Sunday, September 11, 2011

SR 55 Public Meeting Wednesday

MEETING WEDNESDAY, 5:30 - 7:30
The City of Costa Mesa and the Orange County Transportation Authority are hosting a public meeting on the State Route 55/Newport Boulevard Improvement Study on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the Costa Mesa Neighborhood Community Center, 1845 Park Avenue, near the library at Lions Park.

EXPLANATION OF PLANS
Staff members will be available to explain the exhibits available for viewing and the options for the possible improvement of this critical stretch of high
way within Costa Mesa. Those interested are encouraged to attend this critical meeting and bring your questions. You can get more information at the OCTA site, HERE.

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25 Comments:

Anonymous all hail said...

Hasn't that part of NewportBlvd./55 Freeway already been improved? Or is Riggy complaining about more nonexistent potholes to other agencies? Maybe he doesn't like having to stop at red lights. Yes with his special badge he should just be able to run red lights since he is a deity.

9/12/2011 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Seriously Geoff?

I know Hatch already wasted $200,000 having a study done, will that also be presented , or is that not quite done yet and they'll need more $$$ first.

On the OCTA link you've provided.....
Looking at the options......there aren't any.

They can add some turnouts for busses, and synchronize lights, or they can tunnel under the street for four or five blocks.....which is a couple of clams.

The opportunity for seventeen OCTA board members to make a little extra meeting stipends to study this issue....priceless. The bonus is a couple of council members will be able to also get a few extra bucks bucks also. Let me predict Fitzy and Fisler will also be there to tack on additional meeting pay, god knows, the Sanitation and Water need to be kept informed( $200 each).

Of course residents are encouraged to attend, for free, during business hours, to lend credibility to this kabuki theatre.Where evryone will go through the motions, and NOTHING will be proposed or actually get done. But hey.......They all need a little extra side work with Christmas coming on.....

Here's the list of compensation for the seventeen board members.....http://www.octa.net/righttoknow.aspx

9/12/2011 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Actually, Gericault, if you click on the "Alternatives" tab it shows you the other choices being considered. Yeah, those guys will probably be there to collect their stipend, as usual.

9/12/2011 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Hmm.. Any businesses on Newport Blvd at 20th that might benefit somehow?

9/12/2011 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger valan2 said...

I don't see why studying ways to improve traffic in downtown Costa Mesa is a bad idea. I certainly wouldn't want to hold up the community just because OCTA board members might get some extra pay.

Speaking out against the things that are really wrong in Costa Mesa is important. But, one's credibility and effectiveness are diluted when one comes out against everything. We get nowhere when both sides dismiss everything the other one says. Look at what its done to Congress. Let's not use that as a model for making progress.

9/12/2011 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Bruce Krochman said...

If you consider this in light of the Banning Ranch EIR, you will find that the 55 is a major impact area for Costa Mesa.

We should be VERY engaged in this discussion.

9/12/2011 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

I can think of a few local folks who should be depicted as characters..
http://teapartyzombiesmustdie.com

9/12/2011 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

valan2, it's an ESSENTIAL idea!

Bruce Krochman, you're correct... we ALL need to get involved in this one... too critical to both the Westside and Eastside to simply ignore without input.

Joe, I was ready to not publish that link, then I watched it... TOO FUNNY!

9/12/2011 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

You're missing the point......my questions regarding the 55, is that we are currently spending $200,000, for a study.....is that finished?

Or is this just another waste of time?

I haven't seen the studies. Although I have heard McCarthy suggesting lowering the traffic grades down to a "D". Which is a developer give away to Banning and NB, at our expense, by lowering trip fees.

As for the SEVENTEEN OCTA board members , I think theres some fat that needs to be cut, and you'll never get anything useful from that bunch.

I looked at the alternatives......all of them Geoff, and there doesn't seem to be much there, especially in this current economic belt tightening and the drying up of Measure M funds......

I'm not against everything but I am skeptical.

9/12/2011 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Gericault, I got it...

The alternatives that remain are what was left from the LAST time we went through this process. There were 7 choices presented then and, after several workshops and open houses and LOTS of community input, we were left with these.

Can't argue about the value of the OCTA board...

