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TCC Minutes June 6, 2005

TRANSPORTATION AND CIRCULATION COMMISSION
Monday, June 6, 2005------4:00 p.m.
Meeting Room B ------- Main Library


COMMISSIONERS PRESENT:
J. Michael Cochran
Robert Gonzalez
Stephen Hall
Angela Lindstrom
Rosa Nowels, Chairperson
John Olmsted
Patrick Robeson

STAFF PRESENT:
Mark Miller, Consultant City Traffic Engineer
Lt. Doug Cave, Fullerton Police Department
Dave Langstaff, Traffic Engineering Analyst
Teri Carlson, Senior Traffic Engineering Aide
Susan McGraw, Recording Secretary

CALL TO ORDER



Chairman Nowels called the Transportation & Circulation Commission meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES



Commissioner Gonzalez made a motion to approve the Minutes of May 2, 2005, with the correction of the spelling of his name. Commissioner Robeson seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS

1. CONSIDERATION OF A REQUEST TO INSTALL STOP SIGNS AT THE INTERSECTION OF ROLLING HILLS DRIVE AND MAPLE AVENUE; AND AT THE INTERSECTION OF ROLLING HILLS DRIVE AND PONDEROSA AVENUE.

Mr. Miller presented staff's report and recommendations to deny the request for a three-way stop at Rolling Hills Drive and Ponderosa Avenue, to deny the request for a four-way stop at Rolling Hills Drive and Maple Avenue, approve a recommendation to install a 15,000 pound weight restriction on Rolling Hills Drive between State College Boulevard and Brea Boulevard, direct staff to make signal timing modifications on Rolling Hills Drive at the intersections of State College and Brea Boulevards, and direct staff to open dialogue with outside traffic generators, i.e., the churches at both ends of Rolling Hills and direct them to discourage unnecessary travel on Rolling Hills Drive.

Based on the engineering study, as indicated in the report, the minimum guidelines for installation of stop signs were not satisfied for either intersection. Additionally, there were no problems attributed to sight visibility, nor with design or operating characteristics.

Concerning pedestrian safety, particularly with that of children, construction began on installation of an in-pavement Flashing Pedestrian Crosswalk Warning Light system adjacent to Rolling Hills School as per the School District's Suggested Routes to School Map.

After field observation staff does not feel traffic calming devices, i.e., traffic diverters, speed bumps, traffic circles, are necessary. However, staff does support increased police enforcement during peak traffic periods (radar speed feedback signs are capable of recordation and downloaded to determine what time of day traffic speeds are in excess and when police presence is specifically warranted) and modification of existing striping to reduce the width of travel lanes giving more emphasis to the bike lanes. However, funding resources are being sought to repave this street, including striping for a dual bike lane, so restriping at this time is not feasible. Presently, more bike lane legends are being installed, and the size of speed and school signs are being increased. Additionally, school signing is being changed to fluorescent yellow/green for emphasis of the school zone. Lastly, the speed limit legends will be repainted as necessary.

Chairperson Nowels asked why the weight limit couldn't be reduced to 10,000 pounds. Lt. Cave responded that lowering the standard limit of 15,000 pound would make SUVs illegal.

Regarding the 85th percentile for this street, Mr. Miller explained that the speed surveys were done in three locations. Because the Vehicle Code (VC) stipulates a continuity of speed on a street, 35 mph is the legally posted limit.

Commissioner Robeson inquired about the status of calming devices. Mr. Miller advised that the Amerige Heights project includes speed tables and traffic circles. However, the City has not yet adopted any policies regarding these devices pending further evaluations.

Commissioner Robeson was also concerned why the 85th percentile is considered in an area like Rolling Hills. After further explanation by Mr. Miller and Lt. Cave, Commissioner Robeson again stated his opinion that calming devices would be much more effective.

Commissioner Olmsted inquired if Rolling Hills is an arterial highway. Mr. Miller advised this is so only on the books, and that the only advantage was to be eligible for federal grants and funding for drainage issues. However, the likelihood of these types of funding is remote and the street could be reclassified as a residential-collector.

