Seaport Luxury Homes component of that 16; it was designed and built originally to be condominiums with a condominium trip generation. It’s actually going to be a lease-to-own facility now, so it probably fits into the apartment trip generation. It is no longer a condominium unit; the 136 units are going to be built as lease-to-own apartments at this point, just got a small page on that. Thank you.
Chair Shepherd: So let’s say, let me see if I can distill this down to a comment for us, that possibly looking into any changes in development throughout the local jurisdictions that impact the EIR, take a look at any changes that have occurred since 2005; what are the current changes in any of the developments that were used in this study or any additional ones that were excluded. And we would like to see those addressed in this comment period. Just for the record, so that when they pull this. So let’s move on to parking.
Commission Discussion (Parking questions)
Commissioner Kramer: The only question that I had regarding parking was if the chart that you showed that shows the available parking spaces, they have a notation that not all of those are actually legal parking. So you talked about the mitigation factors and things like that, but I’m just wondering if, in sort of qualitative terms, what the local residents can expect from parking there. It appears to me that even when there are available parking spaces inside the lot, people attending the college there do tend to park on the street as well. And I know you addressed some of the mitigations in terms of restricting parking, but absent some of those, I wonder if you could elaborate further on what we expect that parking to be like in that area.
Paul Martin: We recognized we had heard loud and clear from some of the meetings that the residents and the decision-makers were concerned about the on-street parking associated with the college. So we wanted to make sure to quantify that in the parking study. The mitigation measures identified were aimed at providing adequate parking on-site for the college. There was a concern and a recognition that maybe some cars, some motorists, would actually prefer to park on the street as opposed to on the campus if you have those available spaces. So we included in the Traffic and Circulation section the consideration for a permit parking program to try and address that concern, that no matter how much parking is provided on the campus, a concern we could expect from the residents is that students may still park on the street, and identified it as a consideration for Council. It is not a mitigation measure but a consideration that Council institute the parking permit program so that all the parking associated with the campus could occur only on the campus. Does that answer that?
Commissioner Kramer: Yes.
Commissioner Bilezerian: Ara, I have a question. Is there any other development in the City that has current access, to your knowledge, or in the past, where developers of a private development has on-street parking included as primary parking for the development.
Principal Planner Mihranian: Let me understand your question a little bit better. You’re asking if the past practices of the City considered on-street parking in its…
Commissioner Bilezerian: Well, I’ll make it re-phrased. If I’m coming into the development and I have a requirement by either the most strict or the least strict interpretation of the City Code to provide “x” number of spaces, but I do not provide “x” number of spaces on my private development, does the City allow on-street available parking spaces to be included in the development’s requirements. Yes?
Principal Planner Mihranian: No. If the project is coming forward, you, as the applicant, have to demonstrate that they can accommodate the parking required on-site.
Commissioner Bilezerian: So in the exhibit where they are identifying parking passes on the street, it’s agendant to them to, if there are say 49 people parking on the street on the weekdays during peak periods, should they be allowed to consider on-street parking is available parking for Marymount college?
Principal Planner Mihranian: No they shouldn’t. But you recognize that the college is not including those on-street parking spaces in their numbers. That is there for information purposes because although you have a number of spaces on-site, the reality is there is also parking occurring on the streets and so we wanted to acknowledge that and to account for those parking spaces.
Commissioner Bilezerian: If the college is not considering on-street parking, why is the on-street parking included.
Principal Planner Mihranian: They’re not really included in the analysis; they’re being addressed and we know there is on-site parking occurring; it is clear, you drive down there, especially when school starts you see parking on the streets. Well, we wanted to address that and find a way where we could address that issue that’s occurring currently, so that when the project is implemented it’s mitigated so that we don’t see that occurring under the new project.
Commissioner Bilezerian: Ok. I guess I’m a little confused because there are 49-parked vehicles on the street when 49 spaces are available on campus. Does that make reference to people that are attending the school that are parking on the street and not on campus.
Principal Planner Mihranian: Yes.
Commissioner Bilezerian: So people are currently parking on the street that should not be.
Principal Planner Mihranian: Right.
Commissioner Bilezerian: Even though they are legally parked there is an impact.
Principal Planner Mihranian: Right.
Commissioner Bilezerian: When you implement the guest parking restrictions on the weekdays, does that mean that people at the school are restricted from having guests park on campus from 10 am to 3 pm.
Principal Planner Mihranian: Yes.
Commissioner Bilezerian: So, I don’t think the guests who are still there are going to leave and then come back at 3:01; I have a feeling that they’re probably going to park off campus.
Principal Planner Mihranian: You’re correct, and we acknowledge that, and I think what’s being identified in this document in this section here; although we can’t consider it as a mitigation, and it can’t be considered part of the project, there’s a recommendation that could be made to the City Council to implement parking restrictions in the neighborhood so that there would be this ‘no tolerance’ of overflow parking occurring on the street. So we’re trying to address that in a different manner that could be approached by the Council as a separate matter.
Commissioner Bilezerian: Would that be proposed in the EIR; would that require a separate action subsequent to the EIR. My suggestion would be, it should be included in the EIR, and assign it to Staff for recommendation.
Principal Planner Mihranian: It could be in to the degree that it could be part of the recommendation that you’re making to the Planning Commission in their consideration of the EIR that a recommendation should go to the City Council to consider this type of program for the surrounding neighborhoods to establish some sort of parking restrictions.
Chair Shepherd: I understand that we, as a Commission, have had this issue come before us before in this particular neighborhood where residents were requesting the process of how they could restrict parking similar to the San Ramon neighborhood. And if this can actually start with the Traffic Safety Commission outside of this because, just like any other neighborhood, if that’s what they would like to have...restrictions for residential only...we could actually start that with the Commission. But I agree that this should be considered as a comment from us to be considered part of the EIR; that it is actually restricted in the areas that we would actually see and maybe even further.
Commissioner Bilezerian: I think my last question would be. With the project, before mitigation, there would be a leeway of 190 something spaces with the least strict application of the Code versus the most strict, which would be about 509 spaces. Is that correct? At this time is it fair for the City to indicate to the applicant which; whether it’s the most strict or the least strict that are going to be required when they come to their DP and their building process so that they can determine exactly how many spaces they would need? Or is it just, we’re going to base our mitigation on somewhere in the middle. Can we, at this point, give that direction as to what we are going to require?
Principal Planner Mihranian: I think it’s spelled out in the document. The college may have their own methodology as to how they calculated the required parking. Clearly you look at the strict interpretation of the Code and it comes out with a certain number that’s required. Obviously these uses are shared, so you look at it in a different manner to see how you could address parking for all the shared uses and it’s a question of methodology. What’s shown in our document and the draft EIR is the methodology the City is considering, which ultimately, with mitigation, end up with a surplus of the three parking spaces. I know the college may have a different methodology; they would want either the Traffic Safety Commission or the Planning Commission to consider it and that’s what you need to weigh.
Commissioner Bilezerian: So, representing the City then, are you comfortable with the methodology that they used where 198 spaces are deficient for the project’s parking provision?
Principal Planner Mihranian: The City is comfortable with what is outlined in this document and released to the public.
Chair Shepherd: Paul, I have a question. Why, in the draft and in the mitigation measures for parking, did you not consider just increasing parking spaces as opposed to some of the other side measures? What about the direct approach as well... you’re deficient, let’s recommend number four to bring the parking spaces up to non-deficient.
Paul Martin: I would guess that we did not include a mitigation measure to simply provide more parking on the campus because it was our understanding that the school had done everything it could to provide as much parking as possible.
Chair Shepherd: What do you mean by that? That from the standpoint of the size of their structures there was no more space for parking; did you determine that by their plan? How did you determine that they could do nothing else to mitigate and add additional parking?
Principal Planner Mihranian: Madam Chair, if I may respond to that question. I think, when you look at the proposed site plan of the college going forward, the development of the platform being considered, and the site constraints, there really isn’t any room with the current site proposal to add additional parking spaces, which is why it required mitigation. If you take it to that level, you would then have to require a modification to the plans, maybe a reduction or removal of certain buildings so there are site variances to accommodate additional parking.
Chair Shepherd: And why is that something that can’t be recommended? I’m not understanding; if a project is deficient in its parking requirement, let’s say the strictest City Code, why can’t they ask the developer or the applicant to modify their plans to increase the parking in order to comply.
Principal Planner Mihranian: When you’re looking at the strict interpretation, it’s not taken into account that there are shared uses; it’s basically taking the Code and plugging in the numbers and saying this is what you would have with a strict interpretation. But strict interpretation isn’t reality, and when you’re seeing the overlap where, if students are in the residence halls, there may not be additional students coming in and using those parking spaces for the athletic facilities; because there are students already parked there they may end up using multiple buildings. So I think, if you’re looking at the mitigation and looking at how we can address the deficiency through the mitigation, I think we came up with an adequate solution where we ended up going from a deficiency to a surplus of three spaces. That was addressed without having to require additional space, but I think if you plugged in less mitigation or mitigation what we felt wouldn’t address that, then that would be something we would say, ok, maybe you need to provide additional parking spaces. But I think the mitigation that we came up with addressed that issue without having to require additional parking spaces. But, then again, aside from the EIR analysis, that is something that you can always opt out to reconsider and make that a recommendation to the Planning Commission in its review of the Planning application.
David Snow: Madam Chair, I might just build on that a little bit. When looking at mitigation measures, one of the first things you would ask yourself is whether it’s a feasible mitigation measure, and there may be a whole host of feasible mitigation measures. And I think that’s the point Ara just made; that among the various feasible mitigation measures there were some that would, from the EIR’s perspective and from Staff and consultant’s perspective, mitigate the impact to a less than significant level without requiring a re-design; or, put another way, allowing the applicant to continue to meet their objectives for the project, which is the program that they’ve laid out in the size of the buildings and the different components of the site.
Chair Shepherd: So let me ask a question and maybe Staff could answer this one as well. If we restricted parking on all of the streets, I don’t know, within a quarter of a mile of the campus; let’s say from La Vista Verde to Ganado or beyond on PV Drive East and restricted residential parking within some of the neighborhoods where there is overflow parking that has been an issue over the years. If we actually restricted parking to residents only, would that change staff’s feeling of the deficiency. It kind of piggybacks the question, even though you said no to Craig related to his question regarding the overflow and would that be considered as possible parking spaces as overflow. If we did restrict that, and our recommendation was to restrict that parking; what we decided as a Commission based on residential requests that we did restrict the parking, would that change your feeling on the number of spaces that they are deficient. If there was no parking on PV Drive East, San Ramon, Crest Road, Marino, Casalina, and further down and up past Calle Aventura, what would that do to your---?
Principal Planner Mihranian: Because in our analysis in looking at this, the on-street parking wasn’t considered. It shouldn’t affect the surplus or the deficiency. We’re looking strictly at what’s on site.
Chair Shepherd: And I asked that question because I purposely went by to take photographs of parking during graduation as an example, and how much the cars of the families used on PV Drive East for that one day. No big deal. But I also have heard that there’s a possibility that Marymount is interested in opening up their soccer field to the AYSO organization. If that happens, and there’s weekend participation by outside entities using the soccer field, maybe there’s going to be a need for additional parking, and was that considered in the draft EIR. If not, maybe that’s something new that’s come up prior to this draft and you may want to put that in the next comment, because I understand that, as well as the possibility that the PV Library District at Marymount may go into some partnership to help our library system and residents use their library; again, changing the parking requirements. So I’d like to request that those two issues are looked into because I believe they would affect not only the traffic flow, but certainly the parking on and off campus if that is actually to occur.
Commissioner Parfenov: Currently as I understand, the parking is free on campus.
Paul Martin: As far as I understand, the college does not charge for permits or anything like that for students to park on the campus.
