Category Archives: infrastructure

VOTE: Be Engaged, Ballot Measures We Support & Why

This upcoming election is critical for the future of our city, with three City Council seats up for grabs and four important measures on the ballot.

Santa Monica Spoke is a 501c3 and cannot endorse candidates. To find information on what Civic and Community Leaders in the biking community are recommending you can look here:
Bike the Vote (includes local and regional races)
Assemblyman Richard Bloom has this to say..

Important Ballot Measures We Endorse and why:

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Click image for Operative Text of Measures LC and D [Infographic]

We endorse YES on LC and NO on D. See our complete write up here
Visit It’sOurLand.org to learn more about Measure LC, to donate or volunteer to the campaign. Measure LC is for “Local Control” and has received overwhelming community support: see the growing list here.
Measure D is deceptive and paid for by outside interests!  Measure LC was written at the request of residents, 99% of the funding is from small donations almost entirely from within the local community of Santa Monica.
Measure LC does not close the Airport but will keep Santa Monica residents in Control of Airport Land. It allows us to manage the airport for the health and safety of our community and not special interests.
Operative Texts of Measures LC and D [Infographic] ,   Side by Side Analysis Measures LC vs D

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Santa Monica Spoke Supports
Affordable Housing Ballot Measures
VOTE

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 12.40.49 PM Measure H will generate new local revenue for the City so that its affordable housing stock can be maintained and rehabilitated, and that more affordable housing opportunities for people who live and work in the city can be created. 100% of the money collected through Measure H will stay in Santa Monica. It is our money for our community – Sacramento cannot touch one cent.
Measure HH specifies that voters want the revenue from Measure H to be spent on affordable housing programs.
Read why we support H & HH here.

Frequently Asked Questions About Measures H and H

Exhibition: “Reimagining Santa Monica Airport – Part 1″

Chen Liu.
Chen Liu.

You are invited to join Airport 2 Park for the exhibition
“Reimagining Santa Monica Airport – Part 1″
- for one night only

When:    Thursday October 23rd
Time:      6-9pm
Where:   Writers Boot Camp Gallery, Bergamot Station #1,
2525 Michigan Avenue, for one night only.
*Car pooling is encouraged bicycle valet will be provided by Santa Monica Spoke.

The Exhibition will feature the work of USC graduate landscape architect students, Christopher Sison, Chen Liu, Zeek Magallanes and Yongdan Chunyu who under the direction of internationally renowned landscape architect Aroussiak Gabrielian (FORGROUND Design) took a practical approach in choosing bicycles for the their site visit to Santa Monica Airport where they started working on a three month project to design a park to replace the controversial facility. The tour was lead by Airport2Park.org, a coalition of community groups and neighbors that formed to promote the creation of a great park on the land that is currently Santa Monica Airport. The exhibition is curated by Professor Michael Brodsky of Loyola Marymount University, Founding member of Airport2Park.

Professor Brodsky says this about the exhibition, “Very few people have actually seen the potential beauty and space that is currently fenced and covered with asphalt on the Santa Monica airport property. This site has such great potential for a park with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, Hollywood Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains that are currently only seen by the very few people that use it now.

“I feel that once people see this exhibition of talented graduate landscape architecture students, they will view the Santa Monica Airport site in an entirely new context; as one that can serve many more people in a variety of creative, healthy and sustainable ways than is currently served by the present industrial use.”

For additional information go to Airport 2 Park 

Pedestrian Action Plan Community Open House: Sept 22nd

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Communities designed for the comfort and safety of people walking are more livable and safer for all users, including people on bikes. Please join the Planning and Community Development Department for a special meeting with the Planning Commission at a COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE to discuss Santa Monica’s first Pedestrian Action Plan and learn important facts about walking in the city today.
At this event, help us shape priorities for improvements to create a world-class walking environment.

WHEN: MONDAY, SEPT. 22 2014 at 5:30-8PM
WHERE: SANTA MONICA MAIN LIBRARY MULTIPURPOSE ROOM, 2nd FLOOR
601 SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD

Please join us to discuss:

  • PEDESTRIAN SAFETY: preview ways the Pedestrian Action Plan seeks to improve crosswalks and sidewalks.
  • COMFORT AND HEALTH: learn about how walking supports a sustainable lifestyle and enhances community well-being.
  • EDUCATION: help staff refine proposed programs to educate drivers, cyclists and pedestrians on sharing streets.

Your input will inform this innovative Plan focused on making walking safer and more enjoyable in Santa Monica! 

Valet bike parking provided. Car parking available on-site. Directly served by the Big Blue Bus lines 7 & 10; lines 1, 2, 3, 8, and 9 also stop within a short walking distance.

http://smgov.net/Departments/PCD/Plans/Pedestrian-Action-Plan/

Brentwood Grand Prix: The Expo Ride – tomorrow!

