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BUSC Minutes March 19, 2003

Minutes

Council Conference Room . . . . City Hall
Wednesday, March 19, 2003 . . . 5:30 p.m.
COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT:
John Olmsted, Chairman
Frederick E. Von Coelln, Vice Chairman
Greg Lindstrom
Phil Lamontagne
Bruce Shoemaker
Jack James
Denny Bean
COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT:
STAFF PRESENT:
Ronald Bowers, Senior Civil Engineer
Ron Wallin, Senior Civil Engineer

CALL TO ORDER

The regular meeting of the Bicycle Users Subcommittee was called to order at 5:35 pm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Approval of the minutes for the March 19, 2003 meeting.

NEW BUSINESS

New business was approved to be discussed before Old Business.

  1. DISCUSS PUENTE STREET BRIDGE AT FULLERTON GOLF COURSE.

    Staff reported that the proposed bridge goes through portions of Brea golf course and Fullerton Golf course, and crosses an Orange County Flood control channel. Approximately 2/3 of the bike route through this area is within the City of Brea. From the north side of the channel heading north to the beginning of Puente Street the grade is approximately 20%. As an example of how steep this area is, Craig Park has a 10% slope with intermittent 5% grades. Brea Golf course did not have any problem with the bridge as long as there was a fence to keep people out of the golf course.

    The City of Brea will require a public hearing before it will approve the project

    Staff has had discussions with Brea staff, and they are not interested in maintaining a trail within their City and the liability associated with the steep grades. Brea would require Fullerton to accept the liability associated with the trail that is in the City of Brea. Fullerton's Risk Management staff stated that assuming liability across a city boundary is a difficult issue and questioned the reasoning for accepting this condition. The steep slope does not meet current design standards and does not support the City assuming this liability.

    Phil Lamontagne asked if mountain bikes can currently ride down this slope and staff responded that this area is fenced off.

    Members questioned if it was possible to grade the slope to the west and add switchbacks. Staff responded that grading the west is not possible because the existing slope is extremely steep, and would require extensive grading to comply with the current grading ordinance; grading would encroach into the golf course and affect the existing course; and switchbacks would be extremely expensive.

    Members then asked if the area north of the bridge and Puente Street could remain unpaved requiring bicyclists to walk their bikes down the slope. Staff responded that this also creates a liability issue and a maintenance problem. Maintenance would be responsible to repair erosion that occurs on steep slopes. Decomposed granite and aggregate base surfaces would experience the same erosion problems as the existing unpaved road.

    Questions were asked if there were any other locations where cyclist could cross the golf course. Staff responded that the golf course is built in a gully and has steep slopes along its perimeter. Trying another access point is not possible due to existing fairways, greens, a natural stream, and vertical cliffs around golf course.

    Staff stated that bikes are facing the same problems as cars in this area and that there is no direct route to the north part of the City; the recommended design slope should not exceed 10% grade; and suggested that members visit the site, possibly visualizing an idea that could work.

    Member Lamontagne asked if the grade issue is resolved is the bridge a go. Staff responded that the only tentative approval is from the Orange County Flood Control District.

    Member Shoemaker stated that a long-term solution is needed. Member. Lamontagne asked if adding barriers would work to slow down cyclist. Staff responded that this would open up the area to skate boarders using the area as a slalom course.

    Member Bean stated that without the support of the Brea community, the project would not proceed, and inquired if the BUSC should seek Brea's support.

    In summary, staff's opinion was that based on the existing topography, City liability associated with the steep grading, and lack of support from the City of Brea, this project is not feasible.

    This item will be continued to the next meeting

  2. DISCUSS GRANT APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL FUNDING AND PROPOSED PROJECT FOR SUBMISSION.

    There is funding available for bike projects from the Transportation Enhancement Act, and $3 million is available over the next two years. The projects require a minimum of 25% City matching funds. The applications must be submitted by April 14, 2003.

    Member Bean recommended that the class 1 bike route behind Saint Jude be submitted for funding. A discussion on the possibility of locating the bike route on the south side of Bastanchury was discussed.

    Member Olmstead suggested the area around the transportation center could be looked at.

    Member Lamontagne asked if these funds were to improve bike routes or could they be used for education. Staff responded that the funds are for bike route improvements, gap closures, lockers, travel stations, etc.

    Member Olmsted stated that a laundry list of projects should be established by the BUSC.

    Member Bean mentioned that someone has expressed interest in operating a bike station at the train depot. It was discussed that no public land was available for such a facility; no evidence to support such usage has been presented to the BUSC; and no funding was available to operate such a facility. Member Bean stated that Long Beach has a successful bike station; however, the City has a large commercial district in the downtown area, and the facility is city-subsidized.

    Member Shoemaker asked when the City was notified about the available funding and if private money could be used. Staff received notification approximately one month earlier. Private funding can be used as part of the City's matching funds

    Member Lamontagne asked about Chapman Avenue from Basque Avenue to Woods Avenue. This is a class 3 route with signing only. Member Olmsted mentioned the bridge across the 57 freeway.

    A motion to submit application for funding for a class 1 bike route from Youth Way to Rolling Hills Drive was made and approved.

OLD BUSINESS

  1. CONTINUE THE REVIEW OF THE EXISTING BIKE ROUTE MASTER PLAN AND CONSIDERATION OF REVISING EXISTING BIKE ROUTES AND CLASSIFICATIONS.

    Discussion included the fact that CSUF needs an east/west route through campus; two problem areas exist, including the area around Transportation Center and The Fullerton College; and the bridge over the 57 Freeway has been re-added to the Master Plan.

    New members have been given a copy of the old routes and proposed new Master Plan. To enable complete public access, Members suggested a public hearing before routes are finalized; posting on the City's web page; an announcement in The Fullerton Observer; and a copy on file in the library.

    Member Shoemaker requested time to review the plan before it is finalized.

    Member James discussed the logic used in revising the bike routes and mentioned that most of the master plan was in place 10 years ago when the task force developed the plan.

    In response to a question about the asterisks on the draft master plan, staff responded that these locations indicate several possible alternatives dependent on future development.

    Staff noted that a proposal to widen the south side of Bastanchury Road east of Harbor Boulevard is schedule and Mr. Buck suggested that a dedicated two-way bike lane separated by a concrete barrier be installed on the south side of Bastanchury.

    Member James requested clarification of the dirt trails and equestrian trails not shown on the map. Staff responded that the bike route master plan does not include recreations trails. The map only shows existing or proposed class 1, 2, and 3 bike routes.

    Member Shoemaker requested a map that shows existing and proposed routes. Staff responded that the existing routes were provided to the Members and are shown on the map that is included in the general plan.

    Member Lamontagne asked if the input from the public would be for proposed and/or designated routes. Committee Members responded that comments will be welcome on the routes but changes to the designation have limitations based on design standards, existing roadway widths, on-street parking, and number of traffic lanes.

    Member Olmstead would like the map on the web site if possible. Staff suggested waiting until the Puente bridge issue is resolved and the BUSC completes the recommended bike route master plan before a public meeting is scheduled.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

None

NON AGENDA ITEMS

Member Shoemaker discussed that no other cities in Orange County have a BUSC.

Member Olmsted stated that Fullerton College has established a bicycle committee to help develop ways to increase bicycle usage.

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