Chairman Ginter called the regular meeting of the Transportation &amp;amp;amp;amp; Circulation Commission to order at 4:00 p.m.
Chairman Ginter made the following corrections to the minutes concerning overnight parking and the confusion of removing exemptions and adding restrictions:
Commissioner Hardwick made a motion to accept the Minutes as corrected. Commissioner French seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.
City Traffic Engineer Miller reported on a recommendation by staff to repeal and consolidate parking restrictions on the north side of Commonwealth Avenue between Highland Avenue and Short Street. Staff has received inquiries regarding the one-hour parking restriction in front of City Hall.
Staff conducted an onsite investigation and determined that the existing parking restrictions, green curb and white curb, were no longer applicable. There is a need for unlimited parking in the area and the operations at the City Library would not be impacted with the removal of the existing parking restrictions. Mr. Miller addressed the resolutions concerning the restrictions and recommended that the Commission approve and recommend to the City Council that Resolutions No. 2430, No. 3242, No. 3759, and No. 3787 be repealed allowing unrestricted parking on Commonwealth between Short Street and Highland.
There being no one present to address this issue, there was no Public Comment.
Commissioner French motioned to accept staff's recommendation. Commissioner Hardwick seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
City Traffic Engineer Miller reported on the request from Mr. Albert Miranda, tenant at 303 West Wilshire Avenue, for consideration of additional stop controls on Highland Avenue at Wilshire Avenue. This intersection is currently controlled by stops signs on Wilshire Avenue only with no stopping on Highland Avenue between the signalized intersections at Commonwealth to the south and Chapman to the north.
Highland Avenue is a north/south collector street, having recent counts of 6,000 vehicles per day. The street is posted for 25 miles per hour, is 36 feet wide having one lane in each direction, and parking is allowed except at intersection corners where red curb exists for sight distance. The intersection is bordered by single-family homes and Korean Methodist Church on the southeast corner. On-street parking is permitted on both sides with the exception of the overnight parking restriction.
Wilshire is an east/west residential street, carrying approximately 1,700-1,800 vehicles per day, 1,000 westbound and 900 eastbound. This street is 40 feet wide and posted for 25 miles per hour and is bounded by single-family properties. Parking is permitted on both sides except for the overnight parking restriction. The north side of Wilshire east of Highland is exempt from this restriction.
Justification for a four-way stop is based on guidelines established in the California Traffic Manual. Two warrants are particularly considered: 5 or more accidents within a 12-month period and total volume of traffic entering the intersection from all directions.
Accident history for this intersection indicates that there have been five collisions at this intersection caused by motorists on Wilshire Avenue failing to yield the right of way to motorists on Highland Avenue. This warrant is met.
Regarding the volume of traffic, staff observed approximately 612 vehicles entering the intersection from all directions, but only 141 vehicles and pedestrians of that count entered the intersection from the minor approach during the same 8-hour period, consequently not satisfying this portion of the warrant.
Although the traffic volume guideline is not met, the minimum requirement is satisfied based on accidents susceptible to correction by a four-way stop control at this intersection. Staff's recommendation is that the request for additional stopping controls be approved and recommended to the City Council.
Commissioner Buck inquired as to the location of the traffic count. Mr. Miller stated the counts were taken on both sides of the approach (Wilshire), and the volumes indicate that the higher volume was the westbound direction by approximately 130 vehicles.
Commissioner Robeson asked about the parking restrictions on Highland. Mr. Miller advised there is a substantial amount of red curb on all approaches.
Commissioner Buck stated that there is possibly a stronger case for stopping controls at Amerige. Mr. Miller advised that Wilshire is mid-block between Commonwealth and Malvern, both signalized intersections. Signs indicating "cross traffic does not stop" are being considered for Amerige. Chairman Ginter inquired if the 85th percentile is a factor when considering stop controls. Mr. Miller further advised that stop signs are not for speed control, but primarily for assigning the right of way.
