Meet the man directing Irvine traffic

Mark Linsenmayer
Photo of Mark Linsenmayer, Director of Transportation for the City of Irvine at Hicks Canyon Trail in Irvine. 11/2/17 Copyright © 2017 Leonard Ortiz. All Rights Reserved

Mark Linsenmayer was hired in July to help direct Irvine’s circulation network. As Irvine’s transportation director, he oversees all aspects of transportation, including traffic management, transit planning and alternative transportation. We asked about his plans.

Tell us about a couple projects to help ease traffic.

We have a lot of projects underway to improve traffic and increase mobility. Important signal and roadway expansion projects are planned along Jamboree Road, Jeffrey Road and University Drive heading to the 405. I am also eager to start on our signal-synchronization agreement with CalTrans to improve traffic coming from and going to freeway ramps citywide.

What about left-hand turn signals?

We have identified six sites for new signal technology that will allow the green left-turn arrow to change to flashing yellow — permitting cars to turn if oncoming traffic allows. It will be new to Irvine streets, however, so we want to roll it out deliberately and safely before we expand the program.

How do bikes and pedestrians fit into your plans?

The city has invested heavily in bicycle infrastructure and we possess some of the best recreational trails and on-road amenities in the country. We are looking at the possibility of installing buffered bike lanes in heavy-use areas to make cycling even safer for users. We also are investing heavily in pedestrian facilities throughout the city, especially in busy corridors in the Irvine Business Complex. If we can accommodate even a fraction of the people that want to walk to lunch, get coffee or pick up groceries, we are removing hundreds of vehicles off the road.

What’s happening with iShuttle?

We are expanding iShuttle routes. We now have two routes in the Irvine Business Complex and two in the Spectrum. We’re adding a route to each this fall.

We also are looking at buying new, larger, cleaner vehicles in the coming year to better serve businesses and commuters. Down the road, I want to look at running autonomous shuttles. I would like to be at the forefront of that revolution.

What’s the big picture?

The big picture is to improve a little bit everywhere. We want to facilitate alternative transportation and fully utilize our iShuttle network, flexible schedules and rideshare. We also want to improve our signals, enhance our infrastructure and prepare for autonomous and connected vehicles.