Category Archives: bike lanes

Reminder: Santa Monica Spoke Meeting, April 11th at 9:30am

Please Join us this Saturday!

Day:     Saturday
Date:   April 11th
Time:   
9:30am – noon
Location: 1640 5th Street, in the courtyard

Coffee, bagels, input  and updates on biking in Santa Monica. 

Santa Monica Spoke Meeting, family friendly.
BAP, Project & Campaign Updates and a Special Farewell Reception for Lucy! 

Our agenda will include community Input, discussion and updates by city staff on Bike Share, SRTS projects, Kidical Mass, Bike Action Plan Implementations.
Projects updates on MANGo & The Esplanade/Protected Bike Lane. plus info on lots of upcoming events. May is Bike Month and the Santa Monica Festival Bike Exhibition!!

Morning snacks, beverages & special treats will be served!

Hope you can come!!!!
Ride to the meeting and share to #30daysofbiking
Event listing here

What is up at Santa Monica Spoke? FUN EVENTS, Save the Date, BAP Updates and MORE!!

Quick growing list of upcoming events!
More Info coming on all – please check back soon!

Check our Event Calendar for newly added events 

Links will be added to the list below as further info is posted.

  • April: 30 Days of Biking
  • April 5th: Sunset Picnic Ride (intermediate to advanced). Starts at Tongva Park. Meet at 5:15pm roll at 5:45 SHARP. #30DaysofBiking
  • April 9th: Great Ride Series event with Finish The Ride, at Performance Bicycles, VIP’s (that’s means you!) , 5th and Broadway, Downtown Santa Monica
  • April 11th: SAVE THE DATE, Santa Monica Spoke Meeting, BAP updates and reception
  • April 16th, SQA luncheon, SM Bike Center will sponsor the tickets for the 1st 35 that commit to arrive by bike – click register at the bottom of the page.
  • April 18th: Kidical Mass Earth Day Garden Ride, Starts at Memorial Park
  • April 19th: Finish the Ride | It’s Not Just A Ride. It’s A Movement! Ride with us to support the momentum – link to more info soon.
  • April 20th: Cynthia Rose of SM Spoke joins a panel discussion on sustainability at the 3rd Street Promenade Apple Store
  • May 9th, Santa Monica Festival, our 5th Annual Bike Exhibition and expanded Bike Zone!! Clover Park 11am – 6 pm SO MUCH FUN!!!! - last year
  • ALL April: Santa Monica Spoke invites you to join us for #30DaysofBiking in April - pledge here and join the fun events we have planned this month, use social media to blast your joy of riding a bike! #30DaysofBiking #BikeSM @SMSpoke
    – Every Wednesday – Coffee outside  7-8am Link #CoffeeOutside
    – More rides, local and with LACBC all be listed on our event page asap
  • April to July We’ve partnered to support CommuteSM.com, the first-ever Santa Monica Commuter Challenge, a four-month competition for Santa Monica-based businesses and organizations of all sizes to encourage their employees to bike, carpool/vanpool, or ride transit to work, instead of driving alone.
  • All May: National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try.
  • May 11th to 17th: Bike Week LA : Santa Monica is an annual week of community events sponsored by Metro and local advocates all over the County of Los Angeles to promote bicycling as a sustainable and practical mode of transportation.
  • May to September: National Bike Challenge started with an internal campaign trying to get Kimberly Clark employees to ride in 2009. It went national in 2012 under the guidance of the League of American Bicyclists. Last year, 47,518 people logged 23 million miles. People for Bikes, is now running the Challenge and hopes in 2015 we can collectively ride 35 million miles. Ride for team Bike Santa Monica!

Think and act locally with a global perspective, and ride a bike!

bike_local_sticker

 

Beverly Hills Greenway: 62-feet for a World-Class Street

BHSM-social2
Click image for more background on the campaign

“62-feet for a World-Class Street”

A world-class Santa Monica Boulevard is possible in Beverly Hills. The boulevard’s future has been the subject of much angst, but Beverly Hills can have it all:

  • A complete street for people driving, taking transit, walking AND biking;
  • A beautiful boulevard with the very best in street design;
  • A safe roadway of uniform width; and
  • A green boulevard that maintains the same amount of green space.

A coalition of Beverly Hills residents, business owners and other stakeholders is supporting the “Beverly Hills Greenway”–a compromise design that achieves all of the project’s objectives without the controversial impacts. Will you join us?

For background on the Santa Monica Boulevard reconstruction project, visit our friends at Better Bike Bevery Hills: SM Blvd Greenway.
Facebook campaign here


Click here to sign the petition

I support a green vision for Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills that both respects Beverly Gardens Park and provides sustainable transportation choices. The Beverly Hills Greenway would maintain the current amount of green space, add bike lanes and keep traffic moving safely–all in a uniform 62-foot roadway.

