Category Archives: Vision Zero

Bike Action Plan Update: Protected Bikeway Network

Project Goal

The 2011 Bike Action plan provided a road map for developing Santa Monica’s bicycle network including a 5-year and 20-year visions. Back in 2011 protected bicycle lanes were not yet as well-known or accepted in highway design in the United States but began picking up steam not long after it’s adoption. Protected bike lanes have for some time been central component of our advocacy here in Santa Monica, as well as cross the US. This Amendment provides an vital updates to the Bike Action Plan so that it may build on it’s 20-year vision by incorporating now accepted best paretics by updating corridors to protected bike lanes. The Amendment is being developed following the same goals and objectives of the Bike Action Plan, but includes an updated approach to meet the needs of Santa Monica today. This Bike Plan Amendment is also an essential component as it creates an encouraging path forward for Santa Monica to build a network of protected bikeways citywide in the next five years, helps the City compete for outside grant funding, support our progress towards the community’s climate, safety, and mobility goals, while building resilience during these uncertain economic times with a vision for a more sustainable and resilient future. 

Project Website

Find our more in this informative video presentation of the Bike Action Plan Amendment’s objectives and goals:

View options and give input on this Mobility Dept Survey

Project  Downloads:

Project Information English/Spanish


City Contacts:

Carlos Morales Carlos.Morales@smgov.net
Kyle Kozar Kyle.Kozar@smgov.net 

Together, we can create a safe—and friendly—Santa Monica FOR EVERYONE

May is STILL Bike Month!

Official: Bike to Work Week 2020 will take place September 21-27, 2020.
Bike to Work Day is Tuesday, September 22!

This May National Bike Month will necessarily be different. With a focus on well-being and connection, lets highlight how #BikesUnite and benefit physical and mental health. For the 31 days in May, #BikesUnite us. Whether you’re riding for fun, fitness or with family, or taking essential trips to work or shop, you are part of our movement for safer streets, connected communities, a healthier planet, and happier people. 

Stay tuned
Super Excited to Announce Our Virtual Bike Month Event
SOON!

We can’t promise going for a bike ride will solve every concern, but we do know that bicycling can help all of us maintain our physical and mental health. Even short rides have massive benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, and improving happiness, mental focus, and sleep. Whether you are an essential worker biking to get to work, looking for a fun activity with the family, or just need some exercise or some time alone, here’s some are some ideas to help you get started.

May is National Bike Month, promoted by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try.

CALL TO ACTION: Email City Council on Severe Transportation Budget Cuts that Threaten our Safety

The streets we travel on make up over 20% of our city, and are one of our biggest assets. ​Our streets move people, goods, and services and are essential infrastructure for our economic and social recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.​ It is crucial how we manage and use this public asset, at the core of economic resilience, social equity, health and environmental sustainability.

Read our full letter HERE
#TransportationMatters #SafeStreets

How we manage our streets – or ignore them – will move us either toward environmental justice, economic recovery and climate resiliency or away from those vital community and city goals. Our goals must be prioritized, clearly, in all plans and efforts to create solutions appropriate to equitably resolve the budget crisis caused by Covid-19.

Please join us and share your support with Santa Monica City Council.
Information, email addresses and template 
can be found HERE.

While the City suffers catastrophic shortfalls, we should not use a sledgehammer where a scalpel is needed to balance new budgets. Let’s be strategic and thoughtful with “restructuring” that reduces costs and bureaucracy while retaining essential capacity that builds confidently on the foundation and programs that our public roadways and investments afford us as they advance us to a vibrant and full recovery.

Use any of these images or your own to share this message on Social Media #TransportationMatters #SafeStreets

Slowdown: Excessive Cuts to Transportation Department Will Threaten Safety and Economic Recovery

We are pleased to support the appointment of Interim City Manager Lane Dilg last Saturday, April 18th, and her Plan for a Bright Future. We sent her a warm supportive welcome, along with this critical input on the budget recovery crisis being faced by the City of Santa Monica.

