Prudent businesses regularly manage integrity continuity. These organizations assess their vulnerability to ethical disasters, take proactive measures, and prepare their organizations to mitigate harm. Most good organizations acknowledge the importance of continuity planning. They recognize it as an essential priority for effectively anticipating, preventing, mitigating, any kind of disaster, accidents, and deliberate malevolent acts. Still, there are some who fail to understand that integrity continuity planning is also due diligence.

The Nonprofit Business Improvement District Group, Santa Ana Business Council has diligently advocated for over two years for the city of Santa Ana and OCTA to provide a promise of mitigation strategies ensuring small businesses that they will minimize the impacts of construction on their businesses during the building of the Street Car.

During the EIR process over 200 letters from local businesses along 4th street were sent into the city during the EIR process requesting the same.  Thus, far and to our surprise, this plea from small businesses has fallen on deaf ears.

Moreover, per the business council’s request a team at UCI and the Community and Economic Development Clinic researched and put out a study on the impacts of streetcar and light rail construction on businesses in the immediate construction zones. The group provided an overview of mitigation measures that other communities have implemented to protect businesses impacted by transit construction.

These documents were sent to both the city and OCTA. The study found that in general, streetcar and light rail construction does negatively impact revenues of businesses along construction routes. However, as described in in the study, many local governments and transit agencies have instituted successful mitigation measures through: grant and loan programs, community engagement with construction contracts, signage programs, communication campaigns and marketing and business advising programs all in order to protect businesses during construction.

I attended the OC Streetcar project meeting on Tuesday, May 9th at the Ebell Club;  I sat in each station provided. I witnessed the video footage and route material and maps. I saw also that the construction phase is soon to begin. Meanwhile, in good faith the businesses along the route are still waiting for the City and OCTA’s promise along with a direct response regarding continuity planning and proactive accountability measures to mitigate potential losses to businesses once the construction period ensues.

In the last exchange City Attorney Sonia Carvalho, referred us again to Public Works and OCTA. Our organization is still are patiently awaiting the response.

In good faith, we hope to resolve this matter promptly.

Attached:

  1. Street Car Memo describing potential mitigation strategies that can be taken
  2. Mitigation Study 1
  3. Mitigation Study 2
  4. Letter from the City Attorney in Response

Madeleine Spencer, Diamond Heart Enterprises, Consultant for Santa Ana Business Council

Opinions expressed in editorials belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue or others please contact Voice of OC Involvement Editor Theresa Sears at TSears@voiceofoc.org

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