Monthly Archives: January 2011

This week, RIDE with LACBC, the EPA and SANTA MONICA SPOKE

EPA bike tour of LA County cities:

The west coast head of the EPA, Jared Blumenfeld and the head of LA County Department of Health Services – Mitch Katz are going to be doing a bike tour of a few LA County cities on Tuesday, Feb 1st.  Santa Monica Spoke worked with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition to organize and promote a press event originally planned in Santa Monica at City Hall.  Mr Blumenfeld will not arrive in Los Angeles until Tuesday morning so the schedule and starting point had to be changed.

The event will now begin at bike bridge over Ballona Creek in Playa del Rey at 9:15am.  The goal of this bike tour is to draw attention to cycling through the lens of helping the environment and improving public health.  Jared and Mitch would like to draw attention to the importance of creating more bike-able communities for both environmental and public health reasons.  We’d love for you to join us on the bike tour.

When: Tuesday, February 1
Where: Meet at bike bridge over Ballona Creek in Playa del Rey

Agenda:

  • Meet: 9:15am at the bike bridge over Ballona Creek in Playa del Rey
  • Start Ride: 9:45am (route map)
  • 1st Stop: 10:20am Linwood Howe Elementary School
  • 2nd Stop: 11:45am MacArthur Park – NW corner of 7th and Alvarado
  • 3rd Stop: 12:05pm CCC Bike Wrangler Space – 1205 W 6th St at Lucas
  • Final Stop: 12:45pm LA City Hall

Join in for all or any part of the ride by meeting at one of the stops.

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Every 1st Sunday LACBC ride:

Starting this year LACBC will be leading a ride on the first Sunday of each month in different areas of LA County. February (6th) is I the WESTSIDE”.  The ride will focus on the “beauty and romance” of the Westside.

Ted Rogers, LACBC board member and writer of one of the quintessential LA Bike Blogs Biking in LA will lead the ride.  We will meet at the Santa Monica Pier and head south-west to explore the Sharrows on Abbot Kinney, on to the Marina bike path and follow Ballona Creek to Culver City.  We’ll then go up through Beverly Hills and back through Westwood and Brentwood, back to the coast and end at the Pier.  The ride will last about 3 hours and be roughly 30-35 miles of mostly flat terrain at a moderate pace, suited for intermediate riders.

Free to all LACBC members plus one guest.  Interested in becoming a member?
Sign up to be a member of LACBC / Santa Monica Spoke at the event.

To view the event on Facebook, click here

I the Westside Ride
Date: Sunday, February 6, 2011
Time: Meet at 9:30 A.M.; Ride at 10:00 A.M.
Location: Meet at Santa Monica Pier at 200 Santa Monica Pier

Note:  Rain will result in postponement of cancelation of the ride.

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Culver Cities Bicycle Coalition’s, (CCBC) starts a last Sunday of the month ride.  For more information on those rides and this Regional Chapter of LACBC visit their web page.
Culver City Bicycle Coalition

Support for Metro Projects in
Santa Monica

The City of Santa Monica is trying to secure funding for a variety of bicycle related projects through the Metro Call for Projects process.  They are listed as: Bike-sharing, Bike/Transit Centers and a Michigan Ave. Bicycle Facility for which the City has requested support on their applications in a letter from Santa Monica Spoke to Metro.

Although last minute we congratulate the City on this push for funds.  Apologies were extended for the short notice on this request as the application is to be sent out this Thursday, (1/27).  We were however given the assurance that we would have a public outreach process for getting community feedback on each of these projects should they be awarded to Santa Monica.  Funding would be distributed in Fiscal Years 2015/16 and 2016/17 with local match amounts still being vetted.

The summary we were given of the projects is as follow:

1. Bike-sharing and other multi-mobility linkages to Expo
This project would consist of planning, selecting and implementing a bike-sharing system to link the three Santa Monica Expo Stations with bus transit hubs, dense trip origin areas and key destinations.  In addition to the Expo stations, bike-share locations may include Santa Monica College, Wilshire and/or Santa Monica Blvd (PS#6) locations, and the Main Street and Montana Avenue commercial areas.  Additional mobility services, including carshare vehicles and transit information services, will be considered as well.  $2,236,300 total project cost of which we would request $1,475,240 in funding.

