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TCC Minutes May 3, 1999

MINUTES

TRANSPORTATION AND CIRCULATION COMMISSION

City Council Chambers- - - - - City Hall
Monday, May 3, 1999 - - - - - 4:00 P. M.

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT:
Vince Buck, Chairman
Michael DiCostanzo (-6:12)
Brent Hardwick (+4:05)
LeAnn French, Vice-Chairman
Edward Ginter
Xavier Mercado
Craig Pals
COMMISSIONERS ABSENT:
None
STAFF PRESENT:
Robert Hodson, Director of Engineering
Mark Miller, City Traffic Engineer
Dave Langstaff, Traffic Eng. Technician II
Jeanie Mitterholzer, Recording Secretar
Teri Carlson, Sr. Traffic Engineering Aide
Sgt. Neal Baldwin, Fullerton P.D.

CALL TO ORDER:

Chairman Buck called the regular meeting of the Transportation and Circulation Commission to order at 4:00 p.m.

MINUTES:

Vice-Chairman French made a motion to approve the April 5, 1999 minutes. Commissioner Mercado seconded and it passed unanimously.

Chairman Buck asked Director of Engineering Hodson what was the outcome of City Council's meeting on overnight parking. Director of Engineering Hodson stated an overnight parking report was presented to City Council. This report related a historical summary of how the overnight parking ordinance came about and also had a 10-year summarization of the number of areas, amount of requests and the number of approved and denied overnight parking requests from the Commission and the City Council. This report also showed overnight parking policies for our neighboring cities.

Director of Engineering Hodson stated City Council Member Bankhead asked this to be agendized in order to look at the current policy and what constituted a parking deficiency, and whether or not City Council has the latitude to make the interpretation of what a parking deficiency is. The City Council, with the exception of Council Member Bankhead, agreed after talking to the City Attorney, that they had the authority to make the determination of whether or not a parking deficiency did exist. The City Council filed in this report with no changes or alterations to the current process that the City is using for approving or denying overnight parking requests.

NEW BUSINESS:

1. REQUEST TO EXEMPT OVERNIGHT PARKING ON WOODCREST AVENUE FROM RICHMAN AVENUE WESTERLY TO ITS TERMINUS.
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated staff received a petition from Ms. Patricia Prescott, the property owner at 512 Woodcrest Avenue, between Richard Avenue and its westerly terminus. Woodcrest Avenue is a cul-de-sac 30 feet wide short residential street. Seventy-five percent of the property owners on the street signed the petition, which satisfies the majority requirements. However, all of the properties have two-car garages with the majority having long driveways. Based on staff's observations, the street is not considered deficient in off-street parking according to the existing standards. Since the requirements for granting an exception have not been met, staff does not support this request.

Public Comment was opened.

Charles Holme, 512 West Woodcrest Avenue, stated there is insufficient nighttime parking for the amount of vehicles owned by each homeowner.

Joe Lenihan, 506 West Woodcrest Avenue, spoke in opposition of this request and stated there is adequate parking on the street.

Pat Prescott, 512 West Woodcrest Avenue, stated this request should be granted due to the majority of residents signing the petition. Ms. Prescott does not think residents should be forced to park illegally or park in their yards.

Public Comment was closed.

Chairman Buck, Vice-Chairman French, Commissioner Pals and Mercado support staff's recommendation to deny the request. Commissioner Ginter, Hardwick and DiCostanzo were in opposition of staff's recommendation. Commissioner Ginter stated that in the absence of a permit process he would support an exemption for this street. Vice-Chairman French then made a motion to accept staff's recommendation to deny the request for overnight parking. Commissioner Pals seconded and the motion passed with a 4 to 3 vote.

2. REQUEST TO INSTALL A TRAFFIC SIGNAL AT THE INTERSECTION OF ROSECRANS AVEUE AND CAMINO DEL SOL.
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated staff received a letter from the property owner at 2033 Camino Del Sol, requesting that staff consider the installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of Rosecrans Avenue and Camino Del Sol. Mrs. Nowak is concerned for pedestrian and vehicular safety due to increased traffic volumes on Rosecrans Avenue. City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that Rosecrans Avenue is an east/west arterial highway with a posted speed limit of 40 miles per hour. Recent speed surveys indicate an 85th percentile speed of 38 miles per hour in the vicinity of Camino Del Sol. The properties on both sides of Rosecrans Avenue in the vicinity of the intersection are zoned commercial, with the exception of the multi-family residential property on the northwest corner. Camino Del Sol is a residential street with a speed limit of 25 miles per hour.

