Category Archives: LUCE

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/

Big Blue Bus Community meetings: Help prepare for EXPO Phase 2 Connections

Big Blue Bus -<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
					Email Newsletter Header Image

Some of you may have participated in meetings earlier this year to help identify priorities for upcoming service changes that are designed to best integrate transit and Expo Rail when Expo Phase 2 stations open in early 2016.

Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus (BBB) has been collecting input on an Expo Integration Study, an evaluation of potential connections to Metro Rail Expo Line Phase 2 stations scheduled to open in 2016. As part of the study, BBB is been hosting a series of community workshops. Our input is important as routes and iterations could impact our current and future proposed bicycle facilities and help inform opportunities that coordinate bicycle and bus route integration with equitable designs that support the most potential users. Safe pedestrian access and Integrating bikes on buses should be an importation part of this equation as it increases our mobility and helps by extending our range at either end of a trip with multi modal connections / options with bikes, busses & Expo light rail.

Big Blue Bus Planning team and consultants at Nelson\Nygaard are pleased to come back with a proposed service plan that they would like to share with you and get your input. As you are already well aware, the expansion of the Expo Line to the Westside will have a significant impact on the BBB service area and will require a new service model with significant changes to many of BBB’s existing routes. The workshops will address bus connections to Expo Line stations as well as the general design of the Big Blue Bus network. Service to Santa Monica, the Westside, UCLA, SMC and other destinations will be discussed.

Tuesday, July 22, 6-8pm
Felicia Mahood Senior Citizen Center,
Community Room 11338 Santa Monica Blvd., LA, 90025
Ride BBB Route 1 or 4.Parking available

Wednesday, July 23, 6-8pm
Civic Auditorium, East Wing 1855 Main St.
RideBBB Routes1,2,3 Parking available at Civic Center Lot

Thursday, July 24, 1-3pm
Santa Monica Main Library, Multi-Purpose Room 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Ride BBB Routes 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, Rapid 3, Rapid 7 or Rapid 10. Parking is available in the library garage

The same information will be presented at each meeting. 

The Expo Line is projected to carry 64,000 riders per day by the year 2030, but this can only take place if bus connections to stations are made as useful and convenient as possible.  We need your help – BBB would like to get your input as they begin this important phase of service planning for an exciting new future that will make public transit in and out of Santa Monica more accessible and attractive to residents and visitors throughout Los Angeles County.

You may also view information about the service plan and give feedback at any time on the BBB Expo Planning website

These venues are ADA-accessible. Disability and translation accommodation requests should be made at least three days prior to the meetings by calling BBB Customer Service at (310) 451-5444.

Expo Community Workshop_Flyer

Presentation and Feedback on MANGo, Meeting Dec 9th, 7pm

Community EventSecond opportunity on a presentation of the initial results from the MANGo POP-UP Greenway!

Additionally your support and input is needed to balance efforts of a small yet vocal group from within the Pico Neighborhood Assoc. who are attempting to derail efforts to any experiment of traffic diversion. The input collected from mostly residents during MANGo supports traffic diversion by 55%. It would seem inappropriate to not even entertain this option that received so much support. Traffic diversion is widely accepted as a excellent tool to reduce traffic volumes, congestion and pollution on neighborhood streets and can be accomplished with minimal disruption to those that live in the area. If the neighborhood is willing to accept diversion as a tool (as is indicated in the MANGo results) to help eliminate cut through traffic and move toward having safer healthier streets with less traffic it should at minimum be allowed to be implemented as a test.

Place: Virginia Avenue Park, 2200 Virginia Avenue
Day: Monday, December 9, 2013
Time: 7 pm to 8:30 pm
host: Jason Kligier, AICP | Transportation Planning Associate

Diverters restrict auto access in order to reduce cut-through traffic. They can allow bicyclists full access. Diversion may be necessary if we are to lower traffic counts on Michigan, between 11th and Lincoln, from an outrageous 4200+ cars per day to the more neighborhood scaled 1,000 or less cars per day. With less than 1,000 cars per day, pedestrians, most people on bicycles, including children, can comfortably share the road and result in a quieter, safer and healthier neighborhood.

