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TCC Minutes February 5, 2001

MINUTES

TRANSPORTATION AND CIRCULATION COMMISSION

City Council Chambers---------City Hall
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2001 - - - - - 4:00 P. M.

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT:
Vince Buck
J. Michael Cochran
Sean Francis
Edward Ginter, Vice-Chairman
Brent Hardwick
Patrick Robeson
COMMISSIONER ABSENT:
LeAnn French, Chairperson
STAFF PRESENT:
Bob Hodson, Director of Engineering
Mark Miller, City Traffic Engineer
Teri Carlson, Sr. Traffic Engineering Aide
Lieutenant Greg Mayes, Fullerton PD
Stacy Matsumoto, Recording Secretary

CALL TO ORDER:

Vice-Chairman Ginter called the regular meeting of the Transportation &Circulation Commission to order at 4:00 p.m.

MINUTES:

Commissioner Hardwick made a motion to approve the December 4, 2000 minutes. Commissioner Buck seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN AND VICE-CHAIRMAN

Commissioner Hardwick nominated Vice-Chairman Ginter for Chairman. Commissioner Buck seconded. Commissioner Buck nominated Commissioner Francis for Vice-Chairman. Vice-Chairman Ginter seconded, and the vote was unanimous

NEW BUSINESS

1. CONSIDERATION OF A REQUEST TO INSTALL 25 FEET OF BLUE CURB (DISABLED PARKING) IN FRONT OF 2024 EAST COMMONWEALTH AVENUE

City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that Mrs. Dorothy Burnstein, property owner at 2024 East Commonwealth Avenue, requested 25 feet of blue curb in front of her property. Mrs. Burnstein requested this on behalf of her tenant who has a permanently disabled child. The location of the blue curb meets the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and will provide her tenant with a more convenient location to park. Staff recommended that approximately 25 feet of curb be designated as disabled parking in front of 2024 East Commonwealth Avenue.

Commissioner Buck asked if the City had a policy in reviewing blue curbs after they have been installed.

Mr. Miller stated that the City's policy is to contact residents for preferred locations before installation. Generally, residents have contacted the City when a blue curb needs to be removed.

The Chairman asked if staff had received any objections. Mr. Miller stated that staff had not received any objections.

Public comment was opened.

Karen Ruhle, 2024 East Commonwealth Avenue stated that it was difficult to find a place to park, as there is an apartment complex and a soccer field, both utilizing available on-street parking. Her son is confined to a wheelchair, and she asked for support of the request so they could load and unload their son and his medical equipment.

Public comment was closed.

Commissioner Hardwick made a motion to accept staff's recommendation to install 25 feet of blue curb in front of 2024 East Commonwealth Avenue. The Chairman seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

AYES: Buck, Cochran, Francis, Ginter, Hardwick, and Robeson
ABSENT: French

2. CONSIDERATION OF A CITY COUNCIL DIRECTIVE TO INSTALL TWO STOP SIGNS ON DOROTHY LANE BETWEEN LONGVIEW DRIVE AND ACACIA AVENUE

Commissioner Robeson did not participate in discussion of Item No. 2 because of a potential conflict of interest due to his residency on Dorothy Lane.

City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that on December 19, 2000, the City Council referred this item back to the Transportation &Circulation Commission to determine the location for two stop signs between Longview Drive and Acacia Avenue, and to find out if the residents at those intersections approved or disapproved of different types of traffic control devices. Following that meeting, staff conducted a poll of the residents' opinion to find out if they were opposed or unopposed to the installation of stop signs. Staff conducted several polls to receive as many responses as possible.

  • Lincoln Avenue - 2 opposed, 2 unopposed
  • Kroeger Avenue - 3 opposed, 1 unopposed, 1 no response
  • Cornell Avenue - 4 opposed, 1 unopposed
  • Stanford Avenue - 2 opposed, 1 unopposed, 1 no response
  • Hollydale Drive - 2 opposed, 1 unopposed, 4 no response
  • Riedel Avenue - 2 opposed, 2 unopposed
  • Oakdale Avenue - 4 opposed, 2 no response
  • Ferndale Avenue - 2 opposed, 1 unopposed, 1 no response
  • Lindendale Avenue - 2 opposed, 2 unopposed
  • Riverside Drive - 1 opposed, 2 no response

Staff recommended installation of stop signs at a three-legged intersection and a four-legged intersection; Dorothy Lane and Cornell Avenue, and Riedel Avenue. This was based on the intersections that would have the least negative impact, the direction given by the City Council, and the residents' responses. Staff still maintains its position that Dorothy Lane is operating according to its design standards as a local collector street with vehicle speeds and volumes within acceptable limits.

