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This past Wed evening the Citizen Advisory Panel met for the last time; the panel decided that most of the issues relating to the Corona del Mar Entry Redesign were resolved to a degree that the project should move on to the January 12th Ad Hoc Committee review which is the next step in a long approval process.

Although a quorum didn’t convene until 30 minutes into the meeting, the committee members voted to wrap up the review so that it would be positioned for budget consideration in time for the next fiscal year.

This session featured several colorful landscape renderings of the widened sidewalk at Coast Hwy at Mac Arthur. While it might be hard to imagine that the current sidewalk will be extended 21 feet into the street, the renderings showed what may become CdM’s most desirable pedestrian gathering spot. Issues of sidewalk dining, art fairs and other possible uses of the new space continue to be deferred.

Palm trees, flowers, olive trees and sitting-walls combined with two-tone pavers on the sidewalk surface made it easy to imagine an attractive alternative to the current space.

As always, there are a number of diverging issues raised by the attending public. “I hope this doesn’t turn out like the Clock Tower corner at Marguerite,” Dan Purcell worried. Others expressed concerns over the loss of 9 parking places, but Asst. City Engineer Mike Sinacori pointed out, “There isn’t another intersection in the city that allows parking in the intersection.” More than one public comment focused on the need for further review, “No one has taken this to the CdMRA,” lamented Purcell, but, “Anyone interested in this project had ample opportunities to participate,” rebutted Project Consultant Dennis Stone.

As the meeting wound down, parking spaces continued to be a concern. Frank Peters suggested that adding bike racks to the still-to-be-configured street furniture arrangements might help, “Nine parking places could be mitigated by adding 18 bike racks.” When this comment caused everyone on the panel to laugh, Peters was quick to interpret the reaction as acknowledgement of the obvious.

The next meeting is scheduled for 4pm Jan 12th in the City Council Chambers. Read more and see the designs at Coronadelmartoday.

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Frank Peters

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