Santa Monica city staff will present an update on the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway. The project will enhance Michigan Avenue and nearby streets to become a safe walk/bike route to the beach for this neighborhood and the community.

Community Event   Community Event

Films from the Sept. 21 MANGo Pop-Up Street event:

http://youtu.be/2EQo7iW0NEU
http://youtu.be/L-ry8YB20GQ

Santa Monica poised to lead on Regional Bike Share

Update: Resolution passed 5-1 to move forward, more after October regional planning forum coordinated by State Assemblyman Richard Bloom.

The Santa Monica City Council included bikeshare in the Bike Action Plan recommendations adopted on November 22, 2011 and designated bikeshare as one of the highest priority projects for Bike Action Plan implementation.

PRELIMINARY Bike Share locationsTonight the next step in the process comes before the City Council, item 8A on the agenda – How will we move the process forward?

Last Spring when then LA Mayor Villaraigosa unexpectedly announced Los Angeles had partnered with Bike Nation to provide Bike Share and thus derailed much of the preliminary work being done in Santa Monica, and the WSCOG to create a regional Bike Share NETWORK. Chair of that committee was then SM Mayor now 50th districts State Assemblyman Richard Bloom (and SM Councilman Kevin McKewon), also actively participating in this process with the WSCOG were City staff from WSCOG City’s (Beverly Hills, Culver City, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and County of Los Angeles) bike advocates, Santa Monica Spoke, WeHoBC and LACBC on a bicycle advisory committee. To put it lightly we were all pretty stunned by the Mayors announcement and the manner the choice was made to say nothing of the then nearly unknown provider.
However – Santa Monica continued moving forward with a close eye on what was happening in Los Angeles. Through the City’s efforts we have secured available grant funds to initiate a bikeshare system totaling $2,764,000. Each granting agency has required steps and timing for grant funds and staff has been coordinating with the agencies. One such hurdle is selecting a provider by this December! Although we do want to move forward – we also want to collaborate and coordinate with Los Angeles and the region so that we establish a truly regional bike share network. Jason at the SM Lookout outlines more on that here

Bike Nation has failed to materialize for a variety of reasons and now we are at a similar point before “LA’s announcement” – making the choice of what operator, and what revenue structure to move forward with.  Assemblyman Richard Bloom sent an invitation to re-convene the discussion on Bike Share with the WSCOG, City Staff, LA Metro and members of our bike advisory committee to meet in October. “To be successful, we have to all be partners” he says in his invitation. Santa Monica is leading the way as they are the only city that currently has money to move forward on a bike share program including stations outside our city limits. In the spirit of collaboration and creating a network that works regionally the City has petitioned an extension for awarding a operator contract so we can include other stake holders in the operator selection and the potential revenue models chosen. In the interim “staff recommends that the Council require any operator bidding for Santa Monica’s bike share program to be able to explain how they would ensure that their system will be interoperable with any future system to be deployed in a neighboring jurisdiction”.
With EXPO coming Bike Share is one way we can support and provide options to reduce auto traffic and congestion. We are excited it is finally getting closer.

Click to view comprehensive Staff Report
You can attend tonights City Council meeting to give input, watch live on CityTV or comment via email

Look for a report on the regional meeting in mid October.

Join us for the region’s first “Pop-Up” street improvement event, “Pop-Up MANGo”!

MANGO FESTIVAL 2
Please roll up your sleeves and join us for the region’s first “Pop-Up” street improvement event, “Pop-Up MANGo”!

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS !

The Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway (MANGo) Planning and Design team is looking for volunteers for the Pop-Up MANGo event on September 21st, 2013.  This will be a temporary greenway installation and family-friendly festival and it will be the first event of its kind in the region.
Volunteers will have the chance to help out behind the scenes by working in teams to set up and break down the “installations” and assist at the bike valets and at one of the installation stations.  We’ll be spray chalking the pavement, laying out plants and fiber role, and making the street come alive.  This is a great opportunity to take part in cutting edge planning by the City of Santa Monica.
The temporary installations and stations will showcase possible improvements along the corridor such as: roadway calming, curb extensions, enhanced landscaping, and places for neighbors to gather. The temporary demonstrations will be installed on the street, with cones, plants, and other temporary and low-cost markers to help the community visualize what the space can become.
The event itself runs from 11am – 3pm and is free and open to the public. Volunteers are needed during set up, 8am – 11am and break down 3pm – 5pm, as well as during the event itself at the bike valet station and at one of the design stations.

*The team is also looking for videographers to document the event. If you are an interested videographer, please contact ahawkes@melendrez.com *
See below for more information and contact ahawkes@melenedrez.com with questions.

If you are interested in volunteering, please click here to sign up for a time slot:

Thanks and we hope you can join us for this groundbreaking event!

Sincerely,
The Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway (MANGo) Planning and Design team:

City of Santa Monica
Melendrez Landscape Architecture and Urban Design
Community Arts Resources
IBI Group
Santa Monica Spoke

MANGO-Workshop-2-Flyer

CLICK TO VIEW FLYER

POP-UP MANGo! September 21st, Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway Project

POP-UP MANGo, Temporary Greenway Installation and Community Festival!

MANGO FESTIVAL 2

image003Saturday, September 21st
11:00am – 3:00pm
On Michigan, between 9th & Euclid

Don’t miss this FREE, fun-filled, family-friendly festival and community conversation about the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway (MANGo). Pop-Up MANGo invites the community to take part in the planning of this potential new Greenway in the Pico Neighborhood.

Mark your calendars for this second interactive planning workshop! We join the City of Santa Monica for a fun, family-friendly event that will provide community members with a interactive understanding of the project and its many elements. You won’t want to miss this exciting opportunity to take part in the planning of this beautiful new Greenway.

The Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway is intended to create an inviting streetscape along Michigan Avenue and adjoining streets. The potential, three-mile Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway (MANGo) would connect residents to schools and community destinations via an inviting streetscape of sidewalks, calm roadways, increased trees and landscape. Spanning from Stewart Street to the beach, the Greenway would provide residents and visitors with a safe and comfortable place to walk, bike, interact with neighbors, and just be. The project will make it easier to get around Santa Monica without a car, enhance the livability of the neighborhood, and improve environmental quality.

Mango Festival

Held along the central portion of the Greenway on Michigan Avenue, this unique family-friendly workshop will present a number of temporary installations that are representative of possible measures for the three-mile corridor. Examples of the temporary installations that participants should expect to see came out of input and ideas gathered from the community and include curb extensions, enhanced landscaping, places for impromptu neighborhood interactions, wayfinding signage and traffic calming measures.

Community members will be encouraged to visit each installation by foot or by bike. Santa Monica Spoke will lead two bike rides during the event that will start at the festival and preview the entire route of the proposed greenway project. Participants will be asked to provide their feedback and project team members will be available to answer questions.

Food trucks, music, art, and interactive activities will be a part of this exciting day. Additional information will be posted as it is confirmed.

Participants are encouraged to walk or bike to the event.

Planning and outreach for the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway is funded by a Caltrans Environmental Justice Grant.

MANGO-Workshop-2-Flyer

 

DOWNLOAD EVENT FLYER HERE

 

SANTA MONICA AIRPORT BIKE RIDE: Envision some possibilities

You are invited to a Bike Ride around Santa Monica Airport SMO-bike-draftbeta

Sunday September 15th, 
10am, Clover Park. 
Meet at the southwest corner, next to the Santa Monica Airport fence.

