Category Archives: action alert

Action Alert: Safer Streets LA

CallToAction6thStreetSq.jpgSanta Monica Spoke joins LACBC and Los Angeles Safe Streets Advocates to call on Councilmember Ryu to Make 6th Street Safety Improvements

Walking or biking on 6th street between Fairfax and LaBrea feels like walking next to a highway. Cars, encouraged by the design of the roadway, consistently speed, and crashes are a frequent occurrence. Children and families who walk and bike to school, work, museums, and health centers must traverse broken glass and metal detritus left behind by vehicle collisions.

In 2012, a 74-year-old woman was hit by a car and killed while walking near the intersection of 6th and Hauser. Since then, two more of our neighbors’ lives have been taken by dangerous roadway conditions on 6th street between Fairfax and La Brea. The time for redesigning this section of 6th street is now.

If you don’t already know bike and pedestrian initiatives and projects are being opposed by organized groups of influence like https://keeplamoving.com/ and http://fixthecity.org/
We need to show our human power, rally support for improvement that will help our city connections. Some of you may be familiar with the deplorable conditions that the 4th street “Bike Route” in Los Angels is currently in, 6th street has the potential to be a safer alternative. If nothing else we need to show our power in numbers in support for road diets and for councilmembers who support them.

For the past five years, community leaders have been focused on this problem, completing community walks, town halls, and meetings to work out a traffic design solution that would make the street safe for all to use. This ultimately led to the September 2016 unanimous vote by the Mid City West Council’s Board of Directors to implement a reconfiguration of 6th street between Cochran and Fairfax.

Safer6th.jpg

This would slow traffic by reducing the road to one lane in each direction, and allow for bike lanes and enhanced pedestrian crossings. Despite this vote, and the fact that the project is shovel-ready, Councilmember Ryu has consistently delayed taking action.  He has now proposed an alternative plan for 6th street, which would merely install left-turn pockets at certain intersections, leaving other dangerous intersections untouched.  

Please call, tweet or send a letter to David Ryu asking him to take action on safety and infrastructure improvements on 6th Street. On Saturday, October 21, we encourage folks to attend a community meeting about the project to make your voice heard. 

UPDATE: Mar Vista Great Street Initiative on Venice Blvd

September 12th MVCC Meeting Update for:

Action Alert: Mar Vista Great Street Initiative on Venice Blvd

After what can only be described as a tense and contentious meeting Tuesday night the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) voted to table a motion to recommend immediately reversing the lane reduction on Venice Blvd.

TODAYS ACTION:

Thank the MVCC for not reversing their July decision and insisting on proper procedure. They rarely get thanked! We can expect variations of these motions to come back before the Board in October and they need to know they have our support.

Email
to: board@marvista.org,
cc: ladot.veniceblvdmarvista@lacity.org, councilmember.bonin@lacity.org
bcc: Cynthia.Rose@SMSpoke.org  lyndsey@la-bike.org

The Motion: tabled 

Policy motion “M” was sited out of order in violation of Robert’s Rules of Order with the board unable to reach agreement on how to resolve the issue — the motion was tabled for the board to do due diligence and revisit it in order to verify how rules of order apply to this situation. No public comment was heard. If it is determined that the board can reconsider a motion they have already made a decision on the matter may come back for a subsequent vote. If not, their prior vote will stand and they will withhold judgement until the project’s trial period is completed. Two similar motions* N and O were sent back to the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee to be reviewed with more notice and community involvement.

Your emails and turn out to the meeting meant a LOT – the MVCC board knows that the demand to restore the lanes does not reflect the majority and that the community seems to be pretty evenly divided. The room was pretty much full with representation of opponents and supporters of the Venice Blvd / Great Street Project seemingly roughly equal. Even for pro-Great Streets MVCC board members, it is difficult to vote their personal convictions if they do not appear to have support. We made our presence known and your voices were heard in support of safer streets for all.

THANK YOU!

