Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Bikeways and Walkability Committee Moves Forward

The Costa Mesa Bikeways and Walkability Committee, led by Chairman Ralph Taboada, met again Wednesday evening - at least some of them did.  As it turns out, only a dozen of the seventeen members showed up.  One member has apparently resigned, a couple were known to be out of town and the whereabouts of the others is unknown.  At the end of the meeting I asked if they had any kind of replacement plan - they don't.

The meeting moved briskly for the two hour duration.  Vice Chair Cynthia McDonald gave a brief PowerPoint presentation of some local bikeway facilities she and her husband had accumulated during a recent drive to the venues, ranging from Santa Monica to Santa Ana.  It was enlightening to see what other municipalities have done with their bike routes.

The main thrust of the evening was to plow through the data each of them had supplied to the staff since the last meeting.  The staff had compiled it into a format to make it easier to define the Goals for the group.  The conversation on this topic took more than an hour, but they've got the skeleton of a plan which will be fine-tuned by the staff before the next meeting.  Once their goals and objectives are completed they can begin to move forward with their mission.

Speaking of moving forward... the group decided to meet twice a month instead of once because they may run out of time before work product can be considered for inclusion in the General Plan, which the City Council majority has decided to fast track.

The next meeting will be September 30, tentatively at the same place - the Costa Mesa Senior Center.  The next two meetings will be October 14th and 28th.  From that point forward, beginning in November and depending on the results of the staff research, meetings will be held the first and third Wednesdays, probably at the Senior Center.

I'm impressed with the diligence of most of the committee members.  They've been doing their homework, staying focused and benefiting from some good staff work.  They treat each other with patience and respect and are beginning to jell into a cohesive unit.  Council liaison Katrina Foley has taken a more active role in getting this group moving than we normally see in these kind of committees, but it seems to be working out.  Chamber of Commerce member Brent Stoll - the fella from Santa Monica - is making a positive impact on the group with solid suggestions.

Sometimes watching these kind of committees work is like sausage being made. That's the case with this one, too. At the peak there were 8 members of the public in the audience.  Visitors wandered in and out. At the end there were two of us.  That's all until after their next meeting in two weeks.

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Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

Does it really matter what the committee comes up with when the council majority will do what they please. Anyone remember the Homeless Committee or the Fairview Park Committee?

9/17/2015 07:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Teresa Drain said...


I am impressed with and have hope for this committee's success. The members seem focused on their task. They have done their homework, and elected to meet more often to meet the rushed General Plan update schedule. Last night they worked together to come up with some excellent goals and objectives for the addition of this element to the General Plan. The members work well together, even with the large number of them. It does not appear that there is an underlying agenda at work here.

Unlike the Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee, there are no personal attacks, petulance or feigned hurt feelings.

As far as the council majority doing whatever they want, that goes without saying. They are "moving forward" with their plans without regard to the difficult task of this committee.

They just approved the vacation of a corner on 19th that could have been utilized to enhance bikeability/walkability on this heavily travelled road.

This from the majority that had bus shelters and benches removed from busy stops before they had the replacements ready.

And where are all those fabled bike racks since they made locking bikes to signs illegal?

9/17/2015 03:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

The committee may come up with great plans and work well together as a unit, but as long as Team Dufus has the majority, committees are just for show. Things must change. They (the 3)have their cheering squad on CMPS, but under a bigger spotlight they may not look so good. How about a media event at Fairview Nature Park including nature lovers who are in wheelchairs?

9/17/2015 04:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Teresa Drain said...

Someone made an excellent suggestion to look into placing some disabled parking at the bottom of the hill, near the Fairview Channel. Access from there is right to the path that goes around the habitat, no hill.

It was ignored.

9/17/2015 07:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Teresa, of course the disabled parking would be ignored. Gary's insistence in ADA access was a ruse to vote in favor of the cement path. That in no way will be ADA accessible. You can't push a wheelchair with an adult uphill. 3 or 4 parking spaces at the bottom of the hill would make it much easier to see the riparian habitat. That would be nice for handicapped people as well as others. So, in view of that, don't expect it in this council regime.

9/18/2015 08:25:00 AM  

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