Category Archives: leadership

Action Alert: Mar Vista Great Street Initiative on Venice Blvd still under attack

September 12th Meeting update HERE

Update on this past Wednesday’s Mar Vista Community Council Transportation & Infrastructure committee meeting and a request for this Tuesday’s board meeting.

Wednesday night there was a strong turn out from the Restore Venice supporters and this motion was passed.

  • POLICY MOTION: The Mar Vista Community Council asks that Councilmember Mike Bonin immediately reverse the lane reductions on Venice Blvd. and implement other strategies to improve the safety, efficiency, and accessibility of our roads for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. As representatives of your constituents and your elected advisory body, we believe strongly that this is the only remedy that addresses the constant, voluminous, community outcry on this issue.

Restore Venice is planning a huge turn out (again) to the board of directors meeting this Tuesday night, September 12th. They have also put two other related motions on the agenda.

It is very important that we:
– Attend the meeting and speak in support of the pilot (details below)
– Email the MVCC board to express our support of the pilot project and our concern regarding the lack of notification of the 9/6/17 T&I meeting (sample email below)

Even for pro-Great Streets MVCC board members, it is difficult to vote their personal convictions if those convictions do not appear to support the community will. We must show the board that residents and stakeholders have their backs if they stand with us on voting to continue the pilot.

These meetings are upsetting and exhausting – We understand not wanting to go. If not show up at the meeting to visibly demonstrate that they are not the majority, send in letters to protest.

The letters help enormously! We can take issue with the lack of notification. We were given less than 24 hours notification of these motions by email. The lack of public notification pretty much guaranteed that they would have the votes to pass their motion last Wednesday.

Note that the board is only an advisory council and its vote will not force the lane restoration, but it will put a lot of pressure on Councilmember Bonin. 

Scroll down for all the information you need. Thank you for your continued commitment and support around this issue!


MEETING INFORMATION:

Attend the BOD meeting to speak during Public Comment and ask board members to vote NO on this motion.

MVCC Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
Tuesday
Sep 12, 2017 7:00 PM (they always arrive early)
Location:
Mar Vista Recreation Center, Small Gymnasium
11430 Woodbine StreetLos Angeles, CA 90066


EMAIL INFORMATION:

Email messages help enormously! Sample is below, please personalize.

Let the board know that you support the Great Streets pilot project and support the MVCC board’s July 11 decision to keep the pilot in place while the City conducts its evaluations. Another concern is the lack of notification. According to one community member, people were given less than 24 hours notification of these motions by email. A member of Restore Venice drafted one of the motions, so the group technically had at least the required 72 hour notice, probably more. The lack of public notification pretty much guaranteed that the group would have the votes to pass their motion.

Emails should go to board@marvista.org and cc councilmember.bonin@lacity.org.


SAMPLE EMAIL:
To: MVCC@EmpowerLA.org, board@marvista.org
CC: councilmember.bonin@lacity.org
BCC: Cynthia.Rose@SMSpoke.org  lyndsey@la-bike.org

RE: Support for Venice Blvd Great Streets Safety Improvements

Dear Members of the Mar Vista Community Council:

I strongly encourage the Mar Vista Community Council to continue to support the project on Venice Blvd. as part of the Mar Vista Great Streets Initiative. The motion to reverse the safety improvements on Venice Blvd. contradicts the votes made by the Council on July 11, 2017 to not reverse the project and to allow for full and continued evaluation of it. 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 year-long 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. Please vote NO on the motion to reverse the safety improvements on Venice Boulevard so that the project may continue to be studied and evaluated.

Sincerely,

[Your name]
[Your address]


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.

Samohi Biking Vikings: It’s Bike to School time!

Samohi classes start next week, so it’s time to help the community figure out to best bike to campus. Biking to Samohi is can be easy, is green and healthy for you and the planet. This event is free and open to Samohi students and their parents.

* Free helmets for the first 50 students!

Meet at 9:30 am at one of the following locations for donuts and refreshments.
Each group will then ride together to Samohi campus and back. Bring your own bike, helmet and lock.

Two meet up starting points:

Southside: Fairview Branch Library
2101 Ocean Park Boulevard

-OR-

Northside: Montana Branch Library
1704 Montana Avenue

Today! August Ride with the Mayor Community Gardens Tour

August Ride with the Mayor, Community Gardens Bike Tour
followed by HandleBar Happy Hour at Bareburger!

