Bike It! Walk It! Bus It! week encourages kids to be active, by getting to school using alternative modes of transportation. National Bike to School Day is coming up on: Wednesday, May 3rdâ€¦an exciting event aimed at promoting eco-friendly and safe transportation options for students.
On the agenda for the May 5th, Santa Monica City Council meeting, devastating cuts in response to the catastrophic budget shortfalls created by the Covid-19 crisis were proposed and later approved. As we shared in previous communications, we felt (and still feel) strongly that without active and engaged Council direction these cuts will surely unwind decades of progress and community hard work toward a city where everyone can move safely, with or without a car, and where we protect our most vulnerable citizens. These are, without a doubt, unprecedented and difficult times. Difficult decisions and devastating cuts will need to be made. We must continue to demand our leaders be creative in finding solutions that maintain our city values and as many essential programs as possible as we rebuild our economy, and our community from the Covid-19 crisis.
We are grateful that on May 5th Council directed staff to consider the following areas as priorities for continuing services, funds permitting:
Food security for our most vulnerable community members through restoring funding to Meals on Wheels and the Westside Food Bank
Keeping people in their homes through increased support for the Preserving Our Diversity senior housing subsidy program and restoring funding to the Legal Aid Foundation
Funding for youth-related programs, such as after-school programs and mental health support services
Resources for outdoor health, such as playgrounds and fields, including the Playground Partnership program with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD)
Mobility programs with an emphasis on providing safe, sustainable, affordable and accessible transportation choices
Sustainability with an emphasis on community resilience
We need Council to stay engaged directing the priority of creative solutions. We must insist our leaders continue to be strategic and thoughtful with â€œrestructuringâ€ that reduces costs and bureaucracy while retaining essential capacity to build confidently on the foundation and programs that define what we love about Santa Monica — including safe bike lanes, sustainability efforts to address climate change, after school programs, community gardens, libraries, and social services for those most in need. We are pleased to see some of these essential programs have been recommended for at least partial reinstatements. Programs like these are neededto keep neighborhood streets safe and calm, and provide ways for kids, seniors, low-income families, and car-light/carless households to keep moving.
Congestion management is only possible with these programs; when stay-at-home orders are lifted the congestion will be back in weeks, with additional drivers who used to ride transit.
Even in the most difficult of times we must retain our values and prioritize these programs or we slide backward decades, putting essential outcomes out of reach:
Climate Action & Adaptation Plan air quality and emission reduction
LUCE congestion mitigation and neighborhood traffic calming
Vehicle trip reduction necessary for new housing capacity
Bike Action Plan health and active trips targets
Pedestrian Action Plan injury and fatality reductions
This Community has worked hard to build a brighter future – a vision for an economically, environmentally, equitably and socially sustainable community.
Please join us in supporting solutions outlined in the Staff Report and ask Council to keep prioritizing creative solutions to retain more essential services and staff:Â HERE
The streets we travel on make up over 20% of our city, and are one of our biggest assets. â€‹Our streets move people, goods, and services and are essential infrastructure for our economic and social recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.â€‹ It is crucial how we manage and use this public asset, at the core of economic resilience, social equity, health and environmental sustainability.
Read our full letter HERE #TransportationMatters #SafeStreets
How we manage our streets – or ignore them – will move us either toward environmental justice, economic recovery and climate resiliency or away from those vital community and city goals. Our goals must be prioritized, clearly, in all plans and efforts to create solutions appropriate to equitably resolve the budget crisis caused by Covid-19.
Please join us and share your support with Santa Monica City Council. Information, email addresses and template can be foundHERE.
While the City suffers catastrophic shortfalls, we should not use a sledgehammer where a scalpel is needed to balance new budgets. Letâ€™s be strategic and thoughtful with â€œrestructuringâ€ that reduces costs and bureaucracy while retaining essential capacity that builds confidently on the foundation and programs that our public roadways and investments afford us as they advance us to a vibrant and full recovery.
Use any of these images or your own to share this message on Social Media #TransportationMatters #SafeStreets
Hello friends, interested in road safety? We invite you to take this short survey now on the much needed and innovative improvements proposed for Stewart Street & Pennsylvania Avenue. The project is under attack for some of the needed safety improvements.
