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TCC Minutes May 6, 2002

MINUTES

TRANSPORTATION AND CIRCULATION COMMISSION

City Council Chambers---------City Hall
MONDAY, MAY 6, 2002 - - - - - 4:00 P. M.

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT:
Vince Buck
J. Michael Cochran, Vice Chairman
Edward Ginter
Brent Hardwick
Sean Francis, Chairman
Patrick Robeson
COMMISSIONERS ABSENT:
LeAnn French
STAFF PRESENT:
Robert Hodson, Director of Engineering
Mark Miller, City Traffic Engineer
Dave Langstaff, Traffic Engineering Technician II
Teri Carlson, Senior Traffic Engineering Aide
Lt. Greg Mays, Police Department
Amy Inzunza, Recording Secretary

CALL TO ORDER:

Chairman Francis called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.

MINUTES:

Commissioner Ginter made a motion to accept the April 1, 2002 minutes. Chairman Francis seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS

1. CONSIDERATION OF A REQUEST TO INSTALL 25-FEET OF BLUE CURB (DISABLED PERSONS PARKING) ON THE EAST SIDE OF RICHMAN AVENUE BETWEEN VALENCIA AVENUE AND THE EAST/WEST ALLEY SOUTH OF VALENCIA DRIVE.

Mark Miller, City Traffic Engineer, presented the staff report to install 25-feet of blue curb (disabled persons parking) on the east side of Richman Avenue between Valencia Avenue and the east/west alley south of Valencia Drive. Heinrich Woebken, property owner of the Wishing Well Apartments at 466 W. Valencia Drive requested that 22 feet of blue curb on the east side of Richman be established. The apartments are rented to Michael Ramos, five-year tenant and property manager. Mr. Ramos is on permanent disability and finds it difficult to walk any significant distance. Mr. Ramos has a disability placard and understands that the approval of the request would not prevent others with disabilities to park at this location.

Richman is a residential street that is 36 feet in width, a prima facie speed limit of 25 miles an hour, and is approved for overnight parking on the east side of the street. Staff's observation of the property and discussions with the property owner indicating that the parking on the street is utilized and that the removal of available parking may further contribute to hardship for residents of the area. It is staff's opinion that the requested area is of identical proximity to the existing parking space provided to Mr. Ramos and therefore eliminating the necessity associated with installing a designated disabled parking space within the public right-of-way. Staff requests that the Transportation & Circulation Commission deny the request to designate one space on the east side of Richman between Valencia Drive and West Avenue for Disabled Person's parking.

The hearing was opened to public comments.

Michael Ramos, 466 W. Valencia Drive Apt. #15, stated that the reason he is asking for a blue curb is due to his wife coming home at 1 a.m. from work and not having an off-street parking space. Mr. Ramos said that his wife asks the Taqueria De Anda for permission to park in their parking lot. He thinks that it is unsafe for his wife to walk to their apartments that late in the evening due to the neighborhood not being safe.

The public comment segment was closed.

Commissioner Ginter asked Mr. Ramos if his wife is disabled. Mr. Ramos replied that she is not disabled.

Commissioner Buck made a motion to install the blue curb at 466 W. Valencia. Commissioner Ginter seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

2. CONSIDERATION OF A REQUEST TO INSTALL 25-FEET OF BLUE CURB (DISABLED PERSONS PARKING) AT 136 N. YALE AVENUE.

Mr. Miller presented the staff report requesting to install 25-feet of blue curb (disabled persons parking) at 136 N. Yale Avenue. The request was made on behalf of Mr. Michael H. Johnson who is afflicted with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Mr. Johnson finds it difficult to walk any significant distance and is on home oxygen use. Due to the existing on-street parking, Mr. Johnson finds it difficult to find a parking space close to his home.

Yale Avenue is a residential street that has a 25-mile an hour speed limit. There is overnight parking permitted on both sides of Yale Avenue except for a daytime street sweeping on Wednesday. The property at 136 N. Yale has two residences. Mr. Johnson resides in the front property near Yale. Parking in the alley is permitted and a garage is adjacent to the residence off the alley. The garage is small making it difficult to park a vehicle in it. Parking off the alley is difficult for Mr. Johnson to walk to his home. Staff recommends that the commission approve the installation of 25-feet of blue curb in front of 136 N. Yale Avenue. There is an existing blue curb in front of 122 N. Yale Avenue therefore this blue curb will be the second one on the same side of the street.

Vice Chairman Cochran asked if once the blue curb is installed if it will remain on the street. Mr. Miller said that if the use changes such as the home is sold or a person occupying the space moves, by notification, the city will go out to remove the blue curb.

Chairman Francis asked if there is a check and balance on the blue curbs. Mr. Miller said that the city has a list of all the residential blue curbs.

The hearing was opened to public comments and closed.

Commissioner Hardwick moved to accept staff's recommendation to install 25-feet of blue curb at 136 N. Yale Avenue. Vice Chairman Cochran seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

3. CONSIDERATION OF A REQUEST TO REMOVE THE OVERNIGHT PARKING (2:00 A.M. TO 5:00 A.M.) PARKING RESTRICTION ON BOTH SIDES OF ADLENA DRIVE BETWEEN ADLENA PLACE AND W. VALLEY VIEW DRIVE.

Mr. Miller presented the staff report regarding a request to remove the overnight parking restriction on both sides of Adlena Drive between Adlena Place and W. Valley View Drive. Staff received a petition from Mr. Alex Isai, the property owner at 830 Adlena Drive.

Adlena is a residential street that is 36-feet wide with a 25-mile per hour prima facie speed limit. On-street parking is permitted on both sides with the exception of overnight parking. The west side of Adlena is comprised of sixteen single-family properties with two-car garages. Fourteen of those properties have standard driveways; one property has a long driveway; and one remaining property has a widened driveway capable of parking additional vehicles. The east side of Adlena is comprised of eighteen single-family properties with two-car garages. Eight of those properties have standard driveways; seven of the properties have long driveways; and three have long driveways that have been widened and capable of parking additional vehicles.

The Fullerton Municipal Code provides for overnight parking exemptions. It states that with the majority of the property owners on both sides of the street in favor "exemptions may be granted for an area having an off-street parking deficiency. The smallest area which may be excepted is one city block, either one side or both sides".

In the case of Adlena, fifty-six percent of the property owners adjacent to the street on the west side and fifty-six on the east side signed the petition satisfying the majority requirements. However, the code defines a parking deficiency as "not meeting current minimum parking requirements for the same type of land use". In the case of the single family properties, the minimum off-street parking requirement is a two-car garage. Based on staff's observation every one of the properties had a two-car garage and adequate driveway space. Its staff's opinion that the properties on both sides of Adlena have adequate parking and are not considered parking deficient as defined in the Fullerton Municipal Code. Based on these findings staff was unable to support the request to approve the overnight parking on Adlena Drive. Staff recommended that the Transportation and Circulation Commission deny the request.

Commissioner Ginter asked what defines the standard driveway. Mr. Miller said that a standard driveway should allow for one car. It can be between 12-16 feet wide.

The hearing was opened to public comments.

Philomine Moore, 933 N. Adlena Dr., stated that within the area there are 34 children and 2 on the way. Therefore because of the amount of children on the street she requests that the parking restriction not be removed. Mrs. Moore says that her reasons are because vehicles park on the street and are not used on regular basis. She said that cars drive fast down Bastanchury to Adlena and thinks that if parking is allowed then children can run out to the street without the cars being able to see them. She stated that two families that signed the petition did not understand the petitions ramifications. They thought that by signing the petition they would be able to park in the street when they needed to. They were not aware that by signing they would be allowing other people to park their cars in the street without moving them.

Commissioner Hardwick asked Mrs. Moore if her neighbors were aware that if someone parks their car for more than 72 hours it can be towed. Mrs. Moore stated that in 21 years that has never happened.

Mr. Miller asked Mrs. Moore if she signed the petition. Mrs. Moore said that she did not sign but her husband signed the petition without being aware of what it was for.

