Sunday, December 4, 2016

LB PCH Transit Measures Up

Homer says to reduce Laguna's auto congestion give commuters an alternative to the automobile, build the infrastructure to offer travelers better options.  Here is a transit stop in Newport Beach (corrected). 
PCH at Beverly looking South

Here is the transit stop in Laguna, Beverly at PCH

Modern transit stops provide seating, shelter from the elements is obligatory and offer commuters transit route and schedule information.

PCH at Beverly looking North

This is transit Laguna style on-the-cheap, no seating no shelter and a complementary morning bath when the bus arrives. A planter box a palm tree and a transit sign all share the passenger sidewalk. What was the vision that supported this design?  What prohibited Laguna from implementing designs equal to the standards set by our neighboring towns?


Friday, November 25, 2016

LA Thanksgiving Traffic ABCNEWS

Left unchecked this is the Caltrans solution for Laguna Beach. There's a better way.

Tanaro River Piedmont Northern Italy, there is a connection.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

Raised Bikelane for Canyon Acres

Common in Denmark Germany
LCR to Canyon Acres and beyond

Laguna Canyon Road is crowded, here's a way to provide two more mobility modes for both residents and visitors, from Canyon Acres to downtown Laguna. This raised bike- lane common in Denmark Holland and Germany and adopted in San Francisco is used to separate ped, bike, parking and traffic on the same street. The topography on Laguna Canyon road is already correct for this design, simply add bollards and pavement paint.  Meanwhile if your conviction is adding more autos to the crowded mobility mix, the Auto Mobility convention starts Monday at the LA Convention Center, notable is the The Sharing Strategy event at 11:00am Monday.       -LS

Monday, November 7, 2016

Measure LL Teams with KK

Did you get one of these in the mail?  The YES on LL and KK  Locals want you to know the medical benefits of cannabis now relieves Laguna traffic congestion too. The Bogus campaign flyer says:
  • City Leaders (cheerleaders?) endorse LL and KK (a ballot measure only)
  • Measures LL and KK are important for Laguna's future
  • Measures LL and KK will knock-out traffic in Laguna Beach
  • Will protect Laguna Beach from more tourists
  • Protect Laguna Beach from state government overreach
  • Measure LL raises millions from tourists, then
  • Measure KK buys trolleys roadway improvements and a park-and-ride
  • Measure LL and KK ensure medical access for seniors and veterans
These guys are so desperate for a LL/KK two-fer they even promote Complete Streets.

The facts about Measures LL and KK remain as follows:
  1. Measure LL is an additional 2% hotel tax on 6% of Laguna's visitors, the money enters a city slush fund to be spent in any way the city chooses.
  2. Measure KK is poorly written legislation for medical cannabis, the outcome is dependent on passage of California Proposition 64 Marijuana Initiative. 
  3. These measures have nothing whatever to do with solving traffic congestion.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Role of Mobility Priorities

Newport Beach shows their 2014-2015 annual budget is $165 million with an increased property tax of 5%, increased sales tax 4.8%, and increased bed tax 6.1% that year. Their Public Works expenditure was $33 million. Meanwhile this senior was photographed last week sitting on the sidewalk while waiting for the Route1 bus, turns out the bus was stuck in Laguna traffic and late. The bus route provides a sign marker but no transit shelter not even a waiting bench to sit down.  Newport Beach is home to fine automobile dealerships like Ferrari, Maserati AND Lamborghini so maybe NB Public Works could reevaluate their priorities?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Completing the OC-Loop

Bet you didn't know a 66 mile loop exists to provide alternative mobility to the automobile in the heart of Orange County? Here's the OC-Loop in a nutshell:  A 66-mile paved loop connecting 650,000 residents and 340,000 jobs within one-mile connections to 17 Orange County cities, links to 200 city parks and access to 180 schools. The loop is 98% complete but OC Parks is inviting residents to join a public workshop to design the remaining 2%.
Click for details

Where: Yorba Linda Community Center, 4501 Casa Loma Ave, Yorba Linda 92886
When: Tuesday 15 November 2016 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Details: OCTA Website OC Loop Invitation

Westminster is broke while Laguna has cash reserves, yet Westminster is building alternative bike routes to connect with the OC-Loop. With better planning Laguna Beach could join the OC-Loop network by completing Old Laguna Canyon Road, from James Dilley Park to Lake Forest and beyond.

