In an email thread between OCTA’s Charlie Larwood and Huntington Beach bike advocate Dan Hazard, Larwood announces:
We have now hired Paul Martin as our Active Transportation Coordinator. Paul will be working with bicycle and pedestrian stakeholders as well as supporting our bicycle planning efforts.
Martin has been the Alta Planning Project Manager overseeing the Newport Beach Bicycle Master Plan (BMP).
Will his departure affect the Plan schedule?
NB Bike Coordinator Brad Sommers doesn’t think so; the draft of the 200-page Plan will be released later today, prior to the next meeting of the Bicycle Master Plan Committee, 5pm Monday July 7th.
“The Plan will be open to comments through July, then we’ll include any feedback in August and hopefully submit it to the City Council in September or October.” Sommers reminds me, “That’s been the schedule all along.”
Martin is well suited for his new role and bike advocates across the county will continue to ‘pinch themselves’ over OCTA’s renewed commitment to bikes and peds.
Cities are moving faster to embrace alternatives to the automobile; besides Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and San Clemente, Santa Ana and Anaheim are moving to develop improved bicycle infrastructure.
Martin will have his hands full, as Larwood describes a big new project:
We are just beginning the study which looks at the entire stretch of PCH within Orange County. We will be primarily working with the PCH Corridor city staff taking into consideration how to improve throughput as well as bicycle and pedestrian safety. It will take us about 14 months to complete so we should be wrapping things up by the fall of 2015.
Balancing throughput for cars with bike and ped safety — that’ll be no small undertaking. Let’s hope that Martin can tip the scales to the bike/ped side.