Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Citizen recommendations for Seacliff Drive traffic rejected in Quarry EIR final draft

   RICHMOND - Three citizen suggestions to improve traffic safety on Seacliff Drive - presented at the Nov. 16 city planning commission meeting discussing the proposed 200-unit Quarry Residential project - should not be implemented, a traffic consultant to the city has recommended.
     Instead, the consulting firm of W-Trans of Oakland says the recommendations included in the draft EIR "should sufficiently improve safety on Seacliff Drive..."
     Those recommendations include narrowing Seacliff Drive to 11-foot travel lanes and installing speed limit and other signs. The development will add 1,400 vehicle trips per day to the road, according to the original traffic study.
      W-Trans drew its conclusions by doing a 'peer review' of the data provided from the original traffic study presented Nov. 16.
Left-turn lane recommendation 
     The W-Trans recommendations are  included in the final EIR slated for a public hearing Thursday, Feb. 1 at the Richmond Planning Commission meeting.
     The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be held the city council chambers, 440 Civic Center Plaza.
     The presentation of the final EIR comes two months after the planning commission's public hearing on the draft EIR.
     At that meeting, members of the public strongly urged the planning commission to consider three alternatives: a left-turn lane, a small 'roundabout' at the entrance - or requiring the developer New West of Las Vegas to create a driveway entrance off Canal Boulevard to avoid Seacliff Drive entirely for ingress and egress.
     In rejecting the public-generated suggestions, W-Trans said:
     • A left-turn pocket into the subdivision is not needed because few project trips are expected to turn left into the project driveway.
     • A single lane mini-roundabout is not recommended as there are concerns due to speed, topography and required right of way.
Mini-roundabout recommendation 
     • Relocation of the project driveway may be feasible but would need approval from the city and the East Bay Regional Park District as it is adjacent to the Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline Park. Additionally, the project site plan would need to be altered. Issues such as speeding and safety on Seacliff Drive would not change with the relocated driveway.
     Planning commissioners at the Nov. 16 meeting also voiced concerns about potential traffic safety issues on Seacliff Drive if the project is approved.
    "I think we're all cognizant this is a serious issue and one that neighbors really want to get right," planning commissioner Andrew Butt said. "And I personally want to get it right as well."
     Proponents of the three alternatives to improve traffic safety at the entrance of the development are expected to urge the planning commission to require the developer - New West of Las Vegas - to implement one of the three traffic measures, despite the W-Trans' peer review of data.
     The full EIR - including a transcript of comments made by the planning commission regarding the need for more study of traffic safety on Seacliff Drive - can be found here:

Quarry project access from Canal Drive recommendation