Chairman Buck called the regular meeting of the Transportation and Circulation Commission to order at 4:02 p.m.
Commissioner Ginter made a motion to approve the May 3, 1999 minutes with the corrections he noted. Commissioner Hardwick seconded and it passed unanimously.
Terry Galvin, Redevelopment Operations Manager, introduced Dinah Minteer, the Project Manager for the Centerline Project for OCTA. Dinah Minteer gave an overview of why OCTA is studying this corridor section and how Orange County is going to look in the year 2020, and how it will fit into our transportation future. The name "Centerline Project" was created so that the public would know we are talking about central Orange County and would serve certain centers within it. The project's overall goal is to add transportation capacity, minimize environmental impacts and maximize the public's investment in the transportation infrastructure in Orange County, and provide another transportation choice in Orange County. This will also influence the fabric of the community in several ways; economic development or redevelopment can occur, possible increased density from the station site, can provide access to and from employment centers and can improve the quality of life.
Ms. Minteer stated Orange County would notice significant increases in both residence and employment opportunities in the County. By the year 2020, a number of transportation improvements are expected to be in place which includes an increase in bus service by 50%, freeways, HOV networks and transit ways will be completed within the county along with all toll roads. Metrolink and a commuter rail service have already been completed. The commuter bike lane will also be expanded by the year 2020 but despite all these improvements, traffic conditions will continue to worsen in Orange County. This will result in significant time delays and an average travel speed of 35 mph on three fourths of our county's freeways.
OCTA has adopted a transit master plan, which includes an 87-mile rail network throughout Orange County. These 28 miles are the first phase of a fairly expansive rail system network that has been master planned for Orange County. These 28 miles were chosen due to sixty percent of the county's daily trips either begin or end within this corridor area.
Ms. Minteer also stated this rail system is being designed to accommodate various modes of access, which includes park and ride lots at some of the stations, bus services, company shuttles, Metrolink and Amtrak connections and walking and biking to the station.
Since the Centerline project was adopted by the OCTA Board in June 1997, further analysis has been completed on the proposed route and several additional options identified. Four alternatives are being considered, including a no build alternative, one elevated alternative and two street level alternatives, each with unique routes. OCTA staff and consultants are performing a conceptual engineering study and ridership analysis of the four Centerline alternatives. When the OCTA Board votes to select a locally preferred alternative, it may choose the no build alternative or one of a combination of the alignments analyzed in the environmental documents. Preliminary construction costs for this project is estimated at 48 million a mile. The fares would be similar to bus fares that are available now and transfer of fares from bus to rail would be available.
Ms. Minteer stated that in November 1999, the cities will decide what alternative they want and if they will proceed with this project. In December 1999, the OCTA board will decide if they want to proceed, and what alternative design they plan to proceed with. After December 1999, if the project goes through, the project will begin engineering design by the year 2001, construction to start in 2003, and the first rider should be aboard by the year 2007 or 2008.
Commissioner Pals asked if consideration has been made to the design of the rail car, stating that the doors are so narrow on the blue line that it is very hard to get bicycles onto the train. Ms. Minteer said they have not yet looked at the design of the vehicles but would like a design that can accommodate a large number of people. Ms. Minteer said they are looking at two-car trains and would increase the frequency of trains but not the length of them.
Denny Bean, a Bicycle User Subcommittee Member, asked if the price per mile included the purchase of surplus property. Ms. Minteer stated this did not include the purchase of surplus property but the biggest right-of-way costs anticipated are for the park-n-ride facilities. Ms. Minteer stated the intent of the centerline project is to operate on existing roads and not widen them, but to take out vehicular capacity and replace it with rail capacity.
Commissioner DiCostanzo asked what the procedures are before going to City Council. Redevelopment Operations Manager Galvin stated the City is developing a whole schedule of meetings from now to the end of the year at staff level. There will be certain action points that would have to go before City Council in September for the guideline portions. The ERA process will be handled by the engineering and planning staff as normal. A public hearing will be held in November on the final preferred alignment and then will go back to the Planning Commission and Transportation Circulation Commission but does not know the exact dates.
Commissioner Pals asked if the white zone curb was adequate for the taxicabs in the area. City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that the taxicabs could also use the yellow curb for overflow of parking.
Public Comment was opened.
Jane Reifer, 315 North Malden Avenue, asked if there was adequate room for loading and turning movements. City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that there was.
Public Comment was closed.
Commissioner Ginter made a motion to accept staff's recommendation to approve and recommend to City Council that 32-feet of existing white curb currently designated as 3-minute passenger loading/unloading be replaced with "No Stopping Anytime-Bus Exempt", in front of the Amtrak Station. Vice-Chairman French seconded and it passed unanimously.
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated the justification for the installation of a traffic signal is based on warrant criteria established in the State of California Traffic Manual. Staff conducted the necessary investigations and it did not meet the warrants. However there were five accidents in this area. After reviewing the accident history, staff determined that five of the six accidents occurred when motorists failed to yield the right-of-way to traffic on Acacia Avenue. In an effort to increase driver awareness for the stop signs for east/west travel, staff is recommending the following: increasing the size of the existing stop signs from the standard 30 inch sign to a 36 inch sign, install 2-way stop placards on the post below the stop signs, install stop ahead signs in advance of the intersection, remove parking between the two driveways north of said intersection on the east side, and remove or trim any shrubs or trees from the southeast and southwest corners for better sight distance.