2. Bike/Transit Centers at Memorial Park and Bergamot Transit Stations
This project will include developing bike transit center facilities at the Memorial Park and Bergamot Center Exposition Light Rail Stations.  These centers will be based on and similar to the bike transit center to be constructed near the downtown station next year, and will include facility improvement costs including bicycle parking facilities and shower and locker amenities and a retail area suitable for providing support services for people on foot, transit and bicycle including local and trip information, access to fare media,  and car and bike sharing if these are available.  The project will assume coordination with station plans so that the facility will be adjacent to the station or transit plaza associated with it.  $3,650,000 total project cost of which we would request $2,463,750 in funding.

3. Michigan Avenue Bicycle Facility
This project will include developing a high quality east/west bicycle facility on the south side of I-10, including connections to Exposition Light Rail Stations.  It will link/incorporate efforts to develop through bicycle facilities in the Civic Center, Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica College, extending from Stewart Street through 20th Street to the High School, Civic Center and Beach/Pier.  It will include, with Caltrans’ support, development of a bike path adjacent to the I-10 Freeway ramp at 20th Street.  $4,730,000 total project cost of which we would request $2,500,000 in funding.

Santa Monica Spoke, along with LACBC’s Jennifer Klausner support Santa Monica’s application to the Metro Call for Projects.  We will eagerly await a positive outcome in this bid for local funding from Metro.  We have high hopes that this could serve to reduce congestion in the future while improving our bicycling infrastructure and public transportation options in the City of Santa Monica.

Our Letter :

Click for full size image

Meetings tonight:
Making Main Street a Complete Street &
SB Bicycle Master Plan Open House

According to our own Kent Strumpell LADOT has determined it’s able to extend the bike lanes on Main St. in Santa Monica south into Venice all the way to the Windward Circle.  This is good news for cyclists on the Westside, but also for all road users who will benefit from improved visibility, slower traffic and more ways to get around.

The project will be presented to the Venice Neighborhood Council tonight, Tuesday (details below).  It is possible that there might be opposition from those who don’t want to lose any road space for motor vehicles.  There may be some increased delay for limited periods during weekday rush hours, but the benefits will be there 24-7, and there will be no loss of street parking.

If you want to show support for this project, come to the meeting.  Kent will be there participating as a presenter, talking about the benefits.

From the Blog at the Los Angeles County Bike Coalition.

Making Main Street a Complete Street

It’s a new year and there is a lot to get excited about! First up are bike lanes on Main Street in Venice.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation is proposing to install bike lanes on Main Street from Navy to Windward Circle, which will extend the Santa Monica bike lanes and road diet into Venice. In order to reallocate the road space to create a more complete Main Street LADOT will have to remove a travel lane in each direction. The new Main Street will include a center two-way left turn lane in addition to the bike lanes. This project will not only provide better bicycle connectivity for beach residents and visitors alike, but the proposed bike lanes will rebalance the street and improve road safety for all road users whether they be on bicycle, foot, or in a car. Check out LADOT’s recent blog post about the benefits of road diets – http://tinyurl.com/roaddiets.

LACBC staff and volunteers are going door-to-door on Main Street tomorrow afternoon to inform businesses, residents, folks biking by, etc about this project. Our goal is to inform folks and build support for a complete Main Street. If you’d like to get involved with doing outreach around projects like this get in touch with LACBC’s new volunteer coordinator Joni (at) la-bike.org. LACBC will be kicking into outreach high gear this year, especially once the draft bike plan is approved – we hope to be out on streets all over the city building support for bike projects!

If you live in the Venice area and want to learn more about the project please attend the Venice Neighborhood Council Meeting this coming Tuesday, January 18th at 7pm. LADOT and Councilmember Rosendahl’s staff will be on hand to present on this project. LACBC will also be there to offer support for the project and talk about the community benefits.

