Monthly Archives: September 2010

PARK(ing) DAY SUCCESS!!

I think you’ll agree we can put this one in

the WIN column !

Arrival early morning.  All 8 trees, over a dozen flower pots, astro turf, tables, chairs, freebees donated by REI and Cynergy Cycles,  etc….. BY BIKE

Setting Up

We had such a wonderful Day in our “Park”

The Park Is Open, The Parking Spaces In Front Of Swingers Never Looked So Good

Free Bike Valet

Bike Parking And Valet Is Setup

Look for Video of our park being transported by bike and photo gallery of our Swingers location, as well as a full write up!

It’s been a busy weekend!

PARK(ing) DAY – SANTA MONICA, free BIKE VALET

It’s all about

Community!


….Right?


Getting people out of their cars and interacting with the city and the people, places and things around them.  To celebrate this we are putting up a “Park” with free Bike Valet right outside of Swinger’s Diner!

REI and Cynergy Cycles have donated free bike tune ups that we will raffle off using your free bike valet ticket.  We have freebees donated by REI and Cynergy is sponsoring our “park” with rolls of quarters for the meter!  SWEET!

Bike, walk, skate…. on down to see us!

At our “park” we will “park” your bike for free!  You can hang out with us or go on in to Swinger’s and have a meal.


Friday September 17, 8am till 5pm

City council will vote on Agensys tonight

This evening Agensys will come before City Council for the first of two major votes needed to finalize the Development Agreement of the parcel at 1800 Stewart Street.

It will go up without objection from Santa Monica Spoke as it did when it went before the Planning Commission two weeks ago.  Contrary to being described as a “dissenting group” we have never wanted to see Agensys leave Santa Monica.  This new campus which consolidates several current locations should not only provide the city with much needed revenue, additional jobs and substantial community benefits not afforded by the current lease holder.  We are confident at this juncture that both the city and Agensys have been involved in “good faith” negotiating to solve this less than perfect development that has fallen short of the objectives set forth in the LUCE and Sustainability Goals set by the City of Santa Monica.  Other than the lack of bicycle access through the project it appears to be on target and provide many benefits to the community.

For those of you who have been following this contentious issue, the cycling community and Santa Monica Spoke have been more than a little upset by the apparent lack of commitment by both the city to enforce the LUCE document and Agensys to implement the bike infrastructure that is so badly needed through this large parcel development.  For a more detailed background on the Agensys Development, read this article.

As we see it several key events have contributed TO the situation we now find ourselves in:

  • Agensys is working on a nearly impossible deadline to get this project approved, taking over the lease from the current lease holder Lionstone.
  • Partially due to this deadline it was not made clear by the city to Agensys the need for bicycle infrastructure in the form of a bike path through their development until late in the process making it difficult to impossible to implement (according to them).  For this we are sympathetic, but distressed and not completely convinced.
  • Additionally this project and the implementation of the LUCE overlapped in the political process.

We feel the important issue here is the bike access that serves the community in ways we have described previously and as is called for in the LUCE.  At this late date we can actuate that access in several possible ways now that it appears we will not get the MUCH-NEEDED bike path through the Agensys Development.  The city, Agensys and Santa Monica Spoke committee members have been negotiating possible resolutions in an effort to provide viable solutions for bike access around the 1800 Stewart Street parcel.

Among these is the proposed compensation by Agensys that we support of an additional $20,000 specifically for bikes as well as dedicating most of the $70,000 already promised for transit improvements at the Expo station to emphasize bicycle infrastructure.  It is being considered that the bidding should start at $20,000 to compensate for the loss of this crucial east / west bicycle path connection through 1800 Stewart Street that would provide so much for the community over the next 50 years that Agensys will hold this lease when approved.  $20,000 is a mere fraction of the value a bike path would provide, this would however be considered a very meaningful precedent for the other ten or so Development Agreements pending in this part of town.  Agensys would be paying into a “pool” fund for bicycle infrastructure around Bergamot Station (the Transit Infrastructure Contribution) while at the same time be making a contribution to active transportation concerns raised specifically by their project.