The justification for a traffic signal is based on warrant criteria established in the State of California Traffic Manual. There are eleven warrants that need to be satisfied and none of the warrants were satisfied for the installation of a traffic signal. City Traffic Engineer Miller stated there is a traffic signal 300 feet away at Euclid Avenue. Mr. Miller stated that staff is evaluating the existing signal timing on Rosecrans Avenue from Beach Boulevard to the west city limits of Euclid Street. This should provide some additional gaps in traffic on Rosecrans near the intersection of Euclid Street especially during peak hours. It is staff's recommendation at this time to deny the request for the installation of a traffic signal. There is not sufficient traffic volumes or any type of accident history that would warrant a traffic signal at this time.

Commissioner Hardwick asked when would the synchronization of traffic signals be in effect. City Traffic Engineer Miller stated it would take a couple of months for City Council to approve the contract and then needs to go out to bid. The total process would take about four months and would probably be ready around September or October to implement the signal timings. Commissioner Hardwick asked if there would be follow-up studies after the fact to see how well the signalization is working. City Traffic Engineer Miller stated there would be a follow up study with before and after data analysis to check on the progression. Commissioner Hardwick would like to have this data presented to the Commission in January.

Public Comment was opened.

Anita Smiley, 2525 Camino Del Sol, stated this is a very busy intersection with most being high school and junior high school traffic. Ms. Smiley also stated there is going to be new development in this general area, which will create even more traffic and an unsafe intersection.

Cheryl Nowak, 2033 Camino Del Sol, wrote the original letter requesting a traffic signal and stated this is a very dangerous intersection.

Dotie Packett, Avenida Del Soledad, stated the traffic situation is very busy at this location and spoke in favor of a traffic signal or anything to solve the problem at this location.

Dan Sullivan, 2244 Avenida Del Soledad, also spoke in favor of a traffic signal and would like a "No right hand turn on red" sign installed on southbound Euclid Street turning westbound onto Rosecrans Avenue.

Public Comment was closed.

Commissioner DiCostanzo stated that the criteria the City is using is not evaluating the problem and believes the traffic in this area will only get worse.

Commissioner Ginter also stated that the problem is only going to get worse. Commissioner Ginter asked what other options is there other than a traffic signal. Commissioner Ginter suggested an acceleration lane at this location. City Traffic Engineer Miller stated a flashing red beacon would not work and would only create rear-end accidents. City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that the City could look into an acceleration lane for the northbound to westbound traffic coming out of the commercial area because this is where the accidents are showing up. City Traffic Engineer Miller stated he would have to look at the width of the roadway at this location. City Traffic Engineer Miller stated he would not put a traffic stop at this location. Chairman Buck asked about the no right hand turn on red from Euclid Street to Rosecrans Avenue.

Commissioner Hardwick then made a motion to accept staff's recommendation to deny the request for a traffic signal at the intersection of Rosecrans Avenue and Camino Del Sol, with an additional study in six months to see if there are adequate gaps in traffic after the signal coordination. Commissioner Mercado seconded and it passed 6 to 1 (DiCostanzo opposed).

3. REQUEST TO INSTALL "NO PARKING - BUS EXEMPT" SIGNS ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF TOPAZ LANE BETWEEN THE EASTERLY DRIVEWAY OF TOPAZ ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AND 138 FEET EAST OF SAID DRIVEWAY.
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated this request came from Mr. Steve Umber, Director of Transportation for the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, and Ms. Dorie Stack, Principal of Topaz School. The request was for no parking from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in order to allow buses to load and unload children at Topaz School. Staff met with Mr. Umber and Ms. Stack and observed the buses operating in the existing parking lot. The buses currently load/unload children adjacent to the curb and within the parking lot. This reduces curbside area for children to be loaded/unloaded resulting in parents dropping their children off in the middle of the parking lot and or double parking. The District believes that by permitting buses to load/unload on Topaz Lane the area within the lot will be increased allowing parents to load/unload students in a safer manner and will improve circulation within the lot.

It was agreed that posting the south side of Topaz Lane for no parking between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., and 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. would be the best solution to the problem. This would allow vehicles to be parked on the street at all other hours with the exception of the overnight parking restriction of 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Staff recommended that the Commission approve and recommend to City Council the installation of "No Parking between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. except Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays" on the south side of Topaz Lane from the easterly school driveway to 138 feet east of said driveway.

Public Comment was opened.

Steve Umber, Director of Transportation for the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District spoke in favor of this request and also stated that the District has just completed an additional parking lot for its school employees, which will also make for better circulation. Mr. Umber thanked staff for looking into this problem so promptly.

Public Comment was closed.

