February 13, 2010 Meeting Summary

February 13, 2010

Preparation

E-mail reminder was sent and reminder phone calls made.

Acknowledgments

Susan sent valentine cookies.

Attendees

7 members

Meeting

Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:20 am

  • Info from Community Meeting on Feb 4
      • Meeting was sponsored by Councilmember Haderlein's office and organized by Rhonda Stone, Field Representative.
      • Councilmember Haderlein made a brief introduction. Dan Rix, the city's chief engineer led the meeting assisted by two members of his staff, one in charge of the construction projects and the other a traffic engineer.
      • Maybe a dozen members of the community attended.
    • Signal on Foothill at Santa Paula
      • Original plan was to remove this signal, but they have changed their mind and will leave it in place.  Plan to remove it was made when they thought there would be an ice rink and a signal for the PCC driveway to access it, which would have made three signals in a very short distance.   No ice rink, therefore no signal there, so it is reasonable to leave the Santa Paula signal in place.
      • The intersections at Santa Paula and at Titley (renamed Kinneloa) are 300 feet apart.  About 200 feet of "car storage", about 10 car lengths.
      • Will make some modifications such as angled signal heads so that won't see signals at both intersections as approach the first one from either side.
      • The signals will be on separate controllers but will be coordinated to prevent queuing problems.
      • There will be at least one crosswalk across Foothill at Santa Paula and one at Kinneloa (Titley).  They will likely be coordinated so that if one is walk the other will be also.
      • Current schedule is for signal to be put in on Foothill at Kinneloa in mid-April and be operational by end of April.
    • Kinneloa and Walnut Extension Project
      • Altadena and Walnut will be changed into a regular 4-way intersection with a signal. The old railroad hump will be lowered.
      • Walnut between San Gabriel and Sunnyslope will be widened to full width and the north side will be improved with sidewalk, curb, gutter, street trees and lights.
      • There will be a signal at Daisy and Walnut instead of the current 4-way stop.
      • Walnut at Craig will be changed from a 4-way stop to a 2-way stop.
      • Walnut east of Kinneloa will remain one way.  To the west it will be two way.
      • Kinneloa will be two lanes all the way from Foothill to Colorado, including sidewalks, curbs, street trees and lights.  There will be street parking except for under the bridge.
      • May have appeared nothing happening on the project recently, but they have been moving utilities and rebuilt the Walnut street bridge over the wash.  (The old bridge, which was included in area leased by Team Chevy, was not up to standards for weight requirements.)  Also Avon had to move their truck ramp.  Should start to see real progress now those things are done.
      • Walnut street widening should take about 3 months once get underway.  Still working out exact schedule.  Working around traffic on Altadena will be a challenge.
    • Other local traffic projects
      • Foothill at Sierra Madre Villa is well known to city engineering staff as an intersection which is not meeting standards.
      • They are hoping the Walnut and Kinneloa cut throughs will make a big difference in the PM eastbound traffic backup.   This is based on the premise that a signficant amount of the eastbound traffic got off the freeway, or didn't get on it, to avoid the congestion further west and will now take Walnut instead of Foothill and get back on the freeway at Sierra Madre Villa.   (Hmm, seems to us traffic usually gets really stuck right at Sierra Madre Villa and getting on there is the last thing most will want to do.)
      • Some meeting attendees pointedly told city staff that they believe these changes will only increase the number of cars turning north on Santa Paula, east on La Tierra or Estado, and then north on Sierra Madre Villa in order to avoid the Foothill / Sierra Madre Villa intersection.  This is based on the premise that vehicles now traveling east on Colorado and then north on Sierra Madre Villa will instead choose to take Kinneloa north to Foothill, then north on Santa Paula....    It wasn't brought up, but conversely those heading south to Colorado from north of us might choose to duck into our neighborhood and go south on Santa Paula to Foothill, then south on Kinneloa (as, in fact, many neighborhood residents look forward to doing to access Target, the Post Office, etc.)
        • In response to this concern, engineering staff agreed to do traffic counts on our streets before the new signals and streets become operational so there will be a baseline to compare with.
        • They will also do a NTMP, a Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan after the projects are complete and new traffic patterns settle in.  In an NTMP traffic patterns of the entire neighborhood are studied and a coordinated plan put together instead of doing it one street at a time based on requests.
