Sunday, September 18, 2016

Laguna is Going for Gold

2007 Pedestrian Collisions
Dave Hansen referees in "Laguna Battles for Gold in Street Injuries" showing the pedestrian injury/fatalities for Laguna Beach is bad and getting worse. Dave explains that accident records show injury/fatalities compiled in police records since 2007 are not Riverside lunch-bag day-trippers, it's Lagunans too. It's not 3:00am July 5th but Wednesdays in December.
2014 Pedestrian Collisions

An LB City Council member recently said, Laguna's traffic congestion is caused by pedestrians.........  While pedestrians may remain the inconvenient truth for motorists, there is something seriously wrong when council members wear their Consciousness like a traffic cone.

The graphics show where pedestrian collisions occurred, in 2007 there were 19 collisions and 1 fatality, in 2014 there were 33 collisions and 2 fatalities, a 74% increase.   -LS

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Low Cost Housing for Laguna

Laguna Canyon Nada
Good news for car owners, soon you won't need one. In San Diego's Little Italy a new development has eliminated parking requirements in order to encourage car-free living and reduce the cost of rents.

In WSJ Ester Fong's endeavor to show both sides of the argument she is very successful, so thorough we completely loose the purpose for building low-cost housing. Rather we take the parking-brawl outside for a street-fight in the Commentary section because when it comes to urban planning, everybody is an expert.

So far 61 experts wrote commentary because every writer knows their piece of the elephant. Some writers remark how such a lefty progressive idea couldn't possibly work in Houston, others write how relaxing parking requirements failed in Portland. Yet others say let market forces determine housing densities so "keep-a you hands off my kaaa".  If free-market forces are such a good thing, why does Laguna suffer under the summer traffic congestion it experiences now? Maybe existing regulations and free-market forces - the availability of cars-on-the-cheap have something to do with it.

Commentary can be misleading. The statements following Fong's piece distract the reader from the central idea: how relaxing parking regulations benefit affordable housing. If Ester Fong combined Complete Streets Policy with urban planning, then a community of low-cost housing connected by transportation free of parking costs would emerge.  Low cost housing development is sorely needed by the art community in Laguna Beach, in neighborhoods long ignored. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Laguna's Parking Requirements Uncool

It's not the 60's Man ....  so why regulate by old-rules?  Laguna like Ottawa should get hip - we have a Golden Opportunity not a Gateway Opportunity.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Steps to Complete Streets: Test and Verify
September 25 11a-6p is CARFREE Day in Paris (photo Gypsy Ninja)

Step 4. Influence Factors

Paris is removing cars from the city downtown and building a massive pedestrian zone, just as Time Square NYC did. As a public-outreach gesture the city is testing the actual street closure with more than a high-priced consultant workshop, they simply close the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and monitor public reaction. Plan, build, test and tweek, the simplified steps to a Complete Street. See more photos and detail at Gypsy Ninja here.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Latest Collision Map for Laguna PCH

Collision Maps for 2014-2015

The Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) collects collision data from the California Highway Patrol and municipal police departments for all highways and surface streets in California. The Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS) established by researchers through SafeTREC at the University of California Berkeley provides data and mapping analysis tools for traffic safety related research, policy and planning. In collaboration with Google Maps the collision data is presented as blue push-pins on the Google satellite views you see below. The three maps show the collisions for the latest data available from full years 2014-2015.  The collision data is immature for the 2014-2015 period, expect the number to increase above those shown here.

Click to enlarge
The first map shows the number and locations of collisions of all types recorded for South Coast Highway (PCH) through Laguna Beach. The bike-routes through Laguna Beach are colored green.

Click to enlarge

The second map shows all the recorded bicycle collisions on surface streets for Laguna Beach in the 2014-2015 period.

Click to enlarge

The third map shows the recorded bicycle collisions on PCH in Laguna Beach for the 2014-2015 period. The average number of these bicycle related collisions is 6 per year. When the OTS database for 2014-2015 is complete, expect the number of collisions shown to increase. 


Friday, August 26, 2016

Why We Pay Consultants

Forest Avenue 1938
According to MIG Consultants quote:


Downtown Laguna Beach has a unique eclectic character created by a series of architecturally varied one-and two-story buildings.This character exists because downtown Laguna Beach is a remnant from an era where cars were not the typical mode of transportation. Walking and bicycles were more commonly utilized and thus, these low-slung buildings were originally designed to be a comfortable pedestrian scale.


Friday, August 19, 2016

3-D Tools for Street Visualization
4-Ways to Road Diet (click here)
Here are some design tools from Cupola Media useful for visualizing roadway designs before mistakes are made during installation. As Laguna rethinks the purpose of public parkletts consider these tools for active street design, before the next Parklett Rodeo kick-off in Laguna Beach.

Animation I shows 4-ways to reduce traffic congestion with a road diet. Two of these are directly applicable
to Laguna Canyon Road and
Temple Hills Drive.
Street Design brought to life in 3-D Animation
3-D Animation of Hailey Idaho, (click here)
Annimation II shows different roadway interventions for traffic calming techniques. The entire process is put in motion, the pedestrians cyclists and vehicles move, different cameras are chosen and move along the roadway. You apply all these elements to the scene in Animation III.
Here's the awesome part, this is where you design the roadway yourself. In Animation III  you choose the roadway elements, choose different cameras, and set the entire scene in motion with simple mouse clicks. Try it! Click on the animation to participate in a full-screen experience. You Drive!

