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Adams Improvement Project

(Below is our letter to the City Council regarding the proposed improvements for Adams Ave - see page 71.)


Madam Mayor and Council Members,


Included in the Consent Calendar for tonight’s (3/16/21) City Council Meeting are two projects for Adams Avenue. One is to improve the intersection of Pinecreek Dr. and Adams at the north entrance to Orange Coast College (OCC). The second is to install Class II bike lanes on Adams between Harbor Blvd. and Fairview Road. The second project is included in the city’s Active Transportation Plan.

Adams Avenue is a critical part of Costa Mesa’s transportation network. Between Harbor and Fairview, Adams forms the northern boundary of OCC. With the heavy use of this section of Adams by OCC students, copious apartments lining the street, and 800 beds of new student housing located only 200’ from the roadway, it is imperative that pedestrian and bicycle safety are the priority for these two projects. We want this section of Adams to be safe for ALL users.

CMABS agrees that improvements are needed along this section of Adams Ave. and at the intersection with Pinecreek Dr; we are thankful the city is working on this project. While these projects have some good design elements, overall, we believe the current conceptual layouts are inadequate for safety and need to be improved. We want to work with City Staff to improve upon the design of these two projects to make them safer.

Suggested safety improvements:

  1. As currently conceived, the bike lanes on this section of Adams are inconsistent with NACTO guidelines and the Federal Highway Administration's Bikeway Selection Guide recommendations. On a street with three wide traffic lanes and a 45mph speed limit, five-foot- wide bike lanes that run in the gutter are neither safe nor comfortable. It would be preferable to narrow the traffic lanes and/or median to be able to widen the bicycle lanes and provide a safety buffer between the fast-moving cars and cyclists.

  2. Paint the asphalt in green conflict zone paint wherever a bicycle lane and a car might cross paths.

  3. Reconfigure the bike lanes at the bus stops to improve cyclist safety.

  4. Install a parking-protected bike lane to the right of parked cars where there is on-street parking (east of Pinecreek along the northern edge of Adams Avenue).

  5. Additional safety improvements are needed at the intersection of Adams and Fairview to alleviate the safety hazards created by the two slip lanes.

  6. At the Pinecreek and Adams intersection, the slip lanes need to be removed and replaced with right and left hand turn lanes.

  7. West of Pinecreek at the Coast Community College District entrance, safety can be improved by using a T-intersection to eliminate one conflict zone.

We have more detailed safety options and recommendations that we can share at a later time, and want to work with City Staff to help make this section of Adams Avenue as safe as can be.

To summarize, we believe this section of Adams Avenue needs improvements and in doing so safety needs to be the top priority. While the proposed designs do increase the safety from the current state of the roadway, we believe that further safety improvements are warranted.

Thank you,

Costa Mesa Alliance for Better Streets

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Costa Mesa Alliance for Better Streets is a 501(c)(3) public charity located in Costa Mesa, California.