Category Archives: Vision Zero

Action Alert: July 5th

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

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

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

Volunteer to phone bank 

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) will host phone banking (anytime) between 4pm-8pm at thier Headquaters DTLA. We will be calling members and allies to take action in support of Vision Zero and the new safety improvements! Local phone banking at Santa Monica Spoke HQ is being planned if we have volunteers interested. RSVP

ATTEND  Venice Neighborhood Council

the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC)meeting at the Canal Club at 7:00pm! The VNC Parking & Transportation Committee and Board of Directors Meeting will be discussing Venice Blvd, and there will be an opportunity to provide public comment and vote. 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]

Sunday Funday: TOUR of the WESTSIDE

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

For July,  LACBC’s Sunday Funday Ride we will tour the westside safety improvements in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista. We will also visit the Mar Vista Farmers Market for a buy-in to show local support for businesses and share fact sheets.

This ride will be approximately 13 miles at an easy-moderate pace.

You have two options to join!

We will be leading a feeder ride from Clover Park in Santa Monica to the Sunday Funday ride start at Culver Slauson Park.

— Feeder ride from Santa Monica will meet at Clover Park (NW corner of the park at 25th)
Where: Corner of Ocean Park Blvd and 25th
Time:    9am, roll — 9:15 sharp. 
We will ride to meet up with the group at Culver Slauson Park that rolls at 10am
Please rsvp@SMSpoke.org for the feeder ride from Santa Monica 

— Meet the group at Culver Slauson Park, 5072 S Slauson Ave at 9:30am – ride rolls at 10am. See full info for LACBC’s Sunday Funday event here.

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

SHARE on social media! Tweet and post 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.

Action Alert: Support Safe Streets

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

In Santa Monica we know that even the best drivers can make mistakes on dangerous streets. Los Angeles is one of the deadliest cities in our country for all road users — especially the most vulnerable such as children, older adults, pedestrians, cyclists, low-income commuters, and commuters of color. Street safety improvements are critical strategies to solve this public health crisis.

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. LA Department of Transportation continues working to improve the synchronization of signal lights to help improve traffic flow, while also keeping streets safe for all who use the corridor throughout their day — including motor vehicle drivers.

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.

However, there are actions you can take to make sure that the streets are safer for the communities of Mar Vista, Playa Del Rey, and everywhere by supporting roadway redesigns that improve walking and biking. You can help to end this public health crisis by supporting these Great Streets, Complete Streets and Vision Zero projects whether they are in your backyard or way across town.

Mar Vista Great Streets Initiative

The Mar Vista Great Streets Initiative began in 2015 with an extensive community outreach process facilitated by Councilmember Mike Bonin and the city-wide Great Streets Initiative. The primary goal is to make Venice Blvd. safer for all road users who travel the corridor, as well as to support local businesses.

Venice Blvd. is part of LA’s Vision Zero High Injury Network (HIN), meaning the street has a higher rate of injuries and deaths compared to others in L.A. Since 2011, there have been 48 cyclists and pedestrians injured from crashes in this particular corridor.

In May the City installed four new pedestrian crossings, protected and buffered bike lanes, and improvements at existing signalized intersections–all with the goal of reducing injuries and deaths. The project runs about .8 miles from Inglewood Blvd. to Beethoven St.

Playa Del Rey Street Safety Initiative

The Playa Del Rey projects came from community interest in improving street safety and making Playa del Rey a more livable beach community for all of its residents. After two and a half years of community outreach and engagement, the community opted to install lane restriping as a pilot project, which it will continue to evaluate over the next year. According to LADOT, from 2003 – 2016, Culver Blvd. had 84 serious injury crashes and 6 deaths; Jefferson Blvd. had 96 serious injury crashes and 2 deaths; and Pershing Dr had 64 serious injury crashes.

The boundaries of each project are Culver Blvd. between Vista Del Mar and Jefferson Blvd.; Jefferson Blvd. between Culver Blvd. and Lincoln Blvd.; and Pershing Dr. between Cabora Dr. and Westchester Pkwy. Each of these streets were re-striped to calm traffic and slow vehicle speeds as cars drive through the Playa del Rey neighborhood. Each also includes added buffered bicycle lanes that will create safe routes for people on bikes to connect to destinations on Westchester Pkwy., Lincoln Blvd., and Dockweiler State Beach bike path.



Vista Del Mar

A separate but related Vision Zero project on Vista Del Mar was developed urgently with an unfortunately rushed community outreach process because these are some of the most dangerous intersections and streets in the City of Los Angeles. Playa Del Rey Safe Streets Initiative was in response to dangerous levels of speeding, a pattern of tragic crashes that resulted in serious injuries and death, and a $9.5 million wrongful death lawsuit that was settled in April of this year. The suit came in response to the tragic death of 16-year old Naomi Larsen, who was fatally struck by a car while trying to cross the street after attending a bonfire at Dockweiler with her friends.

From 2003 – 2016, there were 210 traffic collisions on Vista Del Mar, including 5 deaths. To address the dangerous design of this street before the summer beach crowds started flooding in, LADOT began working on May 21 to move all parking to the west side of the street only (parking had to remain on the street due to California Coastal Commission regulations), create U-turn pockets, and narrow the road to one lane in each direction. This project does not include a bike lane. The project runs from Imperial Hwy. to Culver Blvd.


What can you do to lend your support and help make sure these street projects are a success?

