Transportation Advisory Committee
SAN RAMON TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE
April 15, 2010
1. CALL TO ORDER
Committee Members Attending: Harvey Riggs, Peter Rathmann, Victoria Harris, Jim McVay
Committee Members Absent: Ken Dawdy, Steve Filson
Council Members Attending: None
Planning Commission Liaison: None
Teen Council Liaison: Sai Avala
Guests Attending: Jack Sundberg, Joe Norton, Chris Brack, Corey Lyons, Pat York, Bert Kennedy. Roger Carlsen, Steve Telles, Melvin Lamb,
Brian Wainscott, Mary Lou Anania, Robert Day, John Babjak, Susan Crawley, Theresa De Hope, Glenda Schulze, Michael Tomren, Nancy Dindzans, Bonnie Grassi, Ray Underwood, George and Susie Stavropoulous, Lyle Ho, Lynda La Magra, R. Nassaoura, Annabelle Day, Eric Thompson, Charles Diers, Mary Lou Anania, Jim Martini
Staff Members Attending: Lisa Bobadilla, Leslie Chase, PJ Dhoot, Officer Springer, Officer Goyich, Mike Talley, Maria Robinson, Amy Amiri
The meeting was called to order by Chair McVay at 6:32 pm.
2. REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES
M/S/C/U (Riggs/Harris) to approve the minutes of the March 18, 2010 meeting as written (4-0).
3. PUBLIC COMMENT
4. NEW BUSINESS
4.1 Thunderbird Drive – Public Hearing
PJ Dhoot gave a Power Point presentation on the Proposal to Install Speed Humps on Thunderbird Drive. She discussed the public hearing process then proceeded with Residential Traffic Calming (RTC) Program’s mission statement and articulated citizens’ involvement in indentifying problems. She also discussed the level of involvement from the staff, the TAC, and the City Council.
The RTC program consists of Phase I which focuses informing and educating while Phase II addresses problems that require infrastructure based traffic control solutions such as speed humps, traffic circles, and road narrowing.
The process involved in proposing the installation of speed humps includes petition with 75% acceptance rate, warrant criteria, identification of speed hump locations, public hearings, TAC recommendation, and finally submission to the City Council for approval. PJ noted that the San Ramon Police Department has issued 13 speed related citations along Thunderbird Drive and reported that the radar trailer was deployed several times.
PJ Dhoot presented the Stop Sign Warrant Analysis. The analysis determined that the minimum criteria for the installation of stop signs was not met at Burning Tree Drive @ Thunderbird Drive, Olympia Fields Drive @ Thunderbird Drive, Sciota Avenue @ Thunderbird Drive, and Thunderbird Place @ Thunderbird Drive.
The categories for Warrant Analysis include:
The speed humps warrant analysis is met for Thunderbird Drive with the score of 27 points where the minimum requirement is a score of 25 points. Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE ) and Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) guidelines were used to develop the City’s Speed Hump Warrant Criteria, which was applied to Thunderbird Drive. The San Ramon Valley Fire District also reviewed the proposal, and has no objection with speed humps but offered design proposals which will be incorporated into construction.
Based on a review of the surrounding land use and transportation network encompassing Thunderbird Drive, vehicles will be diverted back to Alcosta Boulevard which is an arterial roadway designed to carry higher volumes of vehicles. It is also staff’s professional judgment that vehicles will not be transferred to surrounding streets, as there are no direct routes that would encourage diversion of trips.
PJ Dhoot elaborated on research conducted by ITE shows the following speed humps expectations
Staff mailed public hearing notices on April 2 and April 7 to residents within 1000 ft. radius of each of the three proposed speed hump locations (450 notices). Staff received correspondence with three (3) in favor of speed humps and seven (7) opposing the installation of speed humps.
Finally, staff presented two options to the TAC (1) recommend the installation of speed humps or (2) not recommend the installation of speed humps.
Chair McVay thanked staff for the presentation on Thunderbird Drive.
Jim McVay and Peter Rathman both asked for more information on design modification recommended by the Fire District. PJ explained that there are 2 design options, the first design is one continuous speed hump like the one installed on Veracruz Drive, while the second option recommended by the Fire District consists of a section in the middle of the speed hump that a fire engine could straddle, resulting in limited loss of time for emergency responders.