62 feet for a world-class street!


 

This has been a long campaign – Thank you LACBC, Mark Elliot our friends at Better Bike Beverly Hills for staying on top of this. Here is some of the previous support we’ve posted on the issue.

ACTION ALERT: Santa Monica Blvd Reconstruction Project, Beverly Hills
ACTION ALERT: Support Bike Lanes on Santa Monica Blvd in Beverly Hills, Tuesday March 4th, 2013

short overview, read more here 

About the ‘Beverly Hills Greenway’ Proposal

Developed with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, our proposal envisions a boulevard 62′ wide that exacts no cost to the adjacent park. That’s because today’s corridor is irregular and measures as much as 63′ wide in some sections – wider than we need. So we actually add green space to the boulevard in order to compensate for any that might be used to include bicycle lanes for safer two-wheeled travel along a short Wilshire-Canon segment.

Indeed this proposal is a no-net-loss concept: grass needed to make this street ‘complete’ is replaced by grass where today there is blacktop. That is, two feet is added to boulevard’s width on that single segment while we reduce the width of the boulevard by one foot on two other segments. Voila! No net loss of green space.

Greenway-profile-625

The resulting boulevard profile accommodates the same traffic volume for motorists while bike riders can use state-approved bicycle lanes. On tomorrow’s Santa Monica Boulevard, everybody will benefit! If drivers dread sharing a lane with bicyclists today, the Greenway will separate non-motor traffic to maximize traffic flow while mooting the required three-foot buffer under the state’s new safe-passing law. And bicyclists who ride the corridor will feel safer outside of the vehicle flow. We have found that’s the #1 reason people cite for not biking in Beverly Hills. As we see it, 62 feet is just perfect for a world-class street!

Support the Beverly Hills Greenway!

 

A View in the Rear View Mirror, Santa Monica Spoke

At this year’s LACBC Holiday Open House we had a slide show instead of the vision boards we assembled last year. LACBC and each Local Chapter contributed slides from this year along with a few of our favorite images. Each chapter was asked to contribute 5 slides.

Our 5 slides from the LACBC Open House Slide Show.

smspoke_openhouse_community
top: Community event SMMoA, right: Community Meeting with city staff & SMPD, bottom: Walk & Bike Audit gathering input for MANGo
smspoke_openhouse_education
Youth Bike Skills Festival at Mc Kinnley for Bike it Walk it Week
smspoke_openhouse_fun
top: LACBC Sunday Funday Santa Monica up PCH to meet CalBike Surf & Turf Tour, right: Road side assistance at Tour da Arts Bike Event, bottom: Santa Monica Festival at Clover Park
smspoke_openhouse_infrastructure
top: new bike corrals on Main Street, right: Santa Monica’s first greet lanes on Ocean Park Blvd, bottom: Silver level Bicycle Friendly Community national designation by League of American Bicyclist
smspoke_openhouse_kidicalmass
Kidical Mass is more than just a bike ride. A city that seeks to build safer streets to encourage families on bikes is safer for all road users.

Spoke Event Saturday, Bikeshare, Bike Action Plan Updates & PARTY!

Join us Saturday afternoon for an Update & Input Meeting, followed by a family friendly Party to celebrate the 3rd Anniversary of our Bike Action Plan

Please join us
DAY /DATE:    Saturday, November 22rd
TIME:              3:00pm Updates, Input & Discussion
immediately followed by BIKE ACTION PLAN PARTY
PLACE:            1640 5th Street, SM (south of EXPO)
- Private outdoor courtyard – please dress accordingly

Please RSVP@SMSpoke.org

We will be joined by special guests, City staff and local leaders to give updates and gather input on recently approved Bikeshare contract, Bike Action Plan Implementations: completed and in the pipeline, KIDICAL MASS, SAMOHI SRTS & MANGo Progress, EXPO & Colorado Esplanade, DTSM Projects, and more! As always YOUR INPUT is most valuable in this process.

SOBI Bikeshare bike will be there for you to check out!

Meeting, Updates & Input, BAP is 3

Save the Date: November 22nd SM Spoke Meeting and BAP PARTY

SAVE the DATE: Saturday, November 22nd
Santa Monica Spoke Update Meeting  including BAP & Bike Share and
It’s our 3 year anniversary of passing the Bike Action Plan! Let’s have a party too!
Program will follow. All ages welcome.

Caltrans Adopts NACTO’s Street Design Guide!