ADDED:
Event photo album here
Also see Facebook event here for more posted pics

email us links or your photos here

7:45 am Light rain — Still a GO – Check Facebook event for latest updates 

The EXPO RIDE_BGP

FREE: The Expo Ride in collaboration with Velo Club La Grange: Criterium Bicycle Race and festivities at the Brentwood Gran Prix

Day:       Sunday, August 3rd
Time:     Check in 9:00am, ride departs 9:30am – noon (aprox)
Place:    Brentwood Grand Prix (meet near San Vicente/Barrington see map below)
Ride begins and ends at the Brentwood Grand Prix, Route here 10.9miles
Click HERE to register at active.com or RSVP to us HERE
This event supports several charities including LACBC and our Local Chapter. 

New celebrity guest, Nelson Vails and Free Pinkberry for Expo Ride participants!!

Winning 1984We are thrilled to announce the participation of Nelson Vails “Ride with Nelly” 1984 Olympic Champion.
Ride with Nelly Jerseys will be available for purchase along with other Nelson Vails autographed cycling memorabilia – a portion of the proceeds will go to charity, including LACBC

The Expo Ride is a non-competitive community ride associated with the Brentwood Grand Prix Criterium Bicycle Race. The tour will visit the future Metro EXPO Line Phase 2 Stations in Santa Monica including Bergamot Art Center and the Terminus Station at 4th and Colorado, We will make a brief stop at the new Tongva Park for refreshment break before returning to the Brentwood Grand Prix. Wristbands will be given out to ride participants for rewards back at the Brentwood Grand Prix The goal of the Expo Ride is to get community members to come learn about cycling options on the West side of Los Angeles, and particularly about how the Expo Line train can help get you where you want to go. We “ride down memory lane” as we learn information about the historical RED LINE along our journey.

Join the community, show your support for more transit options in Los Angeles, and have a great time along the way!
HelenLOGO

First 50 entrants in each age category will receive a free T-shirt, race bracelet and medal.
Two-wheeled bikes only – no training wheels. Helmets are mandatory.Helens Kids race

Stu’s Story​ & Free Skin Cancer Screenings

Stuart Press is a Cat. 1 racer and former Race Director for Velo Club LaGrange, and was diagnosed with a very unusual and potentially terminal case of brain cancer in early 2014.  Like they way he races, Stu attacked the cancer with everything he has.  With the help of a recently developed melanoma therapy, and genomic testing, Stu has been able to get the upper hand in his cancer battle.  As a way to give back and to show support for Stu’s efforts, Velo Club La Grange has partnered with the Melanoma Research Alliance to fight skin cancer through the Brentwood Grand Prix and is (1) offering free skin cancer screenings at the Expo Area in conjunction with the American Academy of Dermatology using its SPOT Me screening protocol, and (2) raising money for MRA, including through the Expo Ride.  Please donate today: http://bit.ly/ExpoFund

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We encourage you to Ride your bicycle to the event.  Bike Valet will be provided by LACBC / car parking is available at the VA Parking Lot, entrance on Wilshire Blvd. Please wear whatever is comfortable and safe, but ALL Participants MUST wear a helmet on the ride. Participants under 18 years of age must be accompanied by parent or guardian.

Please check in at least 30 minutes before the ride. The ride departs at 9:30 a.m. and will be led by Santa Monica Spoke, Local Chapter LACBC with Nelson Vails. This ride is non-competitive and is not timed.

BGP_2014BGP Course Map-3Route Map

La Grange Brentwood Grand Prix: Expo Ride

 

LATEST UPDATES POSTED HERE 

Join us on this FREE family friendly Expo Ride in collaboration with Velo Club La Grange and the race and festivities at the Brentwood Gran Prix

Day:       Sunday, August 3rd
Time:     9:30am – noon (aprox)
Place:    Brentwood Grand Prix (meet near San Vicente/Barrington)
Click HERE to register at active.com or RSVP to us HERE

The Expo Ride is a non-competitive community ride associated with the Brentwood Grand Prix Criterium Bicycle Race. The tour will visit the future Metro EXPO Line Phase 2 Stations in Santa Monica including Bergamot Art Center and the Terminus at 4th and Colorado, We will make a brief stop at the new Tongva Park for refreshment & bathroom break before returning to the Brentwood Grand Prix. Wristbands will be given out to ride participants for rewards back at the Brentwood Grand Prix The goal of the Expo Ride is to get community members to come learn about cycling options on the West side of Los Angeles, and particularly about how the Expo Line train can help get you where you want to go. We “ride down memory lane” as we learn information about the historical RED LINE along our journey.

Join the community, show you support more transit options in Los Angeles, and have a great time along the way!
Updates and addition info will be posted as it is confirmed.

We encourage you to Ride your bicycle to the event.  Bike Valet will be provided by LACBC / car parking is available at the VA Parking Lot, entrance on Wilshire Blvd. Please wear whatever is comfortable and safe, but ALL Participants MUST wear a helmet on the ride. Participants under 18 years of age must be accompanied by parent or guardian.

Vote Local event: Bergamot Art Complex, June 28th

SaMo-Next-Vote-Local-300x300

Santa Monica Spoke joins railLA and Santa Monica Museum of Art for Santa Monica Next’s first Vote Local event. Click for more on NEXT’S VOTE LOCAL CAMPAIGN aimed specifically to encourage and increase the younger voter demographic – open to all all ages.