Jim McVay inquired about the average speeds on streets where speed humps were installed. PJ responded that the 85th percentile on those streets (i.e., Veracruz Drive, Weschester Drive, Marsh Road) were lower than Thunderbird Drive. PJ also responded to Jim McVay’s question about average drop on speed on Thunderbird Drive which she stated would be 20 – 25 % drop based on ITE expectations.
Chair McVay opened the public hearing:
Listed below is a summary of the Public Comments :
Jack Sundberg, a 30 year resident of Thunderbird Drive, raised issues with high speeds, near misses, and police calls along Thunderbird Drive which goes on every day. Mr. Sundberg noted that he doesn’t care for speed humps but supports installation and stated that somebody is going to get hurt. He expressed his appreciation to the TAC by taking time on this issue which is one way to protect the people from getting hurt.
Joe Norton, Thunderbird Place, indicated his street as well as five other streets will be adversely impacted by the installation of speed humps on Thunderbird Drive. He noted that speed humps are good on Veracruz Drive but not on Thunderbird Drive. He indicated that the problem will shift on his street which is not good. Mr. Norton submitted a petition opposing speed humps to the Chair.
Chris Brark, Olympic Fields Drive, stated that speeders can be dangerous. She wanted to get some sort of assurance that their streets along with other streets are closely monitored.
Corey Lyons, Thunderbird Drive, discussed his efforts in meeting all the criteria for speed humps installation and the support he received from his neighbors. Mr. Lyons urged the TAC to move forward with approving speed humps since there is no objection from the Fire District. He added that speeding issues are not going away. The diversion and concerns about surrounding streets with some neighborhoods might be slightly impacted but the issue is about Thunderbird Drive that needs to be addressed.
Pat York, Thunderbird Drive resident, opposed the speed humps but in favor of signage and Radar Speed Display like the one on Montevideo Drive. Older people don’t need the noise and pollution, people with back and neck problems will be affected, emergency vehicles could cause delays due to speed humps. In addition, drivers will be aggravated when they go over speed humps and will have the tendency to accelerate over speed humps. She also requested that Police go to Cal High to ask students to slow down. Lastly, she noted that there is no traffic after school bells times from Walt Disney.
Bert Kennedy – Thunderbird Place, asked the TAC the impact on ambulance/fire trucks. He was interested to know who is paying for speed humps and potential assessments.
Lisa Bobadilla responded that staff will contact emergency response operation to address the impact of speed humps. She also noted that funding is allocated for the traffic calming measures as part of the current fiscal year. The City does not have an Assessment District whereby the City could charge for the speed hump installation.
Mr. Kennedy also asked about the traffic speed survey that was conducted, and curious where the speed is recorded. PJ Dhoot responded that traffic counters were set up on two segments from Pine Valley Road to Sciota and very close to Burning Tree Drive and Alcosta Blvd. The numbers were combined to get the average speed at 37 mph.
Mr. Kennedy reported that there are 5,000 fatalities in the U.S. every year which never decreased with the installation of speed humps. The change was an increase in pollution based on deceleration and acceleration as a result of speed humps. Signage and increase in police enforcement are two options that don’t require additional funding and both will address speeding problems.
Roger Carlsen, Thunderbird Place, asked about the speed reading sign like the one on Pine Valley Road and if it has been considered as a traffic calming measure for Thunderbird Drive. He also wanted to clarify the location of the 4th speed hump. The committee clarified that there are only three speed hump locations being considered for installation. PJ Dhoot responded that the City has a RSDS in place like the one installed on Pine Valley Road and Montevideo Drive. RSDS are effective on higher volume streets.
Steve Telles, 31 year resident of Pebble Place, refer to problems with school buses at Walt Disney elementary. Parents are unable to drop off/pick up kids on Pebble Place and there is an increase of traffic on Thunderbird Drive during the mornings and afternoons. Parents drop off the kids on Pebble Place with no parking, no crossing guard, and no crosswalk which is dangerous. He opposed speed humps and asked that TAC/staff put them in other neighborhoods.
Melvin Lamb, Thunderbird Drive, support speed humps in front of his house. He commented that Thunderbird is like a major arterial and observes drivers speeding without regard to people who live on Thunderbird Drive. The cars are speeding even during the night so fast that he couldn’t even get their license numbers.
Bryan Wainscott, Thunderbird Place, said that he will be adversely impacted by the speed humps and will have to take alternate route if speed humps were to be installed as he doesn’t want to deal with vehicle suspension. He said that the Radar Speed Display Sign is a good idea. He and his neighbors didn’t know what was going on until he received the public hearing notice.