NACTO GUIDE ENDORSEMENT, CALIFORNIA TRANSPORTATION COULD BE CHANGING ….. FAST

In an announcement Thursday night at the NACTO Road Show in Oakland, Malcolm Dougherty announced that Caltrans will be the third state to endorse the NACTO guide! Reported on Twitter by the National Association of City Transportation Officials and on Facebook by Fremont Public Works Director Bryan Jones, the head of the country’s largest highway department said his agency will officially endorse NACTO Urban Streets Design Guide, a document that tracks the best practices for adding protected bike lanes and other human-oriented infrastructure to U.S. streets. More, they issued a memo to every “manual holder” (i.e., engineer who abides by the Highway Design Manual) reminding them of the importance of being flexible with design. California became the third state to endorse the NACTO Urban Streets Design Guide in this dramatic announcement in Oakland last Thursday.

Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty (right), CalBike Executive Director Dave Snyder. Photo: Robert Prinz, Bike East Bay.
Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty (right), CalBike Executive Director Dave Snyder. Photo: Robert Prinz, Bike East Bay.

“It’s a permission slip for cities, for engineers and planners, to do the good, well-vetted, proven work that we know we can do to make our street safer,” said Ed Reiskin, president of NACTO and director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. “It’s only a first step — ultimately, we’d like to see the changes in the Highway Design Manual to see it actually integrated into Caltrans documents. But this is a huge step forward, and great leadership from Malcolm, Secretary [Brian] Kelly, and Governor [Jerry] Brown,” who commissioned a report that recommended Caltrans adopt the NACTO guide.

Received with enthusiastic applause from the crowd of bike advocates, city officials, and planners, Dougherty is quoted saying: “We’re trying to change the mentality of the department of transportation, of our engineers, and of those that are doing work in and around the state highway system. Many cities around California are trying to be forward thinking in terms of alternative modes, such as bike and pedestrian, as well as the safety of the entire system, and the very least we can do as the department of transportation for the state is to follow that lead, to get out of the way, and to figure out how to carry that into regional travel.”

This move sets the stage for a decisive victory in the “better design” prong of the CalBike’s Better Bikeways campaign. The next step is to amend AB 1193, The Protected Bikeways Act, to include a provision explicitly freeing local agencies to rely on the best available guidance from around the world, not just Caltrans guidance. With this free and official endorsement of the NACTO guide, protected bikeways, bike boxes, and other innovative treatments expected to be included in the frequently updated NACTO guide will soon be in the toolbox of local planners and engineers across the state.

Caltrans Director Video Message 4/10/2014

CalBike’s members made this happen. Two key factors were the pressure of The Protected Bikeways Act and the persistent professional education of Caltrans officials and other stakeholders in the Governor’s administration. The “Better design” prong of the two-pronged Better Bikeways campaign is close to victory. After we win The Protected Bikeways Act, the work will shift to focusing on promoting the benefits of protected bikeways and other innovations to spread them across the state. Sign CalBike petition to show your support for protected bikeways today. “More funding” is the next prong. CalBike is looking forward to working with the more bike-friendly Caltrans in finding innovative ways to provide the funding for bike infrastructure that’s necessary to triple biking by 2020.

Join the conversation. Join CalBike’s social media blast supporting protected bikeways set to go out May 8th, many of the state’s bike to work day. In Los Angeles it is different – more on that later.

More here on StreetsblogLA Caltrans Endorses the NACTO Urban Street Design Guide
by 

It remains to be seen how this endorsement will shape our cities and streets, but Caltrans certainly earns points for its effort to adopt reforms recommended by the State Smart Transportation Initiative. In the short time since the SSTI issued its report in February, Caltrans has already acted on several of its most urgent recommendations:

  1. Develop a new mission statement: Check.
  2. Modernize state transportation design guidance by endorsing the NACTO urban design guidelines: Check.
  3. Work to ensure success of S.B. 743, which calls for Automobile Level of Service to be replaced with transportation planning metrics that better accommodate the needs of all street users: Dougherty says meetings on this effort are currently in progress.
  4. Organize teams to develop action plans and performance measures: eight teams have been formed and are in the process of being staffed and readjusted.

For social media coverage of California’s statewide transportation issues, follow Melanie @currymel on Twitter or like the Streetsblog California Facebook page.

 

Beautiful New Green Bike Lanes in Santa Monica!

City Hall Green Lanes
Santa Monica City Hall Green Lanes, a proud commitment to biking!

New Green Lanes are Beautiful – but are they what was promised? What’s been left out and are their shortcomings?

There is no doubt the new green lane markings going in on Main Street and Broadway in Santa Monica are beautiful – however they are not what we were anticipating based on the Bike Action Plan (BAP) and the subsequent discussions of improved implementations.

First lets applaud the use of Thermoplastic bikeway markings! This is a wonderful more durable marking solution that although more expensive lasts much longer over standard painted road markings and are reflective which help to provide additional visibility at night. Next is the proactive implementations of what is referred to as the low hanging fruit from the BAP in coordination with regular road maintenance. Choreographing the installation or updating bike treatments to take advantage of this cost saving implementation the city has added miles of bike infrastructure since adopting the Bike Acton Plan. Kudos and compliments to staff!

