This report outlines the results of the Issue Identification, Priority Setting, and Design Charrette exercises conducted on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 at the Live Oak Senior Center in Clearlake Oaks; Thursday, March 3, 2005 at the Alpine Senior Center in Lucerne; and Friday, March 4, 2005 at the Robinson Rancheria Casino in Nice. Information and ideas gathered from the public at these workshops will serve to further the efforts on the conceptual planning and design process for the Highway 20 Traffic Calming and Beautification Plan.
The workshops each started off with Andy Peterson of the Lake County Redevelopment Agency giving opening remarks and introductions. General explanations of the evening’s agenda were presented by RRM Design Group. Demae Tillotson, Senior Planner with RRM and project manager for the Highway 20 Traffic Calming & Beautification Plan gave general explanations of the evening’s agendas followed by a brief description of the public design process and the background work done to date. A member of W-Trans staff elaborated the background information with existing traffic conditions including volume and speed information. W-Trans then rolled into the discussion of opportunities and constraints with RRM wrapping up by reviewing an opportunities and constraints map with the audience before moving onto the exercises.
The first step of each Workshop was to gather participants’ observations, concerns, aspirations, and ideas for the section of Highway 20 that bisects the downtown of each northshore community. To achieve this goal an Issue Identification and Priority Setting exercise was done where participants were asked their thoughts on issues and ideas on the following categories of topics related to the project:
- Reducing/Calming Speeds
- Pedestrian Safety
- Intersection Improvements
- Streetscape Elements
- Circulation & Parking
- Other Ideas
Concise comments from the audience in response to these topics were written down on large banners that had been made for each topic. After all the banners were filled with the statements from the audience, attendees were then asked to participate in a priority setting exercise wherein they affixed different colors and sizes of tape dots to the banners per the following instructions:
- Two (2) large green dots one for a statement & one for an overall topic that were the most important or most strongly supported by the attendee
- Twelve (12) small green dots indicating other ideas that are important or supported by the attendee
- One (1) large red dot for the statement that was the least important or most strongly opposed by the attendee
- Six (6) small red dots indicating less important or opposed by the attendee
Following the conclusion of this exercise and a brief recap of its results, the audience was led in a alternatives mapping design session in which groups of participants (approximately 2-6 people per group) were given a base map, colored markers, and some basic graphic standards with which to express their vision for the project design.
Groups were asked to consider the presented topics gathered and written on the banners and were encouraged to add any new items they came up with to their design. After discussing and drawing their ideas amongst themselves, a representative from each of the groups was invited to present their ideas to the entire audience.
Outlined below are the results of these exercises, an explanation of what those results mean, and a set of recommendations on how to proceed with the next steps and crafting alternative plans based on the public feedback received.
B. Issue Identification and Priority Setting Tape Dot Exercise
The detailed tally of the tape dot exercises that is contained as Appendix A of this report reveals the following findings:
The overall topic that received the most large green dots was “Reducing/Calming Speeds”. It is important to note that there were no statements written under this banner because the audience felt that they had addressed all speed related concerns under other topics. That being said 64% of the participants still felt this was the most important topic. “Intersection Improvements” and “Other Ideas” both tied for the second highest support with 12% of the votes; “Streetscape Elements” had 8% and “Circulation and Parking” had 4%. Due to the limited wall space the “Pedestrian Safety” banner did not get hung up and instead comments and ideas on that subject were listed under other topics such as “Circulation and Parking”.
Based on the number of large green dots indicating strongest support for an issue or idea on the banners, “Street lights on all of Highway 20 between Island Drive and Keys Blvd.” received the most with 20% of the large green dots, followed by “Stop light at Island Drive and Highway 20” with 13%. Tied for the next highest amount of support were “Reroute truck traffic” and “Stop light at High Valley near school” with 11% each.