Alexandra Isai, 830 Adlena Dr., said that her family has lived there for over a year and just recently started to receive tickets for overnight parking. Ms. Isai does understand that there are children in the street but she said that the overnight parking is from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. therefore she does not feel that it would be dangerous for the children.

The public comment segment was closed.

Commissioner Ginter asked for a re-evaluation on the petition percentages. The new percentages are 50% on the east side and 56% on the west side.

Commissioner Ginter moved to accept staffs recommendation. Commissioner Hardwick seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

4. CONSIDERATION OF A STAFF RECOMMENDATION TO MODIFY THE EXISTING STRIPING CONFIGURATION AND PARKING REGULATIONS ON SANTA FE AVENUE BETWEEN HIGHLAND AVENUE AND HARBOR BOULEVARD; AND ON MALDEN AVENUE BETWEEN COMMONWEALTH AVENUE AND SANTA FE AVENUE.

Chairman Francis did not participate in the discussion of item #4 due to a potential conflict of interest.

Mr. Miller presented staff's recommendation to modify the existing striping configuration and parking regulations on Santa Fe Avenue and Malden Avenue. Santa Fe Avenue and Malden are part of a project that is coordinated by the Redevelopment Agency to improve the aesthetics and increase the parking capacity, and reduce congestion on Santa Fe.

Santa Fe Avenue is a commercial street consisting of commercial retail business on the north side and the World Citrus Foods on the south side. The street is posted for 25 miles an hour. Parking is permitted on both sides with the exemption of Overnight Parking.

Staff conducted a parking utilization study and identified several problems associated to the existing conditions. Foremost is the congestion and on-street parking deficiencies caused by semi truck traffic associated with the World Citrus Foods. Staff met with the World Citrus Foods to develop alternatives to their truck staging on their street. The potential of growth in the area is good. Staff developed a plan that takes Santa Fe Avenue from a two-way street and makes it a one-way street. Staff is trying to reduce congestion in the block, increase on-street parking with diagonal parking on the north side between the alley and Malden, and provide safe access for the trucks that need to access World Citrus. Staff is proposing to install the diagonal parking on the north side, restrict the parking on the south side between the alley and Malden and provide short term staging for trucks that will be pulling in to use the World Citrus docks between Malden and Highland.

Commissioner Buck asked what would happen in the alley if you have a two-way street near Harbor. Mr. Miller said that the only traffic that would go two-way in the alley would be vehicles traveling westbound on Santa Fe Avenue and making a right turn and vehicles traveling southbound in the alley.

Vice Chairman Cochran stated that the trucks coming out of gate 1 can make a right turn to go east or go straight across the alley. Mr. Miller said that they can make a left turn; go north up the alley, or turn right.

Commissioner Ginter said that on the south side from Malden to Highland there is short-term parking for the semi trucks. He asked how they will enter the property. Mr. Miller said that they can circulate around the block and go in.

The hearing was opened to public comments.

Steve Ellington, 2190 Santa Fe Avenue, anticipates that there will be some transition to convert the existing parking to 2-hour parking.

Commissioner Ginter asked Mr. Ellington where his employees currently park. Mr. Ellington said that they currently park along Santa Fe Avenue.

The public comment segment was closed.

Bob Hodson, Director of Engineering, said that a Contract Change Order to reconstruct the street during a weekend has been approved.

The hearing was re-opened to public comments.

Fred Ortiz, owner of property on the northeast corner of Santa Fe and Highland, said he would be open to having parking on his property for a year or longer.

The public comment segment was closed.

