Thursday, December 03, 2015

Bikeways and Walkability Committee Completes Goals

The Costa Mesa Bikeways and Walkability Committee met again Wednesday night for the final time this year and ended it on a very positive note.  After months of painstaking collaboration they put the final touches on their Goals, Objectives, Policies and Programs, which will be ready for presentation to the City Council early next year so it can become part of the General Plan Update.
Vice Chair Cynthia McDonald ran the meeting.  Chair Ralph Taboada was absent, recovering from surgery.  Attending were members Tony Capitelli, Jim Erickson, Richard Huffman II, James Kane, Jim Kerins, Andrea Marr, John C. Merrill and Brian Valles.  Chamber of Commerce Liaison Brent Stoll also attended.  In addition to Taboada, members Kathleen Brown, Leah Ersoylu and Flo Martin were absent, as were City Council Liaison Katrina Foley and Newport Mesa Unified School District Liaison Dr. Kirk Bauermeister.  Outstanding staff support has been provided by Director of Public Services Ernesto Munoz, Transportation Services Manager Raja Sethuraman, Associate Engineer Pritam Deshmukh and Engineering Technician Elizabeth Palacio.  Representatives of the consulting firm Stantec also provided support.  Five (5) members of the public attended.
As I've said before, this group was a pleasure to watch work.  Each of them took the task seriously, did their homework and worked diligently as a team to carefully craft the document that is their work product.  The full document will be available for viewing on the City website within the next few days, but here's a list of the six goals they produced and the objectives for each.  The policies that also were part of this work product can be viewed on the website when it's posted.

Goal 1.0 - Promote a Friendly Active Transportation System in Costa Mesa.
Create a bicycle and pedestrian friendly environment throughout Costa Mesa for all types of users and all trip purposes in accordance with the 5 E's (Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, Engineering and Evaluation)
Objective 1.1 - Expand, Enhance, and protect the existing bicycle and pedestrian network to           provide a comprehensive system of Class I, Class II, Class III and Class IV facilities to increase connectivity between homes, jobs, schools, transit and recreational resources in Costa Mesa.
Objective 1.2 - Provide end of trip facilities that support bicycle network.
Objective 1.3 - Encourage sustainable modes of transportation to fill gaps between the first and last miles of trips (walking, biking, ride sharing, transit, taxi and car-sharing)

Goal 2.0 - Create a Safer Place to Walk and Ride a Bicycle
Provide a safe, convenient and attractive bicycling and pedestrian environment.  Apply design standards, enforcement of traffic laws, maintenance practices and safety awareness campaigns to encourage and increase the use of bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
Objective 2.1 - Develop bicycle and pedestrian facilities with approved uniform design standards, and implementation of wayfinding signage providing information on various destinations.
Objective 2.2 - Continue and expand enforcement activities that enhance safety of bicyclists on bike paths and roadways.
Objective 2.3 - Maintain bicycle and pedestrian facilities that are clear of debris and provide safe conditions for all users.
Objective 2.4 - Increase education of bicycle and pedestrian safety through programs and training of school children and public.
Objective 2.5 - Monitor and Analyze Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety

Goal 3.0 - Integrate Active Transportation Elements into Circulation System and land use planning.
Provide bikeway and walkway facilities that are integrated with other transportation systems and land use planning decisions.
Objective 3.1 - Consider bicycle and pedestrian facilities during land use planning process.
Objective 3.2 - Integrate bicycle and pedestrian facility improvements during planning, design and implementation of transportation projects.

Goal 4.0 - Promote an Active Transportation Culture
Develop educational and promotional programs to increase bicycle and pedestrian usage that respects and accommodates all users to foster a more balanced transportation system.
Objective 4.1 - Encourage more people to walk and bicycle by supporting programs that foster community support for bicycling and walking and raise public awareness about active transportation.

Goal 5.0 - Promote the Positive Air Quality, Health and Economic Benefits of Active Transportation.
Encourage active transportation by promoting air quality, health and economic benefits, and by pursuing multiple sources of funding for active transportation programs and facilities.
Objective 5.1 - Improve air quality, public health and reduce ambient noise by promoting Active Transportation programs.
Objective 5.2 - Provide Economic Incentives for expanding and enhancing bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

Goal 6.0 - Monitor, evaluate and pursue funding for implementation of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.
Observe and assess the usage of the bicycle and pedestrian facilities periodically and pursue funding for projects that will help achieve the overall implementation of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.
Objective 6.1 - Continuously monitor and evaluate Costa Mesa's implementation progress of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan policies, programs and projects.
Objective 6.2 - Pursue grants and other sources of funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects.

Following the fine-tuning of Goal #6, the committee broke into groups and evaluated maps for possible bicycle and pedestrian routes and features throughout the city, then reconvened to report the group results.  Those suggestions and recommendations will be blended with the results of a similar exercise from previous Bicycle workshops by the staff and consultants and reviewed in January.
As mentioned, the committee voted to NOT meet again this year, but will hold their next meeting on January 5, 2016.  Munoz suggested that the Chair and Vice Chair make the formal presentation of their Goals to the City Council at an early meeting next year.
Kudos to all the members of this committee, the staff and liaisons for a job well-done.  The foundation they laid will make the fun part of this assignment much easier.  I know they all look forward to whatever the next steps for this committee might be.



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