Come for a short 4.5 mile ride around the perimeter of Santa Monica Airport (SMO) in order to see and learn about some of the current issues relating to this facility and hear about potential creative new uses for this property.  There are two short hills. Bring a lock, helmet and picnic if you like.
Ride hosts will make presentations, offer views & options for this space at different stops along the ride.
Michael Brodsky, Professor at Loyola Marymount University
Frank C. Gruber, Attorney and blogger at http://thehealthycitylocal.com

no_bikes_no_peopleBackstory:
Santa Monica Airport is a part of the City of Santa Monica that residents rarely see and use – and even fewer see it by bike – or envision potential cycling connectivity relating to this space.
There is growing interest to learn more about Santa Monica Airport issues in regards to Land Use, air pollution, noise, safety, sustainability, transportation and quality of life.

Some of the concerns and questions put forward include:

  • Nearby residents who feel severely impacted by the airport facility have voiced concerns about air pollution, lead pollution, constant noise and regular plane crashes.
  • Residents who do not live near the airport have questioned the cost of subsidizing the airport as well as the significant environmental costs and lack of sustainability that private jet travel represents.
  • Questions regarding the expense and pollution of running this large 227 acre facility that is used by very few residents. Should so few benefit from this large property that the City owns and maintains?

planes__and_kids soccer_and_planes planes_and_seniors

Back in February of 2012 the City of Santa Monica invited residents to participate in small group discussions to collect input on the future of the Airport with Santa Monica Airport Community Process.
The FAA contract with the City of Santa Monica ends in 2015, there are residents who feel that the contract should not be renewed. They are beginning to explore exciting new possibilities for the land use that could turn this facility into a healthy benefit for the entire city and region.
This idea is not new or radical, as many communities around the country have chosen to do just that and close down polluting airports and convert the large spaces into parks.
Some of those questions could be:

  • Why not here is Santa Monica?
  • What if we expanded Clover Park to a great civic park? This could be a jewel that every one could enjoy!  A park like this could be a huge public benefit to help us create a more livable and healthier vibrant community.
  • What if this park could contain miles of walking paths and protected bike ways? It could be a destination for walking and biking and encourage a whole new generation of riders to learn and enjoy cycling in a safe and healthy environment.  How wonderful if we could connect children to healthy active living and nature!
  •  What if the park included public and community gardens where local produce could be sold on location.
  • Existing hangers and buildings could be repurposed from current aviation only use and instead be leased out to more sustainable uses such as Green Incubators and E Startups as well as artist studios which could be specifically designed to link to future active transportation like biking and walking infrastructure with connectivity to Bergamont Station, the Expo line and neighborhoods currently bifurcated by the property.

Come on this ride to hear and help envision some of the possibilities for the Santa Monica Airport!

Santa Monica Airport Ride / Brodsky

Another related event: October 3rd

This ride precedes another public event scheduled October 3, 2013 where all interested community members are invited to come and design a POTENTIAL FUTURE PARK on the site of the Santa Monica Airport. Everyone is invited to come and contribute their ideas to what this new park could be.

Thursday Oct. 3, 2013
Mt. Olive Church 1343 Ocean Park
6:30pm

Transportation Impact Fee, $134 million for traffic improvements

Update: 2/27 City Council voted unanimously to approve the TIF ordinance. Great job!
Important action: Tuesday February 26 -

 

On Tuesday February 26, Santa Monica City Council will be considering an Ordinance to establish a Transportation Impact Fee (TIF) that if approved will go into effect this May.

The Transportation Impact Fee on new development will require projects to pay their fair share of transportation network improvements necessary to relieve traffic congestion and support walking, biking and transit use.  The fee would partially fund the $134 million in costs associated with improvements to the walking, bicycle, transit and vehicle system needed to address congestion and transportation safety in Santa Monica. The fee is recommended in the LUCE and was requested by the Council years ago.  It will fund $34 million in bike improvements, $25 million in pedestrian improvements and additional transit, vehicle and transportation demand management projects. It is important to get community support for the TIF as we suspect an organized vocal opposition.