Commissioner Buck inquired about the traffic counts on Highland. Mr. Miller advised these counts are being tracked. In 2000, Highland north of Commonwealth was 4,000 and is currently at 6,000. Before the underpass project on Highland began, the traffic counts were at 6,600.
Chairman Ginter stated that generally when there are warranted analyses for different conditions, all the warrants had to be met for State approval, and inquired if it is different for four-way stops. Mr. Miller advised that both or one warrant could be met.
Chairman Ginter opened the public hearing.
Ms. McGraff, 242 West Wilshire, spoke on behalf of her parents, who own the property at 243, and the property owner at 245. She addressed the number of accidents at this intersection, all of which have not been recorded, as well as the pedestrian use on Wilshire. She indicated that the residents of the area, not necessarily property owners, would be happy to sign a petition for the stop signs if required.
Chairman Ginter closed the public comment segment.
Commissioner Hardwick made a motion to approve staff's recommendation. Commissioner Robeson seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
City Traffic Engineer Miller addressed a request from Mr. Harold Sullivan, Principal of Laguna Road School, to consider a request for "No Stopping Anytime" at various locations on Laguna Road between Domingo Road and Bastanchury, and the implementation of a 20-minute loading/unloading zone (yellow curb) in front of Laguna Road School.
Staff met with Mr. Sullivan to discuss his concerns regarding the safety of students who cross mid-block on Laguna Road when parents park on the north side of the street to drop off or pick up their children. This has been an ongoing concern of the school administration, resulting in numerous attempts by Mr. Sullivan to discourage parents from parking in this area.
Mr. Miller then addressed previous attempts to alleviate the continuing safety concerns, which are being circumvented by dropping children off in the Ebell parking lot on the north side or in areas on the north where landscaping forces children to exit from the driver's side of a vehicle directly into the street. In either case, the result is the same: children are crossing mid-block jeopardizing their safety as well as causing congestion by vehicles having to stop to allow children to cross the road.
Staff is supportive of the requests from Mr. Sullivan to create a "No Stopping Anytime" area on the north side of Laguna Road from Coronado Drive to Domingo Road, and the installation of a safe loading/unloading zone on the south side of Laguna Road between the school's two driveways. In addition, staff is recommending that the existing "No Parking Anytime" on both sides of Laguna Road between Coronado Drive and Bastanchury Road be replaced with "No Stopping Anytime."
Mr. Miller then presented to the Commission a suggestion for modifications to the existing striping on Laguna Road. Removal of parking on Laguna Road would allow installation of a striped, eastbound, right-turn lane and westbound left-turn lane from Laguna Road into the school, as well as the addition of an eastbound left-turn lane onto Coronado Drive from Laguna Road, further improving circulation in the school vicinity. It is also recommended that the crosswalk at the equestrian crossing east of Morelia Avenue be relocated to the east leg of the intersection of Laguna Road and Morelia Avenue.
Commissioner Buck inquired as to the width of the lanes. Mr. Miller responded that there would be two 11-foot outside lanes, and a 9-foot wide two-way, left-turn pocket. Mr. Buck stated he rides his bike in that area, and 11 feet is not adequate for bicycles and cars.
Chairman Ginter asked for clarification for the twenty-minute loading/unloading area rather than No Parking; why change signs from No Parking to No Stopping; and the suggestion to chain off the Ebell Club's driveway. Mr. Miller explained that the location of the loading/unloading area is necessary for site distance when exiting and entering the school parking lot, visibility in the crosswalk, and would extend only from the westerly driveway to the existing red curb marking; No Parking implies that vehicles can stop, whereas No Stopping means no stopping or parking, and the Ebell Club Board of Directors was resistive to chaining the driveway.
At this time, Chairman Ginter opened the hearing for Public Comment.