Commissioner Parfenov: Because, when you look at the numbers that we have before the 250 students live on campus it will be 255 spaces, so this is the assumption as the parking is free; and given the free parking that will produce, and use the math. So, I mean, if you have parking, which is free, it will be utilized fully. So I think the actual demand for parking will be more than 255. And also then, when you add 0.57 ratios for commuter students; in reality, if you have free parking, actually it will increase more. So what I would like to see more, and actually we can make a note to the Planning Commission to look at the difference scenarios based on the potential mitigation sections. So, for example, pricing the parking, localizing incentives for students to maybe not park, because otherwise what you’re going to have here; students are going to park their cars and, given the free parking, it’s going to be like a storage system because you never have to move your car and you don’t have to pay for it. I don’t know if Madam Chair would like to add this, because I don’t see any scenarios played out here with different mitigation measures with different numbers. Because I would assume the results will drastically look different, and maybe you don’t have to sacrifice the square footage of the library or the athletic to give more parking.
Commissioner Wells: So the Forecast Weekday Parking demand, based on parking ratios in the City Code assumes two facts that will never ever change: One fact is that the day care center will go away and never ever come back in the future, so we won’t need any parking for that, and there will only be up to 793 students and there will never be more than 793 students at that campus. Is that a correct statement?
Paul Martin: I would have to defer to Ara on the day care.
Principal Planner Mihranian: On the day care, the current project does not include a pre-school; but that would not prevent the college from coming forward and submitting an application in the future requesting a pre-school. However, if the college does that, they have to go through the review process: a Conditional Use Permit, a Parking Analysis, Traffic Analysis, and so forth. So, at this point, it’s not included in this part of the project, it’s not part of any of the analysis; however, in the future if it is a request it requires a revision and they would have to go through the review process including environmental review.
Commissioner Wells: And for the students numbered 794, 795, and 796, how do we---?
Principal Planner Mihranian: The student enrollment currently, based on the current CUP, which is revision C, allows an average of 750 students plus the part-time students. So that number can fluctuate. And I think in our analysis, to avoid that fluctuation, which can throw off the methodology in the analysis, we took it to a maximum, adding that part-time student, saying ok, 793 should be the maximum; it shouldn’t be an average, but it should be a maximum. And so that would be something that the Planning Commission would have to consider as a condition on the project.
Commissioner Wells: And then my real question is, because I haven’t gone through the 555 pages of the Appendix for this Traffic and Circulation but would I be able to find studies, peak hour parking space demands or the alternatives in the Appendix. Did you work on the numbers of, let’s say there was the reduced density or the alternative living campus activity, do parking demands based on those in the Appendix?
Paul Martin: In general I would respond by saying I’m pretty sure those alternatives are analyzed or discussed more qualitatively. There is some data about the trip generation, but the parking scenarios were not analyzed for each of those alternatives.
Commissioner Bilezerian: Not really a question but just really a point of interest. If we do not consider the impact to the parking potentially in the neighborhood before we go forward with the project, I think there’s going to be some concerns that the residents may come back to the City requesting some type of parking restrictions so that people attending the school or guests of students living on campus. So based on what you proposed so far you have a surplus of three spaces, but I think it’s important to realize that currently you have 49 people that you have identified parking off campus. You have a potential of what you have identified as 64 guests based on the best interpretation of the Code potentially mitigated to a tentative restriction on campus, where obviously I think they’re going to go off campus. So 49 plus 64; you have over 100 vehicles that will be potentially be parking off-site in the neighborhood, which, if you instituted permit parking or restricted parking, now you are three plus one hundred something spaces deficient. That’s just something to look at. You can follow the meaning; if you’re restricting people from the school to parking off campus, that means 49 people currently have to go off campus, plus the 64 guests that were potentially to be restricted to parking off campus from 10 am to 3 pm; that’s over 100 vehicles that would be impacted. If we don’t address it before the project is approved, and we don’t put any restrictions on off-site parking into the project, then it will come back as a problem after. So that’s just something to consider.
Paul Martin: And I want to try and make sure it’s clear; the parking analysis where the parking ratios were developed took into account the on-street parking associated with the college. We took that into account, so that analysis naturally assumed that cars that are parked on the street are removed off the street and are parked only on the campus. So the 49 that you’re talking about; it’s already assumed that those are parked on the campus.
Commissioner Bilezerian: What about the 64 again.
Paul Martin: 63 guests, that’s valid yes. We recognize that there’s a concern about just saying guests can’t park on the campus for five hours, but they may need to go somewhere, or a third item that they may park on the street. So that’s why we identified the consideration for the permit program. I just feel that if you’re inconvenienced as a guest in your car one day, and then you realize, I don’t have to move it, I can park there full time, why would I move it a night at 9:59 am and come back at 3:01 pm. You’re going to leave it there overnight all through the next day. I think that’s the reality of it.
Chair Shepherd: In your analysis for parking, current, what you call ‘observed’; did you take into consideration the shuttle buses that bus the students in, that if those shuttles were not utilized there would be a different observation of parking used by those students that are currently being shuttled, they would be driving. So then, that ‘observed’ would need to factor in that particular observation that really doesn’t exist but I don’t know how many students are shuttled in and how often. Did you take that into consideration?
Paul Martin: Yes that gets imbedded in the parking.
RECESS AND RECONVENE:
The Commission recessed at 8:50 pm and reconvened at 8:55 pm.
Chair Shepherd: At this time I’d like to open the public comment period, but I’d like to set the ground rules so we all understand what needs to take place. We are here to receive public comments on the Traffic and Circulation element of Marymount’s draft EIR for the Marymount project. We are not here to receive your feelings on the merit or the lack thereof of this project. If you do not come to this podium speaking on traffic, parking, or circulation elements, we will ask you to be seated. This is not the forum for giving us your input on the merits of the project; only addressing the traffic and circulation issues, so please help us with that. Each speaker will be given three minutes with the exception of Marymount has a presentation. I would also like to give the community group equal time, and after that any of the speakers who have put in speaker slips will each have three minutes. And again, please adhere to our ground rules on discussing traffic and circulation issues for the current draft EIR. Thank you, I appreciate that. I understand Marymount has requested 45 minutes. We will set the timer at 45. If you go over 45 I am going to ask you to be seated, and the same thing with the community group. You have requested 20, but if you need more time you will have up to 45 minutes, since Marymount has requested 45.
Chair Shepherd opened the Public Hearing.
NOTE: The comments below are verbatim. Recording Secretary’s notes are in parenthesis, as is EIR reference information that was NOT provided by speakers, but used to confirm numbers, and information that was difficult to discern from tape. Questionable words/phrases are indicated with a blank underline and a question mark. Notes in red indicate an incorrect reference, or point out reference information for ease in proofreading.
Marymount College Presentation (4 speakers)
Dr. Michael Brophy, President, Marymount College
“Thank you Madam Chair and thank you to the members of the Commission for spending valuable time on these critical questions. On behalf of the campus, please know that we appreciate the ability and opportunity to comment on the traffic and circulation analysis for the college’s project. We come to this meeting knowing that much of the conversation relates to safety and, as an RPV resident, our family is very aware as we drop our children off at Miraleste Intermediate, Mira Catalina, and the Marymount College Preschool; as we drop our children off to go to school every morning we have a good sense of the traffic on the hill and are very familiar with many of the intersections and roads that have been discussed here tonight, so we are very comforted by the attention that you’re paying to these issues, both as a member of the college community and as a member of the greater community; and we are also comforted that our neighbors are concerned with safety as we believe this is a shared responsibility. I am not a traffic engineer of course, and I will be deferring to our college representatives on many of the technical issues in the draft EIR, but I have worked at a number of colleges that have been through similar programs to modernize campus facilities, and common sense and practical experience tells me that the number of potential trips being forecast as a result of our campus modernization program does not mesh with reality. We find in the draft EIR a number equivalent to the number of trips that would result if we had doubled our enrollment, so as you know, we have no plans to increase our enrollment here at the college so we are of course curious about these findings. As I mentioned I have advised members of our team, our CEQA and Land Use Attorneys, Don Davis and Tim Irons, along with out Traffic Engineer, Liz Culhane, to address in depth our concerns with the traffic study.
“Before I pass on the podium I would like to offer some thoughts about the methodologies employed by many of us as we consider this issue. The college realizes that the traffic analysis presented tonight is purposely conservative. We, of course, in higher education live in a world of research, so as we look at the numbers that are reported here we look at it through a pair of eyes that is very experienced with research. In fact, Dr. Pam Schachter might help me if I lunched out of research, as she teaches research on our campus. But when you do research of course you study a phenomenon, so the phenomenon we are studying here is parking and traffic. Usually when you are in a situation, you take the current state of the phenomenon, you do the research on that current state, you take certain extrapolations, projections, and try and project a future state of the phenomenon. The college of course has done this; we look at our situation, we look at the fact that we do not plan to increase our enrollment on our campus, we look at the fact that we are planning to bring 250 students who live offsite who each and every day come to campus either in their own cars or aboard the shuttle service, and live on campus. One hundred of those will be coming from an apartment building that we own at 24th and Cabrillo in San Pedro, and 150 of those come from the housing units that we have at PV North and Western.
“So as we look at this we have the same size enrollments, we have less people coming from the 24th and Cabrillo section, so we believe of course there will be less traffic on the switchbacks, and we have less students traveling through our campus from PV North and Western; so the phenomenon is pretty straightforward. As we think about the things that will change these are the factors that were considered. In addition, we add 120 slots to the equation. As you saw before it looks like decline to our 50 cars parked off the campus on the streets, we are looking to not increase our enrollment again, and we’re looking to add 120 parking spots to the campus. So our deduction is that there will be less traffic and there will be less stress on the surrounding streets. This we feel has been validated in research the college has done; also in research done with Don in part of the 2002 administrative draft EIR. So in terms of research, when you have a phenomenon and you’re looking to project the future phenomenon, you do your studies; in this case we got a multi-year approach in studies done by both the college and the City. And when you’ve done research, if you come across a methodology that brings extreme findings...findings that are not what you’re used to finding...you need to question that. So here we have a situation where the college has done research, the City has done research in previous years, and none of the numbers come close to the current findings employing the methodology in 2007. So now is it possible the findings are erroneous? That will be the judge. But at the very least in terms of research and research methods, we are going to suggest that a number of different alternative methodologies could be used to test the validity of the 2007 findings. So again, you have a phenomenon, you do your research, and you present your findings. When you have findings that are off the charts, you need to go back and test the validity of those. And so tonight we will be making a case about methodology that we would like the City to consider as part of its review. So with that, we place a great deal of confidence in our role of higher education; we call it peer review and we look forward to the further analysis and hopefully employment of methodologies that help to validate it or perhaps amend the 2007 findings.
“As a catholic college, we waived an environmental search and so we have asked the City, and we have talked to the City of course, about what it might mean to employ a greater use of our college shuttle service. We want to make sure that wherever possible we have employed the college shuttle to minimize the impact upon the neighborhood. Right now, we have about one quarter of our students and staff who are using the college shuttle and we would be looking to increase those percentages. Other mitigations that have been discussed previously by Paul, and we want to emphasize here, because based on the national observed demand for street parking which is 50 vehicles or less, the college believes and the draft EIR confirms that the addition of 120 new parking spaces will eliminate the need for such off-campus parking and on-street parking. Nevertheless, the college has offered to limit the number of students living on campus to have a car with them; half of the students who live on campus will not be allowed to have a car with them if they live on campus, and as we end the public comment period we will be submitting these recommendations once again to the City and will be asking that new research and methodologies are employed to consider these mitigations. These are just some of the legally realistic means by which the college is prepared to enhance the operation of the campus and in turn minimize the environmental impacts. We are very pleased that the draft EIR again presents a number of ways for the impacts to be addressed in a meaningful way and hopefully in a way that meets the needs of the community. We are more than willing to consider other mitigation measures as they proceed, and we are very grateful tonight for many of the comments that come forward from the Commission members; it is clear that your questions and comments are insightful and visually correct.
