The Costa Mesa City Council unanimously approved an engineering design contract Tuesday night that will look into traffic mitigation measures for East 19th Street.
The $93,995 agreement with CivilSource, an Irvine-based civil engineering firm, will address speeding concerns for the one-mile stretch of East 19th between Irvine Avenue and Newport Boulevard.
Broadway last year may lie ahead for the Eastside thoroughfare. The chokers resemble planters and are designed to slow passing traffic.
Entry signs along East 19th at Fullerton and Irvine avenues are also planned.
City staff acquired grant money for the design contract. Nearly $771,000 in additional grants was also obtained to apply toward construction costs should the project receive final approval.
Before the vote, Councilwoman Sandy Genis said she was concerned about the city moving forward without having gathered data on the Broadway project.
“I would like to see us move a little cautiously. … We tried it and we don’t really know the results yet,” she said.
Public Services Director Ernesto Munoz said city staff will be gathering traffic data before a construction phase is initiated. That data can be incorporated into the East 19th effort, he said.
“We have plenty of time to do that,” Munoz said. “This is just the design process that we are going to be initiating with this project.”
Even without hard data, Munoz cited the “overwhelming success” on Broadway, saying traffic has been slowed through the city’s efforts.
Residents along East 19th and nearby streets will be notified of the traffic plans, he said, likely via mailers and phone calls. They will have chances to give their input, he said.
Eastside resident Barbara Beck said she was concerned about increased traffic along her street since the Broadway project was completed last year.
As a resident of Flower Street, which runs between and parallel to Broadway and East 19th, Beck said she didn’t want to be caught in the middle of “two obstacle courses.”
Separately, the council rejected plans to buy nearly $400,000 worth of computers for city staff. Councilwomen Genis and Wendy Leece voted in favor of buying the 435 computers and 455 monitors. Mayor Jim Righeimer, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger and Councilman Gary Monahan dissented, citing the need to acquire newer technology than what was presented to them in the contract.
“This has been going on far too long,” Mensinger said. “By the time the bid was done, technology has taken another quantum leap. There’s no reason to be three years behind the day you install the system. The world is tablets and touch screens.”
Randy Garell, of the Grant Boys gun and outdoor equipment store, accepted the Mayor’s Award.
The Newport Boulevard store is one of the few downtown Costa Mesa businesses remaining from the city’s early days. It opened in 1949 and is credited with contributing much to the community.
“It’s very nice to be recognized, even though it kind of seems to us that we managed to stay in business for 64 years,” Garell said in a short speech.