  • Wednesday, August 16th

    ROUTE: Click for more

  • 5:30pm roll 
  • Ride begins at Santa Monica City Hall 
    1685 Main Street
    end at Bareburger, 2732 Main Street 

This month, Join us for another Ride with Mayor on a tour of Santa Monica’s Community Gardens.  We’ll wind up at one of our #BikeLocalSM favorites, Bareburger on Main Street for an extended HandleBar Happy Hour #HBHH.

 


Come meet us, Mayor Ted Winterer, City staff, and your neighbors while enjoying a fun bike ride in the breezy Santa Monica sunshine! The ride will be about 7 miles and should take about 1.5 hours. The plan is to leave from City Hall just after 5:30pm. Ride route is HERE

Bring your own bike, helmet, lock & water bottle. Family friendly – however children should be capable of street riding or in an appropriate child seat or trailer.

No bike? No problem! Just grab a Breeze Bike Share!

Survey: Who rides for transportation?

And what should that mean to local businesses?

Bike mean business and those who ride benefit local economies. Locally, for every $10 spent at a Santa Monica business, as much as $7 stays in the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditure (Civic Economics, 2008). People riding bikes shop local, but do our local business know this?

A project called Pedal Perks is looking to build a platform that encourages mutual support between local business and people who ride bikes. We all know the shops we love, but do these shops know who is arriving to their location by bicycle?  We invite you to take the attached survey to help local businesses learn who we are as cycling consumers.

Click the image to take the survey

The goal is to introduce local retailers to everyday consumers who also like to move around town by bike. This data will allow Pedal Perks to determine the best products and services to offer the cycling community from local businesses.

The survey will be a success if:

  • There is a better picture of who cyclists are
  • It is clear where the platform should be launched first
  • We develop a sense of the type of businesses riders want to be supported by and you want to support

Thanks in advance for your participation!



Link to survey:
http://surveys.benchmarkemail.com/Survey/Start?id=860557&s=334386

 

Changes Coming This Week To Culver & Vista Del Mar

From LADOT project site 

On Saturday July 29th, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) will be implementing a new traffic pattern at the intersection of Culver and Vista Del Mar. The traffic signal will be modified to ease congestion and provide smoother traffic flow. To accommodate these changes, some drivers will access their destinations in a new way.  Northbound Vista Del Mar at Culver Boulevard will be restricted to right-turns only. Due to this signal modification, northbound vehicles that previously went through or turned left at the intersection will have two other ways of reaching their destination. The above diagram shows the two distinct ways northbound Vista Del Mar vehicles will have to access the north and west side of the intersection.

Drivers on northbound Vista Del Mar will have a new left turn lane before the intersection to access Pacific Avenue into Playa del Rey for local destinations.  Those heading to eastbound Culver Boulevard should proceed to the intersection where all traffic will be required to turn right.

Residents and visitors to “the Hill” will now have a separate left-turn arrow from westbound Culver Boulevard.  They will access Vista Del Mar Lane from the leftmost turn lane.  Through traffic to Vista Del Mar will stay in the right lane as they approach the intersection.

New striping and bollards will be installed to guide drivers through the intersection. For the first few days, traffic officers will be stationed at the intersection during the busiest times to help motorists with the transition.

In the new configuration, drivers traveling between Culver Boulevard and Vista Del Mar will be able to proceed through the intersection together, allowing the two busiest movements to proceed simultaneously.  This efficiency is expected to significantly improve traffic flow and reduce waiting times for everyone passing through the intersection, whether on foot, by bicycle, or by car.

LADOT staff will be monitoring the new operation and adjusting signal timing as needed throughout the coming weeks.

Construction will take place on Friday, July 28th between 9 AM and 3 PM and Saturday, July 29th between 7 AM and approximately 5 PM.  Crews will make every effort to minimize construction-related delays, but at times lanes will need to be closed temporarily to accommodate implementation.

Thank you for your patience as we work to make improvements in Playa del Rey.  We welcome your feedback on the new operation.  Please submit any comments or concerns by e-mail to ladot.playadelrey@lacity.org.