Receiving the largest number of small green dots there was a three way tie between “reroute truck traffic”, “Lighted crosswalks”, and “Underground utilities” with 5% of the small green dots each, “Sidewalks” and “Improve circulation in area of post office” followed close behind with 4% each. “Move 35 MPH zone east” had the next highest support with just over 3% of the small green dots. Many other ideas had votes at small percentages including “crosswalk at Tower Market”, “planted island along Highway 20”, “Postal service to home”, and “Pedestrian crossing lights at school”.
Receiving the largest number of large red dots, or opposition to statements or features indicated on the banners by far was “Build Highway 20 Freeway” with 56% of the large red dots, followed by “Mirror at Shady Lane [to improve visibility]” with 15% of the large red dots. “Trash cans/recycle bins” were next in line with 8%.
Receiving the largest number of small red dots indicating opposition to statements made were led by “median with wall in front of Red & White/Barn” with 9% of the small red dots, closely followed by “Bend highway 20 to slow traffic” and “Round-a-bout at Island Drive” with 8% each. “Speed bumps on Highway 20” and “Port-a-potty” followed with 7% each, Other topics with moderate opposition were “survey traffic origin/destination” and “Stop sign and Island and Highway 20” with 5% each, and “Raise sidewalk to avoid flooding” and “Speed bumps on Foothill” with 4% each.
There was considerable concern over the low turn out of public for the Lucerne workshop. A newspaper article running that morning issued the wrong date and might have confused potential attendees. Participants that did attend were very engaging and helpful and were asked to spread the word to the family, friends, and neighbors in hopes to draw a bigger crowd for the next public workshop. During this workshop it was agreed by the participants that the “Reducing/Calming Speeds” topic could be covered under the other topics and was not used but was left up for attendees to vote on the overall topic.
The overall topic that received the most large green dots was a tie between “Circulation & Parking” & “Intersection Improvements” each with 30%. “Pedestrian Safety” with 20% of the votes; “Streetscape Elements” had tied with “Reducing/Calming Speeds” at 10% each. The “Other Ideas” banner didn’t receive any large green dots.
In Lucerne there were a large number of issues that received one large green dot (indicating strongest support for an issue or idea) indicating a lack of a clear support for any one issue. In this instance we looked at the topics that these issues were under and found that “Streetscape Elements” had the most support with 40%, “Pedestrian Safety” tied for the second strongest support with “Circulation & Parking” each received 20%, followed by another tie between “Intersection Improvements” and “Other Ideas” with 10% each. “Reducing/Calming Speeds” did not receive any large green dots.
Receiving the largest number of small green dots was a tie between “Dedicated left turn lane” and “more street trees” with 6% of the small green dots. There were a few statements that followed with a little more than 3% each: “Islands/Medians”, “Pedestrian Refuge Areas” “treatment at Foothill & Hwy20” and “Decorative medians/bulb outs”.
Receiving the largest number of large red dots, or opposition to statements or features indicated on the banners, there was a tie between “Round-a-bouts” and “Stop lights” with 25% of the large red dots, followed by “Trash cans” “Pedestrian Overpass” “Stop light” & “sidewalk on both sides of hwy 20” all with 12.5% each. As you can see, “Stop light” was a statement under two different banners.
Receiving the largest number of small red dots indicating oppositions to statements made were led by “No Gateways” with 26% of the small red dots, closely followed by “Pedestrian Overpass” at 19%. Next in line were “Stop light” with 16%, “Round-a-bouts” with 9%.
The overall topic that received the most large green dots was “Reducing/Calming Speeds” with 59%. The other banners that received large green dots were “Pedestrian Safety” with 35% of the votes; “Streetscape Elements” at 6%.
Based on the number of large green dots indicating strongest support for an issue or idea on the six banners, “35 MPH speed limit” had the most support by far with 37%, “More street lighting” came in second with 26%.
Receiving the largest number of small green dots was, “More Street Lighting” had the most support by far with 11%, “Pedestrian Islands” came in second with 4% closely followed by “Landscape along Highway” which received just blow 4%.
