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San Ramon Valley Blvd and Bollinger Canyon Rd
Public Services Department

 

San Ramon LogoTransportation Advisory Committee

MINUTES

September 20, 2012

Community Conference Room
2401 Crow Canyon Road, San Ramon

1.         CALL TO ORDER

Committee Members Attending:    Victoria Harris, Harvey Riggs, Steve Filson, Mark Ballock, Ed Boyan, Greg Schniegenberg

Committee Members Absent:        Peter Rathmann

Council Members Attending:         None

Planning Commission Liaison:        None

Teen Council Liaison:                  None

Guests Attending:                      None

Staff Members Attending:                 Lisa Bobadilla, PJ Dhoot, Amy Sekhon, Brian Bornstein.

The meeting was called to order by Vice Chair Victoria Harris at 6:30 pm.   

2.         REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES

M/S/C/U (Riggs/Ballock) to approve the August 16, 2012 meeting minutes (4-0). Greg Schniegenberg abstained.

3.          PUBLIC COMMENT

None

4.          NEW BUSINESS

4.1       Bollinger Canyon Road from Alcosta Boulevard to Canyon Lakes Drive Operational Improvements Update

Lisa Bobadilla, Transportation Division Manager, stated that Brian Bornstein, Interim City Engineer, will provide a verbal update, on the status of the project.

Mr. Bornstein stated that the initial onset of the project was in 2008 when Bollinger Canyon Road was re-striped, and an additional travel lane was created in both directions, due to the Dougherty Valley Development Settlement Agreement which required additional travel lanes from Alcosta Boulevard to Canyon Lakes Drive. Since the widening, there have been 9 car accidents in the eastbound direction on Bollinger Canyon Road. The accidents have taken place eastbound headed uphill on Bollinger Canyon Road in a concentrated area of approximately 500 ft. within the “S” curve of the roadway. Only 2 accidents were related to speeding, the remaining accidents have been related to drivers not maintaining the travel lane. A concern is the Class 3 Bicycle/Pedestrian path adjacent to the travel lane.

Mr. Bornstein stated at the June 12, 2012 City Council meeting approximately 140 citizens attended and submitted a petition against the improvements. Mr. Bornstein stated that the petition focused on saving the Sycamore Trees, and to better protect cyclists/pedestrians. City Council delayed action on the item, and deferred it to a future council meeting to further evaluate additional alternatives.

 Mr. Bornstein stated that staff returned to City Council in August 28, 2012 with a list of 4 additional options for the Bollinger Canyon Road Improvements, and the original option:

  • Median Reduction and Re-landscaping (previously approved by City Council). Widen the eastbound lanes by four feet along the entire segment reducing the median. All Sycamore trees will be removed and replaced with new landscaping. Reconstruction of the bridge column is required to facilitate with the widening. This option was approved by the City Council on March 27, 2012 and is supported and recommended by the Consultant because it addresses the operational improvement objective/criteria
  • 18-inch Roadway Widening. Widen the eastbound lanes by 18 inches along the entire segment by reducing the median and installing a short retaining wall in the median, and half of the Sycamore Trees would be preserved.  Install a permanent barrier between the edge of roadway and pedestrian bike/path. This alternative is not supported or recommended by the Consultant because it does not address the operational improvement objective/criteria.
  • Widen into Golf Course. Acquire 6.5 feet of golf course right-of-way adjacent to the existing pedestrian bike/path. Widen the eastbound lanes by four feet along the entire segment, which does not disturb existing Sycamore Trees. Extensive reconstruction of existing golf course, relocation of utilities, and property/easement acquisition would be required. This alternative is supported and recommended by the consultants because it addresses the operational improvement objective/criteria.
  • Relocate Path to North Side. Relocate eight-foot-wide pedestrian/bike path to the north side of the roadway and widen the westbound and eastbound lanes by four feet each.  Remove the pedestrian/bike path on the south side of the road and replace it with turf and low shrubs.  This alternative is conditionally supported by the consultants because it appears to address the operational improvement objective/criteria.  However, it is not known what affect the relocated pedestrian/bike path and additional roadway width in the westbound lanes will have on driver behavior/traffic operations. This option preserves the existing Sycamore Trees, but removal of over 30 trees on the north side and significant retaining wall demolition/reconstruction near Alcosta Blvd would be required.
  • Tree Transplanting. Widen eastbound lanes by four feet along the entire segment by reducing the median width.  Preserve 75% of the existing Sycamore trees by transplanting them back into the median and reconstructing the bridge column façade. This alternative is supported and recommended by the consultants because it addresses the operational improvement objective/criteria.