Venice Neighborhood Council Board Meeting

Date: Tuesday, January 18th

Time: 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Location: Westminster Elementary School Auditorium

1010 Abbot Kinney Boulevard – Venice, CA, 90291

Venice NC info and agenda: www.grvnc.org

South Bay Bicycle Master Plan Community Open Houses

Tonight is Hermosa Beach,
Tomorrow – Wednesday, Manhattan Beach,
Thursday, Redondo Beach,
and then Torrance on Monday.

See full schedule below:

City Council votes to eliminate mandatory bike licensing in Santa Monica

Monday night in special session the Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously to eliminate mandatory bike licenses in the City of Santa Monica.   The motion passed will eliminate the mandatory portion of the bicycle license ordinance while the city will continue to maintain the data base in a voluntary program.  The program will continue at no cost on a voluntary basis as the issue is explored further.   We still invite cyclist to send their thoughts on this issue to the City Council and in comments here.  You can watch the meeting on the embedded video.  It is item 7B and starts at aprox. 14:30.   (note that it will take a minute to load with no apparent status bar)

Link here if you want to stream video on line, choose item 7B from the drop down menu.

Ted Rogers from Biking In LA wrote an open letter to the council outlining his opinion on this issue and overall bike friendliness in Santa Monica. It’s a good well articulated read, you can find it here.   More informative posts on this issue can be found on GaryRidesBikes and BikesideLA.

So for now Santa Monica residents have the option to register their bikes for free while the city explores alternate plans for a possible future program.

Listed here are links to much better options for Bike Registry Database Programs, some free, some with a fee.

Bike Revolution
International Bike Registry -free
Nation Bike Registy

If your bike is stolen you can register it at Stolen Bike Registry

No matter whether you opt to register your bike or not it is recommended that you note the serial numbers of all your bikes along with the make, model and a basic description.  Put this in your wallet or on your phone.  If your bike is ever stolen the faster you can provide police with that information the better.
Theft recovery tip:
Take a picture of yourself with your bike, roll it up and either drop it down the seat tube, or remove the grips and place it in the handlebars or wrap it under the handlebar tape.  These precautions help in identifying your bike if it is recovered or help in proving ownership if serial numbers/registry tags have been removed.  And remember cable locks are easily cut, get yourself a good U-Lock and lock your bike properly
Also see Kryptonite PDF on how to properly lock your bike.

Happy Cycling!

Bike License change in Santa Monica
Invitation for Discussion

Below you will find the staff report that addresses the proposed change to the bicycle license ordinance in the City of Santa Monica.  Hotly contested in it’s current form the new proposal would eliminate  the current harsh penalties and selective enforcement issues, yet still utlizes a program that is non-sustainible and many view as useless.

It could be said that this program offered by the city is redundant with efficient privately run registration programs for theft recovery, and costs money that could be more effectively used in actually “preventing bike theft”.  Perhaps suggesting the city align themselves with a program such as BikeRegistry, (which is free) and utilizing funds in more efficient programs for bikes that help prevent theft, ie MORE APPROVED BIKE RACKS.

The list goes on…..

This item will be discussed in a special joint meeting of the City Council and the Redevelopment AgencyMonday, January 17th 2011, 5:30pm,
City Hall, 1685 Main Street, Santa Monica, council chambers.

City Council Report

City Council Meeting: January 17, 2011 Agenda Item: 7-B

To:              Mayor and City Council

From:         Marsha Jones Moutrie, City Attorney

Subject:     Ordinance Amending Chapter 3.20 of the Santa Monica Municipal Code, Relating to the Licensing of Bicycles, Including Fees and Fines

Recommended Action

Staff recommends that the City Council introduce for first reading the attached proposed ordinance relating to bicycle licensing.

The California Vehicle Code regulates bicycle licensing and limits cities’ authority in that field. Among other things, State law sets maximum fees for bicycle licenses and maximum fines for operating a bicycle without a license. This ordinance would conform the Santa Monica Municipal Code provision on fines to the State maximum, raise the City’s current $1.00 per year licensing fee to the state maximum of $4.00 and also raise transfer, replacement and renewal fees, clarify and simplify code provisions relating to bicycle licensing, and conform code provisions to current practices.

