Category Archives: Santa Monica

Closer to the goal of Airport2Park!

sm-logoOn Tuesday Night (August 24, 2016) The Santa Monica City Council passed a unanimous resolution “To close Santa Monica Airport as soon as legally possible and begin planing for a park.” This is a historic announcement that sets Santa Monica on a clear path that will eventually remove the barbed wire fences and depave the airport tarmac and which will open up the 180 acres (now used exclusively by jets and planes) to walkers, joggers and bicyclists who will will be able to enjoy a park that will be open to serve everyone.

Also significant in this City Council resolution is direction to the City Manager to immediately minimize the current harmful impacts of aviation use by having the city take over the “Fixed Base Services” and evict private Fixed Base Operator jet companies; remove the “Western Parcel” to shorten the runway to remove larger jets and to end the sale of toxic lead fuel. Council member Gleam Davis also gave direction to staff to start the EIR and NEPA planning ASAP so when the airport is finally closed, the project to create a new park would be “shovel ready.”

Given all of this great news, the process to close the airport and build a park will not happen overnight. There are two important court cases that must be heard in Federal Court which will clarify our rights of the city regarding this land, but we now have a clear roadmap of civic steps that will eventually lead to a more sustainable future.

For official Santa Monica City statement: http://newsroom.smgov.net/2016/08/24/santa-monica-city-council-votes-to-close-airport

August 6th: Airport2Park: Santa Monica Airport Walk

Guest post: Airport2Park

Airport2Park

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Have you ever walked all around the perimeter of Santa Monica Airport?  Have you ever even visited Santa Monica Airport?  In both cases the answer is probably no. If you have visited there, it was probably not to use the aviation facilities and it was probably not for the pedestrian enhancements of which, there are presently very few.

Nevertheless, last week Santa Monica Spoke joined Airport2Park.org and LosAngelesWalks.org  to examine the environmental impacts of the airport, look at pedestrian infrastructure and to explore the movement to replace the airport with a grand park accessible to everyone.

We met on a beautiful overcast morning in the southwest corner of Clover Park where a chain link fence with a “No Trespassing” sign separates the airport runway and the park. After a few introductory words we were off, stopping just a few yards later at our first stop was near one of two children’s playgrounds that backs up to the Airport. It is a pretty surprising location for a playground and a preschool given that the private planes at Santa Monica Airport still use toxic lead aviation fuel which is fueled less than 25 feet away. Less than 50 yards away is an active jet runway and a IFR hold area for Runway 3 where jet aircraft idle and spew jet fumes and ultrafine particulate matter that people in the park and families in nearby homes breathe.

We continued east between the business park (which is the site of the original historic Clover Field) and the present airport, walking in the road as their were no sidewalks. We pass the new property that SnapChat has just leased and passed Atlantic Aviation which supplies services to visiting jet users, while we admired an abundance of Teslas, a rare 959 Porsche, and other exotic cars that graced their security parking lot.

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Continuing east we tried to hug the airport as close as possible. We noted that there was a gated access road called Donald Douglas Loop that is only accessible to aviation users with a pass card. It provides access around the airport but not for pedestrians.

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Considering that there are only two ways to traverse the south side of the airport for pedestrians (both of which are on busy streets), our group was very supportive of opening up that road to pedestrians which could be done by simply moving the AirportToPark_photo_by_Michael_Brodsky 2fence to the south side of the road, opening up access to those who might want a safe route to the park on the other side of the airport. We had our choice of walking through the parking lot in the business park or squeeze through a small drainage area which popped out near more hangers and the airport flight tower.
The group opted for the later. Here is where we found the infamous sign that shows NO bicycles, NO pedestrians but airplanes are OK.

At this stop is at the Pre-School located right next to the airport fence and just 50 yards from the another IFR hold area for jets waiting for Runway 21 where we could hear one already idling.

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At the eastern end of the business park is where Centinela abruptly ends at the airport fence (It was truncated when the current runway was extended toward the end of WWII). We were now in Los Angeles and immediately could see the poor state of sidewalks compared to Santa Monica. We walked down to Ocean Park Blvd. and then south along Bundy Ave. where you can see the houses dangerously located just across the street from the end of the runway.

At the top of the hill, we turned onto Airport Ave and walked down through the Santa Monica Airport Park Dog Park full of dogs and owners and along the site of the new Airport Park Expansion. Airport2Park.org has been active in getting the city to remove 12 acres of airplane parking and convert the land into a new park that is currently being designed by Mark Rios who designed Grand Park in downtown LA.