Mary Lou Anania, Thunderbird Drive, did not speak during the meeting but wanted to be on record that she supports the speed humps.
Jim McVay read all the emails and comments provided by PJ Dhoot.
Sylvia Park, 8 year resident of Pine Valley Road, commented that drivers are speeding as fast as 40 mph as driver turns in from Alcosta Boulevard coming on to Pine Valley Road. Ms. Park would like to request speed humps near Pine Valley Road and Alcosta Boulevard and further down Thunderbird Drive.
Brian Wainscott, Thunderbird Place, opposed speed humps stating that they are not necessary and is a waste of City resources, and a major annoyance. Mr. Wainscott also stated that residents should realize that Thunderbird Drive was a relatively busy street when they moved in and the fact that there is a center divider stripe on the road clue enough.
George and Leonora Noble, Olympic Fields Drive, stated that an advanced notice for the Public Hearing would be appreciated. They noted that residents use Olympia Fields Drive to go to Ralphs, Le Asia and Starbucks complex, Dublin and the I-680 freeway and other destinations accessed by southbound Alcosta Boulevard. They have seen reckless drivers speeding which prompted them to put a fence on their property. They also contacted the City about this situation. Another group of Olympia Fields also contacted the City which resulted in restriping and installation of two signs and two “25 mph” signs. Mr. & Mrs. Noble wrote that they feel slighted about Thunderbird Drive getting speed humps and noted that “slighted that perhaps a more deserving street (Olympia Fields) received ‘traffic calming’ of such a lesser order and slighted that the City has said nothing about associated impact mitigation (e.g., increased trips and speed on surrounding streets).”
Telles Family, Pebble Place, oppose speed humps as it will increase traffic on Blue Mound and Pebble Place. They stated that the new bus system has created a substantial amount of traffic on their street. There are about 50-75 cars parked down the street on Sciota. Traffic is unbelievable and neighbors have called the Police. He also noted that speed bumps also increase repairs to your cars (i.e., brakes) and reiterated that they vote NO speed bumps on Thunderbird Drive.
Susan Crawley, Thunderbird Drive, oppose speed humps since it will not slow down SUVs, trucks, and hummers. It also cause damage to the car suspension. Ms. Crawley made the following suggestions: (a) a crosswalk behind Walt Disney which would increase children’s safety (b) mark the sidewalk on Pebble Place to let cars know they shouldn’t park at the crossing area (c) stop signs around Pebble Place. Ms. Crawley also noted that speed humps on Thunderbird Drive is setting precedence for the City and that the money can be wisely spent on the safety of many children instead of a few.
Louie Lamagra, Olympia Field Drive, expressed concern that the installation of speed humps will increase traffic on Olympia Fields Drive. This occurred as a result of the additional four way stop signs on Alcosta Boulevard. She stated that residents will more likely use Olympia Fields as a short cut to gain access to Alcosta Boulevard.
Chair McVay closed the public hearing and opened TAC discussion.
Harvey Riggs, who has resided on Veracruz Drive for 31 years, commented that he visited speed humps all over the U.S. as well as other traffic devices and would categorically say that speed humps do have a major effect on traffic. With regards to traffic diversion, he stated that after careful studies on Veracruz Drive and other streets, he found out that there was not a significant traffic diversion resulting from the installation of speed humps. Fire trucks did not pose any problem either. He clarified that TAC/staff did not initiate speed humps, it’s the citizens of Thunderbird Drive supporting the request speed hump installation based on their daily experiences with speeding.
Victoria Harris commented that staff/TAC have done a lot to monitor the issue, including selective enforcement and deployment of radar trailer and is satisfied with the amount of work that has been done on Thunderbird Drive. Victoria is concerned about traffic safety approaching a school and crosswalk and would like to see the Safe Routes to School issue addressed later. She disagreed with a resident comment that speed does not harm people and expressed concern about the risk of speeding. She stated that varying degrees of speed do have varying severity levels of injury.
Peter Rathmann stated that despite staff’s efforts to mitigate speeding problems on Thunderbird Drive, the issue has not been resolved with Phase I measures. The installation of speed humps will slow traffic down by several miles per hour as indicated in the studies. He believes that the current speed of 37 mph will put children at risk.
Chair McVay stated that it will be difficult to gauge the effectiveness of the RSDS a year from now but it will be easier to assess the reduction of speed on speed humps. He said that 30 mph of the 85th percentile will be beneficial to residents not to mention that it addresses the safety factor.
