Dufferin Emergency Access Gates

dufferin-concrete-20090814

The emergency access gates concrete barriers on Dufferin Avenue.

A few additional thoughts on the closure after reading additional City and County documents:

  • Emergency access gates are required, yet the City barricaded Dufferin immediately after the City Council’s vote.  Over a month later, there are still no emergency access gates.

Section 10. That the modification of the of the traffic pattern and vacation of Dufferin as depicted in Exhibits “A” and “B” shall occur only after the applicable conditions contained in the staff reports to the City Council and on file with the City Clerk, as approved or amended by the City Council, have been satisfied.

– From Resolution No. 21856 adopted by the Riverside City Council on July 14, 2009 (emphasis added)

Furthermore , the plot plan for this project has been updated to reflect the condition of approval requiring emergency access gates on the closed portion of Dufferin Avenue.

– From the Planning Division’s July 14, 2009 memo to the City Council (emphasis added)

  • The City agreed with the County to keep Dufferin Avenue open until Street “A” is completed.  Street “A” is not built but the City closed Dufferin anyway.

The City and County of Riverside reached an understanding regarding the closure of McAllister and Dufferin. The understanding was that McAllister Avenue would be closed at the City/County border as part of the on-going residential development south of the City after McAllister Parkway was completed between McAllister Avenue and La Sierra Ave. McAllister Parkway has been completed and McAllister Ave has been closed. A new roadway was also planned between Van Buren Blvd and McAllister Avenue as part of a new residential and golf course development east of McAllister Avenue. When this new roadway is complete Dufferin will be closed at McAllister Parkway. This new road has not been constructed.

– From a Mayor’s Night Out (MNO) document dated April 30, 2008 (emphasis added)

While staff understands that there was a conceptual agreement that the closure of Dufferin Avenue and accompanying traffic pattern modifications would not occur until after Street “A” was complete, Street “A” is not planned to be constructed any time in the near future.

– From the May 7 Planning Commission report (included as an attachment – page 1-16 – to the July 14, 2009 memo; emphasis added)

Due to significant concerns from nearby County residents, both the City and the County agreed to keep the minor, de-emphasized connection between McAllister Pkwy and Dufferin (which is about 2000 ft westerly of where the direct connection of McAllister was) on an interim basis at least until such time as new route (“A” Street) was to be constructed between McAllister Pkwy and Van Buren to the east.

From an April 23, 2009 letter from the County’s Director of Transportation to the City’s Planning Division (included as an attachment – page 1-40 – to the July 14, 2009 memo; emphasis added)

By the way, according to City and County documents the City was actually taking the lead in acquiring the right-of-way for Street “A”:

Under the terms of the Agreement, the City of Riverside has agreed to take the lead role in acquiring the rights of way required for the construction of Street “A” […]

– From a letter agreement approved by the Riverside City Manager in November, 2007 (emphasis added)

The City of Riverside has requested to take the lead in acquiring the necessary right-of-way for Street “A.”

– From a December 10, 2007 submittal to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors

In my last post about this issue I wrote that we need to pressure the County to build Street “A”. It turns out that we need to pressure both the City and the County.

  • The City states that Dufferin is unnecessary for present or prospective use, but states that Street “A” is a “necessity”. Since both streets connect McAllister to Van Buren, the City seems to agree that this is a vital route, yet the City closed the only existing connection.  By doing this, the City blocked school buses, emergency vehicles, residents and local workers from using this direct and vital route.

Section 3. That the City Council finds, based upon all of the evidence submitted, whether written or oral, including all staff reports and presentations, that that portion of Dufferin Avenue proposed for vacation and modification is unnecessary for present or prospective use […]

– From Resolution No. 21856 (emphasis added)

The public interest and necessity require the development of Street “A”

From the “RIGHT OF WAY ACQUISITION AND REIMBURSEMENT AGREEMENT” approved by the Riverside City Council on August 14, 2007 and signed by the City Manager on August 22, 2007 (emphasis added)

Why did the City Council break its agreement with the County and close Dufferin so quickly, especially when the City agrees that a route between McAllister and Dufferin is required for “the public interest and necessity”? I still haven’t heard a decent answer.

For people who attended the July 14th, 2009 hearing who thought that the City Council members might have already made up their minds on the closure, I found the following excerpt in a Mayor’s Night Out recap from January 28, 2009 (over 3 months prior to the City Planning Commission’s meeting on May 7, 2009 in which it voted to recommend the closure to the City Council and over 5 months before the July 14th hearing):

Q – What is the time table for the closure of Dufferin Avenue at McAllister Street?

A – The City anticipates closing Dufferin Avenue this summer after completion of the necessary environmental review.

– From a Mayor’s Night Out (MNO) document dated January 28, 2009

Judging from last week’s meeting with the Mayor, the local homeowner’s associations seem to be working together on this issue.

While the Mayor didn’t have answers for all of the questions asked of him, he did let us know that Councilmember Chris Mac Arthur is supposed to meet soon with Supervisor Bob Buster to discuss Street “A”, and he welcomed future meetings.  In fairness to the Mayor, he was expecting to meet with a small group in someone’s home, not close to 150 people on a basketball court.

I’ll keep posting updates as I learn of them.

Related posts:
Dufferin is Closed at McAllister. What Now?
Dufferin to Close; Council Votes Unanimously
Dufferin Closure Between Stewart and McAllister: Public Hearing

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