We walked up to the Santa Monica Airport Administration Building observation deck which offered spectacular views of the Hollywood sign to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
IMG_6294This is a view that few people get to enjoy. We discussed the momentum of the movement to close the airport and transform it into a grand park, that when completed, would be a third of the size of New York Central Park. From our vantage point, we could visualize the 160 acres ofconcrete – that is currently surrounded by barbed wired fence –  being returned to nature with miles of walking paths opened to everyone regardless of age, income or ability.

Excited about the possibility for the future, we continued back toward Clover Park, enjoying the conversation only to be interrupted by a jet blast off. It was the same one that we had observed perviously that sat idling noisily for 28 minutes. Next time, maybe we will just hear the birds…

The momentum to turn Santa Monica Airport into a park is propelled by the need to address important “quality of life” and “public access issues.” The community has an immediate need reduce the harmful health impacts of noise, ultrafine particulate pollution and the toxic lead caused by hosting a jetport right in the middle the neighborhoods of Sunset Park, Venice, Mar Vista and Westdale.

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We also have the need to increase the public access to parks and open space that Santa Monican’s so desperately need. The city currently has only 1.39 acres of parkland per 1000 residents. This is just half the average of L.A. County and a quarter of that of the City of Los Angeles. It is the absolute lowest per comparable cities in California. Considering that only about 350 people per day actually fly out of the airport, it pales in comparison to the more than 2,000 daily users of just the adjacent Clover Park alone.

2014 Exercise Reimagining Santa Monica Airport, Part 1: Student Park Design Concepts

Here are the designs of USC graduate landscape architect students, Christopher Sison, Chen Liu, Zeek Magallanes and Yongdan Chunyu under the direction of internationally renowned landscape architect Aroussiak Gabrielian (FORGROUND Design) after taking a practical approach in choosing bicycles for the their site visit to Santa Monica Airport  after which they worked on a three month project to design a park to replace the Santa Monica Airport.

By walking around Santa Monica Airport it is not surprising to see that local community members are in sync with those who are now working together to make streets more walkable and livable. We are repurposing transportation infrastructure that no longer serves the community placemaking needs and aspirations. From San Francico to Madrid we have seen freeways removed to make plazas and from Chicago to Berlin, we are now seeing airports being replaced with parks.

For more information please visit:  airport2park.org

Fun Events this Weekend

SATURDAY:

Family Cargo Bike Event: TEST RIDES

Test ride a wide variety of electric and traditional cargo bikes, enjoy tasty refreshments, and meet like-minded individuals while your kids enjoy a variety of arts, crafts and fun activities.

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“Go Public” Ice Cream Ride

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM!!! It’s been very HOT recently so we thought what better way to cool off than to go on an ice cream bike ride. They’ll be stopping at THREE different creameries, each with their own unique spin

Go Public Ice Cream Ride

SUNDAY:

Stitch N’Bitch

The Bikerowave is seeking women-identified volunteers! Come check out the shop and sew with them — Reflective patches. T-shirt bags. Or bring your own project.

JAZZ ON THE LAWN
Venezuela OMG 5-7pm

Venezuela OMG blends upbeat Caribbean music with exotic folk rhythms from Venezuela, the northernmost tropical region of South America.

Get up and Move with the B. Dunn Movement/Dance and Theatre Company. All ages and levels are invited to join Brigette Dunn-Korpela and her team of dancers to discover your own moves to the beats of Venezuela OMG. Brigette Dunn-Korpela is the artistic director of the Los Angeles based B. Dunn Movement/Dance and Theatre Company and is a dance educator, choreographer and performing artist.

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Kidical Mass(ive) 2016

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Mark your calendar

SANTA MONICA KIDICAL MASS IS MASS(IVE): KIDICAL MASS(IVE): Global Family Bike Ride
Saturday, September 17th
Clover Park, 25th @ Oak (east side of park)
9AM – NOON

THE THEME AGAIN Will BE SWASH BUCKLING PIRATES!
CELEBRATE TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY!
LOTS OF FUN ACTIVITIES PLANNED
PRIZES FOR BEST OUTFITS

Join us for the 2nd Annual Kidical Mass(ive)!  The largest global family bike ride EVER!! Join us as thousands of families around the world go for a bike ride together. We’ll be showing that cities that plan for family biking are more livable, sustainable, profitable, and FUN!

You too can make a ride in your community happen; register your community and start planning your event now.

Community Conversations: The Future of Downtown Santa Monica

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Be part of the process in planning our city.

