Category Archives: Bike Infrastructure

Santa Monica Spoke Update Meeting: Vision Zero

SM Spoke MeetingSunday, November 19th
Doors open at 9:30am with coffee, bagels

Arrive by 10am – get a bonus*

10:15AM – Short discussion style presentation about local projects, BAP update, Volunteer opportunities / Operation Firefly.
– time for input and questions.
– VISION ZERO, what is it? why is it important, Vision Zero Draft Planning Document

Event info HERE
RSVP@SMSpoke.org

*those that arrive by 10am will get the bonus gift bag

 

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. 

Sunday Funday: TOUR of the WESTSIDE

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

For July,  LACBC’s Sunday Funday Ride we will tour the westside safety improvements in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista. We will also visit the Mar Vista Farmers Market for a buy-in to show local support for businesses and share fact sheets.

This ride will be approximately 13 miles at an easy-moderate pace.

You have two options to join!

We will be leading a feeder ride from Clover Park in Santa Monica to the Sunday Funday ride start at Culver Slauson Park.

— Feeder ride from Santa Monica will meet at Clover Park (NW corner of the park at 25th)
Where: Corner of Ocean Park Blvd and 25th
Time:    9am, roll — 9:15 sharp. 
We will ride to meet up with the group at Culver Slauson Park that rolls at 10am
Please rsvp@SMSpoke.org for the feeder ride from Santa Monica 

— Meet the group at Culver Slauson Park, 5072 S Slauson Ave at 9:30am – ride rolls at 10am. See full info for LACBC’s Sunday Funday event here.

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

SHARE on social media! Tweet and post 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.

Vision Zero Santa Monica starts NOW: Will you join us?

Beyond our collaborative efforts and the petition with Santa Monica Forward and Santa Monica Walks, today this letter was sent to Santa Monica City Council from Santa Monica Spoke and Climate Action Santa Monica (CASM) supporting Vision Zero Implementation and funding. Join our campaign for safer streets today! You can still click here to Sign the Petition for Safer Streets Today!

More info on City Council Meeting tonight here. Join us, sign up for our email list in the sidebar or click here to email us at  volunteer@SMSpoke.org!

Dear Mayor, City Council, City management and staff

With the number of crashes involving fatalities or serious injuries nearing double digits in just the last few weeks — the time is now to make a strong commitment to Vision Zero and a true meaningful investment in safer streets.

Santa Monica is not suffering alone in the current increasing epidemic of serious injuries and traffic fatalities. Nationally, almost 40,000 people die each year in traffic collisions, numbers are up everywhere including in our neighbor, Los Angeles. Many cities, including Los Angeles, are adopting proactive and aggressive campaigns to address this crisis and have proposed dedicating substantial Measure M money for this purpose. We are a community in Santa Monica and need to work together to keep our residents and visitors safe. We must progress beyond words on a page and create a proactive, transparent system with dedicated funding and actions toward this effort, if we truly want to succeed in reducing preventable traffic fatalities and serious  injuries. One’s life should be not put at risk for walking or riding a bike, especially when we are encouraging people to walk and bike for daily life, our heath, and the environment.

“Managing speed,” a new report from The World Health Organization [1], notes that excessive or inappropriate speed contributes to 1 in 3 road traffic fatalities worldwide. “Measures to address speed prevent road traffic deaths and injuries, make populations healthier, and cities more sustainable.”

Speed increases the severity of injuries and chances of fatality in traffic collisions. The chances of a dying when struck by a vehicle at 20mph = 5% but increases to 45% at 30mph and a chilling 85% at 40mph! Please reflect on that for a moment — consider that although our posted speed limits (attachment 1) should be relatively safe for walking and biking – possible and actual speeds are often at or above 40mph (studies indicate that typically 40–50% of drivers go over posted speed limits).  Add to that distracted, ambivalent and aggressive driving, and it becomes very dangerous for people walking and biking.

This is not just an enforcement problem. Coordinated efforts involving community engagement, safety campaigns, roadway improvements and city policy must work hand-in-hand with sustained equitable enforcement. This epidemic of preventable loss of life extends far beyond the individual victims themselves and forever impacts the lives of family, friends and our community. We must emphasize our value of human life above all other factors.

In the 50’s, traffic deaths, individual and totals were openly published in the daily newspaper. Our current tendency is to bury this data, which dehumanizes these preventable deaths and injuries making them so abstract as though they are someone else’s problem. They are our problem. With collaboration and openness and outreach we can begin to again humanize this growing epidemic and actively begin to implement real solutions.

