In a marathon three-hour meeting, the Rossmoor Community Services District voted to authorize its general manager to move forward with Orange County to make some long needed improvements on parking and other traffic problems.
“This is the first time we’ve accomplished something like this,” said Board President Dr. Jeffrey Barke, after the board voted unanimously to move forward a traffic safety plan that includes, among other things, parking lanes on Montecito Road and other places.
After an extended discussion regarding the role and responsibilities of the board, Barke moved to have General Manager Joe Mendoza continue to work with the Orange County public works department and move forward with a “comprehensive plan.”
While the plan continues to take shape, some smaller traffic signs have already been replaced with larger signs, Mendoza told the board, as they also got input from Officer Matt Muzzleman from the California Highway Patrol.
He provided the board with general statistics on speeding through Rossmoor, though he acknowledged that his commitment was only part-time, including bringing in a radar trailer to monitor vehicle speeds on various Rossmoor streets.
The directors discussed the need for additional speed markings on Tigertail Drive as they wrestled with moving forward on traffic changes across the board.
Director Jeffrey Rips said the board should plow forward based on what they believe is in the best interest of the safety and security of Rossmoor residents. “This is the litmus test of making decisions,” he said.
“We have a responsibility to do this because we think it is the right decision for our community,” he said, “irregardless of what people think.”
“We do represent the community,” said Barke.
Community feedback is important, said Rips, but “if we believe it is right” and are not committed to it “until the end, I have a problem with that.”
Barke said he agreed, suggesting the board has a responsibility for both making decisions and getting feedback.
Director Tony DeMarco, head of the traffic committee, said he would like to see all of the traffic and safety plan on a geographic information system map. He said it would help the board figure out weaknesses in a comprehensive plan.
In many cases, the current traffic and safety plan is largely based on decisions made 20 or 30 years ago.
“These are matters within our jurisdiction,” said Director Mark Nitikman, saying the board was the “only legislative body” within Rossmoor, therefore they should act.
Director Nathan Searles expressed concern about having allowable “passing lanes” near schools in Rossmoor. In fact, almost every elementary school within the Los Alamitos Unified School District, is located within the Rossmoor community. “I’m troubled by passing lanes along a school, especially with multiple exits,” he said.
Mendoza gave the directors a detailed account of the progress he’s made in meetings with county officials and the board voted unanimously to allow him to move forward in obtaining technology and physical improvements to improve traffic, parking and safety within the special service district.