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TCC Minutes May 3, 2004

City Council Chambers---------City Hall
Monday, May 3, 2004---------4:00 p.m.

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT J. Michael Cochran
Brent Hardwick(arrived 4:10)
Angela Lindstrom
Rosa Nowels, Vice-Chairman
John Olmsted
Patrick Robeson, Chairman
Vacancy
STAFF PRESENT Mark Miller, City Traffic Engineer
Don Hoppe, Assistant City Engineer
Dave Langstaff, Traffic Engineering Analyst
Lieutenant Cave, Police Department
Teri Carlson, Senior Traffic Engineering Aide
Susan McGraw, Recording Secretary

CALL TO ORDER

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Commissioner Olmsted commented on corrections to the Minutes of April 5, 2004: Page 4, 3rd paragraph should read 83 wide rather than long; page 8, 8th paragraph, delete of; Page 9, Spring Field is two words.

Motion: Olmsted
2nd Cochran
Ayes Cochran, Hardwick, Lindstrom, Nowels, Olmsted, Robeson

NEW BUSINESS

  1. CONSIDERATION OF A REQUEST FOR THE INSTALLATION OF A 3-WAY STOP AT THE INTERSECTION OF VALENCIA DRIVE AND WOODS AVENUE; A TRAFFIC SIGNAL AT THE INTERSECTION OF HIGHLAND AVENUE AND VALENCIA AVENUE; IN-PAVEMENT FLASHING PEDESTRIAN WARNING LIGHTS IN THE CROSSWALK ON HIGHLAND AVENUE AT ELM AVENUE; AND THE REMOVAL OF THE PARKING ON THE EAST SIDE OF HIGHLAND AVENUE BETWEEN ASH AVENUE AND VALENCIA DRIVE.

    Mr. Miller introduced Lillian Irish from the Development Services Department who translated this discussion for the benefit of the Spanish-speaking audience. He then presented staffs report, which included recommendations to the City Council for the installation of a 3-way stop at Valencia/Woods, a traffic signal at Highland/Valencia, and in-pavement flashing pedestrian warning lights in the crosswalk on Highland/Elm; and parking removal on the east side of Highland between Ash and Valencia.

    Vice-Chairman Nowels asked for a total cost to complete the reconstruction. Mr. Miller stated that the cost of the traffic signals, in-pavement flashing crosswalk, and striping is apparently $200,000. The City has applied for a grant for that amount.

    Vice-Chairman Nowels asked if the Valencia Task Force (VTF) was in agreement with the removal of the parking on the east side of Highland. Mr. Miller replied yes.

    Commissioner Olmsted asked if there are one-way stops at Knepp for Richman and Highland. Mr. Miller stated that yes there are stops for the east/west direction at Richman and Highland.

    Commissioner Olmsted also inquired if there are stop signs at Knepp and Malden and what the VTF requested. Mr. Miller stated it is uncontrolled, and a four-way stop was requested, however, staff did not believe it was warranted at this time.

    Commissioner Lindstrom asked if there were incidents that led to request these changes. Mr. Miller said that he does not know what precipitated the requests, but believes the neighborhood came together in an effort of safety and community.

    The public comment segment was opened.

    Miriam Andero, 600 Southgate Avenue, translated for the public.

    The resident at 436 West Avenue stated that the VTF is a group of 40 residents, which meets monthly at the Valencia Community Center to discuss ways to improve the quality of the neighborhood. VTF works in collaboration with the Orange County Congregation Community Organizations (OCCCO) that represent 50 member churches and 38,000 families and the Orange County Human Relations Commission. The VTF wants to improve the safety of its neighborhood for the children, and to show support for the Citys recommendations for traffic improvements in its neighborhood. It is the desire of the VTF that the Commission recommend staffs traffic plan to Council.

    Riea Pea, 148 West Rosslyn Avenue, has resided in Fullerton for 14 years. Mrs. Pea stated that in June 2003, the VTF held a community forum for more than 50 residents and City staff. They presented the visions for a family-friendly neighborhood and began a partnership with the City of Fullerton to fulfill that end. Their vision is to have safer streets. Cars drive fast on Highland, Valencia and Richman where children cross going to and from school and the park. There is a high level of pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Highland and Valencia and a lot of confusion of the right-of-way. Residents have observed near accidents.

    Vice-Chairman Nowels asked why they think there is confusion on the right-of-way on Highland and Valencia. Mrs. Pea stated there is confusion because people drive through the intersection without stopping.

