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Senate Bill 127 Support Letter to Council

Below is the letter that CMABS submitted to the City Council ahead of the October 1st, 2019 meeting, at which the Council ultimately voted 6-1 to submit their own letter of support of Senate Bill 127 to Governor Newsom. That night Costa Mesa joined Encinitas, Long Beach, Oakland, Santa Monica, San Luis Obispo, Half Moon Bay, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles in formal support of the bill.


October 1, 2019


Mayor Foley and the Costa Mesa City Council,


We submit this letter in strong support for SB 127 (Transportation funding: active transportation: complete streets) and ask that you send a letter to Governor Newsom with a formal position in favor of this measure.

SB 127 would:


...require the California Transportation Commission to adopt performance measures that show progress, or lack thereof, on the conditions of bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and on how easy or safe it is to for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders to navigate them. It would require that the SHOPP incorporate pedestrian and bicyclist needs into the projects it funds.


It [also] would require clear reporting on how much money is spent on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure–something that is currently very difficult to separate out in project budgets and therefore very difficult to measure and account for. (StreetBlog)


More information is also available in the Senate Floor Analysis.


Newport Blvd., SR 55, slices through the heart of our historic downtown, cutting the city in two. Many people avoid crossing this street outside of a car, and this is not due to distance, topography, crime, or climate. It is because the street is currently a dangerous and unpleasant place to cross, or even be near, thanks to the design priorities of CalTrans that prioritize vehicle throughput at the expense of any other considerations.


Our General Plan Circulation Element makes it clear that our ultimate vision for Newport Blvd. is one of an enhanced downtown experience, with more landscaping, and “facilities that support other modes of transportation.” Further, much of Newport Blvd. is within what the General Plan has identified as “Pedestrian Opportunity Zones,” which, according to the Circulation Element are “areas where the City will pursue street enhancements to create pedestrian-friendly environments.”


SB 127 will get the State to do this for us, so that we can focus our resources on improving other areas of the City. For the sake of the physical integration of our community, and to facilitate the realization of our stated vision, we ask that you voice your support of this bill on behalf of our City.


SB 127 will also apply to Pacific Coast Highway and Beach Blvd., two roads that do not run through Costa Mesa per se, but that many Costa Mesa residents undoubtedly travel on. Pedestrian and bicycling improvements on these streets will benefit any Costa Mesans who venture out of their cars in these other parts of Orange County.


Sincerely,

The Costa Mesa Alliance for Better Streets Board of Directors

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