The Newport Beach City Council met for more than three hours this morning, evaluating work done in 2012 and making priorities for 2013 — including the development of a Bicycle Master Plan.
The city likely will hire a consultant to develop its Bicycle Master Plan, which will cost about $150,000, city officials said at the meeting held at the OASIS Senior Center.
“I think we want a master plan,” said Councilman Mike Henn. “You bring that back to us.”
Bicycle Master Plans show long-range plans for developing bicycle infrastructure to increase safety, and cities with such plans often become eligible for state and federal funding for bicycle safety improvements.
Cycling safety advocate April Morris thanked the Council for moving the item from yellow column, which meant it needed consideration and discussion, to green, which meant it would go forward this year.
“When you think about visiting Newport Beach, you ought to be able to surf, walk, ride a bike,” she said.
Bicycle Safety Committee member Frank Peters called the decision “excellent.”
“We have a unanimously supportive City Council for bike safety initiatives,” he said.
Council and staff also discussed creating a staff position to handle bicycle and other traffic matters that are “boiling up” within the city at this time. That position could be temporary while the city deals with current and impending projects, said David Webb, the city’s Public Works director.
The meeting also included discussions of the future of the arts in Newport Beach, current and upcoming capital projects, how to deal with an aging urban forest, the city’s emergency services program and a variety of other topics. Council will hold future study sessions on some of the items.
About 30 people attended the meeting, including about a dozen city staff members.