Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Full agenda for Claremont City Council tonight
A lot stands between the Claremont City Council and their promised August recess.
Councilmembers will be tasked Tuesday night with reviewing a handful of heavy-hitting city issues—addressing speed limit increases, parking at the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park and potential changes to The Club Neighborhood. The reviews begin at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, 225 W. Second St.
New crosswalks and bike lanes worth $165,000 are part of what city staff is suggesting the council adopt in order to address speed increase concerns. Approved by the Claremont Traffic and Transportation Commission in late spring—after months of work by the city’s engineering and community development team—additions include striped parking and bicycle lanes, driver feedback signs and sharrows indicating that the lane is to be shared with bicyclists.
Troubles began when a Radar Speed Survey conducted in 2012 suggested that those 10 street segments were not in compliance with current state standards. California law requires that a city’s speed limits reflect the local traffic speeds. In the past, city officials were allowed to set a speed limit within 5 miles per hour of the speed a majority of cars were traveling at. If a car was traveling at 28 miles an hour in a 25 mph zone, the city could opt to stay at 25 mph instead of raising the speed to 30.
However, recent changes have been made to stringently restrict the freedom cities have to set speed limits. Now, the speed must be set to the nearest 5 mph. If a majority of cars are going 28 mph in a 25 mph zone, officials are mandated to raise the speed limit to 30 mph by state law. School zones and other restrictions continue to apply and are not affected by these new rules.
Survey results showed that a majority of the drivers traveling along those 10 street segments were going fast enough, the speed limits needed to be increased by 5 mph to comply with state code.
If the mitigation measure does not prove effective, the speed limits will need to be raised in order to be enforceable, according to Acting City Engineer Loretta Mustafa. It likely takes
The traffic calming measures were suggested instead of raising speed limits on 10 designated street segments throughout the city of Claremont. Though speed limits will rise if these measures prove ineffective, Interim City Engineer Loretta Mustafa holds out hope.
“What we need is really a small decrease in speed, just 1 or 2 mph on most of these streets to bring down the speed limit,” Ms. Mustafa said in a previous interview. “That’s what we are looking to do here.”
Permit parking changes
The council also hopes to effect change at the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park with the potential addition of permit-only parking along several streets located next to the busy recreational area.
If the council approves, permit parking will be enforced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on Pomello Drive, from Mills Avenue to the west end, as well as Dillard Avenue, St. Gregory Street, Pennsylvania Place, Brigham Young Drive, Independence Drive, Elmira Avenue, Vincennes Court, Alamosa Drive, from Mills to Bonnie Brae, and Mills Avenue, from Pomello to Alamosa.
Since the opening of the park’s expanded north parking lot, and enforcement of the lot’s now metered parking, many locals have vocalized concern that eager wilderness park hikers are finding loopholes to avoid paying. In recent months, several residents living near the park, particularly those on Pomello and Mills, have share with the Claremont City Council that Pomello Drive, just south of Mt. Baldy Road and the southernmost lot, have become alternative parking destinations.
Officials predict further parking restrictions will be needed as hikers continue to find loopholes in the wilderness park parking situation. The city continues to solicit feedback and monitor streets near the wilderness park until a long-term solution can be found, staff has acknowledged.
Council members will also discuss whether or not to leave the islands in The Club neighborhood intact. The city will be conducting a slurry project this summer to repair the neighborhood’s damaged sidewalks. As part of the project, city staff is recommending that the islands at Davenport Circle, the 700 and 1800 block of Elmhurst, and 700 and 800 block of Stanislaus Circle be repaired and retained, with the city taking responsibility for their maintenance.
The council will also review a Memorandum of Understanding between the cities of Claremont, La Verne, Pomona and San Dimas for a joint watershed management plan and close out the Indian Hill Boulevard storm drain project. Council members will discuss ongoing litigation between the city and Pizza ‘N Such eater in a closed session meeting before the regular open city council session. Public comment on the litigation is invited at 5:15 p.m. before the council adjourns into their private meeting.
View a full report of Tuesday’s meeting in the Friday, July 26 edition of the COURIER.