Commissioner Lindstrom inquired about the width of the bike lanes and how this would help with slowing traffic. Mr. Miller advised that increasing the width of the bike lanes would narrow the traffic lanes, and that narrowing causes a driver to go slower.

Chairperson Nowels inquired who initiates conversations with outside elements, i.e., churches. Mr. Miller advised that staff generates these contacts.

Chairperson Nowels advised for the record that a letter had been received prior to the meeting from Jack Hewlett, 1340 Rolling Hills, which advises his 'total' opposition to installation of stop signs.

The hearing was opened to public comment.

The following individuals addressed the Commission stating their concerns regarding the unsafe speeds at various times of the day; traffic on Fridays and Sundays is tremendous; a safety program is needed for pedestrian activity; road repairs are terrible; dangerous for children's safety; no parkway, sidewalks dip to the street; unable to pull out of driveways safely; dip in the roadway; noise; visibility; median for calming effect suggested:

Phil Beilin, 1808 Rolling Hills
Carol Thackery, 1509 Rolling Hills
Andrew Wilson, 1401 Rolling Hills
Jennifer Law 1917 Rolling Hills
Cindy Calisher, 1916 Rolling Hills
Lance Sanders, 1301 Ponderosa
Viola Beilin, 1808 Rolling Hills

Stephanie Johnson, 1469 Rolling Hills, stated she disagrees with her neighbors. She purchased her home because it is just as she wanted it - across from the school; does not want stop and go traffic because of stop signs; cars indicate progress; still going to have speedsters, but also additional congestion if changes made.

The public hearing was closed.

Comments from the Commissioners included suggestion of a neighborhood meeting; appearance of an enforcement issue; stop signs not the solution; noise issues;

Commissioner Lindstrom suggested that a neighborhood meeting would be appropriate. Mr. Miller responded that staff is open for direction from the Commission.

Commissioner Olmsted stated there appears to be a very large discrepancy between staff and residents and believes both correct; agreed that a neighborhood meeting is a good idea; seems more of an enforcement problem; stop signs will make the situation worse, i.e. noise caused by stop and go; does not support stop signs.

Commissioner Gonzalez stated that from his observations, stops signs will not help the situation; concurred that a neighborhood meeting would be helpful; needs more imagination for alternative solutions.

Commissioner Hall inquired about the 'slow down' speed sign. Mr. Miller responded that when drivers see their actual speed, they are surprised and tend to slow down.

Commissioner Hall then queried Lt. Cave regarding adequate resources to provide enforcement. Lt. Cave informed the Commission that the City has 10 traffic officers, 7 days per week to patrol 295 miles of roadway. Resources are placed where they can do the most good - schools (30), beginning with elementary to junior high to high school, are the top priority. Locations of high collision rates become the next priority, followed by calls for service, i.e. enforcement of traffic, taking accident reports, and then non-school types of streets.

Commissioner Hall was attempting to make the point that enforcement is more a lack of resources than inadequacy, and that stop signs would not be a solution for speeding.

Commissioner Robeson stated that if stop signs are not recommended, nothing will happen because the City has not approved calming devices. Stop signs are not calming devices, as are speed bumps, circles, and medians. However, Commissioner Robeson disagrees with staff and would recommend stop signs.

Chairperson Nowels concurred with Commissioner Olmsted and believes stop signs are not the answer, but enforcement is necessary.

Commissioner Gonzalez motioned to DENY the request to install stop signs at the intersection of Rolling Hills Drive and Maple Avenue; and at the intersection of Rolling Hills Drive and Ponderosa Avenue. Commissioner Nowels seconded the motion, which failed on a vote of 3-3.

Commissioner Lindstrom motioned to RECOMMEND staff to conduct neighborhood meetings to discern the most feasible solutions to the residents' concerns. Commissioner Olmsted seconded the motion, which failed by a 3-3 vote.

Commissioner Robeson motioned to ACCEPT the request to install stop signs at the intersection of Rolling Hills Drive and Maple Avenue; and at the intersection of Rolling Hills Drive and Ponderosa Avenue. Commissioner Hall seconded the motion, which failed on a vote of 2-4.