What if Laguna Beach made animations of Forest Avenue, Laguna Canon Road, PCH?

All this is made possible with the collaborative genius of Jeff Speck, Spencer Boomhower and Unity WebGL technologies at Cupola Media.


Monday, August 15, 2016

LCR Planning Study

Task 2.14 Deliverable from MIG Consulting
Latest deliverables for the Laguna Canyon Planning Study from MIG Consulting, 66 pages condensed to bullet form on mobility planning (traffic) measures:
  • Task 1.6 Deliverable Review of Existing Documents and Site Conditions, Opportunities and Constraints Memo, Stakeholder Interviews Summary and Community Workshop Input Summary (document here)
  • Task 2.14 Draft Report of Initial Recommendations(document here)
Here are some confounding excerpts related to streets, traffic management, and adopting Complete Streets Policy for the Laguna Canyon community.

Task 1.6 is a review summary:
  • The Laguna Beach General Plan (1999) includes policies and actions to set a vision and guide growth in Laguna Beach. 
  • Minimize the impact of the automobile on the character of Laguna Beach and emphasize a pedestrian-oriented environment, safe sidewalks, landscaped buffer zones, and alternate means of transportation.
  • The circulation element also acknowledges the reality that "each increase in the provision for private motor vehicle use is usually made at the expense" of other road users. 
  • Understanding that its circulation system is "already in place with little land left for development".
  • Opportunities for new or expanded roadways are severely constrained by topographic constraints.
  • Expansion of existing roadways will provide only temporary improvement of congestion and traffic ... innovative techniques will need to be developed to
    effect permanent improvements.
  • City Complete Streets Plan (2015): LCR capacity capacity is 40,000 vehicles (cars) per day south of Canyon Acres Road and 20,000 north of Canyon Acres Road, measured traffic is 36,000 south of Canyon Acres Road and 37,500 north of Canyon Acres Road.
  • Several existing General Plan policies are found to be incompatible with the goals for complete streets. According to the (Complete Streets) plan, the best way to enhance mobility in the City is to optimize existing, and develop new infrastructure that will give residents, employees, and visitors the option to opt out of driving their vehicle through Laguna Beach, and instead bike, walk or utilize transit.
Task 2.14 are recommendations:
  • Install a soft surface pedestrian path on the east side of Laguna Canyon Road. (east is ambiguous depending on map you read in 2.14).
    Consider alternatives to the existing pedestrian crossing at Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) (change pedestrian crossing or install bridge).
  • Identify a specific approval process for new development in Laguna Canyon Annexation Area Specific Plan. Consider consolidating design guidelines for Laguna Canyon found in other planning (existing) documents into the Plan.
  • Require a City approved master plan from LCAD and Anneliese School.
  • Use natural landscaping to restore the natural look and as a "screening tool" to hide off-street parking and parked automobiles.
  • The Canyon Road Task Force showed moderate support for design alternatives E and G  but the consultant made no recommendation for any of the alternatives A-F studied.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Consultant Assesment Downtown Specific Pan

DSP Five Gateways, click to enlarge

  • The Laguna Beach Independent  "The First Try at Downtown Update Misses the Mark." Independent article here.
  • Draft Downtown Framework, Task 2.13, MIG Consultants, July 2016  here
  • MIG Consultants Task List here.

What MIG offers us in the Draft Framework:
  • 5 locations as Gateways opportunities for development (p3,14,15)
  • Parking: Las Brisas, V Entrance, NE Broadway&PCH, Act V
  • Pedestrian Scrambles
  • Parklets on Forest Ave
  • Bike friendly Ocean Ave, 100 yards of bike access
  • Way-finding signs to parking lots
  • Pedestrian chicken-strips at Cliff and PCH
  • Pedestrians are traffic calming devices, Forest & PCH!
  • Permeable multi-use path for the Village Entrance
  • Re-purpose downtown alley(s)
  • Specific street improvements follow:
  • Forest Avenue: "Amplify the existing streetscape amenities"  
  • Ocean Avenue: Modify as bike-friendly street
  • Broadway: Visually connect downtown to Main Beach via plazas
  • Move transit station out of town
  • Bike and Ped access for Broadway not recommended
Will Laguna build a banana peeler?

  What MIG forgot:
  • Autonomous cars
  • Car Share
  • Bike Share
  • Bikeracks
  • Transit stops at Gateways
  • OCTA Regional Corridor
  • Lightrail terminal plan
  • Embellish the existing Transit Station
  • Pedestrian Zones
  • No Pocket Parks see Parklets
  • Modified, In Lieu or relaxed parking requirements
  • Substitute beach transit for parking spaces to satisfy Coastal Commission


Friday, July 22, 2016

Automating New Urban Landscape

Shared Use + Automation = New Urban Design
  • narrower streets means
  • greater public space

Car usage today 4%   Car lifespan parked 96%

Morgan Stanley:
  • Car ownership unnecessary
  • Car dealerships obsolete