City Planning staff is going to be hosting several “Community Conversation” sessions to discuss the future of Downtown Santa Monica with our community.  The events will include facilitated discussions with small groups (8-12 people),zeroing in on some of the Downtown Community Plan’s most challenging issues such as historic preservation, building height, and the need for public spaces and amenities to support a growing population.

Seating is limited so please book your attendance early. Additional group discussions will be added based on demand. The events will take place at the Santa Monica Main Library Community Room located at 601 Santa Monica Blvd. on the 2ndfloor. Parking can be accessed from 7th Street side of the Main Library free of charge for participants.  The Library can also be accessed by Big Blue Bus lines 1, 7, R7, and R10 which provide direct service to this location. Big Blue Bus lines 2, 3, 3M, 5, 8, and 9 also stop within a short walking distance. The Metro Expo line stops within a ten minute walk to the Main Library.

You can book your reservation by following the link below.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/community-conversations-the-future-of-downtown-santa-monica-tickets-27174122532

If you cannot attend one of the events, you can provide feedback through the online version by clicking on the following link:  https://maptionnaire.com/en/1194   Please also encourage your friends and neighbors to attend one of the sessions or take the survey.  Thanks.

August “Go Public” Ice Cream Ride

Go Public Ice Cream Ride

August “Go PUBLIC” bike ride is here!
On August 27th, I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM!!!

It’s been very HOT recently so we thought what better way to cool off than to go on an ice cream bike ride. We will be stopping at THREE different creameries, each with their own unique spin on everyone’s favorite frozen treat (non-dairy friendly!).

Our first stop will be the Santa Monica staple, Sweet Rose Creamery, located on Pico Blvd. Small batch ice cream made daily with locally sourced ingredients! They also have incredible coffee too. Read more about them here: https://sweetrosecreamery.com/

Our second stop will be the Portland transplant, Salt & Straw Ice Cream! Now open in Venice, located on Abbot Kinney. Salt & Straw features ice cream flavors you never knew were possible and it also showcases a slew of specialty flavors that change every month which are co-created and inspired by local chef’s, restuarants and establishments. Learn more about Salt & Straw here: http://saltandstraw.com/

Our third and final stop will be our fellow neighbors’ down the street, Kippy’s Ice Cream Shop! Kippy’s is unique in that it specializes in organic, non-dairy ice cream; healthy and delicious. Their ice cream is made by hand, daily using fresh raw coconut sweetened with honey. Yum! Check them out here: http://www.kippysicecream.com/

This will be a 5 mile ride round-trip through the streets and neighborhoods of Santa Monica and Venice. Family friendly and fun for all ages (youngsters + toddlers recommended to ride with a parent). The ride will start and end at the PUBLIC Bikes Santa Monica store location.

BYOB (Bring Your Own Bike) OR hop on a Breeze bike on Ashland Ave, one block from the PUBLIC Bikes store, OR rent a bike with the Santa Monica Bike Center and receive 20% when you mention our bike ride!

Facebook event HERE

Santa Monica Spoke Community Meeting

SM Spoke Meeting

August 13th, 9:30-11:00am
Serving Coffee & Bagels starting at 9:30am

Meeting promptly begins at 9:45am
Santa Monica HQ, 1640 5th Street

We will be joined by City of Santa Monica’s Mobility Manager Francie Stefan and members of her department to get updates on the #GoSaMo Campaign and why it is important for pedestrians and bikes, staff changes and welcome new staff, projects like Safe Routes to School and why #GoSaMo is important for pedestrians and bikes and healthy active transportation!

Update on Breeze Bike share. We will be recruiting volunteers for our Breeze Outreach Team and diversity campaign. Kyle Kozar, The City’s Bike Share coordinator will join us for updates

Airport2Park update presentation with Michael Brodsky. What is happening with SaMo Airport?

Bike The Vote. As a 501(c)3 non profit we will cannot be involved in candidate endorsements — but you can! Find out more from our guest.

More mar be added as it is firmed up!

Hope to see you Saturday!!! Come early and enjoy the rest of you day!

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Save the date: Santa Monica Spoke Update Meeting Event

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Update Meeting & Event
August 13th, (morning)
Stay tuned, agenda & info will follow

Learn About Downtown’s History To Guide its Future

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Join Santa Monica Conservancy docents and City Planners in an exploration of more than 130 years of Santa Monica history. This approximately two-and-a-half-hour tour will cover several blocks within Downtown, where participants will learn about Santa Monica from its Wild West frontier beginnings to the sophisticated metropolis of today.

Take a closer look at the civic leaders, whose vision built the growing city, and experience downtown’s diverse architectural heritage, while pondering its future as it evolves into a more established mixed-use neighborhood.