The residents were advised of their right to an appeal before the City Council; the appeal has to be submitted within 10 days of this hearing at a cost of $145.

2. CONSIDERATION OF A REQUEST TO INSTALL "NO STOPPING ANYTIME" ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF ROLLING HILLS DRIVE BETWEEN WOODBINE AVENUE AND THE EASTERLY DRIVEWAY TO ROLLING HILLS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TO ALLOW FOR AN EXCLUSIVE RIGHT-TURN LANE.

City Traffic Engineer Miller presented staff's report, and advised that he had met with both police and school officials. Mr. Miller presented slides to the Commission and indicated where staff proposed to paint the curb red to effectively enhance the no stopping restriction.

There was no one present to address this item during the Public Comment segment.

Commissioner Robeson motioned to APPROVE the request to install "no stopping anytime" on the south side of Rolling Hills Drive between Woodbine Avenue and the easterly driveway to Rolling Hills Elementary School to allow for an exclusive right-turn lane. Commissioner Lindstrom seconded the motion, which was passed unanimously.

3. CONSIDERATION OF A REQUEST TO INSTALL STOP SIGNS AT THE INTERSECTION OF WEST AVENUE AND PRITCHARD AVENUE, AND AT THE INTERSECTION OF WEST AVENUE AND JENSON WAY.

City Traffic Engineer Mark Miller presented staff's engineering report. Based on this report, the installation of stop signs at these intersections did not satisfy minimum guidelines as established in the Manual of Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). However, the MUTCD does allow for safety controls if in the professional opinion of the City Traffic Engineer an intersection has a need to control vehicle/pedestrian conflicts or sight visibility issues,

Under the allowable conditions, stops signs are advisable at both intersections because of the daily intermittent juvenile pedestrian activity and the reluctance of drivers to yield to the 15 mph when approaching an intersection.

No one was present to address this item during the Public Comment segment.

Mr. Miller advised that the curb would be painted red only on the approaches to the intersections

Commissioner Robeson motioned to APPROVE the request to install stop signs at the intersection of West Avenue and Pritchard Avenue; and at the intersection of West Avenue and Jenson Way. Commissioner Gonzalez seconded the motion, which was passed unanimously.

The Transportation & Circulation Commission adjourned at this time and resumed the meeting acting as the Board of Parking Place Commission.

BOARD OF PARKING PLACE COMMISSION

NEW BUSINESS

4. WILSHIRE PARKING STRUCTURE. Mr. Miller presented staff's report and recommended the following changes to parking restrictions within the Wilshire parking structure:
  • Rescind the existing 3-hour parking restriction within the Wilshire Parking Structure and install 2-hour parking between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Sundays and Holidays exempt in spaces numbered 1 through 72 and 75 through 321 as shown on Plan Sheet No. 4161-B.

  • Designate parking spaces 101-321 as long-term employee parking/2-hour public parking as shown on Plan Sheet No. 4161-B.

  • Rescind the existing 2-hour parking restriction along with the long-term employee parking within the surface lot, spaces numbered 203, 204, 205, and 207 through 233, east of Harbor Boulevard between Amerige Avenue and Wilshire Avenue; and replace said restriction with 3-hour parking between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Sundays and Holidays exempt.
Commissioner Olmsted concurred with staff's recommendations, but expressed concern that commuters will simply go to another area.

Commissioner Robeson stated that these changes will assist business owners and their employees to find available parking and will make it easier for enforcement.

Commissioner Robeson motioned to APPROVE the staff's recommendations to modify parking availability in the Wilshire Parking Structure. Commissioner Hall seconded the motion, which was passed unanimously.

COUNCIL REVIEW

Nothing to report.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

Public comments will be allowed on matters not appearing on the agenda but within the Commission's jurisdiction.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting of the Transportation & Circulation Commission was adjourned at 6:20 to the next Non-Regular meeting scheduled for June 14, 2005, at 4:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.
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