Please join us, along with our Santa Monica Safe Streets Alliance partners to support Santa Monica City Council Members Zwick, Torosis, and Mayor Davis’ Item 16E that proposes we prioritize timely and effective solutions to make our streets safe for everyone. Voice your support in directing the City to measures that prevent dangerous motor vehicle incursions into our current and future bike infrastructure. Please join us and send your support to Council in advance of the meeting Tuesday, September 12th with this “One click to Email Council.” We encourage you to personalize, add your own stories or comments – and please don’t forget to sign your name and add your zip code.
Santa Monica Safe Streets Alliance is a collaboration of local and regional advocacy organizations and community members that together promote and support the implementation of our community’s shared goals of complete streets that are designed to be safe, equitable and welcoming to everyone.
Easy One click to Email Council Feel free to personalize, add your own stories or comments – and please don’t forget to sign your name and add your zip code.
A request by council members Brock and de la Torre to “enhance vehicular movements while not compromising bicycle and pedestrian safety” on the new – not yet completed – 17th Street Protected Bikeway. ie. let cars go faster at intersections where the data shows conflicts leading to crashes and injuries happen. If that sounds strange to you we’d have to agree.
There is no need to “study” this, the documentation on how protected bike lanes and intersections improve safety is widely disseminated and accepted worldwide – this YouTube video on the topic was posted over 12 years ago. The “gold” standard implementations on 17th were years in the planning and follow national and international design standards for safety and were designed by experts in the field. Repeated studies consistently show that adding protected bike lanes increases the safety of all road users – people driving cars, walking, and biking. Research shows that adding protected bike lanes reduces allcollisionsandinjuries by 30-50%. The simple fact is research and experience shows again and again and again the same thing: protected bike lanes are good for everyone. The 2018 CalBike report notes that – among other benefits – protected bike lanes “improve safety for bicyclists, car drivers, and pedestrians” and “Get more people to ride bikes by providing the safety, comfort, and separation most people want and need to consider bicycling.” The 17th Street Protected Bikeway configuration fulfills an international “gold” standard for safety referred to as a â€œDutch crossing.â€Â
There is no argument that useful information is a good thing. However it is important to note – this important safety project – after years of planning and outreach – is not yet even complete having suffered many unavoidable delays during construction due to an exceptional rainy season that no doubt led to confusion. Until recently when the work was nearing completion there was legitimate confusion and concerns that arose in the community from both motorists and cyclists. We all know change is hard. It is a given that – although the changes are an improvement – there will be a certain amount of discomfort and confusion when implementing new and unfamiliar road design standards. It is also understandable that concerns are often generated during construction when new street safety projects are partially implemented. However, now that the project is near-finished it has clearly become evident – supported by the overwhelming feedback received – that the configuration fulfills the world class safety standards that were envisioned by the community. So, do we now switch back to choosing speed over safety to “enhance vehicular movements” at intersections? Is this just the beginning? Where will the vehicle prioritizing corrosive changes end?
These sorts of Council member requests are almost routinely passed. We have no doubt an Information Item on the 17th Street protected bikeway improvements will detail the project’s resounding successes and include Staffâ€™s attentiveness throughout the project and into the final stages of completion. Just recently, as the project nears the finish line, City Mobility staff have made adjustments in response to community feedback and regular onsite inspections to accommodate disability parking, signage and potential conflicts with concrete lips. We ask the Council to remove the counterproductive second half of the 16-D request from any motion being considered. Council needs to choose to prioritize safety over speed modifications that “enhance vehicular movements.” Choosing safety and equity for all road users over â€œenhanc[ing] vehicular movements.â€ We know vehicle speed is a key factor in traffic violence that results in serious injuries and traffic fatalities. We urge Council to stop prioritizing vehicles over people and to affirm prior commitments to protect our most vulnerable road users, people walking and biking. Prioritize people, kids to seniors, and our collective future for a livable climate.
17th Street connects local neighborhoods to transit facilities, bikeways, schools, employment opportunities, and entertainment. 17th Street was identified in the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE), Bicycle Action Plan (BAP), and Pedestrian Action Plan to include safety improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists. With the opening of the Metro Expo light rail station — by 2018 there had already been anÂ 1160% increase in pedestrian traffic and anÂ 82%Â increase in bicycle traffic.
Caltrans is seeking community input for a proposed bike lane project on Santa Monica Blvd (SR-2) â€“ in the West LA neighborhood of Los Angeles â€“ between Ohio Ave and Westgate Ave. Various alternatives are currently being studied to determine the best multimodal improvement for communities along this corridor. Colloquially known as the â€˜Ohio to Ohioâ€™ project, the objective of this project is to close an existing bicycle route gap that is bisected by SR-2. The intended purpose is to create a continuous path for active commuters who utilize the existing facilities for work, school, or for recreational purposes. By connecting a bike route, users will have fewer conflict points with vehicles and will be able to travel in a safer and more accessible manner.
Caltrans has reached out to collect as much feedback as possible for the local community. See the fact sheet with project information. Included in the informational document are links to an online survey and a virtual meeting that will be held Wednesday, May 24th, from 7:00 â€“ 8:30PM.
Engaging with the community is an important part of the Caltrans planning process.Â With your help, we will canÂ increase theÂ outreach efforts and help support Caltrans efforts to better connect with the public.
If you would like more detailed information about this project, please visit the Caltrans website.
The Kill Bike-Share Bill singles out shared micromobility for an onerous insurance requirement. That will drive up the costs of bike and scooter sharing so severely that many programs will have to be canceled, andÂ hopes of expansionÂ into low-income communities will be dashed.
California needs real solutions
Bike and scooter sharing systems are essential to help mitigate climate change by reducing carbon emissions. The Kill Bike-Share Bill solves nothing and is likely to make Californiaâ€™s problems worse.
The Kill Bike-Share Bill (AB 371) would require providers of shared scooters (whether a private company, non-profit, or a transit agency) to carry insurance to pay for injuries caused through no fault of their own including by the riderâ€™s own negligence. It requires a study that is likely to lead to a similar requirement for shared bikes in the future.