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Last night the Newport Beach City Council held its first meeting in the new City Hall on Avocado.

It was a night of long speeches as positions changed; new members were sworn in and a new Mayor elected.

Returning Councilman Ed Selich ran unopposed, so he wanted to take a few minutes to share his goals for the new year. He started out by saying it was a list of 10 goals and my first reaction was, “Oh boy, we’re gonna be here for awhile.”

Three or four down the list my ears perked up as he described his wish to see a bicycle master plan developed. It was the first time I’ve heard anyone at Council put it so importantly.

Next my eyes start scanning the rest of the Council; yes, we have the votes to move forward with such a plan. New Councilman Tony Petros comes from 3 years of service on the Bike Safety Committee and it’s been chaired by Nancy Gardner; Leslie rides… I could stop counting – it’s doable.

It’s cause for excitement.

One of my bike buddies recently commented, he knew of my frustrations that things can’t move faster, but he pointed out that Newport Beach is doing more in Orange County than almost any other city. Kudos to San Clemente and soon Huntington Beach will have a new master plan, but after that there’s little going on. We’re a local leader in bike safety innovation and it looks like the momentum will continue into 2013.

It’s cause for optimism.

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Frank Peters

listen to my podcast shows at cdmCyclist.com

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