Join us for a tour of your neighborhood of a different kind.

When:   Saturday, June 28th,
Sillage from 4:30 p.m. until 6 p.m.,
Santa Monica Next discussion begins at 6:15 p.m.
Where:  Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Facebook event here

We’ll experience artist Brian Goeltzenleuchter’s olfactory artwork, “Sillage.” Over the course of the afternoon, the artist will tailor scents to specific zip codes. As Goeltzenleuchter creates new scents based on the information visitors give him about their neighborhoods, the artwork becomes a “scent-scape” of the Greater Los Angeles area.

What smells do you associate with your neighborhood? Take a short survey:smmoa.org/lasmellsurvey/.

Afterward, join Santa Monica Next and SMMoA in Bergamot Station’s nearby People Park for the first of many Vote Local meetings planned over the next few months.

We will check on the construction progress of the new Expo line station at 26th and Olympic Boulevard, scheduled to be completed in about a year. We entertain converstaion about the future of the Bergamot Station Arts Center, the impact Expo will have on the formerly industrial area, what Santa Monica is planning to help make Bergamot Station a regional destination for arts and culture, and what you can do to help prepare your city for the future. Light refreshments will be provided.

This event is co-sponsored by Santa Monica Spoke, railLA, and the Santa Monica Museum of Art.

For more information call (310) 586-6488. Or you can visit smmoa.org. Email questions to jason@santamonicanext.org or lynda.dorf@smmoa.org.

SMMoArailLASanta Monica Spoke

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.

 

Designing a Park by Bike, update from Airport2Park

Airport2Park News & Update: Airport2Park Design by bike

Nine USC graduate landscape architects under the direction of internationally renowned landscape architect Aroussiak Gabrielian (FORGROUND Design) took a practical approach in choosing bicycles for the their site visit to Santa Monica Airport where they started working on a three month project to design a park to replace the controversial facility. They jumped at the chance to ride their bikes to evaluate the site.  Since the site was designed many years ago expressly to exclude pedestrian access, the bicycle turned out to be the right tool to explore the airport site with a four mile ride around the perimeter fence – which someday could be a dedicated bikeway.

USC is a fairly bike friendly campus with a rapidly growing bicycle culture so nearly everyone had a bicycle and were quite completely comfortable on a group ride. The class demographic includes students from across the country and around the world. There was one student from China, who had NEVER been on a bicycle, yet even she didn’t even miss a beat. She took the extra initiative and learned to ride a bicycle just for this visit, though in the end, opted to rent a Tandem from Perry’s just to be sure that she would keep up.

Leading the ride was Michael Brodsky, a Loyola Marymount University Professor and Santa Monica Spoke member. Also in attendance was Mike Salazar, a Santa Monica Architect, member of the Santa Monica Conservancy and an expert in historic preservation. Both are founding members of airport2park.org  which is a group dedicated to creating a grand park to replace the Santa Monica Airport.

Aroussiak Gabrielian is using this opportunity for her USC group of graduate landscape architects to put practice into real life. She has designed a rigorous timeline of environmental, social analysis and needs assessment that will inform the development of the project. Each student has an assigned specialty including the natural environment, history, topography, site mitigation, and community connectivity. All data collected informs the final design proposals which should be completed by May 2014.

During the 3 hour bike ride there were many stops to talk about the role of parks in the social fabric of the community. Discussions ranged from the westside’s regional need for natural habitats, water reclamation, and carbon rejuvenation, to the more local needs for bike paths, sports and playing fields due to the severe lack of parks in Santa Monica.  They also had the opportunity to explore linkages between the south side of the airport site where the Santa Monica College classrooms (and public art galleries) are located, with the north side Ocean Park community by what could be a newly created bicycle and pedestrian access.

While the ride was constantly interrupted but he roar of jet planes and the smell of jet fuel, the participants on their bikes were also able to see the spectacular views of Century City with the Hollywood sign to the east and to the setting sun on the Pacific Ocean in the west. These views are currently reserved for only those privileged to be flying in private planes or jets, yet these coveted vistas could one day invite thousands of hikers and bikers to enjoy what could be a most extraordinary park in Santa Monica.

IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM Airport2Park: The Santa Monica City Council will be meeting on Tuesday, March 25th to consider what to do with Santa Monica Airport after the FAA contract ends in July 2015. For more information on how you can support in this project visit Airport2Park for updates for the latest updates and how you can get involved. If you would like to see this turned into a grand park complete with 150 acres of walking and biking, you may write the city council before the March 25th meeting at council@smgov.net

2014-03-13 Rios charette1 design summary

MANGo & Safe Routes to School at Samohi to City Council Tonight

Best guess on timing for this evening:

© Cynthia Rose

 

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  

Support improving muti-modal circulation and safety around Santa Monica High School

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 

Support MANGo, Santa Monica’s and the regions first Neighborhood Greenway

Support Safe Routes to School Improvements at Samohi

SRTS Samohi

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
or

I Support Safe Routes to School at Samohi

This petition is now closed.

End date: Feb 12, 2014

Signatures collected: 5

5 signatures