Commissioner Buck asked if any parking would be taken away with the installation of stop signs.

Mr. Miller stated that there is existing red curb at Riedel Avenue and there will be minimum parking taken away on Dorothy Lane at Cornell Avenue.

The Chairman asked if the two streets that were selected were equidistance between existing stop signs on Dorothy Lane between Longview Drive and Raymond Avenue. Mr. Miller stated that they were not equidistance but these intersections are the most acceptable.

Commissioner Buck asked is these two stop signs were the closest to the halfway point.

Mr. Miller stated that Kroeger Avenue or Cornell Avenue were blocks closest to the halfway point. Kroeger Avenue was the most inconvenient and would cause the most disruption to the residents. Cornell Avenue was the least disruptive, better driveway location, and the residents were equally opposed as unopposed. Ferndale Avenue is the second halfway point and staff did not receive any responses from those residents. The way that the street was configured with a high point, driver visibility, and driveway locations, a four-legged intersection would be the best place for a stop sign but it is not the halfway point.

The Chairman asked if the residents that responded did not want a stop sign in front of their residence or a stop sign at all.

Mr. Miller stated that the reaction of most of the residents were they did not want a stop sign in front of their residence because they did not want vehicles stopping in front of their homes, the noise, and the pollution.

Commissioner Hardwick asked what was the reason for installing the stop signs.

Mr. Miller stated that the City Council directed staff.

Commissioner Buck stated that he thought that stop signs might slow or reduce traffic. Commissioner Francis asked if the stop signs were a traffic-calming device. Commissioner Hardwick stated that stop signs are only designed to assign the right of way and not designed to discourage the amount of traffic on the street or control the speed of vehicles on the street. The Chairman stated that the Commission has precedence for installing stop signs.

Mr. Miller stated that stop signs are generally not considered traffic calming devices. The City Council has set precedence for installing stop signs.

Commissioner Buck asked if those were the reasons for the stop signs on Las Palmas Drive.

Director of Engineering Hodson stated that staff does not have enough data on volume because the predominant volume was cut-through traffic for Hughes Aircraft which the company has downsized to one tenth of their volume. Staff has not been able to conduct studies showing that the volume decreased because the stop signs were installed.

The Chairman stated that in December, Councilman Bankhead made an observation that when stop signs were installed on Las Palmas Drive east of Harbor Boulevard, the cut-through traffic moved to Hermosa Drive so stop signs were installed to discourage the cut-through traffic. The Chairman stated that stop signs must have been effective to some extent.

Director of Engineering Hodson stated that the volumes decreased and Hughes Aircraft downsized.

Commissioner Hardwick stated that as a traffic engineering principal, stop signs are not seen as the device to control speed or volume but designed to assign right-of-way.

Public comment was opened.

Kathy Goodmill, 806 East Harmony Lane was opposed to the stop sign at Cornell Avenue.
Sandy Printy, 1006 North Yale Avenue was opposed to stop signs.
Kim Guth, 1025 North Yale Avenue suggested to the Commission to recommend yeah or nay on stop signs to the City Council and make a decision.
Greg Schulz, 1125 Kroeger Avenue was opposed to any stop signs on Dorothy Lane.
Stewart Semple, 1200 Longview Drive was in favor of installing stop signs.
Marion Cathers, 1230 East Dorothy Lane was in favor of installing stop signs.
Lloyd McFarlane, 807 East Dorothy Lane was in favor of installing stop signs.
Norman Kalson, 1106 North Cornell Avenue was opposed to stop signs.
Ken Wright, 712 Dorothy Lane was in favor of any traffic calming.
Terence Carey, 1431 East Dorothy Lane was in favor of stop signs.

Public comment was closed.

Commissioner Hardwick stated that he would support stop signs only because it was ordered by the City Council but felt that traffic circles were the best solution.