Mr. Harold Sullivan, Principal of Laguna Road School, addressed the Commission by concurring with staffs' recommendations in an effort to make it easier for parents to enter and exit the school, and will make the school a better neighbor within the surrounding community. He also advised he has been in contact with the Ebell Club, which is amenable to No Parking on the north side, making it safer for their own ingress and egress during school hours, but was reluctant to restrict its parking lot with chaining. That issue has been referred to a committee.
Mr. Sullivan was appreciative of staffs' efforts to help alleviate the unsafe conditions in the school area. In response to a question from Chairman Ginter, Mr. Sullivan indicated that he intends to communicate in writing to the school parents the changes being considered and hopefully approved by the Commission and recommended to the City Council. It is his hope to pass this information along during the Christmas holiday.
Public Comment was closed.
Commissioner French stated her agreement. Commissioner Buck indicated his strong opposition to the 11-foot lanes, creating a dangerous situation. Chairman Ginter advised that he would bring this issue to the Bicycle Users Subcommittee so that it might lend support to Mr. Buck's objections. However, the striping issue is not before the Commission to recommend to the City Council.
Director Hodson confirmed Chairman Ginter's statement and advised that there is no requirement to take this issue to City Council. It is a safety issue and the location is not a designated bicycle route.
Public Comment was reopened as Mr. Sullivan wished to state there is hardly any bike traffic and the number of children riding bikes to school is few. The issue is safety and the recommendations will address this issue.
Public Comment was closed.
Commissioner Hardwick made a motion to accept staff's recommendation. Commissioner Cochran seconded the motion, at which time Chairman Ginter clarified the recommendations for installation of "No Stopping Anytime" on both sides of Laguna Road and yellow curbing, both as defined by staff. The motion was passed unanimously.
Commissioner Buck, at this time, requested that the City Council be advised of his opposition to the striping plan as proposed.
Traffic Engineer Miller advised that at the October 2, 2001, meeting, the City Council approved the project to relocate the traffic signal currently at Short Street on Commonwealth easterly to the driveway between the Senior Center and the Boys Club. Informal proposals will be sent out and an award should be made within 30 days. The project will be completed shortly after the new year since it is simply a relocation of the existing signal. Funding will be provided by Redevelopment.
Chairman Ginter stated that he had noticed that virtually all of the T&CC items being presented to the Council are on the 'Consent' calendar, but every time an overnight parking issue is brought to the Council, it is placed as a discussion item. Director Hodson explained that controversial issues are typically placed on the agenda for discussion. In this particular case, it is because there are other significant items needing discussion at this hearing. It is still the Council's prerogative to pull an item from the consent calendar.
Director Hodson advised that the overnight parking issue will be brought to the T&CC in December and staff is trying to monitor any requests regarding this issue.
Chairman Ginter noted that an item concerning promotion of bicycle use at the Transportation Center should be forthcoming from the Bicycle Users Subcommittee. Director Hodson commented that some good suggestions were received regarding this issue; however, there is no funding available to bring it forward. It possible will come to the T&CC at its February meeting.
Chairman Ginter also advised that he is scheduled for November parking hearings and Vice Chairman Frances is scheduled for December. No schedule has been received for 2002. This will come from the Police Department.
Director Hodson advised that the project to remodel the City Council and Administrative offices would begin in early December. It has been decided to have the equipment on hand rather than shut the Contractor down while waiting for the delivery.
Mr. Miller was asked about the court's decision regarding intersection cameras. He stated that the judges met in the west and central courts in Garden Grove. The Garden Grove system, which is different from Fullerton's recommended system, was approved. The north court judges met and would not make comment as to whether it is or is not a good system, keeping an open view on the cases brought before them. The police department has all the information needed to make sure there are no improprieties. The City of San Diego relinquished the system to the vendor, and the City had no knowledge of decisions being made by the vendor. The contract for installation of the cameras is underway. Director Hodson informed the Commissioners that the contract would be taken back to the Council because it is being restructured. There is also an issue of funding based on location of the test cameras.
Public comments will be allowed on matters not appearing on the agenda but within the Commission's jurisdiction.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:12 p.m.