The San Marino Public Safety Commission heard refinements to the proposed traffic projects in the city with Metro’s 710 Measure R funding at City Hall on Monday. The city is considering an option which would allow a longer drop off and pickup zone in front of San Marino High School.
The two projects involve intersection work at Atlantic Boulevard/Garfield Avenue/Los Robles Avenue/Huntington Drive (Project 1) and corridor work by school sites along Huntington Drive (Project 2).
For Project 1, the preliminary cost estimate is $8 million. Michael Throne, director of the Parks and Public Works Department and city engineer, said once the funding agreement is made with Metro, an extensive traffic signal modification system can be made.
“The intent of this project is to improve traffic flow in all directions, with a special focus on diverting commuter traffic away, as much as practicable, from Garfield Avenue and Los Robles as you enter into the city,” said Throne.
Project 2 has a preliminary cost estimate of $6 million and involves corridor work from city limits to city limits. Lane narrowing and adding a segregated parking lane from the No. 3 through lane with striping is meant to smooth the flow of traffic, particularly in terms of separating the traffic involved with pick-up and drop-offs at school sites, according to Throne.
Throne noted three specific work areas in Project 2, noted as Area A, B and C. Area A involves refinements at Valentine Elementary School and Huntington Middle School. He shared there have been “no substantive changes” since August, except that the dimensions of merging and turning pockets are set to be determined by a traffic study that will be undertaken once Metro funding is secured.
“We received very positive support from the school district staff on this proposal, as it incorporates recommendations from their own study on traffic congestion at this location,” said Throne.
For Area B in front of San Marino High School, Throne said he and City Manager Dr. Marcella Marlowe met with San Marino Unified School District (SMUSD) officials to discuss Option 1, which would involve adding a signal at Winston Avenue by school’s parking lot entrance and making the teacher’s parking area a one-way for traffic. The district declined the option, instead opting for Option 2, which would involve constructing a longer drop off and pickup zone across the front of the school and crossing over current green space. However, since the work would be partially done on school property, which Metro funding would not cover, the school would need time to raise funding for the project. It is possible that the project could be split into two phases, where the Huntington Drive corridor work could be completed first, with the school having around five years to roll out the work on their own property, according to Throne.
For Area C in front of Carver Elementary School and Saints Felicitas and Perpetua School, Throne noted no changes from previous plans.
Julie Boucher, assistant superintendent of business services at the SMUSD, told the commission that the district had no additional comments for the other school sites, but would welcome electronic speed limit signs, which would automatically adjust for school drop off and pick up times.
The project proposals will next be discussed by the City Council at the adjourned meeting on Friday, Sept. 27 at 8:30 a.m. in the Crowell Public Library’s Barth Community Room. All of the features noted on the project proposals are subject to council and Metro review and approval. If the council gives the green light at the Sept. 27 meeting, the city will move forward to meet with Metro staff. Throne noted that the Metro board will be voting this month on assigning funds to San Marino, which would then lead to the development of a funding agreement between the city and Metro.
To learn more about the potential project corridor refinements, visit the city’s website at cityofsanmarino.org. The refinements by meeting dates are available on the main homepage.