I am so regret for the people who reside along Riverside Avenue.

We’ve been informed of Newport Heights of a traffic circulation improvement being discussed in the last few months. It is believed that the City Council has even gone to the extent of closing off the upper Tustin on basis on a trial basis. The results were announced during the Study Session Meeting this last Tuesday.

The term “study session” is a misnomer since conversations with the Council when information is given, doesn’t follow the same pattern of back and forth. Residents are permitted to present, a technical talk was delivered by the city’s Traffic Expert and the Council was asked questions regarding the information presented by the expert, however nobody in the audience was permitted to ask questions following their presentation. This was in relation to technical details.

In addition, there is nothing in the state law that states that those who are in the audience can’t have a an exchange of ideas with the Council however that implies surrendering control, and our Council will not give up control. It would certainly be an excellent way for citizens to get involved in local governance and there would be less confusion regarding the Council’s decisions.

The closure of the upper Tustin led to their traffic dropping from 834 cars to 276 every day, which was a significant shift. But, as a result of this change, the other streets within the Heights witnessed significant increase in traffic.

The sole other thoroughfare in the Heights that runs from Pacific Coast Highway to 17th Street is Riverside the street that is famous for the constant flow of congestion, speed problems and visibility issues because, just as Upper Tustin, Riverside has an uphill slope.

Like Tustin The street is narrow due to the fact that cars are parked along both the sides, and traffic flows across two different directions. As a walker who is avid I’ll never go through the streets of Tustin or in the lower Tustin area because I believe they pose risk to pedestrians because of the high volume of vehicles and the insufficient spaces on the streets.

Let’s examine some additional data-related statistics and changes in traffic patterns as a result of the closing of Tustin. The traffic to Riverside has increased by 1,862 trips per day to 2,053! Avon Traffic increased a tiny section that is Cliff Drive increased and lower Tustin increased from 2,513 daily to 2,517! The thing that is truly remarkable for me is the enormous amount of trips taken across these roads and should they make the changes on the upper Tustin permanent, then every other road used by vehicles to travel through the Heights will experience increases.

Around 200 additional cars every day on Riverside which is 1400 more cars each week for Riverside! Although the Traffic expert claims that 2,000 or even three hundred automobiles per hour is adequate however, I find the numbers shocking to think about.

The thing does the Council is saying, if they approve the closure for a long time is that 2,000 vehicles in Riverside and 3,000 vehicles at lower Tustin are okay, but 834 vehicles on Tustin aren’t. When you reach many thousands of vehicles the Council must think that an extra 100 cars shouldn’t matter.

The reasons upper Tustin residents had given the reason for their request to close was not entirely evident. There was talk of the street being a “narrow” street and of people who would use Tustin in lieu of Riverside to avoid interactions with police officers and repeated assertions by council members that the area had a character that was “unique.”

The final decision has not been taken on the issue. Therefore, residents living in nearby streets, who are concerned, ought to get in touch with city council City Council as soon as possible.

Lynn Lorenz / Newport Beach