Accelerating the building of the Michigan Slow Street on the neighboring city yard property would be a top preference since it would provide a second, back door access to the Expo rail station for the Pico Neighborhood and Sunset Park residents.  In addition it would connect Michigan to Stewart thus opening the much needed and essential east / west connection while promoting the safe route to schools access to SaMoHi, SMC, etc.

This incident demonstrates the considerable oversight required to meet the goals set forth by the LUCE. Ultimately it demonstrates the pressing need FOR a City Bicycle Advisory Committee or Bicycle Czar that is intricately involved in the projects at the outset so as to determine in sufficient time that which would impact the development of bicycle infrastructure through accommodations.  It is imperative, regardless of form, that representatives of the cycling community are included.

Bicycles are an integral asset of our “New” Santa Monica and the failure of this project to institute essential bike infrastructure is a signal to the council, staff, developers and ancillary consultants, lawyers etc that active tranpostation must be included as an integral component to any new Development Agreements in the City if Santa Monica .

Cynthia Rose

Follow Up To Agensys Planning Commission Meeting, Part 1

from blog: Gary Rides Bikes

Santa Monica City Council MeetingFirst of all I want to thank everyone who turned out to voice support for cycling at the meeting. The strong presence, which included the majority of the SM Spoke steering committee, and the numerous comments supporting bike connectivity in the area, made quite an impression. I didn’t get something up sooner because the meeting went until midnight and my brain was pretty fried after the process.

I still haven’t had time to give the complete analysis the night and the issue deserves, but I’ll go into a few things for those who were wondering outcomes.

Read the entire post here

Action Alert, Agensys

AgensysActionAlert

KEY MEETING FOR AGENSYS BIKE PATH ON WEDNESDAY!

Planning Commission meeting

  • Wednesday, September 1, 7PM

City Council – first vote

  • Tuesday, September 14 – time will be posted later

City Council – final vote

  • Tuesday, September 28th  time will be posted later

All meetings held at:

Santa Monica City Hall, City Council Chambers, 2nd floor

SM Civic Center, 1685 Main St, Santa Monica

The very important vote by the Planning Commission on the Agensys project will be this Wednesday.  We we would like them to approve it with the condition that it include a bike path within the parcel.  City Council and the Planning Commission have previously directed city staff to work with Agensys to include a bike path as part of the project.  Agensys has ruled out any proposals for putting the bike path on the site, saying it poses too many difficulties.  Senior city staff seem unwilling to push any harder for this key benefit.  It appears Agensys believes they are offering enough and that they have the votes within the City Council to receive final approval later this month.

We have demonstrated and believe there are clearly ways to include a bike path within the project and must convince council of this.  Promising alternatives have been identified for integrating the bike path and deserve to be explored further.  On Wednesday we need the Planning Commission to support this.  For more information see the complete Agensys article written by Barbara Filet and Kent Strumpell on the Santa Monica Spoke website.

There must be a strong showing from the bicycle community at the Wednesday meeting demonstrating support for a viable solution and to overcome the reluctance by Agensys for a bike path within their project along with the city’s reluctance to push this important issue.

PLEASE COME, speak if you can.

We also need you to send an emails (email address below) or you use this link ActionAlert-Agensys@SMSpoke.org (Copy/ paste is currently not working for this address) which will forward to city staff, city council and planning commission.

Some key points you can make:

  • I support the proposed Agensys bike path.
  • This bike path provides a vital link to bridge the gap in our east-west bikeway network and help connect communities near the project.
  • Other routes for getting around this project are difficult, hazardous and discourage safe cycling.
  • This is the first test of the bicycle and connectivity goals called for in the LUCE (Land Use and Circulation Element) plan that we all worked so hard to create.
  • Leaving the bicycle connectivity out of the development agreement will set a precedent that will tell future developers they don’t have to take LUCE policies seriously.
  • The other community benefits offered by Agensys are wonderful, but bike access is a vital and needed component to the Agensys project.

