Traffic Commission Orders Further Study of Monterey Road Traffic

The Traffic Advisory Commission unanimously approved four measures to address speeding concerns on Monterey Road between El Molino Avenue and Oak Knoll Avenue.

The City of San Marino will conduct a new speed survey, increase police enforcement and review the history of using raised pavement markers on the centerline of Monterey Road.

A 2015 survey of Monterey Road found that the speed at or below which 85 percent of vehicles travel—a common metric for determining speed limits—was 35 miles per hour.

The current speed limit on Monterey Road is 30 miles per hour.

City staff will also study the feasibility of implementing traffic calming measures, such as reducing lane widths and installing bulbouts at intersections.

The committee chose not to approve a fifth measure to install two speed feedback signs, one eastward sign east of El Molino Avenue and another westward sign west of Ramiro Road.

Installation of speed feedback signs requires city council approval.

“I have lived in my present residence for 49 years and I have seen many accidents,” said Monterey Road resident Steve Antosy.

Antosy told committee members of a time when a speeding car went off the road and crashed into his neighbor’s front yard. He also noted the difficulty of pulling into his driveway while other motorists try to pass him.

Stop or Yield Signs at Non-Controlled Intersections

The commission unanimously approved $5,400 worth of traffic count studies for nine non-controlled, four-way intersections in San Marino.

The studies are the first step to determine the necessity of stop or yield signs at these intersections.

The intersections include Canterbury Road and Chaucer Road; Canterbury Road and Santa Anita Avenue; Chaucer Road and Chester Avenue; Coniston Place and Kenilworth Avenue; Duarte Road and Hilliard Drive; Roanoke Road and Chelsea Road; Roanoke Road and Old Mill Road; Roanoke Road and Warwick Road; and Roanoke Road and Windsor Road.

Traffic collision data from the last five years found that collisions occurred at seven of the nine intersections. Of the 11 total collisions, nine of them were broadside collisions.

“None of the intersections have the number of collisions required to install a yield or stop sign,” said Ruth Smith, a traffic consultant for the city.

Smith added that traffic counts and sight distance could also factor into the commission’s decision to recommend stop or yield signs.

“I think probably most of [the intersections] should have something,” she said.

The most recent collision occurred in January of this year at the corner of Roanoke Road and Warwick Road near Tom Phelan’s Warwick Road home.

“Our kids would play on the street and we would never worry about speeders,” said Phelan, noting he’s noticed more speeding drivers around his neighborhood.

He attributed some of the increased traffic and increased speed of that traffic to the removal of dips on Roanoke Road and drivers looking for a shortcut when Huntington Drive gets backed up.

“It seems to me that the little cost to put up stop signs is common sense,” Phelan said.

Committee Member Arti Gupta explained that Waze, a navigation app for the iPhone and Android, has contributed to traffic on local streets by rerouting commuters off of main streets to save time.

City Traffic Engineer Terry Rodrigue agreed.

“That’s a problem we’re seeing more and more,” said Rodrigue. He noted that the city will reach out to the San Gabriel Valley Council of Government to identify efforts by other nearby cities to change Waze’s practice of rerouting onto residential streets.

Other Commission Business

The committee denied a request for a stop sign and white line at the alley north of Mission Street between Los Robles Avenue and El Molino Avenue.

“The common usage of alleys is to stop,” City Engineer Rodrigue said.

The commission also denied a request for a crosswalk at the intersection of Los Robles Avenue and Old Mill Road.

“I don’t know how many people walk or bike from there to our local schools,” said Commission Member Gupta.

“We didn’t have it there, we definitely don’t want it here,” said Commission Vice Chair Hunter Chang, recalling a similar request for a crosswalk across Sierra Madre Boulevard north of Huntington Drive.

Police Report

Police Chief John Incontro reported that the city continues to have an increase in non-injury traffic collisions.

He also noted that there have been nine additional hit-and-run cases this year compared to the same time a year ago.

The San Marino Police Department will increase its traffic enforcement to address these increases, Chief Incontro stated.