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San Ramon Valley Blvd and Bollinger Canyon Rd
Public Services Department


San Ramon LogoTransportation Advisory Committee



November 17, 2011

Community Conference Room

2401 Crow Canyon Road, San Ramon

1.         CALL TO ORDER

Committee Members Attending:      Peter Rathmann, Victoria Harris, Harvey Riggs, Greg Schniegenberg, Jim McVay and Steve Filson

Committee Members Absent:          None          

Council Members Attending:           None

Planning Commission Liaison:           Jeanne Benedetti

Teen Council Liaison:                     Mischa Fritz, Miranda Shakes

Guests Attending:                          Susan Miller, Conrad Kim Franchi, Ivy Morrison                     

Staff Members Attending:               Lisa Bobadilla, PJ Dhoot, Amy Sekhon

The meeting was called to order by Chair Peter Rathmann at 6:30 pm.   


The October 20, 2011 meeting minutes were not approved. Committee members expressed concerns that comments related to the TAC By Laws, discussed at the October 20, 2011 meeting were missing and/or incorrect. Therefore, meeting minutes will be re-written and presented at the December 15, 2011 meeting.

3.          PUBLIC COMMENT


4.          NEW BUSINESS

4.1       Regional Transportation Project Updates
Lisa Bobadilla, Transportation Division Manager, introduced the item. Ms. Bobadilla stated that the item is an update on regional projects that are of significance to the San Ramon Valley, and particularly to the City of San Ramon. The project update is related to the Measure J I-680 Carpool Lane Gap Closure Project, and the I-680 HOT Lane Project. Ms. Bobadilla introduced Susan Miller, Director of Projects with Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA).

4.1a     I-680 Carpool Lane Gap Closure Project Status Report

Background/Introduction: Ms. Miller provided background on CCTA, and stated that CCTA is the entity that collects the half-cent sales tax in Contra Costa County, voted for in 1988, and later reauthorized with 71% of voters approving it in 2004. Transit Corridor Improvement Projects include the I-680 Gap Closure project and the I-680 Norris Canyon HOV On/Off Ramp. The Measure J Expenditure Plan includes transportation projects and programs, and return-to-source funding, which is used for transportation projects at the local level. Ms. Miller stated that this particular project is intended to improve the HOV system in the I-680 corridor. She stated that there is a gap where the carpool lane disappears when travelling Southbound on I-680 near Highway 24. The carpool lane is nonexistent and then later reemerges in Danville. The purpose for the project is to close the carpool lane gap.

Ms. Miller introduced Conrad Kim Franchi, Project Manager from Parsons, and Ivy Morrison, Public Information Officer from Circle Point. Mr. Franchi discussed the technical details of the project. He stated that the project will close the 5.4 mile carpool lane gap from North Main Street to Livorna Road. The gap closure in the I-680 southbound direction will provide HOV lanes to the county line. Mr. Franchi stated there are backups in this gap, and Caltrans conducted a Project Study Report (PSR) that identified the need for the project, and conducted initial traffic studies. This project is specifically for the HOV system to encourage people to utilize these lanes, which would provide relief to traffic in the I-680 southbound direction.

Alternatives: Mr. Franchi stated that Caltrans Project Study Report looked at two alternatives.

  • Build Alternative #1 – Reduced Standard Alternative.
    • Add HOV lane by widening existing freeway from North of Livorna Road to South Main Street.
    • Add HOV lane by restriping existing roadway from South Main Street to North Main Street and narrowing width of inside lane and shoulder.
    • Estimated Cost $80 million.
  • Build Alternative #2 – Full Standard Alternative
    • Add HOV Lane by widening existing freeway throughout the project limits.
    • Requires replacement of existing structures, including BART overcrossing.
    • Estimated Cost $350 million

Environmental Studies: The environmental study will be underway in Spring 2012.

Project Funding Sources: Ms. Miller stated that funding for the project is in part provided by Regional Measure 2 funds from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Measure J Half-Cent Sales Tax, and the rest of the funding is to be determined through state and federal grants.

Project Timeline: Ms. Miller stated that first CCTA must complete the environmental process, scheduled to be completed in Winter 2013. The design of the project would take an additional two years. Construction, if funding is available, would complete by Spring 2018. Ms. Miller stated once again that this is a tentative timeline, and could change due to funding availability.

