The City of Merced Traffic Committee meets at the City Civic Center, 678 W. 18th Street, the second tuesday of odd months (bi-monthly) at 2:00 p.m. in the 3rd Floor Conference Room, unless a meeting is cancelled for lack of items. The Committee reviews requests related to traffic issues, including matters relating to parking regulations, speed limits, traffic signs, loading zones, safety, and handicapped zones. The Traffic Committee may approve or deny these requests or may make recommendations to the City Council.
Citizens may apply to have their specific request reviewed by completing a "Citizen Action Request Form" and submitting it to the City of Merced Planning Department, 678 W. 18th Street, 2nd Floor City Hall, Merced. The form may be downloaded with this link: Citizen Action Request Form.
Items will not, however, be considered by the Traffic Committee until City staff has had the opportunity to properly review the matter and prepare necessary reports. In addition, items placed on the agenda at public request shall not be heard by the Committee until at least ten (10) days written notice has been provided to the requesting person or organization. Items approved by the Traffic Committee are referred to the City Council on a quarterly basis, unless the City Manager determines the matter to be urgent. Citizens have the right to appeal the Traffic Committee's recommendations to the City Council, pursuant to the procedure specified in Chapter 20.96 of the Merced Municipal Code.
Membership of the Traffic Committee is composed of:
Ken Elwin, City Engineer, Chairperson Stan Murdock, Director of Public Works - Operations Norman Andrade, Police Chief Mike McLaughlin, Fire Chief Kim Espinosa, Planning Manager
The members listed above may send a designee to the meetings if they are not able to attend, and each designee is authorized to act as a full voting member of the Committee while serving as the designee. The meetings of the Traffic Committee are required to comply with the Brown Act and operate by the same rules of procedure as the City Council.
Traffic Control Measures
Traffic control measures include traffic signals, stop signs, and other physical restrictions, such as raised medians, regulatory signs, striping, pavement markings, and other traffic calming measures. The committee reviews speed limits, with the intent to direct vehicular traffic safely and efficiently. Speed limits are defined by a number of rules and regulations, including the requirement for speed studies. The Traffic Committee also considers the needs of neighborhoods, schools, children, pedestrians, bicyclists, emergency services, and Americans with Disability Act (ADA) requirements. The Traffic Committee recommends traffic control measures in accordance with State and City laws. The California Vehicle Code, Merced Municipal Code, and/or City Ordinance requirements must be met in order to establish the justification for traffic control measures approved or recommended to the City Council.
Traffic Calming Measures
Traffic calming measures are intended to reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior, and improve conditions for non-motorized street users. Traffic Calming measures include advisory signs, striping, markings to raise driver awareness, and physical directional features, such as chokers, medians, and roundabouts. These measures are being incorporated into new developments as they occur; however, periodically, the Traffic Committee is asked by residents in existing neighborhoods to develop traffic calming measures. Working with these neighborhood groups, the Committee can assist by recommending increased enforcement of existing traffic laws and providing public awareness programs. However, property owners must agree to pay for traffic calming improvements, unless the feature is development-financed. The Traffic Committee, working with a consultant, is currently developing a program to facilitate neighborhood involvement in improving traffic calming and circulation.