The Chairman stated that he did not see it as an order by the City Council because the City Council had decided on two stop signs and directed T&CC to establish their locations.

Director of Engineering Hodson stated that the directive from the City Council was to determine the best locations for stop signs. The City Council has not formerly approved stop signs.

Commissioner Francis supported installing stop signs and would support traffic circles.

Commissioner Cochran stated that he would support stop signs and stated that the traffic circles would be the best solution for what the residents want and would like this issue to be brought back to the Commission.

Commissioner Buck stated that he voted for stop signs the last time but does not know if it was a good vote and did not know if he would vote for them again. He did not have a problem making the recommendation that the City Council is asking. He favored traffic circles but did not favor the width of the traffic circles.

The Chairman stated that he made the original motion for stop signs and he did not see the negative aspect of the stop signs other than the fact that they are not according to the California standards for their purpose. They are inexpensive to implement, can be installed quickly, and we have adequate precedence in the City for their use as quasi traffic calming devices. The Chairman observed that the stop signs would affect adversely the fewest number of citizens and is unfortunate that we will not make everyone happy. He supported the locations that the City Traffic Engineer had recommend.

Commissioner Hardwick moved to accept staff's recommendation on the locations of the stop signs at Riedel Avenue and Cornell Avenue. Commissioner Francis seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Hardwick moved to reaffirm the Commission's original recommendation to City Council for two traffic circles as the first and best solution to traffic calming on Dorothy Lane. Commissioner Francis seconded. The motion passed.

AYES: Cochran, Francis, and Hardwick
NOES: Buck, Ginter

Commissioner Buck amended the motion for traffic circles to be no larger than 10 feet wide. The amendment failed.

3. CONSIDERATION OF A REQUEST FOR A TRAFFIC SIGNAL AT RAYMOND AVENUE AND BURTON STREET

City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that Ms. Ann Rogers, Amtrend Corporation, 1458 Manhattan Avenue, Fullerton requested to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Raymond Avenue and Burton Way. Ms. Rogers expressed concern for driver safety when exiting Burton Street onto Raymond Avenue due to heavy traffic volume. She also stated that with the addition of the commercial shipping company on the west side of Raymond Avenue located in the City of Anaheim, there would be heavy congestion.

A traffic study was conducted and warrants were not met to justify an installation of a traffic signal. According to the City records, there were no reported accidents in the past 12 months that were susceptible to correction by installing a traffic signal. A traffic signal is intended to assign the right-of-way. When traffic signals are installed, they tend to increase rear-end accidents. There is adequate sight distance and signage for vehicles exiting Burton Way onto Raymond Avenue. Mr. Miller stated that this intersection is in close proximity to a railroad crossing and the 91 Freeway. Staff did not recommend installing a traffic signal at this time but recommended to revisit this item in 12 months or when the building on the west side of Raymond Avenue was completed.

Commissioner Hardwick asked if there was a large center section on Raymond Avenue. He also asked if the volumes increased for commercial use and a traffic signal was justified, what kind of commitment would the City of Anaheim make?

Mr. Miller stated that there was a two-way left turn pocket that you can turn into before merging into traffic.

Director of Engineering Hodson stated if both cities agree that the signal is needed in the future, then we would ask the City of Anaheim to pay 50 percent.

Commissioner Cochran asked Mr. Miller if a signal was installed at Burton Way could he foresee the northbound traffic exiting the freeway becoming very heavy.

Mr. Miller stated that this intersection could become very heavy with congestion. The City would have to work with Caltrans to coordinate the signals.

Chairman Ginter asked if a year from now would this intersection satisfy a pedestrian warrant. The Chairman asked if this warrant would be waived because this neighborhood is not conducive to foot traffic.

Mr. Miller stated that he did not see a big change in the area and that the pedestrian warrant not be warranted. Mr. Miller stated that at this point in time, he did not feel that a signal is warranted even with one traffic warrant being met.

Commissioner Buck stated that the left turn lane onto the eastbound 91 Freeway timing in inadequate which backs traffic as far back as Orangefair Avenue. Commissioner Buck asked if the City has talked to Caltrans on improving that signal.

