Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Department of Public Works



October 5, 2006


October 17, 2006







Honorable Board of Supervisors


Neil R. Cullen, Director of Public Works


Supplemental Report - Installation of Speed Control Devices on Alta Vista Drive – Country Club Park Area



Adopt a resolution authorizing the Director of Public Works to install speed control devices on Alta Vista Drive between Dorado Way and Alida Way, once the administrative fees have been paid as required by the Residential Speed Control Device Program (“Program”) dated April 11, 2005.


Vision Alignment

Commitment: Ensure basic health and safety for all.

Goal(s): Maintain and enhance public safety of all residents and visitors.


We believe the installation of speed control devices will reduce traffic speeds to acceptable levels on this residential street.



Previous Board Action


Adopted resolutions, which approved the installation of speed control devices (“speed humps”) on various County-maintained streets, including Country Club Drive in the Country Club Park area.



Continued consideration of our recommendation to install speed control devices on Alta Vista Drive based on the concerns raised by the City of South San Francisco, and directed staff to meet with the City staff and report back to your Board.



A majority of the property owners on Alta Vista Drive petitioned the Department to install speed control devices, and our traffic surveys confirmed that the street qualifies for speed control based on the criteria in the adopted Program.


At your Board’s meeting on August 1, 2006, representatives of the City of South San Francisco and a resident of the City expressed concerns about the potential impacts that the speed control devices may have upon nearby City streets and on the response time of emergency vehicles. Your Board directed staff to work with representatives of the City, the Sheriff and the California Highway Patrol to address speeding along Alta Vista Drive.


Two meetings were subsequently held to discuss alternative solutions, which included implementing turn restrictions, making a portion of Alta Vista Drive a one-way street, installing radar speed feedback signs and annexing Alta Vista Drive to the City. However, the alternatives are not being pursued, as there is concern that they would redirect traffic, require increased enforcement or not change the driving habits of motorists using Alta Vista or the adjoining City streets. The consensus of the Sheriff, California Highway Patrol and the South San Francisco Police Department, is enforcement reduces speeding only as long as a patrol vehicle is parked in a visible location along the street.


The City also applied for and has received a State grant to study traffic calming devices that may be used to reduce speeding within its corporate limits, and we reported to the City staff that the installation of the traffic control devices on adjoining Country Club Drive has reduced speeding and not diverted traffic onto other streets based on our before and after traffic counts.



City staff has requested that we accommodate their emergency vehicles on Alta Vista Drive by installing “slots’’ in the speed humps, similar to what we did on Orange Avenue in West Menlo Park, and on Santa Clara Avenue in the Sequoia Tract areas. The slots accommodate the axle width of the fire trucks and can minimize the potential for damaging the trucks or reducing response times. They also requested that we eliminate the proposed speed dips or replace them with “slotted” speed humps.


We can accommodate the City’s request to include the “slots” in the speed humps and are recommending that we rearrange the location of the speed humps to eliminate the speed dips. However, we also believe that four (4) devices are necessary to encourage reduced speeds on Alta Vista and a dip can be installed at a later date if it is determined that additional speed control devices are necessary. We will resurvey Alta Vista Drive six (6) months following the installation of speed control devices, pursuant to your Board’s adopted procedures.


We believe the installation of speed control devices is exempt from the requirements for preparation of an EIR under Section 15301(F) Class 1, of the California Environmental Quality Act and a Notice of Exemption has been filed with the County Clerk.


We estimate that construction of speed lumps will take approximately two (2) days and we will have the work done by independent contract.


A resolution has been approved as to form by County Counsel.


Fiscal Impact

The cost of installing four (4) speed humps is estimated at $3,000 each ($12,000 total). The cost is partially offset by the $400 per speed hump fee ($1,600 total), which has been or will be paid by the project proponents prior to the installation of the speed humps. The net cost of installing speed humps is proposed to be financed with Road Funds. There is no impact to the General Fund.


Not all of the administrative fees as required by the Program have been paid as of the writing of this report. Therefore, the proposed resolution provides that your Board’s approval of the proposed speed humps does not authorize the installation of the devices on a specific street until the fees have been paid. The resolution also provides that the fees must be paid within six (6) months or the authorization to install the speed humps is terminated.


We have notified the residents on Alta Vista Drive, as provided by the Program, of the meeting where your Board will consider our recommendation to install the speed humps. We have also sent a copy of our staff report to the City of South San Francisco and to the Country Club Park Homeowners Associations. We will report any comments that we receive.