Public Workshop #2
Highway 20 Traffic Calming & Beautification Plan
On Saturday, March 12, 2005 RRM Design Group conducted the second series of public workshops to conduct a Visual Preference Survey with each of the Northshore communities of Nice, Lucerne, and Clearlake Oaks. There was a good turnout with Clearlake Oaks having the highest attendance at 32 people. Lucerne had 16 participants and Nice had 19. Each community was shown a series of slides and using a remote control voting system was asked to vote on whether the items shown were appropriate for their community. In some of the slides, the question was what style was preferred. The intent was not to determine where each of these features should be located but rather just get a general feeling from the community on whether the items were acceptable or not.
There were some technical difficulties in getting all the tallies to show up on screen after the votes were taken but with some quick subtraction we were able to tell people verbally how many votes there were for each image. There were also two trivia questions that were added to the presentation. These questions were just to add a bit of fun to the survey and break up the long stream of images that participants were viewing. The detailed response list by community is attached at the end of this summary.
Upon further research, it was found that there was not enough evidence to warrant locating stop signs along the Highway 20 corridor in any of the communities. That being the case, RRM will not be recommending and CalTrans will not permit any stop sign locations in our alternatives. In addition, CalTrans prefers not to locate speed bumps or raised crossings along the corridor near residential areas due to the potential increase in noise. Given this information coupled with the fact that speed bumps had a very low level of support during public workshops RRM will not be proposing speed bumps in any of the alternatives. Stop lights however, are feasible as an alternative if they are located at busy, high collision intersections. Parking on Highway 20 is another complicated matter. While CalTrans is not necessarily opposed to on street parking on Highway 20 there are width requirements for angled parking to provide more room for cars to back out of parking spaces without interfering with highway traffic. These width requirements may restrict the placement of medians, dedicated turn lanes and other traffic calming enhancements.
Summary of Community Responses:
Both stop signs and stop lights received support by a narrow margin with 60% of the community feeling that they would be appropriate in Clearlake Oaks. In stark contrast round-a-bouts had very little support in this community. In general traffic calming features with landscaping received the most support and hardscape features were more divisive with not enough support for or against them to indicate a true preference. Participants were favorable to locating a barrier or arbor in medians to direct pedestrians to identified crosswalks. There was also some support for public art in medians which could help display community character.
Residents of Clearlake Oaks were split on the idea of whether to incorporate angled or parallel parking in designing their ideal corridor. It was clear however that they would prefer to have a Class I bike lane that is separated from the Highway. The pedestrian crossing style with the most support was colored concrete crosswalks. Decorative crossings also receive a fair amount of support while the standard flush, striped crosswalk didn’t receive much support. In ground lighted crossings received the strongest support of any single slide in the presentation at 94% support. Overhead lighted crossings also had strong support.
Paddle signs and share the road signs had mixed votes and comments were heard during the presentation that some people didn’t feel they would be effective. Pedestrian crossing signs, by contrast did receive significant support.
The next series of slides in the presentation all dealt with community character and streetscape elements. Some of the slides did not have a “none” option and only asked participants which image they preferred. The arched gateway slide did cause a bit of concern for residents as some did not want to support any arch. After the vote was taken RRM Design Group asked the group for a show of hands for people that were opposed to any sort of gateway arch. Ten people, of the 32 participants, raised their hands that they would NOT support an arched gateway at the entrance to town. The arch gateway style that got the most support was stone columns with a wrought iron arch but following closely behind it was an all metal arch. The bus shelter that was most supported was stone with a wood roof.
When looking at gateway signage that would be located at the entrances to town identifying the community, Clearlake Oaks was most supportive of the Fishing theme with the most votes wanting to see a Fisherman’s Wharf type sign. For directional signage throughout town, a classic looking, wood sign was preferred. There was a mix of support for different sidewalk paving materials. The one with the most support was decorative pavers, but brick, concrete, and dirt sidewalks also received some support.
A lantern style light with banner was the street light of choice in this community although an old world, wood post light also received some support. Clearlake Oaks has the lowest support for bollards of all three communities with 66% of participants suggesting they are not appropriate in the community. Seat walls had a significant amount of support. This style of bench can be freestanding or incorporated into a planter. Metal benches were the second favorite style for this community. An artistic style trash can had the most support with wood being the second choice but participants did not support the use of newspaper racks or stands in the community. A ribbon style bike rack that is continuous was the most supported but the second highest vote was for no bike racks in Clearlake Oaks.
