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San Ramon Valley Blvd and Bollinger Canyon Rd
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MINUTES
SAN RAMON TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE

May 21, 2009

San Ramon Community Center, Alcosta Room
12501 Alcosta Boulevard

1.         CALL TO ORDER

Committee Members Attending:       Walt Trembley, Ken Dawdy,
Victoria Harris                                                         

Committee Members Absent: Harvey Riggs, Peter Rathman,
Jim McVay                                                

Council Members Attending:   None

Planning Commission Liaison:  None

Teen Council Liaison:   None

Guests Attending:   Scott Wyma, Alan & Lee Schlenker, Bill Rivera, Cynthia & Frank Giannini, Sandy Murchison, Victor Petersen, Carl Huntzinger, James Schultz, Paul Larking, Gayle Studt, Philip S. Mentz, Steve Forer                                                                                             

Staff Members Attending:  Lisa Bobadilla, PJ Dhoot, Leslie Chase, Alexene Farol, Lauren Barr,
Officer John Goyich

The meeting was called to order by Vice Chair Trembley at 6:30 pm on behalf of Chair Riggs who was not in attendance. 

2.         REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES

The approval of the April 16, 2009 meeting minutes was deferred to the June 18, 2009 TAC meeting due to the absence of TAC members who were present at the April 16, 2009 meeting.

3.        PUBLIC COMMENT

None.

4.       NEW BUSINESS

4.1       Introduction of New TAC member, Victoria Harris

Lisa Bobadilla introduced Victoria Harris, new TAC member, to the committee.  Ms. Victoria was appointed by the City Council to the TAC for a two-year term.  Lisa stated that Victoria lives and works in San Ramon and is confident that she will be a tremendous asset providing valuable contributions to the committee.

4.2       Radar Speed Display Sign – Public Hearing

PJ Dhoot gave a Power Point Presentation on the Radar Speed Display Sign (RSDS) Program for Pine Valley Road and Morgan Drive.  She explained the Public Hearing process and requested residents to direct their comments to the TAC. 

PJ reported that the before and after study of the RSDS on Crow Canyon Road, San Ramon Valley Blvd., Montevideo Drive, and Norris Canyon Road showed the following results:

  • Demonstrated effectiveness by achieving speed reduction along non-residential roadways in San Ramon.  The before and after study on eastbound Norris Canyon Road registered a speed difference of -4.8 mph average speed and critical speed difference of -4.0 mph.  The before and after study on westbound Montevideo Drive showed an average speed difference of -5.8 mph, and critical speed difference of -5.4 mph.
  • Traffic Patrol Division observed greater compliance along all roadway segments
  • Received positive feedback from residents and HOA’s regarding signs

PJ also discussed the criteria for installation of the RSDS, specifications of the RSDS (15-inch and 18-inch display) and discussed in detail the proposed locations of the speed display signs that were going to be installed along Morgan Drive and Pine Valley Road with a “Slow Down” message.  In addition, Western Pacific representatives gave an actual demonstration on how the equipment operates for the benefit of the residents. 

PJ also discussed options for the TAC to consider such as installing a 15 or 18 inch RSDS on the existing pole along eastbound Morgan Drive and along eastbound Pine Valley Road.  The TAC also has the option not to approve the installation of RSDS on both locations and consider other alternatives.

Walt Trembley opened the public comment portion of the meeting.

Public Comments:

  • Scott Wyma,  Morgan Drive,  stated that he has been experiencing traffic issues for the last 18 years.  He observed that police enforcement disappears on Morgan Drive and speeding is everywhere.  Mr. Wyma informed the TAC that traffic going downhill is equal to traffic going uphill.  He stated that he doesn’t recommend buying a house in Morgan Drive to those who have children due to safety factor. He is in favor of putting up the RSDS on Morgan Drive and prefers the 15-inch white sign.
  • Paul  Larking , Morgan Drive, is an 8-year resident of Morgan Drive with three kids.  He expressed real concern about their safety as he has seen drivers going as fast as 50 mph but the speed is regularly 30-40 mph.  He would like to see something done about speeding which is a serious issue.  He asked if staff/TAC could talk to HOA about investing RSDS for two more locations at key points along Morgan Drive one of which is at a location closer to the Bollinger Canyon Road intersection.
  • Victor Petersen, President of Bollinger Hills HOA for 14 years, stated that they have heard from homeowners through the years who talked about speeding on Morgan Drive.  He noted that the RSDS on Norris Canyon is effective in speed reduction which he considers an excellent compromise to other types of traffic calming measures.  Mr. Petersen said that four signs are needed on both directions on Morgan Drive but acknowledged that one RSDS sign is an excellent starting point.  He informed the TAC that the majority of residents are in favor of installing the RSDS with exception of one resident who opposes the sign installation.

