Corona del Mar Today: Plan for sharrows struck in traffic

A divided Bicycle Safety Committee put the brakes on plans to add sharrow markings on East Coast Highway through Corona del Mar at the group's Monday meeting.

"I'm going to play Solomon here and continue to keep it on the agenda," said Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Gardner after the group voted 2-2 on a plan to ask the Newport Beach City Council to review the sharrows proposal. "Obviously we're not going to move forward, but I'm reluctant to reject it altogether."

A third committee member who arrived after the vote said he also didn't think sharrows belonged anywhere in Corona del Mar.

"I don't like them on Bayside," said John Hefferman. "I wouldn't be going forward into Corona del Mar."

"I can't envision the safety aspect really being what we think it's going to be," said Denis LaBonge, who also voted no.

He said that he also worries about the city's liability in case of a crash, despite a report released at the meeting from the city attorney's office that said there would be no liability issues.

Tony Petros, another committee member, had been a long opponent of sharrows, pushing instead for alternate routes through Corona del Mar for casual bikers.

Several residents attending the meeting said they supported sharrows.

"I feel like I'm being bullied out there on Coast Highway because I'm in the lane — and I will take the lane," said Frank Peters, a member of the task force who first brought sharrows to the table. "I refuse to let myself get doored. That is very dangerous."

Marshall Perkins of Corona del Mar said serious cyclists might not need sharrows to feel safe on Coast Highway, but average cyclists would benefit from markings that remind motorists that bikes belong on the road.

"They'd appreciate the sharrows," he said. "They feel completely intimidated by Pacific Coast Highway."

Sharrows would cost $13,000 to $15,000 to paint, but the price could decrease if the city incorporated other projects in a bid so traffic control costs could be coordinated, said Brad Sommers, Newport Beach senior engineer.

Sharrows were first discussed for Corona del Mar in a Task Force on Cycling Safety meeting in December 2009.

A jogger collapsed in the 300 block of Hazel Drive about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, and emergency crews were on scene performing CPR, officials said. Three Newport Beach Fire Department units were dispatched to the scene.

In a separate incident, a bike accident injured one person at Seaward Road and East Coast Highway just after 4 p.m. Sunday.

Firefighters were called at 4:11 p.m., said Jennifer Schulz, Newport Beach Fire Department spokeswoman.

"A person was evaluated at the scene, but declined transport to a hospital," she said.


5K a big success

Thousands of people gathered along Ocean Boulevard to run, walk, eat and socialize as part of the annual Corona del Mar Scenic 5K event on June 5.

"I had to start the race and jump into it," said Newport Beach Mayor Mike Henn.

Even so, he said, he came in toward the head of the pack.

Ehan Chung, 9, of Mission Viejo, placed first in the kids' Dolphin Dash. "I just ran," he said after the race. "And at the end — I ran as fast as I could."

Huge lines formed at the Restaurant Row station, where runners who completed the course were loaded with plates with Gina's Pizza, snacks from El Ranchito, crème brûlée from The Quiet Woman, fruit and other snacks.

"It's been very smooth, a great race day," said Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce President Linda Leonhard.

"It was really fun," said Kim Rodosky of Newport Beach, who ran the 5K for her third time.

"Another year older, another minute longer," said Laura Palitz of Corona del Mar. "It's never an easy run. It's full of hills."

The race was the first 5K for Erin Stefano, 14, of Corona del Mar.

"She did awesome," said her mother and running partner Brooke Stefano.

"I just wanted to finish it," Erin said.

Organizers said they didn't have complete registration numbers available but believed the race had more participants than last year.

By 9:30 a.m., police were reopening streets that had been closed for the event.


CdMHS students face jaywalking crackdown

Concerns about students dashing across Eastbluff Drive as the first Corona del Mar High School bell rings has prompted a jaywalking crackdown, school officials said.

"Multiple parents" have been calling school administrators saying that students are parking their cars in the Eastbluff neighborhood and running onto campus outside the crosswalk, according to an e-mail blast sent to parents.

"These callers have all said that they experienced this while driving along and nearly hitting students," the e-mail said. "At this time of day, all the drivers on Eastbluff are trying to get their students dropped off and get on to the rest of their day. Everyone is rushed making this the time to be very cautious."

The school resource officer said he would be monitoring the area starting Monday, and he plans to ask for a Newport Beach police officer to be available to ticket jaywalking students.

"Please instruct your students that they must use the crosswalk to cross Eastbluff Drive," the e-mail states. "The crossing guard will provide the safest option for students crossing Eastbluff Drive. We would hate to have the next email be advising you that a student was struck by a car while trying to get to school."

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