Santa Monica’s economy depends on a functioning transportation network that safely moves people, goods and services. Current proposed budget cuts will be destructive to transportation work, will disable basic functions, and slow our safe recovery from this pandemic. Transportation staff, infrastructure and services are classified as essential government functions* and perform vital functions that literally keep our community running safely. These cuts will damage safety and the very fabric of services and programs that we depend on living in Santa Monica.


Do you know all the vital services the Transportation and Mobility Division continues to provide on a daily basis, including now during this time of crisis? Learn here

Please join us and share your support with Santa Monica City Council. Information, email addresses and template can be found HERE.

Click image to download a .pdf of this document

Our Santa Monica streets are our largest public space, over 20% of our landmass, and one of our biggest assets. Our streets move people, goods, and services and are essential infrastructure for our economic and social recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is crucial how we manage and use this public asset, an essential public safety function at the core of economic resilience, social equity, and environmental sustainability. The critical function of managing our streets is confirmed by Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-33-20 that classified transportation infrastructure and services as essential government functions.* 

Movement of goods and services, customers or clients is critical to economic recovery. In the near-term, accommodating the movement of people and goods will need to be extremely dynamic to adapt to “the realities” of the post COVID-19 emergency. Efforts to rebound and support our local economy (businesses, employers, restaurants, retail shops, etc.) depend on maintaining and adjusting critical transportation infrastructure and services in real time, not on a delay of days or weeks due to insufficient staff. 

Santa Monica’s Transportation Department pays for itself in revenue generation (grants, programs, plan check and permit fees). It operates signals and roads on which we all depend. Transportation work assures public safety and economic activity– providing essential fiber optic network infrastructure, signal timing with regular adjustments, and Opticom first-responder systems. Proactive maintenance of these systems ensures faster response to emergencies and responsive, timely data-driven decision-making. 

These essential life saving functions are under threat with extreme plans to cut over half of the City Transportation and Mobility Division compared to 20-40% across other departments. While we can only imagine the stress and burden of decisions weighing on City Council, this level of cuts would severely impact basic public safety and infrastructure operation functions, wounding our city’s ability to rebound fiscally from the COVID-19 crisis. It is imperative to be strategic. We must consider the holistic dynamic relationships, dependencies and functions that contribute to safety, economic stability and regrowth. While the City suffers catastrophic shortfalls, we should not use a sledgehammer where a scalpel is needed to balance new budgets. Council needs to take time to cut costs strategically, while maintaining essential staff that would facilitate a safe and secure path to economic recovery and resilience. 

Transportation – Mobility – facilitates access to jobs, particularly for a local green economy, and access to education, childcare, culture, healthcare, food and services. Access is essential to all of Santa Monica’s residents, businesses, schools and visitors. Access is essential to our economic recovery. Santa Monica must have sufficient transportation staff capacity in order to maintain essential cost recovery services and retain competitiveness to identify new revenue opportunities. Mobility staff are crucial in the implementation of plans and permits to get the City back open for business. If we don’t take care of our transportation needs as we recover, we will quickly run into roadblocks to financial recovery. Multi-modal transportation infrastructure facilitates our community’s safety goals and environmentally sustainable mobility, and also creates revenue streams that ensure resources to manage this invaluable public asset necessary for a true economic recovery. 

Transportation’s self-supporting, even revenue-producing function must retain capacity to be nimble to identify new and expanded revenue streams and other emerging opportunities for grant funds, as well as repackaging of projects to capture the stimulus funds that will certainly be coming for infrastructure post shelter in place orders. Budget concepts currently under consideration threaten Transportation staff’s capacity in two main ways and jeopardize years of future economic and environmental progress. First, excessive budget cuts would severely impact the City’s ability to maintain current essential operations that support short- and long-term economic recovery, and second, hasty cuts deteriorate the ability to capture new and emerging opportunities for revenue streams necessary to manage our roads, an important and valuable public asset. Unfortunately, ironically, the use of most of our valuable public land is given away for free! That is a mistake sabotaging our recovery. With staff capacity there are proven 21st-century solutions to get us to a speedy recovery.