Tours will begin at the Rapp Saloon, located at 1438 2nd Street (right next to the Youth Hostel).

Three tour dates are available (30 people per tour max):
Saturday, July 23rd at 9:30AM
Saturday, July 30th at 9:30AM
Saturday, July 30th at 5:30PM

WHERE
Rapp Saloon – 1438 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401

RSVP here. Hurry, spots are filling up quickly.

. This approximately two-and-a-half-hour tour will cover several blocks within Downtown, where participants will learn about Santa Monica from its Wild West frontier beginnings to the sophisticated metropolis of today.

Take a closer look at the civic leaders, whose vision built the growing city, and experience downtown’s diverse architectural heritage, while pondering its future as it evolves into a more established mixed-use neighborhood.

Tours will begin at the Rapp Saloon, located at 1438 2nd Street (right next to the Youth Hostel).

Three tour dates are available (30 people per tour max):
Saturday, July 23rd at 9:30AM
Saturday, July 30th at 9:30AM
Saturday, July 30th at 5:30PM

WHERE
Rapp Saloon – 1438 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401

RSVP here. Hurry, spots are filling up quickly.

Blue at Night: Another Late Night Connection to Expo

Because we don’t always ride bikes —
Blue at night

Beginning Friday, June 17, Big Blue Bus started offering “Blue at Night,” a late night, on-demand service that provides connections to/from Expo, every Friday and Saturday from 8pm to 3am. To request a ride from Blue at Night during service hours, simply dial 877-611-8294.

For those late nights…Blue at Night is just a call away. Late night connections to/from Expo in 3 easy steps.

Step 1
Dial 877-611-8294. Request a Blue at Night cab to pick you up during service hours. Service every Friday and Saturday from 8pm to 3am.

Step 2
From the 17th Street/SMC Station to any location within the designated Santa Monica service area (see map). Wait at the Blue at Night pickup location at the 17th Street/SMC Station located on eastbound Colorado Ave. and 17th St. by the Breeze Bikeshare Station.
OR
From any location within the Santa Monica service area (see map) to the 17th Street/SMC Station. Wait at your desired pickup location. Please keep in mind, Blue at Night cabs will only wait 5 minutes from time of arrival.

Step 3
Arrive at your final destination. Pay the Operator $3 with cash or credit card.

We hope you enjoy the ride!

Blue at night map

Riders departing from 17th Street/SMC Station should wait by the clearly marked Blue at Night Kiosk (near the Breeze Bikeshare Station), located on eastbound Colorado Avenue and 17th Street. All others must depart from within the Santa Monica service area (see map above).

Please keep in mind that Blue at Night cabs will only wait 5 minutes from the time of arrival. Upon arriving at your final destination, please pay the operator $3 with cash or credit card.
To learn more, visit online at www.bigbluebus.com/blueatnight.

 

KIDICAL MASS: JULY 2ND

Kidical Mass July 2016

KIDICAL MASS: July 4th Theme
Lawn Bowling Demo!

DATE:    SATURDAY July 2nd, 2016
TIME:    9:00 AM – NOON

START:  Douglas Park
–  Chelsea side by the Playground.

Free: Please RSVP HERE

Join Santa Monica Spoke, the City of Santa Monica and Santa Monica Community Gardeners for Santa Monica’s Kidical Mass Ride. 
We will take a family friendly ride in Santa Monica to visit Park Drive Community Garden for a special kid friendly event. Prizes and giveaways at Memorial Park when we return!

Schedule.
9::00am – 12:00pm

– Check-in, Morning Snacks, Bike Safety Checks, Helmet Decorating
– FAMILY Ride
– POST RIDE ACTIVITES – LAWN BOWLING DEMO
– Prizes, plus post ride snacks by KIND

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* Children must be accompanied and are the responsibility of their parents. Bikes should be in good working condition. Free Safety Checks on site for minor adjustments/repairs. Please use good judgement – ride is on city streets – smaller children should be in a child seat, in a trailer or Tag-a-long……

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Don’t have a bike –
You can #RideBreeze!

Don’t have a Kid Carrying Bike? NOT  A PROBLEM !sm_bike_center
Special 20% discount on Rentals at the Santa Monica Bike Center. You can find special Kid carrying cargo bikes, kid seats, trailers, tandems, tag-a-longs!! Anything you could need at a 20% discount for rentals) – Please reserve online and write “Kidical Mass” in the special requirements section of the reservation – 20% discount will be applied at check out! Reserve early and plan to pick up bikes Saturday morning in time to arrive at the event.