Commissioner DiCostanzo made a motion to accept staff's recommendation. Commissioner Hardwick seconded and it passed unanimously (7 - 0).

4. STAFF RECOMMENDATION TO ESTABLISH PARKING RESTRICTIONS IN THE TRANSPORTATION CENTER PARKING LOT EXPANSION ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF SANTA FE AVENUE EAST OF POMONA AVENUE.
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that the City has just completed a new parking lot on the south side of Santa Fe Avenue east of Pomona Avenue. Staff is requesting at this time that the Transportation and Circulation Commission review and approve staff's recommendation to establish parking restrictions within this new parking lot. Staff also requested that the Transportation and Circulation Commission approve the conversion of two 2-hour parking spaces into one additional van accessible parking space for the disabled in the existing lot on the south side of Santa Fe Avenue immediately west of Pomona Avenue. The addition of a van accessible stall will provide a more convenient location for the disabled to park and allows the City to meet all Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. The City of Fullerton is required by the California Vehicle Code to adopt a resolution indicating all parking restrictions. The Police Department is permitted to enforce all parking restrictions within the lot after the adoption of the resolution by City Council.

The parking lot consists of 155 long-term parking spaces designated for Amtrak and Metrolink customer use along with two alternate fuel (electric) vehicle parking spaces. Staff recommended that in order to maintain consistency with the various City owned lots, spaces 658 through 812 be posted for the following: parking only for Metrolink and Amtrak customers, no parking from 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., and parking in marked stalls head in only; and spaces 656 and 657 be designated for electric vehicles only.

In addition, staff recommends that the bus turnout on the south side of Santa Fe Avenue from Pomona Avenue easterly to the end of the bus turnout be posted for "No Parking Anytime" with buses exempt.

Commissioner Hardwick made a motion to accept staff's recommendations to establish parking restrictions for the new lot, posting "No Parking" on the south side of Santa Fe Avenue and converting two existing 2-hour parking spaces into one van accessible parking space for the disabled. Commissioner Ginter seconded the motion and it passed unanimously (7 - 0).

Commissioner Pals stated there is a problem with circulation in the Transportation Center parking lots and would like to see two stop signs added at Pomona and Santa Fe. Director of Engineering Hodson stated they would look at this situation and bring any recommended changes back to the Commission in the near future. Director of Engineering Hodson also stated that our consultant, Al Grover & Associates, is preparing a parking management plan for the entire Transportation Center to establish better circulation patterns within that general area, which will include the buses.

The Board of Parking Place Commissioners, along with the Transportation and Circulation Commission, acted as a joint committee due to the next item involving the downtown and transportation center parking lots.

5. STAFF RECOMMENDATION TO ESTABLISH POLICY FOR THE USE OF THE DOWNTOWN AND TRANSPORTATION CENTER PARKING LOTS.
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated staff wants approval of guidelines for non-profit organization and other recognized community groups to utilize public parking lots in the downtown area, including Parking District No. 1, Parking District No. 2, and the Transportation Center Parking lots for celebrations, festivals, musical functions, and other community events. The City has received several requests in the preceeding months for permission to hold these special events. The Engineering Department has met with Redevelopment, Risk Management, Development Services, Maintenance Services, Fire Department and the Police Department personnel to establish guidelines and event policies for the issuance of a "Parking Lot Special Event Permit". Since the Board of Parking Place Commission governs the majority of the parking lots (District No. 1 and District No. 2), closure of a parking lot for a special event may require a public hearing. Staff has developed guidelines that has been reviewed and approved by the above mentioned departments. Staff is recommending that the Board of Parking Place Commissioner and the Transportation and Circulation Commission approve to City Council these guidelines and establish a "Parking Lot Special Event Permit".

Director of Engineering Hodson stated that formal notification is done for any event in the downtown area to the property owners and/or businesses in the area because technically those lots belong to those businesses.

Commissioner Hardwick stated he found these guidelines complicated and intimidating and that we should make the process a little easier for our customers. Director of Engineering Hodson explained that there is always concern from the police and fire departments along with concern of public property being damaged and the City wanted the assurance that the damage could be repaired after an event. There has been requests for different events that were declined due to the fact there was no existing policy in place and the City felt the customers were not willing to take the time and effort to make the event work right.

Sgt. Baldwin stated City employees can help customers through this process and make it a pleasant experience for obtaining this permit.

Ken O'Leary of the Redevelopment Department, stated every aspect of the guidelines was discussed with the other departments and how customer service friendly they wanted it to be. Mr. O'Leary stated there should be no burden put on the City when a customer wants to hold an event. There are some additional fees for inspections and permits but from a Redevelopment standpoint, they would like to see more events held in the downtown area. Mr. O'Leary stated the Downtown Merchants Association expressed concern over the deposit but has not heard from the Chamber of Commerce yet.

