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.
The City of Santa Monica currently has 4 community garden sites Main Street Gardens, 2200 Main Street / 73 individual garden plots; Park Drive North and South, Park Drive off of Broadway / 38 individual garden plots; Euclid Park, 1515 Euclid / 11 individual garden plots and 3 workshop plots;
The newest addition is the Learning Garden at Ishihara Park 2909 Exposition Blvd which serves as Santa Monica’s first Communal Garden as well as an Urban Agriculture Education Site. In an effort to expand gardening knowledge to the many apartment dwellers around the City, workshops and tours of the garden and adjacent Urban Fruit Tree Orchard are planned to take place regularly throughout the year. For more information on the Community Garden programs, please visit the web site at
For more information on the Community Garden programs or to sign up for the waitlist visit the City of Santa Monica Community Gardens website here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, July 26th!
This month we are joining up with friends from NOW for our HandleBar Happy Hour with a MIDSUMMER+MIDWEEK THEMED MIXER. Please RSVP.
click image to rsvp
Meet us in the Guest room, located above the main dining room of Estate Restaurant+Bar, an intimate speakeasy themed bar-lounge.
End of every month we like to get together for fun, and to celebrate all things bike.
This month we join in with some more local friends to meet neighbors, hang out with friends and celebrate summer fun in Santa Monica!
Celebrate #BikeLocalSM, our Buy Local SM businesses, happy hour + new friends at these monthly events! Learn about upcoming local bike events + find out about and connect with us at SM Spoke… as we visit and introduce you to some of our Buy Local SM businesses. Eat Local, Drink Local, Buy Local AND Bike Local SM!
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.
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.
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
PUBLIC Bikes Santa Monica and Boulevard Brewing Co. are kicking off Bike Month in May with the PUBLIC Bikes Summer Mechanic Series Workshop! Spend some time with their Head Mechanic as he teaches you the in’s and out’s of a bicycle, and how to enjoy a delicious, cold beer 😉
WHEN: Thursday July 27th
WHERE: 2714 Main Street, Santa Monica 90405
HOW MUCH: $10/class* (only 15 tickets will be sold per class)
*A portion of class proceeds will go to non-profit Santa Monica Spoke so you’ll also be helping to make Santa Monica a more sustainable, and better place to live, walk, bike, work and play
**It is not necessary to bring your bike, a demo bike will be used