  • In Santa Monica we get thousands of personal and business deliveries each day. Delivery services make no fiscal contribution to defray the cost to us of their impact on roadways, curbsides, sidewalks, or other infrastructure that they use to do business. With increasing market share, e-commerce, rideshare and delivery services are receiving an ever-increasing subsidy with the free use of this public asset. Simultaneously, they divert revenue from our local brick-and-mortar businesses. Council should direct staff to pursue tools, even a tax if needed, to have the biggest users pay their fair share, and to help manage control over local impacts.
  • Passenger and courier services are adding convenience at the cost of increased GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions and traffic congestion with more VMT (vehicle miles traveled) and local trips — often with erratic driving behavior and dangerous maneuvering that adversely impact safety in our community. These services make money using our streets while diminishing our community’s safety. Council should strengthen our efforts to invest in strategic regional partnerships with LA to enable local fees that provide revenue to enhance safety and our ability to manage our assets locally.  

Since California’s stay-at-home orders went into effect, Santa Monica’s streets have become increasingly deadly. Drivers are responding to open roads with increased speeding that endangers not only our physical safety but also our community’s wellbeing. With resources, Mobility staff can pull from a toolbox of approved mitigations and strategies to temper safety impacts as we rebound from shelter in place orders. As we emerge from this COVID-19 crisis, experts project increased traffic congestion, which has proven to have negative economic impacts and negative safety impacts. Such impacts are already being experienced in cities beginning their own recoveries. Reduced access to less frequent public transportation will temporarily remain due to the continuing need to maintain safe physical distance during recovery. Access to mobility options is crucial to our essential workforce and to our rebounding economically. Without mobility options, there will be increased single-car trips and traffic congestion choking off our economic recovery.

Giving up on our goals to reduce gridlock would harm our economy, our safety, and our environment. As we recover our economy, we need Council to fulfill its commitment to public safety with Vision Zero. We cannot abandon our City’s adopted goals even when facing catastrophic budget pressures. We must remain vigilant and committed to the ethos of Santa Monica, maintain staff capacity, and put into action creative solutions to curb unsafe behavior and to reinvest in programs vital in our path to economic recovery.   

Santa Monica competes with other cities for regional, state and federal transportation dollars. Post crisis stimulus funds are anticipated for infrastructure. Applications will be increasingly competitive in the post crisis arena: staff must have capacity to be ready to capture funding opportunities. Cities that are prepared and well-positioned to receive these funds will, without doubt, perform better in economic recovery. Being ready means having shovel ready projects with continued investment in multi-modal street projects. Being ready means being competitive for securing these funds. 

How we manage our streets – or ignore them – will move us either toward environmental justice, economic recovery and climate resiliency or away from those vital goals. A sophisticated multi-modal system of people, goods and services moving throughout the city contributes to growing a healthy economy while reducing the 64% of Santa Monica’s GHG emitted by fossil-fuel travel. We are at a momentous time to shift old habits and capitalize on previous fiscal, sustainability and climate investments and the momentum of productive programs underway. Programs that contribute to our economic resilience are integral to improving safety, community wellbeing, and meeting our local and state climate commitments. A community that is vibrant, safe and supporting environmental sustainability is one with a strong economic recovery.  

Commitment to supporting equitable access is essential to Santa Monica’s recovery. Santa Monica’s staff manages critical transportation infrastructure and services as essential government functions, which directly contribute capacity to healthy economic growth. Transportation infrastructure and planning services combined with multi-modal mobility are the very foundation of a thriving, resilient economy based on public safety, equity, and sustainability.