Commissioner Hardwick made a recommendation to support staffs recommendation. Commissioner Ginter seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

5. PRESENTATION AND REVIEW OF CONSULTANT'S DOWNTOWN FULLERTON PARKING STUDY.

Mark Miller, City Traffic Engineer, stated that on June 5, 2001, Council authorized the Director of Engineering to execute an agreement with Meyer, Mohaddes Associates to conduct a comprehensive study of parking in the Downtown Fullerton area. The Downtown area is defined as the area bordered by Malden Avenue on the west, Ellis Place (and the Flood Control Channel) on the north, Pomona Avenue on the east, and the BNSF/Metrolink Railroad tracks /Walnut Avenue on the south. However, all surface and structure parking located at the Fullerton Transportation Center was included in the study. Mr. Miller introduced Gary Hamrick with Meyer, Mohaddes Associates to present the Downtown Fullerton Parking Study.

Gary Hamrick said that Janet Harvey of his staff helped him with a lot of the details of the study.

Chairman Francis asked Mr. Hamrick what other cities he has worked with conducting these types of studies. Mr. Hamrick said he has managed parking studies in Del Mar, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Santa Barbara, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Pasadena, and many more. Mr. Hodson said that Mr. Hamrick was involved in the Traffic portion of the General Plan update a number of years ago and he also does a lot of studies for the Orange County Transportation Authority.

Mr. Hamrick stated that the objectives of the study are to evaluate current parking conditions. They developed a parking supply and demand model to help them look into the future. They looked into what the city's current parking strategies are in terms as the parking systems for the employees and recommended strategies to address future needs. Mr. Hamrick stated that the study area is within Ellis on the north, Malden, Pomona, and south of the Transportation Center. They broke the area up to each street block and analyzed the block itself and then the entire area was analyzed. Each of those statistics tells them a story of what is found.

Mr. Hamrick said that they found that there were 3,110 spaces in total that are publically owned, privately owned, and on-street and off-street. Breaking it down, 530 are on-street and 2,580 are off-street. The parking split with 84% public owned and 16% private owned. The reason this was important was that the City had more control in the publically owned spaces in terms of how they are operated, time limits, and if there are fees. For privately owned spaces the City can only work with private owners.

Mr. Hamrick said that in order to identify what the current parking conditions are in the Downtown area, they did parking occupancy surveys. They went out to observe the number of spaces used in each lot and block from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on a weekday and also on a Saturday. Overall they found that on a weekday the peak usage hours are from noon to 1 p.m. On a weekend the peak usage hour is from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. The maximum parking occupancy is 69% on a weekday, therefore leaving 31% open. When you look at it in a block specific basis, six of the blocks were at least 80% occupied.

Chairman Francis asked when the counts were taken. The counts were done in October of 2001.

Mr. Hamrick said that they did a survey in the Transportation Center to observe how long people stay in the spaces. They found that the average duration stay was ten hours.

Mr. Hamrick said that they obtained from City staff the square footage building areas throughout the whole Downtown area. They translated that into demand. They found that the overall highest demand land use of 29% is at a restaurant. The reason that it is important to look into the demand is to be able to look into the future.

Chairman Francis asked if they factored in Heroes Restaurant on Santa Fe Avenue. Mr. Hamrick said that they did.

The technical conclusions are that Metrolink and Amtrak will continue to impact Downtown parking in a significant way. The major projects will require parking. The infill development will also require parking. The peak parking occupancy is expected to rise from 69% to 93%. They need to look at some parking management techniques to manage the Downtown parking.

Mr. Hamrick said that in terms of recommendations they split it up into three levels of recommendations meaning things that need to be done right away, things that the City could look at and do further study on and long term recommendations. One of the reasons they did it this way is due to the cost. Immediate actions include consistent effective enforcement on the time limits and to conduct regular parking monitoring.

Chairman Francis asked if it would be a whole new study to conduct a regular parking monitoring. Mr. Hamrick said that it would not have to be. He said it would be more of a data collection.

Two recommendations are to add surface parking in critical locations and to include public parking with private developments. Some other ideas for the longer term future are to implement an evening valet system. Potential locations for future parking structures would be at the City lots on Amerige west of Harbor, the block around the Fox theatre, and the Transportation Center.

Commissioner Ginter asked what the time frames for their projections were, whether it's 3 to 5 years or 5 to 10 years. Mr. Hamrick said that it depends on the market. Mr. Hamrick said that some things will happen within the next year or two. Commissioner Ginter asked if we have 10 years before Fullerton starts to build up. Mr. Hamrick said that it may be 10 years before it does begin to build up.