Receiving the largest number of large red dots, or opposition to statements or features indicated on the banners, “Close streets along side Hinman Park” with 38% of the large red dots, followed by “Pedestrian Bridge (overpass)” with 31% while “Make Manzanita one way near Triangle” and “No on street parking on Highway 20” both had 15.5% each.
Receiving the largest number of small red dots indicating oppositions to statements made were led by “Make Manzanita one way near Triangle” with 24% of the small red dots, followed by “No on street parking on Highway 20” at 13%. Next in line was “Pedestrian Bridge (overpass)” with 11%, and “Close streets along side Hinman Park” with 10%.
C. Alternatives Mapping Session
In this exercise attendees participated in an activity to produce several contrasting visions and varying ideas of what the project design should look like. Armed with a blank base map, markers, and a legend groups discussed and then drew out their ideal plan for traffic calming and beautification in their community.
These study sessions revealed the following:
- Circulation- Of the five groups two suggested a bike path/sidewalk combination. One of those groups showed the path/sidewalk located on the north side of Highway 20 from the East Side elementary onto Foothill and ending at Oak Street. The other group showed trails on both sides of highway 20 spanning the full length of the corridor. Of the other three groups one shows a sidewalk on the shore side of Highway 20 connecting Tower Mart to the intersection at Foothill, one shows sidewalks at Foothill and all around the “Plaza” connecting to Tower Mart and then continuing down to Island Drive and connecting to the county park/beach. The third group wrote that they would like sidewalks on both sides of Highway 20 throughout the town. Three of the groups addressed automobile traffic directly mostly concentrating on the post office circulation. Two of these three groups recommended one way traffic around the post office; one also opted to close the street behind the Windmill while another recommended one way streets behind the windmill allowing for southbound traffic only. In addition one of these three groups stated that would like all truck traffic rerouted off of Highway 20.
- Crossings- Every group included some crossings in their plan. The most popular crossing added by far was on the east end of Tower Mart which was included in all five groups. Two of the groups added crossings at the post office, moved the elementary school crossing over to the High Valley Road intersection, and added a crossing at Keys Boulevard. Other crossings recommended were at Lake Street and at the Windmill. Another group recommended moving the elementary school crossing to the High Valley Road intersection specifying that the crossing be some sort of lighted crossing or rumble strips to warn of the children crossing the road. Only one other groups specified a lighted cross walk at the school, leaving the location of the cross walk the same but wanting to draw more attention to it.
- Gateways- Four of the five groups recommended gateways as an entry feature to identify the entry into downtown. All of these groups believe that a gateway should be located at the intersection of Highway 20 and Island Drive, one showed an additional gateway west of Island near Hillside Lane, one showed a gateway between Butler and Schindler. Another suggested a gateway east of Keys Blvd. near the hotel and another group showed a gateway further east of the hotel at the edge of our base map.
- Intersection Improvements- All but one group showed that the intersection at Island Drive needs some attention. Other favorites were the Post Office (2 of 5 groups), Keys Blvd. (2 of 5 groups), and High Valley (2 of 5 groups). One groups wanted to see improvements at Red & White as well as Foothill. Another identified Oak Grove and Foothill as needing improvements.
- Medians – Two groups suggested medians throughout the corridor with intermittent breaks at intersections and major driveways. Of the two groups, one specified a landscaped median with street lighting. One group included a landscaped median between Lake Street and Foothill only and another included a median from Tower Mart up to Foothill. This group specified that their median be hardscaped with lights in the median and turn lanes where needed.
- Bus Stops – Two groups addressed bus stops. Their recommendations were for stops on both sides of the highway at Keys blvd., Lake Street, Red & White and at Tower Mart. The other group recommended a stop at the 3 way intersection of Foothill, Highway 20 and Oakgrove Ave.
- Parking – Of the five groups, two recommended additional parking. One group showed parking on the south side of Foothill as well as behind the Windmill while the other group showed larger massing of parking taking over the western lots at the end of the plaza and opposite the Windmill.
