By Jim Shilander
The Planning Commission got an extended look at the proposed master plan for bicycles and pedestrians Tuesday, getting input from consultants, as well as resident and bicycle advocate Brenda Miller, who urged bold action be taken to protect bicyclists after two recent deaths in Laguna Beach.
John Holloway of consulting firm KTU+A told the commission that the city was in a good position to improve the environment for bicyclists and pedestrians in the area, even if the topography of the city wasn’t a positive. Community surveys on biking found many who were willing to commute, Holloway said, but who were intimidated by the topography of much of the city, including a number of very steep hills. Holloway outlined a number of possible projects, some of which the city was already working on, such as improving bicycle parking downtown.
Portions of this master plan would be incorporated into the areas of the city’s general plan dealing with circulation. Miller urged the commission and city staff to be bold as they developed language, especially where it concerned safety for all people using the road. She pointed to two recent deaths in Laguna Beach, where bicyclists were struck and killed by cars on back-to-back days.
“People shouldn’t have to feel they have to get in their car to protect themselves from other people’s cars,” Miller said.