Background

California Vehicle Code Section 39002 authorizes cities to adopt bicycle licensing requirements and also establishes strict limits on local authorit

y. Pursuant to this authorization, Santa Monica has had bicycle licensing laws at least since the late 1970′s, including laws that establish fees for licensure and a fine for operating a bicycle without a license.

The City’s current fine for operating a bicycle without a license exceeds the limit set by State law. Staff has reviewed the matter and noted that Vehicle Code Section 39011 limits to $10.00 any municipal fine imposed for any violation of an ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to State law. Staff also noted that bike licensing fees charged by the City are below the maximums set by Vehicle Code Section 39004: $4.00 for a new license and $2.00 for transferring, replacing or

Executive Summary

Bicycle Licensing – City of Santa Monica 1/15/11 3:05 PM

renewing a license. Finally, staff noted that several current code provisions are unnecessary because they duplicate State law and that certain disparities exist between code provisions, which were adopted decades ago, and current practices.

Discussion

The attached proposed ordinance would conform the City’s fine for operating a bicycle without a license to the $10.00 limit established by State law. Additionally, because current fees for obtaining, renewing and transferring licenses do not come close to covering the cost of operating the licensing program, the ordinance would increase fees to the modest limits set by State law: $4.00 for a license and $2.00 for a transfer, replacement or renewal.

The ordinance would also clarify and simplify existing code provisions. For example, the ordinance would clarify the licensing requirement authorized by State law, which is that City residents (not visitors) must have a license in order to operate a bicycle on public property within the City. More

over, code provisions purporting to regulate the activities of bicycle dealers would be deleted as unenforceable. Provisions duplicative of State law would be deleted as unnecessary.

Finally, the ordinance would conform code provisions relating to bicycle licensing to existing practice. For example, references to the City Clerk administering the bicycle licensing program would be deleted because the licensing program is operated by the Finance Department.

Alternatives Because the City’s licensing authority is limited in that only residents may be required to obtain a license and because the proposed fees related to bicycle licensing are insufficient to cover the cost of administering the licensing program, Council may wish to consider eliminating the local licensing requirement. However, doing so could adversely impact the Police Department’s ability to address bicycle theft. Therefore, staff recommends retaining the licensing program.

Adoption of this ordinance would not have significant financial impacts upon the City. It would result in the City receiving slightly more revenue related to bicycle licensing. Last year, total revenue received from the $1.00 per year license fee was about $325.00. Licensing activity has increased this year as a result of Police Department outreach programs and revenue received year

Financial Impacts and Budget Actions

to date is about $640.00. If the ordinance were adopted and the volume of licenses issued stayed about the same as in a typical year, the City would likely receive about $850.00. This small amount does not come close to the cost of administering the program.

Prepared by: Marsha Jones Moutrie, City Attorney

ATTACHMENT A: Proposed Ordinance

Gandy Presentation to Planning Commission

Last Wednesday Charlie Gandy gave a presentation to the Santa Monica City Planning Commission.  With some team work from our own Richard McKinnon and our newest elected City Council member Terry O’Day, Gandy was invited to give a presentation at the meeting held January 5th, 2011.  Although this had been in the works for a some time the final confirmation of the meeting came up quite quickly with the meeting just days into the new year.  First notification of the meeting came on a post to our Google Group New Years Day and then to Facebook, with final reminders send out here and via email.  Apologies for those who would have liked to have attended but did not get sufficient notice.  Embedded here is the video of the complete presentation for you to watch.  First on the agenda is the LUCE presentation by staff, you can jump to 58:40 to start the video at Mr Gandy’s presentation.  (Note that the video takes a moment to load with no apparent status bar)

	

Present at the PC meeting were various city staff, commissioners, council member Terry O’Day and Mayor Richard Bloom.  Kevin McKewown, long time enthusiastic bike supporter was disappointed he was forced to arrived late as he was presenting at another meeting that started at the same time.  A disappointment, Mayor Bloom stepped out after the LUCE presentation and did not return until after two thirds of the way through Gandy’s presentation.  I hope he has had the opportunity to watch this important, informative and inspirational presentation since then on CityTV where the above video is streamed from.