We thank the MVCC for their careful consideration of the Venice Blvd Great Streets Project this past Tuesday.  We all appreciate the difficult choices presented by this controversial project and the willingness to deliberate thoughtfully is gratifyingl.  Special thanks goes to Sarah for navigating an extremely contentious procedural debate.

With that said — we are sorry we all had to go through this again — with a decision already rendered at the July meeting that was preceded by extensive public comment.

We must all recognize this matter may still come back – again for a subsequent decision(s) before the pilot project duration expires. Objections being heard at this point are anecdotal, based on experiences and perceptions while the project is still quite new, before traffic behavior has a chance to adapt and settle down and before the study can implement possible tweaks or modifications informed by collected project data. The are a number of studies** that confirm the need to be patient and give the modifications a chance to work — consistent with the July MVCC vote on the matter.

We will keep you updated – Again many thanks for your emails and support for safer streets for everyone!

Projects are linked here: Safe Streets for Mar Vista & Play Del Rey
More information and background on the Venice Blvd Great Streets Project can be found at LAStreetsblog


*Additional related motions:

Motion Approved: “a stakeholder petition” which called for the designation of a “point person” to write up and submit a request for performance data related to the Venice Blvd / Great Street Project / Vision Zero Project.  It was however pointed out that a request for this data had already been made to the city.  The motion was described to be a “veiled tactic to call attention to the opponent’s accusations that the city is withholding or manipulating key data”. Nonetheless it was approved.

Two additional motions N and O were sent back to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

  • One was yet another recommendation that the Venice Blvd lane reconfiguration be reversed.
  • The other was a proposal for an expansive network of bikeways intended to pre-empt the need for the protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd. This motion proposed an elaborate network of alternate routes with a conceptual network describing several bike paths that would be extremely expensive to implement and vaguely outlined a few circuitous on-road routes through neighborhoods intended to satisfy regional cycling connectivity.  It would seem the proposal was cooked up in a vacuum uninformed by existing plans or recognition of funding and engineering constraints.

** Related local case studies 


ONGOING

SHARE on social media! Tweet and post your support or photos of your ride through Venice, Jefferson, and Culver Boulevards, and Pershing Drive in the new bike lanes! Use #SaferVeniceBlvd, #SaferJeffersonBlvd#SaferCulverBlvd, and #SaferPershingDr or #SaferVistaDelMar, to build momentum and share your message with fellow safe streets advocates.

Action Alert: Mar Vista Great Street Initiative on Venice Blvd still under attack

September 12th Meeting update HERE

Update on this past Wednesday’s Mar Vista Community Council Transportation & Infrastructure committee meeting and a request for this Tuesday’s board meeting.

Wednesday night there was a strong turn out from the Restore Venice supporters and this motion was passed.

  • POLICY MOTION: The Mar Vista Community Council asks that Councilmember Mike Bonin immediately reverse the lane reductions on Venice Blvd. and implement other strategies to improve the safety, efficiency, and accessibility of our roads for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. As representatives of your constituents and your elected advisory body, we believe strongly that this is the only remedy that addresses the constant, voluminous, community outcry on this issue.

Restore Venice is planning a huge turn out (again) to the board of directors meeting this Tuesday night, September 12th. They have also put two other related motions on the agenda.

It is very important that we:
– Attend the meeting and speak in support of the pilot (details below)
– Email the MVCC board to express our support of the pilot project and our concern regarding the lack of notification of the 9/6/17 T&I meeting (sample email below)

Even for pro-Great Streets MVCC board members, it is difficult to vote their personal convictions if those convictions do not appear to support the community will. We must show the board that residents and stakeholders have their backs if they stand with us on voting to continue the pilot.

These meetings are upsetting and exhausting – We understand not wanting to go. If not show up at the meeting to visibly demonstrate that they are not the majority, send in letters to protest.

