Planning Development Director Chris Erias presented the two design options for the redesign of Carillion Boulevard to the Planning Commission at their May 9 meeting at City Hall. One option would put 11 roundabouts down Carillion while the other would mix signal lights and roundabouts.
“We wouldn’t be here if there weren’t issues on this street,” Erias said.
Two workshops were held at Public Safety Committee Meeting – one on Nov. 26, 2018 and the other on March 25, 2019.
The problems with the well-traveled road, according to Erias, are blind spots, speeding, hard-to-cross intersections and congestion from parents dropping off and picking up school children. The study, done by consultants at GHD, considered each intersection, collisions, pedestrians, bike riders and expected growth in the area.
Todd Tregenza from GHD presented the study and a detailed power point on the two alternatives.
The first alternative would pare down the four-lane boulevard to two lanes, which is called a “road diet” fix. This option would also widen bike lanes, and crosswalk lengths would be reduced. Alternative 1 would include a number of restricted intersections where motorist could only turn one way. It would also incorporate 11 roundabouts and the bike lanes would also accommodate neighborhood electric vehicles like golf carts.
The price tag for Alternative 1 is estimated at $33 million, which would only be feasible with large grants, according to Erias.
Alternative 2 would retain the current four lanes but reduce lane width. It would provide a standard 6-foot bicycle lane and as many as nine signal lights.
Commissioner Kevin Papineau asked if the roundabouts and reduced lanes would make travel time on Carillion longer.
Erias said both would not significantly increase travel time along Carillion. The proposed roundabouts are reported to reduce collisions.
Tom Harper spoke during the public hearing portion of the meeting.
“I’m a 20-year resident, a retired police officer and a retired colonel,” stated Harper. “These are bad ideas – an awful presentation. You did it well, but they’re awful ideas.”
Harper then turned to Erais and said, “Obviously you’re a fan.”
Harper said reducing the speed limit would get most people to slow down.
“Most people will comply, and it wouldn’t cost $33 million,” he said. “Some type of hybrid would be better (hybrid between the two alternatives).
Resident Jerry Sauter also spoke.
“I see this as being the most blatant example of being out of touch with what the public wants,” Sauter said. “We just need more law enforcement.”
Erias said the city would continue to hold workshops and reach out for public input. He doesn’t expect to have a final recommendation for City Council until the end of the year.
The commissioners also heard an informational presentation from Paul Philley from California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Department on the department’s jurisdictions and work.