Flower Petal Tears

Posted July 21, 2014 By April Morris
Rose petals spread from Laguna Beach to Newport Beach - like tears to remember the fallen.

Rose petals spread from Laguna Beach to Newport Beach – like tears to remember the fallen.

About 400 cyclists assembled in Laguna Beach this morning for the John Colvin and Debra Deem Memorial Ride.

John Colvin's mom addresses the audience.

John Colvin’s mom addresses the audience.

We rode from Laguna Beach, where John died, to Newport Coast Drive where Debra died. Both lost their lives on PCH.

We miss them terribly. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. We need to make our voices heard by City and Caltrans officials. It’s time that every city, including Laguna Beach, recognize they can no longer ignore us. They must incorporate safe streets for cycling into their plans.

Today’s service was gut wrenching, like the Newport Beach Memorial Ride two years ago that launched a movement — a fund and a Bicycle Master Plan. We must do more to make this happen in Laguna Beach.

John’s mom addressed the crowd today. You could feel her pain and loss; she set the tone for the Memorial ride.

Each and every one of us is someone’s neighbor, friend or spouse, sister or brother, son or daughter; we owe it to each other to band together, to work for change — for all of us.

Photos by Brenda Miller.


Laguna Beach Memorial Ride

Posted July 20, 2014 By Frank Peters
In memory of John Colvin and Debra Deem

In memory of John Colvin and Debra Deem

Cyclists from all over Orange County gathered this morning for to honor the memories of John Colvin and Debra Deem, both died riding their bicycles along Coast Hwy in the past year.

Many of this same group attended last Thursday’s Laguna Beach City Council meeting to petition for safer conditions.

Speakers this morning reminded the group that Laguna consistently ranks very poorly in bicycle and pedestrian safety. No one from the City addressed the crowd.



Need More Parking?

Posted July 11, 2014 By Frank Peters

PARKING: Searching for the Good Life in the City from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.



A Good Bicycle Plan Could Be Much Better

Posted July 9, 2014 By Frank Peters

Monday night’s Bicycle Master Plan Committee meeting was contentious.

I’ll admit, my many critical comments added to a stressful meeting. Besides critiquing the Plan, I had 2 items on my personal agenda to discuss:

  1. a 2-block extension of the beach boardwalk, and
  2. the Back Bay Report.


An elegant alternative to extending the boardwalk

An elegant mini-extension of the beach boardwalk

Neither item was deemed suitable for discussion, let alone inclusion in the Plan, even though the boardwalk extension is the most popular post ever here on bikeNewportBeach. Worse, Chairman Petros described the Back Bay Report as “reprehensible”.

Yeah, maybe I see his point — a report that calls for a 90-day trial period to restrict cars on the Back Bay — no, no I don’t see his point! “Reprehensible” isn’t the right word; “experiment” is the term most would attribute to the report’s recommendation.

Either way, I was 0-2 for the night — until today’s Orange County Register where Ethan Hawkes writes, “47 miles of bikeways proposed in plan: $21 million Newport Beach project is still in the early stage, committee says.”

While the Chair is named, I get 2 paragraphs:

Frank Peters, who serves on the committee, said the plan doesn’t describe how the proposed improvements would be completed.
“Eighth-graders could come up with a list of intersections and roadways that need improvements for bicyclists,” Peters said. “The real issue is what are you going to do about it, and that’s not identified in the master plan.”

Snarky, I’ll admit, but not reprehensible.

My fellow committee member and Traffic Engineer Bob Kahn rebuts,

This stage is too early for detailed planning, and specifics would be hashed out once individual projects have been approved

Seeking the last word, I add this comment:

My fellow committee member Kahn is correct, each bike lane design will eventually become more specific, but there’s middle ground. For example, the Huntington Beach Bicycle Master Plan shows 3 possible treatments for bike lanes on Coast Hwy — these simple illustrations stimulate discussion and engage the public as well as their elected officials while everyone can see that improving conditions is best served by removing parking.

You won’t see anything like that in the NB Bike Plan — it’s omitted for political reasons, to keep the public in the dark as to whether parking will be affected, or a travel lane removed – issues that tend to fill the Council chambers with NIMBY residents.

“Trust us,” that should be the byline of the NB Bicycle Master Plan. Since no details are offered we must trust that Public Works will do their best to implement the latest in best practices. But we don’t see any indication of applying best practices to their latest bike lane installation, on Avocado in front of our amazing Civic Center. I call it a nice 1970′s bike lane because cyclists are marginalized to the edges of the road so 4 lanes of cars can zoom. If it’s an indication of their future implementation of this Master Plan cyclists will have little to celebrate.

