Monday, September 10, 2018
Letter to Council and Residents LB:
At the end of the first Candidate Forum 9/6 Councilman Rob Zur Schmiede remarked the city of Laguna Beach already adopted Complete Streets Policy. Public remarks like this placate a parting audience and spread disinformation, worse the remark leads community residents to the wrong conclusion. Let's review the facts.
To qualify for grant funding assistance a city must have documents in place the way Los Angeles did in this comparison with Laguna. To date Laguna Beach has not prepared any of these prerequisite documents and thus could not possibly adopt Complete Streets Policy. Laguna's latest Transportation, Circulation and Growth Element was adopted in 1992, features Model 'A' Fords on the cover, Bob Gentry was Mayor TWENTY-SIX YEARS AGO. In it there is no reference to Complete Streets Policy.
Laguna's Enhanced Mobility and Complete Streets Transition Plan referred to by Zur Schmiede is not a policy document and thus is not policy. Instead it is rubber-stamped with this disclaimer:
Laguna's Enhanced Mobility and Complete Streets Transition Plan is instead an 84 page exercise for city staff to generate paper not policy, it reads like Wikipedia bookmarks not a city commitment for ACTION.
Costing $118,000 in grant funding plus consultants expense plus staff time, the exercise was a city jobs program not Complete Streets Policy. If it were policy the content would be consistent with a complete street*, a Twelve Millon Dollar automobile parking lot would not be disguised as The Village Entrance.
Lorene Laguna is the only candidate to promote Complete Streets Policy. She served on the Laguna Canyon Road Task Force and recognizes adding more auto infrastructure to remove traffic congestion is counter intuitive, like raising speed limits to calm traffic. One last factoid, Mr Zur Schmiede was not the only council candidate to complete the LB City Citizen Academy.
*Document excerpt: The level of service (LOS) would count people not vehicles (page 13), SYNCHRO would model roadway users not vehicles (page 28).