The letters help enormously! We can take issue with the lack of notification. We were given less than 24 hours notification of these motions by email. The lack of public notification pretty much guaranteed that they would have the votes to pass their motion last Wednesday.

Note that the board is only an advisory council and its vote will not force the lane restoration, but it will put a lot of pressure on Councilmember Bonin. 

Scroll down for all the information you need. Thank you for your continued commitment and support around this issue!


MEETING INFORMATION:

Attend the BOD meeting to speak during Public Comment and ask board members to vote NO on this motion.

MVCC Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
Tuesday
Sep 12, 2017 7:00 PM (they always arrive early)
Location:
Mar Vista Recreation Center, Small Gymnasium
11430 Woodbine StreetLos Angeles, CA 90066


EMAIL INFORMATION:

Email messages help enormously! Sample is below, please personalize.

Let the board know that you support the Great Streets pilot project and support the MVCC board’s July 11 decision to keep the pilot in place while the City conducts its evaluations. Another concern is the lack of notification. According to one community member, people were given less than 24 hours notification of these motions by email. A member of Restore Venice drafted one of the motions, so the group technically had at least the required 72 hour notice, probably more. The lack of public notification pretty much guaranteed that the group would have the votes to pass their motion.

Emails should go to board@marvista.org and cc councilmember.bonin@lacity.org.


SAMPLE EMAIL:
To: MVCC@EmpowerLA.org, board@marvista.org
CC: councilmember.bonin@lacity.org
BCC: Cynthia.Rose@SMSpoke.org  lyndsey@la-bike.org

RE: Support for Venice Blvd Great Streets Safety Improvements

Dear Members of the Mar Vista Community Council:

I strongly encourage the Mar Vista Community Council to continue to support the project on Venice Blvd. as part of the Mar Vista Great Streets Initiative. The motion to reverse the safety improvements on Venice Blvd. contradicts the votes made by the Council on July 11, 2017 to not reverse the project and to allow for full and continued evaluation of it. Impatience of drivers shouldn’t stop the community from building safer streets and more vibrant neighborhoods. These safety improvements will prevent future injuries and can save lives.

As a [student, older adult, mom, cyclist, person with a disability, business owner, etc], I firmly support the street safety improvements on Venice Blvd. This project was designed through community dialogue throughout a year-long open process and is meant to make all residents and visitors safer. Similar to how the farmers market has improved our community, we believe the “small town feel” of this Great Streets initiative will do the same for Mar Vista and will further improve community culture.

We must continue to improve our streets with rigorous and informed evaluations, and I urge you to remain committed to creating vibrant and safer streets in Mar Vista. Please vote NO on the motion to reverse the safety improvements on Venice Boulevard so that the project may continue to be studied and evaluated.

Sincerely,

[Your name]
[Your address]


ONGOING

SHARE on social media! Tweet and post your support or photos of your ride through Venice, Jefferson, and Culver Boulevards, and Pershing Drive in the new bike lanes! Use #SaferVeniceBlvd, #SaferJeffersonBlvd#SaferCulverBlvd, and #SaferPershingDr or #SaferVistaDelMar, to build momentum and share your message with fellow safe streets advocates.

Safe Streets for Mar Vista & Play Del Rey

Stay up to date on SAFE STREETS in Mar Vista & Playa Del Rey ROAD RECONFIGURATION & SAFETY ENHANCEMENTS on the project websites.

Open House for Playa del Rey this Saturday has been POSTPONED – info HERE

Venice Blvd

A pilot project is underway, testing new lane configurations, parking, and safer crossing points for people walking on Venice Blvd between Beethoven St and Inglewood Blvd. The changes are designed to enhance safety, support Mar Vista’s vibrant neighborhood, and enhance the small business climate.

Learn More


IMG_0296.JPG

Culver, Jefferson, Pershing

LADOT recently installed transportation safety enhancements along Pershing Dr, Culver Blvd, and Jefferson Blvd in Playa del Rey. The new street designs along Culver Blvd and Pershing Dr incorporate protected turn lanes that make the street more accessible and safe.