There were only two slides dealing with landscaping in this survey. Clearlake Oaks was most supportive of using California native plants in landscaping and preferred evergreen street trees along Highway 20.
Parking on Highway 20 was a tough decision in Lucerne. The most support was for angled parking with only slightly less for no parking and least preferred was parallel parking. Class I, or off street bike paths, were preferred in Lucerne. Most of the crossing treatments received the same level of support with around 60% of the votes - the only exception being a raised crossing which had low support. The favorite type of crossing of the five styles shown was the decorative paved crossing. Of the three pedestrian safety measures, pedestrian islands had the most support. In ground lighted crossings followed close behind. Overhead lighted crossings had some support as well.
Of the pedestrian related signs, paddle signs and share the road signs did not fare well. As mentioned above it was heard during these meetings that participants didn’t feel these signs would be effective. They were however, supportive of the traditional pedestrian crossing sign.
Over half of the participants favored a stone and wrought iron gateway arch as an entry feature into town. A similar response was found for the bus shelter with a large majority preferring the stone and wood shelter. There was no single preferred gateway sign in Lucerne. Both the Hobart wooden example and the stone San Luis Obispo example received just under one third of the support. For directional signage the preference was for stone monument signs.
Survey participants were in favor of decorative pavers as a sidewalk material with sand washed concrete following as a close second. Some people were concerned with the cost associated with the pavers and felt that while they may enhance the Swiss Alps theme, the concrete would be a more affordable alternative. Since the street lights had already been chosen for the Lucerne Promenade Plan, participants were asked if they would like to see the lights only along the promenade or if they would like to see them throughout the town. The vote on this was split 50/50. Bollards are another feature that is planned for in the Promenade Plan. There was moderate support for bollards with some questions from the audience about where they might be located.
Seat or “wall” benches enjoyed very strong support. This style of bench as mentioned earlier can be used as a stand along seat wall or a planter that incorporates a bench into it. Wood trash cans were the most supported receptacle and the community was supportive of locating new racks along the Highway 20 corridor. Bike racks were supported as well with the ribbon style rack being the favorite. Evergreen street trees were the most supported but the community was split on weather they would prefer perennial or native landscaping long the corridor.
Chicanes were not a favorite for this community with more support going to medians. Medians while receiving more support that Chicanes were also a divisive feature. Most participants favored a mix of hardscape and landscape medians with the other styles receiving only a small majority of support. Public art and/or an arbors located in medians were not favorites in Nice though.
Participants were also torn between which parking type they preferred a slight majority opted for parallel with no on street parking following a close second. Class II, striped bike lanes were preferred in Nice. The pedestrian crossing results were very interesting with low support for most styles, a high level of support for colored concrete crossing and moderate support for traditional striped crossings. Pedestrian refuge islands received a significant amount of support but participants seemed to be more interested in the in-ground lighted crossings which had very strong support. Overhead lighted crossings had a slight majority supporting them as well.
Of the pedestrian related signage option, paddle signs were strongly opposed while the traditional pedestrian crossings received very strong support and share the road signs received some strong support as well. Of the gateway arch styles the stone with wrought iron was also a favorite in Nice as was the stone and wood bus shelter. For gateway signage the Mediterranean theme was a favorite with the stucco style wall and planter. The decorative stone sign had strong support as well and was a close second. For directional signage there was a small majority supporting wood signs with a close following for stone monument signs. Sidewalk paving materials was a divisive topic for Nice. A slight majority favored concrete paving while brick, stamped concrete and concrete pavers were not far behind. Street lighting had the exact same response with the same percentage of support for a lantern style light. A more modern lamp shade style and two acorn style lights were close behind. Bollards were considered appropriate by most of the participants as did stone benches and concrete trash cans. News racks had a small majority of support as did the ribbon style bike rack. Native landscaping received very strong support and participants were in slight favor of deciduous trees versus evergreen.
What is Next?
From this feedback, RRM and W-Trans will go back to the drawing board and design a refined conceptual alternative to be presented at the final workshop to be held jointly at the Board of Supervisors Chambers in Lakeport.