But where are the green carpet lanes that were promised and are outlined in the Bike Action Plan?

Yes indeed Green Carpet Bike Lanes in front of City Hall make a GREAT VISIBLE STATEMENT of the City’s commitment to supporting biking – however those lanes do not extend the length of Main Street as they were outlined in the Bike Action Plan, and the ones on Broadway are the same way. What does that say about the city’s commitment?

What was outlined in the BAP

  • Main Street: Green carpet buffered bike Lanes on Main Street from Colorado Street south to city limits.
  • Broadway Bikeway: From 6th Street to Centinela Avenue green carpet buffered bike Lanes, from Ocean to 6th Street varied treatments with Sharrows

For these implementations the old markings were to be removed and the new revised markings (adding buffers) filled with green were to be installed. NOTE: This process has been quite destructive to the road surface and has created some substantial grooves and uneven road surfaces not conducive to safe and comfortable bike lane conditions. This problem has been identified and acknowledged by engineering department staff and they are looking into it.

What has happened….

  • For this implementation most of the old markings were removed and road space was slightly reallocated to widen bike lanes with a door zone buffer.

— However the new white striping is EXTREMELY thin – to the point that it is actually opaque in many places. This substantially reduces the visibility of the lane markings and we anticipate they will wear off within weeks as have similar markings installed recently, quickly becoming nearly invisible. What is also puzzling is that many of the old white lines were thick and visible but were ground off and remarked in the exact same position with this single thin layer of white paint. Is there a second phase of this white striping that would correct this current situation or is this the intended end result?

  • On Main Street much of the vehicle lane was narrowed or reallocated slightly and new white striping provides a buffer to encourage people on bikes away from the door zone hazard of parked cars.
  • On Broadway it appears that only the parking lane may have been slightly narrowed and a similar buffer looks like it will be applied with some sort of markings?
  • Old bike symbol markings were ground off. Some blocks had two bike symbols within a block. New bike symbol markings are now primarily limited to one per block, at entrance to bike lane only. These new symbols are a further distance from the corner, this reduces the visibility overall but particularly for right turning vehicles which now tend to turn into the bike lanes then merge over into their vehicle lane.

— Extending the green closer to the corner would help mitigate this reduced visible cue for turning vehicles and encourage them to turn into their own travel lane.

  • Overall number of bike symbol markings have now been reduced. This reduces the visual cue and specificity of a bike only lane. The expectation here was that we would standardize to at least 2 symbols per block with additional bike symbol markings on longer blocks.

— Also very key and not (yet) implemented is the addition of bike symbols at alleys so that cars exiting alleys will have an important visual cue they are about to cross a bike lane.

  • On Broadway the “green lanes” were supposed to be extended from 6th Street to 5th Street.
  • Why do we still not have Sharrows in Bus/Bike lanes as approved in the Bike Action Plan and as allowed by state law? They were there for quite sometime, and were removed with no explanation or discussion. This is not a Bus Corridor like the Metro Orange Line but a shared use lane that only extends a max of 2 or 3 blocks contiguously with multiple bus stops per block. In other words it will not slow bus flow. Putting bikes in vehicle lanes in this area where cars are usually backed up to enter parking facilities adds to vehicle/bike conflicts and the potential of being squeezed between stopped vehicles and busses when passing. Bus/Bike lane implementations are in use around the US & Canada for this very reason and were supported in previous conversations with LA DOT.

SRTS at Samohi and MANGo Passed!

SRTS Samohi
Staff recommendations for Safe Routes to School Conceptual Designs passed by unanimous vote this evening by City Council. These improvements will improve all modes of circulation around Samohi and create a safer environment, encourage and prioritize healthy active transportation and help build on the leadership and momentum of the Solar Alliance Students and Bike it! Walk it!

MANGoMAP
MANGo, Santa Monica’s first Neighborhood Greenway passed unanimously this evening!
Council set reduced long term goals to 1500 ADT (average daily trips) YEY!
Unfortunately, although traffic diverters remain in the ‘TOOL BOX’ – we will need to return to council for “implementation approval” if diverters are needed to reach ADT goals – adding another layer of “vehicle priority” circulation bureaucracy to healthy, safer streets that should prioritize people and SRTS for future generations of children getting to Samohi.

Media coverage:

Council Approves Two Projects That Prioritize Pedestrian and Bike Safety
Santa Monica Spoke: For MANGo to Work, City Needs Proper Traffic Reduction Goals
Op/Ed: On MANGo, Staff and the Council Need to Believe Their Own Eyes