Downtown

City Seeks Input on Downtown “People Powered” Transportation

A plan to promote transportation alternatives to enable mobility and enhance the quality of life in downtown Fullerton is under way.  The process has been funded by grants from Caltrans and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). The plan’s core area runs from the railroad on the south and  Chapman Ave on the north, and from Lemon Street on the east to Highland Ave on the west, approximately contiguous with the Restaurant Overlay district established in 2002.

The purpose of the Downtown Active Transportation Plan (hereafter, the Plan) is to obtain an overview of existing conditions and to determine barriers and opportunities for non-automobile, “people powered” traffic in Fullerton’s downtown area, according to Kaitlin Scott, a member of Alta, the consulting firm retained by the city for this project.  That traffic includes pedestrians as well as users of scooters, skateboards, and wheelchairs.

The first public participation in the Plan was held on June 2 in a virtual community meeting through Zoom. The projected schedule for the project, according to Maribeth Tinio, senior planner in Fullerton’s Community Development Department, was first to gather baseline data in the winter of 2020 and spring of 2021, then engage “stakeholders” during the summer and fall, and draft a plan in the coming fall and winter.

Fullerton residents can have a say in the Plan by taking the Downtown on the Go survey or participating in the Interactive Walk Audit Map to note challenges to walking, biking and rolling, both available on the web site, www.cityoffullerton.com/downtownonthego.

Existing conditions, Scott noted, include census data, equity data (the pollution and health in the area), land uses; key destinations, existing bicycle and pedestrian facilities, existing transportation options and vehicle traffic volumes. Alta’s analysis will cover barriers, opportunities, and priorities for active transportation, “anything without a motor except for scooters,” and bicycle facilities: routes, road sharing, long-term and short-term parking (for non-motorized vehicles).

One of the poll questions is, “What keeps you from biking or rolling (scooter, skateboard, etc.) to and from downtown more often?”

Pedestrian facilities are sidewalks and walkways. Of concern are crosswalks. “High visibility crosswalk markings are more visible,” Scott said. “Beacons and signals, she added, indicate to drivers that someone might be crossing and make the crossing safer and more comfortable.”

Participants in the June 2 meeting told of concerns regarding expansion of outdoor dining and downtown development.  Matt Leslie asked if the city was planning to close Amerige Avenue.  Jane Reifer suggested safe paths to and from parking lots and transportation centers.  She said bus benches and bus shelters need improvements, and that the Plan team should contact actual transit users for more concerns.  She noted pedestrian barriers for south Fullerton residents in accessing downtown–the railroad, the creek and street structure.

The Highland Avenue undercrossing needs improvement for pedestrians, said Jane Rands.

This writer wants sidewalks straightened and a traffic light at the corner of Malden and Chapman Avenues. (A request to the city public information officer for information regarding the extent and amount  of the grants was not answered.)

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