“A couple of comments on the earlier points made; the college, I believe in February 2006 did notify the City that we may well, at some point in the future, come back to the City or the Commission to construct a pre-school on our campus, so that is true. We of course will not do that until this process has run its course, and in terms of the recreational facilities and library, as you would imagine on our side of the hill there is extreme interest from the community in what it might mean to have a recreational site on campus to enjoy basketball, enjoy volleyball, regulation-size soccer fields, and so it is quite natural for people in the community to reach out to us and to ask what ways might our facilities meet not only the needs of our students, but of the community. Obviously, we will have to work with the City to see what the City is comfortable with in terms of providing these first-rate facilities for its citizens, and the same of course would go for our library. So Marymount and the City has a long history of working together very positively, and on behalf of the college we appreciate your consideration of our comments as we begin this new journey. Thank you for your kind attention.”
Donald Davis, Marymount Land Use and CEQA Counsel
“Good evening Chair Shepherd, members of the Traffic Safety Commission. My name is Don Davis. I have the honor to serve as Marymount’s Land Use and CEQA Counsel. It’s the Christmas season and so we came bearing gifts tonight and I just want to point out a couple of things that did get distributed to you, but because some of the tables as you will see in the pages on the screen are a little bit difficult to read, our PowerPoint was presented to you and is incorporated here and might be easier to read up close. Also we submitted to you a binder here, and we realize that you’ve had a lot to read in this traffic analysis here. I understand that it’s probably for many of you the first time you’ve been through a CEQA full traffic analysis. There is a lot of data in it, you’ve had a lot to deal with, we wanted you to focus on that, but we wanted you to take away tonight this document, which contains a number of things. There’s our comment letter that will track our presentation tonight in more detail. Also there’s a copy of the 2002 Administrative Draft EIR Traffic Analysis.
“The college has been working at this project since 2000, and the same consulting firm, RBF, started a draft EIR at that time. A traffic analysis was done by a different consulting firm, but under the auspices of RBF at that time. And what was interesting to the college when this draft EIR was released was very different findings and results and we’re going to cover some of that, but you will have the full document to review at your leisure. Also we have included in here a traffic analysis of when the college first proposed residences back in 1978 which were approved in the City Traffic Engineer’s comments about how the City viewed the residences as reducing traffic, not adding to traffic, is also there and there are a couple of other college projects that we will be showing to you for comparative purposes. So we hope you will find that useful and, again, we’re going to be going over much of the information tonight in our presentation. Before I go further I would thank the City Staff who have worked very hard on this, Mr. Mihranian, Mr. Martin, Ms. Jules, Mr. Snow; they are highly professional people and the comments that we have tonight are not attacks or criticisms by any means. It is a difference of professional opinions that we had with them over some of the methodologies used and some of the conclusions drawn from it, because we have approached this…and I think Dr. Brophy pointed out…from a backward standpoint. That’s why the lawyer’s up here first. I appreciate all of the questions that you asked tonight, they are good questions and it shows that you have questions and maybe there are a lot of things about the operation of Marymount College that you don’t understand and I think that’s probably true because it’s not fully analyzed in this document...both the facts and the analysis...and that’s what we want to make sure that you’re absolutely clear on this item as much as possible and this is our opportunity to do that and we do thank you for the time allotted to do this.“Let’s just begin again with the “Big Picture Facts” (in the PowerPoint presentation) because there’s a lot of data here, but it has to be absolutely clear to everyone that the college’s enrollment is not changing; it’s been capped at 793 students since 1990, there is no proposal in here whatsoever to change that, that fact stays the same. The college’s weekend program has historically been less than 100 students, and in fact there is a new cap proposed in here that doesn’t exist, there is no current enrollment cap on that program, but in the traffic mitigation measures there is a proposal that enrollment in that program be capped at 83 students. This is an extension program; on weekends the college has no regular classes, the only activity that’s organized is going along with this program for extension students...people in their 20s and 30s...and, again, historically the numbers have been very low, and that’s why when you look at the actual counts there are about 250 empty parking spaces on the weekend because there is not much going on in the college. The college is not proposing any programmatic changes in its two-year liberal arts program. I’m not proposing...comments about the AYSO and other things...those are outside of this project, that’s not our proposal and we want to make that clear. If other things come in, that has to be under separate review, but the college is not proposing those things as part of its application, there is no change proposed in the college’s liberal arts program here. We’re only adding approximately 6-12 new employees total and that’s going to depend on how much new construction is ultimately allowed. One of the key things too that was left out that we’re going to be talking very shortly about are what are existing traffic counts for the college. Mr. Martin did an excellent job of summarizing the tables and data and some of the other things they did, but this critical thing was not discussed and we want to touch on that, but taking the average of three separate traffic counts that were done the college generates approximately, and we believe this is a high number, but we’re putting that anyhow over 2100 trips a day; that’s the existing traffic (bit/bid?). But when you look at the draft EIR, you’re going to see that actually our offsite housing generates less than one trip per student during the peak hours using .93 as a peak hour figure. There is an issue about methodologies we’re going to be talking about and there’s different methodologies that could be employed and this document points that out. One is an enrollment rate the ITE, the Institute for Transportation Engineers’, rate for enrolled students at a junior college of approximately 1.2, and most of these are actually off-campus housing. Our facilities seem to be close to those rates right now. The ITE rate for junior colleges based on enrollment, which we pointed out is not changing, would result in no new trips. And that methodology in your document is pointed out to you and we think that’s critical and that deserves further consideration. Obviously, I think everybody’s clear that 250 potential commuting students would relocate to campus. We believe that reduces traffic...not adds to it. The bottom line that is in one of the tables and we’ll look at that, Table 30 in Section 5.3, shows a potential 1500 trips generated (NOTE FOR STAFF: No typo here – 1,500 not in Table 30 – Table 31 shows 1,478 and Table 29 shows 1,561???) The ITE rate for junior colleges based on enrollment, which we pointed out is not changing, would result in no new trips, and that methodology in the document is pointed out to you and we think that’s critical enough that it deserves further consideration. Nobody seemed to roll their eyes at that, but I did. That’s nearly two trips for every existing student...go off campus, come back, go off, come back...two new trips, or almost doubling of our enrollment. That’s a 70% increase over the current counts here. Those are very large numbers indeed; so we want to look more closely at that.
So our concerns are threefold; we are going to begin with “Existing Conditions Analysis (in the PowerPoint presentation) because under CEQA you have to understand what the current conditions are before you can decide whether the project is generating impact and how those impacts, if they really exist, can be mitigated. We’re going to go through the methodology used and the trip forecast analysis and finally we want to talk more about mitigations and alternatives because we think that is what is critical. I think you saw what I would call the end of the journey, which is these mitigations, the potential impacts and pre-perceptions so basically they can be mitigated. We think there are other things that need to be looked at because we’re concerned with just about reducing trips outside of impacts on intersections.
“Our main concern that I want to start with is the inadequacy of some existing conditions we discussed here. You will find in the back of the draft EIR that it turns out the traffic counts were taken by the consulting firm but they were not included in Section 5.3. When the Administrative Draft came out this struck us as odd and we asked them about it and they said yes indeed, we did take these counts but we didn’t put them in, and the explanation given to the Dr. was that they felt there was an undercount. All right, that’s fair enough, but we thought it was important and we appreciate that RBF did include these in the draft EIR and here you can see the counts. Actually, when you asked about different days, they did that for the traffic counts on the campus. They took it on four different days and four different Saturdays and they range from a low of around 2200 during the weekdays to up to 2800, and around 800 to 1000 (in PowerPoint presentation ‘Campus Counts Not Considered’”) on the weekends here, but some anomalies, there are some high ones and some low ones. So this gives you something to work on. Also this was done by RBF, this was done in 2005; it’s in your document, it begins to give you some picture of the baseline conditions.
I think in terms of parking, I bring these tables up because the consultants felt that they had undercounted those trips and these tables here did not include, and there’s a footnote here, people who parked outside the campus. When we go through this table here where there was a lot of discussion that, yes there’s a maximum period where about 46 (Table 5.3-50) people were parking outside the campus even though actually there was space for many of them and this is included in the parking issue that we will talk about at the end. But if you look at these numbers they are pretty consistent here, and what we do is actually just very conservatively add a number of additional vehicle trips and came up with an estimate of 2700 daily trips (Table 5.3-50). Tripping is high, but yet something to work with here, and about 1000 trips on Saturday based on this count here (Table 5.3-51). But we weren’t satisfied with that because we knew a separate count was done in 2002, and that showed that there were less than 2000 trips at the time (presentation page “Existing Conditions Weekday Campus Counts”), exact same enrollment, exact same operations; so we commissioned Overland, and I want to invite Liz Culhane, our Traffic Engineer, up here to discuss what she found just in the past two weeks with the counts they have taken.”
Liz Culhane, Marymount Traffic Engineer, Overland Traffic Consulting
“All we did is conduct a new count at the college entrance, and we did this in a manner that we felt represented all of these vehicles as trips associated with the college. It was 24-hour counts conducted at the driveway by meter, the meters have been verified by an actual manual count with personnel at the driveway counting vehicles going in and out in order to ensure that those electronic counts were valid, as well as looking at those counts of people coming in and out of the campus to pick up a person who was parking outside of the campus. So you can see, (“2007 Weekday Counts” in presentation pkg) on Tuesday there were 1,698, Wednesday 1,716, Thursday 1,734, now on Saturday there were 148 total daily trips coming through the campus. So you can see a comparison of those making the trips in 2002 you see 1,950, the calculated campus counts for the study in 2005 was 2,700, and todays count averages 1,716. Total average over those three areas 2,122 (Existing Conditions, Weekday Campus Counts). In addition to doing the new traffic counts we also conducted a survey of students on campus. We picked up 462 surveys and out of the 462 students who were surveyed we found that 20% of those students do not own a car or drive to campus, 28% of the students carpool, 26% of those students use a bus or the shuttle. Of those students who were surveyed 61% of the students live in campus housing and 12% of those do not have an outside job to address where they are coming from. So you can see that a survey that was done in 2002, estimation was lacking and not reflected at all in the current analysis, yet very relevant to the information.”
Donald Davis, Marymount Land Use and CEQA Counsel
“Moving on, I think Mr. Martin touched on this, but let’s look at where these trips are going. We know now that we think we can say pretty accurately that there are perhaps somewhere around 2,000 to 2,200 trips at the college. Let’s look at that intersection by the college where all those trips go, how does it operate now if it’s Level of Service “A”. The college does not impact that intersection, and after this project, even with what we believe are very conservative high caps, we’re still at Level “A”, but when you look at the other intersections in town, Miraleste operating at “F”, Trudie/Western at “E”, PVDE/PVDS around “C” (Key Intersections in pkg) right now; they’ve got some issues with that, and those are going to be there regardless of whether we break ground or what we make in terms of improvements or not. So again, our intersection is operating at the highest service level now, other intersections are unacceptable, and obviously the intersection at Miraleste warrants a signal now. One of the questions that we pose for this Commission and ask the Commission to direct the Staff is: What is the City planning on doing about this. This is a citywide problem; it’s clearly not caused by the campus. Our enrollment has been capped, our operations have been the same for nearly 17 years, and this intersection has gotten worse with traffic coming from other sources as well as the college. It needs a signal. We could pay for it, but should the college bear the entire cost of this or not; so we don’t know what the status of that is, we don’t know if you have a capital improvement program. If not, why not. Those are some of the things that we would like your responses to.
“The Shuttle Service (Note: Table 5.3-25 is traffic signalization – no shuttle mentioned). When we got the draft EIR there was no discussion of it. We provided information to the City about that, I want to highlight that here; it shows that we have 200 students and staff that are able to use that. That’s about 25% of our campus population using a form of public transportation. We think that’s important but we think we can do more with that too, and that’s one of the mitigation measures that we think is feasible, that we think will take more vehicles off the street, increase safety, it’s something that should be explored, and we would be open to greater use of it and it should be explored more in the document. These numbers are interesting too; these are in the table that was prepared in Section 5.3. It was done for other purposes, but it’s interesting because it actually shows the number of trips being generated by our off-campus housing facilities. You can see during each weekday here if you add all the totals of these trips here then we’re generating 559 trips; that’s over 400 people that live at these facilities assuming full occupancy of those facilities. Actually during weekdays that are going to campus, others are going elsewhere, only 400 of them go up to the campus, so that’s only one or less during these peak periods. That’s actually a pretty consistent number with the ITE ratings based on enrollment, which is about 1.2 trips per student, and if you add up other trips during the day we’re a little bit above that but we’re pretty close. Again, our weekend program, I want to make sure that everybody’s clear on that, when you look at these forecasts here you’re seeing forecasts with huge increases in the weekend traffic. It’s a small program, they are not regular students, they are only on Saturdays, less than 100 people, and actually the City and included in this EIR was a proposal to cap it at 83 with enrollment the existing condition. And then the ______? came up with over 600, actually 1,000 new trips, being generated.
