Irvine’s Planning Commission proposes new ways to encourage active traffic

In a May 20 meeting, the Irvine Planning Commission unveiled the 2020 Irvine Strategic Active Transportation Plan (ISATP), which aims to improve and expand Irvine’s cycle and pedestrian path system to promote local active transportation .

The main goals of the ISATP are to improve the safety of paths for cyclists and pedestrians, to improve the accessibility of paths for a broad section of the population of users, to promote a healthy lifestyle and to implement tax and environmentally sustainable improvements.

Suggested improvements to encourage the use of hiking trails include bike rental stations and the creation of an interactive geographic imaging (GIS) system that is compatible with both Apple and Google platforms, making it easier for travelers to navigate the city.

Other plans include improving the current infrastructure and programs for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as improving connections within the regional network of footpaths, such as increased access to employment, schools, health care and leisure. Security improvements and clearer signage were also discussed.

“Pedestrians and cyclists alike face challenges when traveling within the city,” says the ISATP report. “ISATP will endeavor to reduce exposure to these vulnerable users, improve comfort for a range of age groups and skill levels, and prepare cost-effective options for infrastructure facilities.”

The Commission also reviewed a feasibility study and implementation plan for the future creation of eight multi-purpose routes in the Irvine Business Complex (IBC). The proposed trails include three historic railroad corridors, three county-owned flood control roads, and two privately owned corridor segments. Irvine’s general plan for the IBC includes plans for tree-shaded sidewalks, benches, and trash cans.

The proposed interactive imaging system is based on a similar GIS presented at a Great Park Board meeting on April 27th, which includes 360-degree images of the area with directions to popular local locations. It also includes the locations of parking lots, toilets, drinking fountains, event venues, and food, as well as directions and additional information about the location or facilities.

ISATP efforts began in June 2018 when the Planning Commission initiated a comprehensive Irvine Community Survey that ran from July 2018 to January 2019. The results of the survey were summarized and included in the decision-making process for the ISATP. The recommendations were also examined in public in September 2019.

To be officially admitted to Irvine, the ISATP must go to Irvine City Council for final approval.

Eva Cluff is Staff Writer for the spring quarter 2021. She can be reached at [email protected].

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