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

July 2nd Sunday Funday Ride on the Westside.

The ride will tour the safety improvements in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista and will visit the Mar Vista Farmers Market for a buy-in to show local support for businesses and share fact sheets.Ride will be approximately 13 miles at an easy-moderate pace.

Two ways to join:
Feeder ride from Santa Monica to Sunday Funday. Meet at Clover Park (NW corner at 25th) 9am, roll at 9:15 sharp to meet up with the group that rolls at 10am from Culver Slauson Park.
Please rsvp@SMSpoke.org
— Meet at Culver Slauson Park, 5072 S Slauson Ave at 9:30am – ride rolls at 10am
See full info for LACBC’s Sunday Funday event here.

SHARE on social media! Tweet and post 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.

July 5th, Wednesday: Volunteer to phone bank,

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) will host phone banking (anytime) between 4pm-8pm at thier Headquaters DTLA. We will be calling members and allies to take action in support of Vision Zero and the new safety improvements! Local phone banking at Santa Monica Spoke HQ is being planned if we have volunteers interested. RSVP

July 5th, Wednesday: ATTEND

the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC)meeting at the Canal Club at 7:00pm! The VNC Parking & Transportation Committee and Board of Directors Meeting will be discussing Venice Blvd, and there will be an opportunity to provide public comment and vote. Don’t forget to share on social media if you show up!

July 11th, Tuesday: ATTEND

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!

EMAIL the Mar Vista Community Council and Venice Neighborhood Council TODAY to show your support for street safety improvements on Venice Blvd. See sample email.

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]


This article was produced in collaboration with Dayna Galbreath from Streets Are For Everyone (SAFE) and other engaged community groups and partners.


Op-Ed Hey, Manhattan Beach, preventing pedestrian deaths is more important than your speedy morning commute

Letter to City Council on Vision Zero Implementation

How will Santa Monica’s leadership commit to this effort over the next two years? These are our asks, Agenda Item 9A.

June 27, 2017

Dear Mayor, City Council, City management and staff

With the number of crashes involving fatalities or serious injuries still climbing at alarming rates — we reaffirm that the time is now to make a strong commitment to Vision Zero and a true and meaningful investment in safer streets.

On May 9th Council gave clear direction they wanted staff to explore the creation of a staff coordinator to implement the City’s commitment to Vision Zero and the need to see real results in reducing serious traffic injuries and fatalities on our streets. Staff’s recommendation appears to be an incomplete response to council’s direction of creating a position to expedite implementation and to coordinate and capitalize on external and interdepartmental opportunities that may otherwise be lost.

In Santa Monica we have a demonstrated history of how talented and dedicated staff have produced undeniable successes and results. We are aiming for, and have achieved, huge environmental and sustainability successes, such as successful water conservation, implemented a nationally-recognized Wellness Project, and increased biking, a healthy active mobility option that contributes to a healthier environment and community. All of these successes have been reached by dedicating staff and money to achieve these results. The ultimate cost for not meeting our Vision Zero goals is loss of life. Money doesn’t have a brain or specific expertise, money cannot make the strategic and tactical decisions to achieve our ultimate commitment to our City’s safety goals and Vision Zero — Only people can, the time to start is now.

Fixing problems is more intensive and costs money. Preventative measures save money and in this case save lives. We are now faced with “fixing” outdated planning policies of an auto centric 50’s that have recently made safety on our streets exponentially worse — we must be proactive in identifying and addressing solutions. Santa Monica must continue to be a catalyst and leader in protecting the lives of our residents and visitors. We heard our City Manager recount how Bill Bratton was laughed at because he wanted to “prevent crimes”. However that didn’t stop him and he made his vision a reality in NY! Let us not laugh off proactive implementation to reach our commitment to a safer Santa Monica and Vision Zero. We must progress beyond words on a page and create a proactive, transparent system with dedicated funding and specific actions toward this effort if we truly want to succeed in reducing preventable traffic injuries and fatalities in 10 years.

We understand there are many tradeoffs as we discuss the very real budgetary and financial issues for running our city. There can be no tradeoffs when it comes to the lives of our community and the epidemic of serious injuries and traffic fatalities we are now facing locally, regionally and nationally — we must not continue to dehumanize these preventable deaths and injuries by making them so abstract that they seem as though they are someone else’s problem. With this two year budget we must demonstrate true leadership and real investment in the safety of our community. We ask that council’s direction be followed and that we expedite necessary changes in practice to institutionalize, catalyze and guide efforts and focus to achieve our goals. We fully support the monetary proposal to jump-start and implement key safety projects. However it is imperative that we use a data-driven process and capable leadership to implement strategies that evaluate our progress and institute adjustments as necessary without collectively diluting the efforts of an already busy staff who continue to implement successes in other related and important roles.

In Santa Monica we lead with initiatives like the Wellbeing Project that prioritizes human health and safety. Let’s continue this legacy and keep our streets safe as we encourage active transportation that must also reflect council’s priority to our Vision Zero Policy and infrastructure that removes safety barriers to make it a viable choice for our community — in addition to the framework to make safety implementation real.

This letter is submitted by Cynthia Rose for Santa Monica Spoke and Cris Gutierrez for Climate Action Santa Monica.


See our previous letter to Santa Monica City Council on Vision Zero HERE

Santa Monica Forward’s shared their values on the budget and Vision Zero HERE