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Strong Towns! (and other news)

Hey everyone!

Here’s what’s going on:

  • Active Transportation Week with Chuck Marohn and Strong Towns (Nov. 15-21)

  • Watching the City: Streateries Extension, “Baby” Streetsweeper Approved by City Council

  • Slow Streets: Traffic Calming Installations on Cabrillo, Royal Palm and Meyer Pl.

  • Commentary: Can eBikes Fix CM’s Transport Mix?

  • Around Town: CycloCross

  • Ways to Support CMABS and Amazon Smile

Active Transportation Week with Chuck Marohn and Strong Towns (November 15-21)

It’s finally here! There is so much going on in the middle of November re: street policy that we’ve dubbed November 15-21 “Active Transportation Week”. If you have been wondering how to get involved, this is the perfect opportunity because there will be something for everyone. The week is topped off by a visit by Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns, to promote his new book, Confessions of a Recovering Engineer: Transportation for a Strong Town. Check out out all of the other great events below:

  • City Council Meeting, Tuesday, November 16, 6:00 p.m.: Active Transportation Week kicks off with a regular City Council meeting. This is always a good opportunity to make public comments and speak out on active transportation projects and policies.

  • Local Road Safety Plan Outreach Meeting, Wednesday, November 17, 6:00 p.m: The City will hold public outreach meeting on Zoom to discuss its Local Road Safety Plan, which uses crash data analysis to identify emphasis areas and potential safety improvements. If you have any road safety concerns or are just interested in the current state of road safety in Costa Mesa, this is a great event to attend. If you want to tune in on Zoom, here you go: Webinar ID: 999 5005 0917 | Passcode: 663429.

  • OC Fair Board of Directors Meeting, Thursday, November 18, 9:00 a.m.: The traffic generated by events at the fairgroundsoften have major impacts on our northwest Costa Mesa neighbors. If you have ideas about how the OC Fair can manage traffic and better support active transportation, bring them to public comment.

  • Merrimac Way Official Grand Opening, Friday, November 19, 10:00 a.m.: The City has completed a renovation of Merrimac Way that makes it more safe and comfortable for people on bikes (and has the added benefit of calming car-traffic). Join the City in celebrating the official grand opening of Merrimac Way. You can check out the City’s great video overview of the improvements here.

The Main Event: Confessions of a Recovering Engineer, with Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns, Friday, November 19, 3:00 p.m.: Join us in welcoming Chuck Marohn, founder of Strong Towns, as he shares his new book, Confessions of a Recovering Engineer: Transportation for a Strong Town. Building on the philosophy and insights in his groundbreaking book Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity, Confessions applies the Strong Towns principles to urban transportation and explores how the traditional approaches to traffic management and road design have failed to produce the kind of cities we actually want. Invite your friends and neighbors, and be sure to sign up here: Sharing the flyer below is a great way to help us spread the word. Here is the link to the share-able Facebook post.

Bike Ride with Councilmember Arlis Reynolds, Saturday, November 20, 2:00 p.m. in front of the Donald Dungan Library: Top off Active Transportation Week by joining City Council Member Arlis Reynolds (District 5) on a bike ride around Costa Mesa - Cyclocross Skills Edition! The ride will feature a casual community bike ride and a lesson on cyclocross skills.

Watching the City: Streateries Program, Baby Streetsweeper Approved by the City Council

In the last City Council meeting on November 3, the Council approved two matters relating to improving Costa Mesa’s streets. First, it approved the extension of two urgency ordinances that allow business owners to bring restaurant and retail offerings outdoors during the pandemic through 2022. Several local restaurateurs spoke in favor of the extensions, citing the lifeline provided by outdoor dining to businesses struggling under the risks posed by COVID-19 and related regulations, as well as the dramatic improvement to the streetscape provided by outdoor dining. Bravo, City Council!

The City Council also approved the purchase of a “baby” streetsweeper. Why is this a big deal? It is a huge deal because smaller street sanitation equipment has been one of the primary reasons cited by the Public Services Department as to why the City cannot install protected bike lanes. At only 48” wide, this baby streetsweeper will be able to fit in between the curb and bollards or other barriers used to protect cyclists from vehicle traffic. We are pumped to see the City making long-term investments in cycling and other active transportation infrastructure!

Slow Streets: Traffic Calming Installations on Cabrillo, Royal Palm and Meyer Pl.

As we mentioned last time, the Public Services Department has been responding to complaints of speeding with physical design solutions. But rather than commencing the long and complicated process of permanent, expensive changes, they have been using inexpensive materials to quickly deploy traffic-calming applications to test the design and collect community feedback. Hopefully these applications will eventually lead to permanent improvements, but we believe that this is a great approach. Check out Cabrillo St., Royal Palm Dr., and Meyer Pl. What do you think? And where else is this needed? If you’ve had the chance to visit Meyer Place in person, please provide feedback.

Commentary: Can E-bikes Fix Costa Mesa’s Transport Mix?

E-bikes are taking over Costa Mesa’s streets. Jenn Tanaka, CMABS board member, argues in the Daily Pilot that this could be a great opportunity for Costa Mesa to improve its transportation mix, which she argues is overly dependent on cars. When you can’t own a car and public transit won’t work, can e-bikes fill the gap? Check out the op-ed.

Around Town: Turkey Trot Cross Costa Mesa

The SoCalCross Prestige Series is holding the 2nd Annual Turkey Trot Cross on November 27-28, in Estancia Park. This holiday-themed bicycle festival will feature a cyclocross and community fun races. See you there!

CMABS Funding

We’re all volunteers here at CMABS, and most of what we do is free. But we do have a small operating budget. Here are some of the things we’ve spent money on this year:

  • Materials for our booths. This includes our cards, banners, and giveaway items like books and bike lights.

  • We gave $100 to Save Our Youth’s bike safety clinic in August.

  • We printed door hangers that we will soon distribute to residents that provides a map of bike rack locations in the city.

  • We’ve been promoting the Strong Town event on social media, and will soon print flyers.

We want to also fund the purchase of tactical urbanism materials like paint, barrels, and plants, that we can hopefully begin to deploy in select locations in the city. And relatively inexpensively we can get speed/volume counts on select streets to justify such tactical interventions.

Now is the time for end-of-the-year giving, so we hope that you’ll keep us in mind ;) Remember that we are 501(c)3 so all of your donations are tax-deductible. And if you’re an Amazon user, remember that you can set up your account once so that a sliver of all your purchases goes to CMABS through Amazon Smile. It just takes a second - set it up on your phone and computer(s).

That’s all for now - have a great weekend, and don't forget to register for the Strong Towns event!

The CMABS Team

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