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Mailbag: LED sign at Triangle Square could cause trouble

A rendering
A rendering shows a 1,200-square-foot LED billboard being proposed for Costa Mesa’s Triangle Square, which petitioning residents say could distract drivers and create light pollution.
(Courtesy of Selbert Perkins Design)

As a member of the Costa Mesa Bikeway and Walkability Committee, I recently participated in a Zoom during which a consultant hired to facilitate the new Pedestrian Master Plan presented a slide program. The one slide that hit me right between the eyes was titled, “Primary Collision Analysis.”

According to the consultant’s data, collected between July 2015 and June 2020, two areas in Costa Mesa were high-density pedestrian-involved collisions: West 19th Street and Triangle Square — along Harbor and Newport Boulevards.

The sole purpose of business signs is to attract attention. The three LED signs proposed by the owner of Triangle Square will do just that — distract the many thousands of drivers who pass through those intersections every single day. Crashes will increase every single day. Death or injuries will follow every single day. Pedestrians will fall every single day.

The Costa Mesa Planning Commission will be voting at the first meeting of February to either approve or deny the LED signs. The commissioners need to hear from you.

Just. Say. No to LEDs at Triangle Square.

Flo Martin
Costa Mesa

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The Costa Mesa Planning Commission will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8 to approve a new sign program for Triangle Square which includes three giant billboards totaling 2,600 square feet. Council chambers are closed due to COVID-19. Directions for public participation are included on the agenda on the city website.

We may need to change the Costa Mesa entry sign on the 55. “Welcome to Costa Mesa, where we care if you die by COVID-19, but not if you get hit by a car.”

For almost a year we have been told by city officials to love our neighbors, wear masks, isolate and “care” for others. We should.

Yet here we are, residents fighting since April, against three giant billboards for three busy Triangle Square intersections, which if approved will greatly increase the risk for accidents and someone’s death, due to distracted drivers looking at the flashy billboards.

That these three giant billboards are even being considered by the city shows a “care-less” attitude toward the lives and safety of Costa Mesa pedestrians, drivers and bikers who will be forced to compete with distracted drivers. If officials approve these billboards, they are being negligent. The city will be responsible for deaths and damages from accidents.

City officials are in denial that drivers will be distracted. This is a powerful argument for them to vote down the billboards. Common sense and scientific data support our opposition. Drivers under the influence of alcohol leaving nearby bars add to the risk.

Residents do not want these billboards. The three giant billboards go against Costa Mesa’s small town, peaceful character. We do not aspire to be Las Vegas or Times Square. An online petition opposing the billboards has more than 500 signers.

We fought and won this battle 10 years ago. But this is another David and Goliath battle. We need four “no” votes on the Planning Commission and four “no” votes on the City Council.

If you care about Costa Mesa and oppose these billboards, please contact city officials before noon on Monday.

Wendy Leece
Costa Mesa
Note: The writer is a former Costa Mesa city council member and NMUSD board trustee.

Thoughts for Tito Ortiz

Re: “Tito Ortiz keeps mayor pro tem title in Huntington Beach,” Daily Pilot, Feb. 3: No, Mr. Ortiz this is not an issue of politics; it is an issue of behavior. Wear a mask. Watch your distance. Wash your hands. This is the scientific trilogy of actions that will keep us — you, me and our community members safe from COVID-19 until vaccinations can provide us with “herd” immunity. You must be a leader on this matter. Set an example or please step aside.

Another thought comes to mind: Will you be (or have you been) vaccinated? Or are you among the science deniers that identify as anti-vaxxers?

Ben Miles
Huntington Beach

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