M/S/C/U (Riggs/Rathmann) to approve the installation of speed humps along Thunderbird Drive and forward to the City Council for approval (4-0).
4.2 Capital Improvement Project (CIP) FY 2010-2015
Amy Amiri, senior engineering analyst, gave a presentation on the Capital Improvement Program for FY 2010-2015. She asked the TAC to provide comments on the circulation and signal categories which will be forwarded to the City Finance Committee and City Council.
Amy discussed in the detail the proposed new circulation projects for FY 2010-11:
Amy reported that there are no new projects proposed for FY2010-11.
With the presentation of next year’s CIP, the TAC, more specifically Harvey Riggs, had comments on the Stop Gap project and the Pavement Repair projects. Basically, he feels the City needs to put more funds towards pavement repairs by borrowing from surplus funds. He took pictures of certain roads he felt were in badly need of repair and put them together in a packet, which he distributed to the rest of the committee. He suggested that the committee have a discussion about this issue and forward this to the Council to advise them that there is not enough money put towards the pavement management program.
Harvey stated that the City could take advantage of low bids and do more work if bids for paving projects could be done now. Regarding Stop Gap, Harvey said that $200,000 is not sufficient and that the work done by Stop Gap is not enough.
Amy Amiri explained that the City have both Stop Gap and Pavement Management that fund the street repair program. Maria Robinson, engineering services director, explained that engineering has a process in place, which was presented to the Finance Committee on April 14, 2010 and would be happy to share this document with the committee.
Maria Robinson also went into detail as to how the 5-year Pavement Management Program (PMP) works, the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) values assigned to streets, the City’s overall ranking compared to other jurisdictions within the Bay Area, and how the engineering programs the low PCI streets into our 5 year program.
Victoria Harris did think it was important to know the PCI of each of the streets and when these streets were programmed to be done. The result of all of the discussions was that the packet and their concerns were to be forwarded to the City Council as part of the CIP comments from the Commissions/Committees. Also, the TAC requested a presentation on pavement management.
5. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
5.1 Radar Speed Display Sign
PJ Dhoot provided background on the Radar Speed Display Sign Program and reported that staff has conducted site observations of the four potential locations along collector roadways in San Ramon. The following are the four locations identified by staff:
Jim McVay asked staff if there is speed or data that justifies the location proposed along South Monarch Road as his observations found there to be little traffic and development at this time. PJ stated that there is no speed survey for South Monarch Road as the entire length of the street is not yet developed. PJ stated that the recommendation to install a Radar Speed Display Sign along South Monarch Road came from a discussion about speeding and safety at Gale Ranch Middle School site.
M/S/C/U (Riggs/Harris) to approve the four Radar Speed Humps locations recommended by staff.
5.2 County Connection Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) Status Report
Harvey Riggs distributed a flyer provided by County Connection regarding an event to announce the newest addition to their transit fleet to be held on Saturday, April 24th in Walnut Creek. Harvey also reported that the committee received kudos from the Board for their work in reviewing bus routes. The committee is working with staff on bus stop locations in Dougherty Valley.
5.3 Active Residential Traffic Calming Streets Status
PJ Dhoot reported that a resident, Helen Lai, contacted staff with several objections to accommodate the residents parking needs by making Ivy Hill Way accessible. Staff encouraged residents to attend the May TAC meeting where the Campton/Fioli item will be agendized.
Lisa Bobadilla commented that the parking on Fioli continues to be a challenge with the lack of additional parking on-site. Staff is seeking a long-term solution to the parking problem. Lisa scheduled a meeting with Contra Costa County to do a study on how to deal with the short term and long term parking situation.
Lisa Bobadilla stated that Fioli/Campton parking issue will be on the agenda for the May meeting.
6. COMMITTEE MEMBER ITEMS
6.1. Committee Member Items
Harvey Riggs talked about the crosswalk located at the San Ramon Regional Hospital and asked staff to agendize this item for TAC discussion. There is no way to neither walk in the street nor ride a bicycle. He talked about widening the walkway to make it safer. Harvey asked staff how to best approach this situation knowing that it is private property. Lisa Bobadilla said that staff will look into this.
6.2 City Council Liaison Items
6.3 Planning Commission Liaison Items
6.4 Teen Council Liaison
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m. The next regular meeting is scheduled for May 20, 2010 in the Planning Conference Room.