I’m a member of the Newport Beach Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee and to avoid any possible conflict with the open government dictates of the Brown Act the City Attorney has asked that all committee members submit their comments and suggestions relating to the Draft Master Plan separately. I’m happy to comply and my 19 comments spanning 3 pages were included in the agenda of tonight’s meeting.
I couldn’t attend tonight’s meeting as I’m in Washington, D.C. as a sponsor of the Women’s Bicycle Conference preceding the National Bike Summit.
As all 19 of my comments would make for too long a post I have broken my remarks up into 3 parts. Rereading them tonight in my hotel room I see a typo and more than one opportunity to add clarity to my comments, otherwise they are the same comments you would’ve heard at tonight’s meeting.
1. First, I strongly support the extension of the beach boardwalk, in both directions to the Wedge and to the Santa Ana River Trail. This would be the best use of funds as it would be very popular with bike riders. Newport Elementary arguably, has the highest number of kids biking to school — that number would only go up which has the benefit of fewer car trips on the busy peninsula. My boys always wanted to go to the Wedge — it’s a teen hangout. To get them there safely is every parent’s wish. Please place all my ‘chips’ on this issue.
2. In CdM, heading eastbound on Coast Hwy: the Sharrows end, but the dangerous conditions continue past Poppy and Hazel. Motorists know all too well how the speed limit increases to 45mph, so they are hitting the gas while cyclists must negotiate the threat of car doors due to the parked cars. Please remove the approximately 8 parking places past Poppy or continue the Sharrows.
3. Related to #2, I recommend a separated bike path from Seaward eastbound all the way to Crystal Cove State Park. This could bring a wonderful bicycling asset into reach of many CdM casual riders. There’s roadway space for such a treatment and where else should the City experiment with a separated, protected bike lane?
4. Palm Street at the Balboa Island ferry — there are 5 parking places on the street between E. Balboa Blvd. and the West Oceanfront boardwalk — remove them and create a safe path for cyclists coming off the ferry onto the boardwalk. (This should’ve been considered at an earlier point in time, when the City purchased the old grocery store land across the street and built 32 parking places. Every time new parking is added someone should look around to find other spaces worth removing so as to improve safety for peds and cyclists. Because we didn’t have the foresight to do this we may end up petitioning Coastal to remove these 5 parking spaces.)
Next up, The Draft Plan, Part II.