“So here’s a recap of our concerns about the existing conditions that we think bears more attention. Traffic counts weren’t utilized, student behavior was surveyed in 2002 but not this time; we think that’s important because we’re not a cookie cutter project. It’s not like a strip mall or a 50-unit subdivision where you can take a number from these tables and plug it in. We operate differently; we need to understand how we operate. We don’t think this document fully explains how we do operate and that doesn’t allow you to make a determination whether these numbers are real or not in the forecast. I will turn it over now to my colleague, Mr. Irons, and then I’ll come back and talk about some of the issues. He’s going to go through very briefly our concerns about the methodology used.
Timothy Irons, Marymount Environmental and Land Use Attorney
“It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak to you tonight. Mr. Martin did a good job showing the overall analysis. It’s broken down into two components. We refer first to the junior college component, the square footage component because it’s addressing a new square footage facility; and then there is a residence hall component, that is not covered in the square footage, as a separate component. You can find in the EIR a table that gives the trip rates for each of the components (5.3-28). Here’s a table that is unique in the tables of the document (5.3-29). I just want to point out some of the numbers. For the junior community college this is the new square footage for a campus that has no new enrollment. It’s going to be the equivalent of the existing college. It is reduced for an internal trip capture reduction rate of 32%, which is based on the fact that we report in this document occupants will not be traveling to and from the campus, so they are not included in square footage. It also reduces for the square footage that will be demolished, but you’re still ending up with 954 students just based on new facilities being built on the college that have nothing to do with the residence halls and that are based on no new enrollment. The residence hall methodology is similar. It uses the rate for apartment occupants and it does trips per occupant and we have 854 new trips. This internal trip capture reduction, that is the trips that students will take on campus; instead of going off campus to Starbucks, they’ll go over to the cafeteria, so you get a reduction for that, for those trips back and forth from the residence halls to those other facilities on the campus. The rates were included and we get still 607 trips for the residence halls. As Mr. Martin indicated earlier, I believe in response to a question by Commissioner Kramer, is the college getting credit for all the students who were off campus that were commuting every day and are now on campus and they just commute from the residence hall to the classrooms, or to the cafeteria to get breakfast and then to the classroom. And we are getting credit for those because this internal trip capture reduction, that applies to new trips that are being generated by the students on campus and has nothing to do with the existing commuting trips. And you’ll see later on in the slides the 2002 draft Environmental Impact Report actually came up with a residence hall analysis that had approximately negative 394 trips, so the residence hall component actually reduced trips, not increase them by 607. Just in summary on this table, you have 1,500 new trips on top of 2,100 trips. We got 70% increase with no new enrollment. And one of the other, back at this spot, it’s kind of a good spot to look at and focus on, there’s a foot note down below in the table (5.3-29) and it says if we use the community college trip generation based on enrolled students, this 954 number would be zero. We just query why are we using the square footage rate, the EIR says well it’s to account for student, faculty, and sports staff but we’re not expanding the college so why is the square foot rate being used. Focus in on that, I would like to point out we broke down some of the facilities into various square footage and how many trips they are producing and just look at faculty offices. Those are creating 206 new trips. That’s the equivalent of maybe 150 students based on the ITE rate of 1.2, but if the faculty during the day are going to make the trip, they’re already making the trip. Just because they get new offices or new facilities doesn’t mean now they’re going to go and make brand new trips. And similar with maintenance, you have 55 new trips for maintenance workers who were still on campus, they’re doing the same thing they have always done, but for some reason because the facility is new, they’re creating new trips. And this 412 trips is nearly half of all of the square footage component for these new facilities.
“I don’t want to waste our time, I want to get to this slide, and we put together this chart to basically give the Commission an opportunity to see what the different methodologies are, and the readout of four of these methodologies are actually condoned by the EIR. They are mentioned and suggested this would be appropriate methodology to use. The top row (J/C College Alternative Methodologies) is the methodology that was used, which was a 32% reduction rate on the new non-residential facility and that was 954 trips. The EIR condones and said you could use the 32% recapture on the existing square footage in addition to the new non-residential building and you get 305. The other methodology you could use is the enrolled student alternative, which would give you zero. We included the third methodology applying a recapture rate that more accurately reflected the recapture rate used on the resident hall component and we got 38. So there is a range of results you can come up with, depending on the methodology, and it doesn’t mean that the facts need to change or the information that was gathered needs to change; it’s just, how are we analyzing what we did get. As my colleague pointed out earlier, the weekend trips are dramatic. We have, for a weekend program of less than 100 students, we are generating supposedly 668 brand new trips (J/C College Weekend Trips) in addition to both what is already being generated based on square footage, and that in addition for the residents we have 810 trips and so the total for weekend trips for a weekend program of less than 100 students is the equivalent of the new trips for the weekday. Now, obviously the students on campus may take more trips on the weekend or, if you did a survey, maybe they would leave campus on the weekends and go to fun things in other parks and want to get away from the campus; but in any case, the number speaks for itself.
“The forecast summary, (J/C College Forecast Summary) we think that if you use the enrolled students we get no new trips; that is an appropriate finding to make. The credit that we didn’t get for the off-campus students who are not commuting any more should be applied. The weekend trips forecast increase even though the EIR says that the program will be reduced or may be reduced and non-residential trip rates are not recaptured for the weekend trips, which was a point I meant to make over here, that there is no recapture rate up here like there was during the weekday, so we just questioned why is that the case.
“The Residence Hall Analysis, I’ve talked about it before and I just want to get to the last slide. I think this last slide is critical. This is a comparison of the 2002 ADEIR and the 2007 document. If you just look at the numbers, the methodology that you use makes a big difference. Plus 1,200 trips, I can’t explain it so we just put it in the chart and ask that more explanation be given for it, but I do want to point out in the facilities section there was a 50-75% internal recapture rate used, and this is for the square footage component back in the weekday forecast that was used; the current document only uses a 32% recapture, so we think there’s a significant amount of recapture for the facilities that the college is not being given credit for. I’ll pass this on back to Don and he will talk about a couple of the other facilities in southern California that we did a comparison to, to try and explain the numbers that we are setting forth.”
Donald Davis, Marymount Land Use and CEQA Counsel
“Good evening again. We hope those numbers capture your attention. If they haven’t, perhaps these will. We’re going to look at two different college expansion programs, one in Malibu, one in Santa Barbara...not exactly development-friendly jurisdictions...and let’s find out what happened there.
“Pepperdine had a proposal in the late 1990s, not very long ago, to add almost 800 new students; more evening students, 300 residents, new faculty, and look at their new trip count. This is almost the entire size of Marymount’s campus now, and look at the number; it’s almost the same number as we get here from this draft EIR. And by the way, Pepperdine is going to add 150,000 new square feet of structure too, almost twice ours, and yet only generate 200 more trips than what is reflected in here; 800 new students and faculty and 150,000 new feet of construction. That’s Malibu.
“Let’s take a look at Santa Barbara. Westmont College had a master plan to modernize their campus too. They were going to actually maintain their current population of 1,200 students and add a few more faculty I think and a few additional on-site student housing, but they were going to add almost 400,000 new square feet of facility, but their trip caps were 82. If you used the methodology in Santa Barbara as recommended in the Staff EIR, you would have 400,000 square feet and almost 30 trips per square foot, 12,000 trips. Westmont ______? to Rancho Palos Verdes you have documented 12,000 trips. Again, these surveys, we think the forecast is too high. I’ll explain, in some ways it’s good but it’s unrealistic we think in comparison to existing trips. It’s out of sync with the 2002 ADEIR forecast and it seems out of sync with other projects in California as well. I want to point out though I think there was a purpose for doing this, and I think what Staff tried to do was to wring every possible trip out of the project. For showing you the worst case scenario, I think they’ve succeeded, but our point here is we don’t think that’s really the case, and that’s where we want to look at the facts more carefully and when you make your recommendations to the City Council to ask some questions about it just like you did in the first part. Maybe you’re looking at these numbers and really think hmm. For Staff to just accept the numbers, it doesn’t work that way. You have to ask the hard questions, and when you start looking at them we think the numbers don’t add up. Clearly a worst-case scenario, but we think the reality is much, much less.
“But even with a worst case scenario, if that’s really that significant, it can be mitigated too, and we think that can be internally mitigated too. We ask the City to look at what can we do with the shuttle service, and the response we got back was really not very satisfactory from our standpoint. We looked at it from the way that we were trying to say how can we get out of our traffic mitigations, and our question was what can we do to reduce that number lower. This just shows how I think we need to go back and have that looked at but we were told, well, you have to have 730 riders (Shuttle Service slide) to reduce the impact at this intersection, but when you look at your trip counts we’re only generating 120 trips; the math doesn’t add up; 730 riders, that’s our entire campus, and we’re only supposed to generate 120 trips. We think more can be done with the shuttle, we’ve asked in our letter tonight that the RBF come back and tell us what are the critical moves at this intersection so that you really can see it’s really, we think, very slight. It’s just a few trips that trigger those intersections to be significant and we think that’s important. The forecast I’m not going to go over because we think the key thing here is the demand offsite here where there actually is parking on the campus, and again, with no change in conditions and adding 120 more spaces, by reviewing some of the comments we can do more; there could be things like signage to say that there is parking available, and there’s counter things. These are all things that we’re willing to consider. We want to get people off the street; we want you to understand that.
“Let me just wrap up here. I think that the existing conditions need more analysis, that the methodologies are presented in here and you have the option, you can look at those and recommend that actually you think that maybe some of those other ones that are presented in there like the enrollment make sense here. And more emphasis on trip reduction could be done as well. We thank you for your time; we’ve used our time. If you do have questions, we’re here and we would be glad to answer anything that we might have raised for you.
David M. Snow, AICP, Attorney at Law, Richards, Watson, Gershon
“First I would like to address that the 2002 Administrative Draft EIR as referenced in the applicant’s presentation was an internal draft document. It did not go through the level of peer review that you would expect before a document is released for public review and comment. Although that work was done, it was never approved by the City, it was never relied upon by the City, it was never made available for public review as required by CEQA, so I think it’s important to put that in context. As far as the trip counts, they were taken at the entrance to the college. They were not used because the consultants felt that there were other means available, they were more accurate, and I’ll touch on that further if you think that’s necessary. As far as the ITE enrollment in that there were no new trips at all generated, Staff just collectively didn’t believe that was really plausible that with an expansion of this type there would be no additional trips generated. I’ll let Ara (Mihranian) touch on that a little bit. There was a reference also to a survey taken in 2002 of student statistic car ownership, etc. I think one of the important parts to keep in mind about this is the methodology wasn’t independently verified by the City, the City couldn’t vouch for the validity of the study and in light of that didn’t feel that it was information that was reliable enough to incorporate into the EIR. Again, if Paul has anything to add to that, I’d ask him to build on that. As far as the shuttle service usage rate, again this is an issue that was talked about but as far as survey methodologies there was not an agreement or consensus on what methodology should be used so that the City and the City’s consultants would be comfortable relying on the shuttle usage. It’s something that we did explore. It’s just not something that in my recollection was completed to a sufficient level to enable the City to rely on that information. I think that’s it; Ara and Paul have thrown a lot out there if there is anything you wanted to add on those points.”
