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Bicycle safety panel likely to be created

Newport council expected to vote on oversight committee to continue the work of group whose term expired.

March 08, 2013|By Jill Cowan

The Newport Beach City Council will likely make it official during its meeting Tuesday night: Councilman Tony Petros will head up a revamped version of the Citizen's Bicycle Safety Committee.

The council is expected to vote on the establishment of a Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee to pick up where the bike safety committee left off when its term ended in January.

The new group will work to develop a more comprehensive approach to bicycle safety throughout the city. According to a staff report, its mission will be to "propose improvements and enhancements to the existing bicycle infrastructure and network, prepare a sustainable education and outreach plan, propose outside funding sources and prioritize projects..."

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Last year, bike safety committee efforts helped move forward the installation of sharrows (painted bike icons that remind motorists and cyclists to share lanes) on Coast Highway in Corona del Mar.

According to the report, city staff recommend bringing in consultants who specialize in bike, pedestrian and vehicle issues to help with the master planning process.

The plan, the report says, will probably take a year to a year and a half to develop.

Petros has expressed interest in becoming chairman of the new bicycle-related committee at past meetings.

Interested community members should contact the city clerk's office about applying for appointment to one of the seven citizen spots.

In other business, the council is expected to vote on a slate of minor revisions to the city's general plan and Coastal Land Use Plan for several private properties, based on California Coastal Commission requirements.

The council will also hold a public hearing on a conditional use permit appeal that could allow Woody's Wharf on Newport Boulevard to become more like a nightclub.

The council at its meeting may then opt to ask the Planning Commission to take a look at a noise study the restaurant submitted to help make its case for extending outdoor dining hours and opening up space on the patio for more people. In February, a staff report said, the city and Woody's discussed ideas for enclosing the restaurant's outdoor dining area to contain the noise.

The council meets at 7 p.m. at the new council chambers off Avocado Avenue at 100 Civic Center Drive.

jill.cowan@latimes.com

Twitter: @jillcowan

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