Thank you in advance for your support in making Santa Monica a better place to live and bike.


Cynthia Rose

Santa Monica Spoke, chapter LACBC

Steering Committee

We have also provided a letter you can copy and paste voicing your support.  Feel free to edit as you wish.

Use this link:  ActionAlert-Agensys@SMSpoke.org (do not copy/paste this address)

or use individual address that follow below.

************************************************************************************************************************************************

Dear City Staff, Council, and Planning Commission

I am writing you in support of the proposed bike path and bicycle infrastructure proposed with the Agensys project.  This bicycle infrastructure would provide a vital link by bridging the gap in our east-west bikeway network and helps connect communities in and around the project.  This is the first real test of the LUCE commitment to active transportation that we have all worked so hard to create and cannot be taken lightly.  Leaving bicycle connectivity of some sort out of the development agreement at this time sends a message to future developers that they don’t have to take the LUCE policies seriously when the city fails to enforce them at this first juncture.  The Agensys project could not only enhance bicycle connectivity to the Bergamont Rail Station and Village but help reduce the traffic and parking demand in the station and surrounding area.  This will also help reduce pollution helping Santa Monica reach its Sustainable City Goals Plan.  This access will provide safe routes west to SaMoHi, Santa Monica College, Civic Center, Ocean Park and Main Street Merchants, along with travel to and from Ocean Park Beaches from eastern Santa Monica and Los Angeles as well as other neighborhoods to the east.

For Santa Monica to reach the applied for Silver designation or higher from the League of American Bicyclists for a bicycle-friendly city, (from the current Bronze status) the City must be committed to create more bike routes.  With a 50 year lease this proposed redevelopment represents an excellent way for the city to create this vital link in the bicycle infrastructure.

It has been demonstrated and I believe there are clearly ways to include a bike path within this project.  Promising alternatives have also been identified for integrating the bike path or other bike facilities that deserve to be explored further.  I urge the Planning commission to approve the Agensys project with the condition that it include a bike path within the parcel. City staff and council can then work with Agensys to provide this vital link for alternative, active transportation.

The other community benefits offered by Agensys in this project are wonderful, but bike access is a vital and needed component that will help Santa Monica and its residents reach a more sustainable, and livable city moving forward into the future.

Sincerely,

Your name

address and/or zip – optional

************************************************************************************************************************************************


Send emails to:

Santa Monica Planning Commission:  jaypjohnson@earthlink.net, HKoning@KEArch.com, gwynne@pugh-scarpa.com, TedSMPlan@gmail.com, GNewbold@gmail.com, Jim_Ries@hotmail.com, parryj@gte.net,

Planner in charge of project: brad.misner@smgov.net

Santa Monica City Council:  Council@smgov.net

City Manager Rod Gould:  Rod.Gould@smgov.net

Planning Director Eileen Fogarty:  eileen.fogarty@amgov.net

Agensys Lawer Dale Goldsmith: dale@agd-landuse.com

Action Alert: Making a Push At Wednesday Night Planning Commission Meeting

View Agensys Bike Access Issues in a larger map. Based on Barbara  Fillet’s diagrams I also plotted out the area onto a google map to help illustrate why connectivity matters here, and how problematic existing alternative routes are going around the block to connect from Stewart, which is already classified a bike route

Planning Commission Meeting
Wednesday, September 1st, 7PM
Santa Monica City Council Chambers, SM Civic Center on Main Street

Things are moving fast and time is ticking on the bike access through proposed Agensys redevelopment of city land issue. The planning commission meeting this week is one of our last chances to voice community support for bike access through the property.

Read complete article on Gary Rides Bikes blog here