We hope you all had a great holiday season. It is now 2020 and we have a lot of work to do.
This coming Monday we have our monthly meeting at the regular time and place - 7pm at the Ronnenberg Center at OCC. We make it a point to meet once a month not because we love meetings, but because of how aware we are that things will not get better on their own. It is up to us to strategize and act if we want to see progress in our city. There are normally about 15 of us and always a couple of new faces. We want to hear from you - where the problems are, and what you think might make our streets better.
On Monday we’ll be talking about Love Costa Mesa Day. We may have access on that day to the SCAG toolkit (a container full of tactical urbanism materials) for a pop-up traffic calming and/or placemaking demonstration. Do you have any ideas for where something like this might be good? Don’t be shy! We want to settle on at least three proposals that we can deliver to the City. Earth Day is also coming up, so we need to get a good list going. Maybe look here and here for inspiration?
We’ll also be talking about a more ambitious project we’ve been excited about: Summer Lanes. Every summer at Fairview Park, the Concerts in the Park events (4 Thursdays in a row) are enormously popular, with hundreds in attendance. Given the wonderful weather and scanty car-parking, many prefer to arrive via bicycle. Unfortunately the streets connecting much of Costa Mesa to the park are not comfortable enough to entice anyone but the fearless. Our idea is to create pop-up bike routes from surrounding neighborhoods that consist of a combination of protected bike lanes (cones, planters, etc.), wayfinding signage (on quieter streets along the routes), and friendly faces along the way (volunteers to help people get across busier streets safely). What would get you to bike instead of drive? We want to know!
OC REGISTER. Reporter Alicia Robinson has written a great piece on the movement for better streets in Costa Mesa. Give it a read, and be inspired to be a part of what is happening.
HOLIDAY PARTY. We had a great time at our holiday social just before Christmas. Thank you to all who stopped by, and thank you to Pitfire Pizza for the generous donations!
CALIFORNIA STREET. A few weeks ago a couple of CMABS people noticed California Street being repaved and restriped. This is always a good opportunity for the City to better allocate the space within the roadway in such a way that dangerous users (drivers) feel less comfortable and the vulnerable users (everyone else) feel more comfortable. The faint markings on the new pavement indicated that it was soon to be restriped with no improvement. See here for pictures and the rest of the story.
EDUCATION FIRST. The former headquarters of Trinity Broadcasting Network on Bear St. and the 405 is about to get a second life. In November the Planning Commission approved a proposal to establish an English school for short-term international students, under the condition that no student get to or from school by car. This is a hugely opportune impetus for the City to think hard about the quality of the surrounding environment for those on foot, bike, and transit, which at the moment, is a bit dismal. The 1,300+ students will want to get to nearby places, like Shiffer Park, Metro Point, South Coast Plaza, and the SoBeCa district, not to mention the homes of their host families all over the city! What do you think about Bear and surrounding streets? See our letter to the City Public Services Dept. and to the Bikeway & Walkability Committee here.
COUNCIL MEMBER ARLIS REYNOLDS’ COMMUNITY BIKE RIDE. On Sunday, Jan 26 we’re going to go back to our original route - the Westside Parks ride. This was our most family/kid friendly (and probably beautiful) ride. After that we’ll go back to doing them on 3rd Sundays for the rest of the year. (The only other exception will likely be April, since we’re trying to coordinate with an Earth Day event on the 3rd weekend.) All rides meet at 2:00 and depart at 2:30.
ORANGE COUNTY MARATHON EARLY BIRD RIDE. This is not yet a thing, but should we make it a thing? Who would be interested, and who might be willing to organize it? If you don’t know what we’re talking about, here is a traditional ride that a lot of people do a couple hours before the LA Marathon every year, taking advantage of miles of temporary street closures.