Mr. Miller stated that a right turn pocket was never designed to go westbound onto the freeway. There are also short distances between the ramps, short left turn pockets, and truck traffic.

Director of Engineering Hodson stated that under the Measure M Project, three interchanges were going to be widened. Euclid Street was funded this year and Brookhurst Road will be funded next year through the Measure M funds. The City of Anaheim was able to receive funds for St. College Boulevard but the City of Fullerton does not share in that intersection due to the city boundary being to the north. The City of Fullerton did support this. The City of Anaheim has submitted Raymond Avenue for the past three calls for projects and the last time Raymond Avenue was funded through the Regional Interchange Program. The plan will widen the roadway under the freeway and install a right turn lane. The funding for this project is three to four years away.

Chairman Ginter asked if a four-way stop would benefit or hinder the situation.

Mr. Miller stated that a four-way stop would be a much greater hindrance, which might cause severe accidents. People traveling southbound will look at the signal light beyond the stop sign and go right through the stop sign.

Commissioner Robeson asked if the eastbound entrance to the 91 Freeway was backed up all the way back to the railroad tracks. Commissioner Robeson asked the number of guests the Four Points Sheraton Hotel has each day.

Mr. Miller did not know the answer.

Public comment was opened.

Donna Guffman, Director of Catering and Sales stated that the previous hotel had a low occupancy and today there is eight times that occupancy. Employees have to leave and return the premises three to four times a day. It is difficult to make a left-hand turn. The hotel is also losing revenue. Ms. Guffman pointed out that Alberton's is bringing in a training facility on Manhattan Avenue, which will be bringing in an extra couple hundred people.

Aida Al Lamont, Four Points Sheraton Hotel employee spoke on her concern for traffic safety with all the big trucks.

Roy McCormick, General Manager of Amtrend Corporation stated that it is very difficult to make a left hand turn onto Raymond Avenue from Burton Way. He would like something done to relieve the congestion.

June Locke, Four Points Sheraton Hotel shuttle driver stated that she has a difficult time turning left onto Raymond Avenue from Burton Way. Trucks often block the center divider making it difficult for her to maneuver her bus without blocking traffic. Cars exiting the freeway do not stop at the signal. Ms. Locke stated that she had a petition with 300 hundred signatures for a traffic signal.

Public comment was closed.

Commissioner Francis suggested that for a fee you could have the police department assist in directing traffic when a large function at the hotel dismisses.

Commissioner Cochran stated that his concern for installing a traffic signal was backing the traffic getting onto or exiting the freeway. A signal may help the cars exiting Burton Way but may add congestion on the freeway.

Commissioner Francis asked if the reason for revisiting this in 12 months was that staff was considering a signal in the future and the anticipated date for the new business.

Mr. Miller stated it is possible that the new land use would condition a signal based upon the vehicles not being able to exit from Burton Way. The anticipated opening date was 8 months away.

Commissioner Robeson stated that with the increase in business at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel and all the new businesses coming in, the problem would escalate and something will have to be done.

Mr. Miller stated that the intersection of Manhattan Avenue and Orangethorpe Avenue might be a location for a signal.

Commissioner Francis moved to deny the request for installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of Raymond Avenue and Burton Way, and study the traffic warrants at Manhattan Avenue and Orangethorpe Avenue. Commissioner Hardwick seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

AYES: Buck, Cochran, Francis, Ginter, Hardwick, and Robeson
ABSENT: French

4. PRESENTATION ON RED LIGHT CAMERA ENFORCEMENT

Bob Young of Nestor Traffic Systems, Inc. presented the Red Light Camera Enforcement Program. The purpose of this system is to modify driver behavior. The number of red light violators has increased, and intersection collisions have increased by 19% between 1992 and 1997.

The red light camera program has been in existence in Europe for over 30 years, using a 35mm camera and loops in the road. The loops are at the entrance of the intersection and when a car violates the red light, a photograph is taken of the car. The difficulties with the loops are that you have to tear up the roads to put in the loops, the photographs are typically taken from the front, and 15 - 20% of the cars do not have front license plates.

