The Fullerton City Council voted last week to construct a temporary bike path down Wilshire Avenue.
The design will use five small roundabouts at the intersections of Pomona, Balcom, Berkeley, Lincoln and Annin avenues. Mayor Pro tem Jennifer Fitzgerald recommended amending the plan to use the traffic circles during the first six weeks and then use traffic diverters during the 6-week extension amid citizen concerns about reducing the amount of traffic down Wilshire Avenue.
The temporary roundabouts will be constructed of 28-inch tall reflective plastic beams to form a 9-to-11-foot circle in the middle of the intersections to curve traffic to the right, which should slow down the cars and allow for continuous bike travel, Heather Allen, the city consultant said.
She said the goal is to reduce the number of cars on the road to at least under 2,000 cars a day and ideally to 1,250 a day. She also said they want to reduce the speed to 25 miles per hour, and ideally down to 15 mph if the traffic devices work correctly.
The vote was 4-0, with Mayor Greg Sebourn recusing himself.
There was some concern among council members about police and fire vehicles not being able to get through the diverters if they were to be used, but Allen said they would use input from the police and fire departments on the issue.
Katie Dalton, a resident who lives on Wilshire Avenue, told the council that “the quality of life has decreased” on the street due to high traffic. “We’re incredibly impacted because of Fullerton College.”
Dalton thinks having a high number of bicyclists using the street will slow traffic down and thin it out by forcing drivers to use alternate routes. She said that it would restore Wilshire Avenue back to a residential street.
Councilman Doug Chaffee expressed concerns about the possibility of storms this winter due to the El Niño condition that is building in the Pacific Ocean. With this in mind, the Council agreed to amend the motion to allow flexibility for rescheduling the test periods for weather reasons.
Before the city installs the temporary traffic circles in mid October, residents will have one last chance to weigh in on the proposal during a public hearing slated for Oct. 12. Allen said that during the initial neighborhood outreach, the biggest issue residents had was not to reduce parking on the street and she assured the Council that parking spaces will not be reduced.
Spencer Custodio is a Voice of OC intern and student at Cal State Fullerton. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.