    Commissioner Olmsted asked if a traffic signal will improve the situation at Highland and Valencia. Mrs. Pea feels that it will.

    Jorge Trujuillo, 1018 West Avenue, has resided in Fullerton for 15 years. Mr. Trujillo stated that the neighborhood has formulated a plan with traffic improvements. He stated that they have met with several staff members to present their plan. They also met with the Richman School Principal, the pastor of Saint Marys Church, and the Fullerton Police Department. They collected 356 signatures in support of the traffic plan. The pastor of Saint Marys wrote a letter of support for a stop sign on Highland and Valencia and a crosswalk at Highland and Elm. The City responded with a traffic study. Based on the study, the City has made several recommendations, which are supported by the VTF.

    Miriam Andero stated that on Southgate and Richman cars drive very fast, and it is dangerous walking her children to school.

    Commissioner Lindstrom stated that police enforcement was not recommended and asked if it would help. Mrs. Andero stated that the Police department offered to provide more enforcement, but she has not seen them as of yet.

    Edgar Medina works for Orange County Human Relations and will be translating for the remaining public speakers.

    Jose Dominguez, has resided in Fullerton for 40 years between Highland and Valencia. He has witnessed many accidents and feels that the underpass on Highland has increased traffic.

    Commissioner Olmsted stated that the underpass was constructed in part to improve the safety for the residents in the area.

    Maria Rivera stated she has witnessed many accidents on Highland and Valencia. Two months ago she and her daughter were almost hit by a car. She also feels the carwash that will be opening will add more traffic.

    Sylvia Marina, has resided in Fullerton for 10 years. Her son was recently struck when crossing the street at Valencia and Highland. She stated the driver got out of his vehicle and pulled her son from the street to the curb. She called the Police but by the time they arrived the driver had left the scene. She feels a traffic signal is necessary at the intersection.

    Teresa Morales, President of the VTF, asked everyone to rise who was in favor of staffs recommendations. Mrs. Morales asked that the commission approve staffs recommendations.

    Vice-Chairman Nowels commended the VTF on the tremendous way it went about this issue. She mentioned that it is gratifying to see citizens and City working together for solutions which she supports.

    Commissioner Olmsted concurred with Vice-Chairman Nowels comments. He further stated that someone has mentioned that there is no handicap access at the school crosswalk. Mr. Miller stated that there are several crosswalks without handicap access and staff will be applying for the Suggested Routes to School grant with the School District.

    Commissioner Olmsted stated that he is not convinced that the recommendations will slow down the traffic on Highland. He is aware that stop signs dont do the job per the City Traffic Engineer, Mark Miller. He feels that Valencia and Highland will be repeated at other intersections.

    Mr. Miller stated that staff is proposing a traffic signal that has solid red lights in all four directions. The first driver who approaches the intersection will get a green light. Drivers do tend to respect signals more than stop signs, and staff will be looking for other improvements for the area.

    Commissioner Olmsted stated that he is most concerned with the speed halfway between Valencia and Orangethorpe. Mr. Miller said Highland is 64 feet wide from Orangethorpe to Valencia, and staff would like to narrow the lanes with two-way, left-turn pockets.

    Commissioner Lindstrom asked about the timeframe for implementing the proposed improvements. Don Hoppe, Acting Director of Engineering, stated that it would be near the beginning of next school year, September 2004.

    Commissioner Lindstrom asked what would happen in regard to police enforcement during school hours.

    Lieutenant Doug Cave stated that unfortunately schools outnumber police officers. However, it is FPDs number one priority is to visit school areas before and after school. The PD does support the VTF, is proud of its efforts, and stands with them on their request for improvements. The Police will do whatever they can to control the traffic speed and safety in the area.

    Commissioner Lindstrom asked if the VTFs perception of the intersection is as dangerous as shared by Lieutenant Cave. Lieutenant Cave responded that anytime there are small kids and moving cars, it is dangerous.

    Commissioner Lindstrom suggested five more months is a long time and suggested some enforcement. Lt. Cave stated the PD will do what it can.

    Commissioner Hardwick stated that they have heard testimonies of accidents on Highland and Valencia. He asked how it compares with the actual history in the area. Dave Langstaff, Traffic Engineering Analyst, stated that over the last 12 months there have been 3 reported accidents. In September 2002 there were 2 rear-ends and one sideswipe accident.

    Commissioner Cochran complimented the VTF for a well-done presentation. He asked Mr. Miller if the traffic on Highland, Richman and Valencia, is local. Mr. Miller did not know if it is local but the volumes are coming up to 8,000 cars on Highland.

