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San Ramon Valley Blvd and Bollinger Canyon Rd
Public Services Department

 

San Ramon LogoTransportation Advisory Committee

MINUTES

January 19, 2012

Community Conference Room
2401 Crow Canyon Road, San Ramon

1.         CALL TO ORDER

Committee Members Attending:      Peter Rathmann, Victoria Harris, Greg Schniegenberg, and Harvey Riggs

Committee Members Absent:          Jim McVay and Steve Filson

Council Members Attending:           None

Planning Commission Liaison:           Jeanne Benedetti

Teen Council Liaison:                     None

Guests Attending:                         None             

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

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

2.         REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES

M/S/C/U (Schniegenberg/Harris) to approve the December 15, 2011 meeting minutes as written (5-0)

3.          PUBLIC COMMENT

None.

4.          NEW BUSINESS

4.1 San Ramon Valley Transit Study

Lisa Bobadilla, Transportation Division Manager, introduced the item. Ms. Bobadilla stated that the City of San Ramon and the Town of Danville submitted a grant application to the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) to conduct a San Ramon Valley wide Transit Study. The funding source is a new program that is included in the Measure J Expenditure Plan that is called the Transportation for Livable Communities (TLC) grant that would provide funding to local jurisdictions to increase public transportation, or provide pedestrian enhancements. Ms. Bobadilla stated that the ultimate goal is to increase pedestrian and bicycle activities throughout the San Ramon Valley. Ms. Bobadilla stated that all of the cities in the southwest Contra Costa County region are a part of a sub-regional committee called the Southwest Area Transportation (SWAT), and every subcommittee within this part of the county will be provided funding for the TLC grant program, based on population and road miles. The City of San Ramon submitted three grant applications, the application was due last November, and now are in the review process.

Questions/Comments

Harvey Riggs asked if he could review the grant applications. Ms. Bobadilla stated that she would provide the applications for all of the committee members at the next scheduled TAC meeting.

Vice Chair Victoria Harris asked if the project was focusing just on transportation and not for any planning/land use issues. Ms. Bobadilla stated that it is for a comprehensive valley wide transit study.

Mr. Riggs asked if the transit study would fit in between fixed route and length. Ms. Bobadilla stated that it is a possibility, and that this is an opportunity to see what the transit needs are in the region.

Commissioner Benedetti asked if this plan would look at Danville’s transportation needs, and just update San Ramon’s transit needs. Ms. Bobadilla stated there is an understanding that the needs for Danville and San Ramon are not the same, although there are some consistencies, but the study is for the region.

Mr. Riggs asked if staff could take a look at the Dougherty Valley Settlement Agreement in regards to what days/time bus services are to be provided. Ms. Bobadilla stated that the settlement agreement does call for transit services, and when the county was planning for Dougherty Valley they looked at bus turnouts, but there is nothing in the settlement agreement that provides for a funding mechanism for the bus services.

Chair Rathmann asked when the transit study would be completed. Ms. Bobadilla stated that it depends on when the project is approved, and then it could take several months to just start the project due to funding. Ms. Bobadilla stated that the funding for the program is for 5 fiscal years, and money is not given up front. Ms. Bobadilla stated that she would talk next month about the two other applications that were submitted.

Chair Rathmann moved on to the next agenda item.

4.2  Speed Limit Ordinance

PJ Dhoot, Transportation Specialist, introduced the item. Mrs. Dhoot provided a background on Speed Limit Ordinances to the committee. She stated that the City of San Ramon has an ordinance that defines how speed limits are set. The ordinance includes all streets in San Ramon that require speed surveys. To conduct a speed survey the following takes place:

  • Data gathered at site in unmarked vehicle.
  • Using radar, staff collects speeds of 100 vehicles; and
  • The 85th percentile is calculated based on the 100 vehicles.

At this time, staff is in the process of updating the Speed Limit Ordinance to reflect changes in speed limits based on recent speed surveys. Staff met with the City Attorney’s office to review process to update the Speed Limit Ordinance. The City Attorney’s office reviewed the California Vehicle Code (CVC) and the California Government Code (CGC), and determined that upon the basis of a Speed Survey the City Council will hold a public hearing to adjust speed limits. During the course of the discussion with the City Attorney, the attorney deemed that the public hearing shall be held at the City Council meeting where the ordinance is presented, and the public hearing notice shall be posted in compliance with the Brown Act. Mrs. Dhoot stated that an update on the Speed Limit Ordinance will be provided to the TAC in May.