Engineering staff is moving forward with the design and installation of a temporary concrete barrier in the interim condition until an ultimate solution has been approved and constructed.

Questions/Comments:

Harvey Riggs asked if the travel lanes are 11ft. wide, Mr. Bornstein stated that they are, except the middle lane is 10ft. wide. The curvature, slope, volume of traffic, and width of lanes all factor in to the recurring accidents in the eastbound direction of Bollinger Canyon Road.

Mr. Riggs stated that this is a major east-west arterial street that currently has safety issues. Mr. Riggs stated that safety is more important than tree removal.

Ed Boyan stated that it was interesting to listen to people’s complaints against the project at the City Council meeting. Mr. Boyan stated that he has done work in San Ramon, and had to pay a substantial amount of money for the Sycamores because a majority of Sycamores have anthracnose a tree disease that cannot be cured. Mr. Boyan stated that the disease should be brought up in a report to City Council.  Mr. Bornstein stated that an arborist examined the trees, and he did not report the trees in danger, he did acknowledge some trees are diseased but can live a few more decades.

Mr. Boyan stated his Home Owner’s Association removed Sycamore Trees since they were diseased/dead. Mr. Boyan stated that the Sycamore Trees do well in colder environments.

Mr. Boyan asked at what time of day have the accidents occurred on eastbound Bollinger Canyon Road. Mr. Bornstein stated that 2 accidents were at night, and the other 7 were spread throughout the day.

Mr. Boyan stated that there will be a lot of people who are not going to be used to driving with a barrier. He stated that people tend to get panicked when they drive next to a barrier. Mr. Ballock stated that it is similar to driving in a tunnel, there is a “squeezed” feeling.

 Mr. Ballock asked in how many years were there 9 accidents. Mr. Bornstein said in 3 years. Mr. Ballock asked if speed was a factor in these 9 accidents.  Mr. Bornstein  replied that speed was a factor in just two accidents of the 9 that have occurred.

Mr. Riggs stated that traffic is going to increase on Bollinger Canyon Road as Dougherty Valley continues to be built-out.

Mr. Ballock stated that traffic congestion could grow because developers are still building in Dougherty Valley. Mr. Ballock asked if the road lanes would be widened to 12ft.  Mr. Bornstein stated what is proposed is two 12ft. lanes, and one 13ft. for the lane closest to the fence. Mr. Ballock asked if the arborist gave any indication that the trees have a limited lifespan. Mr. Bornstein stated that there was no indication by the arborist, but an arborist who attended a City Council meeting in August and spoke under public comment did bring up a tree disease that sounds similar to anthracnose.

Miranda Shakes asked if most of accidents are eastbound or westbound. Mr. Bornstein stated that they are eastbound. Mr. Bornstein stated that the proposed widening is the eastbound direction is because the accidents that are happening there are due to the width of the travel lanes, lack of recovery room for drivers, minimal buffer between the travel lane and the class 3 pedestrian/bike path.

Mr. Ballock asked if the temporary barricades are going to be anchored in the ground, and if this will stop a fast moving vehicle from entering into the pedestrian path. Mr. Bornstein stated that these are concrete barriers that are linked together, and will be doweled into existing path in various locations.

Greg Schniegenberg asked what would happen with the bridge if the lanes are widened. Mr. Bornstein stated that if we widen into the median island you would need to redo the bridge façade. The column itself is the façade, the 4ft. widening would remove the façade, and put it tightly around the structure. The bottom has a rock façade and would not be able to be put back in place.

Mr. Ballock said on the westbound lanes there are no bike lanes and you are going downhill, he asked what is the possibility of putting a sharrow lane (shared driver/bicycle lane). Mr. Ballock stated that you put a sharrow lane in if a road is too narrow. Mr. Bornstein stated that he would have to look at the requirements for a sharrow lane.