Let’s be strategic and lean on staff expertise for thoughtful “restructuring” that reduces costs and bureaucracy while retaining essential capacity that builds confidently on the foundation and programs that our public roadways and investments afford us as they advance us to a vibrant and full recovery.

* Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-33-20 classifies transportation infrastructure and services as essential government functions, State Public Health Officer further designation clarifying Transportation Services  “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers”. The Department of Homeland Security lists 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors: one of which is the Transportation Systems Sector. Keeping our streets safe and our recovery secure, at the time when the COVID -19 emergency is converging with the climate crisis, means that tough and thoughtful decision-making must adhere to our City’s and state’s climate priorities and strategies. The California Legislature letter to the state’s “Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery” sets out that urgency clearly.

Short version of this document can be viewed or downloaded HERE

Action Alert: Stewart / Pennsylvania Bike & Pedestrian Project

Your input is needed!

Hello friends, interested in road safety?
We invite you to take this short survey now on the much needed and innovative improvements proposed for Stewart Street & Pennsylvania Avenue. The project is under attack for some of the needed safety improvements.

• You will be prompted to click on each icon in the navigation on the left.
• At the bottom of each element, there is a + with the name of the project.
• Click to take survey.
• Fill in comments, then submit. You only get once chance, so make it count.
• Move down the list to the next of the 4 element of the project to give your opinion.

City planners have designed a very innovative project and clearly worked extremely hard to design the best possible project incorporating community and local business input and feedback for the fewest tradeoffs and losses to parking. In addition to two Community Open Houses, local business and stakeholders have been engaged for input during the design process. This project is also identified as part of the Land Use and Circulation Element, the Bike Action Plan, the Bergamot Area Plan, and the Pedestrian Action Plan

It appears the project is being attacked by one of the local businesses that has taken a dislike to the project due to a (minimal) loss of on street metered parking, and a median that restricts left turns. These changes mitigate the current rather serious traffic conflicts and congestion by improving traffic flow and safety for all road users. The business has chosen to use a hot button issue to solicit push back on this safety improvement project – THIS PROJECT IS ABOUT SAFE AND EQUITABLE ACESS and IMPROVING OVERALL STREET SAFETY FOR EVERYONE! We love and support our local businesses, but we are extremely disappointed in this one for this smear campaign. Parking must NEVER, EVER outweigh safety improvements. 

This project exceeded our hopes for Stewart & Pennsylvania as it was identified in the Bike Action Plan and the Pedestrian Action Plan. WE LOVE IT. It will finally provide a needed north/south bike connection, pedestrian improvements, improved – safer north/south connections to EXPO and improved safe routes to schools, parks and local businesses! There are almost always tradeoffs when streets are reimagined to incorporate and improve equity and safety as a priority. Please join us in support of this project by taking the short survey – it really only takes a few minutes. 

About:

Stewart & Pennsylvania Safety Enhancement

The City of Santa Monica’s Stewart & Pennsylvania Safety Enhancement Project will enhance safety and access to/from the Expo 26th Street/Bergamot Station, and address safety issues identified as part of the City’s Take the Friendly Road campaign. The project seeks to enhance the safety and comfort for pedestrians and bicyclists along Stewart Street between Colorado and Kansas, and Pennsylvania Avenue between 26th Street and Stewart Street The safety enhancements include:

  • Enhancement of the existing bikelane to a protected bikeway along Stewart Street from Kansas to Colorado/Yale. 
  • Intersection safety enhancements at Stewart Street/Colorado/Yale and Stewart/Nebraska making crossings easier to navigate for pedestrian/bicyclists 
  • Add new sidewalks and pedestrian scale lighting along Pennsylvania Avenue, between 26th Street and Stewart Street
  • Add Curb Extension and new curb ramps

This project is part of an on-going citywide effort to enhance safety for people that walk, bike, or take transit. 

Please do let us know if you have any questions. Stay tuned for future updates and Action Alerts!
Thank you in advance!