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August 2 - Updates

Old news (updated!)

PINECREEK AND ADAMS INTERSECTION REBUILD: CALL TO ACTION GOT RESULTS! In our last newsletter, we asked folks to email the city council to add bike support to Adams Avenue between Harbor and Fairview as a portion of the Pinecreek and Adams intersection rebuild. Andrea Marr, the Costa Mesa Council Member representing District 3 (which includes Orange Coast College) reported that the e-mails helped bring the need for bike lanes on the street to her attention, which led to discussions with city staff, who report that the project is now slated to include bike lanes! Council Member Marr reports that she's trying to find out more about the project timeline and funding (the city may still need additional funds, apparently); we'll keep you updated with what she finds out. Thank you to everyone who emailed! Remember, if you ever want to reach out to the City Council, it’s very easy.

As a reminder, the Adams and Pinecreek 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.

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 now 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 1) how accessible the project is to those on foot, bike, and those using transit, and 2) 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. This 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.

Update: the project was approved by the Planning Commission by a 6-1 vote. However, the decision has already been appealed. It will go before Council (again) soon.

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.

Update: the bill made it through the Assembly Transportation Committee. See good 7/29/19 Editorial and call to action here.

In Case You Missed It…

CARTOONS! For those of us who prefer pictures to words, or may be too tired to read another article, this is for you! Released 7/22/19.

THE NEW YORKER published a great article in their 7/29/19 issue titled: Was the Automotive Era a Terrible Mistake? We’ll let you read and decide for yourself. If you’ve read enough today, the option to listen, or even download the audio for later is provided through the site!

THE WASHINGTON POST reported on 7/21/19 something we already know: that “Since January 2000, more Americans have died in car crashes than did in both World Wars.” It’s an uncomfortable, but important reminder of the gravity our current car-centric system.

THE GUARDIAN published a battle cry last month entitled Carmageddon: It’s Killing Urban Life. We Must Reclaim Our Cities Before It’s Too Late. Another classic well worth a read.

Like all excellent articles we come across, these three have been added to our growing list on the Resources section of our website:


WAR ON CARS podcaster and NYC safe-street advocate Aaron Gordon posted a piece just today in response to the widely-circulated New York Times article on jaywalking’s potential disruption of the automobile industry’s agenda for autonomous vehicles. The gist of the situation is that AVs depend on highly-predictable environments in order to work as intended. In other words, for AVs to really take off, activity within our public realm will need to conform to their needs (and therefore be tightly regulated).

Bad news

We don’t enjoy reporting on such events, but we think it’s important that we try to resist getting desensitized to the daily carnage on our streets. Below are just three events that the Daily Pilot happened to pick up on and include in their 8/1 edition.

“Pedestrian dies after being hit by truck” on Coast Highway in the Crystal Cove area.

“Police seek driver who struck pedestrian” and left the scene, on Harbor Blvd. in Fountain Valley.

“Three people extracted from vehicle after it crashes into road median” on Coast Highway in CdM.

Upcoming Events

August 18, 9am-4pm in Los Angeles: CicLAvia Open streets event “Meet the Hollywoods”.

The first public outreach meeting for the proposed Newport Blvd roadway widening is rumored to be scheduled for the end of September. Keep that in your head and stay tuned for updates.

The first public outreach meeting for the proposed Paularino Chanel bikeway improvement project is rumored to be scheduled for September. We’ll let you know more details when we hear!


Board meetings 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 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, August 19th we’ll meet at 7pm at the Ronnenberg Center 101 classroom ("recycling center"). As always, we'll be discussing our streets, and how we might reimagine them. We want to hear from you! Come with ideas (especially about tactical urbanism), and bring a friend.

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