9/12/2011 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous selfproclaimedexpert said...

looks like stipends for OCTA capped at maximum 100 dollars/day and no more than 500/mo. Probably more than Gericault makes but still not outrageous and very little room for abuse. Leece cashes in more per month for medical and gets paid whether she shows up to meetings or not. Just offered for a little perspective. Gericault has his hands full fighting a losing battle with the city. Now he wants to take on OCTA, Sanitation, and Water? Never heard of this guy until a couple years ago and now he is an expert on everything!! Be very wary of his "facts" folks and be double wary of his speculations of what may be done. He is an idiot.

9/12/2011 03:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Egan (the man of few words ;-)) said...

I agree with Valan2’s comments in all respects.

Further, I can tell you that the idea of improving downtown CM is not just somebody’s overnight Big Idea. The goal of reducing the Mississippi of vehicles pouring through downtown 24/7 has been in the works for a necessarily long time.

Why necessarily long? Why isn’t it just another example of bureaucratic foot-dragging?

First, it takes time for a constituency to develop. Nothing will happen in any large system unless a critical mass of stakeholders agrees there’s a significant problem. No-one in the real world will sign up to spend time and resources on a problem that isn’t really causing a lot of hurt. This includes not only local residents, but, for example, businesses in the area, Newport Beach interests, and Caltrans.

Second, the technical aspects are exceedingly challenging.
• Any construction, except a bored tunnel, will constrain the flow of existing traffic. Right now, downtown CM is basically a canyon with wall-to-wall asphalt at grade, so you have to figure out what to do with all those vehicles while you tear up Newport Blvd.
• If you decide that a “cut and cover” tunnel (i.e., dig down the length of Newport from 19th to about Industrial Way, pour walls, pour a 4-lane roadway, pour roof, fill the trench back up to grade level, pour new material to restore Newport Blvd. and widen the sidewalks) is the best way to go, you will have to spend a lot of money/time rerouting the maze of utilities (water, gas, electric) that currently lies beneath the street.
• If you decide a bored tunnel (like one under the Hudson River) would be best because it wouldn’t hurt downtown traffic and wouldn’t hurt businesses, it still might run into the maze of utilities.

Third, the political aspects are challenging.
• Some businesses believe they’ll get more customers if there’s no perpetual traffic jam to discourage shoppers. On the other hand, some businesses believe they need as many eyeballs as possible to see their storefront – especially if those eyeballs are in vehicles that have to travel slowly through the area because of congestion.
• If Newport Blvd. has to be blocked off for months/years, what will happen to the businesses that front on it? Will they support or fight?
• Local residents really like the idea of recapturing their downtown from the pall that’s been cast over it by excessive traffic. On the other hand, they really don’t like the idea of having their neighborhood being taken over by those same vehicles for the year or two it will take for construction of some of the alternatives.
• Other cities impacted by changes to the downtown part of State Highway 55 have to agree to changes. One of them is the city of Newport Beach, which was a major player in keeping the 55 freeway from entering their city, thereby forcing downtown Costa Mesa to be swamped by regional freeway traffic. Knowing the hardball that NB plays, I have no doubt that they would use their OK for this project as a poker chip in trade for, oh, say, a bridge over the Santa Ana river to meet up with 19th, or construction of Bluff Road from PCH up to W. 19th – each of which would divert regional traffic away from their portion of Coast Highway.
• If the 55 traffic jam is alleviated, it might reduce the need for a 57 extension to be built on the edge of Mesa Verde to connect with PCH. But, then, Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach have dogs in that fight.

Fourth, raising the money to pay for any of the alternatives would be challenging. As Gericault observes, the most extensive alternatives would cost “a couple of clams.” These two clams would make a very expensive sushi snack. It wouldn’t be impossible to find the money, though, as there are many potential sources at city, county, state, and federal levels, but it would take a lot of work. Peter Naghavi has worked magic in past projects; maybe he could do it here too.

So, you can see that reclaiming downtown Costa Mesa is a big concept that requires a lot of analysis and politicking and … time.

9/12/2011 03:23:00 PM  
Anonymous can you imagine said...

I was just thinking what our City would look like of Greg Ridge stopped his conspiracy attacks in Council. And if Sandy Genus stopped authoring Wendy Leece comments and recommendations like transparency reporting.

What a positive City we would be. Just a couple people would make a big difference.