Public & Agency Input: Ms. Miller stated that they are presenting the project to various groups, outreach to cities and planning agencies. A formal public comment period will take place when the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is available.


Harvey Riggs asked about Alternative #1. He wanted to know if the project would widen one inside lane and restripe the outside lane. Mr. Franchi said no. Mr. Riggs then asked if the project would affect I-680 northbound. Mr. Franchi said no, the funding is for I-680 southbound only.

Peter Rathmann asked what the width of the shoulder lane would be after the project was completed. Mr. Franchi said four feet.

Commissioner Jeanne Benedetti asked if the two right lanes will be 12 feet wide, Mr. Franchi stated that one lane would be 12 feet, and the other 11 feet wide.

Mr. Riggs asked if they have considered lane restrictions for truck traveling. Mr. Franchi said no they have not considered that. Ms. Miller stated that there will be back up in these lanes, and this project is for encouraging the utilization of carpool lanes.

Peter Rathmann asked if there was any overlap between the environmental document and the start of design. Ms. Miller said it can be considered if construction dollars were available.

Victoria Harris asked how much of the environmental document can be leveraged and used for the HOT Lane project.  Ms. Miller said they don’t want to preclude HOT lanes coming through in the future. According to Caltrans environmental staff, if the purpose and need is different, then in that respect a separate environmental document will be required. 

Mischa Fritz asked when the repavement on I-680 will be completed in San Ramon. Ms. Bobadilla said Caltrans will begin grinding the freeway and preparing for repavement in San Ramon. It may be about a year for both directions to be completed.

Commissioner Benedetti asked if they are going to do an overlay similar to I-680 through Alamo. Ms. Miller said they are going to do slab replacements in some sections of I-680, and referred to the Caltrans website for more information.

Jim McVay made a comment about flooding when traveling through the
I-680/Highway 24 corridor. He said that there should be drainage added there for safety.

There were no other comments or questions. Ms. Miller presented the I-680 HOT Lane Status Report.

4.1b     I-680 HOT Lane Status Report

Ms. Miller presented the item. She stated that it is not a Transportation Authority project, rather it is sponsored by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). The I-680 HOT Lane project has undergone a study to determine if express lanes/HOT lane network can be placed throughout the Bay Area. MTC took their plan, a preliminary study document partnered with Caltrans during preparation of the document, to the California Transportation Commission (CTC) in October. It was also approved by nine Congestion Management Agencies in the Bay Area. The plan met the eligibility requirements for implementation and operation of HOT lanes established by the State. There is information about the project on the MTC website.


Steve Filson asked if there is going to be coordination with Southern California because they have implemented similar projects. Steve also asked about funding for the project. Ms. Miller stated that nine Bay Area counties are all different, and prioritize funding in different ways - which is different than Southern California.

Ms. Bobadilla stated that the package MTC submitted in October, represented approval by nine Bay Area counties. Now at the local level, City’s along the corridor will determine how those funds should be spent, therefore discussions are going to take place.

Ms. Harris asked what the current funding sharing arrangement is for the HOT lanes on I-680 through Sunol. Ms. Miller stated that the finds are collected by Alameda County.

Mr. Riggs stated that the funding should be return-to-source that should be used at the local level.

Ms. Bobadilla thanked Ms. Miller for presenting the project.

Mr. Rathmann moved on to Unfinished Business.


5.1 TAC By Laws Update

Ms. Bobadilla introduced the item.

Ms. Bobadilla stated that committee by laws will be reviewed by the Policy Committee tentatively in December. The Mayor elect will appoint the Policy Committee members. Once the committee members are appointed, the By Laws will go to the Policy Committee for their review and discussion, and then will be forwarded to City Council for adoption.

Mr. Riggs stated that prior to adoption the TAC should be informed when the By Laws will be presented to the City Council. Ms. Bobadilla stated she would notify the TAC. Ms. Bobadilla said that the TAC members’ comments will be reflected in the staff report to the City Council, and that she encourages TAC members to attend the meeting.

