Establishing Rules & Procedures for Installing Traffic Diverters in Compliance With California Vehicle Code Section21101 (f)

A. DEFINITIONS

  1. A traffic diverter is a roadway design feature which is placed upon a street or roadway in order to prohibit vehicular traffic from entering into, or exiting from, or both, any street. 
  2. A full diverter (cul-de-sac type) is placed across both lanes of traffic and prohibits exit from, and entrance to, a street. 
  3. A diagonal diverter extends through the center of an intersection, from one corner to the opposite corner across an intersection, forcing a turn to the right or left. 
  4. A semi-diverter is placed across one lane of traffic and prohibits entry to, or exit from, a street. 
  5. Official Traffic Control Signs are the signs approved by Caltrans in accordance with California Vehicle Code Section 21400. 
  6. A local street is any street other than a major or collector as shown on the Circulation Plan Map, on page 39, of the Transportation Element of the Master Plan. The Master Plan calls for the City to give priority to ease of access, pedestrian movement, neighborhood amenity, resident parking, and prevent, to the greatest extent possible, the use of local streets by through traffic. 

B. RULES

  1. Traffic diverters shall be placed only on streets under the jurisdiction of the City. 
  2. Traffic diverters shall be placed only on local streets. 
  3. The diverter shall be in conformance with policies of the Transportation Element of the General Plan. 
  4. Placement of diverters shall be consistent with the responsibility of the city to provide for the health and safety of its citizens, including provision of emergency vehicle access, effective decreases in exposure to noise and pollution, and decreasing accidents and energy use. 
  5. Appropriate traffic control signs shall be placed on and in the vicinity of each diverter. 

C. PROCEDURES

  1. A request for installation, removal, or modification of a diverter may be initiated by the City Manager or by City Council majority vote. The request shall specify the proposed action and state reasons for the suggested installation, removal, or modification of a diverter. 
  2. Each request for installation, removal, or modification of a diverter shall be reviewed by staff, who will prepare a written report containing the following information to be submitted to the Transportation Commission:
    • (a) The action proposed and the reasons for support of the request. For existing diverters, the report shall include the history of the diverter, including date of installation, reasons why it was installed, complaints received, if any, and statements of support received, if any. 
    • (b) Existing conditions in the area which would be affected by the proposed installation, removal, or modification, including but not limited to:
      1. Traffic volumes, patterns, and speeds; 
      2. Existing traffic control and traffic management devices; 
      3. On-street parking levels and patterns; 
      4. Accident data; and 
      5. Emergency vehicle access routes, public transit and school bus routes, and other public service and delivery routes. 

      Streets directly affected by the diverter and streets which would be expected to handle diverted traffic shall be considered. For existing diverters, the accident data should include an assessment of role, if any, that the diverter may have played (both positive and negative).

    • (c) Design options for the diverter or diverters. 
    • (d) Probable impacts of the proposed installation, removal, or modification including, but not limited to, impacts on the conditions described under (2) above; on air pollution, fuel use, and noise; on transit service; on emergency vehicle access times; on residential quality of life, and estimated costs. Both streets directly affected by the diverter or diverters and the streets which would be expected to handle diverted traffic shall be considered. 
    • (e) Staff shall request comments on the proposed diverter from the Department of Public Safety, the Planning and Community Development Department, and AC Transit, if any routes are impacted, and shall attach these comments to the report. 
    • (f) Alternatives to the proposed action. 
    • (g) Statements or findings necessary to comply with he California Environmental Quality Act. 
    • (h) Staff recommendation. 
  3. In addition to transmitting the staff report to the Transportation Commission, staff shall also send copies of the report to the initiator of the request, to neighborhood organization(s) in the area of the proposed action, to individuals who have stated an interest in such matters, and to AC Transit, if any bus routes are impacted. 
  4. The Transportation Commission shall conduct a public hearing within 90 days of receipt of the request. The notice of the hearing shall be posted at least 10 days in advance of the hearing, in accordance with Section 1.08 of the Berkeley Municipal Code. 
  5. After the close of the public hearing, the Transportation Commission shall adopt a report recommending that a diverter or diverters be installed, or removed, or modified, or that no change be made. The report shall contain written findings that the proposed action meets each of the requirements set forth in Section B, shall specify the effect of the proposed action on traffic volume and on the health and safety of Berkeley citizens as outlined in Section B4, and that the action complies with CEQA. The Transportation Commission may adopt the staff report as findings in support of its decision. 
  6. The Planning and Community Development Department shall process the appropriate environmental document. 
  7. The City Manager shall submit a report to the City Council which includes reports from the Transportation Commission and any environmental documents from the Planning and Community Development Department. 
  8. The City Council shall, by resolution, authorize the installation, removal, or modification of any diverter. If the proposal is for the installation of a new diverter, the City Manager shall review the diverter after six months of operation concerning any impacts, as outlined in Section C 2b of these Rules and Procedures, and report the conclusions of such review to City Council. 

D. IMPROVEMENTS

Council shall consider physical improvements for the designated diverters during each year's budget process. Any such improvements shall be processed in the same manner as any capital improvement in the City except that Council may accept contributions in cash or in kind to provide for improvements of diverters. First priority shall be given to improving any diverter to enhance public health and safety. Second priority for placement of physical improvements shall be given to diverters in order of their date of installation.