What We Saw
Mariners’ Mile has a distinctly different pattern than Corona del Mar. The Coast Highway in Corona del Mar sits within the heart of a compact, walkable grid network of streets and blocks. Coast Highway diagonally bisects the neighborhood pattern creating an intermittent intersection pattern that interrupts direct cross streets.
Mariners’ Mile, in contrast, runs along the harbor edge and the edge of the upper neighborhoods located along the buff. To the south, Coast Highway is separated from the waterfront by a single row of approximately 150-foot deep private lots. The north side private lots are approximately 200 feet deep to the bottom of the bluff. At the intersection of Riverside and Coast Highway, there is one block that transitions to another half-block of commercial buildings that creates a wider, flatter area with commercial land uses transitioning to residential uses as they move up the hill. The bluff area above Mariners’ Mile has three public parks, as the views are beautiful overlooking the harbor towards the ocean.
The southeast side of Mariners’ Mile is home to a large private hotel and semigated subdivision on a flat area, several blocks deep, between the harbor and Coast Highway. Dover and the estuary mark the end of Mariners’ Mile to the east, and Newport Boulevard and its grade separated on/off ramps mark the western end.
The regional pattern makes it clear that the Mariners’ Mile Coast Highway segment, 1.3 miles long, is different than the Newport Center ‘Highway’ Coast Highway segment, 2.0 miles, which is again different from the Corona del Mar ‘Main Street’ Coast Highway segment, 1 mile long.
Importantly, Mariners’ Mile is the only segment of Coast Highway that has direct access to the ocean.
Long-distance road riding bicyclists, short-distance beach cruiser bicyclists, pedestrians going between shops, work, and restaurants all competed with highspeed traffic along the Mariner’s Mile. Finding a balance for the health, welfare, and safety of these users is an obvious need, as the Coast Highway is dominated by auto-centric engineering. This is a direct reflection of the segment’s history of maritime and auto sales uses and regional connector. However, today’s economy is shifting towards mixed-use commercial and residential living along the harbor, making traffic mitigation a most important element to balance.
The General Plan, Zoning, and Regional plans reflect this shift and the importance of this segment in the region. The General Plan has identified Mariners’ Mile as a special study area with additional planning and refinements over time.