9/12/2011 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

can you imagine,
So, you are in favor of a dictatorship? Sounds like it. As long as we live in a representative republic citizens have the right - and obligation - to bring their grievances to their elected leaders for redress. The fact that our current majority isn't interested in hearing those voices is of great concern.

9/12/2011 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

can you imagine wrote:
"I was just thinking what our City would look like if Greg Ridge stopped his conspiracy attacks on Council."

Me:

1) Glad you're thinking;

2) The city would probably be worse off without Ridge's analysis and questioning of Council actions (what you label as attacks);

3) When there's an actual conspiracy like the one which exists in Costa Mesa today,you should point at the conspirators rather than Ridge.

Hope this helps.

9/12/2011 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Can you imagine......

I had never heard of Jim Righeimer before 2006 ......

so I feel your pain in wondering who these upstarts are and how much damage they can create on a city we have invested in and called home, for me, 20 years.

Imagine those who have lived here fifty or sixty years, been loyal voters and have watched this destruction occur in 6 short months.

I learned Riggys character, the hard way, trying to figure out who was behind the Fairgrounds swindle. The day I got "involved" , was the day he shoved who pudgy pink finger into my chest and demanded to know, " who the hell did I think I was", because as he quickly informed me, " I am the City of Costa Mesa Planning Commissioner". I replied, " Yeah, and you work for me, becuse I'm a just a resident".

I'm sitting here watching the Planning meeting, and I didn't know Jim Fitzpatrick in 2006. Watching him struggle using the English language, and knowing what I know ,of his extensively inadequate background in this field, ...I ask.....where did he come from? Waldorf school wasn't the first to use containers.......Has he never been to the ARTery at the Lab?.....seen the COMUNE on the Westside? This guy is out of it.

BTW where DID Colin McCarthy come from? I don't remember him before 2006. I had never heard him speak on an issue, or get involved in a cause before. I am at a loss as to how he even makes a living. He WAS an attorney with a firm bit that seems to have ended in 2010. Now it looks like his big claim to fame is Planning Commissioner Chair, and Pres. of the Costa Mesa Taxpayers PAC,......and ??????

There are a lot of people eating at this trough, I am NOT one of them.........and that never has been my motivation in speaking against these people taking over our city.

I don't have an organization, a political party backing me, or an agenda.

I have a passion for what I believe is my city. I have a duty to protect my family's investment and community in which they live, and I WAS a NEW family who bought into this neighborhood to raise my family. I'm sick to see Those reasons and city attributes lost for political rhetoric and dogma.

So in the acronyms of my kids...........STFU!

9/12/2011 08:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Common Sense said...

Now that you've all had your say, let me point out a very simple fact of life:

You simply CANNOT stuff 2 quarts of anything into a 1 pint jar. It is humanly impossible!

For instance, let's say that someone comes up with a brilliant idea as to how we can move immense amounts of future traffic through Costa Mesa, with ease, and down onto PCH and/or the Balboa Peninsula. Those arteries are eventually going to plug up and all that traffic will be backed up into Costa Mesa. You will then be right back where you started, or worse off.

It would be less costly, and a whole lot less frustrating, to do nothing. Absolutely nothing.

The only thing I can suggest to relieve the congestion problem in downtown Costa Mesa is to literally stop the flow of traffic BEFORE it hits Costa Mesa. Put barriers up that will force people off the freeway as far back as Tustin, if necessary, or better yet, end the 55 freeway at the Costa Mesa city limits. It should never have been extended into downtown Costa Mesa in the first place! I never could see the sense in doing that.

It would be far better to let traffic find it's own way, just like running water always finds an outlet. I realize that doesn't sound "real smart" at the onset, but if you will take a few minutes to think about it, it will make perfectly good sense. It's called "common sense".

9/12/2011 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

BTW Joe.......Love the Zombie game.....so does my son.

Teach them well and they won't stray from the path.

9/12/2011 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Correction........it was pointed out that McCarthy is with a law firm.....his linkdin account is updated from the last time I looked at it.

ooops....My Bad.....for a few months I thought he was just another unemployed "businessman" looking for work.

9/13/2011 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Gericault wrote:
"BTW Joe.......Love the Zombie game.....so does my son.
Teach them well and they won't stray from the path."