Questions/Comments

Commissioner Benedetti asked where the speed limits will be adjusted. Mrs. Dhoot stated that the speed limit needs to be adjusted on segments of Crow Canyon Road, segments of Bollinger Canyon Road, and segments of San Ramon Valley Road.

Mr. Riggs asked if it is possible that if increasing the speed limit on some streets would ultimately lead to traffic mitigation on certain intersections. Mrs. Dhoot stated that is not necessary because this would be the prevailing speed that drivers are comfortable with while traveling on the roadway. Mrs. Dhoot stated that she found increasing the speed limit does not mean that people will start traveling at a speed higher than the new posted sign.  The new speed limit would actually reinforce people to comply with the speed limit because citations will now be issued if they do not.

Mr. Riggs stated that when the Alcosta Boulevard Study was conducted twenty years ago, it was the desire of the committee to increase the speed limit to reflect the 85th percentile; however homeowners with frontages on Alcosta Boulevard attended the public hearings, and were against setting the speed limit at 85th percentile.

Chair Rathmann stated that he can see potential problems arising from residents who are opposed to the speed limit change, and see that the speed has been changed without them receiving any notification.

Ms. Bobadilla stated that staff often hears from residents asking why no one is enforcing the speed, and that Police Officers cannot enforce it if there isn’t a valid speed survey. The Police Department can issue citations on streets without valid speed surveys; however if someone fights the ticket and the judge asks for a valid speed survey, they will see that the speed survey is invalid and the ticket can be rescinded.

Commissioner Benedetti asked if there are a lot of streets in San Ramon that do not have valid speed surveys. Ms. Bobadilla stated that a majority of the streets in San Ramon have valid speed surveys.

Mrs. Dhoot stated that people typically drive within the 85th percentile of the posted speed limit based on field surveys. Mrs. Dhoot stated that the prevailing speed should be what you set the speed limit at. Chair Rathmann and Commissioner Benedetti agreed with the statement.

Chair Rathmann asked how many places along the roadway staff has to survey. Mrs. Dhoot stated that staff determines that based on roadway geometry.

Commissioner Benedetti asked if you have a speed survey that tells you what the speed limit ought to be, what does City Council decide, since public can’t sway the speed survey. Ms. Bobadilla responded that it is standard practice as defined by the California Vehicle Code and the City Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Riggs stated that this is important to have valid speed surveys so that the Police Department has strong legal footing to enforce traffic violations.

Chair Rathmann moved onto Unfinished Business.

5.          UNFINISHED BUSINESS

5.1 Public Transit Status Report

a. New Bus Stop Tahiti Drive

Mrs. Dhoot reported on the item. She stated that she received a request from a resident living along Tahiti Drive requesting a new bus stop for Route 622, which is the afternoon service for California High School.  Mrs. Dhoot stated that there are a few students who take the bus near the proposed bus stop, and the nearest stop is on Canyon Crest Avenue or near Iron Horse Middle School, which is very far away for the students. The resident requested to re-route the bus to stop near Tahiti Drive. Mrs. Dhoot stated that practice runs were conducted, and the route coincides with the bus connections. County Connection held a public hearing on February 16, 2012. Ms. Bobadilla stressed the importance of notifying the residents around the area of the new bus stop, so at the next scheduled TAC meeting a public hearing will be held.

Questions/Comments

Chair Rathmann asked if the bus would stop on Tahiti Drive then rejoin the route on Crow Canyon Road. Ms. Bobadilla replied it would, and the stop would be in front of a community swimming pool; rather than in front of a home.

Mr. Riggs asked how many students are taking the bus. Ms. Bobadilla stated that staff is aware of three students. Mr. Riggs asked if there will be a covered bus stop. Ms. Bobadilla stated that staff is not proposing a transit shelter, rather just a stop.

Chair Rathmann moved on to the next agenda item.


