In October 2011, Rancho Palos Verdes received a grant from SCAG to develop a Vision Plan for Western Avenue. The Western Avenue Corridor Vision Plan was completed in 2013.
In 2014, with the help of another SCAG grant, Rancho Palos Verdes has partnered with the City of Los Angeles to develop design implementation guidelines for Western Avenue.
SCAG Sustainability Program:
The new proposal funded by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Sustainability Program could change the look and feel of Western Ave as much as it changes the usage.
The Sustainability Program is a key SCAG initiative for implementing the Regional Transportation Plan / Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS), combining Compass Blueprint assistance for integrated land use and transportation planning with new Green Region Initiative assistance aimed at local sustainability and Active Transportation assistance for bicycle and pedestrian planning efforts.
California’s Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act (Senate Bill 375) requires SCAG to develop a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cars and light trucks through integrated transportation, land use, housing and environmental planning.
Western Avenue crosses many jurisdictions, making collaboration crucial in being able to create a cohesive corridor for all.
o City of Rancho Palos Verdes
o City of Los Angeles
o Southern California Association of Governments
o Vision Committee (2011-2013)
o Steering Committee (2014-2015)
Key Recommendations from the Vision Plan
- EVOLVE THE CORRIDOR INTO A COMPLETE STREET, usable by everyone and providing safe access and experiences for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders.
- SHAPE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT along the corridor to contribute to and complement Complete Streets improvements.
The Steering Committee is comprised of agency representatives from the cities of Rancho Palos Verdes (including 2 RPV Planning Commissioners), Los Angeles, Caltrans, SCAG, as well residential, business/property owner stakeholders.
Roles and Responsibilities of the Steering Committee:
- Participate in Steering Committee meetings.
- Represent the broader community and stakeholders.
- Help to identify opportunities, issues, and challenges.
- Provide feedback and input on the design guidelines to the project team.
- Serve as advocates of the process and assist with publicizing community involvement opportunities.
- Work cooperatively with other Steering Committee members, listening and considering different perspectives.
To date, we have held two Steering Committee meetings in October 2014 and February 2015. Steering Committee members were also present at the Public Open House in March 2015.
In general, feedback was mixed and participants had very diverse comments, design goals, vision, and preferences on how Western Avenue should be improved. No clear preference for one specific streetscape option emerged from feedback.
RPV Planning Commission April 2015
On April 28, 2015, a Draft of the Design Guidelines was presented to the RPV Planning Commission. Based on feedback from the Commission and from the public, the Consultant Team has addressed the following issues:
Private development has been removed from the cross section illustrations.
- Focus attention on the public ROW in achieving complete street elements.
- RPV may elect to remove private development guidelines from the document, but LA may keep them.
- No changes to the Design Guidelines will be made until further direction is provided from the City Council.
A new “Option D” has been developed per the Commission’s direction.
- Two-way protected cycle track on one side of the street.
- Maintains existing curb to curb dimension and travel lane widths.
A traffic analysis is NOT part of this project.
- But, it will be addressed in the next phase of work.
- The RPV Traffic Management Plan will address specific near-term improvements.
Role and Purpose of the Guidelines
What are design guidelines?
These guidelines are a framework document intended to help implement the recommendations of the Vision Plan and translate its goals into a clear set of easy to understand rules.
What these guidelines will do:
- Elaborate and specify the corridor improvement characteristics
- Enable coordination of improvements between RPV, LA, and Caltrans
- Memorialize the community Vision and Goals for Western Avenue
What these guidelines will NOT do:
- This is NOT a streetscape plan.
- They will NOT change existing:
- Land Use
- View Protection Ordinances
- Development standards, like building heights or parking ratios
- Number of travel lanes
How the Guidelines are Organized
- Streetscape and Street Furniture
- Landscape Design
- Treatment of Residential Backyards facing Western Avenue
- Branding, Signage, and Way-Finding
- Public Art
- Mobility and Complete Streets Improvements
Streetscape and Street Furniture
“Sidewalks should accommodate a variety of pedestrian amenities, such as landscaping, street furniture, and bicycle infrastructure.” Accessibility, safety, comfort, and convenience for pedestrians and bicyclists.
“Use landscape to beautify the corridor… and act as green infrastructure… to be durable, distinct, and colorful.” BENEFITS: Attractiveness of the neighborhood, Improved air quality,Opportunities to properly treat stormwater runoff
Branding, Signage, and Wayfinding
“Signage and wayfinding should create a distinguishing theme, brand, and identity for Western Avenue.” BENEFITS: Attractiveness of the neighborhood, Accessibility, safety, and convenience for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.
Mobility and Complete Streets
“…to evolve Western Avenue from an auto-oriented corridor into a “complete street” where the needs of all users are equally met.”
Achieves: Accessibility, safety, comfort, and convenience for motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders.