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Fern Nueno kicks off the meeting

NB Associate Planner Fern Nueno
kicks off the meeting

Last night was the 2nd in a series of Corona del Mar Parking Planning sessions. A lot has happened since the first meeting and tonight we heard from the consultant, Nelson Nygaard‘s Brian Canepa again.

Early on, Councilwoman Nancy Gardner clarified that the City hired the consultant, with the support of the CdM BID.

Canepa made a 20-minute presentation on the initial findings of the study. He showed the capacity details along with the local constraints, combined with just the right amount of modern parking theory. I’m sure I wasn’t the only attendee to learn something about parking science.

Several residents attended to prevent any possibility of paving over Old School Park. They made themselves heard on the issue.

Only 62 percent of capacity

Only 62 percent of capacity

No recommendations were presented, just the facts

No recommendations were presented, just the facts

The best part of the evening was when the audience was invited to break into small groups and mark-up a map of CdM. At my table a representative from the Port Theatre joined 3 residents and Planning Commission Chairman Michael Toerge – CoronadelMarToday‘s Amy Senk kept popping in to offer her perspective. Together we made a long list of reccomendations – no surprise, my list included many bike-related suggestions. For example,

  • The Sharrows offer some protection to cyclists passing through CdM on Coast Hwy, but they end at Poppy even though the conditions that warrant their use continue for the next 2 blocks. I suggested removing the parking on eastbound Coast Hwy after Poppy because the speed limit immediately escalates to 45mph, precluding any extension of the Sharrows, yet parked cars and the threat of opening car doors represent the same hazards to cyclists – worse, because motorists know they can accelerate once past Poppy. Yes, close scrutiny shows this area to be just outside the jurisdiction of the Parking Plan.
  • Sherman Gardens enjoys lots of parking, but at night when nearby restaurants require additional parking, these 2 lots are off limits. What incentives could merchants and/or the City offer to open these and all those bank parking lots?
  • Bike racks – we need lots more. There’s a plan to install 50 bike racks in CdM, underwritten by the BID, but there’s justification for more than 200. Bike racks would be used by local residents which would reduce demand for parking, reduce traffic and congestion in the village. It’s the magic-bullet that should be getting even more attention.
  • Since Michael Toerge was quick to nominate me as scribe and presenter for our little group I was able to cram another pet peeve that’s out of the area, but what’s a technicality when we’re talking parking and pedestrian safety? What I’m talking about is Seaview at Goldenrod. Pedestrians waltz their way from town cradling their lattes while leisurely jaunting along Goldenrod, then there’s the charming footbridge, so nothing prepares them for the speeding traffic on Seaview, the alternative to Coast Hwy. Worse yet, parked cars on the westbound side of the intersection obstruct sight-lines adding to the risks. What does it take to paint a crosswalk here? And while we’re at it, let’s remove a few parking places at the offending corner and improve those sight-lines.

Of course there was much more to the meeting. One favorite idea presented by another table: a trolley. Wouldn’t it be great to have some public transportation, say from Fashion Island through CdM and on to Crystal Cove Promenade? And since this trolley would be bookended at Irvine Company properties, who better to underwrite what would possibly become a beloved new feature of Corona del Mar?

Don’t miss the next meeting, sometime early in the new year.




Frank Peters

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