      • City engineers also noted additional measures that are in the plans to relieve congestion at Foothill and Sierra Madre Villa intersection.   However, both these measures await funding from the development on the southeast corner, which at least part of has now been postponed due to the economy.
        • Northbound Sierra Madre Villa to westbound Foothill is to become dual left turn lanes.  This should relieve the current problem caused in part by buses from the Gold Line station preventing more then about one car getting through on a light.
        • Eastbound Foothill is to get a right turn pocket to southbound Sierra Madre Villa.  This will relieve some of the backup problem currently caused by pedestrians crossing Sierra Madre Villa causing the entire right hand lane to wait behind a car turning right.
        • The Gold Line extension to Azusa is now supposed to be complete in 2013 and that would take some pressure off the traffic.  (Based on past experience, add at least 6 years to that date.)
      • Other traffic issues brought up by attending neighborhood residents included:
        • The opening of the Nordstrom Rack in the shopping center has made traffic much worse all the time.
        • The problems of turning left (north) on Sierra Madre Villa during rush hours, and the even harder problem and danger it presents for pedestrians, many of which are elderly.
          • Staff noted that a signal at Electronic is in the plans, but they had been counting on development of the former Allstate (now Cognos) property to pay for it. The only such development proposal (which was total overkill) was withdrawn and the economy tanked and there has been no sign of a new proposal.
        • The shopping center exit just south of Bed Bath & Beyond is supposed to be right turn only but many cars turn left anyway and of those that do turn right a substantial number just go north as far as Mataro or La Tierra and make a U-turn using those intersections.  El Torito driveway has same problem.   It really is hazardous behavior.  (Many of the people doing it may be visitors who did not know what they were getting into with that exit and don't know their way around and are afraid they'll get lost if they continue north any distance.)
          • Engineering staff took note and said they'd look into it further.  Noted had seen a plan for the El Torito parking lot to be connected to the rest of the shopping center lot, which would ease that situation.  Did not know when that might happen though.  Also noted that once there is a signal at Electronic it will be easier for traffic to turn left from Electronic to southbound Sierra Madre Villa and that should lead more shopping center users to use that route.   (This assumes visitor familiarity with the options.)
        • The bus stop on northbound Sierra Madre Villa just north of Foothill used to be further north.  Since it was moved closer to the corner it is presenting much more problems for traffic flow and causing more hazardous situations.  Busses completely block the traffic lane there, causing cars to be stuck in the intersection behind it or to try to pull out around it.
  • Electric truck traffic on Alameda
    • Our member Kristy checked up with Pasadena Water and Power's Kerry Lynch to find out what the status is.
    • He confirmed that the dump truck contractor is no longer working from the PWP lot north of the substation.
    • He said the electrical contractor would be receiving notice soon that it needs to move out of there.  They'll probably be given 2-3 months to move out completely.
    • Once the contractor is gone the area will be back to being used only by Pasadena Water and Power and will no longer be used as a "show up yard".
    • Mr. Lynch emphasized again that they will fire any employee that continually speeds down the street.  Get a description of the vehicle, including license plate if possible, and we will report it to him.
  • Postal / package thefts
    • On Wednesday January 27, probably just before 3 pm, just delivered packages were stolen from a front porch in the 3200 block of Estado Street.
    • It seems probable that someone saw the UPS truck making a delivery and took the packages from the porch just after.
    • The empty and torn packages were found several days later discarded in the 3100 block of Estado along with other trash thrown near a vacant house.
  • Pasadena Marathon - Sunday Feb 21 morning
    • Does not directly affect our neighborhood, but will affect traffic in much of Pasadena.
    • If you have missplaced the brochure sent in the mail, visit [outdated link removed] for details.
  • Annual newsletter
    • Annual newsletter will be ready for distribution in the next week or so.
    • Who volunteers to help with distribution?
  • Annual Election of Officers in March
    • It is time again for our annual election of officers for the association.
    • Election will be held at our March 13 meeting.
    • Need candidates for officers.  President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer.
      • Any new volunteers?
      • Are existing officers willing to continue?
      • Need to know candidates by March 10 at the latest.
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss

Next meeting is March 13, 2010, 11:15 am, at Hastings Branch Library

Adjourned about 12:10 pm

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