Me:

Heh! My son, at grad school in San Fran, is horrified at the events in his home town. My daughter, at school in Boston, simply tells people she's from Huntington Beach.

9/13/2011 07:22:00 AM  
Anonymous selfproclaimedexpert said...

Gericault claims he is not a fan of political rhetoric? LOL. He is the king of insults and false information. A burner of bridges rather than a consensus builder. Has the "smirk" that all libs seem to possess and actually thinks he makes sense when he opens his snotty mouth. He has no grasp on what it means to be civil and have an honest discourse. Basically, a loser.

9/13/2011 08:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Daisy Mae said...

Oh look it's Colin whining again. I guess Greg struck a nerve again.

9/13/2011 09:06:00 AM  
Anonymous selfproclaimedexpert said...

if your kids use the acronym STFU perhaps a little more parenting is in order Gericault

9/13/2011 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Less wordy Tom Egan said...

Response to Common Sense:

Common sense could get you far in life when life was simpler.

Think back to 1776, when most of our brand new country’s economy was agrarian. Farmers didn’t need to know anything more than what was in the Bible, and how to “figger” how much money they’d get for their crops. “Common” sense was almost all there was.

One more bit of perspective and then I’ll tell you about some uncommon sense regarding traffic in an urban area like Orange County.

Perspective: the county of Orange has more people than all of America did back in 1776! The numbers: 3,010,232 Orange Countians in the 2010 census vs. an estimated 2.5 million Americans in 1776.

Things are more complicated now, of course. Cram 3 million people into a county with over 30 cities, each with their own governments, and you will need lots of rules and regulations to keep them (people and governments) from each other’s throats.

Much as we might wish to, we can’t close off roads/freeways at our city borders. If we could, other cities would do it, too, and then we couldn’t get to our jobs, friends, family in other cities. Or Disneyland. (Check this one out with your kids or grandkids.)

We might wish to roll up the 55 freeway to discourage furriners from clotting up our downtown, but they’d still come, only through our residential streets, in their need to get to the beach and commute to and from Newport Beach and Huntington Beach. If you want to create a lynch mob, tell people you want to send traffic through their neighborhoods!

You’re right that traffic will find its own way, just as running water always finds an outlet. (In fact, that’s basically the model used to estimate how traffic distributes itself.) But, just as you want flood control channels in a populated area, you want ways to channel excessive traffic so it doesn’t swamp your neighborhoods and shopping areas.

The uncommon sense I’m talking about is this: Common sense doesn’t work very well when you have complicated interdependencies.

We report, you decide.

9/13/2011 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

Follow the money my fellow Costa Mesans. Greenway has hired Peter Buffa to ease the way for some changes to traffic flow that will benefit some and injure others.

The names and players need to be identified. The roles of the players need to be identified. The money will come from us, the taxpayers.

Here's how I see the issue, and your view may differ.

Issue one, both sides:
The SR55 is a state highway.
No, the SR55 is Newport Blvd.

Issue two, both sides:
The SR55 is state jurisdiction.
The SR55, in the city of Costa Mesa, is Costa Mesa jurisdiction as stated in an agreement between CalTrans and the city of Costa Mesa.

Issue three, both sides:
The city of Costa Mesa will be a conduit (pipe) for traffic to and from the 1) enlarged and expanded John Wayne airport 2) the to be constructed Banning Ranch development.
The city of Costa Mesa doesn't exist to move traffic through residential streets (by plan) that adds noise, pollution, and degradation of those who pay taxes on and live in their homes. This action decreases the value of these homes and is 'stealing' from each and every property holder.

I attended the last SR55 study session. The overwhelming support was to the 'cut and cover' plan - complete the SR55 freeway up to Superior st (all within the city boundaries of Costa Mesa).

The citizens views on the SR55 are known. Lets get the job done, and lets not simply build the 'flyover bridges' on 17th and 19th that will further degrade the east side and add to the misery of residents on the west side.

Until we finish the original freeway plan as accepted by the city, county, state, and federal government lets just get rid of all the traffic stop lights along Newport Blvd between 19th and 17th.

Lets synchronize the lights and 17th and 19th.

Block all streets between 17th and 19th at Fullerton ave. and use only 17th and 19th.

9/14/2011 05:36:00 PM  

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