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July 5 - Updates

Hello everyone! Here’s what’s going on:

Internal News

We have a name. We are the Costa Mesa Alliance for Better Streets. Watch out!

We also have a schedule:

Board meetings will occur fourth Mondays at 7pm. Anyone is welcome to join, but they are more bureaucratic. Drop us a note if you’d like to join us.

General meetings will occur third Mondays at 7pm. These meetings are when the whole group gets together to go over relevant updates in the city, discuss big ideas, and strategize about when, where, and how to act next in furthering our mission.

On Monday, July 15th we’ll meet at 7pm. Among other things, we'll be discussing open streets events, and thinking about how to make one happen in Costa Mesa. We'll be meeting at the Ronnenberg Center at OCC. Show up, and bring a friend!

Costa Mesa News

PINECREEK AND ADAMS INTERSECTION REBUILD. This intersection is the highest-volume entrance to Orange Coast College, has a slip lane leading from Adams to the OCC parking lots that allows cars to take the turn at speeds over 30mph. This high speed turn completely lacks curb cuts or crosswalks, making it extremely difficult (if not impossible) for pedestrians to continue along the south side of Adams here. We recently learned that the City was able to get a grant to rebuild the intersection, which Orange Coast College will be helping with. We're ecstatic to see this hazardous intersection get redesigned to be safer for pedestrians - thanks City of Costa Mesa and Orange Coast College. CMABS is currently exploring the possibility of bike improvements along Adams between Harbor and Fairview as a part of the project; stay tuned for more. Marc will be presenting diagrams of the proposed project at our July 15th meeting.

THE PLANT PROJECT. Last year a large, mixed-use project behind The Camp was denied over the method by which its parking demand was predicted by a 3-2 council vote, despite unanimous support from the Planning Commission. Since then, the gray area in the code has been resolved, new council members have been elected, and the project is back before the Planning Commission. Hopefully the discussion will revolve less around how many cars the site can accommodate, and more about how accessible the project is to those on foot, bike, and using transit, and how well the new buildings relate to and shape the public realm (the street). Everything you ever wanted to know about this project can be found in the staff report. The item will go before the Planning Commission on Monday night, July 8th at 6pm in the Council Chambers. And if you’re interested in the topic, here’s a Quick, Clear Explanation for Why Parking Minimums Hurt Cities.

THREE-CAR CRASH. On Friday, June 28 at 9:45 am, three cars collided on Newport Boulevard between 20th and Bay. A 76-year-old male driver in a pickup truck was traveling east on Bay Street when it was struck by a 46-year-old female driver in an SUV going north on Newport Boulevard. As a result of that collision, the truck then struck a third vehicle, a sedan being driven by a 75-year-old woman, that was preparing to exit a parking lot north of the intersection. The driver in the pickup truck was transported to a nearby hospital, where he remains in critical condition. The SUV driver was also transported to the hospital with minor injuries. See Nixle post here.

California News

ASSEMBLY BILL 2363. This is related to California’s notorious 85th percentile rule, which prevents the enforcement of speed limits that are set lower than the “critical speed”, which is determined by the actual speed of the 15th fastest driver (as Laura J. Nelson puts it). Assembly member Laura Friedman’s bill would add some language to this law that would provide another variable to be considered in the setting of speed limits: collision data. This may be a moot matter, since we know that it is ultimately street design (design speed) - not speed limits - that governs the way people drive. Allowing enforcement of lower speed limits would not get to the root of our problems. But on certain streets, it may help! See what’s happening with this here.

SENATE BILL 127. “The bill would require Caltrans to include safety improvements for people on foot, on bike, and taking transit whenever it performs road maintenance in certain defined areas: on state-owned highways that are not freeways but are within cities.” In Costa Mesa, this is Newport Blvd. On Monday, July 8, the bill will be heard in the Assembly Transportation Committee - a crucial step. Streetblog has been doing a great job keeping us informed about what the bill would do, and how it’s moving along. See here and here.

This Email Blast

Feel free to forward this to your friends and neighbors! If you would like to receive an email like this one every other Friday, please let know. Twice a month we’ll try to provide a quick rundown of everything happening in the city that relates to the quality of our streets so that you can stay informed. If you have any ideas or suggestions as to how this email blast might be better or more useful, please let us know.

-The CMABS Team

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The Costa Mesa Alliance for Better Streets has established 8 resolutions for the year that we believe strike the right balance between reasonable and ambitious. We have the right staff and leadership

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