Recently the city council agreed to provide funding for the Park Avenue Plaza. At that same meeting a discussion ensued about how to best change/modify Broadway, Ocean, Forest, Park and Legion streets in hopes of maximizing traffic flow on Coast Highway. Part of the discussion involved installing “scramblers” at these intersections to facilitate pedestrians on these corners to cross Coast Highway all at once and then stopping pedestrian traffic to enable traffic flow. I suggested a scrambler at Glenneyre and Forest, especially during summer.
As part of the presentation, staff reported that most of the calls they received from the townsfolk said, “No plaza.” However, Transition Laguna, Beautification Committee, and Chamber members showed up at the council meeting en mass. They had signs to show support and used them as different speakers provided input to city. One speaker even cited how they interviewed folks using the plaza and everyone was positive. Didn’t see any documentation presented though.
I drove by the plaza almost every day – not at the same time of day – and seldom found anyone using it. Other folks in town were doing the same thing. Could members of the above group have called their supporters and had them show up on the day they were doing the interview to ensure the results they wanted?
My concern is why the council agreed to fund this Plaza (no budget/layout of the project was submitted by anyone; yes, $50,000 was spent on the temporary plaza) when the City was committing itself to a very expensive project to realign traffic on downtown district plus other projects.
Was this done because of elections coming up and some members may not remain in office or they could cite approving the plaza and gain votes? Is that why it happened?
Ganka Brown, Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach, CA