Mr. Boyan asked if there was a timeline. Mr. Bornstein stated that a temporary barrier will be installed in a few weeks. Mr. Bornstein stated that the City is looking at purchasing right-of-way easement from the golf course, but the owners are resistant at this time.

Mr. Ballock stated that residents are upset that the aesthetics of the road will change if you remove the trees. Mr. Ballock stated that public safety has to rule over aesthetics of a street. Ms. Bobadilla stated that landscape alternatives including trees would be put in place after the Bollinger Canyon improvements are completed.

Mr. Bornstein stated that the original Master Plan for Dougherty Valley indicated that the median would be reduced to 4ft. wide along Bollinger Canyon Road, so the trees were intended to be removed.

Mr. Boyan stated that if there has been a replacement tree recommendation. Mr. Bornstein stated that some trees were suggested, and that the tree transplant could happen, the trees would survive with a very low chance of mortality, due to experience of the large scale tree moving companies.

Vice Chair Victoria Harris stated that next time this is brought to City Council, safety issues should be emphasized.

Mr. Boyan stated that he does not understand the point of preserving diseased trees.

Ms. Bobadilla stated that TAC members are welcome to attend future City Council meetings regarding the Bollinger Canyon Road Improvements to express their opinions.

Mr. Schniegenberg stated that there are statistics, and Engineering support for the proposed improvements, since this is a safety issue the City Council should support the improvements.

M/S/C/U (Riggs/Schniegenberg) to recommend to City Council: Option 1 – Median Reduction and Re-landscaping, widening the eastbound lanes by four feet along the entire segment reducing the median on Bollinger Canyon Road (5-0).

Vice Chair Harris moved on to the next item.

4.2       Radar Speed Display Sign Program – Request by Home Owner Association

PJ Dhoot, Transportation Specialist, presented the item. Mrs. Dhoot stated that on May 21, 2009 City staff held a public hearing at the TAC to consider the installation of a Radar Speed Display Sign (RSDS) on Morgan Drive. Prior to the public hearing staff conducted site observations with members of Traffic Engineering, Public Services, and Traffic Patrol to determine potential installation locations. The location presented at the public hearing was along south-east Morgan Drive, past Cree Court. This location was chosen because it was downhill, approaching the trail access point. When this location was presented at the TAC meeting, members of the Bollinger Hills Home Owner Association (HOA) spoke against the location and recommended an alternate location at the top of a hill near Arapaho Court. The sign was installed on Morgan Drive, near Arapaho Court in July 2009 based upon public testimony and TAC recommendation.

Mrs. Dhoot stated that in January 2012 staff was approached by the Bollinger Hills HOA, to review the existing RSDS location and possibly install a second RSDS. On June 20, 2012 staff attended the HOA meeting to discuss options with the Board members. At the meeting, it was agreed that the HOA would pursue the relocation of existing RSDS to the location initially recommended by staff along south-east Morgan Drive past Cree Court, and will install a second RSDS in the opposite direction of Morgan Drive. The HOA stated that they will fund the relocation and purchase of the RSDS for Morgan Drive. The City of San Ramon is preparing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which would lay out the responsibilities of each entity.

Questions/Comments:

Mr. Riggs asked what the position is of the City when asked to install infrastructure for a traffic issue. Mrs. Dhoot stated that if HOAs pay for mitigation measures, they do have to meet Engineering standards.

Vice Chair Harris asked what guidelines are followed when asked to install infrastructure for a traffic issue. Mrs. Dhoot stated that infrastructure on public right-of-way has to meet Residential Traffic Calming (RTC) program guidelines.

Vice Chair Harris moved on to Unfinished Business.