    Chairman Robeson stated that this is very common for high-volume schools. Hopefully, the recommended changes will be a comfort and work well for the community.

    Motion: Hardwick
    2nd: Nowels
    Ayes: Cochran, Hardwick, Lindstrom, Nowels, Olmsted, Robeson

  2. CONSIDERATION OF A REQUEST TO REMOVE THE OVERNIGHT PARKING RESTRICTIONS ON BOTH SIDES OF SANTA CLARA AVENUE BETWEEN MOODY AVENUE AND SAN CARLOS DRIVE.

    Mr. Miller presented staffs report recommending denial of removal of the overnight parking restriction based on the Fullerton Municipal Code.

    Commissioner Olmsted questioned what streets currently have overnight parking. Mr. Miller advised that the east side of San Carlos not, adjacent to Chapman Park, and both sides of Hansen Avenue between Santa Isabelle and Wallace Avenue.

    The public comment segment was opened.

    Ronnie Fuson, 2442 Santa Clara, stated that the majority of these residences are four-bedroom homes with insufficient parking for families with children who drive. Cars block sidewalks with overhang when trying to fit their vehicles into the garage/driveway. Garages were built for two cars, but they are not large enough for an SUV. Two current-model vehicles will not fit in these garages.

    Ashley Edwards, 236 Mission, stated he has a short driveway. He has two motorcycles, a Honda Civic, and full-size truck with an extra cab; he is unable to have overnight guests because there is no place for them to park; and he is barely able to park his Honda in the garage.

    Sheryl Bodkin, 2438 East Santa Clara, stated that they have five vehicles and shuffle their vehicles; however, two vehicles still have to be parked on the street. Tickets are costly. Her family would like to have the request passed by the Commission.

    The public comment segment was closed.

    Commissioner Lindstrom inquired about the standard driveway length and if allowances are made for older garages since they are not built to todays requirements. Mr. Miller stated that it is obvious which garages are two-car as compared to a one-car. Mr. Hoppe also commented that most cars of today, unless and SUV or truck, are actually smaller than cars built in the fifties. The basic problem is there are more drivers today than in the past.

    Commissioner Olmsted stated that he has lived in the vicinity and can appreciate the problems with multiple vehicles.

    Commissioner Hardwick made a motion to set aside staffs recommendation and recommend to the City Council that the overnight parking restriction be removed per the residents request. Vice-Chairman Nowels seconded the motion, which failed by a vote of 2-4.

    Motion: Hardwick
    2nd: Nowels
    Ayes: Hardwick, Nowels
    Nayes: Cochran, Lindstrom, Olmsted, Robeson

    Another motion was made to accept staffs recommendation to deny overnight parking on Santa Clara Avenue.

    Motion: Cochran
    2nd: Lindstrom
    Ayes: Cochran, Lindstrom, Olmsted, Robeson
    Nayes: Hardwick, Nowels

    Chairman Robeson advised the residents that an appeal can be made to the City Council. The fee is $140 and appeal must be filed within 10 days. The next City Council meeting is June 15, 2004.

  3. CONSIDERATION OF A REQUEST FOR THE REMOVAL OF A CROSSING GUARD AT THE INTERSECTION OF LAGUNA ROAD AND DOMINGO ROAD; THE RELOCATION OF THE CROSSING GUARD TO LAGUNA ROAD AND CORONADO DRIVE; AND THE INSTALLATION OF A 4-WAY STOP AT LAGUNA ROAD AND DOMINGO ROAD.

    Mr. Miller presented staffs report and recommended concurrence. The SR 2S Grant has been awarded, so that physical improvements taking place, i.e., handicap ramps, sidewalk in front of the Ebell Club and at Morelia. However, a crossing guard is warranted at the school.

    Commissioner Olmsted inquired if the existing crossing guard controls both locations. Mr. Miller responded affirmatively, but the crossing guard is being placed closer to the school.

    The public comment segment was opened.

    Clementina Ely, 416 West Las Palmas, stated that a crossing guard is needed at Coronado. Visibility is appalling. However, 4-way stop wont work at Domingo. She requested that the crossing guard remain at this location as well as new guard at the school.

    Commissioner Olmsted inquired if the pedestrians would still cross Laguna Road at Domingo without a crossing guard, and would they have a safe place to walk on the north side. Mr. Miller advised that there are no sidewalks in this area at all, except beginning at Morelia.

    Mike Brito, Transportation Director for the School District. The District supports staffs recommendations and will continue to support the crossing guard program as financially agreed between the City and the District. Where there is warrant for a crossing guard, the District will support the recommendation.

