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Should cars be banned? Can we try a 3-month pilot program that still offers access for all?
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Background
At last month’s meeting of the Bicycle Master Plan Committee, John Heffernan and Frank Peters volunteered to review the Back Bay Drive multi-use trail.

Read the report

Read the report

Why? The Committee received a letter from the Newport Bay Conservancy expressing concerns about maintaining safe conditions on Back Bay Drive. The problem? It’s too popular,

The road is used by walkers, birders, runners, in-line skaters, cyclists and cars.

Just to name a few.

Of course, the Bicycle Master Plan Committee and the Alta Planning consultants were reviewing the issues prior to receiving the letter, but quite a public outcry ensued, especially when the Conservancy went so far as to propose solutions for the overcrowded road. Without burdening the consultants, nor derailing the long-term schedule of preparing the Plan, a sub-committee was proposed.

Outreach
We met 3 times over the past few weeks:

  • 5pm Thu April 17 at the Civic Center: define scope, seek input
  • 11am bike ride Sat April 19: meet at Bayside Dr N. At PCH — the Back Bay should be really busy!
  • 5pm Wed April 30th at the Civic Center: compile the findings, draft recommendations

Those who couldn’t attend were invited to email their remarks to backbay@bikeNewportBeach.org. We received 85 pages of emails and comments.

Click for map

Click for map

Contributors
Many have contributed to this report:

  • Howard Cork, Board President and Heather Cieslak, Operations Director, the Newport Bay Conservancy
  • San Clemente bike advocate Brenda Miller
  • Allan Crawford, former Bicycle Coordinator, City of Long Beach, Director Bikeable Communities
  • Orange County Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Pete Van Nuys and board members David Huntsman, Bill Sellin and Ramon Zavala
  • NBPD’s Deputy Chief David McGill and Lt. Tom Fischbacher
  • Dan Hazard, Co-Chair of the Huntington Beach Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee

 

Heather Cieslak

Newport Bay Conservancy Operations Director Heather Cieslak rides a bike

Some people say we need more signs, more enforcement. Should we close the gate instead?

Some people say we need more signs, more enforcement. Should we close the gate instead?

Cars add to the crowded conditions

Should cars be banned? How about an experiment? Ban cars for the summer months

Legalese
The sub-committee operated under these housekeeping guidelines:

  • The subcommittee consists of John Heffernan and Frank Peters.
  • The scope of the subcommittee is to review the operation of Back Bay Drive (Shellmaker to Eastbluff North) and report back to the BMPOC at the next meeting (TBD).
  • The subcommittee is not subject to the Brown Act.
  • The public is encouraged to participate in the meetings to share their thoughts, concerns and ideas regarding the operation of Back Bay Drive.
  • Interested members of the public may volunteer to help with tasks.

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