Commissioner Benedetti asked who drafted the changes. Ms. Bobadilla responded San Ramon Parks and Community Services Division drafted the changes. Ms. Bobadilla stated that there has been a recurring issue for different committees regarding quorum attendance at meetings. In some instances if there is not a quorum items cannot move forward and because of that there was the recommendation to add Alternates. Alternates would be sent agendas, meeting minutes, and attend at least half of the committee meetings so they become familiar with committee items and, if needed they can vote on items.
Ms. Bobadilla stated that if the TAC members do not recommend Alternates she will forward that comment to the Policy Committee.

5.2 County Connection Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) Status Report

Ms. Bobadilla introduced the item. 

Ms. Bobadilla stated that the committee members have had a number of discussions of the discontinuation of the County Connection Citizen Advisory Committee. Ms. Bobadilla proposed a monthly update on Public Transportation in San Ramon.

Ms. Bobadilla stated that she had two updates regarding County Connection, including:

  • 1. PJ Dhoot, Transportation Specialist, spent a considerable amount of time working with County Connection to add a new bus stop along Route 35 based on several requests received by residents in the area. Public Services installed a bus stop pad on the corner of Old Ranch Road and Dougherty Road for the new stop. Buses for Route 35 are now stopping at the site. Staff sent a notice to residents notifying them of the new bus stop.
  • 2. Route 35 has steady ridership, the five-year demonstration project for Route 35 terminates in December 2011. However County Connection and Contra Costa County have entered into an agreement to extend the project until Dougherty Valley is built out. Contra Costa County collects $430 per unit in Gale Ranch III, Gale Ranch IV, and Windemere to operate the Dougherty Valley Route 35.

Mr. Rathmann moved onto the next item.

5.3 Active Residential Traffic Calming Streets Status Report

PJ Dhoot, Transportation Specialist, reported on the item.

Albion Road and Silva Way: Mrs. Dhoot reminded the committee of the one way circulation at Hidden Hills Elementary School (HHES) for the week of November 14, 2011. Before staff implemented the circulation, HHES sent out letters to parents notifying them of the upcoming change.  On Monday November 7, 2011, staff installed a sign warning parents that there would be no left turns allowed entering into the school from Harcourt Way. Mrs. Dhoot stated that the new circulation has been successful at reducing the time it takes to pick-up and drop-off students and eliminated vehicles overtaking in the wrong lane. There was a notable reduction in the amount of traffic congestion in the school vicinity.

Mrs. Dhoot stated that she had the results for the Stop Sign Warrant Analysis at Albion Road and Silva Way. She stated that the City conducted traffic counts and it did not meet the volume criteria for a four way stop sign. She stated that the purpose of the stop sign is to assign right of way management, that is why the number one criteria for a Stop Sign Warrant Analysis is volume, there needs to be equal volume on all sides to warrant the stop sign.

Sleeping Meadow Way: Mrs. Dhoot stated that staff was going to deploy the radar trailer, however the radar trailer has been out of service. Ms. Bobadilla stated that staff will recommend purchasing a new radar trailer.


Mr. Filson stated that the new circulation at HHES was self reinforcing, and parents probably saw the value in the one way circulation.

Mr. Filson asked if the Stop Sign Warrant Analysis met the sight distance criteria, and PJ said yes there was adequate sight distance based on an analysis that the Engineering Department conducted.

Mr. Fritz asked what would be the next step regarding the one-way circulation at HHES.  Mrs. Dhoot stated that originally they were only going to do a one week trial period, but the principal of HHES said one week would not be enough time, especially with the holiday season coming soon and parents going out of town. Mrs. Dhoot stated that they are going to let this temporary circulation run through December 16, 2011. When the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) observations start staff will review the circulation of HHES and include the evaluation in the report.

Mr. Riggs suggested that staff should look for an alternative to radar trailers as they require a lot of manpower to install them. Mrs. Dhoot stated that one of the options was the purchasing of pole mount signs that display the speed, to leave up for 1-2 weeks. Mrs. Dhoot stated that the cost would be the same as a radar trailer, but installing them to light poles would be something we would have to contract out. The second option is to look for lighter radar trailers.

Mr. Rathmann asked if the radar trailer can be put on a temporary stand so you wouldn’t have to move it every day. Mrs. Dhoot responded it is possible, but costly.