    Harold Sullivan, Principal at Laguna Road, agrees with staffs recommendation. Speed west to east is very fast, and if possible, he would prefer a crossing guard at both locations. However, as stated, it is also a matter of finances. He is not sure if a 4-way stop would alleviate the problem, but if there is no crossing guard, it would be the minimum standard he could appreciate.

    The public comment segment was closed.

    Vice-Chairman Nowels asked if a stop sign approved, would there be a crosswalk on the west leg. Mr. Miller advised there would be white crosswalks at all four legs of the intersection. Improvements will occur during summer, and will be re-evaluated on how traffic bears the change.

    Motion: Olmsted
    2nd: Hardwick
    Ayes: Cochran, Hardwick, Lindstrom, Nowels, Olmsted, Robeson

  4. CONSIDERATION OF A REQUEST TO CONSOLIDATE SIX EXISTING 15-MINUTE PARKING SPACES ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF WILSHIRE AVENUE BETWEEN MALDEN AVENUE AND HARBOR BOULEVARD TO ONE CENTRAL LOCATION ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF WILSHIRE AVENUE IN FRONT OF THE BUSINESSES AT 118, 120, AND 122 W. WILSHIRE AVENUE.

    Chairman Robeson recused himself from the discussion of this item.

    Mr. Miller presented staffs report and asked the T&CC to recommend approval of this request to the City Council. Commissioner Lindstrom stated that the business owner at 138 West Wilshire was opposed to the recommendation and had asked that the red curb in front of his dry cleaning shop be changed to 15 minute parking. Mr. Miller responded that there will additional modifications in that vicinity based on the plan adopted by the City Council.

    Mr. Langstaff confirmed that the tenant at 138 had requested some a 5-minute parking at his end of the block and was advised that this area will be further reviewed.

    There was no one present to address this item.

    Motion: Cochran
    2nd: Olmsted
    Ayes: Cochran, Hardwick, Lindstrom, Nowels, Olmsted
    Nayes: Robeson

  5. CONSIDERATION OF A REQUEST TO DESIGNATE A 20-MINUTE LOADING/UNLOADING ZONE ON THE EAST SIDE OF MANHATTAN AVENUE IN FRONT OF THE PROPERTY AT 1340 SOUTH MANHATTAN AVENUE.

    Mr. Miller presented staffs report. There were no questions from the Commissioners and no one present to address the public comment segment for this item.

    Motion: Cochran
    2nd: Hardwick
    Ayes: Cochran, Hardwick, Lindstrom, Nowels, Olmsted, Robeson

  6. CONSIDERATION OF A CITY OF BUENA PARK REQUEST TO REMOVE THE EXISTING MARKED SCHOOL CROSSWALKS ON MAGNOLIA AVENUE AT OLIVE AVENUE AND AT FLOWER AVENUE.

    Mr. Miller introduced Steve Lebring, Buena Park Traffic Engineer. This recommendation to remove crosswalks on Magnolia would be consistent with the recent action of the Buena Park T&CC to remove crosswalks at Olive and at Flower.

    Vice-Chairman Nowels inquired about enforcement plans. Mr. Lebring stated that the City of Buena Park will assist with enforcement.

    Motion: Hardwick
    2nd: Nowels
    Ayes: Cochran, Hardwick, Lindstrom, Nowels, Olmsted, Robeson

COUNCIL REVIEW

Don Hoppe, Acting Director of Engineering, stated that the City Council approved four items recommended by the T&CC:

  • Harbor Boulevard Valley View/Brea to 1250 feet north No Parking Anytime
  • Bastanchury Harbor to Puente No Stopping Anytime to accommodate 3rd lane
  • Commonwealth parking limitations between Harbor and Malden
  • Downtown study regarding one-way streets, approved staffs recommendation to leave two-way traffic as is, and also approved removal of parking restrictions on Whiting for additional parking.
  • Transit Community off Truslow - Olsen Group was approved. Discussion included commuter parking and the abandonment of a portion of Truslow from Lemon 1200 feet west, allowing approximately 80 stalls for 90 parking. This should make 40-50 spaces available for transit parking. It will not become an overnight parking issue, since it will be a part of the project.

    The City Council has also directed staff to look at a parking permit process for streets that have been established as overnight parking exempt.

    PUBLIC COMMENTS

    Public comments will be allowed on matters not appearing on the agenda but within the commission's jurisdiction.

    ADJOURNMENT

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