With the 2 year budget soon to be approved, the time is now to demonstrate true leadership and real investment in the safety for our community with Vision Zero. As we lead the charge to reduce preventable traffic fatalities to zero in 10 years it will require transparency, leadership and real investment in the form of funding for dedicated staffing and coordinated safety infrastructure improvements. Vision Zero must be an inter-agency collaboration that builds sustained leadership between elected leaders, City management, staff, city departments and agencies and the community.

It is essential we hire full-time staff (pedestrian safety coordinator recommended in the adopted Pedestrian Action Plan,) to take lead and coordinate Vision Zero and to fund improved safety infrastructure, like separated bike lanes, better crosswalks, and safer sidewalks. Changes in practice must institutionalize, catalyzed and guided with staff effort and focus. It is imperative that we use a data-driven process to implement strategies, evaluate our progress and institute adjustments as necessary. Los Angeles provides good examples with their recent Vision Zero Website (attachment 2). In addition to dedicated staff, outside consultants will likely be needed to assist in setting targets and identifying inter-departmental practices necessary for achieving meaningful success for Vision Zero.

Safe Routes to School works to encourage students to walk and bike to school – we know activity has been proven to increase overall health and learning. With an engaged active school like McKinley Elementary (top performer during the last 4 BikeIT WalkIT BusIT events) we can target improvements that serve many families. McKinley was identified as one of the most dangerous schools for Pedestrian Safety in California so funding in this corridor should be on the priority list. Let’s create robust and connected safety corridors around all our schools. We must have dedicated staff to coordinate this effort.

In addition to institutionalizing the creation of safer streets we should also be looking to adopt a robust Complete Streets policy and establish the long requested Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory committee that should include input on implementation of  Vision Zero.

In Santa Monica we lead with initiatives like the Wellbeing Project that prioritizes human health and safety. In 1994, Santa Monica led with the Sustainability Plan that followed with the establishment of an Office of Sustainability and Environment and Sustainability Director (now Chief Sustainability Officer). Encouraging active transportation requires a Vision Zero policy and infrastructure that removes safety barriers to make it a viable choice for our community, and a staff framework to make safety real.

Santa Monica has a history of demonstrating leadership with commitment to the environment, reducing green house gas emissions, as the City encourages residents and visitors to use alternate modes of transportation like walking, biking and public transportation. With that there is also the obligation to keep us safe when we opt for these modes, whether out of necessity, for our health or for the planet. The climate benefits of bicycling and walking are significant and essential to confront our climate crisis.  According to the Pacific Institute study, depending on one’s diet, each mile bicycled reduces from 87% to 97% the CO2 emissions of driving. For every mile walked, there is a reduction of 77% to 95% of the CO2 emissions caused by driving. Getting out of the car to move about our community, however, to advance health and climate measures means little or nothing if safety is not also prioritized. As with sustainability, Santa Monica can lead on Vision Zero.

This letter is submitted on behalf of Santa Monica Spoke and Climate Action Santa Monica.
Cynthia Rose, Katherine King and Cris Gutierrez


[1] Speed management key to saving lives, making cities more liveable
Attachment 1 – City of Santa Monica Speed Limit Map
Attachment 2  – LADOT Roadway Fatalities http://visionzero.lacity.org/map/

Attachment 1, Speed Limit Map City of Santa Monica

Attachment 2 Los Angeles Roadway fatalities Map

Rotterdam comes to Santa Monica: Presentation

Join us as we explore how to expand on the simple notions:

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!|
Rotterdam comes to Santa Monica —
evening of May 3rd

A presentation of research with students from the Urban Cycling Institute in Rotterdam. The event is scheduled for May 3rd. Details on Santa Monica location are being confirmed and will be announced shortly.

Louis M. Uljee & Pieter Zonneveld & Students, Rotterdam Business School, Netherlands


  • Role of City Hall as HONEST BROKER:: Clean City, Quiet City, Safe City, Healthy City?
  • Bike share
  • Peer to peer bike constructions ( Apps?)
  • Entitlements: cars vs bikes vs pedestrians
  • Public transport + fishbone structure between stations + sharing bikes model
  • Flow theory Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • Influence of (solar) e-bikes
  • Myths: Expand not the theories, what do they mean and how can we actually achieve them?
    • Build it and they will come.
    • Cycling replaces driving?
    • Write a plan and follow it.
    • Cycling requires Icons.
  • Swarm theory: The Genius of Swarms. A single ant or bee isn’t smart, but their colonies are. The study of swarm intelligence is providing insights that can help humans manage complex systems, from truck routing to military robots. Applied to bike networks?

SAVE THE DATE: Evening of May 3rd in Santa Monica
Happy Hour reception will follow Location TBD.

The event will be updated as details are confirmed