5.2 Active Residential Traffic Calming Streets Status Report

Mrs. Dhoot reported on the item.

North Monarch Road: Mrs. Dhoot stated that North Monarch Road begins on Dougherty Road, the roadway travels uphill then begins its descent downhill towards Bollinger Canyon Road. Mrs. Dhoot stated that she received a request from a resident asking if a four way stop sign could be installed on North Monarch Road and Asterbell Road, as well as on North Monarch Road and Feathermint Drive to slow down speeding and cut through traffic. Mrs. Dhoot stated a traffic count, and a Stop Sign Warrant Analysis was completed, and it did not meet the criteria for installing a stop sign at both intersections. Mrs. Dhoot stated that traffic coming out of side streets is minor, since there are multiple ways of entry into the housing communities along the roadway. Mrs. Dhoot stated that a Radar Speed Display Sign is permanently mounted on North Monarch Road; the Radar Speed Display Sign shows that people are for the most part complying with the speed limit. The speed limit is 40mph, and the 85th percentile is 42mph with an average speed of 39mph. Mrs. Dhoot met with the resident, and explained that it did not meet the criteria for a stop sign, and stated that staff recently installed fluorescent pedestrian crossing signage on North Monarch Road near Asterbell Drive and Japonica Way. The resident asked Mrs. Dhoot if it’s possible to put different speed limits on different portions of the roadway. Mrs. Dhoot explained the residents concern to the Police Department, and the response was that it would be difficult to issue out citations on micro-segmented roads since the distance would only be about 400ft apart. Mike Talley, Senior Traffic Engineer, also commented that if staff applied micro-segmented roadway speed limits to the rest of the City, it would not be feasible. Mrs. Dhoot stated that she will report Engineering’s and the Police Department’s comments to the resident.

Questions/Comments

Chair Rathmann asked if the resident is suggesting different speed limits on downhill sections, and uphill sections. Mrs. Dhoot replied, yes but his overall concern was to lower the speed limit.

Commissioner Benedetti asked what the resident’s request was, and Mrs. Dhoot replied that it was to reduce cut-through traffic and speeding.

Mr. Schniegenberg commented about how it is difficult for homeowners living at the Bridges community to access the Safeway shopping center from Dougherty Road. Residents complain about having to take a U-turn on Bollinger Canyon Road, and usually take North Monarch Road to Wedgewood Road as a cut-through to the shopping center. He said that there should be a left on Dougherty Road in the center median to go into the shopping center.

Chair Rathmann stated that a lot of traffic would come through from Dougherty Road once it opens up, so oncoming traffic would be an issue if the left turn was installed.

Ms. Bobadilla stated that staff will locate the traffic study conducted by Contra Costa County, and then follow up with Traffic Engineering.

Mr. Riggs stated that that the ingress in the shopping center has a very steep grade. He stated that once you enter the shopping center there is a stop sign, so there would be a lot of back-up traffic onto Dougherty Road which may pose an issue.

Chair Rathmann moved on to Committee Member Items.

6.         COMMITTEE MEMBER ITEMS

6.1       Committee Member Items

Mrs. Harris asked if there was an update on the request Harvey Riggs brought up to add a sidewalk near the San Ramon Regional Hospital for pedestrian connectivity. Ms. Bobadilla stated that she will follow-up with Engineering Department staff to get an update.

6.2       City Council Liaison Items

None.

6.3       Planning Commission Liaison Items

Commissioner Jeanne Benedetti stated that there are two items of interest on the upcoming Planning Commission agenda. Commissioner Benedetti stated that Ordinance 197 of the Protection of Hillside Creek Ridgeline set forth by the failure of Measure W is under review, and staff is currently amending the ordinance.

The state of California passed SB2, to have usage by right for homeless shelters within the city, which San Ramon does not have currently. Commissioner Benedetti stated that there are restrictions on the homeless shelter, but the state is requiring all jurisdictions to have at least one property where a homeless shelter can be located.

Mr. Riggs asked if this was a part of the Housing Element. Commissioner Benedetti stated that it will be included as part of the Housing Element.

6.4       Teen Council Liaison

None.

7.         ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:35 p.m.  The next Transportation Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for February 16, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Conference Room.

 

 

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