Nestor Traffic Systems, Inc. uses full motion video cameras to monitor the cars and capture violations. Nestor uses a computer that watches the video cameras. When a violation occurs, the camera records the front of the vehicles, rotates around, and records the rear, and the overview camera captures the driver's view. When the light is green, the cameras are always monitoring the traffic. When the light turns yellow, the rear camera starts recording to capture the driver's perspective. Based on the speed of the vehicle and its position before the stop bar, it can be predicted that a driver will not stop at the red light. A signal is sent to the controller at the intersection telling it that the violator gets the red light but the cross traffic will not receive an immediate green light because a signal is sent to the controller to put in additional red light time in all directions.

Commissioner Francis asked if the system is videotaping and an accident occurs, could this be used in court. Mr. Young stated that the evidence belongs to the City.

Twelve states have enabling legislation to allow for red light enforcement. Three states are driver liability and the other nine are owner liability.

Commissioner Robeson asked if there was a privacy issue. Mr. Young stated that the passenger is not shown.

Commissioner Francis asked if a judge has ever thrown out any of these tickets. Mr. Young stated that three tickets were thrown out, but no one has contested the technology.

Lieutenant Mayes stated issues that will concern the Commissioners are if someone raises the issue of foundation, i.e., the date and time the violation occurred, and unless a company expert testifies to the fact that these cameras are pinged at a certain interval and that time and date are recorded, the court will throw out the ticket because the officer will not be able to testify due to lack of foundation. This issue is subject to review and change in the legislation, but if at the end of the year a citation is not resolved by payment, it is administratively waived and liability for that citation no longer exists. California is driver responsible, and it has to be proven that the driver was the one who violated the section.

Mr. Young stated that in the legislation, a City needs to put in signage at the boundaries of the City or at the approaches to the intersection and a City must have a public awareness campaign.

Nestor Traffic Systems installs, maintains, and does all the processing of the system. The citation in California is $271. Typically, the City receives approximately $41, the State and County receives $130, and Nestor receives $100.

Commissioner Francis asked if there are other companies as sophisticated.

Mr. Young stated that there are three main vendors in the industry. Lockheed Martin uses wet films, 35mm cameras, and loops in the road; Redflex uses digital still cameras and loops in the road; and Nestor Traffic Systems uses full motion videos to capture and record.

Director of Engineering Hodson stated that it is staff's opinion that this system best suits the needs of the City.

Commissioner Robeson asked the opinion of the Fullerton Police Department. Lieutenant Mayes stated that there are pros and cons to photo enforcements, but the Police Department does not make a particular stand on either side.

The Chairman asked about the reliability of the mechanical aspect of the swiveling camera. Mr. Young stated that Nestor pings the intersection every 15 minutes because they are electronic and telephone wires are used to communicate the violations.

Commissioner Hardwick made a motion for Nestor Traffic Systems, Inc. to make a presentation to the City Council. Commissioner Robeson seconded. The motion passed.

AYES: Cochran, Francis, Ginter, Hardwick, and Robeson
ABSTENTION: Buck
ABSENT: French

COUNCIL REVIEW

Director of Engineering Hodson stated that LeAnn French has requested a three-month leave of absence due to medical issues.

Chairman Ginter pointed out that the commissioners should have received a schedule regarding the Parking Review dates.

Chairman Ginter asked if the Transportation & Circulation Commission would be involved in any actions involving the Parking District #2 for the new construction.

Director of Engineering Hodson stated that this relates to the Morgan Project and will involve T&CC regarding the change in the parking configuration in a few months. The project has already been approved with the new parking configuration but the problem is the removal of 33 spaces within the parking district. Staff would like to recommend that those spaces be moved in theory into the parking structure because there is available parking that has not been designated as parking district. A public hearing is needed to do that. If this is approved, then the parking spaces provided on the first level are not encumbered by a parking district they are considered public parking which has a different set of criterias.

Chairman Ginter asked if the traffic signals being installed on Highland Avenue and Walnut Avenue follow the same type of warrant analysis.

Director of Engineering Hodson stated that there were different issues. The City decided to continue Walnut Avenue all the way through due to truck traffic, a traffic signal was the most economical way, and it was more of a community interest.

Commissioner Buck asked when the overnight parking permit item be brought to the Commission.

Director of Engineering Hodson stated that item would be scheduled for next month.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 7:10 p.m. until the next scheduled meeting.

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