Ara Mihranian, Principal Planner, Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Department
“I’ll just comment on what Dave mentioned in regards to the trip counts, and with the project as proposed with the expansion, the City Staff perspective on this is that, well the enrollment may not be changing, but amenities are being enhanced, the college is offering improved athletic facilities and improved library. All that comes with the expectation that you will have more people visiting the site. It may not be students but there may be sport events where outside people may come in; also, the college as described in the project description is indicating that they want to open the facilities when they’re not using it to the public and let the public be using the athletic facilities, the library. But look, all that needs to be accounted for, so I think that’s why we took the approach in our methodology to try to capture all these extracurricular trips that may be associated with the project at this time.”
Chair Shepherd, Traffic Safety Commission
“Let me ask you, the ITE for junior colleges and community colleges; normally a junior college or community college doesn’t have housing, so that ITE information is usually geared for a junior college or community college without housing. Is that correct?” The standards are for without housing, which is why you factored some of the other issues.”
Ara Mihranian, Principal Planner, Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Department
“Which is why you’ve got the square footage for the proposed addition, and then you took the housing and dealt with that separately.
James Gordon, 3538 Bendigo Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, representing Concerned Citizens Coalition/Marymount Expansion (CCC/ME)
“Thank you Madam Chairwoman. Members of the Traffic and Planning Commission, Dr. Brophy, members of the College, and our community group. My task tonight will be to cut to the chase on the subject of DEIR 5.3, and its findings. But first, it is important for you to know that the DEIR does not review or analyze safety in the context of its Environmental findings. That may be a surprise to some, but nothing in the DEIR mitigates the dangers caused by adding youthful drivers living in college dorms within our neighborhood community. The DEIR Section 5.3 Traffic and Circulation and its associated documents is by far the largest of all the DEIR Sections. There are 839 pages in all, including the 191-page Staff report, and of the 46 mitigations included in the total we have two EIRs. Traffic and Circulation has a total of nine; five for traffic, four for parking. It also includes at least one or more Significant and Unavoidable Impacts.
“These findings, after extensive review, contradict Marymount College’s claims that ‘On-campus housing will reduce, rather than increase, traffic and congestion during peak commuting hours.’ This is directly opposite was Dr. Blumenthal has claimed as I just quoted on the left-hand letter (in the presentation pkg). We’ve got quite a correspondence, and that correspondence is in your package for the Commission, and in the 2002 package that was sent out by the college to the community basically they said everything that you need is going to be right on campus, so there is no increase in student traffic.
“DEIR 5.3 conclusions demonstrate that traffic and parking are actually much worse with dorms. This is a Significant and Unavoidable Result. Why? The reason is simple. See page 2-9 of the Executive Summary: ‘Project Traffic and other related cumulative projects could cause a significant increase in traffic when compared to the traffic capacity of the street system and could exceed an established standard.’ In short, these roads are already near maximum capacity.
“Partly to blame is the fact that Marymount College was granted an over-generous student cap in 1990, and the college has never submitted a ride-sharing plan to RPV to reduce traffic congestion for students as required by Condition 13 of that CUP approval. That’s the letter from Dr. Blumenthal on the right (in presentation pkg) early 2000 claiming that the college was given forbearance on this requirement by AQMD. That is incorrect and the fact that they have never submitted a student mitigation ride-sharing program to the City as required by Condition 13, much less more than one of them. So we’re reaping a problem from a situation that has not been mitigated as required to be mitigated. So this leads me to really tell how paper mitigations that we’re talking about here will be any more valuable than the ones that were voided on Condition 13 of 1990 CUP conditions.
“What we find now in 5.3 is a direct contradiction in terms, a ‘Catch 22’ if you will. Are 793 students to be the absolute maximum number, as used in the analysis, or is 793 to be merely an average of Fall and Spring semesters?
“The CUP allowed for a maximum average (Fall and Spring terms combined). Marymount has used this loophole to advantage because historically the Fall term is much larger than the Spring term. It has been 852 and even 905, with the much smaller Spring term virtually offsetting that with a much lower figure, thus ensuring that the average will fall safely below 793.
“On the contrary, the 5.3 analysis uses the 793 maximum number as a hard top limit. This is seen in Mitigations titled TR-4, TR-6, and TR-8. Thus the ‘Catch 22’ situation whereby, if the limit is absolute, the 5.3 DEIR analysis stands. If Marymount wishes to contest this to be an average, the 5.3 analysis must be redone with a much higher number, making the outcome of 5.3 only worse, not better. If you look hard enough, and I think we’ve talked a little bit about this, there are a number of important omissions, questionable standards, and inconsistencies that can be found. All of these, however, if corrected, also make the outcome and findings of 5.3 much worse.
“As discussed, a number of factors used for junior college and apartment-based formulas in 5.3 tend to artificially lower the traffic counts in the study, not to overly increase them because of the unique nature of Marymount College being where it is. So, you don’t compare Marymount College with Westmont College or with Pepperdine that are large campuses and are self-contained with Marymount, which is not self-contained and will not be self-contained because you cannot readily walk to shops and so forth as you can with the factors used from the junior college and apartment-based formula, which assumes a nine-to-five type of thing which reduces the traffic. I don’t know how many people were here December 13 I believe...correct me if I’m wrong...2005, when Dr. McFadden talked about saving trips because of the new dorms being put on campus. His statement was that currently those students make two, three, four, even more long trips per day to get to campus. It doesn’t seem that they’re going to stop making long trips to get off campus, and the problem that I have with a lot of the studies is the fact that this is looking only at the peak hour, which covers 11 of the 24-hour days and leaves the 13 hours of after-hours at night and so forth unstudied; maybe that’s captured, maybe it’s not. But primarily in this 5.3 we are looking at is the peak hour impact. What the local neighbors are concerned about are those hours, the 13 hours that are not accounted for in the study because of the dangers associated with it, but I guess it’s hard to comment at this point because that’s a factor that goes into the CUP considerations later, and not in the DEIR. So I apologize for even bringing that up.
“In conclusion, that represents an obviously huge effort that is still incomplete and flawed. Despite any shortcomings it obviously exposes Marymount’s propaganda myths of traffic reduction and parking improvement claims, both wrong and inadequate. The result of on-campus dorms imposes dangerous and unprecedented significant and unavoidable traffic and circulation impacts on the community as a result of their project. This is probably not even recognized in the current DEIR, that we will have a long-term population of freshman students annually for years, ages 17, 18, and 19, who will not be familiar with the very serious limitations that our streets present to them and, which we know about, caused a great number of collisions and other dangerous situations. I’m involved with an 18-year old in the traffic report called ‘Switters’; in 2002 three vehicles put out of commission, my neighbor on one side was hit by a Marymount student, and our real estate lady was nearly killed. This is with the existing situation. I apologize again because I’m not sure that we could really talk about the safety issue as a result of having these young people on this campus. But anyway, thank you very much and I appreciate your consideration.”
Concerned Citizens Coalition/Marymount Expansion (CCC/ME)
Lois Karp, 31115 Ganado Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, representing Concerned Citizens Coalition/Marymount Expansion (CCC/ME)
“We represent and have representation from all the homeowners’ associations that surround the Marymount College. We are here tonight to ask you, the Traffic Safety Commission, to include our comments in your report to the Planning Commission and the City Council. The Traffic and Circulation section of the DEIR is the largest in the entire DEIR...truly overwhelming and nearly impossible to rate. It might be considered overkill except for the fact that it is fraught with inconsistencies and wrong assumptions. I will start with the assumptions. The total number of people who leave the campus is an old and still unsolved mystery; 750 students pass, which is constantly bandied about, is a useless and inaccurate number. As per Marymount’s senior team, 750 is an average of the Fall and Spring semesters, with 20 part-time students, and you get up to 793 or 794. This number is used as an absolute throughout this EIR, but it is an average. We are not counting Winter sessions; we’re not counting Summer sessions. At the previous EIR hearing before the Planning Commission I had brochures; Marymount is advertising two ‘08 brochures from a company called FTS, that they’re going to write English language programs in the summer, they’re going to have summer camps there at the same time, and then I was told there would be about 800 students. They’re building a lot of athletic facilities, plus they say they want to have golf, soccer, and intramural sports; these all bring people to the campus, and these are overlapping things, so therefore where are these numbers. They have to be added somewhere. There is also the problem of not thinking forward to project what the uses of the college will be in the future. Marymount says they wish to bring back the preschool; I don’t find those numbers anywhere. Also they have included a number of seats in the college from 578 to 709; doesn’t that foreshadow that they might want to grow. CEQA states if there is a reasonable foreseeable consequence, it must be evaluated. If the foreseeable future uses are not considered under CEQA, it’s called piecemeal and that’s what they are doing with the preschool. None of this is allowed by Code or law, and the DEIR does not in any way consider the dire consequences of these considerations.
“All of the above proposed uses bring more cars, and this project is so short of City Code required parking, we should just throw it out on that alone. In the plan (plan stated, only found in DEIR Table 49) the college is presenting their only offering of 463 (Table 5.3-49) on-campus spaces. At the present time, they are already 231 (Table 5.3-49) short. Marymount has continually, both orally and in printed materials that they’ve mailed all the neighbors, insisted they are going to take all the cars off the street. Now we’re seeing different tables in 5.3 on page 22 (page 22 stated, should be Table 22) that state a deficiency of 278 and on page 49 (page 49 stated, should be Table 49), they’re saying that if they took the strictest Code it would be 972 or 847 (Table 5.3-48).
“This DEIR should be following the standards set by our City and not looking for ways to diminish them. The hours of when the traffic were counted and the number of trips that were estimated is another mystery _______?, but the one thing that neither of them mention is they stopped counting traffic at four o’clock in the afternoon, or six o’clock. They counted the traffic in and out of the PV North housing facility, but it stopped at six o’clock; do you say these kids don’t go anywhere after six o’clock, that they’re not going to be on the road. If they’re living on the campus at PV East, are they not going to leave the campus at night? This is one of the main problems we, as residents, are most concerned about if there are residence halls placed on the PV East campus. There will be trips to visit the PV North campus, which is extremely dangerous, trips to the market, to the movies, to shopping, and to entertainment, because none of these things exist nearby. The night trip up and down PV East on the switchbacks is a scary thought. We will all have to share the road with these inexperienced, dangerous drivers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety points out that teenage drivers make up slightly more than one-third of the fatalities in traffic that they are involved in. They will be a menace to themselves and the residents that live nearby the college. These trips are inevitable and should be forecasted in the DEIR. On the list of calculated trips in 5.3 on pages 33 and 34 they’re using an apartment house formula. These students don’t live on a nine to five like people who live in apartments who come and go to work and that’s it. They go in and out; they go on till two or three o’clock in the morning, they don’t go to school on Thursday so they go up and down on Thursday. The apartment house formula in no way represents these college students, and that should definitely be reworked. Section 5.3 page 25, ‘Alternative Transportation’, is a figment of the imagination of the people who wrote this DEIR. There is no public bus that runs to Marymount. The Orange and Gold and the Green lines that they’re talking about; those are the school buses run by PVPUSD and our transit authority; they can’t take the Marymount students anywhere. So, to put that in there as mitigation is really an insult. Marymount has constantly stated that the residence halls will reduce traffic. Then how come we have all these mitigations that are needed in TR2 and TR3 and TR4 installation of signal at Miraleste, re-doing two of the intersections; these things don’t make sense. Who will pay for these improvements? Marymount is a tax-exempt institution; they pay no taxes to the City of RPV. So, they are only willing to pay their fair share, but if there is no one else to pay the rest, who’s going to pay for it, how are we going to mitigate these things; the City will have to pay for it, you and I will have to pay for it from our taxes. If you approve their study as a de facto of giving of public funds community money, we’re taking RPV funds to spend for a private, non-profit institution in order to fix the intersection of which they are only paying their fair share. There are levels marked in here ‘Significant Unavoidable’; one of those is for the Palos Verdes Drive East and Palos Verdes Drive South; the significant and unavoidable impact is buried in a paragraph in the Executive Summary that starts out with the words ‘No significant impact, but when we come down to it, it is significant and it cannot be mitigated. The unmitigatable things all talk about overriding considerations; there are five of them in this draft EIR, and what does that mean. That means that they are going to ask the City Council to draft an overriding consideration and say that they don’t have to mitigate a few things and they’re going to be here anyhow. This DEIR is not certifiable. Thank you.
