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  Consent-Community Services   #   30.    
Board of Supervisors Community Services  
Meeting Date: 08/01/2017  
Brief Title:    CR 32A & CR 105 Safety Issues
From: Taro EchiburĂș, Director, Department of Community Services
Staff Contact: Panos Kokkas, Director of Public Works, Department of Community Services, x8857

Subject
Receive information regarding traffic conditions at the intersection of County Roads 32A and 105 and Union Pacific Railroad Crossing and adopt resolution designating it as a multi-way stop intersection. (No general fund impact) (Echiburu/Kokkas)
Recommended Action
  1. Receive information regarding traffic conditions at the intersection of County Road 32A and County Road 105 and the Union Pacific Railroad Crossing; 
     
  2. Authorize the Chair of the Board to sign the attached resolution to designate the intersection of County Road 32A and County Road 105 as a multi-way stop intersection by adding a stop sign on the southbound leg of CR 105 at the intersection with CR 32A; 
     
  3. Direct staff to pursue placement of a stop sign on westbound CR 32A/northbound CR 105 south of the railroad tracks including all necessary approvals from the Public Utilities Commission; and
     
  4. Authorize the Community Services Department to install and maintain these signs.
Strategic Plan Goal(s)
Safe Communities
 
Reason for Recommended Action/Background
Ongoing accidents at the intersection of County Road (CR) 32A, CR 105 and the Union Pacific Railroad Crossing have prompted this topic be brought to your Board for consideration.
 
BACKGROUND
 
The intersection of CR 32A, CR 105 and the Union Pacific Railroad Crossing has historically experienced accidents.  The average daily number of vehicles entering the intersection (from all three legs) is 2,870 vehicles per day.  These roads serve agricultural vehicles and products transportation, serve as access to the County landfill, and serve as an alternate route for Interstate 80 traffic heading to or from Davis.  Currently the intersection is controlled with a stop sign at the eastbound leg of CR 32A at the intersection with CR 105.  The railroad crossing is controlled with automatic crossing lights and guards. 

The geometry of the area is difficult as it involves a sharp right turn for westbound traffic, immediately crossing the railroad tracks, and then a sharp left turn to continue on to CR 32A westbound.  The west bound turn from CR 32A over the railroad tracks to CR 105 is signed at 10 mph.  Additionally, a Class I bike lane from Davis intersects with CR 32A south of the railroad tracks.  What has happened many times is that drivers have failed to negotiate the turns involved in the intersection and have either hit guardrails or become stuck on the railroad tracks, or both. 
 
Over a five and a half year period, the County has received accident reports from the California Highway Patrol for 19 accidents at this location.  Additionally Union Pacific Railroad has reported to the County that they are aware of 18 additional incidents involving vehicles and UPR facilities during the same time period.   Of the accidents that the County has detailed reports for, over 60% involve a driver who was cited for driving under the influence (DUI) and over 40% involve a vehicle getting stuck on the railroad tracks. 
 
Since the road and the most critical turn are in between the railroad and the interstate, the ability to make significant changes to the geometry is limited by constrained right of way.  Over the years the County and UPR have made many changes to attempt to reduce or eliminate accidents at this location including: trimming trees to improve visibility, replacement of warning signs with high visibility signs, placement of advance warning signs, placing flashing lights on signs and advance warning signs, placement of rumble strips, in advance of the critical turn, and placing additional guardrail at various locations south of the railroad tracks.  These efforts do not appear to have had a significant impact in changing the trajectory of accidents at this location.
 
As a result of these circumstances, in late 2015 UPR requested that the County close the railroad crossing. If implemented, closure of the crossing would also result in the permanent closure of CR32A to vehicular traffic in this area. Since receiving the request from UPR, County staff has worked with UPR to find a solution to their safety and operational concerns that do not require a permanent closure of the crossing and CR32A.  The closure of the crossing and CR32A would create traffic impacts along Mace Boulevard in Davis and would additionally disrupt general east/west circulation through and around Davis.  Staff worked with UPR on a potential one-lane solution which would entail closing the westbound lane of traffic on CR32A to prevent drivers from entering the curve/crossing at high speeds. While UPR was open to considering this solution as a pilot project, reducing CR32A to one lane would prevent agricultural equipment from accessing fields north of the road and as such, is currently not a feasible solution.

Staff presented UPR with other potential improvements (improved lighting, additional signage and rumble strips), however, UPR firmly rejected these improvements as permanent solutions and informed staff that if the County did not voluntarily close the road, UPR would seek closure from the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which has regulatory authority over railroad crossings. Despite UPR’s insistence on closing the road, staff recommends moving forward with the safety improvements detailed in this staff report to exhaust all possible safety solutions other than a permanent closure.
 
The volume of traffic and the type of accidents here do not warrant additional stop signs based on the standards set forth in the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA-MUTCD).  However, the California Vehicle Code gives the Board of Supervisors the authority to designate any intersection as a stop intersection.  Because of this authority, it is recommended that a stop sign be placed on the southbound leg of CR 105. 
 
Additionally, staff recommends placing a stop sign on westbound CR 32A/northbound CR 105 south of the railroad tracks.  The purpose of this stop sign would be to stop traffic so drivers do not miss the curve and get stuck on the tracks.  While this is a nonstandard use of a stop sign, an engineering and traffic study finds that it could improve safety.  The location of the stop sign would be as far back from the tracks as possible while still having necessary sight distances.  Because of the proximity to the railroad, the stop sign requires approval by the PUC prior to installation. 
 
Two additional proposed improvements to the intersection are a yield sign on the Class I bike lane at the intersection with CR 32A/105 and additional lighting at the intersection.  Staff is pursuing the additional lighting at the intersection with PG&E. 
Collaborations (including Board advisory groups and external partner agencies)
County Administrator’s office was consulted in the policy development and helped prepare the staff report.
County Counsel’s office reviewed the resolution.
 

Fiscal Information
Fiscal impact (see budgetary detail below)
Fiscal Impact of this Expenditure
Total cost of recommended action $400
Amount budgeted for expenditure $400
Additional expenditure authority needed $0
One-time commitment     Yes
Source of Funds for this Expenditure
Road Fund $400
Attachments
Att. A. Intersection Exhibit
Att. B. Resolution

Form Review
Inbox Reviewed By Date
Taro Echiburu Taro Echiburu 07/19/2017 03:48 PM
County Counsel Hope Welton 07/25/2017 12:20 PM
Form Started By: Darlene Comingore Started On: 07/18/2017 08:09 AM
Final Approval Date: 07/25/2017
Level double AA conformance,
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