â€¢ You will be prompted to click on each icon in the navigation on the left. â€¢ At the bottom of each element, there is a + with the name of the project. â€¢ Click to take survey. â€¢ Fill in comments, then submit. You only get once chance, so make it count. â€¢ Move down the list to the next of the 4 element of the project to give your opinion.
It appears the project is being attacked by one of the local businesses that has taken a dislike to the project due to a (minimal) loss of on street metered parking, and a median that restricts left turns. These changes mitigate the current rather serious traffic conflicts and congestion by improving traffic flow and safety for all road users. The business has chosen to use a hot button issue to solicit push back on this safety improvement project – THIS PROJECT IS ABOUT SAFE AND EQUITABLE ACESS and IMPROVING OVERALL STREET SAFETY FOR EVERYONE! We love and support our local businesses, but we are extremely disappointed in this one for this smear campaign. Parking must NEVER, EVER outweigh safety improvements.
This project exceeded our hopes for Stewart & Pennsylvania as it was identified in the Bike Action Plan and the Pedestrian Action Plan. WE LOVE IT. It will finally provide a needed north/south bike connection, pedestrian improvements, improved – safer north/south connections to EXPO and improved safe routes to schools, parks and local businesses! There are almost always tradeoffs when streets are reimagined to incorporate and improve equity and safety as a priority. Please join us in support of this project by taking the short survey – it really only takes a few minutes.
The City of Santa Monica’s Stewart & Pennsylvania Safety Enhancement Project will enhance safety and access to/from the Expo 26th Street/Bergamot Station, and address safety issues identified as part of the Cityâ€™s Take the Friendly Road campaign. The project seeks to enhance the safety and comfort for pedestrians and bicyclists along Stewart Street between Colorado and Kansas, and Pennsylvania Avenue between 26th Street and Stewart Street The safety enhancements include:
Enhancement of the existing bikelane to a protected bikeway along Stewart Street from Kansas to Colorado/Yale.
Intersection safety enhancements at Stewart Street/Colorado/Yale and Stewart/Nebraska making crossings easier to navigate for pedestrian/bicyclists
Add new sidewalks and pedestrian scale lighting along Pennsylvania Avenue, between 26th Street and Stewart Street
Add Curb Extension and new curb ramps
This project is part of an on-going citywide effort to enhance safety for people that walk, bike, or take transit.
Please do let us know if you have any questions. Stay tuned for future updates and Action Alerts!
Thank you in advance!
SB 127: Gov. Gavin Newsom VETOES â€œCOMPLETE STREETSâ€ BILL
SACRAMENTO, Calif.â€“ Late this evening, Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed the Complete Streets for Active Living Bill (Senate Bill 127) championed by Sen. Scott Wiener.
The bill would have required the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to consider bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements when it repairs or repaves state routes that serve as local streets. This bill aimed to ensure state roads that run through local communities (e.g. 19th Avenue in San Francisco, Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, San Pablo Avenue in the East Bay, Santa Rosa Street in San Luis Obispo) are safe for people to walk, bike and use wheelchairs along those routes.
The Complete Streets for Active Living Bill had strong and widespread support. A recent poll found that 78% of California voters support a policy requiring safety improvements when improving a road. They want children to be able to safely walk or bike to school. Hundreds of schools exist within a half-mile of a California State Route and these streets remain some of the deadliest in the state.
