Category Archives: LUCE

A Call to Roll Back Street Safety Improvements on 17th Street?

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 all collisions and injuries 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 “Dutch crossing.” 

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 Staff’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 “enhanc[ing] vehicular movements.”  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.

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More Press on Santa Monica Next and StreetsBlogLA

Why 17th Street?

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 an 1160% increase in pedestrian traffic and an 82% increase in bicycle traffic.

Protected Bike Lane Amendment Adopted by SM City Council

On Tuesday, October 13th, Santa Monica City Council unanimously adopted the Bike Action Plan Amendment adding protected bike lanes to the Current 2011 Bike Action Plan. We were humbled and grateful for the youth that spoke so passionately and articulately at the online meeting — despite the late hour — in support of expanding protected bike lanes and safety for our community, workers, students and visitors.

Broadway Protected Bike Lanes

We’d like to thank City Staff for their meticulous work preparing the Draft Plan and the Santa Monica City Council for their continued direction and support to expand healthy active transportation options in Santa Monica along with necessary infrastructure and safety improvements for people walking, biking, scooting or driving cars. Together – with commitments like this – we can and must continue to prioritize improving safety for all, particularly our most vulnerable road users.

You can click these links to:
View the Staff Report
Watch the meeting – scroll to item 8A under the video to jump to the item.
Visit Info page Bike Action Plan Update: Protected Bikeway Network – Project Goal
DRAFT Bike Action Plan Amendment



Also Check this out!
Ocean Avenue Project – Protected Bikeway and Expanding Outside Dining

Save the Date: November 22nd SM Spoke Meeting and BAP PARTY

SAVE the DATE: Saturday, November 22nd
Santa Monica Spoke Update Meeting  including BAP & Bike Share and
It’s our 3 year anniversary of passing the Bike Action Plan! Let’s have a party too!
Program will follow. All ages welcome.

VOTE: Be Engaged, Ballot Measures We Support & Why

This upcoming election is critical for the future of our city, with three City Council seats up for grabs and four important measures on the ballot.

Santa Monica Spoke is a 501c3 and cannot endorse candidates. To find information on what Civic and Community Leaders in the biking community are recommending you can look here:
Bike the Vote (includes local and regional races)
Assemblyman Richard Bloom has this to say..

Important Ballot Measures We Endorse and why:

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 8.33.21 AM
Click image for Operative Text of Measures LC and D [Infographic]

We endorse YES on LC and NO on D. See our complete write up here
Visit It’sOurLand.org to learn more about Measure LC, to donate or volunteer to the campaign. Measure LC is for “Local Control” and has received overwhelming community support: see the growing list here.
Measure D is deceptive and paid for by outside interests!  Measure LC was written at the request of residents, 99% of the funding is from small donations almost entirely from within the local community of Santa Monica.
Measure LC does not close the Airport but will keep Santa Monica residents in Control of Airport Land. It allows us to manage the airport for the health and safety of our community and not special interests.
Operative Texts of Measures LC and D [Infographic] ,   Side by Side Analysis Measures LC vs D

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Santa Monica Spoke Supports
Affordable Housing Ballot Measures
VOTE

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 12.40.49 PM Measure H will generate new local revenue for the City so that its affordable housing stock can be maintained and rehabilitated, and that more affordable housing opportunities for people who live and work in the city can be created. 100% of the money collected through Measure H will stay in Santa Monica. It is our money for our community – Sacramento cannot touch one cent.
Measure HH specifies that voters want the revenue from Measure H to be spent on affordable housing programs.
Read why we support H & HH here.

Frequently Asked Questions About Measures H and H

Exhibition: “Reimagining Santa Monica Airport – Part 1″

Chen Liu.
Chen Liu.

You are invited to join Airport 2 Park for the exhibition
“Reimagining Santa Monica Airport – Part 1″
– for one night only

When:    Thursday October 23rd
Time:      6-9pm
Where:   Writers Boot Camp Gallery, Bergamot Station #1,
2525 Michigan Avenue, for one night only.
*Car pooling is encouraged bicycle valet will be provided by Santa Monica Spoke.

The Exhibition will feature the work of USC graduate landscape architect students, Christopher Sison, Chen Liu, Zeek Magallanes and Yongdan Chunyu who under the direction of internationally renowned landscape architect Aroussiak Gabrielian (FORGROUND Design) took a practical approach in choosing bicycles for the their site visit to Santa Monica Airport where they started working on a three month project to design a park to replace the controversial facility. The tour was lead by Airport2Park.org, a coalition of community groups and neighbors that formed to promote the creation of a great park on the land that is currently Santa Monica Airport. The exhibition is curated by Professor Michael Brodsky of Loyola Marymount University, Founding member of Airport2Park.

Professor Brodsky says this about the exhibition, “Very few people have actually seen the potential beauty and space that is currently fenced and covered with asphalt on the Santa Monica airport property. This site has such great potential for a park with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, Hollywood Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains that are currently only seen by the very few people that use it now.

“I feel that once people see this exhibition of talented graduate landscape architecture students, they will view the Santa Monica Airport site in an entirely new context; as one that can serve many more people in a variety of creative, healthy and sustainable ways than is currently served by the present industrial use.”

For additional information go to Airport 2 Park