A follow up question from Morgan Drive resident was raised about how quickly these signs are going to be installed.  Lisa Bobadilla responded that there is funding for two additional Radar Speed Display signs, one on Morgan Drive and one on Pine Valley Road.  Four additional RSDS will be purchased after July 1, 2009.  The RSDS locations will be prioritized based on the need of the entire community and available funding.  As for the HOA sharing funding for RSDS, the City may discuss this option in the future.

  • Cynthia Giannini, Pine Valley Road, stated that her family has lived on Pine Valley Road for 35 years with no road beyond the Iron Horse Trail when they bought their house.  She indicated that between the stop sign at Broadmoor Drive where Pine Valley Middle School is located, people speed even higher than 50 mph, mostly mothers rushing to take their kids to school.  She said that there are kids walking in both directions on that stretch between Broadmoor Drive and Walt Disney School.  Ms. Giannini would like to suggest this area as an alternative site for the RSDS sign stating that it’s a better location which offers more visibility.
  • Steve Forer, Morgan Drive, captain of neighborhood watch and represents 18 homes.   They have requested a traffic study which reveals that the speed going uphill is faster than speed going downhill.  He was wondering if the committee would consider switching the orientation of the sign which would address some of the concerns about speeding going on an uphill slope.  Mr. Forer also stated that they have done their own study through the neighborhood watch and caught people driving as fast as 60 mph on that street.  They also have a lot of non-residents using Morgan Drive and they need to slow them down.
  • Bill Rivera, Morgan Drive, expressed speeding concerns.  He stated that drivers who reach the top of the hill are coasting going downhill on Morgan Drive speeding between to 50-60 mph.  He stated that people driving uphill are as fast as those driving downhill.  He totally agrees with the proposed location but thinks there should be another sign in the middle side of the road.  One sign is a wonderful start, but putting a sign on the other side would be very helpful.

  • Al Schlenker, Morgan Drive, reiterated Mr. Rivera’s comments, stating that he wanted to have four signs but one sign is a good start.  His concern is that the proposed location is not a right for the RSDS since the placement of the sign  is an automatic slow down on anyone driving downhill.  Mr. Schlenker said that drivers will not speed on this site; therefore, will only protect a greenbelt on one side of the road but not the homes.  Mr. Schlenker wants a RSDS location where homes will be protected all the way from Bollinger Canyon Road.  He asked the committee to consider an alternative location for RSDS that will be more effective.
  • Sandy Murchison, Tom Court, thinks that putting the RSDS between the schools is a much better spot stating that west of the schools is a hazardous area.  She said she understands that there is a cost issue but putting more than one sign in the future would be great.  She lives on the Pine Valley side. 
  • James Schultz, Morgan Drive, stated that the fluorescent sign is very effective and considers Lightpole #7145 the best location.  He commented that people are not adhering to the 25mph in San Ramon but he said it is possible; however, people tend to accelerate going downhill on Morgan Drive.  Drivers are only concern about their own safety but not pedestrians’ safety.  He said he agrees with Ms. Murchison about the RSDS location that she suggested.  He appreciates the TAC/staff about their efforts on the RSDS. 

  • Carl Huntzinger, Pine Valley Road, indicated that both directions on Pine Valley Road are bad.  He also questions the proposed location of the RSDS.  He said that there is a need for more control on Pine Valley Road stating one sign is not sufficient.  Mr. Huntzinger asked staff about the location of the sign and the angle of the RSDS.  PJ Dhoot responded that the angle is set by the installer who will try to maximize it to 1500 ft.  PJ will provide more information to Mr. Huntzinger per his request. 

Walt Trembley closed the public comment section and read the following comments from residents who sent them to staff via email:

Pine Valley Road

  • Ross Hill, Pine Valley, stated that if no tickets will be issued by the RSDS, then he is not in favor of the sign as it will just be another governmental waste of taxpayer money.  Mr. Hill also indicated that he is tired of speeders travelling well in excess of 25 mph speed limit and that a simple sign will not slow people down. 
  • Kim Sherman, asked staff for more information on RSDS and complained about the speeding on Pine Valley.  Ms. Sherman noted that she would welcome speed bumps.
  • Renee Norris, Pine Valley, thinks that RSDS is a good idea indicating that people drive fast including heavy machinery trucks.  She wants the sign to include a camera so people can get a ticket.

Morgan Drive

  • Rene Robert, Bollinger Hills, stated that he is in favor of the sign and believes it slows people down.  He indicated that the RSDS on Norris Canyon Road keeps him in check and it makes the street safer for residents.
  • Dan Madden, Apache Court, stated that speeding is most definitely a problem on Morgan Drive and is weary of being tailgated by drivers who want to drive 40+ mph.  Mr. Madden prefers speed bumps on Morgan Drive which will help drivers obey the speed limit, and discourage other drivers from using Bollinger Hills streets as a shortcut between two major roads.  He does not believe RSDS will accomplish either of the objectives.  Mr. Madden asked if there is any data supporting speed reduction on Norris Canyon Road.
  • Mark & Meisha Stiefvater, Morgan Drive, opposed the RSDS stating that it will have a negative impact on their home values.
  • Linda King, Morgan Drive, opposed the installation of RSDS stating that based on her observation, people follow the speed limit, Morgan Drive is not a thoroughfare, signs will eventually be ignored, Police will still be issuing tickets to speeders, and it is an eyesore in the neighborhood.