Public Comment was opened.

Sean Francis, Hub Cafi owner, spoke in favor of the guidelines and stated it was good business for the downtown area. He did express concern over a couple things that were difficult to do while planning an event. Mr. Francis stated a $2,000 deposit was excessive and that $1,000 deposit was sufficient. Mr. Francis stated if they do damage or trash the place, a $1,000 deposit should cover the expense but if it doesn't they could always send that person libel a bill for the amount of damage. Mr. Francis also stated he had to hire an electrician to pull an electrical permit when he was only renting a generator for lights and this should not be needed. An assembly permit fee of $195 was paid and Mr. Francis wanted to know why he had to pay this fee to the Fire Department when he never saw them at this event. Mr. Francis suggested paying one check in order to make these guidelines user-friendlier.

Public Comment was closed.

Director of Engineering Hodson stated City staff would look into the $2,000 deposit fee and the $195 assembly fee to the Fire Department. Mr. Hodson said the City is trying hard to make this permit process more customer friendly and the customer can pay his fees with one check downstairs in the Treasury Department due to the money being deposited into different accounts. Mr. Hodson stated he would discuss with the Building Department the electrical permit and its inspections.

Commissioner DiCostanzo asked that the City Attorney look at these guidelines along with the Downtown Merchants Association, and the Chamber of Commerce for their comments before there is any approval to these guidelines. Chairman Buck would like to send a copy of these guidelines to non-profit organizations and to make it user-friendlier. Commissioner Ginter would like to have a more comprehensive list of contacts in the guidelines.

Ken O'Leary stated the president of the Downtown Merchants Association has a copy of the guidelines and was aware of the meeting today but was unable to be here to comment. Mr. O'Leary stated he would try and place it on the agenda for their next meeting.

Director of Engineering Hodson stated this will have to be approved by City Council and a City fee ordinance will have to be adopted.

Commissioner DiCostanzo made a motion to return this proposal back to staff with comments from this meeting and to have other groups such as the Downtown Merchants Association, the Chamber of Commerce and other non-profit organizations review the document and return it back to this Committee for acceptance. Commissioner Pals seconded and was approved unanimously (7 - 0).

The Board of Parking Place Commissioners then adjourned and reconvened only as the Transportation and Circulation Commission.

6. STAFF PRESENTATION ON CAMERA USE FOR "RED LIGHT" VIOLATION ENFORCEMENT.
Director of Engineering Hodson stated due to the late hour and while trying to still work out some minor problems with the court system, this item will be continued to another meeting.
7. BICYCLE USERS' SUBCOMMITTEE UPDATE.
Donald Hoppe, Assistant City Engineer, gave a brief history of how the Bicycle Task Force was formed as the Bicycle Users' Subcommittee, which is a subcommittee to the Transportation and Circulation Commission. Mr. Hoppe stated the subcommittee reviews bicycle related issues regarding development projects, bike routes, maintenance and safety issues of bicycling within the City of Fullerton. One of the first tasks of this committee was to look at the existing master plan of bike routes in the City of Fullerton and to make recommendations for any modifications or amendments to this plan. Mr. Hoppe stated Subcommittee's emphasis lately has switched away from the transportation aspect to a more recreational aspect and also the maintenance of the recreational trails and on-street bike lanes.

COUNCIL REVIEW:

Director of Engineering Hodson stated Mr. McCloud has appealed his decision to City Council regarding overnight parking on Basque which will be heard on May 4, 1999. Director of Engineering Hodson also explained the details of the termination of the Basque Yard contract

City Traffic Engineer Miller told the Commissioners that the situation on Acacia north of Chapman Avenue would be resolved by installing red curb near the intersection.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Commissioner Hardwick asked that the Engineering and Maintenance Departments take a look at the signage for overnight parking in the gem street area, which he feels is insufficient due to only six signs being installed in this location and that most of them are obscured.

Chairman Buck asked that we look at some type of discussion on a permit process for overnight parking. Director of Engineering Hodson stated this would take a lot of work from staff and he has talked with the City Manager regarding placing this on City Council's agenda if a recommendation was to come from this Commission for such a program. Commissioner Ginter asked that the Commission be given information regarding neighboring city policies on overnight parking permits.

Director of Engineering Hodson stated OCTA would be presenting information on the Urban Rail Project at the Commission's next meeting.

ADOURNMENT:

The meeting then adjourned at 7:00 p.m. until the next regularly scheduled meeting of June 7, 1999.

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