Statement from Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley in Response to OCTA’s $1.77 Million Grant for Baker-Placentia-Victoria- 19th Street Regional Traffic Signal Synchronization & Pedestrian Safety Project

(Santa Ana, CA) –As a Director for the Orange County Transportation Authority, Supervisor Foley today announced support for the $1.77 million grant from OCTA to fund the Baker-Placentia-Victoria 19th Street Regional Traffic Signal Synchronization and Pedestrian Safety Project. With a $433,000 match from Costa Mesa, the funds will bring comprehensive improvement of traffic signal coordination and traffic flow to accommodate the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists along the entire length of the three corridors. Supervisor Foley voted along with the OCTA Board of Directors to approve this project on August 9, 2021 along with additional synchronization and pedestrian safety projects in other Orange County cities. The 2020 Measure M2 Project P Call for Projects awarded nearly $12.1 million for 6 projects to synchronize 229 signals along 56 miles of Orange County streets and roadways, including Baker Street-Placentia Avenue/Victoria Street/19th Street Route in Costa Mesa, Bolsa Chica Street in Huntington Beach, Barranca Parkway in Irvine, Lambert Road in Lake Forest, Tustin Avenue/Rose Drive in Tustin, and Seal Beach Boulevard in Seal Beach. 

The OCTA grant for the Costa Mesa project is one of the largest grants of this type ever awarded by OCTA to a single agency and the only agency to receive this grant for multiple corridors.

This project was started while Supervisor Foley was Mayor and directly effects thirty-nine intersections under the City of Costa Mesa’s jurisdiction and two Caltrans intersections. This project’s coordinated improvements reduce idling at stop lights and improve signal timing. The City of Costa Mesa will administer this project and Caltrans will be a participating agency.

Said Supervisor Foley, “Street Synchronization is a vital tool in ensuring efficient traffic flow and reducing greenhouse gases. These upgrades save on travel time and money by reducing stops by 29% and improving vehicle throughput by 14%. So far, the M2 Regional Traffic Signal Synchronization Program saves an estimated $178.4 in gas savings since the project began in 2011.”

“This project is unique in that the funds will support increased time for lights at crosswalks too. The extra time ensures a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists who will now get a three to seven second head start in the crosswalk before allowing vehicle mobility. I will continue pushing for smart, sensible planning for street synchronizations, combined with longer crosswalk times, to make it safer to walk and bike around Orange County.”

In addition to enhancing the overall safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, these improvements encourage lower speed averages for drivers, install upgraded traffic signal communication equipment instead of outdated traffic signal controllers, and add new video detection for bicycles that will enhance safety for bicyclists, new pedestrian countdown heads with timing changes that provide pedestrians more time to cross the street, new audible pedestrian push buttons that improve accessibility and produce voice commands to assist pedestrians, Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP) units using Global Positioning System (GPS), and Traffic Management Center (TMC) upgrades. This project will encourage lower speed averages and be supported through two years of maintenance.             

This project is funded through the Measure M2 Program, a half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, and includes funding for cooperative Traffic Signal Synchronization (TSS) projects spanning multiple jurisdictions within Orange County.
Supervisor Katrina Foley is the former Mayor of Costa Mesa currently representing Orange County’s Second District, which includes Santa Ana. and portions of Garden Grove, Tustin, Orange, and Anaheim. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).