Hey everyone! Long time no talk!
Here’s what’s going on with our streets:
New Active Transportation Coordinator
We were thrilled last year to hear that the City Council had voted to create a new, and much needed position of Active Transportation Coordinator, and now we are happy to report that the position has been filled with someone very smart and capable. Welcome Brett Atencio Thomas! Traffic Signal Synchronization We know this sounds like an attempt to further facilitate the monopolization of cars in our public spaces, but we are happy to report that it is not. In July 2020, the City was awarded a 1.7 million dollar competitive grant from OCTA for the engineering and implementation of traffic signal equipment and timing improvements for Baker, Plancenita, Victoria, and 19th. The staff report boasts that “the OCTA grant for this project is one of the largest grants of this type ever awarded by OCTA to a single agency and the only agency to receive this grant for multiple corridors.” But while most municipalities use this sort of funding to make driving more convenient at the expense of everyone else trying to use the streets, Costa Mesa is doing things differently. The project includes 16 new leading pedestrian intervals, 6 new audible beg buttons, 19 new video detection cameras (so that traffic lights will change for people on bikes), the implementation of enhanced pedestrian/bicyclist timing at intersections, and the “development of optimized traffic signal synchronization timing plans that serve to encourage lower average speeds.”
We encourage you to watch staff’s presentation to the City Council here (begins at about 2:23:00).
New Crosswalk on the Eastside! Adjacent to Woodland Elementary school, kids and parents can be seen daily trying to navigate the neighborhood streets that are full of cars. Tustin Avenue has been a particularly bad spot given the relatively high volume of cars and high speed limit. So one parent decided to start a petition for a new crosswalk to get the City’s attention and it worked! After receiving over 350 signatures, City staff came out to take a look and determined that a crosswalk is indeed warranted at the location, and has begun designing it!
Bristol and Randolph Improvements
SoBeca is looking better than ever with a new permanent(!) traffic circle and freshly-painted bike lanes, which (rumor has it) will soon be protected with bollards. We are thrilled to see the City steadily moving forward in improving our public spaces in so many parts of town.
Earth Day Festival
On Friday, April 22, from 10am to 3pm, the Earth Day Festival will be underway at City Hall. There will be a symbolic tree-planting event, picnic areas, yoga, games and activities for youth, art displays - and CMABS will have a booth! Come say hi!
California Bicycle Coalition Summit 2022 in Oakland This month we are sending one of our board members to Oakland for the California Bicycle Coalition Summit that happens every two years. Marc Vukcevich will attend panels, meet other players in the world of walk/bike advocacy, and report back to Costa Mesa and CMABS. He hopes to learn more about what the state and federal government will be doing for communities like Costa Mesa, what sort of projects we could take on here, and what it would take to get Costa Mesa Alliance for Better Streets into its next phase as a community non-profit.
You can check out the schedule of events here.
If you want to support CMABS being a part of the CalBike summit, you can donate any amount to support the trip's costs here.
Active Transportation Plan - Caltrans’ Edition Last year we sent out a lot of reminders to take the survey that Caltrans District 12 was conducting for its Active Transportation Plan. The quick backstory is that in 2017, Caltrans released an ambitious plan called Towards an Active California - the implementation of which is the creation of a separate plan for each of Caltrans’ 12 districts. The plans are all at different stages of development, which can all be found here.
We are happy to report that the draft ATP for our district is now available for viewing! We strongly encourage you to take an hour to review the draft and send in comments. We only have until April 13th to do so. The draft summary report, a story map, and the contact email address can all be found here.
State Legislation There are a lot of bills in Sacramento this year that are intended to make streets safer, cleaner, more fair, and more livable:
AB 1919 - Free Transit for those under 25 years old
AB 2264 - Requiring Leading Pedestrian Intervals (Passed first committee)
AB 1713 - Allows cyclists to yield at stop signs (Passed first committee)
AB 1778 - Ending Freeway Widening
AB 1909 - Legalizes/makes cycling easier (Passed first committee)
AB 2147 - Decriminalizes Jaywalking (Passed first committee)
AB 2097 - Removes parking minimum near transit
AB 2336 - Speed Camera Pilot Program (Passed first committee)
SB 1079 - Illegal Exhaust Noise Cameras (Passed first committee)
SB 457 - Tax Rebate for Being Car free
SB 922 - Fast tracks bus and bike projects past CEQA (Passed first committee)
SB 932 - Requiring cities to plan and implement active transportation and pedestrian safety in their general plans (Passed first committee)
If any or all of these seem especially important to you, we encourage you to take a quick minute to contact Senator Dave Min and Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris. It makes a difference!
That’s all for now, have a great weekend!
- The CMABS Team