- Landscaping – Three groups addressed landscaping in their plans. One drew street trees on both sides of highway 20 from Butler down past the hotel. Another only included shrubs on the north side of highway 20 from Oak Grove to Foothill. The third group added landscaping at the corner of Foothill & Highway 20, the “Plaza”, on Highway 20 in front of Clark Island, all of Clark Island and along Island Drive opening the lake views from the highway.
- There were a few ideas that were unique to a single group’s drawing. These include:
- Landscaping Clark Island and its surrounding area
- Removing the building at the west corner of Highway 20 and Lake
- Removing the buildings on the 3 lots west of Schindler
- A stop light at Island Drive
- No truck parking in front of strip mall
- Underground utilities
- Home mail delivery
- Circulation-All three groups proposed bike lanes for Lucerne. Two of them showed bike lanes on the lake side of Highway 20 all the way through town. The other group liked the idea of a bike trail through the hills of the community above the town. Sidewalks were recommended by two groups one locating them the entire length of the town on the lake side of Highway 20 only and the other showed sidewalks the entire length but on both sides of Highway 20.
- Crossings- Two of the three groups suggested crossings throughout Lucerne. One group located crossings at the following locations: west side of Foothill, both sides of Grove, parallel to Highway 20 across third, fourth and fifth, on the east side of fifth, on both sides of eighth and ninth, both sides of thirteenth, on the east side of sixteenth, and the west side of Country Club. The other group located crossings at: the east side of first, fifth, ninth, thirteenth and County Club.
- Gateways- All three groups located gateway features at both ends of the community. The preferred location on the west end of town was west of Foothill. The eastern end had a little more variation with one group suggesting County Club another suggesting one block east of Country Club and one group with an arrow pointing to locate the gateway further east than our map shows.
- Intersection Improvements- One group did not suggest any intersection improvements. The other two groups shared many similar recommendations including: County Club, Thirteenth, the block from eighth to ninth, and fourth. One group included First Street in their recommended improvements while the other group added, Fifth, Third, Grove and Foothill.
- Medians – One group wanted to see a landscaped median throughout the length of the corridor and another suggested small landscape islands spread throughout the corridor including Foothill, in front of Starlight, at Fourth, mid-block between fifth and sixth, at Thirteenth, mid-block between Fourteenth and Fifteenth, and in front of the elementary school. The third group did not address medians.
- Bus Stops – While two groups addressed bus stops, one of those groups only suggested one stop on the south side of Country Club at Kensington. The other groups suggested stops on both sides of Highway 20 located: east of Starlight, mid-block between Fourth and Fifth, west of Eighth, mid-block between Thirteen and Fourteen, and west of Lucerne.
- Parking – All three groups suggested additional parking. The one spot all agreed on parking was at the greenway between Eighth and Ninth. Two recommended parking along the entire length of the greenway and the third recommended parking on at the ends of the greenway with a bridge over the creek connecting the lots. One group suggested additional parking on the north west corner where second meets the alley, the north east corner where Fifth meets the alley, the north east corner where Tenth meets the alley, and at mid-block on the west side of Fourteen. Another groups recommended additional parking adjacent to Highway 20 on the lot east of the elementary school, along Thirteenth, at Lucerne Harbor Park, and on the lot to the west of Starlight.
- Landscaping – Landscaping at the greenway between Eighth and Ninth was recommended by all the groups with one specifying natural plants, Two of the groups wanted to see landscaping on both sides of Thirteenth, one suggested landscaping along both sides of Harbor Park, and in addition to the median landscaping discussed above one group suggested street trees through the entire corridor.
- Lake Access – Thirteen was the most popular location for lake access for all three groups. Two groups wanted to see lake access between Eighth and Ninth. One group showed lake access at Third and Fifth, another identified First, Fourth and Seventeenth as their lake access points. The third group chose Sixteenth and Second for their lake access.
- There were a few ideas that were unique to a single group’s drawing. These include:
- Bike path through the hills above the community
- Parking along the alley instead of on Highway 20
- Treatment of the greenway at 8th & 9th with parking on the outside a bridge connecting parking areas and natural planting in the center.
