Photo of Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) on a residential street in Mesa del Mar during the 2019 OC Fair.
Friends and Neighbors of the OC Fairgrounds (FANSOCF) met with Costa Mesa City Council Member Andrea Marr to discuss how harmful impacts resulting from activities at the Orange County Fair and Event Center (OCFEC) on the neighborhoods around the OC Fairgrounds can be managed and reduced. Council Member Marr represents Costa Mesa District 3 the district where the OC Fairgrounds is located.
Issues about traffic and parking issues which cause nightly backups during the five week annual OC Fair were a primary concern. While OCFEC staff have acknowledged that the amount of traffic attempting to reach the OC Fair exceeds the capacity of the roadways leading to the property, OCFEC staff have not taken steps to make significant impacts on the problems. Neighbors in College Park, Mesa del Mar, and Monticello Community face five weeks each summer where traffic backups in their neighborhoods make travel difficult. Some residents leave on vacation rather than deal with the never ending problems.
A portion of the never ending traffic back up is due to a lack of OCFEC staff planning for offsite parking with shuttle service. The Experian parking structure located near South Coast Plaza is only used on weekends for OC Fair parking. The only offsite parking during the week is at Orange Coast College across from OCFEC with current overuse of the parking lots causing headaches for College Park residents.
FANSOCF is encouraged that Council Member Marr understands the issues faced by residents of her district and is willing to work with FANSOCF to gather information to work with OCFEC, City of Costa Mesa, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and other stakeholders to develop plans to reduce negative impacts on her constituents.