Tom Redfield, 31273 Ganado Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, representing Concerned Citizens Coalition/Marymount Expansion (CCC/ME)
“My wife and I have lived in the fourth house away from the Marymount campus for the last 35-36 years. For your information, I want to put a little different perspective on this because I’m concerned that talking past each other, we’ll probably be debating forever the amount of traffic during the school operations when classes are being held; and we have our opinions, Marymount has their opinions and so forth. So I want to make sure you understand what we’re talking about. I’m also a member of the leadership with the CCC/ME Coalition, and while we’re terribly concerned about the entire scope of this project, our Coalition’s primary focus is around the four or five thousand homes around the campus, so that’s different than the general comments, which are appropriate for the entire impact on Western, PV Drive South, and so forth. The difference is really day and night, and I’ll talk about the day, which is really currently when they’re in session in classes, which is totally different than when they are out of classes and will be even more deadly when they’re living on campus.
“So, I just have a few basic comments here. Marymount’s enrollment has escalated over the years. So has the frequency of the reckless high rates of speeding and accidents. They have gone up, and no one in our Coalition or anyone else should ever say that only Marymount students create most or all of the speed and the accidents. I don’t think anyone can dispute that the Marymount students create a disproportionate amount of the serious speeding and accidents. You have handouts I believe that I gave Ara to give out to you and I’m not going to go into the pictures and photographs of the last couple year’s alone of accidents involving the Marymount students; you can look at those in your leisure. There’s also a short article there by the CEO of the California Motor Vehicle Code highlighting the percentage of accidents caused by teenagers and so forth, which we’ve already spoken to.
“One of the things that’s unique; my wife and I basically walk, not quite daily, for many years up there together and separately and so forth, and so what the numbers capture and don’t capture is what is really occurring around the college during the hours of classes. I think most of you don’t live around there; I know the Chair and so forth does, but it’s totally different than what the numbers illustrate. I’m not speaking why can’t mitigation work after the expansion. We’re not talking about some of the valid suggestions for mitigation; stoplights and so forth at Miraleste and Western, PV Drive East and South and so forth. We’re speaking only about the area where the college is, which is about half to three-quarters of a mile east or north, and about the same distance south to where the switchbacks join PV Drive south. The reason we say...this is different than almost any other project I’ve listened to for the last decade…that mitigation can’t work; that’s because for the last six to seven years, and only Ava I believe, maybe Nicole, Ara, were around when we appeared six or seven years ago and began asking for help from the Traffic Committee, later on the Traffic Safety Commission. Jack Rydell and others have really done a magnificent job of identifying, testing, implementing personally every possible mitigation as it relates to the area of approximately two miles to the Marymount College in the middle.
“The result of all these things has been, and Jack Rydell and others have confirmed this; there has been an impact, a positive one on the regular residents who live around and so forth, and they have slowed down. But the frequency of wild speeding, reckless speeding, and accidents has not been observed. Very disappointing. Now what has been developed and implemented; what results. The Traffic Committee and the Traffic Safety Commission have created numerous mitigations already including major changes in striping, lane changes, red lines, alignment of curves, removing the foliage to improve visibility at the Ganado/PV Drive East intersection, and finally a massive creative test this past year. Results again; they provided somewhat safety for the residents, it had noticeable measurable impact on slowing down a hard core group...that’s not all Marymount students, there’s motorcycles, there’s other regular residents and so forth...a hard core, and nothing has done anything to make that safe. Not only has the Commission done great work, but the Committee before, the Sheriff’s Department, and the City Council.
“The City Council has approved two Sheriff enforcement tests; there was a one-day test a couple years ago on the switchback above Ganado intersection on PV Drive East, and it slowed down people obviously for the few hours it was there. That was followed up by a two-month test approximately in the summer on the switchback and heavy up, and that did have an impact on the amount of motorcycles and bicycles and everything else flying up and down, but it didn’t have any impact on the Marymount students’ driving because they weren’t in session. Also, the Council did their job; they identified the traffic calming as one of the strategic goals of the City, they not only agreed when we presented the opportunity to do something about this dangerous situation. They approved the first dedicated Traffic Enforcement Deputy, the well-known, famous Deputy Knox. Not only that; they followed it up a few months later and they added a second Deputy. It was a Sheriff’s Deputy. We get 60% of his time. The perception though, is that with these additional Traffic Deputies, overall speeding in the City has declined; that’s a perception, and I think it’s valid. But there’s a hard core; we can argue whether it’s fifteen, thirty, twenty percent, who continue to speed no matter how many tickets they get at 70, 80, 100 mph, even how many times their vehicles are impounded and so forth. The point is, it hasn’t had an impact, and we’re talking here about the Marymount students. The final group, our residents, the City Council, the Committees, the Commission, and so forth have all done their job.
“The final group we tried to enroll was the support of Marymount’s leadership. I’m speaking now of support of Dr. Brophy, who we have a lot of respect for, started to work with us in an attempt to reign in the wild speed by Marymount students. It’s been a major failure as a result of that mitigation. Marymount has held, since Dr. Brophy came, some orientation classes on traffic safety led by some of the members of the Sheriff’s Department. No impact on that. We have a belief credibility problem here. Our Coalition has spent two years asking to get the Council and the Sheriff’s Department to implement a heavy-up radar test around Marymount College. After two years it was implemented with startling results. It was called off within two or three hours. The college leadership, Dr. Brophy, called up and insisted that the test be stopped immediately and it was. They committed to having enough spaces on campus for the parking; you’ve heard the testimony. A lot of them do not like to park there even where there’s plenty of spaces. One of the reasons we observed is when the classes are out the students come out, jump in their cars, fly down to the east, west, or north or south where the road bends till they burn rubber; it’s amazing, they try to pass normal vehicles before they get to where it turns into only two lanes, an extremely disastrous kind of a situation.
“Another problem though on a reason that pass/curve future mitigation steps could not possibly succeed, and again I’m talking about around Marymount, is the nature of the road system surrounding Marymount College. The college is situated in the middle of a four-lane raceway, which could be built into two lanes half mile down the road. The college connects to the infamous switchback, which the previous Chair of the Traffic Committee stated when he looked at the ‘Switters’ data; unquestionably, this is the most dangerous section of road in all of L. A. County. That isn’t going to change. PV Drive East has a major blind steep curve along the Marymount campus sloped the wrong way, so flyers tend to fly across the road.
“Now, that’s what’s going on now, and basically when you give credit to everybody in the City who has tried to work and reduce and control the Marymount students along with some other hard core speeders in our City. Where we’re talking past each other is in the analysis and so forth, and the DEIR is; why are we concerned about the students on campus. As was said, I don’t know how much the traffic during the day is going to go up or down, but they’re going to be there and they’re going to be there 24/7 365; it may be different groups, it may be different sections and all that kind of stuff. There are virtually no reasons, and most departments mentioned this, on campus for the students to stay there; it’s ludicrous to think there’s anything they could walk to that they’re not going to go to; there’s no _______? or whatever. The combination of darkness and periodic violent rain along with students being somewhat impaired is a recipe for disaster. One of the strange things about the same number of students going and coming…I assume that nobody’s staying there…is that most all the accidents happen as classes let out, and then on into the early hours of the night. Currently, the traffic drops dramatically along with speed and accidents after the college is shut down; our City has virtually no traffic Deputies employed during the late night hours during the week and less during the weekends. With students living on campus, I should think that Deputies would be mandatory.
“The road noise, screeching vehicles, racing motors; the residents here have spent tens of thousands of dollars to soundproof their houses in an attempt to stop this terrible noise. They get a break in the evenings; they get a break in the weekends, except for the motorcycles, which have nothing to do with Marymount. Bottom line, all known mitigation steps have been already designed _________?, with the exception of possibly narrowing it from four lanes to two lanes, which might work; and they haven’t worked and therefore we feel that the Traffic Safety Commission must deem Marymount’s Expansion Plan for traffic and circulation is unmitigatable unless the two-campus alternate is approved. Thank you.”
Sam Van Wagner, 2763 San Ramon Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, representing Concerned Citizens Coalition/Marymount Expansion (CCC/ME)
“Thank you for the opportunity to address the Commission on this very important issue. Living on San Ramon Drive I am very concerned about the increased traffic, parking, and safety issues surrounding the development of the proposed project. As to Ms. Karp and Mr. Gordon, I have concerns about using the apartment dwelling criteria to analyze trip generation. It is simply not realistic to believe the students will limit their trips to those of apartment dwellers. In addition, the strict interpretation of the City’s Parking Code should be utilized. This would help provide a more realistic picture of current and future parking requirements. There are a variety of mitigation measures articulated in the voluminous DEIR report and appendices intended to help with the traffic, parking, and safety problems. However, as the Staff report (by Jack Rydell) states on page six, ‘The applicant will only be responsible for its fair share of contribution, full implementation of the mitigation measure will not occur, thus resulting in a significant and unavoidable impact.’ This would require the City to approve a Statement of Overriding Consideration in accordance with CEQA 15093. I am very concerned about this. I strongly urge the Traffic Commission to closely examine the practicality of the articulated mitigation measures and whether the City really wants to approve a Statement of Overriding Consideration. Thank you very much.
Chair Shepherd: “Do we have any accident data from a safety perspective by age of driver on accidents that have occurred near Marymount College over the last three years; I don’t know how far we should reach but, I don’t know, three to five years, recently. Do you have anything?”
Sgt. Creason: “I have some accident data, __________________________?”
Chair Shepherd: “Is that something that could be provided to us before the end of this comment period so we could utilize that? I see from the audience that they have something.”
Kenneth Goldman, 2767 Vista Mesa Drive, El Prado Estates Homeowners’ Association
“From the CHP, it’s called the Statewide Integrated Traffic Survey, Switters.”
Chair Shepherd: “Thank you. I’ll pass it over to Staff. Just a question because it seems to come up quite a bit in the statements tonight.”
Traffic Engineer Rydell: “To add to that, it’s part of our recent Palos Verdes Drive East Comprehensive Study, we’ve been looking at accidents along the entirety of PV Drive East and we discovered that approximately 40% of all the accidents involved motorists 21 or younger.”
Chair Shepherd: “Interesting, ok. Thank you. I’ll give an additional five minutes for them, and I believe it is for the resident who is representing El Prado. They have seven more minutes? (question of Siamak) We’ll allocate the rest of their time to him when he’s called. Why don’t we just call him”?
Kenneth Goldman, 2767 Vista Mesa Drive, representing El Prado Estates Homeowners’ Association
“My name is Ken Goldman, I am a 47-year resident of RPV. I built my home in El Prado Estates, which is a quarter of a mile from the Marymount campus and is located directly along PV Drive East. I’m representing El Prado Homeowners’ Association, which includes 125 homes. Our concern with traffic is two-fold; first, the daily off-hour and weekend trips of the 255 occupants at the proposed residence halls; second, construction traffic. PV Drive East is the only means of access to Marymount College. In the immediate vicinity of the campus entrance, PV East is a four-lane undivided speedway. To the north, PV East transitions to a two-lane undivided road with blind curves, 32 intersecting driveways, and virtually no lighting for one mile to Miraleste Drive. The speed limit is posted from 20 to 35 mph. The red poster board shows five blind curves. To the south, PV East transitions to a curvy, unlit, two-lane, undivided road followed by 1.4 miles of switchbacks and blind curves down steeply to PV Drive South as shown on the right poster board. The posted speed limits are 25 to 40 mph. The EIR acknowledges the significant increase in traffic on PV East. The EIR states quote, ‘The proposed project would result in significant and unavoidable traffic impacts under forecast year 2012 with Project conditions (weekday and Saturday).’ page 7-9. EIR analyzes the traffic during peak hours from 7 am to 6 pm, although the EIR does contain statistics, which indicate volume of daily off-hour and weekend traffic from the 255 person residence halls, all of whom are allocated parking spaces. The EIR fails to analyze this off-hour data. The total of 607 daily trips are shown for the residence hall occupants, of which 105 occur from 7 am to 6 pm, page 5.3-29. (should be Table 5.3-29 instead of page 5.3-29) The remainder of 502 trips occur during off-hours principally from 6 pm to midnight. This is equivalent to nearly one round trip for every resident of the dormitory driving at night on PV Drive East. On weekend days, the EIR indicates an additional 203 trips on top of the 502 trips mentioned above. Furthermore, there would be additional visits by off-campus students. The EIR notes that 240 occupants of the residence halls would be freshmen typically 17 to 19 years old, page 7-5 (no reference to this in page 7-5 or Table 7-5, no results in CD search of Section 7 for seventeen or 17, nineteen or 19, or 240 occupants.)