Commissioner Buck asked what the approximate cost is per space for a parking structure. Mr. Hamrick said that the prices range from $7,000 to $15,000 per space depending on how architectural pleasing the City would like it to be.

Chairman Francis stated that he was in Los Angeles and parked in a parking structure that required a fee. He asked if the parking structure fees can eventually pay for the structure itself. Mr. Hamrick said that most cities do a performance test to see if the parking structure can pay itself off. He also mentioned that if you have a parking structure that requires a fee near other structures that don't, then parking may become a problem for the other structures.

Commissioner Buck asked Mr. Hamrick if they gave any thought to bicycles when conducting this study. Mr. Hamrick said that it is assumed within the model. What they did in order to develop their demand estimates is conduct surveys in some cities in Southern California to ask random people on the street how they got to their destination. With that information they can predict how many people will ride bikes, walk, or drive in the future. Mr. Hamrick said that if a parking structure is built then bicycle racks should also be included.

Commissioner Buck asked Mr. Hamrick if he has seen any differences in places such as Long Beach that has bicycle stations. Mr. Hamrick said that the difference is very minor. He said that there are still very similar parking demands.

Commissioner Ginter said that there are two banquet facilities that may have a parking shortage one is the Springfield banquet facility and one is proposed for the Williams building.

Mr. Hodson said that Mr. Hamrick has covered the numbers for the Spring Field banquet facility in terms of parking demand. In regards to the Williams building, at one time there was going to be a certain type of facility but that changed prior to the study. Mr. Hamrick has made some assumptions for future use in the Williams building. These assumptions may not be completely accurate because final use has not been determined.

Commissioner Hardwick asked what assumption had been made for the Fox theatre. Mr. Hamrick said that as a theatre it is the worst parking case.

Walt Johnson, Boege's property owner, said that 30,000 square footage of building on the block of Santa Fe Avenue does not have one designated parking spot. He suggested that there be parking installed at the west of his property due to the need when Heroes comes into Santa Fe. Janet Harvey said that they did identify the private parking lots on the west of Malden as possible additional parking for this block.

Commissioner Hardwick asked what triggers us to make a decision to put a parking structure behind Angelo and Vinci's. Staff said that the City currently has funds to put a parking structure behind Angelo and Vinci's when redevelopment of the Fox theatre is planned. Commissioner Hardwick also asked about additional parking structure at the Transportation Center. Staff said that Caltrans is proposing to allocate 3 million dollars to start working on a parking structure that will be on the north side of Santa Fe. Chairman Francis asked why it would not be placed closer to the restaurants. Staff responded that the parking structure will serve the commuters.They are trying to keep all the long term parking east of Pomona and all the customer and shorter term retail and restaurant parking to the west.

Commissioner Buck asked whether any of the cities Mr. Hamrick worked with has made an impact on the bicycle planning. Mr. Hamrick said that there are a few cities in California that are really focused on bicycle planning and they are typically cities with universities. The City of Fullerton does have a university but it is not near the Downtown area. He said that bicycle planning is a good thing but it will not be a solution to parking problems.

NON AGENDA ITEMS

None.

COUNCIL REVIEW

Mr. Hodson said that the striping on Chapman Avenue and Highland Avenue is doing well. Staff got approval from Council for the Taxi parking spaces in the Downtown area. Staff will be getting the Taxi parking in the downtown area as soon as staff gets the signs.

Mr. Miller said that staff proposed recirculation at the main post office on Chapman Avenue. The post office did like the recirculation proposed and will restripe their parking lot and will put up their signs. The post office did state that back in 1968 or 1969 the circulation was going the other way but it was changed.

Mr. Hodson stated that the Contract Change Order for the Santa Fe work will be going to Council May 7. Staff says that the street will be done by June 30th.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

None

ADJOURNMENT

The regular meeting of the Transportation & Circulation Commission was adjourned at 6:00 p.m.

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