Linda Khamoushian, Senior Policy Advocate, California Bicycle Coalition,: â€œGov. Newsomâ€™s decision blatantly ignores the immense support for this critical policy change. People risk their lives everyday just to walk or bike along dangerous state-owned streets. Without more aggressive complete streets policies, our transportation system will continue to operate business as usual. SB 127 was a rare opportunity to create livable streets for everyone. This decision was ill-informed by the faulty cost estimates from Caltrans that were proven illogical based on actual practice, and unfortunately will only perpetuate distrust without resolution. Communities demanded better from the Governor, but now are left in the dust.â€
Jamie Morgan, Government Relations Regional Lead, American Heart Association: â€œCalifornians want safer, more livable streets that support local businesses and local jobs. They want the ability to walk and bike safely. By vetoing SB 127, Gov. Newsom missed out on the opportunity to create more livable streets for our children, our residents and our communities.â€
Tony Dang, Executive Director, California Walks: â€œWe are appalled by Governor Newsomâ€™s decision to derail SB 127 despite overwhelming support by the public and the Legislature. Families and children deserve to be able to walk, bike, and cross their communityâ€™s local and main streets without fearâ€“the veto of SB127 lets Caltrans off the hook and leaves the safety of our vulnerable residents to chance.â€
Margo Pedroso, Deputy Director, Safe Routes Partnership: â€œThe Safe Routes Partnership is so disappointed that Governor Newsom vetoed the Complete Streets for Active Living Bill into law. As SB 127 made its way through the legislative process, it became clear that legislators understood this bill would create safe routes for everyone when Caltrans repaired state highways in populated areas. This legislation was a common-sense and cost-effective way to get more kids and families walking and biking to school safely when those schools are located next to state highways.â€
COMPLETE STREETS BACKGROUND
In California from 2007-2013, nearly 1.7 million people were injured in traffic incidents, including 95,758 while walking along or across the street. In those crashes, 22,117 people were killed, with pedestrians accounting for one-fifth of the total persons killed. The problem is often concentrated around Caltrans roads that go through low-income neighborhoods where more people get around via transit, biking and walking.
Caltrans often claims to make streets safer when they repair them. But in practice, they prioritize fast traffic over the communities demanding more livable streets almost every single time. The Complete Streets for Active Living Bill would have brought safety improvements necessary to stop the killing and maiming on state-owned roads.
SB 127 Co-Sponsors: California Bicycle Coalition, California Walks, American Heart Association, AARP, Safe Routes Partnership
Contact: Linda Khamoushian, California Bicycle Coalition, 916-668-9401, email@example.com Tony Dang, California Walks, 510-464-8052, firstname.lastname@example.org Jamie Morgan, American Heart Association, 916-431-2359, Jamie.Morgan@heart.org David Azevedo, AARP, 626-616-9539, email@example.com Margo Pedroso, Safe Routes Partnership, 301-292-1043, firstname.lastname@example.org
Supporting Organizations: 350 Bay Area Action, 350 Silicon Valley, Active SGV, American Lung Association in California , Alameda County Transportation Commission, Berkeley Climate Hub, Bicycling Monterey, Bike Bakersfield, Bike Concord, Bike East Bay, Bike San Diego, Bike Santa Cruz County, Bike SLO County, BikeVentura, California Alliance for Retired Americans, California City Transportation Initiative/NACTO, California Democratic Party, California Interfaith Power & Light, California Park and Recreation Society, California ReLeaf, CALSTART Inc., CALPIRG, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Stockton, Cedars, Center for Climate Change and Health, Central California Asthma Collaborative, City Heights Community Development Corp., City of Encinitas, City of Half Moon Bay, City of Long Beach, City of Los Angeles, City of Oakland, City of Sacramento, City and County of San Francisco, City of Santa Monica, City of San Luis Obispo, Climate Action Campaign, ClimatePlan, Climate Resolve, Coalition for Clean Air, Coalition for Sustainable Transportation-Santa Barbara, Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities, Costa Mesa Alliance for Better Streets, Compton Unified School District, Cultiva La Salud, Davis Bike Club, Day One, East Bay Recreational Park District, Elders Climate Action (NorCal), Environment California, Fossil Free California, Inland Empire Biking Alliance, Investing in Place, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, La Verne Bicycle Coalition, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, Local Government Commission, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Los Angeles Walks, Lyft Inc., Marin County Bicycle Coalition, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Move LA, Napa County Bicycle Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, Office of Mayor London Breed â€“ San Francisco, Orange County Bicycle Coalition, Office of the Mayor, San Francisco, Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, Planning and Conservation League, PeopleforBikes, PolicyLink, Public Advocates, Redwood Community Action Agency, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Rural Counties Representative of California, Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco Transportation Municipal Agency, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco Planning Department, SFBA Families for Safe Streets, Santa Monica Spoke, Save The Bay, Seamless Bay Area, Shasta Living Streets, Sierra Club California, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, Sunflower Alliance, Transform, Transportation Agency for Monterey County, Trust for Public Land, Vision Zero Network, Walk Bike Berkeley, Walk & Bike Mendocino, Walk Oakland Bike Oakland, Walk Sacramento, Walk San Francisco, and Walk Long Beach.