Meeting Notes

June 14 2005

By Ray Chong, Scribe

Our June 14 meeting was held in the Enterprise Fish Company near the beach off State Street in Santa Barbara on “The American Riviera.” Everyone enjoyed his or her lunch of Fresh North Atlantic Salmon, Teriyaki Chicken Breast, and Vegetable Pasta The meeting topic was the “Shoreline Drive Park Expansion Project” in Santa Barbara. Rob Dayton, Supervising Transportation Planner, and Dr. Drusilla van Hengel, Mobility Coordinator, City of Santa Barbara, provided an overview of the Shoreline Parl Expansion project. They described the project constraints, budget, and planning & design process. The concept was bicycle-pedestrian connection between Shoreline Park and Leadbetter Beach Park near Santa Barbara Harbor. A four-lane arterial was converted to two lanes to accommodate this concept. Staff did an extensive community outreach effort to develop alternatives of the concept. After City Council approval, the challenge was to obtain 80% external funding to implement this project. Engineering challenges included: design changes, bluff sluff, median elimination, mid-block crossings, and transitions. Construction challenges were: surfer view turnout, brick storage, and trees relocation. The successful results from Shoreline Park Expansion Project were: development of a public place; increase in public activity; reduced vehicle speeds with reducing roadway capacity; and unanimous positive public response. Twenty-nine people attended this meeting.

April 13, 2004

The April meeting was held on the 13th at the Golden China Restaurant in the City of Ventura. The meeting was well attended with a total of 35 people making the trek to the lovely City by the sea. Central Coast president, Farhad Miran, brought the meeting to order by asking the attendees to introduce themselves by describing their personalities through a traffic sign. There were many creative and appropriate responses, but the one that sticks out in my mind is the W32 (DIP). Concluding self introductions and announcements, the featured speaker, Jeff Heald, was introduced. Jeff is an Attorney at Law for a law office in the City of Oxnard. He specializes in representing public and private agencies with regard to traffic and transportation lawsuits. Jeff has 20 years of experience in defending Cities, Counties, and other public agencies in lawsuits.

Jeff opened up with explaining the key to why attorneys sue public agencies. Basically, it has to do with Proposition 51 that is codified as Civil Code section 1431.2. This statute allows for assigning partial responsibility depending on percentages of fault. Therefore, if a defendant were found to be only 1% liable in a case that had $10 million in special damages (loss of earnings, funeral, etc.) and $10 million in general damages (non-economic), the defendant would be responsible to pay $100,000 in general damages and all of the special damages.

For the remainder of the presentation Jeff went over several specific examples of cases involving some aspect of transportation. One example was a case involving a child that got hit crossing the freeway. The family sued the State of California. The issue in the case is if a public agency is liable for an admitted danger. The State admitted that there were three dangerous conditions at the site. The dangerous conditions included an unlit tunnel to cross under the freeway, a fence that was lower than standard height, and a whole in the fence on one side of the crossing. In the end the court ruled that there was no liability to the State.

Jeff also discussed the biggest issue in dangerous condition cases, which is visibility. He gave an example of a case where there was a sign on private property that was limiting sight distance at an intersection. In the end the City was liable for the right angle collision that occurred at the intersection even though the sign was not on their right of way.

The meeting concluded with a buffet style lunch and time to socialize with the other members while eating lunch.

May 11,2004

The Central Coast Section is supporting the re-establishment of a Student Chapter on the campus of California Polytechnic State University (“Cal Poly”) in San Luis Obispo. The Section met May 11 at San Luis Obispo City Hall, convenient to the campus, and was joined by five student leaders from the fledging student chapter. We heard a presentation by Professor Eugene Jud, in which he described a proposal for implementation of the university’s master circulation plan. The university has committed itself to sustainability in its future expansion plans, and associated circulation improvements. The primary challenges in achieving sustainability include provision of non-motorized transportation facilities, smart parking management, but most importantly, development of a new “mobility culture.”

The May 11 meeting concluded with a brief panel discussion about ways the Section might foster the development of the Student Chapter. Suggestions included technical presentations, career coaching, scholarships, field trips and future joint meetings. The students will be meeting again soon to set some direction for their future plans.

The next Section meeting will be June 8, 11:30 a.m. at The Big Yellow House in Summerland. The presentation will be an overview of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments’ transportation model.

June 8, 2004

SBCAG 2003 Base Year Model and Performance
Mr. William Yim, Transportation Planner II for the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) and the project manager for the SBCAG Model Development and Forecast Projects, will be presenting the “SBCAG Base Year Model and Performance”, and may briefly touch on the status of the Year 2030 forecasts.

August 10, 2004

Santa Clara River Bridge Widening Project

Mr. Dragan Buha, a registered engineer (P.E), with over 13 years of experience with Caltrans will discuss the $100 million widening project of the Santa Clara River Bridge along Route 101 between Ventura and Oxnard. In addition to the bridge widening, the project includes a City funded and designed interchange at Oxnard Boulevard and Route 101.

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ITE 2005 Annual Meeting and Exhibit

August 7-10, 2005

Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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