Monthly Archives: September 2011

Main St. bike lanes win VNC support

Santa Monica Main Street Bike Lane extension into Venice (LA)
See first article here

In the meeting Tuesday night the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) Board of Directors voted to support the road diet that
will add bike lanes to Main St. from the Santa Monica border to the Windward Circle in Venice.  I forget the exact vote, but it carried by a wide majority.  LADOT was able to get their management to approve a small but significant change to improve the project.  The central turn lane width can now be reduced by one foot to allow the bike lanes to be increased by a half foot on each size, making them a minimum of 5.5 feet at their narrowest point.  The revised design will now have 7 foot parking lanes on either side, 11 foot travel lanes, a 9 foot full length two-way turn lane in the center and the 5.5 foot (minimum) bike lanes.  The bike lanes will be wider in some areas where there is more overall roadway width.

About 10-12 people from the public spoke on the item, with all but 2 or 3 urging the Board to support the project.   Construction of the lanes is expected to begin shortly, in something like a month or two.

A big thanks to everyone who came to speak or sent emails to the VNC Board and to LACBC for their advocacy and outreach work on this. And of course a special thanks is due to the Bikeway staff at LADOT who have been working on this project for years.  Thank You!

Kent Strumpell
SMSpoke Steering Committee

In a Post on BikeSide we see some in depth research into this project – with pros and cons.  A very good read for sure.  It is always a difficult line to tread between wanting to see things happen and chancing it by holding out for the best (or better) solutions.  See the comment by BikingInLA’s Ted Rogers.  It is also important to note that pressure & negotiating for projects like this is a on going process and is not only applied at public meetings but is a continuing process for community bike advocates.


Saturday 9/10/11 part 1, The Living Library

We had a wonderful day Saturday, starting with Barbara Filet participating in a four-hour yearly library event The Living Library. This was started by a group in Copenhagen, Denmark to reduce violence in the community by enabling one on one conversations, and building understanding. People pose as books that can be checked out for a half hour on a particular subject: home schooler, union organizer, police detective, atheist, communist, transvestite, teenager, Blue Bus driver, Muslim, bicyclist and others. The topics were chosen based on questions the library receives.

Barbara had four readers plus some good conversations with others that just happened to be at the library:
Diane Meyer and her husband, who interviewed the home schooler for a film or play they are writing.
Chris Harding, the lawyer for the Hines Corp development at Bergamot.
A bee expert, with whom Barbara is rescuing a bee hive.
And a former co-worker, who talked about the bad behavior she sees amongst bike riders in her Sunset Park neighborhood.

Barbara felt her “packaging” could have been more interesting. “I thought they would describe me as a bike advocate; or they might have described me as a car-free bicyclist, that might have drawn in more readers.”  Still, she felt it was worth doing, and one way to make connections in the community.

Learn more about the Human Library Project at

Breaking ground in Santa Monica for the long awaited Expo Line!

Monday, Spokes Barbara Filet witnessed the groundbreaking of the Expo line, Phase II, at its terminus in Santa Monica. Both she and Kent Strumpell have been pushing for this since about 1990, with the organization, Friends for Expo. “It is very gratifying to see it actually happening” says Barbara, but she reminds us there is still much work that needs to be done on the station area designs and the bike route.

Council Bill Rosendal thanked Santa Monica’s Councilwoman Pam O’Connor for her “tenacious, constant and very effective” dedication on this project. O’Connor in turn gave thanks the “dozens of  Santa Monica mayors” (many whom were present) who played such a huge roll in making sure this project made it as far as the beach.

Watch Video

Save funding for bikes and peds! Help TODAY!

We have a serious threat in Washington DC – Senator Coburn (R-OK) is going to introduce an amendment to remove dedicated transportation enhancements funding – this is the main source of federal bike/ped funding for the past 20 years.  I’m forwarding language that you can use for email alerts, Facebook and for the home page of your website.  I’m including short language and longer language. Please let me know when you send out your alert.

The vote could happen as soon as tomorrow, so please send out the alerts TODAY.

Thank you.
Deb Hubsmith, Director
Safe Routes to School National Partnership

Save Transportation Enhancements in the Transportation Extension
Contact Your Senators Today to Preserve Bicycle and Pedestrian Funding

This year, around $700 million of Federal transportation funds, which is less than 2 percent of total transportation dollars, will be spent on bicycling and walking.  In 2012 that figure could be a big fat zero if Senator Coburn (R-OK) gets his way.

In the next few days, Senator Coburn (R-OK) is expected to try and hold up the extension of the SAFETEA-LU transportation bill unless Congress eliminates funding for the federal Transportation Enhancements (TE) program.  For twenty years, Transportation Enhancements has been the primary funding source for sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, trails and more.

Sen. Coburn is threatening to let tens of billions of transportation spending expire after September 30 (the current expiration of SAFETEA-LU) over the small amount that bicycling and walking receives.  If Sen. Coburn were to succeed, it would mean an immediate end to funding for Transportation Enhancements.  It would also mean that our chances of sustaining any funding for bicycling and walking (including for Safe Routes to School and Recreational Trails) in the long-term reauthorization bill would be more difficult.

Members of Congress who oppose bicycling and walking funding are saying that these projects are “job-killing regulations.”  But, bicycle and pedestrian projects create more jobs per dollar than highway-only projects.  And, bicycle and pedestrian projects help alleviate traffic congestion, improve safety, get people active, and give us all more transportation options.

Please take two minutes to contact your Senators today to urge them to vote against the Coburn amendment and sustain dedicated funding for Transportation Enhancements.  Don’t let them take away this vital investment program for smart, sustainable, safe transportation choices.

Thank you for your action. With your help, we can preserve funding for bicycling and walking in the extension and put us in a better position for the long-term transportation bill.

Dinner+Bikes (& Cupcakes) TONIGHT 6pm

Dinner+Bikes (& Cupcakes) Tour starts at 6:00pm Saturday evening

Please join us tonight!
We have had overwhelming response so please arrive early – (if you can 5:30 – 6:00pm).  We can check you in, talk to our guests, see Santa Monica’s New Draft Bike Plan with maps, ….and mingle – buy some raffle tickets to support events like this and SANTA MONICA SPOKE!

At Spoke we aim to build a great biking community here in our city as we help make Santa Monica a better place to bike, walk, work and play!

Gift bags courtesy of REI and the Veggie Grill are for the first 80 who sent in RSVP’s AND we have some unbelievable raffle prizes!!
Momentum Magazines
Special Prizes from City of Santa Monica (incl. membership at the new Bike Center opening soon!)
Pannier set from Helen’s
Knog Bike Computer from Bike Effect
Free catered dinner for 12 from the Veggie Grill
Night Rider Lights (retails from $90- $300) Helen’s and Cynergy Cycles

SPECIAL ADDITION SPOKE CARDS for those who RSVP’d!! (additional cards available for $1)

Raffle tickets help support Santa Monica Spoke.
3 for $5, 7 for $10, 20+ only $1ea.