A City Council discussion of a traffic study that moved the so-called pinch lane, where three East Coast Highway lanes merge to two, was postponed two weeks at the request of members of the Corona del Mar Business Improvement District.
The Council voted unanimously to delay the discussion, including a staff presentation. The existing traffic study, which went in place this summer and used paint and delineator poles to squeeze traffic from three to two lanes, will be removed when workers paint sharrows, possibly within a week or two.
Corona del Mar B.I.D. members had requested the continuation of the matter from the Tuesday meeting because key board members were traveling and had been unable to review the staff report, which was posted Oct. 18, or attend the Tuesday Council meeting.
Since the 1990s, the B.I.D. has been developing beautification plans for the village entryways; read an earlier story here. Last year, a CItizens Advisory Panel appointed by the city developed a plan to move the squeeze lane and use the space for expanded sidewalks and improved landscaping. The City Council approved the conceptual plans, and the traffic study was implemented in June; read our stories here and here.
The traffic study showed that traffic backed up and the area was more congested then when the lanes merged at MacArthur Boulevard, according to a staff report. Surveys showed a mixed reaction with most respondents stating a negative opinion; read our earlier story here. The traffic study also removed several parking spaces along East Coast Highway, and staff recommends not replacing them because of the danger of having parking in the middle of an intersection. Those spaces could be replaced in part by making Carnation Avenue a one-way street, the report says.
On Nov. 13, the Council will hear the staff presentation and discuss options, which could include moving the parking spaces and using that area for landscaping and entryway improvements.
In other Council news, the Council unanimously approved a vacation of a sewer easement in connection with the AERIE project, which currently has plans submitted to the city; read more about the project on Carnation Avenue at Ocean Boulevard here.
Councilwoman Leslie Daigle reported on the Orange County Vector Control District, for which is is a board member. The group has requested a chance to make a presentation to the Council at a future Study Session, she said.
Mayor Nancy Gardner announced her third and final community event as mayor — a Walk With the Mayor event scheduled for Nov. 17 in Santa Ana Heights.