- Circulation- Of the four groups all included a bike lane through town. Two of the groups recommended bike lanes a long the lake side of the Highway 20 corridor as well as an additional bike lane along Lakeshore Boulevard. One group had their bike lane only along Lakeshore Boulevard with it jogging north around the marina. The other group had their bike lane along the lake side of Highway 20 only. Three groups recommended sidewalks throughout the town and one group suggested sidewalks only from Sayre to Keeling and Crump to Howard. Of the three groups wanting to see sidewalks throughout the corridor, two stopped the northern sidewalk at the post office and the other extended to Burpee Drive. Three of the groups recommend the sidewalk turn and go up Sayre around the gas station. Two groups suggested sidewalks around the marina and one group suggested sidewalks leading people down to the Lake from Sayre, Benton, and Hudson.
- Crossings- Each of the four groups drew crossings on their plans, all of them including a crossing on the east side of Sayre. Two groups recommended crossings at or near the post office, one group added a crossing at World Mark. Three groups suggested a crossing at Howard, and one group suggested a crossing from Ace Hardware to the Marina Grill.
- Gateways- Two of the four groups addressed gateways both adding them at Sayre. One of the groups suggested the eastern gateway location at Robinson Ave while the other suggested the location further east at the end of Burpee Drive.
- Intersection Improvements- Three groups recommended improvements at Howard and Highway 20 around the Triangle Park area. One group suggested additional intersection improvements at Manzanita (near the post office), at Hudson (near the Nice Market), and at Sayre.
- Medians – Two groups suggested medians with one recommending intermittent medians west of Sayre before entering into town and the other recommending landscaped medians west of town at Manzanita Road, and just before Sayre, between Keeling and Crump, at Triangle Park, from Marina Gas & Market to Ace Hardware, at the Benton intersection, and intermittent from east of Hudson out past the post office.
- Bus Stops – Only one group addressed bus stops recommending them east bound at Hinman Park, Howard, and west of the post office. Other locations include westbound at Hudson, at the intersection of Manzanita and Hudson, and at the intersection of Manzanita and Dawes Ave.
- Parking – Of the four groups, two recommended additional parking. Both groups showed parking on Sayre behind the gas station. One group also showed parking on the northwest lot at the intersection of Sayre and Highway 20 as well as on the lot on the lake side of Highway 20 at the end of Crump and on the southeast lot at the intersection of Hudson and Highway 20.
- Landscaping – Two of the four groups suggested landscaping. Both wanted to see landscaping all around Hinman Park and on Hudson entering into the Marina. One group suggested landscaped medians and the other suggested street trees on both sides of Highway 20 and down around the marina.
- Lake Access – Three of the four groups labeled lake access that they would like to see in Nice. All three suggested Sayre, Benton and Hudson as opportunities to enhance lake access and one group included access on either side of the marina as well as near Hutchins Road on the east end of town.
- An interesting thing came out of one groups design. With the landscaping, sidewalk and strong relation to the marina the group had essentially designed another focal point for downtown. While other designs were mainly focused on Hinman Park this one design allowed for two major focal points in Nice.
D. What Does it All Mean?
Our assessment of the results of the Tape Dot Exercise and Design Charrette Session leads us to the following analysis and conclusions:
- Overall, Design Charrette participants had strong opposition to stop lights, stop signs, speed bumps, and round-a-bouts. Instead, communities looked to more traditional features of landscaping, medians, and gateways to slow down traffic on Highway 20.
- Participants showed concern for disabled access, school children crossing the street as well as people crossing at post offices in each community.
- Truck issues came up in all three communities in the form of rerouting traffic, enforcing noise ordinances, and placing parking restrictions to improve sight distance.
- Speeding as a general topic was a major concern in Nice and Clearlake Oaks but less so in Lucerne.
From here RRM Design Group will use this information to gather images of traffic calming devices and beautification options to use during the visual preference survey. Using the direction gained from the first two workshops and our data gathering exercise RRM will begin forming up to three design alternatives for each community in preparation for our third public workshop.