You should be receiving your Traffic newsletter over the next week. If you did not receive a newsletter by Sunday October 5, send us an email and we’ll get one to you. You can also download a pdf of the newsletter here.
When a speeding car killed a resident’s cat on Dominican Drive, it led a group of concerned neighbors to form a Traffic Committee to discuss the issues. Our goal is to raise awareness about our driving habits, consciously slow down and stop at stop signs. This is something that we, as a community, can change if we want. Please participate by putting a sticker on your car window and a lawn sign in your yard. If you need a sticker for a second car or are willing to put up a sign, send an email to DBCNA.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Traffic Committee Issues
Here is an overview of the issues identified by the traffic committee:
- Excessive speeding on Dominican Dr., Mountain View Ave, Grand Ave, Belle Ave., Villa Ave., Rafael Dr. and Locust Ave.
- People run stop signs at Sienna at Mt. View, Mt. View at Grand, Grand at Villa, Irwin and Belle.
- It is dangerous walking down Mountain View because there are no sidewalks on the last few blocks near Grand Avenue. This is a big and dangerous problem for children walking or biking to school, and for famlies with children in strollers.
- Speeding on Belle Ave near Coleman after dropping kids off in morning or before picking them up.
- Parking in neighborhood without respect for blocking driveways while picking up kids at Coleman.
- Driving around pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Service vehicles speeding (FedEx, gardeners, etc.)
The committee also brainstormed some solutions/requests for change. An abbreviated list is below:
- Extend the red curb on Dominican Drive at the first curve above Sienna, to prevent cars from parking where they block views of oncoming traffic
- Install speed bumps on Mt. View
- Add signage on road to reduce speeding
- Add painted “ladders” to crosswalks
- Install stop sign at Linden Lane/Mt. View
- Make Grand Ave/Villa Ave a three-way stop sign
- Develop a community outreach plan to get neighbors to comply with traffic code
- Communicate to Coleman parents via the school’s weekly email to remind them of safety issues and neighborhood parking/speeding etiquette
- Remind people of 25 mph speed limit
- Ask Dominican University to participate in our program and communicate traffic laws to students
Traffic Meeting #2
Nader Mansourian, Director of Public Works for the City of San Rafael, attended our second traffic meeting and talked about the process for new signage, and the extensive rules and regulations required to governing the approval of new signs. Nader explained that he comes out to Dominican every few years to respond to the same series of complaints. He researched the accident reports for our area and our neighborhood has few vehicle impacts on record.
The City of San Rafael has monitored speeds on Mt. View a number of times since 2000. The average speed has risen from 32 mph to 34 mph, in a 24 mph zone.
Signage: Many traffic studies have shown that adding more frequent 25 mph speed limit signs is not effective in slowing traffic or changing people’s behavior. People simply stop seeing them.
Speed Humps: The City of San Rafael no longer installs speed bumps as they significantly slow down response time for emergency vehicles (ambulances have to come nearly to a complete stop at each hump), but they also do not slow traffic. Traffic studies show that once over a bump, people tend to accelerate even more due to the annoyance.
Stop sign at Villa: California Vehicle Code would not allow a southbound stop sign on Grand Avenue at Villa for several reasons. Among them, the traffic on the two streets is not nearly equal, a requirement for a three-way or four-way stop. For another, the hill just north of that intersection would hide any sign from traffic driving south, until the cars are suddenly upon it and unable to stop fast enough. Additionally, having the sign would give cars entering from Villa an inappropriate sense of security, when they expect southbound cars to stop.
We are pursuing discussions with him about other possible signage that might slow traffic. We will keep you updated on the process.
In an effort to increase awareness, we have distributed 1000 traffic newsletters and window stickers to the neighborhood. We have lawn signs that will be placed in yards and moved from house to house every few weeks to increase visibility. Dominican University is distributing over 425 window stickers to students with parking permits and employees., in addition to University-specific lawn signs that will be posted on campus.