Ms. Bobadilla stated a review of radar trailers will be presented to the TAC members to show what radar trailers staff has narrowed it down to, and then staff can move forward with taking it to City Council for review/approval.

Mr. Rathmann moved on to the next agenda item.


6.1       Committee Member Items

Mr. Riggs stated that he will not be able to make it to next month’s meeting as he will be out of town. Mr. Rathmann asked if anyone else had a scheduling conflict, to which no one replied.

Mr. Filson stated that he attended the monthly mixer the City of San Ramon Chamber of Commerce. He spoke to a business owner that runs a business in the shopping center across from Club Sport. Mr. Filson stated that the business owner said that he has not run into the problem of people not finding his business, but he understands how the signage can be an issue for others.

Mr. Filson asked for an update on the signage at the shopping center. Mrs. Dhoot stated that she put in a work order for an advanced warning signage as you approach Canyon Lakes/Canyon View on both sides of the median. The more expensive option is purchasing self-illuminating signs; however staff may be switching from self-illuminated signs to regular reflective signs, but those discussions are still ongoing.

Mr. Filson stated that motorists are expressing frustration on Crow Canyon Road particularly near the Crow Canyon Commons regarding the traffic signal sequencing going Westbound in the morning. The concern is timing seems random, sometimes it goes by quickly other times it is too slow.

Mr. Filson stated that on the intersection of Bollinger Canyon Road and Dougherty Road, those lights particularly for the left turn takes too long especially when no other car is going up or down Bollinger Canyon Road. Commissioner Benedetti and Miranda Shakes agreed. Ms. Bobadilla stated that the lights and signal timing were installed by Contra Costa County, and that it was not originally coordinated with the City’s signal timing program. The City has applied for Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) grant, and ultimately the signal timing on Bollinger Canyon Road, to the Alameda County line to the I-680 should all be synchronized if the City is awarded the grant.

6.2       City Council Liaison Items


6.3       Planning Commission Liaison Items

Commissioner Benedetti stated that the Planning Commission approved the Land Use Permit for the San Ramon Valley Islamic Center. Ms. Benedetti stated that a Land Use Permit was given to increase the seating capacity from 320 to 540 and the impact from the San Ramon’s perspective was on Camino Ramon. A Traffic Mitigation Plan was part of the Conditions of Approval which requires the Islamic Center to put on warning signage regarding stops and queuing regarding traffic coming into the Islamic Center a half-hour before services commence.

6.4       Teen Council Liaison

Ms. Shakes stated that there is a two-way stop for the housing development coming out of Twin Creeks Drive, and coming out of the shopping center, but on Crow Canyon Road people are always speeding even though she sees Police Officers issuing citations often. Ms. Shakes stated that one of the crosswalks was removed, but notices people jay-walking. Ms. Shakes brought a petition to show the committee members how people in the neighborhood feel about the issue. Ms. Shakes stated that when she went out to gather signatures, residents told her that they had tried to install a Stop Sign before but since the intersection is too close to a stop light that it would cause more traffic. Ms. Shakes suggested installing blinking yellow lights and adding signage to slow down the speed to 15mph.

Mr. Filson asked if the intersection was completely open. Miranda said yes it is.

Ms. Harris stated that people usually go through there to avoid traffic congestion on San Ramon Valley Blvd.

Mr. Fritz asked if there are speed humps on that street, Ms. Bobadilla replied by saying there is a Radar Speed Display Sign, but no speed humps because it is a collector roadway.

Ms. Bobadilla stated that she will forward the stop sign petition. She stated that typically a Stop Sign Warrant Analysis is conducted when a Stop Sign Petition is received. Ms. Bobadilla requested that Ms. Shakes visit the Transportation Division for a packet of information regarding Residential Traffic Calming (RTC) so she can learn more about the RTC process.

Mr. Filson asked if there were accident records on the street, and Ms. Bobadilla stated that the Police Department keeps all of the records.

Mr. Fritz asked when the Dougherty Road extension will be completed. Mrs. Dhoot replied the construction will not be completed for a while, since it depends on homes being built by developers along that corridor.

Harvey Riggs complimented the Teen Council Liaisons on their presentation.

7.         ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.  The next Transportation Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for December 15, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Conference Room.




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