Corona del Mar Today: CdMHS pool lot construction starts

Construction on the Corona del Mar High School pool parking lot has begun with hopes that traffic will flow more smoothly during drop-off and pick-up when school begins in September.

Last fall, members of the school's PTA complained about congestion in the lot and demanded changes.

"The bus drop-off has been moved to a new dedicated space off Eastbluff [Drive] to keep the buses entirely out of the north lot," according to an email written from Deputy Supt. Paul Reed. "That alone, plus the expanded stacking space in the lot itself, should improve traffic around CdM in the crazy morning period."

District officials worked with the school's resource police officer and city of Newport Beach traffic engineers to formulate a plan that would reduce congestion. Officials implemented a trial run of the reconfiguration in May.

The email said that district and city officials had "high hopes" that traffic flow would improve with the changes.

"Of course, the morning commute for residents paired with the start time of a 7-12 campus will always have its challenges. We're hopeful they will be lesser challenges, however."

The parking lot was revamped four years ago, the email said.

"When we initially moved the tennis courts and created the lot expansion we knew that we only had a temporary fix," he said. "But we needed to provide off-set parking for the back parking lot we would have to restrict during the upcoming construction projects."

At the time, however, funding was not available.

"Nonetheless, we did everything we could to deliver that project cost effectively with an eye toward what we knew would be a second phase," the email said. "The second phase, tying the two lots together and improving the traffic flow, was going to require new drainage in the old lot and a number of other coordinating issues."

The cost of the pool lot construction was not immediately available, said Newport-Mesa Unified School District spokeswoman Laura Boss.


Sharrows get OK from City Council

Newport Beach City Council members voted 5 to 1 Tuesday to add sharrows along East Coast Highway in Corona del Mar — a decision that will put the city on the map when it comes to bicycle safety, advocates said.

"It moves Newport Beach into a position of leadership in Orange County," said Pete van Nuys, executive director of the Orange County Bicycle Coalition, moments after the vote. "Pacific Coast Highway is an icon. These will be the first sharrows on Pacific Coast Highway, maybe in all of California, but definitely in Southern California."

Sharrows, or markings on roadways too narrow for bike lanes, serve to remind motorists that cyclists have a right to use a traffic lane. The city's Bicycle Safety Task Force started discussing sharrows in 2009, but after a new Bicycle Safety Committee formed, there was a split vote in 2011 before the group decided to ask the council this year to go forward with plans.

At the meeting, 11 members of the public spoke, nearly all in favor of sharrows.

"I stand before you as a survivor of a horrible traffic accident last month," said Mark Goodley of Newport Beach, who was injured on E. Coast Highway in Corona del Mar when a car struck him. "The accident would have been largely avoided if sharrows were in place."

One person spoke passionately against the plan. Barry Allen of Corona del Mar said he recently retired from his law practice, but over the years he had been a lawyer involved in many bicycle collision cases.

The city, he said, would be setting itself up for lawsuits if sharrows were installed.

"I've seen every kind of injury known to man," he said. "I've seen legs off and no damage to cars. I've seen heads off and no damage to cars … I want you to post signs saying it's not safe riding bikes through Corona del Mar."

City Attorney Aaron Harp said the city's liability would not increase because of sharrows.

Councilman Steve Rosansky voted no, and Councilwoman Leslie Daigle was absent.


MacArthur lane to close for work

Construction on sidewalks near the new Civic Center will close a southbound lane of MacArthur Boulevard at San Miguel Drive through mid-August, according to the Newport Beach website.

The No. 3 southbound lane will be closed "to facilitate a safe working environment" for sidewalk upgrades as part of the adjacent Civic Center project, the city's website states. The lane will be closed from 9 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

"Every effort is being made to reduce the amount of time needed for the lane closure," the website states. "Your patience is appreciated and alternate routes of travel are highly recommended."


Vin Goat to do tastings

The Vin Goat cheese shop has received a license from the state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and soon will be stocking wines and craft beers, putting the "vin" into the Vin Goat, according to the shop's blog.

The shop at 3326 E. Coast Hwy. also will be allowed to host wine tastings after hours, with the first event scheduled for 6:30 p.m. July 31.

"We are very happy," co-owner Erich Vogel wrote in an email. The Newport Beach zoning administrator last month granted permission to the business to conduct tastings and serve alcohol as well.

A flier for the wine tasting classes states that the events will include tastes of at least nine cheeses with five paired wines and will be limited to 10 participants. The cost will be $50 per person; reservations can be made by calling (949) 673-2200. Classes will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Twitter: @coronadelmartdy

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World