Category Archives: bike lanes

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

 

Safe Streets for 17th Street Ice Cream Social

Come join us for a day of fun and community outreach for Safe Streets for 17th Street.

Music, games and Ice Cream! A “pop-up” Bike Lane, free helmets and helmet decorating plus a bike obstacle and safety course by Santa Monica Spoke for the Kids!
See the event HERE!

click to see full size flyer

17th Street is experiencing an increase in the number of people walking and biking. People are using the street for neighborhood trips as well as to get to and from the Expo Light Rail station at 17th and Colorado. Members of the community have reached out to say they don’t feel comfortable walking or biking at night or during the early morning along 17th Street. The City is working towards adding safety improvements along 17th Street from Pico Boulevard to Wilshire Boulevard and Michigan Avenue from 14th Street to 19th Street to help address the safety concerns.

Goals:
The goal for the project is to address community concerns and help people feel more safe and comfortable to walk or bike. Another goal of the project is to respond to requests to have the street feel more like a neighborhood street and less of a cut-through street.

The project proposes to improve the pedestrian lighting, create better crosswalks and make people who bike more visible and better protected. Help us make 17th Street safer and more comfortable for everyone.

Please contact Carlos Morales, Senior Transportation Planner for more information, we want to hear from you!

See the event on Facebook

Action Alert: July 5th

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

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

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 Venice and Mar Vista Neighborhood Councils
– Template letter and email addresses below. 

Volunteer to phone bank 

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) will host phone banking (anytime) between 4pm-8pm at thier Headquaters DTLA. We will be calling members and allies to take action in support of Vision Zero and the new safety improvements! Local phone banking at Santa Monica Spoke HQ is being planned if we have volunteers interested. RSVP

ATTEND  Venice Neighborhood Council

the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC)meeting at the Canal Club at 7:00pm! The VNC Parking & Transportation Committee and Board of Directors Meeting will be discussing Venice Blvd, and there will be an opportunity to provide public comment and vote. 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]

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