Learn More →


Vista Del Mar

The new street design addresses acute safety issues on Vista del Mar for beach visitors. Vista del Mar runs along Dockweiler Beach in the Playa del Rey neighborhood. LADOT took action to address the immediate safety issues on the street prior to the high-use summer months. LADOT removed parallel parking from the east side of the street to eliminate unsafe crossings, reconfigured parking to maintain/increase access to affordable parking, and added new designated areas for safe u-turns.

Learn More →

Action Alert: July 11th MVCC meeting

IF YOU HAVE NOT YET SENT AN EMAIL PLEASE DO SO NOW!

Safe street projects on the Westside are under attack from vocal opponents who prefer the status quo over safety.

>>>>>>> JOIN US IN TAKING ACTION >>>>>>>

 

Tuesday, July 11th the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) meet to discuss recommendations surrounding new street configuration with protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd.

No matter where you live, we need you to take action to protect Vision Zero projects in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey.

The LA Department of Transportation used internationally proven and evidence-based methods to design new street safety improvements in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey that was informed by community input.

We can’t let misinformation and impatience stop us from building safer streets and more vibrant communities. Some drivers using these corridors have grown impatient because they are unable to travel at the same unsafe high speeds as they previously could.

Despite the great public benefit, these projects have unfortunately come under attack amid a flurry of misinformation being circulated about the projects. There is some concern that they will be removed, thus potentially setting a troubling precedent for Vision Zero projects all across LA County.

For more information on these important projects see HERE

TODAY — Please email Mar Vista & Venice Neighborhood Councils
– Template letter and email addresses below. 

ATTEND: Tuesday, July 11th

the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) meeting at the Mar Vista Recreation Center at 7:00pm! The MVCC will be taking action on the bike lanes and it’s critical for us to show up and let them know these lanes are essential for safe Westside streets. If you plan to attend, please let us know by signing in here so we can keep you up to date and help prepare you for public comment. Don’t forget to share on social media if you show up!

ONGOING

SHARE on social media! Tweet and post your support or photos of your ride through Venice, Jefferson, and Culver Boulevards, and Pershing Drive in the new bike lanes! Use #SaferVeniceBlvd, #SaferJeffersonBlvd#SaferCulverBlvd, and #SaferPershingDr or #SaferVistaDelMar, to build momentum and share your message with fellow safe streets advocates.

EMAIL the Mar Vista Community Council and Venice Neighborhood Council TODAY to show your support for street safety improvements on Venice Blvd.

SAMPLE EMAIL: Please personalize.


To: MVCC@EmpowerLA.org, VeniceNC@EmpowerLA.org
CC: councilmember.bonin@lacity.org
BCC: lyndsey@la-bike.org, Cynthia.Rose@SMSpoke.org

RE: Support for Venice Blvd Great Streets Safety Improvements

Dear Members of the Mar Vista Community Council and the Venice Neighborhood Council:

I strongly encourage the Mar Vista Community Council and the Venice Neighborhood Council to continue supporting the project on Venice Blvd. as part of the Mar Vista Great Streets Initiative. This recently installed project has come under attack, much of it being fueled by misinformation. Impatience of drivers shouldn’t stop the community  from building safer streets and more vibrant neighborhoods. These safety improvements will prevent future injuries and can save lives.

As a [student, older adult, mom, cyclist, person with a disability, business owner, etc], I firmly support the street safety improvements on Venice Blvd. This project was designed through community dialogue throughout a yearlong open process and is meant to make all residents and visitors safer. Similar to how the farmers market has improved our community, we believe the “small town feel” of this Great Streets initiative will do the same for Mar Vista and will further improve community culture.

We must continue to improve our streets with rigorous and informed evaluations, and I urge you to remain committed to creating vibrant and safer streets in Mar Vista.

Sincerely,

[Your name]
[Your address]