Chair Trembley closed the public comment.

The committee decided to defer action on the RSDS recommendation to the July meeting when staff could provide more information on behavioral changes and review the placement of the RSDS locations at Pine Valley Road and Morgan Drive.  Lisa Bobadilla stated that in reference to Pine Valley Road, absent any opposition to that location, staff could proceed with the installation of RSDS on June 30, 2009. 

M/S/C/U (Harris/Dawdy) to defer action on the RSDS installation to the June 18, 2009 meeting when the remaining TAC members are present (3-0).

4.3       General Plan Circulation Element

Lisa Bobadilla introduced Lauren Barr, Senior Planner, Planning Department.

Lauren Barr presented the General Plan 2030 Update on the Traffic and Circulation Element.  He discussed the background of the General Plan 2020 adopted by voters in March 2002 and established a 20-year horizon.  The plan guides all development and comprised of 10 elements seven of which are mandatory by state law.  Lauren provided reasons for updating the General Plan and presented the Tentative Schedule which includes workshops, joint public hearings, and election which is scheduled for November 2010. 

Mr. Barr noted that the traffic and circulation element goal is to provide guidance and specific actions to ensure the continued safe and efficient operation of San Ramon’s circulation system.  Staff is working with Transportation on two primary areas of change including Policy Revisions and Narrative and Background Revisions with minor technical revisions.

There are two new implementing policies recommended policies as follows:

  • Work with local transit providers to increase and expand weekend transit service.
  • Explore opportunities for the location or relocation of a Transit Center to North Camino Ramon Specific Plan Area to balance the public transit needs for the City.

Mr. Barr also discussed guiding policies as it relates to trip reduction measures, “Park Once” concepts, infill and Transit Oriented development (TOD) concepts.   In terms of narrative and background revisions, staff is looking at general clarifications, Measure J, roadway definitions/illustrations, CIP Roadway Projects, ABAG FOCUS and SB375, and the Iron Horse Trail Overcrossing Study.

He indicated that staff is seeking any comments and/or recommendations regarding the proposed Transportation and Circulation Element.  City staff will continue to take comments before taking it to the City Council for approval.

Victoria Harris asked about elements specific to the policies.  Mr. Barr responded that the language is vague by design and that this document that is legally enforceable.  He also stated that it’s a general policy encouraging the vision that is right for the community.  With regard to the Park Once concept, Mr. Barr said that it’s a function of the site design.  As part of the original design, Park Once is designed to  encourage more people to park once while they do other activities within the area.  Lisa Bobadilla described how the Park Once concept will work at the City Center and gave other examples of this concept (i.e., Park at Bishop Ranch) and Santana Row is one example cited by Lauren Barr.  Lauren asked the TAC to contact him directly with any additional comments via email.

4.4       Thunderbird Drive Update

PJ Dhoot reported that staff received a request from Thunderbird Drive residents for the installation of speed humps.  To date, staff received 82% of homeowners are in favor of installation.  A public hearing will be scheduled to move forward with the process which will include traffic study and notification mailing to residents within 1000 ft. radius. 

M/S/C/U (Dawdy/Trembley) to schedule the Thunderbird Drive Public Hearing at the July TAC meeting.

5.         UNFINISHED BUSINESS

5.1       County Connection Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) Status Report

There are no updates on the CAC. 

5.2       Active Residential Traffic Calming (RTC) Streets Status Report

PJ Dhoot gave a status on active RTC streets as follows:

a.         Thunderbird Drive – staff has received 82% petitions in favor of speed hump installation.  Staff will schedule a Public Hearing. 

b.         Olympia Fields –  received several comments against the installation of the proposed mitigation measures.  Staff will implement radar trailer and police enforcement.

c.         Monarch Road – staff requested Police Services to provide selective police enforcement on speed and yielding to pedestrians.

6.         COMMITTEE MEMBER ITEMS

6.1.      Committee Member Items

Lisa Bobadilla introduced Alexene Farol, summer intern who is assigned to Transportation Division.  Alexene is a senior at USC.  She will be attending the TAC meetings in June and July to learn about public meetings, public hearing process which will be a good experience and training for her.

 6.2      City Council Liaison Items

None

6.3       Planning Commission Liaison Items

None

6.4       Teen Council Liaison

None.  Leslie Chase will contact the Teen Council Liaison to the TAC about attending the TAC meetings. 

7.         ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.  The next regular meeting is scheduled for June 18, 2009, at the Planning Conference Room. 

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