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Laguna Beach council to consider parking app, one-way street extension

Laguna Beach City Hall.
The Laguna Beach City Council is expected to approve turning the bottom of Ocean Avenue into a one-way street, going toward the beach.
(File Photo)

The Laguna Beach City Council will consider a smart parking system Tuesday as well as a proposal to convert more of Ocean Avenue into a one-way street.

The council is expected to appropriate nearly $1.3 million for a new guidance system that helps drivers find spaces before they even get into their cars.

If approved, a New Zealand-based parking technology firm, Frogparking, would install sensors on city streets and in parking lot spaces.

Customers would use a mobile app to check for available spaces before heading out. Once they secure parking, they would be able to use the app to pay for time.

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The technology also would allow the city to monitor traffic and parking in its ongoing effort to reduce congestion, particularly downtown.

The total cost for capital and implementation, operations and maintenance, and a contingency fund comes to $1.2 million. Staff is also requesting $55,000 for marketing and outreach to residents and tourists.

One-way street may be extended

Ocean Avenue is already a one-way street toward the water from Forest Avenue to Beach Street. The proposal that the council is expected to vote on Tuesday would extend the one-way designation another block, from Beach Street to Coast Highway.

The proposal has been circulating through the council, Planning Commission and public workshops since November. Making the conversion would make possible 10 additional angled parking spaces on Ocean Avenue.

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The city expects to lose eight spaces as a result of intersection improvements on Coast Highway in front of Main Beach Park, so the Ocean Avenue conversion would net two spaces.

Traffic modeling showed the conversion would improve downtown circulation, the staff report said, partly by allowing for two turning lanes onto Coast Highway — one to turn left and one to turn right.

“[The turning lanes] would reduce the congestion at the intersection by expediting turning movements from Ocean Avenue,” the staff report read.

If the conversion is approved as expected, staff would update the City Council in a year about whether the alteration succeeded.

The council meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers, 505 Forest Ave.


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