• Flashing crosswalk in the works: traffic commission

    By Cameron Douglas

    At its May 12 meeting, the Pacific Grove Traffic Safety Commission heard Public Works Director Celia Perez-Martinez update the installation of a flashing crosswalk on Sunset Avenue near the high school. That project is waiting for one piece of equipment that is three weeks away. “The electrical work that’s been able to be done so far has been done,” said Martinez.

    The Commission discussed the Pedestrian Safety Assessment, which went before the City Council on April 29. “It will go back to Council in August, and come before you (the Traffic Commission) in July,” Martinez said. The 18 recommendations from last year’s assessment will be prioritized to determine which projects shall be done over the next two fiscal years. Commissioner David Terry gave his support to improving the crosswalk at Grove Market. “It’s our intention to do that,” said Martinez. “It’s a very simple fix.” Commissioner Roehl expressed her opinion that there should be other input besides that of the assessment. “We have a number of documents that have been done over the years,” said Roehl, “and I think that all those things should be put together when we’re developing a list of projects.”

    Traffic Engineer Malcolm Knisely informed the Board that CalTrans has “changed a lot of the parking signs that we usually use, so they’re going to be a different configuration.” Knisely also reminded the group that all local agencies have to use CalTrans’ standards for regulatory signs. “For instance,” he said, “you don’t put any other signs on a regulatory sign, such as a stop sign. It stands alone on its post.” He noted that three cities in California went on a “spending spree” to redesign highways with fancy, non-regulatory directional signs and CalTrans made them take all those signs down.

    In other business:

    • The Commission and Police Chief Darius Engles discussed the parking of several U-Haul trucks on Hillcrest Avenue between Carmel Avenue and 14th. “I think whoever talked to somebody up there about that did a darn good job,” Commissioner Terry observed. Malcolm Knisely shared a humorous story about happened when he approached the driver of one of the trucks to inform him that he was not in compliance with local law, and that the matter would be going before the Traffic Commission. The driver made unfriendly gestures. It was noted, however, that since that “conversation,” the problem appears to have been resolved. Ms. Martinez said she would still check U-Haul’s local use permit.
    • Last month, the Commission looked at revising crosswalks along Central Avenue from Ninth to Fifteenth Streets. Public Works is still in the bid process on that project.
    • The debate continued over the best placement of a crosswalk on Jewell Avenue at the Senior Center. The plan is taking shape, and includes curb modification and a stop sign where Briggs Avenue comes out.
    • The issue of four-seat surreys being operated on city streets is still under investigation.
    • Resident Dave Osborne returned to follow up on the traffic problems in his neighborhood on Stuart Avenue at the top of Forest. Speeding westbound traffic on Highway 68 veers off onto Stuart and runs through the neighborhood to avoid the light at Prescott. Since the last meeting, Engles and Martinez went there to watch traffic and get ideas on how to solve the problem. “Our first thought is to cut off access at Stuart as you come down highway 68,” said Martinez. “Just make that a no-entry, do not enter.” She and the Chief also agreed that traffic leaving the neighborhood would be able to turn more safely onto 68 if it was routed away from Stuart.
    • The Commission agreed to Walt Matteson’s request to paint a red curb on the east side of 12th Street immediately north of Spruce Avenue.
    • Chief Engles stated he had received phone calls complaining of commercial vehicles parked along Pine Avenue between Alder and Melrose for extended periods of time. It appears that the part of Pine in question does not adjoin any residential or “R” zone, nor is it zoned commercial.  Engles mentioned a meeting he had with City Attorney Dave Laredo. Their best solution was to consider that stretch of Pine an “Open Area,” and prohibit parking from midnight to 5 a.m.; the same as other open spaces in PG. Engles agreed to draft an ordinance and take it before City Council for approval with the Commission’s recommendation. The motion carried.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on May 20, 2009

    Topics: Current Edition, Front PG News, Cameron Douglas


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