“Exacerbating the impact of this teenage traffic is the following statistics: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that the crash rates for drivers 16 to 19 are four times greater than those of the average older driver; (repeated by speaker) the crash rates for drivers 16 to 19 are four times greater than those of the older average driver. A report by the ‘AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’ points out the teen driver posed a greater threat to other road users and to themselves. Although there would be supervision for the residence hall freshmen on campus, they would be free to drive anytime without supervision. PV Drive East is a dangerous road to drive, frequently enveloped in fog and, on weekends, a Mecca for cyclists. The means for mitigating the above-described significant impact on traffic and circulation and traffic safety is to disapprove the proposed construction of residence halls on the Marymount campus.
“Regarding construction traffic; the EIR states that 100,000 cubic yards of cut and fill would be balanced on-site without requiring import or export of materials, page 5.1-20 (clearly stated, but there is no such page). If this proves to be incorrect, the impact on load haul trips on PV Drive East would be devastating. Furthermore, select fill, building material, gravel, sand, and rock would be required. The amount of this fill and the number of truck haul trips required are not identified, page 5.3-41. Following the grading operation and truck hauling would be demolition debris hauling, and then construction materials delivery including concrete trucks, lumber trucks, building material trucks, et al. These trucks would all be using and driving the only means of access to the campus. The noise and traffic resulting would have a significant impact on the local community and would be prolonged over an eight-year period. The impact on traffic and circulation and on noise would be significant. Thank you for your attention. I have some articles by the Automobile Club of Southern California regarding safer teen drivers, which I’d like you to have. The documentation of my presentation is included in the document for the EIR.”
Chair Shepherd: “Give them to Siamak please. The remaining speakers will have three minutes.”
Barry Hildebrand, 3560 Vigilance Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes
“I don’t envy you sitting back there listening to thousands and thousands of numbers. I did that five years ago and am happy to be on this side of the mic tonight. I want to start with a couple of the mitigations that were suggested. The Miraleste Drive and PV Drive East intersection is currently operating at a low ‘Level of Service F’. It’s clearly impacted, but the impact is limited to about four times during the day when, for various reasons, school, _____?, people going to work, and so forth. Those periods last from about 20 to 30 minutes each, and I see no reason at all to penalize the community for 22 other hours by putting a signal at that intersection when it is currently operating ok. It’s not good, it’s obviously bad, but everyone puts up with it. Years ago, that intersection was at the very bottom of the priority list for intersections within the City to be signalized. Now it’s made its way up to the top of the list and I don’t know how that happened; they obviously use different criteria. There was a comment about using a different methodology tonight in analyzing trip generation and so forth, so clearly I think it’s against public policy to penalize the community for 22 hours a day for a problem that lasts for less than two hours.
“At PV Drive East and PV Drive South, the suggested mitigation is a protected raised median, supposedly to protect drivers coming down PV Drive East who are headed towards San Pedro making a left turn there. As you must know, a driver entering the intersection must be able to completely negotiate this maneuver without waiting in the intersection for cross traffic there. In other words, he must leave the limit line knowing that he can safely make the turn without hesitation. For reference I refer you to Vehicle Code 22526-A thanks to Sgt. Creason. Also, the AAA driver’s handbook puts it very succinctly; it says ‘It is illegal to enter an intersection if there is not enough space for you to completely cross it.’ Putting a median there is asking for trouble, and it may involve even turn problems with trucks and so forth, so I would suggest against doing that. Thank you.”
Craig Whited, 31145 Palos Verdes Drive East, Rancho Palos Verdes
“Madam Chair and members of the Commission. I have been here before and I come to you tonight to talk purely about safety on Palos Verdes Drive East. I’m a member of the Coalition. I come here tonight to you tonight to ask for some reasonableness, maybe a check of how clear we are. Safety should be incumbent upon all of us, and we have a problem. On Palos Verdes Drive East right now we have one of the most dangerous stretches of road; it is a combination of motorcycles, residents, non-residents, and Marymount students. I’m not going to try to pinpoint anywhere; what I will do is share with you, you have seen some of it tonight, pictures I have personally taken of accidents that have taken place in front of my house that have been caused by Marymount students. I have not seen any accidents in front of my house that have caused cars to leave the roadway or to cross to the other side, other than Marymount students. I present to you tonight several pictures that you may have seen before...will you each take one of these please...that have two different items; one is actually the afternoon that I met Dr. Brophy, which was at the time of the accident when several new freshmen were leaving the campus and they broadsided a car belonging to one of our residents. And another one is a picture that I was able to find off the Internet, since I did not have any pictures, of a head-on motorcycle collision. It is a picture of the motorcycle broad siding a car at 100 mph; I believe that the record on Palos Verdes Drive East is 107, and what the effect is. I ask you tonight to do one thing and one thing only for the residents of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, and that is, put our safety first above and beyond everything else that you are doing so that the road does not turn red with the blood of our residents. Thank you.”
Duncan Tooley, 2742 San Ramon Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes
Speaker left the meeting and did not speak. His slip notes a question regarding sufficient parking and traffic mitigation, but did not indicate if it was a public comment not on the Agenda or New Business 1.
Pam Brown Schachter, PhD, 46 Ranchview Road, Rolling Hills Estates, representing Faculty, Marymount College
“I’m on the faculty at Marymount and have been for 32 years; I’m a resident of Rolling Hills Estates. I have driven the side from PV Drive North...I live at the intersection of PV Drive North and Crenshaw...every day for the last 32 years, and sometimes twice that, so I’m guilty of having an impact as well. When I started at Marymount we had 180 students; we have 650 now and I have been there when it was close to 750. Point being, I have not witnessed this traffic impact over the last 32 years that everyone is talking about, not at least if you compare it to what has happened on PV Drive North. I have come from an intersection with Chadwick, Country Day, Rancho Vista, the Rialto _______?, two pre-schools in the area; I would like to see data that compares the number of accidents, and if you want to pinpoint teenagers we can do that too...some age groups...PV North and PV East, and compare the data, because I think you would find a lot more on PV North. And there are a lot more teenagers living on this hill than there were 20 or 30 years ago who are driving; I do not believe that all those 16 to 20-year-olds we’ve been talking about are necessarily Marymount students. Many of them are our own teenagers or young adults who are going to Harbor College or El Camino or to the high schools now that we’ve re-opened the high schools, so I think you have to have comparative data if you’re going to look at the accidents on PV Drive East. And that would be my major point, because I think the other points I have were made earlier. Thank you.”
Laura McSherry, 2714 San Ramon Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes
“I have lived on San Ramon Drive for 35 years. You know that San Ramon Drive by now is adjacent to Marymount College property. I think the traffic study needs to include a 12th study, and that is the opening of Crest Drive road. The draft EIR focuses a lot on traffic from Marymount going down to the neighborhoods to Western. We all know Western is heavily congested, PV North is at times gridlocked, PV South going west at one point looks like it’s going flat. When we moved to San Ramon we could travel Crest Drive from PV East to Crenshaw and Hawthorne Boulevard. This brochure shows our development, which is called Miraleste Riveria, with fine homes with a harbor view and beautiful rolling hills, very quiet, reclusive. But it also had a map showing that Crest Drive went through the Peninsula and its access was at the gateway to the Peninsula Center. Now we did use the Crest Drive road to go to the Peninsula Center because, after all, it was a public road and the taxpayers paid for it. Now over time obstacles appeared on the road. Those of you have lived there _______? There were obstacles appearing on the road and pretty soon you could not drive through Crest road but we could walk through or bicycle through and then after a little time the chain link fence came up; and apparently there had to be a satellite system right on that road where the chain link appeared. Now, Marymount wants dormitories and a gymnasium. They have chosen our community college. The school systems have a right to open up roads. Marymount should be then able to have their students go out Crest Drive to the mall, to St. John Fisher Church, to the art center; it takes all of five minutes through Crest Drive. Apparently, Marymount expansion will take eight years to complete, and it shouldn’t take eight years to open up Crest road. Thank you.
Gregory Lash, 2829 San Ramon Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes
“I thank the Commissioners for having the hearing. I have a list of issues and I went right down the list of what was covered by the Concerned Citizens Coalition, so I won’t take a lot of time. I’ll just reinforce a few things. I live about 200 yards from the entrance to Marymount and I thought I’d give an eyewitness account, but you’ve had those as well, so, one thing that hasn’t been mentioned is we share Palos Verdes East with a lot of users; I’m a runner and a cyclist as well as a resident, and I think everybody who lives on the hill has seen the cyclists on the weekends, Saturday morning, Sunday morning, the motorcycles in the afternoon; once a month on PV East are the Mini-Cooper Rally. I don’t know if it’s possible, but we really need a study on just the safety impact of having the young drivers on the weekends. They also mentioned the day/night comparison, and living so close I can tell you that driving on PV East, the days belong to the students and the nights belong to the road runners, and it’s a balancing act right now, but there’s safety considerations there and I hope you can find a way to look at that. Thanks.
Shelley Stockwell Nicholas, 30819 Casilina, Rancho Palos Verdes
Left the meeting without speaking.
Dwight Hanger, 2938 Vista Del Mar, representing Seacliff Hilltop Homeowners’ Association
“The point that I think needs some further clarification, there’s no impact on the Ganado/PV Drive East or Vista Del Mar/PV Drive East intersections. The added component of the athletic field and the events that will be held there and the guests that will be coming is a larger impact than just the 255 students on the campus. You have to look at that combined activity and also the fact that it is going to extend into the weekends and create the traffic _________ on the weekends. The safety issue has been brought up; I will add that they talk about adding bicycle racks, maybe 120, 150 bicycle racks; that, for riding around that little campus. I don’t think so. And we do have a lot of bicycles on that road; in fact, we have areas of PV Drive East that say ‘No Bicycles, Bicyclists Beware’, so adding that traffic scares me. Also, having a soccer field and tennis court right next to a busy road, especially PV Drive East coming down as you make that big turn with a soccer field there, can you imagine a soccer ball bouncing out onto the street. A lady come up to me one day; my backyard is on PV Drive East and somebody had thrown a water balloon over; my neighbors kid threw a water balloon onto the street, and she said it spooked me and I almost went off the road. She wanted to see if I had a young child and I said no, fortunately mine have graduated and are still in school.
“I have also observed, I make a turn from PV Drive North to PV Drive East and there was a young student behind me and I have a small fast-moving little Mercedes so I stepped on it, and this person was pushing me; she pushed me on PV Drive North so I expected it to happen, and I hit 52 mph before I said that’s enough and hit my brakes. That individual proceeded to push me all the way up PV Drive East and make a turn into Marymount College. Another instance, I was exiting my street into PV Drive East, and two students came whipping down that curve, lost control, went across PV Drive East, and ran into the drainage ditch, and their car was stuck; they couldn’t back up. And another one when we had the markers out testing new striping in March, a person came racing up that street, another young person, and saw those orange posts, slammed the brakes and turned and skidded right in front of me into the curb. So this kind of thing, it’s real, and you don’t see it when you read this document, that’s all I can say. And I can’t, for the life of me, think about how...we have extra parking on the streets now, and we put 255 more people there and we have 120 parking spaces...we won’t have more parking in the streets, not less.
