Council moves forward on plan for Glenneyre

Folks in town will find Glenneyre Street more pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly in the future, but it won't be a "complete street."

A state mandate defines a complete street as one that meets the needs of motorists, cyclists, users of public transit, the disabled and pedestrians of all ages, which would mean reducing traffic lanes on Glenneyre to make space for bicycle lanes — a proposal unpopular with the general public and rejected Tuesday by the City Council.

"I got a lot of emails on this from people who live in the area — it was about 10 to one saying 'are you kidding?'," said Councilwoman Toni Iseman, who lives in Woods Cove, the terminus for the proposed Glenneyre Street bike lanes. "What would traffic look like if we 'smooshed' the lanes? I think it would be a self-inflicted wound."

Instead of eliminating lanes, arrows will be painted on the pavement — called sharrows — to remind motorists that Glenneyre from Forest Avenue to Bluebird Drive must be shared, and signs will direct cyclists off Coast Highway to the referred route through Laguna. Enhanced crosswalks will help safeguard pedestrians.

Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson said the emails she received ran about 50 to one against lane reductions and although some antipathy also has been expressed about proposed intersection roundabouts, they are worth a trial, just not on Glenneyre.

Glenneyre was excluded as a location because four lanes of traffic would require more space for a roundabout than needed for just two lanes, according to Steve Brown, spokesman for Fehr & Peers, the consulting firm paid $5,000 to evaluate options for the conversion of Glenneyre to a complete street.

Brown advised the council that studies indicate that roundabouts can reduce traffic accidents and staff was instructed to seek a location for a demonstration roundabout and report back to the council.

The council also rejected for now a Planning Commission recommendation to commission a more in-depth study of the proposed Complete Street renovation of Glenneyre.

Complete streets enthusiast Chris Prelitz said fire department officials had expressed concern about shrinking any streets and if a study is conducted those concerns must be addressed. He urged the council to have sharrows and signage in place by the summer.

"We really want to get bikes off PCH," Prelitz said.

Complete streets supporter Michael Wilkes advocated the Planning Commission recommendation.

"We really need to study the whole corridor," Wilkes said.

A state mandate requires cities and counties to identify how all roadway users will be accommodated if or when the circulation elements of their general plans are revised, according to City Manager John Pietig.

"You must consider complete streets, but you are not obligated to create one," Brown told the council at the hearing.

The council's approach will cost less and involved fewer changes to Glenneyre than either of two proposals by Fehr & Peers, which ranged from $50,000 to $300,000 or one proposed by city staff. A third Fehr and Peers proposal was not deemed by the council to be worth pursuing.

Public Works Director Steve May estimated that painting the sharrows, installing signage, enhancing crosswalks and designing options for a demonstration roundabout would amount to $40,000. Funding will be discussed at the mid-year budget review this month.

Twitter: @coastlinepilot

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