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San Ramon LogoTransportation Advisory Committee

MINUTES

September 19, 2013

Community Conference Room
2401 Crow Canyon Road, San Ramon

 

1.         CALL TO ORDER

Committee Members Attending:       Victoria Harris, Mark Ballock, Harvey Riggs, Robert DuPont, and Bijal Patel.

Committee Members Absent:          Ed Boyan.

Council Members Attending:          None.

Planning Commission Liaison:          None.

Teen Council Liaison:                    Shalaka Phadnis.

Guests Attending:                         None.

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

Chair Victoria Harris called the meeting to order at 6:30pm.

2.         REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES

M/S/C/U (DuPont/Riggs) to approve the August 15, 2013 as written (4-0). Bijal Patel was not present for this item.

3.          PUBLIC COMMENT

None.

4.          NEW BUSINESS

Lisa Bobadilla, Transportation Division Manager, introduced new Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) Teen Council Liaison, Shalaka Phadnis. Ms. Phadnis stated that she is a junior at California High School, and has learned about the committee from Mischa Fritz, previous Teen Council Liaison to the TAC.

The TAC members and staff introduced themselves to Ms. Phadnis.

4.1       TRAFFIX School Year 2013-2014 Fall Campaign

Elaine Cortez-Schroth, TRAFFIX Program Manager, provided the presentation. She stated that TRAFFIX is a traffic congestion relief program that provides bus service in the San Ramon Valley. Funding for the program is provided through the Contra Costa Measure J half-cent sales tax program, Bay Area Quality Management (BAAQMD) Transportation Fund for Clean Air (TFCA), and parent contributions. TRAFFIX is a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) made up of the City of San Ramon, Town of Danville, San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD), and Contra Costa County. Ms. Schroth stated that the TRAFFIX program has been successful at alleviating congestion in the San Ramon Valley, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Ms. Schroth stated that TRAFFIX entered its fifth year of service for School Year (SY) 2013-2014, and that 1300 passes have been sold to date; in San Ramon 478 passes were sold. Fehr and Peers transportation engineering consultants conducted a Valley-Wide Traffic Analysis to determine TRAFFIX impact at reducing congestion, and the study showed that it has helped improve intersections that were operating at unacceptable levels of service. The study also surveyed Dougherty Valley intersections, and intersections approaching school sites were at acceptable levels of service.  Ms. Schroth stated that TRAFFIX will embark on a route planning study, which will provide input on route planning for SY 2014-2015 to improve ridership for the program.

Questions/Comments

Harvey Riggs asked if the sequences for the buses are based on school bell times. Ms. Schroth replied yes. Mr. Riggs asked if TRAFFIX is running on optimized size buses. Ms. Schroth stated that all buses are the same size, and can seat 85 elementary school students, and 72 middle school students.

Chair Harris asked if it will be easier in the future to secure funding for the TRAFFIX program with the analysis that was conducted. Ms. Bobadilla stated that funding for the program is secured until 2034, through the Measure J half-cent sales tax.

Chair Harris moved onto the next item.

4.2       San Ramon Valley Street Smarts School Year 2013-2014 Fall Campaign

Cathy DeLuca, Street Smarts Program Coordinator, provided the presentation. Ms. DeLuca provided handouts to the TAC with detailed information regarding the fall campaign.

Community Outreach:  Ms. DeLuca stated that during the summer, Street Smarts staff attended concerts in San Ramon and Danville; teaching community members about the Street Smarts program. Ms. DeLuca stated that it was great way to reinforce traffic safety techniques to parents and children.

Storybook Poster Contest: Ms. DeLuca stated that every year a local author writes a story about a particular traffic safety theme. The story is given to elementary schools, and the children are to draw a picture for the particular page in the book. Students compete to have their artwork featured in the traffic safety themed storybook written by local author Dana Mentink.

“Be Reel!” Video Contest: In the valley-wide competition, middle school students work in teams of up to four students to create a 60-second Public Service Announcement (PSA) that focus on traffic-safety issues. The Fall traffic safety theme is “Teach Your Parent to be Street Smart.”

“It Happens” Campaign: The “It Happens” is the high school program. It is an interactive campaign created by Street Smarts that engages teens to learn about driving safety based on their own experiences on the road as a driver or passenger. Ms. DeLuca stated that their activities range from utilizing drunk goggles, displaying a badly wrecked vehicle on campus, and an advertising campaign. The contest is an advertising contest based on traffic safety (bicycling, walking, driving, etc.). Ms. DeLuca displayed the winning posters to the committee members, and stated that the advertisements will be posted throughout the San Ramon Valley. In light of the recent vehicular collision that resulted in the death of a San Ramon Valley High School student, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has been in touch with the Street Smarts Program to collaborate the CHP Start Smart Program with the San Ramon Valley Street Smarts Program.  The CHP Start Smart Program is a two hour program for new drivers and their parents, the program discusses driving safety and the consequences of bad driving techniques. Ms. Bobadilla stated that the SRVUSD, Contra Costa County, City of San Ramon, and the Town of Danville are collaborating together with CHP on promoting the program to the community.

Safe Routes to School: Ms. Deluca provided the schedule for the Fall Campaign. Street Smarts will be hosting twenty assemblies this fall at a total of 9 elementary schools. San Ramon Police officers also attend the events, and promote traffic safety to the students.