During the meeting no one mentioned it, but our Alta Planning project manager, Paul Martin, will be departing for a new role as OCTA’s Active Transportation Coordinator – a big step up. Of course this leaves a prime vacancy at Alta, which will attract many applicants and the whole professional bicycle advocacy community waits while everyone plays leap-frog. Our beloved Brad Sommers, who’s been coordinating all our local projects, will someday get an offer he can’t refuse. Then where will we be? Left to the same people in NB Public Works who botched Avocado. That’s why our Bicycle Master Plan needs more specifics.

Committee member John Heffernan asked to call out the very top priorities; he was greeted with deaf ears, too, but the concept of adding some detail to the very topmost issues in bike safety is worthy of a little more effort.

It’s worth fighting for.

One of 3 treatments for PCH in the Huntington Beach Bicycle Master Plan

One of 3 treatments for PCH included in the Huntington Beach Bicycle Master Plan.
Illustrations engage the public and set the stage for a discussion of bike safety versus car parking.



Meeting Tonight

Posted July 7, 2014 By Frank Peters
Download the Bicycle Master Plan

Download the Bicycle Master Plan

Want to contribute to the draft plan?

Come to the Bicycle Master Plan Committee meeting tonight at 5pm at the Civic Center.

Got some time to read it? Download your copy here.



Beautiful Weather, But

Posted July 5, 2014 By Frank Peters


It’s a gorgeous day at the beach, but you better plan to travel by bike.


Maybe the beach can accommodate more people, but they’ve got to walk or bike.
Still no bike racks at Big Corona and we could really use some on a day like today


Bikes excepted

Kinda feels like a protected bike lane

Kinda feels like a protected bike lane


Not so crowded here at Crystal Cove, plus it’s more remote — an escape from reality



July 4th

Posted July 4, 2014 By Frank Peters
Big Corona beach

Big Corona beach

Don’t even think of driving to the beach today, or for the whole weekend.

Come by bike.

The view from Inspiration Point

The view from Inspiration Point



San Clemente Leads the Way

Posted July 2, 2014 By Frank Peters
Orange County American Planning Association Award

San Clemente receives the Orange County American Planning Association Award

It was time to pause and take stock of a job well done in San Clemente last night. The City was recognized with a Transportation Planning Award for their Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

Brenda Miller was singled out for her contributions to the effort. Attendees of the Newport Beach Bicycle Master Plan meetings often see Brenda making the long drive north to participate.


Randy Nichols, OCAPA Juror, Cliff Jones Associate Planner and Brenda Miller


Brenda with Frank Peters



Draft Bicycle Master Plan Released

Posted July 1, 2014 By Frank Peters


You don’t have to wait until the meeting — download the Draft Bicycle Master Plan right now, all 223 pages.

Or just come to the meeting: 5pm Monday July 7th at the Civic Center.



Alta Planning’s Paul Martin Moves to OCTA

Posted July 1, 2014 By Frank Peters

In an email thread between OCTA’s Charlie Larwood and Huntington Beach bike advocate Dan Hazard, Larwood announces:

We have now hired Paul Martin as our Active Transportation Coordinator. Paul will be working with bicycle and pedestrian stakeholders as well as supporting our bicycle planning efforts.

Martin has been the Alta Planning Project Manager overseeing the Newport Beach Bicycle Master Plan (BMP).

Will his departure affect the Plan schedule?

NB Bike Coordinator Brad Sommers doesn’t think so; the draft of the 200-page Plan will be released later today, prior to the next meeting of the Bicycle Master Plan Committee, 5pm Monday July 7th.

“The Plan will be open to comments through July, then we’ll include any feedback in August and hopefully submit it to the City Council in September or October.” Sommers reminds me, “That’s been the schedule all along.”


Martin is well suited for his new role and bike advocates across the county will continue to ‘pinch themselves’ over OCTA’s renewed commitment to bikes and peds.

Cities are moving faster to embrace alternatives to the automobile; besides Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and San Clemente, Santa Ana and Anaheim are moving to develop improved bicycle infrastructure.

Martin will have his hands full, as Larwood describes a big new project:

We are just beginning the study which looks at the entire stretch of PCH within Orange County. We will be primarily working with the PCH Corridor city staff taking into consideration how to improve throughput as well as bicycle and pedestrian safety. It will take us about 14 months to complete so we should be wrapping things up by the fall of 2015.

Balancing throughput for cars with bike and ped safety — that’ll be no small undertaking. Let’s hope that Martin can tip the scales to the bike/ped side.