Octa's transportation blog

Bicyclists Gain Ground in Fight for Costa Mesa Streets

This article originally appeared in the Daily Pilot

Bicyclists forced to contend with vehicles for space on Costa Mesa’s streets gained some ground last week, when officials announced the city received $7.9 million in grant funding to build new bike lanes along Adams Avenue and Fairview Road.

Distributed by the Orange County Transportation Authority as part of a $55 million 2023 Orange County Complete Streets grant program, the funding will assist in the design and construction of three sections of roadway.

One $4.2-million grant will fund a multipurpose Class I bicycle trail along Adams Avenue, from the Santa Ana River to Royal Palm Drive that will run parallel with street traffic. The largest of the three projects, work could begin in fiscal year 2026-27.

A second segment along Adams, from Harbor Boulevard to Fairview Road, will be equipped with a Class IV separated bike lane that will offer users a lane of travel unobstructed by vehicle traffic. That project will use $1.76 million in grant funding, with construction slated to begin sometime next fiscal year.

A third section running along Fairview Road, from Adams Avenue south to Fair Drive, which will also feature a Class IV separated bike lane, is being funded with a $1.94-million grant. Design on that project will begin later this year with construction scheduled to begin in fiscal year 2024-25.

Public Works Director Raja Sethuraman said the city will spend about $2.2 million in matching funds to complete the three segments, which will help close gaps between earlier disconnected road improvement projects to make bicycle transportation safer and more seamless.

“Once you do these projects they form a connected system along with the projects we’ve completed over the past few years,” Sethuraman said Tuesday, citing similar efforts on Merrimac Way and Arlington Drive.

“It keeps working toward [our] doing more and more for these to form a more fully connected system of high-quality bikeways which, in the long term, will get more people to use bike transportation,” he said.

OCTA officials will be distributing the funds, which derive from the federal Department of Transportation’s Surface Transportation Block Grant program and Congestion Mitigation Air Quality program and come to Orange County through the Southern California Assn. of Governments.