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Costa Mesa Slow Streets Project

Russell Sign 1.jpg


The Costa Mesa Slow Streets Project is a community-led city-wide effort to start getting car-speeds down in the public space of our streets. This is especially important during lockdown, since so many people are using the streets as space to stroll, exercise, play, and socialize. But even without a pandemic, we believe that slower streets are better streets for everyone.

We recognize that the difference in speed between users within the public right of way is a major root of many of the problems that we face. Cars – being the largest, fastest, and deadliest of all the moving objects in a street – have long been prioritized in our streets, which often results in a less-than-ideal environment for other users. If we are serious about having a community where getting around without a car is comfortable and convenient, we must address car-speed.

Phase 1

There are many streets in our city that are presently less than they could be due to the prioritization of cars. We need to get to these eventually. But the more intense the street, the more the City needs to be involved. And the more we expect the City to get involved, the more public support will be required. That’s why we need to start small and build momentum. The first phase of the Costa Mesa Slow Streets Project is twofold:

The first is to build awareness of our organization and what we are working for. This will be done through home-printed flyers posted where people will see them while walking (see resources below), but also via word-of-mouth and social media. What we want to get across to people:

  • This street you’re on could be better. It doesn’t have to be this way.

  • There is a group in CM of friendly, reasonable people working to make this happen. Join us. 

The second is to get car speeds down. This is a simple step that many of us are able to take. A cone or small sign, placed responsibly, is often enough to get drivers to take their foot off the gas a bit. We want people to see that residential streets are naturally transforming into space for people and that people are enjoying this transformation.  While you're the one who needs to evaluate the safety and utility of your own item placements, we might suggest starting near your house.

A few rules of thumb:

  • Be careful not to confuse drivers or create any potentially dangerous situations. 

  • Don’t be aggressive with messaging. Don’t address the reader as an enemy, but as an ally. Rather, be lighthearted and make it fun. Don’t make it an us vs them thing.


We want to build our next phases of this project on widespread participation and support of this phase. Now is the time!

CMABS Slow Streets Flier 1.jpg


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We have printable sign templates here and here. Please post legally and responsibly.


Instructions on making your own PVC signs are here and here. Please place legally and responsibly.  

Our flier describing the project is here.  

All of our materials are stored in our shared GoogleDrive folder.

If you have something you'd like to share we'd love to add it to our list - please send submissions to

CMABS has FREE materials FOR YOU!

Ralph cones.jpg

CMABS has purchased a set of 28" trafic cones that we will loan out to any Costa Mesa resident who wants them.  All we ask in return is that you share picture or stories of your cones in action.  

If you'd like to request some cones, please fill out our cone request form

Many thanks to California Barricade for giving us a good price on new cones and donating extra cones along with our purchase!

Please share!

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Please share your experiences with us and the world!  Share with our social media (links below), e-mail us stories or pictures to post at, or just talk to  your neighbors!

Use the hashtag #CMSlowStreets


The entire goal of this is to get a grassroots movement going to help make our streets safer for everyone.  Join in! 

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