Transportation Commission: iShuttle and Traffic Impact on Barranca

Avinder Chawla
Steven Greenberg
Ken Montgomery
Shilpa Patel
Sidney Wu

The Transportation Commission met on February 18, 2020. Below are the meeting highlights. To see the complete agenda click here.

Presentation of IBC Transportation Management Systems

Irvine is currently operating three Irvine Business Complex (IBC) I-Shuttle routes from Tustin Metrolink train station serving business employees coming from outside Irvine to their places of employment. There is increasing demand for I-Shuttle services but the city is unable to afford the cost of increasing these services.  However, the city will soon be purchasing new I-Shuttle buses, each of which will accommodate more passengers.

The cost of the I-Shuttle program is about $5.79 million, 90% of which is paid by a grant obtained through Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) through 2040 and the remaining 10% by city matching funds.

Traffic Impact Analysis of 2400 Barranca Office Development Project

The Transportation Commission approved by a vote of 5-0 the Traffic Impact Analysis for the 2400 Barranca Office Development Project, which showed that the project would not adversely impact traffic circulation in the area.  The project consists of 275,00 square feet of office and accessory retail and a 1,137 space parking structure located on Barranca, across the street from The District near Millikan and Gates Avenue. The Traffic Analysis reported that the project would add 3,787 daily vehicle trips with 358 AM peak hour trips and 380 PM peak hour trips.  As the number of trips exceeds the maximum allowable for the area, density and traffic development rights will be transferred to the project area from another IBC site as allowed by Irvine’s General Plan, zoning code, and city policy.

A surprisingly large crowd attended the Transportation Commission meeting and there were a number of people that commented on their concerns about the project. The speakers included an Irvine resident and multiple business owners and representatives, as well as the developer’s own representative.

The developer’s representative reported that there are 7.4 million square feet of unbuilt office space in the IBC. He also stated the transfer of density and traffic development rights is in compliance with city General Plan, zoning code, and city policy.

The concerns of the public speakers were related to the project exacerbating currently existing problems related to public safety, parking deficits on local streets, and traffic congestion on Barranca, Gates, and other local streets. Business representatives reported that there are over 40 local businesses that will be adversely impacted.

Business owners and representatives reported:

  1. Current traffic conditions do not allow sufficient time for employees to go to The District restaurants and return on lunch hours. The increase in traffic related to the project will make traffic circulation and parking in the area even more unmanageable.
  2. Currently there is not enough parking in the area for employees to park, so employees have to return home and call in sick.
  3. Many of the local businesses are industrial in nature and thus have big rig truck deliveries at all hours of the day on a daily basis. The trucks block streets and access to the business locations so cars traveling on the streets have to make U-turns and find another route to their destination. One of the speakers presented a video filmed the afternoon of the commission meeting showing a street blocked by a big rig and a car executing a U-turn.
  4. Under current conditions there are public safety issues which include motorists being unable to exit business parking lots with sufficient visibility due to cars parked on the streets near the business driveways. It was also reported that with the streets being lined with parked cars, there is not enough space for big rig trucks to execute turns and thus the trucks periodically hit parked cars.
  5. Business representatives voiced concern that the increase in traffic flow will decrease property values and value of local businesses.
  6. A business representative reported that the 1,137 space parking structure will be located 10 feet from his place of business and the traffic in and out of the garage will adversely impact his business.
  7. A speaker complained that the traffic study did not address the current backup on Barranca in that area.