Media Kick-Off Event: The annual Street Smarts Media Kick-Off is on Thursday September 26, 2013. Vice Chair Ballock will be speaking at the event about bicycle and helmet safety.  San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson will also be speaking at the event. Ms. DeLuca stated that the “It Happens” advertisements will be unveiled, and information regarding the Street Smarts program.

Questions/Comments:

Bob DuPont stated that the “wrecked car” that is displayed at the high schools for the “It Happens” campaign will have a profound impact on students who see it.

Ms. DeLuca stated that viewing the wrecked car sends the message home to students.

Bijal Patel asked if the program promotes helmet safety to children who skateboard or scooter. Ms. DeLuca stated that the program reinforces helmet safety by use of bicycle, scooter, skateboards, roller blades, etc.

Vice Chair Ballock stated that bicycle lane safety should also be promoted with both the Street Smart and Start Smart programs.

Chair Harris stated that she approves of the advertisements, and that it is great to see the program expand.

4.3       Safe Routes to School Grant Application

Ms. Bobadilla stated that the Contra Costa County Transportation Authority (CCTA) is the congestion management agency for Contra Costa County. She stated that CCTA, on behalf of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), will implement federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funding. CCTA will receive the Contra Costa County share of the federal SRTS funding, and will distribute funding to all 20 cities and towns in Contra Costa County. In Southwest Contra Costa County there is $704,600 available, from that share the funding is broken down by the number of school sites, enrollment data, etc. San Ramon’s share of that funding totals $247,325, and the grant application was submitted to MTC and CCTA. City Council passed a resolution authorizing matching funds for the grant program. The funds must be applied to enhance infrastructure including in roadway lights, flashing beacons, in-pavement flashers, and traffic signal hardware at or around school sites. Staff has identified five intersections:

  • Windemere Parkway and Holborn Way near Hidden Hills Elementary School;
  • Windemere Parkway and Kearny Way near Hidden Hills Elementary School;
  • Harcourt Way and Craiglee Drive near Hidden Hills Elementary School;
  • Talavera Drive at Cardona Circle (south) near Bollinger Canyon Elementary School;
  • Alcosta Blvd at Fire Station No. 34 south driveway near Iron Horse Middle School.
Ms. Bobadilla stated that funds should be collected in the next few months, and construction may begin in Spring 2014. The funding will be included in the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and the Engineering Services Department will oversee the construction.

Questions/Comments

Mr. Riggs asked if MTC provides the matching funds. Ms. Bobadilla stated that the local jurisdiction must provide matching funds in order to be eligible to receive funding.

Ms. Patel asked what the percentage of the funding Contra Costa County will be receiving. Ms. Bobadilla stated that Contra Costa County should receive $3.289 million.  

Ms. Phadnis asked if there are any conditions attached to receiving funding. Ms. Bobadilla stated that the funds must be used for school site infrastructure improvements.

Chair Harris moved on to Unfinished Business.

5.         UNFINISHED BUSINESS

5.1       Safe Routes to School Annual Report - Status Update

PJ Dhoot, Transportation Specialist, provided the update. The SRTS report was presented to City Council on September 10, 2013, and was approved. City Council asked several questions about the success of previous year’s recommendations.

For one, the Council asked about the cost and benefit of the “In-Crosswalk Pedestrian Crossing” signs. Ms. Dhoot stated that these signs are highly visible and effective, yet replaced frequently. She is working with Mike Talley, Senior Traffic Engineer, to design measures that will prolong the life of the signs.

City Council also asked about the success of the “one-way circulation” at Hidden Hills and Bollinger Canyon Elementary Schools. Ms. Dhoot responded that the circulation has been widely accepted by school-site staff and parents as effective and that she plans to implement the one-way circulation at other school sites in the coming year.

Chair Harris moved on to the next item.

5.2       Active Residential Traffic Calming (RTC) Streets Status Report

Ms. Dhoot provided the update.

Alcosta Frontage Road: Ms. Dhoot stated that a letter was sent to residents along Alcosta Blvd. advising residents in the vicinity not to make U-turns along the frontage road.

Bollinger Canyon Road at Marsh Drive: Ms. Dhoot received a request to address pedestrian crossing at the intersection during commute times and Twin Creeks Elementary School bell times. Ms. Dhoot stated that rose bushes were recently planted in the median, covering a yield to pedestrian sign. Ms. Dhoot stated that the rose bush was trimmed very short to alleviate the problem. Ms. Dhoot stated that the next steps are to conduct selective enforcement during school bell times, consider replacing rose bushes in center median, and provide enhance crosswalk education as part of the Street Smarts program.

Questions/Comments

Chair Harris asked if any resident responded to the letter regarding no U-turns along Alcosta Blvd. Ms. Dhoot stated that she has not received comments. Chair Harris moved onto Committee Member Items.

6.         COMMITTEE MEMBER ITEMS

6.1       Committee Member Items

Mr. Riggs stated that the new stop signs that have been installed in the city are nice. Ms. Dhoot stated that these are the new signs as listed in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and they are highly reflective.

Chair Harris stated that there is a new inflatable bike helmet, which inflates on impact. Vice Chair Ballock stated that he can see problems with using the helmets, but the concept is interesting.

6.2       City Council Liaison Items

None.

6.3       Planning Commission Liaison Items

None.

6.4       Teen Council Liaison

Ms. Phadnis stated that she is excited to share what she learned about the TAC to Teen Council.

7.         ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:40p.m.  The next Transportation Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for November 21, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Conference Room.


 

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