Three traffic-counting “hoses” have been placed on East Coast Highway and on MacArthur Boulevard as part of a traffic study at the Corona del Mar entryway.
The study, which began in late June, is expected to last at last through September. Crews placed delineator poles and used paint to move the place where three lanes squeeze to two. The pinch lane used to begin at the MacArthur intersection and has been temporarily moved closer to Avocado Avenue.
The study is a prerequisite to plans to implement a Corona del Mar entryway beautification project, which would convert the former traffic lane into wider sidewalks with landscaping and low, curved walls. If the traffic is determined to be negatively impacted by the altered lanes, the project likely would not move forward, city officials have said.
The hoses are in place at the beginning of the merge and toward the end on East Coast Highway and on MacArthur. They count traffic as it passes, said Brad Sommers, an assistant city traffic engineer.
Results from the traffic counters, as well as from cameras watching traffic in the area, will be considered when the traffic study is evaluated.
Mayor Nancy Gardner said that input from residents and others also will be considered.
“We’re collecting every comment we get,” she told members of the Corona del Mar Residents Association at a meeting this week. “It isn’t a done deal. We’ll evaluate it.”
City Councilman Ed Selich said he’d heard from about six residents in Irvine Terrace, all complaining that the changes made it difficult for them to make a turn left turn onto Avocado Avenue to get into Corona del Mar Plaza and the library.
Gardner said the reaction she has heard is mixed.
To read more about the traffic study, click here. To read more about the beautification project, click here or here.
The Corona del Mar Business Improvement District is paying for the traffic study. The goal was to have the study in place during the busy, summer season in order to get a realistic look at how the moved lanes would handle heavy traffic. The study was to be in place for about four months.