PLEASE ATTEND: March 4th, 2014


PLEASE ATTEND: March 4th, 2014, San Clemente City Council (map HERE) will evaluate the Complete Streets proposal for the City’s northern-most stretch of the Pacific Coast Bike Route as part of Pacific Coast Hwy. The plan is anchored by a Class 1 facility on the west side of the roadway. If all goes well, project construction is anticipated to begin in early 2015.

At the Planning Commission in January, the discussion revolved around what type of barrier to create to define the Class 1. Concept dwgs depict an 8-inch curbed median. However, PEDal advocated for what most San Clemente residents have said they favor: the k-rail (especially in light of the double fatality DUI that occurred late last year in Dana Point).

Alternatively, decorative k-rail sections could be intermingled with palm trees. I suggested the Commission consider later removal of the k-rails section-by-section, replacing them with planted palms. Upon maturity and firm rooting, I reasoned, the trees would form a significant (and more aesthetically pleasing) barrier separating cars from Class 1 users. The Commission ultimately recommended the 8-inch curbed median so as to accommodate future landscaping, details to be determined later.

Principal Planner, Jim Pechous, reminded the Commission of the new General Plan’s emphasis on accentuating our City’s gateways. When fully landscaped, the Commission readily envisioned that section of PCH as creating a distinctive entry to San Clemente. From a Complete Streets perspective, it would set a very high standard that could become the envy of all Pacific Coast Bike Route communities. San Clemente is poised to be the leader in OC for quality multi-modal infrastructure.

Here are some key features of the project, as recommended by the Planning Commission:

A) From Camino Capistrano south to Ave Estacion: 18-foot wide Class 1 adjacent the RR guardrail. There will be one section that expands to 20 feet.

B) The Class 1 will be separated from the roadway with two different types of barriers:

1. beginning at PCH/Camino Capistrano and extending south 540 feet, the concrete k-rail barrier will continue from Dana Point’s city limit b/c the roadway tapers in such a way to preclude creation of a wide, raised, landscaped median.

2. at the k-rail’s 540-foot southern endpoint, a continuous 6-foot wide median will begin, ending approx. 75 feet prior to (north of) Ave Estacion. The median will have an 8-inch vertical curb on the roadway side, but a mountable (rolled) curb on the Class 1 side. The median will be filled with decomposed granite to permit future landscaping. Note: I raised the concern that the DG fill could be dangerously spilled/transferred/blown onto the surface used by bicyclists, so our transportation engineer will ensure that the surface will be firmly sealed with no loose material.

C) On the roadway side of the Class 1 and adjacent its barrier, a Class 2 on-road striped bike lane will be included. The northern-most half of the Class 2 will be 5 feet wide, while the southern-most half will be 8 feet wide.

D) Though both the k-rail and raised median was conceptually extended through the intersections of Camino Capistrano and Camino San Clemente, OC Bicycle Coalition’s Pete Van Nuys said that design would channel fast bicyclists southbound in Dana Point’s Class 1 into San Clemente’s Class 1, thus defeating the purpose of the separation of the two bicycle facilities. Therefore, transportation engineer Tom Frank agreed to remove the barrier from the intersections.

E) Existing left and right turn pockets for vehicles will be retained. Vehicle travel lane widths will be 10 feet, except as they approach Ave Estacion, where they will increase to 11 feet (likely b/c the roadway curves at that point).

F) The ped/bike separation on the Class 1 will be designated with striping.

G) Other than the turn pockets for vehicles, the roadway will accommodate one vehicle travel lane in each direction for most of its length. An exception will occur as follows:

At Ave. Estacion: southbound, two vehicle travel lanes will be in place and continue on El Camino Real through downtown. That will require the southbound Class 2 to merge with the Class 1 approaching Ave Estacion and the raised median will stop about 75 feet north of that point; northbound, two vehicle travel lanes will merge into one just north of Ave Estacion.

H) There will be typical cross-over sections for cars and bikes in the Class 2’s as both approach the intersections. I’ve requested that the cross-over segments have dashed extensions of the Class 2, as Newport Beach has implemented at PCH/MacArthur.

I) Pedestrian crosswalks will be shortened via bulb-outs to shorten the time required for crossing, which will improve level of service for vehicles by reducing the red-light wait time at intersections.

J) All pedestrian crosswalks will be the prominent, continental style with numerous, wide, parallel stripes.

K) As funding becomes available, bicycle traffic lights will be installed to more efficiently regulate travel needs of bicyclists and pedestrians.

Here’s the link to download the most recent version of the conceptual drawings:

Please let me know if you need me to email them directly to you.

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