Safe Streets for Mar Vista & Play Del Rey

Stay up to date on SAFE STREETS in Mar Vista & Playa Del Rey ROAD RECONFIGURATION & SAFETY ENHANCEMENTS on the project websites.

Open House for Playa del Rey this Saturday has been POSTPONED – info HERE

Venice Blvd

A pilot project is underway, testing new lane configurations, parking, and safer crossing points for people walking on Venice Blvd between Beethoven St and Inglewood Blvd. The changes are designed to enhance safety, support Mar Vista’s vibrant neighborhood, and enhance the small business climate.

Learn More


IMG_0296.JPG

Culver, Jefferson, Pershing

LADOT recently installed transportation safety enhancements along Pershing Dr, Culver Blvd, and Jefferson Blvd in Playa del Rey. The new street designs along Culver Blvd and Pershing Dr incorporate protected turn lanes that make the street more accessible and safe.

Learn More →


Vista Del Mar

The new street design addresses acute safety issues on Vista del Mar for beach visitors. Vista del Mar runs along Dockweiler Beach in the Playa del Rey neighborhood. LADOT took action to address the immediate safety issues on the street prior to the high-use summer months. LADOT removed parallel parking from the east side of the street to eliminate unsafe crossings, reconfigured parking to maintain/increase access to affordable parking, and added new designated areas for safe u-turns.

Learn More →

Upcoming Events!

Click Images for event details and more info –

Twilight Concerts at the Santa Monica Pier: June 17th – August 17th
Jazz on the Lawn Saturdays in August


Thursday, July 27th


Saturday, July 29th

BOTH Family Rally for Playa del Rey and LADOT Open House have been
POSTPONED

Open House

 

 

 

 

 


 

Saturday, July 29th


Sunday, July 30th
Safer Streets 17th Street Ice Cream Social


Future Events and Summer FUN!

August Ride with the Mayor: August 16th
August HandleBar Happy Hour: August 30th
Buy Local Fitness Festival: September 9th
3rd Annual Kidical Mass(ive) Global Family Bike Ride and Festival: September 17th
COAST Open Street Event Santa Monica: October 1st

Visit our event calendar to stay up to date!

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

On #CarFreeFriday Santa Monica – Community Voices: Why Is Everyone Else Traffic?

By: Community Voices, re-posted with the permission.

This post originally appeared on the blog of local community activist and organizer Luke Klipp. It was republished on Santa Monica Next and their sister site, Longbeachize. Klipp serves as a Metro Board Deputy to Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and he is the President of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council. He is also the founder of online organizing efforts “Greater LA” and “Happy Urbanists.” The opinions expressed here are his own

Mis-an-thro-py (noun): A dislike of mankind
Mis-an-thrope (noun): A person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society
Mis-an-thro-pic (adjective): Disliking humankind and avoiding human society

Why is everyone else traffic?

It’s a simple question, really, but it belies a much bigger challenge in a culture that relies so heavily on the most inefficient means of transportation: cars.

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Go to any community meeting discussing a possible new park or creative space or commercial venture or new housing, and the chief concern will be traffic and parking. Watch the local news about a big event coming to town, and the primary areas of focus will be traffic and parking. Traffic reports are as frequently provided on every radio station and every television station as reports of the weather, and more frequently than anything else.

So, again, why is everyone else traffic?

I reflected on this as I sat in the window at our bed and breakfast in Copenhagen, overlooking a street filled with patrons of the bakery downstairs, enjoying their baguettes and pastries while jazz music filtered up the street and a violin could be heard playing in the distance.

There was not a car in sight or in sound, and there were people everywhere. And it was delightful. Oh, and we got to our bed and breakfast from the airport with ease; no congestion, no honking, no exhaust fumes, and no brake lights.

I reflect on this today as I sit at my Los Angeles home, listening to cars roaring past, hearing nary a human voice or instrumental sound.

Engines purr and growl, and an occasional bus makes its presence known with an automated announcement whenever it pauses at the stop across the street. Handfuls of humans churn past in their climate-controlled, self-contained pods, and not one of them can be heard except for the sounds of their engines.

And I reflected on this at a recent community meeting, where the possibility of an outdoor patio at a restaurant was enough to turn out several neighbors in opposition, even though the adjacent street sees tens of thousands of cars, motorcycles, and buses churning past 24/7, creating much louder noise.

