Corona del Mar Today: Committee work begins with sharrows

December 11, 2010|By Amy Senk

The first meeting of the Newport Beach Citizens Bicycle Safety Committee took place Monday afternoon, with members discussing their concerns and setting priorities — including adding sharrows in Corona del Mar, adding racks throughout the city that won't cause damage to expensive bicycles, reaching out to schools with safety programs and adding permanent speed radar devices on downhill locations.

City staff already is designing "Share the Road" signs that will be placed throughout the city, including on Coast Highway through Corona del Mar and along Bayside Drive from Marguerite Avenue to El Paseo, which members agreed would help protect cyclists.

The committee created several subcommittees, including a group that will take charge of a bicycle map and another to study ways to educate motorists about bicycle safety. Members also discussed whether speed limits for cyclists should be lowered on downhill stretches like Spyglass Hill Road, where cyclist Michael Nine was killed in July when he collided with a truck making an illegal turn.


Sharrows, or marked lanes where motorists and cyclists share the road, will require lots of community outreach before they can be added on Coast Highway between Poppy Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard, said City Councilwoman Nancy Gardner, the committee's chairwoman.

"We would not paint first and then outreach," she said. "We would outreach first and then paint."

The city added sharrows along Bayside Drive in October, which several committee and audience members said were working well.

"I'm thrilled the city got them in so quickly on Bayside," said Sean Matsler, a committee member.

"It's been hugely effective, and I ride it a lot," said cyclist Dan Purcell of Corona del Mar. "Motorists are really paying attention to them."

"No one's honked their horn at me," said Frank Peters, another cyclist from Corona del Mar who also writes the Cycling Safety column for Corona del Mar Today.

The group will meet next at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 3.

NBFD needs help with toy drive

Local firefighters are trying to collect more than 250,000 new toys for the Spark of Love Toy Drive, and they are seeking the public's help.

"We could really use toys now for the toy drive," said Jennifer Schulz, a Newport Beach Fire Department spokeswoman. "Please remind people to not wait until the last minute to donate, so we have time to get them to needy families."

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