Devin Ludwig, Palos Verdes North Residential Hall, representing Marymount College
“Good evening, my name is Devin Ludwig, I’m a first-year student at Marymount College, I live in the Palos Verdes North housing, and I actually carpool to school and we take the shuttle back home. I’d like to take a car, and I’m currently working on campus, and I do own a car. I think that the EIR overstates the parking issue. They say that with the improvements planned the college is required to have 962/952? (Marymount pkg states 972) parking spaces on campus. I know that the enrollment is only around 700 students and I am pretty sure there are not more than 200 faculty, so I don’t understand why the college is required to have so many spaces. Maybe students at off-campus housing leave their cars and take the shuttle to school or carpool. I have never once had to drive off-campus when I did drive to school and, to me, requiring so many parking spaces I think will ruin the beauty of the campus. Personally, if I could live on-campus, I don’t think I would even have a car. We should be encouraging fewer trips and more shared transit, not creating more demand for cars. One question I would have is whether the EIR surveyed students, faculty, or staff to determine how they currently get to campus. It seems that if the college maintains extra parking spaces now at the current enrollment levels and they’re adding parking spaces, why wouldn’t there be sufficient parking. Thank you.”
Coreen Viving, PV North Residential Hall, Marymount College, representing Marymount College
Left the meeting without speaking.
Shawn Ahern, representing Marymount College
Left the meeting without speaking.
Brandon Buchmayr, representing Marymount College
Left the meeting without speaking.
Dr. Susan Soldoff, 3414 Coolheights Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, representing Marymount College
“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My husband and I live at 3414 Coolheights Drive in Mediterranea, we’ve lived there since April of 1970, which of course is almost 38 years, and we are Marymount College neighbors. I served on the Mediterranea Homeowners’ Association Board of Directors for a total of eight years; in addition, because of my continuing support for Marymount and the Commission, I have been serving as a member of the College’s Board of Trustees for the past five and a half years. Regarding adequate parking on the campus, in the last few years there have been no more than 50 cars parked on the PV Drive East and Crest Road area adjacent to the campus at any one time. The Marymount improvement project has proposed the addition of 120 spaces on campus for a total of 463 parking spaces (verified Table 5.3-54) as you all know; certainly adequate to get those 50 cars off the street. Since the 250 students to be housed in the proposed residence halls on campus are already included in the total number of students Marymount is allowed to have under the enrollment cap, therefore no additional parking spaces beyond the 463 would be needed to accommodate the parking needs pf those students living on campus. There are obviously numerous ways to estimate the number of needed spaces, but looking at the reality, the current situation makes the most sense to me.
“Regarding traffic, Marymount students try to get to campus by the Marymount shuttle bus or by car. Students living in new residence halls on campus will not be on the road during the day when neighborhood traffic is the highest, so daytime traffic will be reduced. The Pacific View units near 25th and Western will be sold when residence halls on campus are completed. The shuttle bus will no longer use the switchbacks on PV East nor will Marymount student cars coming from Marymount’s PV North facility, so traffic on the switchbacks will be reduced. Regarding traffic at night and on the weekends for students living in residence halls on campus, food services will be available for students 24/7 on campus, so there will be little need for students to leave campus at night when they need to be studying and in the library and in the computer lab. On weekends, many students typically go home; so few students would remain in the residence halls on weekends, thus traffic at that time also would not be impacted. Regarding accidents, campus security has a record of only one accident on campus and is aware of only three accidents on campus in the last three years involving Marymount students. The Sheriff has indicated they cannot say whether or not Marymount students have been involved in accidents; however, they have provided statistics on local accidents from December 2005 to November 2007. For example, 132 on Hawthorne, 140 on PV North, and 52 on PV Drive East; less than half as much on PV Drive East than the other two that I mentioned, where Marymount students are most often driving. Thank you for your time.”
John Harper, Palos Verdes West Residential Hall, representing Marymount College
“My name is John Harper and I’m a first-year full-time student at Marymount College. I live in the west housing, which is right off _______? Street, and I drive to school every day. I have questions about the two-campus alternative. (Ref. DEIR 2-27 and 2-28 Exec Summary) The EIR says the traffic impact would be less by splitting our campus into two campuses. With two campuses we would still go to class at the school campus, but the athletic facilities, residence halls, cafeteria, computer lab, and other student resources would be located at PV North facility, six miles away. My question is how does creating two separate campuses reduce traffic. Isn’t there some type of benefit by providing on-campus housing? Won’t that reduce trips to off-campus housing and encourage you to stay on campus? What happens if I have a morning class, an afternoon class, and need to be racing to computer lab in between? Won’t it cause more traffic? Also, what if I have a math class just before my physical education class? How do I get down to the second campus on time without causing more traffic? I don’t think two campuses make sense. Personally, I want more services available on campus, not less. I want to spend more time enjoying college and less time commuting. Right now I have classes at 8 in the morning until 10 am; I then have another class from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. I wake up, drive to school; come back to my dorm, go to school again; come back, and then go for dinner. That’s three times a day I go back and forth. If I lived on campus, there would be no need for my commuting. Furthermore, I don’t even have a car. My parents would not let me have a car the first year of college. Due to this situation, they let me have a car; so if I lived on campus, I wouldn’t need a car, so why would all my friends.
Chair Shepherd closed the Public Hearing.
Chair Shepherd turned the meeting over to Vice Chair Willens and left the meeting at 11:05 pm.
Acting Chair Willens suggested that the Commissioners make their own comments. If the Commissioners have additional comments that have not already been covered, and that were not already covered in discussion and comments, now would be the time to do it. Those comments, like the comments and questions that we had at the beginning, should be incorporated into the comments that will be incorporated into the final response. Let’s try to keep it to three minutes each.
Comments From Traffic Safety Commissioners
Commissioner Mark Wells, Traffic Safety Commission
“I believe I heard Dr. Brophy state that they are going to close down the Pacific View housing unit I think, if it’s approved, and move the people up there. It almost sounded to me like he is also intimating that they were going to also close down the Palos Verdes North campus-housing site. That does not appear to be true at all, and so I’m glad that’s been rectified. I was very interested in hearing the debate; one set of people for the EIR, and the others against the EIR, with other questions about the EIR. That’s very fascinating. The other things I’m very troubled about for a safety and traffic issue is that we were not presented with an alternative that allows for the improvements and educational, or contents of the educational processes; the library is not important, but did not have a residence hall on campus or increased off-campus housing. We only have no project, which is no housing at all and no residence housing; or we have projects that have some type of residences, either new residences are added to the facilities at the campus or alternative living campus, academic campus or the lowered-number of campuses, the alternatives. And I found that quite remarkable as far as traffic and safety goes, that I don’t have the opportunity for that. I spent seven months working on the Ponte Vista DEIR with 1,950 condominiums proposal for northwest San Pedro. Those entitlements would probably be allowed to come to us before any entitlements would be approved for this expansion. The idea of the living campus, just from my experience and what I learned, the idea of the living campus/academic campus and adding more units down at Palos Verdes North facility would probably not ever get approved. I doubt that the good folks at Marymount want to deal with the City of L.A. Department of Planning or the Department of Traffic. It’s a fiasco dealing with them. And anything they do at Palos Verdes North would require variances because they have already exceeded the maximum Code of 82 units; they have 86 units now, and that’s ok, but fighting with the City of L.A. I’ve come to find is worse than my worst nightmare. So pretty much, safety is really a major concern, and my first question; how do you mitigate fog?”
Commissioner Stanislav Parfenov, Traffic Safety Commission
“First of all I would like to address the parking problems. The list of need requirements used in this EIR are not adequate, because the assumption is that people do have cars while they live on campus, and this is completely unjustified. I would like to ask the consultant if it is possible to conduct a survey of the local residences because the previous survey was done by the college itself, and the need is based on the lower side, so the consultant company should conduct theirs. Also, I would like to see numbers for alternatives, specifically if the college is going to implement fees for parking, and that figure would be included. Not only the on-campus parking, but also on-street parking because you’re going to have overkill. Once you are going to charge parking on campus, some people will try to park on the local residents’ streets to avoid paying fees, and those numbers should be in there. I can only guess, but the demand for parking will be much less than if you have fee parking. I urge the consultants to look at better methods than using apartments as a way of conducting the trip estimates. We have been looking at some other colleges and their EIRs as a measure of what works, but won’t work, and it’s not good to use this because you would be comparing apples and oranges. And I would _______? results.”
Commissioner Craig Bilezerian, Traffic Safety Commission
“I just want to thank everyone who spoke tonight for their additional information that initially I may not have been aware of when I was reviewing the document. I think the project is something that will benefit the community and I appreciate what you’re trying to do to improve the college. I also want to thank Staff for its work in preparing the presentation. My questions were pretty much answered. The one thing I would like to go on record for is that I agree with the gentleman’s statement that he did not support the raised median that is being proposed at PV Drive East and PV Drive South. I do think that would be more of a hindrance than a mitigation factor. And on that note I think that concludes my comments.”
Commissioner David Kramer, Traffic Safety Commission
“I have several questions for Marymount staff. Would it be acceptable if I could ask a couple brief questions?
Acting Chair Willens: “Are they rhetorical questions, or do you want them to answer you right now?”
Commissioner Kramer: “I would prefer them to answer briefly.”
Acting Chair Willens: “I would rather that you do not.”
Commissioner Kramer: “Alright. Then I have no comments.”
Commissioner Paul Wright, Traffic Safety Commission
“I have just a few concerns; one is concerned more with students living on campus. I happen to think that students living on campus are going to be leaving the campus off and on during the night in particular. Nobody’s going to want to hang around a college campus, and I’ll tell you the reason I think that. I have a daughter who just graduated from UCFF; she had many venues available to her within walking distance, but she, along with many of her friends, had cars and they drove off campus for that. In fact, I think that is a real issue that could be a problem including students that maybe don’t have class during the weekend and they are going to be driving off campus. Most kids probably don’t want to eat in the cafeteria I don’t think. I think another issue that needs to be looked at more closely is the use of facilities; I think it’s great with Marymount that you want to open the campus to folks, but along with that there’s some additional traffic, especially if you open it up to AYSO. I have kids in AYSO and they meet in school grounds; they go around where there’s AYSO kids and they have a tremendous amount of parking issues. I would like to see more than one traffic count on one day, which occurred in 2005; I imagine that maybe statistics might be a little different if we looked at more than one day. I think Marymount can address that; I think we need to do that as well. Things are different now than they were in 2005 I would imagine. I don’t know if we can get a citation picture, I don’t even know how much that might help; folks that have been cited along there if you can go by age range. I don’t know if the Sheriff’s Department can have the computer pull up those statistics to maybe try and narrow down that picture, but that might be just a lot more than we have the time or the effort to get into and I am not quite certain what we would benefit from it. Maybe that is something you could explore.”
Acting Chair Damon Willens, Traffic Safety Commission
“I probably shouldn’t admit this in public, but I got a ‘D’ in Statistics in college, but what I did learn from that is that numbers can tell certain stories depending on who’s doing the telling, and it’s interesting to see such widely different conclusions and numbers and how that’s all interpreted. And I don’t know the answer, and smarter and more experienced people than me have obviously had trouble coming up with the answers. But having said that, I do know that we had people coming before this body before the Marymount expansion even came up expressing concerns about the amount of traffic, the type of driving being done by the students, and I think, at least what I perceived at the time was, most predominantly concern about parking in the neighborhood. So I think those are all things, and obviously those were all covered by numerous people here so I don’t need to reiterate it. My sense is that we’ve covered all the issues, at least for purposes of sending it back. Let me just ask Staff; did you get what you wanted out of this. I think we did; there are certain things that come up over and over again and between the community and the college and the Commissioners, it seems to me like the bullet points are there so to speak, and that’s what our goal was for tonight, and I think we’ve done that and I hope you will take those comments and do what you need to do with them and incorporate that into whatever goes on and give it to the Planning Commission.”
RECEIVE AND FILE:
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Approval of minutes of October 22, 2007
Commissioner Bilezerian moved to defer the October 22, 2007 Minutes to the meeting of January 28, 2008, seconded by Commissioner Wells.
Meeting adjourned at 11:20 p.m. to Monday, January 28, 2008 at 7:00 pm, City of Rancho Palos Verdes Community Room.