Commentary: Proposed path ignores objectives for trail

Re: "Path to get more study," in the Aug. 10 edition of Coastline Pilot, the Complete Streets Task Force met as early as September 2009 to select a route for this path from four alternatives.

One route that would be good for both street users and Sommett du Monde private community residents led the route away from the private development. The city now chooses to ignore Complete Streets' recommendations and locate the path where it will irritate residents most.

Further, the route taken for the present design and it's alternate does not consider project requirements reviewed by the Complete Streets committee, those requirements specify path location, grade, width, usage, cost, impact on Sommett residents and more.

The project criteria are also ignored; here are some of them: 1) Path width maximum 5 to 8 feet to prevent visits by rogue motor vehicles. The path is now 10 feet wide. 2) Minimize project costs to $50,000 (no ADA) to better posture for council approval. New cost is $350,000. 3) Hold the slope to 10% grade to allow access by all anticipated road users. The path follows 34% terrain with stairs.

The project manager, Wade Brown, is apparently unaware of the previous study on this path called the Moulton Meadows Trail project. City directors would be more cost effective by directing Mr. Brown to early results produced by the Complete Street Tasks Force, including two computer renderings of the trail prepared by Sebastian and Associates, that meet the objectives and requirements of the Moulton Meadows Trail and delivered to Councilwoman Jane Egly in November 2010.

Both the proposed path and its alternate ignore objectives for the Moulton Meadows Trail. The city would serve their residents better by starting from the early work results instead of starting from scratch. The records, notes and maps produced in years of meetings with city officials are available to anyone by visiting the Laguna Streets Blog, scroll down to "CSTF Documents" and select from the documents found there.

LES MIKLOSY is a Laguna Beach resident.

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