I hope you will join us, and many of the Neighborhood Councils and Organizations in writing to Council to support approving the ordinance. I have included our letter of support.
Send your letters to Council@smgov.net

We encourage folks to attend and speak at the Council meeting Tuesday evening. It is agenda item 7-E and expected to come up for comment around 7:30pm.

City Hall Council Chambers 2nd Floor
Council Meeting Agenda: http://www.smgov.net/departments/council/agendas/2013/20130226/a20130226.htm
Staff Report – Item 7-E:    Introduction and first reading of an ordinance to establish a Transportation Impact Fee to facilitate developer contributions to transportation network improvements and the achievement of no net new trips in the afternoon peak hour.
http://www.smgov.net/departments/council/agendas/2013/20130226/s2013022607-E.pdf 

TIF

Re: Transportation Impact Fee Agenda Item 7-E
Hearing Date: February 26th, 2013

We support the Transportation Impact Fee on new development that will require projects to pay their fair share of transportation network improvements necessary to relieve traffic congestion and support walking, biking and transit use.

The required nexus study and ordinance before the Council, along with an economic study requested by the business community substantially address concerns about the impact of the fee on development feasibility. We believe the TIF is careful to respect existing land uses, and ONLY charges when a land use is intensified, and gives credit for existing on-site uses when they are demolished.  When businesses change over (retail to restaurant and vice versa – NO TIF WILL BE CHARGED). The study shows that the fee has an insubstantial impact on developer profit.

If we want to create a safe and sustainable city where we are not continually dominated by traffic congestion we must prioritize our environment and its people and support alternate transportation modes in Santa Monica. Neighborhood serving retail will generate demand for walking, biking trips and should pay a fair share of the network and safety improvements. This was studied extensively In response to concerns raised by the Chamber.

As we all know City Hall is tightening budgets and money is getting more scarce. With new transit oriented development, we must invest in transportation diversity to achieve No Net New PM Peak Period Vehicle trips as envisioned in the LUCE. Because the LUCE created a shift to multi-family on the boulevards, exempting multi-family will make it impossible to collect the funds necessary achieve No Net New peak vehicle trips. New development is creating new vehicle trips and should be responsible for safety and traffic mitigating network improvements. It is indeed the developers and their tenants (commercial and residential) that will benefit form these improvements that ultimately make Santa Monica a safer more livable city for everyone. New multi-family projects will depend extensively on pedestrian, bike and transit improvements funded by the TIF. The current market trends show a very strong climate for multi-family housing development, exemptions are not needed to encourage housing production. It is appropriate that the TIF as proposed exempts very low and low income housing units (including required affordable housing units in market rate projects)

The transportation Impact fee is urgently needed - we need increased walking, biking and transit to minimize any new vehicle trips and create a more comfortable city for everyone. Just imagine a city where streets and sidewalks are comfortable and inviting, even for the most vulnerable street users such as seniors and children, and streets that have facilities where bikes can travel safely and in harmony with motorized traffic without the current intolerably high levels of congestion. The fee is especially needed given the arrival of Expo which will increase the number of residents and visitors walking and biking. Our community has made it clear we want a more sustainable city where we can all move safely – whether we choose to walk, bike, take transit or drive to meet our daily needs. We must envision the future where we provide safe and appropriate facilities for all Santa Monicans. New development can contribute a meaningful share of needed improvements. Studies prepared show that the proposed transportation fee has no substantial impact on developer profit. It’s time to adopt this fee to make sure that new development contributes to our future safety and mobility.

Santa Monica remains very desirable to developers and is one of the few jurisdictions in the area without any transportation impact fee for new development – West LA and Culver City are larger, less condensed and less geographically constrained than Santa Monica and don’t have the same challenges. Comparing TIFs in those cities cannot be considered relevant. Even WLA is actively working on updating their fees and anticipate increases and reduced exemptions. The Council requested TIFs to be established over 5 years ago, it’s long overdue. Cities all around us have Transportation Impact Fees and it’s time Santa Monica did too.