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.
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
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!
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.
“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.
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 Melanie Curry
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:
- Develop a new mission statement: Check.
- Modernize state transportation design guidance by endorsing the NACTO urban design guidelines: Check.
- 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.
- Organize teams to develop action plans and performance measures: eight teams have been formed and are in the process of being staffed and readjusted.
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.
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!
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.
Best guess on timing for this evening:
Items presented to City Council
Tuesday, February 11th
Any thing can happen –
Watch the meeting http://www.smgov.net/video/
Santa Monica City Hall, 1685 Main Street, Rm 213
estimated time 8:00-9:30pm
8-B: Review and Approve the Conceptual Design of the Samohi Safe Routes to School Project – recommendation that the City Council: approve the conceptual design for the Samohi Safe Routes to School project; and, direct staff to complete construction drawings and release bids for construction for the Michigan Avenue/7th Street portion of the project. STAFF REPORT
estimated time 9:30pm-10:45
8-C: Adoption of Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway Concept Plan –recommendation that the City Council: approve the conceptual design of the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway; and, direct staff to pursue opportunities for priority and phased implementation through grants, community benefits, and capital projects. STAFF REPORT
Improved Multi-Modal Circulation and Safe Routes to School at Samohi – YES!!
Santa Monica Spoke is excited to support the Conceptual Designs presented for the Samohi Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Project. 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! We were pleased to participate in the process with City planners and consultants who worked closely with stakeholders to envision this plan.
After identifying the many conflicts and obstacles in the current traffic circulation and personal safety conditions at Samohi the plan proposes many improvements in multi-modal circulation and infrastructure to encourage and prioritize walking, biking and public transit while improving vehicle circulation. Currently the majority of students at Samohi are dropped off and picked up from school by their parents. Statistics suggest these trips are generating 3000-6000 vehicles per day (VPD) around Samohi and creating huge health, safety and traffic burdens as wells as contributing to the larger city wide issues of gridlock . The residents on Michigan Avenue and 7th endure heavy traffic burdens that spill over west of Lincoln onto Michigan Avenue that sees nearly 4300 VPD through to 11th. This creates chaos and safety concerns for residents and kids with added safety issues for the kids that actively transporting themselves walking and biking. Without the students who carpool, bus, walk or bike the situation here would certainly be even more untenable. With this SRTS project we can improve vehicle circulation and help prioritize these active kids with improved safety and infrastructure. With this project we will help encourage more students to choose active, healthier more sustainable transportation modes and help mitigate the health, safety and traffic problems.
Currently the closest thing to “bike friendly” access to Samohi is along Michigan Avenue east of Lincoln. But Michigan Avenue carries many of the hundreds and thousands of parents driving kids to school as well as cut-through traffic accessing the freeway. The Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway (MANGo) supports SRTS at Samohi and can help improve the safety of students walking and biking through improved safety along Michigan Avenue west of Lincoln. By calming traffic on MANGo with ambitious traffic reduction goals we will help provide a safe link from Samohi to bike lanes on 11th, 14th and 17th Street and safer conditions for kids walking. The SRTS plan also identifies needs for improvements on 4th Street, Olympic Boulevard and 7th Court that can be supported by the MANGo project. Outlined in MANGo on this corridor are wider sidewalks and a cycle track that will improve both pedestrian and bike safety and connections to Expo, the Civic Center, downtown and the beach. We will urge staff and council to prioritize these sections of the MANGo project for early implementation. These and other aspects of the SRTS project also build on the synergy of the City’s Bike Action Plan by connecting the bike network from south of Samohi and Pico via 6th and Michigan and 7th to MANGo. As we we provide for SRTS to Samohi from the south we connect the bike network from Pico to the proposed MANGo and fill in a challenging hole in the current bike network with safe, easy access. The concepts in this plan on Michigan Avenue, 7th Street and Pico Boulevard will not only provide improved safety and encouragement for current and future generation of students walking, biking or taking the bus to school but help mitigate the traffic congestion, improve vehicle circulation, health and safety issues. These proposed improvements are better for kids, parents, Samohi teachers and staff, nearby residents and the community.
We urge Council to approve staff recommendation and support the exemplary student leadership of the Solar Alliance students and the Bike it! Walk it! momentum they have built by providing our kids with the needed improvements to support healthy, active transportation and the ability to envision a more sustainable future.
You can send a support letter by Click here to email a letter
I Support Safe Routes to School at Samohi
This petition is now closed.
End date: Feb 12, 2014
Signatures collected: 5
We need YOUR VOICES to attend or write to committee meeting
Tuesday December 10th in Beverly Hills
regarding Santa Monica Blvd Reconstruction Project.
Sorry just got notice of this meeting……..
Santa Monica Boulevard as one of the busiest crosstown streets on the Westside at 50,000 average vehicles per day with service by 4 Metro lines. It is also a critical segment of the regional ‘backbone’ bicycle network consistently identified as a primary connector to or through Beverly Hills to the cities of Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Los Angeles and beyond. Many of the fearless warriors on bikes literally take their life in their hands to use this segment on their commutes as it is the shortest and most direct route to so many destinations. MANY MANY more people on bikes could or would have access to this route if it were more inclusive for bikes in its engineering and planning. More people on bikes would ultimately help to reduce car traffic congestion and associated parking challenges serve to benefit everyone. Today’s Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills is engineered for motor vehicles and in complete disrepair making it even more dangerous for people on bicycles.
We have an opportunity to change this and add infrastructure for bikes that would benefit ALL ROAD USERS.
See Better Bike Beverly Hills coordinated and collected data and history to help get you up to speed on this project and this opportunity.