Traffic Engineer

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La Cresta Street PhotoTraffic Engineering Program is responsible for safe and efficient day to day traffic operations on the City’s street system. The program also coordinates long-range transportation planning within the City and other regional transportation programs.  The City of Dana Point has a part-time Traffic Engineer.


  • Provide top quality staff support to the City Council and the Traffic Improvement Subcommittee.

  • Provide timely information and knowledgeable staff to address public inquiries and community concerns promptly.

  • Provide ongoing reviews of traffic safety needs and complete investigations in a timely manner.

  • Provide professional and pragmatic recommendations for traffic and parking improvements to meet the City’s long term needs while addressing short term concerns.

  • Implement cost effective long-range transportation projects based on various studies including input in the Major Investment Study currently being executed by OCTA.

  • Keep the City Council and the community informed about regional transportation issues that affect the City.

  • Provide technical reviews for private development projects and City capital projects.

  • Write and process work orders for traffic related work including new signs, modifications to existing signage and striping, traffic calming, congestion relief, curb marking modifications and other related work citywide.

  • Oversee the City’s traffic signal system including recommendations to construct improvements, evaluate signal timing for the efficient movement of traffic, and monitor the City on a regular basis making adjustments and responding to complaints.



If you have general questions or concerns about any traffic related issue in the City, please contact the Public Works & Engineering Services Department, Conrad Lapinski, Traffic Engineer at (949) 248-3598 or Matthew Sinacori, City Engineer at (949) 248-3574.

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In September of 1999, the City Council established the first and only Preferential Parking District in the City of Dana Point around Dana Hills High School per Chapter 12.14 of the Dana Point Municipal Code. The intent of the Dana Hills High School District was to prevent student parking on residential streets around the high school as it was impacting residents negatively.


The Preferential Parking District has been expanded several times to include additional streets as students were migrating into additional areas. In addition, the City has worked diligently to add parking on Golden Lantern and Stonehill Drive to offset the loss of student parking where the Preferential Parking District was originally established and expanded.


Any residents wishing to obtain a parking permit must prove to the satisfaction of the City that he or she resides within the district as well as prove that the vehicle for which the permit is for is currently registered in his or her name and registered in the State of California.


Residents may also request guest permits for preferential parking of guests visiting their residence.  In addition, on any given day, temporary guest permits may be issued for larger groups each guest that is only valid on that chosen day. The City asks that at least 72 hours notice be given for temporary parking permits so that we may have time to serve you properly.


Any vehicle parked in the Preferential Parking District without a valid residential or guest permit during the specified hours will receive a parking ticket as necessary by the Dana Point Police Department.


To obtain a residential or guest permit, please contact the Public Works & Engineering Services Department at (949) 248-3554 for more information.

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Traffic signals assign the right-of-way to various traffic movements for different time intervals depending on traffic volumes and patterns.  Signal synchronization is used on a number of the busiest arterial highways to allow for smooth, safe travel.  The City also works diligently to use signals to accommodate all users, including bicyclists, pedestrians and vehicles.

Coordination of Traffic Signals


The quality of flow along a street is a function of the following:


  • Spacing of intersections along the street
  • Prevailing speed of traffic on the street
  • Traffic signal cycle length
  • Operation of the traffic signal equipment

Many drivers ask why they have to wait so long for a signal to change. Many of these drivers are waiting to enter a major arterial street from a side street. This is even more frustrating when no traffic can be seen on the arterial.


In order to coordinate arterial traffic signals, each traffic signal in the group needs to allow sufficient green time for all movements during a common fixed time period, called a common cycle length. The cycle length chosen is usually determined by the largest intersection in a group of signals with the most conflicting movements. This will most often be an intersection that has left-turn arrows for all directions and wide cross streets. For that reason, the common cycle length that is fixed for each traffic signal in a group may be rather long.


Furthermore, to allow the coordination of the arterial, the side street is required to wait until the main traffic movement on the arterial has gone through the intersection. It is possible that the arterial traffic cannot be seen immediately, but will soon be passing through the intersection. The major arterial streets coordinated in the City include Pacific Coast Highway, Stonehill Drive, Golden Lantern, and Del Obispo.

Traffic Signal Coordination Goals

The goal of the coordinator (City Engineer) is to get the greatest number of vehicles through the system with the fewest stops in a comfortable manner, while maintaining a safe environment. It would be ideal if every vehicle entering the system could proceed through the system without stopping. This is not possible, even in well-spaced, well-designed systems. Therefore, in traffic signal coordination, the busiest traffic movements are given precedence over smaller traffic movements. If you are waiting for a green light to cross the “coordinated” street where there is heavy traffic on the main street and very light traffic on the side street, you may find it frustrating at times.


Some other challenges of coordinating Dana Point’s traffic signals include:


  • Reduction of lanes during construction
  • Equipment or detection failure
  • Off-peak travel which is not coordinated or heavy traffic opposite the major flow of traffic
  • Heavy cross traffic (where two or more arterials intersect)
  • Pedestrian or bicycle traffic
  • Intersection capacity overload
  • Wide intersections

You can help by calling the number listed below and providing any concern or problem, and giving the location, travel direction and the time of day the concern or problem was observed.


The City is committed to providing the safest, most efficient and advanced Traffic Signal System available. If you have any questions or concerns about traffic signals or timing, please call Public Works & Engineering Services Department, Matthew Sinacori, City Engineer, at (949) 248-3574.

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