5.         UNFINISHED BUSINESS

    • Speed Limit Ordinance Update

Mrs. Dhoot presented the item. She stated that staff is in the process of updating the Speed Limit Ordinance (SLO). The SLO gives City Council the authority to set speed limits on collector, arterial, and residential streets based on a speed survey. Speed surveys determine the prevailing speed of the roadway. A trained surveyor will go out in an unmarked vehicle, and finds various locations along a roadway to sample a minimum 100 vehicles. The 85% percentile of the speed drivers are traveling at will become the speed limit (rounding the speed to the nearest 5). Law enforcement can use that speed survey to enforce the speed. Mrs. Dhoot stated that speed surveys last 10 years, and some surveys have expired. Mrs. Dhoot stated that several streets are in need of an updated speed survey. If there is a new speed limit, it will be reflected on the signage, and the Police Department (PD) can use radar for enforcement.

Questions/Comments:

Mr. Riggs stated when determining a speed limit, to be mindful of residential fronting on the street. Mrs. Dhoot stated that there is 5mph discretion, based on residential driveways, pedestrian traffic, etc.

Mr. Ballock asked if Mrs. Dhoot uses a radar gun when she conducts speed surveys. Mrs. Dhoot stated she uses the same equipment used by PD.

Vice Chair Harris moved on to the next item.


5.2       I-680 Transit Corridor Project Status Update


Ms. Bobadilla provided the update. She stated that the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) was asked to study different options to constructing on/off ramps, and has expanded the Environmental Study to include:

  • Norris Canyon;
  • Executive Parkway; or
  • No build.

Ms. Bobadilla stated that a revised timeline for the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is being developed by Caltrans and CCTA.

Vice Chair Harris moved on to the next item.

5.3       Public Transit Status Report

Ms. Bobadilla provided the update. Ms. Bobadilla stated that some of the bus routes in Dougherty Valley are standing room only.

Ms. Bobadilla stated that the City of San Ramon is getting ready to embark on a pavement job along Alcosta Blvd. from San Ramon Valley Blvd. to the Iron Horse Trail. The project should start in late September/early October, and would take approximately two months. It will impact transit routes, and TRAFFIX buses as well.

Vice Chair Harris moved on to the next item.

5.4       Active Residential Traffic Calming Streets Status Report

Tahiti Drive: located right off of Crow Canyon Road. Mrs. Dhoot received a request to address speeding by local residents. PD has conducted selective enforcement and an update will be provided at a future TAC meeting. Mrs. Dhoot stated that conducting a speed survey, and collecting data from the radar trailer are the next steps.

Questions/Comments:

Mr. Schniegenberg asked if the County Connection bus route is still stopping on Tahiti Drive. Mrs. Dhoot stated that yes and at least 6 students use the bus.

Mr. Riggs stated that there are no street markings on Tahiti Drive. Mr. Riggs stated that narrowing the street would be beneficial.  Mr. Riggs stated that there are no speed limit signs placed on the street.

Davona Drive:  the southern section of Davona Drive from Corrinne St. to Alcosta Blvd. Mrs. Dhoot stated that there were four days of enforcement. PD issued 8 citations for speeding. Davona Drive is a collector street so it would not be eligible for speed humps, but continued enforcement and the radar trailer will be deployed.

Mrs. Dhoot stated that the enforcement was conducted from 8:15am-8:45am and 5:00pm-530pm, 7:45am-8:15am, 7:45am-8:15am. The morning enforcement coincided with Country Club Elementary School bell times.

Questions/Comments:

Mr. Riggs stated that north on Davona Dr. about 60ft. from Alcosta Blvd. on the right hand side is a small 25mph speed limit sign, but it is set next to a pine tree that covers the sign.  Mr. Riggs suggested moving the sign, and replacing it with a larger speed limit sign. Mr. Riggs stated that there is no speed limit sign on the other side of the street.

Mr. Ballock asked what the priorities/guidelines are for placing speed limit signs. Mrs. Dhoot stated that they should be placed when you enter the street, leave the street, and when you enter from a major thoroughfare.

Mr. Ballock stated that east of Country Club Elementary School, on Davona Drive, headed towards the freeway drivers will not see a speed limit sign.

Vice Chair Harris moved on to Committee Member Items.


6.         COMMITTEE MEMBER ITEMS 

6.1       Committee Member Items

None

6.2       City Council Liaison Items

None.

6.3       Planning Commission Liaison Items

None

6.4       Teen Council Liaison

None.

7.         ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:55p.m.  The next Transportation Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for October 18, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Conference Room.

 

 

 

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