Somehow the much-louder sounds of engines barely registered, while the possibility of people audibly enjoying themselves was enough to motivate people to come to community meetings and express their opposition. Recent research has shown that the sound of cars and trucks burdens life, leading to negative health outcomes, and yet that never registers a single comment, despite people’s clear sensitivity to sound.

Misanthropy: A Dislike of Humankind

Our reliance on our cars makes us into misanthropes. But then, every single day, the vast majority of us step into isolated rolling rooms.

When you see this, do you think about everyone else you’re doing this trip with? Or do you just want to get out of this as soon as possible?

By our nature, we are social beings. Yes, some portion of us are naturally more introverted, meaning we recharge when we have space to ourselves; ultimately, however, we know from myriad studies that even just a few days of social isolation will inflict lifelong, permanent emotional and mental trauma upon a person.

  • We see only the backs of others’ heads and we are terrified to look directly into the eyes of another person, because it means that we are headed straight for each other.
  • We communicate through turn signals and brake lights, and almost the only time we hear each others’ voices is on the occasion that we’re yelling a crude remark or expressing frustration (and certainly almost never joy).
  • We are never physically close to each other, needing to leave lots of room to avoid a possible collision that would result in thousands of dollars in damage.
  • We don’t see faces and human interactions; we see brands and driving patterns, learning things like how BMWs and Benzs tend to be reckless, and getting restless when other drivers take time to be thoughtful and careful.
  • We get upset at the inconvenience of someone walking across a street or biking ahead of us, even as their choices mean fewer cars traveling on the street.
  • We want wider streets and faster speeds, with as much space between us and others as possible.

If you were to create a technology with the intention of turning a socially-inclined species against itself, you could hardly do better than the automobile. Neighbors get upset at the prospect of a new local attraction. Shipping interests support efforts that displace thousands from their homes. And people just going to and from work feel empowered to organize in opposition to any effort to save lives and spare many others from a lifetime of medical bills and bankruptcy.

Early in its infancy, the automobile was viewed as an affront to humanity.

But as the technology was promoted by an industry determined to defeat the odds, and as more and more people adopted it, the rules that had once been created to save human lives were co-opted by rules intended to give the automobile industry supremacy, even as that shift has meant the loss of millions of human lives.

We have widened lanes, widened roads, obliterated our street trees, pushed out residences and businesses in droves, and sacrificed untold numbers of human lives, all in obeisance to the great automobile. And where has it gotten us? To hear many people say it, we’ve apparently not done nearly enough, given how much more parking/roadways/et cetera we need.

Finding Our Humanity Again

Rather than not enough, we have already done way, way too much to accommodate cars.

Rather than recognize the value and importance of our neighborhoods, we have turned them into drive-thrus, even banning things like kids’ street games to facilitate faster driving.

Rather than focus on the safety of our most vulnerable street users who travel on foot or on bikes, we have turned them into obstacles that must be minimized.

Rather than confronting and addressing the daily carnage that would be considered horrifying statistics for any other industry, we have and continue to turn a blind eye – over and over – even going so far as to claim that any efforts to stop the bloodshed is “exploitation” of those whose lives and livelihoods it claims.

Yes, our automobiles turn otherwise rational human beings into misanthropes. The question is whether we understand and recognize this and are ready and willing to reassert our humanity.

Which do we value more: our speed or our safety? Which do we recognize as giving back more to the community: our local businesses or our big-box and chain shops? Which do we see more as representing our neighborhoods better: our local, walkable streets or our freeways? What is more meaningful to us: space for our cars or space for our lives?

It’s time for everyone else to stop being traffic and to just be, well, everyone else.

Multiracial Group of Friends with Hands in Stack, Teamwork

Action Alert: July 11th MVCC meeting

IF YOU HAVE NOT YET SENT AN EMAIL PLEASE DO SO NOW!

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

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

 

Tuesday, July 11th the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) meet to discuss recommendations surrounding new street configuration with protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd.

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

ATTEND: Tuesday, July 11th

the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) meeting at the Mar Vista Recreation Center at 7:00pm! The MVCC will be taking action on the bike lanes and it’s critical for us to show up and let them know these lanes are essential for safe Westside streets. If you plan to attend, please let us know by signing in here so we can keep you up to date and help prepare you for public comment. 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]