In true gentlemanly fashion Gandy had many compliments for Santa Monica, some of which would likely not be echoed by some of us who ride here on a daily basis.  He examined the challenges we face and the diverse differences between the vast areas of Los Angeles and the surrounding communities and how they have tailored their efforts in Long Beach.  With the awesome grant writer Sumi Gant that Long Beach hired they have raised 21 million dollars for bike facilities with about 5 million more coming in each year.  Gandy talked of how a “bike city” has served as a catalyst for funding while adding value to businesses, along with inspiring a great community pride.  I hope Santa Monica was listening to that!  Having a specific department and staff has paid off for Long Beach even when city budgets may be tight due to economics conditions.

Mr Gandy described a political will that has shaped the “cultural shift” in Long Beach and how that was conceived with fore thought and full support from the city council.  I believe we all agree with him when he speaks of how a Bronze level designation from the League of American Bicyclists is no longer cutting edge.  So true.

With Charlie Gandy’s leadership, the City of Long Beach has taken the position of authority figure promoting cycling.  He has been able to do his in no small part because of the support he has from city government.  Elevating cyclists by demonstrating they are important in multiple ways by openly working toward a safe and complete bicycle infrastructure.  Most of us know of the miles of new bike lanes and green painted sharrows, but Long Beach is also installing bike boxes, a separated bike lane will be complete soon. A bike boulevard with roundabouts is under construction with enthusiastic support from the community.  Gandy shared how the Federal government offers liability protections for test projects similar to these that have already been implemented in places like Porland, OR so they can be tested here in California. Long Beach has the coveted first of its kind Bikestation that provides free secure bike parking during regular business hours, professional repair services, tools and other support features. Additionally Bikestation’s advanced entry and membership system allows cyclists paying a fee to have exclusive 24/7 access to secure, indoor bike parking.  Gandy spoke of how signage “augments” lane usage by demonstrating bike placement in vehicle lanes and how bikes have rights to the road and that they belong on the road among motor cars. He spoke of studies that identify children between 8-11 years are prime candidates for learning (bike education) and how they are spending money there and on adult education in the same areas, both of which are something we have long been lobbing for here in Santa Monica.

In Long Beach they have what they call Bike Friendly Districts, BFD’s.  We saw how they are promoting businesses to connect to their local residents and promote shopping locally.  Bike corrals (something we have been pushing for), preferred customer discounts for those that arrive by bike (or other than by car).  (We have seen similar programs working in Seattle and Portland)  We heard how the businesses are supporting this.   The city has a program where they are loaning cargo bikes to residents to go shopping while inviting people to get out on bikes.

During the comment, Q & A the recent incidents with LBPD were brought up.  Gandy explained how the city is working to correct these problems -ie bike license inequities and police conflicts, via open dialogue and communication with residents.  This is a problem we currently share with Long Beach.  Although we seem to still be lacking the dialogue and open communication with the city to promote substantive improvements to this climate we are hopeful this is on the cusp of change.

After the PC meeting presentation Charlie joined us at a local downtown Santa Monica restaurant BAR PINTXO for tapas and beverages. It was a delightful chatty meeting of talking about bikes and political strategies and just all around camaraderie.  We truly enjoyed both his always enthusiastic and inspiring presentation and his warm and sharing company afterwards.  We hope we can get him back again to speak to our full City Council and other city staff in hopes of inspiring some of what is going on in Long Beach to spread to our fair city.

If their’s no heat you are not moving (friction)
We must move in the direction we have designated

Charlie Gandy in Santa Monica,
tonight!

Charlie Gandy, super star mobility coordinator who is making the City of Long Beach more bike friendly with painted bike lanes, bike boulevards and other great facilities will be visiting Santa Monica tonight.  Gandy a virtual rock star in urban planning has been invited to speak at the Planning Commission meeting this evening (Jan 5) at Santa Monica City Hall.  The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7pm with Gandy’s presentation the second up on the agenda.

A presentation and discussion with Charles Gandy, Mobility Coordinator, City of Long Beach regarding bicycle programs, facilities, goals and policies in the City of Long Beach

Long Beach Shifts Cycling in to High Gear from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

For those who are interested but may not be able to attend it should be available to watch on CityTV live and possibly later on demand at the same web page.