Santa Monica City Council will vote whether they will move forward to seek grant funding for the Michigan Avenue Bicycle Boulevard Project. This project would bring to fruition a vision that many cyclist have been advocating for for many years.
This item is 3-F on the agenda. Meeting due to begin at 6:30, we will try and keep you updated on twitter as for when it may come up for a vote. We would love to see you at the meeting to help us show support for this project. You can also
email your support to council if you can’t make the meeting.
Click on the links for the agenda and full Staff report.
What is a Bicycle Boulevard?
BICYCLE BOULEVARDS ARE: (from BTA)
- – Low-traffic neighborhood streets that have been optimized for bicycling. They provide direct, attractive routes for bikes.
- – Quieter, prettier, and healthier than busy, car-filled streets
- – Welcoming to kids, families and novice cyclists, and attractive for all kinds of cyclists
- – Extremely safe (many have zero crashes over the last decade)
- – Healthy, with noticeably cleaner air than busy street
On bicycle boulevards, stop signs are turned to keep cyclists moving, and traffic lights and curb extensions help cyclists cross busy streets. Traffic calming slows cars down, and drivers are discouraged from using them for cut-throughs.
Best of all, by working with the neighborhood streets we already have, they’re cost-effective and enhance neighborhood livability and traffic safety.
Not only will this project provide much need access in our Safe Route to School Programs, but will finally provide a much needed east west connection for bikes south of Olympic Blvd. This would provide not only for cyclist traveling to and from west LA but also a route for residents who wish to travel to destinations like Santa Monica’s Main Street, the Promenade and the Beach.
Santa Monica Spoke sent a letter of support to seek funding for this project earlier this month. Some important points we made were:
A Michigan Bicycle Boulevard will improve mobility and accessibility
East-west bike routes are sorely lacking in this approximately mile-wide Pico corridor. The closest east-west bike routes are on Pearl and Broadway. Michigan could become a model bicycle boulevard in Santa Monica, providing a low-stress, convenient and safe route between
Santa Monica High School, the Civic Center, Ocean Park beaches on the west and eastern Santa Monica, Bergamot Art Center the future Expo Line station and West LA on the east. Cut-through auto travel would be lessened, while residents would maintain access to their homes.
Providing the final link to the beach from there might well be accomplished by extending the Michigan Bike Boulevard across Ocean Ave to
the Beach Bike Path via Pacific and Seaside Terraces
A Michigan Bicycle Boulevard will preserve the transportation system
Past developments have severely impacted Michigan Avenue. The freeway, the high school and the city yards have cut this road into disconnected parts, so that it no longer offers a viable route across the city for automobile drivers. Therefore, creating on it a bicycle boulevard does not subtract from auto mobility. Michigan lies between two large arterial roads: Olympic and Pico, which are designed to carry the traffic which would be diverted from the bicycle boulevard. Some of the car traffic may be converted to bike traffic, so could reduce congestion in the city.
A Michigan Bicycle Boulevard will support the economy
Biking means business. Communities that are bicycle-friendly are seen as places with a high quality of life. This often translates into increased property values, business growth and increased tourism. A bike route from downtown to Bergamot Art Complex/Village/West LA would be attractive to tourists as well as community members, and reduce congestion.
A Michigan Bicycle Boulevard would enhance public safety and security.
Bicycle-friendly communities are places where people feel safe and comfortable riding their bikes for fun, fitness, and transportation. A Michigan Bicycle Boulevard would serve as open space for the children living in multi-family dwellings without back yards. All children living between Pico, the 10 freeway, 20th and Lincoln would have a larger Michigan home zone to explore without traffic hazards, giving them easy access to an active community environment that improves public health.
Bike It! Walk It! Day, held Oct. 13, 2010, had 3300 school-aged children in the Santa Monica Malibu Unified District walking, biking, scooting and skateboarding — more than 30 percent of the total enrollment. This twice-yearly event encourages physical exercise, reduces traffic congestion around schools and promotes safe routes to schools. The goal is for students to adopt these travel modes on a daily basis. Most of the bicycling high school students use Michigan. Often other parents in cars are the greatest threat to the safety of kids walking and biking to school.
A Michigan Bicycle Boulevard would reflect community values.
Santa Monica has applied to the League of American Bicyclists to be designated a bicycle-friendly city, winning a Bronze status so far. To reach a Silver rating or higher, it must create more bike routes. The city has committed to doing so in the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE), which aims to make cycling a preferred travel choice.
“A significant increase in bicycling is necessary for the city of Santa Monica to be a leading bicycle-friendly city and reach its goals of reducing auto trips, meeting GHG emission reduction commitments and promoting active living.”
A Michigan Bicycle Boulevard would enhance the environment.
Michigan Avenue suffers daily from more than its share of environmental burdens: thousands of speeding drivers, between Lincoln and 14th, headed to and from the Santa Monica Freeway and high school, air pollution and noise from the 200,000 cars on Lincoln and the Santa Monica Freeway and parking burdens from Santa Monica High School and College students.
The level of environmental burdens in the Pico neighborhood is well beyond what is endured by most other neighborhoods in Santa Monica. Pico residents have the same right to a livable, quiet, safe home zone as other residents. A bicycle boulevard on Michigan Avenue would bring equity.
We think the Michigan Avenue Bicycle Boulevard aligns perfectly with the principals set forth in the LUCE as well as the Complete Streets Concepts and will be a valuable asset for Santa Monica in attaining its goal of become a more sustainable and livable city.
Hope to see you there!
Also see post on this project at GaryRidesBikes
High rez pdf of bike map here