Person on bike in a street next to a Sharrow.

Costa Mesa City Council adopts the Active Transportation Plan

[For more background on Costa Mesa’s new Active Transportation Plan, see my five-part series on the plan.]

After more than an hour and a half of presentations, public comments, and discussion, the Costa Mesa City Council adopted the city’s draft Active Transportation Plan at their meeting last night.  The vote was 4-1 in favor, with Mayor Genis and Council members Foley, Righeimer, and Stephens voting in favor and Mayor Pro Tem Mansoor voting against the motion.

This is an exciting moment for users of active transportation in Costa Mesa, as the new plan includes proposals for dozens of miles of new or improved facilities for people who get around by bike, foot, or other forms of active transportation.

To illustrate the change this plan could bring about, here was the state of the city’s active transportation infrastructure last year:

map of existing bike routes in Costa Mesa
Map of Costa Mesa’s existing bike routes, from the October 2017 draft of the Costa Mesa Active Transportation Plan. Red lines are Class I facilities, blue lines are Class II, and green lines are Class III bike routes.

Of note is that there are many gaps in the city’s active transportation infrastructure, and that most of the city’s existing facilities are on-street bike lanes (indicated as blue lines on the map) or bike routes (green lines) that lack any protection from cars besides paint.

With that context, the plan the City Council adopted is a stunning improvement:

Map of existing and proposed active transportation facilities in Costa Mesa in the May 2018 version of the city’s draft Active Transportation Plan, as presented to the Costa Mesa Planning Commission. Red lines are Class I (off-street multi-use trails), blue lines are Class II (bike lanes), green lines are Class III (bike routes), purple lines are Class III (bike boulevards), and yellow lines are Class IV (protected bikeways).

The new plan includes a tremendous amount of connectivity – users of active transportation wanting to get from one part of the city to another will be able to do so on facilities that link together seamlessly.  Additionally, the plan includes the creation of roughly 15 miles of protected bike lanes and off-street multi-use trails, where bicyclists and other active transportation users are protected from cars by solid barriers or curbs.  These improvements should dramatically increase the appeal of active transportation to residents of the city, thus helping reduce traffic in Costa Mesa and helping our residents be happier, healthier, and more engaged (as users of active transportation tend to be more locally-focused).

The only major change made to the plan at the meeting was the deletion of the Class I trail extending from the end of 19th Street through Talbert Regional Park to the Santa Ana River Trail, due to that area being subject to county planning, not city planning.

While we should celebrate this moment, a great plan is, of course, only the start: the city and its residents now need to prioritize and fund these projects, to help make the bright future this plan presents to us a reality.

2 thoughts on “Costa Mesa City Council adopts the Active Transportation Plan

  1. Now is the time to come to the aid of your fellow city-persons. Send emails to city council members; attend council meetings; attend the City’s Bikeways and Walkability Committee meetings (first Weds of every month (except July, of course). Squawk, holler, whoop your support of more $$$$$$ out of the General Fund to implement this new ATP.

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