It should also be noted that Acacia Avenue is scheduled to be re-striped as a part of an approved project. Funds will become available on July 1, 1999 that will allow staff to reduce Acacia Avenue to one lane of traffic in each direction with a two-way left-turn lane, with parking and bike lanes on both sides of the street. Parking will be prohibited near the intersection in order to maintain visibility. In addition, staff would continue to work with the Police Department to monitor vehicle speed and right-of-way violations at the intersection of Acacia Avenue and Kimberly Avenue.
Staff requests that the Transportation and Circulation Commission deny the request for the installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of Acacia Avenue and Kimberly Avenue and that the Traffic Engineering Division implements the various recommendations listed above.
Public Comment was opened.
Peter Lennon, a representative of Kimberly Clark, spoke against the need for a traffic signal at this location. Mr. Lennon stated a traffic signal would hamper business and would delay their trucks.
Public Comment was closed.
Commissioner Ginter commented that the chain-link fence on the southwest corner of this location obscures visibility to the right. Mr. Ginter also asked if the construction was short term at this location. City Traffic Engineer Miller stated it was.
Commissioner Hardwick made a motion to accept staff's recommendation. Vice-Chairman French seconded and the motion passed unanimously (7-0).
The City of Fullerton would like to install these cameras at five intersections on a trial basis. The five intersections are within the four points of the city plus the central area. This was based upon reviewing our traffic accident history and ranking the intersections based on the vehicle codes that cites red light violations for the primary cause of the accidents. The intersections are Harbor Boulevard at Orangethorpe Avenue on the south, Harbor Boulevard at Bastanchury on the north, Malvern at Gilbert on the west, State College and Chapman on the east and Harbor and Chapman in the center of the city. City Traffic Engineer Miller stated the City is looking at a one-year trial period and then evaluating it for effectiveness. The real issue is how the court system is going to respond to these types of citations given through the mail with your photograph on it. West Court, who handles the city of Garden Grove, stated they would allow Garden Grove to do this on a trial period and would evaluate it after six months to see what the burden was placed on the court system. The City is in the process of setting up a meeting with judges at North Orange County Municipal Court to discuss this before sending out requests for proposal to vendors who install these types of devices.
Commissioner Hardwick asked how this would be paid for and how can the City protect this from vandalism. City Traffic Engineer Miller stated this is paid 100% by the vendor in which the they receive a portion of the fine, which in turn would go to pay for this device. They would install the devices, maintain them and process them up to where they will be sent to the police department for verification. The fine for a red light violation is $271. The law requires either posting at the intersection or the entrance to the City. The device is bullet proof and is installed on a 10-foot post.
Chairman Buck asked when the picture is taken at the intersection. City Traffic Engineer Miller stated as soon as the light turns red, and if there is a vehicle detected at that moment, the camera takes three pictures, which includes a picture of the driver of the vehicle, and the rear license plate of the vehicle. City Traffic Engineer Miller stated they would use a digital photograph camera. Director of Engineering Hodson stated staff is asking the Commission to concur with this process, contingent upon the court's agreement. Once proposals are taken, staff would take this to Council with the Commission's concurrence.
Commissioner Hardwick made a motion to concur with staff to proceed forward with obtaining proposals for red light camera use. Vice-Chairman French seconded and it passed unanimously.
Chairman Buck stated he believes the reason why so many people are running a red light is because the cycles are too long. City Traffic Engineer Miller stated he agrees the shorter cycle the better and that the City is working on some of the major arterial streets to become better coordinated. Commissioner Mercado asked if these devices could be painted any color instead of gray. City Traffic Engineer Miller stated they could.
Director of Engineering Hodson then gave a summation of the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) highlighting sections pertaining to transportation and traffic. He stated the CIP is very strong in funding for maintenance and reconstruction of the City's infrastructure system due to the large deficiency with streets and buildings. The streets alone, residential and arterial, and curbs and gutters is about a $110 million problem but only $6 million is available to fund these types of improvements. The City is also looking at coordinating the timing of existing traffic signals within the City and some possible grants for protective/permissive left-turn signals in order to reduce congestion in the intersections.
Director of Engineering Hodson stated the City's traffic consultant, Al Grover and Associates, is conducting a study to see if our streets can handle future growth, and how these street congestion problems can be solved. Mr. Hodson stated Imperial Highway Smart Street has been fully funded, which will add lanes of traffic on Imperial Highway. Both Euclid Street and Brookhurst Road will be widened at the 91 Freeway to increase the capacity under the freeway. The City is also proposing three bicycle projects this year. They are the Bastanchury Road Bypass at the Brea Dam, Acacia Street Connection (Class II Bike Route) and the Puente Street Connection across the Brea Dam area.
Director of Engineering Hodson then explained two Redevelopment-related projects that pertain to transportation. The first is the Transportation Center Pedestrian Improvements project, which will improve the connection with the downtown through the Transportation Center. The second project is a feasibility study to look at a parking structure on the north side of Santa Fe Avenue between Pomona Avenue and Lemon Street in conjunction with the future parking needs at the Transportation Center.
Director of Engineering Hodson recommended that the Transportation and Circulation Commission concur with the proposed budget Capital Improvement Program. Commissioner Hardwick made the motion and Vice-Chairman French seconded it. The motion passed unanimously.
Director of Engineering Hodson stated due to the lack of items and the next Commission's meeting falls on a holiday, he suggested canceling the July meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for August 2, 1999.
Commissioner Pals asked if staff was aware of AD1475, the safe route to school bill. Director of Engineering Hodson stated he is aware of this bill and would like to discuss this with the school district and then possibly take it to Council.
The meeting adjourned at 6:11 p.m. until the next regularly scheduled meeting of August 2, 1999 at 4:00 p.m.