Monthly Archives: July 2012

More New Buffered Bike Lanes in Santa Monica, on 6th & 14th

First images of the new Buffered Bike Lanes

These lanes are AWESOME and a JOY to ride. They are not totally finished yet and we haven’t ridden the full length but what we have seen and ridden is wonderful – simply wonderful! These lanes, and more on Ocean Park Blvd between Cloverfield & Centinella, and Montana between Ocean & 7th are due to be completed sometime this coming week.

You will notice that these lanes are buffered not only on the traffic side (left) but on the very important right side – or door zone. These represent a huge improvement over what is the typical or standard bike lane, not only here but in most cities in the US, including bike friendly cites like Portland. Although the lanes lose the buffer at some intersections (where there are left turn pockets) they were comfortable to ride. It is important to note however, that to keep the lanes from “disappearing” altogether at these same intersection some street parking was eliminated, like at 14th and Broadway. With parking in Santa Monica always a hot topic a decision like this would not have been made lightly. I hope that residents in these areas will see a value and added benefit to their street in the form of traffic calming afforded by the road diet and the new safer bike lanes. Maybe these new safer lanes will be that last incentive to get them out to join us on their own bikes!


These beautiful new lanes, although wonderful, highlight the faults in much of our old infrastructure. I believe that allocating funds for even some minimal improvements to older bike lanes, like narrowing vehicle travel lanes to minimum widths and adding buffers to bike lanes where possible will be money well spent. Buffers on the door zone side being high on that agenda.

First are the lanes on 6th Street downtown. They run between Wilshire and Colorado. The image here is just south of Wilshire looking south.


Second are the 14th Street lanes that are installed between Washington and Pico Blvd. This image is south of Broadway looking north.


The next hurdle will be to keep cars from driving in these extra wide lanes and cars and delivery vehicles from double parking for unloading (as has already witnessed). They are new – and will certainly have a learning curve – education and enforcement will be key elements to their ultimate success.


Design Update Meeting on Expo Phase 2: IMPORTANT Bicycle Integration at risk

Calling all cyclists: This is an opportunity for bicyclists to ask staff bicycle integration questions: (you can also raise other issues)

Design Update Meeting on Expo Phase 2:

Date:     Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Time:     6:30pm
Where:  Santa Monica Civic, East Wing
                1855 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401.
                Special Event free parking

Planned Agenda for Community Meetings

6:30 – 7:00 p.m.: Formal Presentation
7:00 – 8:00 p.m.: Open House Session

The Exposition Construction Authority invites you to a construction and design update community meeting for Phase 2 of the Expo Line project. Stakeholders will receive information on upcoming construction activities and design progress. Progress renderings will be available at the meeting.

This is an important meeting for cyclists to attend, since full bicycle integration into Expo is at risk.  You can directly question the Expo Construction Authority staff about how they will provide for the needs of cyclists in Expo Phase 2: Rick Thorpe, Samantha Bricker, and Monica Borne. These are the most important people to question.  How will cyclists be able to safely and conveniently cross the road and tracks at Centinela, Westwood, Venice Blvd., 20th Street and others?  Will there be bike channels on all the stairways? Will there be adequate bike parking?

Important note: Expo has not scheduled a meeting for the Expo Bicycle Advisory Committee (which was appointed to address these issues) in more than two months. Nonetheless, design work on the rail line and bikeway is going ahead full speed. Bicycle Integration is clearly at risk, as we’ve seen recently with construction starting at the Centinela crossing, with no good plan in place for how the the bikeway will cross there.


Tragic Death on PCH, Female cyclist killed Tuesday night

It is with such a heavy heart that this article is shared – having heard about this woman cyclist death early today I reached out to Ted Rogers (bikingInLA). The information he shared about how this tragedy could have been avoided make this tragic loss of life even harder to take.

as a 30-year old woman has been killed riding on PCH at the border between Santa Monica and Los Angeles.
And this one hits far too close to home.
According to numerous sources, the woman, who has not been publicly identified, was riding south on PCH just below Entrada Drive sometime around 11 – 11:30 pm last night when she was hit from behind by a white pickup.
She died at the scene; according to KCBS-2, the impact was so severe that police had to search the area to find her body.

The driver sped away without stopping, disappearing into traffic on eastbound I-10.
Authorities are looking for what is only described as a white pickup or possibly an SUV with significant front-end damage. Anyone with information is urged to call Santa Monica police at 310/458-8491.

Tragically, there’s a good chance this death could have been avoided.

Early in 2011, George Wolfberg, president of the Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association, bike advocate Eric Bruins and I met with officials from L.A.’s Department of Public Works, along with the construction company working on the Coastal Intercepter Relief Sewer project on southbound PCH.

To their credit, they were very open to our suggestions on how to keep cyclists safer during the approximately 18 month construction project.

But one thing we asked for didn’t make the final cut.

The city’s plan was to encourage cyclists to leave PCH and take the beachfront bike path at Will Rogers State Beach to avoid the obstacles and congestion created by the construction work.
A reasonable plan, at least during daylight hours.

However, many riders, particularly women, would be uncomfortable riding on the pathway at night, largely out of sight from drivers on PCH and hidden in the shadows — especially given the large number of homeless people and others who congregate in that area during daylight hours, let alone after dark.

As a result, riders who would gladly take the bike path during the day might feel safer riding on PCH, despite the risks posed by construction and heavy, high-speed traffic.

As one woman once told me, there are worse things than getting hit by a car.

So we asked that temporary lighting be installed along the bike path, at least through the construction zone, so bicyclists would feel safe riding there until they could return to PCH or turn off onto other routes.

While they agreed to consider it, they also said it was unlikely to be approved because there just wasn’t enough money in the $10 million budget. And clearly it wasn’t, as no lights ever appeared on the bike path, other than those required to light the construction site itself.

Now a woman is dead because she chose to ride on PCH instead of diverting onto the darkness of the bike path.
For more please read his article.

Even with improved infrastructure – Until motorist are held accountable and we enforce and prosecute current laws as well as have stiffer laws that are prosecuted to the full extent possible that protect ALL road users I can’t see this improving enough to make a difference. What happened to the Life BEFORE License campaign.

Our hearts break for the family friends and loved ones of this victim and all victims of this kind of senseless loss of life.

Update: The Santa Monica Daily Press reports the victim, who still has not been publicly identified, lived in the area and was biking home from work after taking the bus part way. Witnesses say she was riding in the right lane before swerving into the middle lane, where she was hit and killed.

The paper reports that the truck dragged her bike about a half-mile from the crash site as it sped away.

Police report that the suspect vehicle is a full-size GM pickup; they’re examining crash debris to determine the exact year and model.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact the watch commander at (310) 458-8495.

Those who wish to remain anonymous can call the WeTip hotline at (800) 78-CRIME (27463) or submit the tip online at Callers can also contact Crime Stoppers by either calling (800) 222-TIPS, texting or by Those who provide information that leads to an arrest or conviction may be eligible for a reward, up to $1,000.

Community Workshop, Santa Monica’s Downtown Specific Plan, Wednesday July 11th

Join us and see what’s up, give your valuable input on the future of downtown specific plans for Santa Monica!
Wednesday July 11th, 7:00-9:00pm
Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, East Wing

Among the items that will be discussed are:

  • Identify coordinated Community Benefits
  • Preliminary guidelines for key streets like Lincoln Blvd, Ocean Ave. & Wilshire Blvd.
  • Design Concepts to shape urban form