Wednesday, October 28, 2015

More Slow, Steady Progress Made By Bike Committee

The Costa Mesa Bikeways and Walkability Committee met again Wednesday night and continued to make progress toward carefully crafting their goals, objectives and policies.  And, this time a few members of the community showed up at the Senior Center to watch!  As many as eight members sat in the cheap seats and watched the deliberations.  I say "watched" because it's difficult to hear the discussions due to the lack of amplified sound.  Beth Refakes told the committee that the Orange County Fair Board approved the plans for a Bioswale along Arlington Drive at their last meeting.  Parks and Recreation Commissioner Bob Graham bemoaned the lack of bicycle etiquette at Fairview Park.  Former Parks and Recreation Commissioner Dean Abernathy addressed the possibility of working with the Fair Board on a more bicycle friendly venue.  A young woman who didn't identify herself suggested that the impounded bicycles be used as bicycle safety inducements and then be given to children in need who attend the classes.
Members Kathleen Brown, Tony Capitelli, Dr. Kirk Bauermeister and Brent Stoll were absent and Melissa Duggan represented the consulting firm, Stantec, at the meeting.  Consultant Rock Miller was out of town.
As I said above, the committee methodically plowed through the framework they created in a previous meeting, further refining and defining objectives and policies of the goals they had established.  The optimism of Chairman Ralph Taboada of making more progress didn't turn out the way he'd hoped, but they did cover a lot of ground, nonetheless.  My estimate is that they are about half-way through the process at this point.  Their discussions continue to be focused and cordial, with a true spirit of teamwork.  Most members seem to have done their homework and make significant individual contributions to the process.  While the process is sometimes tedious, it's a pleasure to watch them work.
Public Services Director Ernesto Munoz, Transportation Services Manager Raja Sethuraman and their team continued to provide guidance and technical expertise to the group.  Councilwoman Katrina Foley, the council liaison for this committee, attended this meeting and gently nudged it back on course.
Near the end of the meeting member Flo Martin gave a brief slide presentation to demonstrate the deplorable lack of bike racks throughout the city.  She and her husband are regular tandem bicyclers around town and are familiar with most parks and other areas where bike racks are needed.  She showed a slide with a segment of the municipal code dealing with bike racks, then showed a few recent slides to illustrate how those rules are consistently being violated.
Next week the committee returns to the regular meeting schedule - the first and third Wednesday of the month.  It will be a quick turnaround when they meet on November 4th, also at the Senior Center and also at 6:30 p.m.  In addition to completing more segments of their goals and objectives, there will be presentations by Stantec and by a representative of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).  There is no television coverage of these meetings - so if you want to see them in action you must visit the Senior Center.  Of course, you can always read about the meetings here - always a good choice, but you miss the "excitement". 

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