Monday, October 17, 2016

How to Hire City Consultants

Regional Active Transportation Forum October 14, Garden Grove, credit M Martinez

Last Friday 10/14 the Orange County Council of Governments (OCCG), the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) hosted another Active Transportation Forum, this time in Garden Grove. The agencies share a common mission, to prepare our county planning documents to qualify for state and federal grant funding for new transportation infrastructure, that means if their planning documents are not in order, they cannot compete for the funding.  In 2016 there was $79 million available in Federal CMAQ grant money up for grabs yet Laguna's General Plan Circulation Element was updated once in the last 42 years. Councilwoman Diana Carey showed the audience six essential preparations her city of Westminster used to qualify for funding and prepare for Active Transportation, Laguna doesn't meet any of the six.

Other Orange County communities are struggling to meet ever-increasing vehicular traffic so the Departments of Public Health, MPO and SCAG are cooperating to redesign urban settings from car-centric back to livable environments and public space for people. Active Transportation plays a role by moving people not just cars, how we plan and design our public space makes an impact on the economic, mental, physical and social health of city inhabitants.

Our speaker Hasan Ikhrata Executive Director of SCAG had advice for city institutions. When hiring planning consultants Hasan said "provide choices, don't direct options" meaning ask consultants for best design choices, don't specify the requirements to win the job.  For example to update the Laguna Beach Specific Plan the hired consultant will read these instructions:  Balance the need to preserve the existing village character and pedestrian orientation with the objective to accommodate the traffic and parking demands generated by tourists.   Wha?  That's like saying preserve our pedestrian orientation but hide the parking garage. What should a consultant design? A parking structure? A Gateway Opportunity?

Our City sells the illusion that if we get the parking just right our traffic congestion problems go away, if we hire the right consultant they can work this out 'cuz they are experts. It just ain't so. Laguna should hire experts for demonstrated best practices, not for options the city manager prescribes. If our city council cannot exercise oversight on behalf of residents (they don't) then it's time for new leadership from a council person who gets it. Judie Mancuso listens to consultants, she knows the difference between compensating for expert advice and paying for a jobs program. Judie knows to qualify for grant funding we need to get our General Plan in order and up to date.

Our keynote speaker was Founder and Director Daniel Iacofano of MIG Consulting -yes that MIG. Daniel explained a benefit of Active Transportation is Real Estate Value Capture:  to revitalize any business district and raise property values, you reduce automobile traffic and increase walk-in traffic. Parklets done right are a means of creating community space that people are drawn to, hence walk-in traffic.

Caltrans, OCTA and SoCal cities shared good company at the event, Laguna did not send a city Rep. Laguna needs council members who draw best practices from outside Laguna, vote Judie Mancuso for City Council.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Get-Moving OC Forum #2 Results

The I5 Bottle-Neck Problem Depicted for Toll-Road Solution
Orange County expects another 400,000 inhabitants between now and the year 2035. During that time the Orange County Transportation Authority will administer $14.8 Billion in Measure M funding to alleviate traffic congestion but the delay times are still projected to increase 64% if nothing more is done. Fortunately the Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) that brought us the 241 and 73 Toll Roads have begun a rigorous program of public uptake to determine 1) if I5 has a congestion problem, 2) if a community consensus can be found 3) who holds the keys to gain community support for making infrastructure "improvements".  In Public Forum #2  held 5 October 2016 the TCA in collaboration with Caltrans and OCTA (Orange County Transit Authority) revealed 14 Ideas for road infrastructure projects, consisting mainly of Toll Roads and widening of existing roads. The following are highlights of the TCA plan.

Special Consultant Conclusions:
  1. A community-wide agreement on I5 solution is unlikely
  2. There is a high level of agreement that I5 has a congestion problem
  3. Due to 1. elected officials are perceived as the most appropriate persons to develop (I5) solutions
What the 14 Ideas (roadway modifications in the map) show
  • The single modality considered for moving people is automobiles
  • The single requirement for improving transport is car delay time (LOS)
  • The single performance criteria for improvement is reducing delay time
  • Among the roads modified is Ortega Highway 74 as 4-lanes
  • Idea #7 widens 133 Laguna Canyon Road and arterial highways
  • Toll-Road costs start at $100 million per mile 
  • Average reduction in delay time is a meaningless 1-5 percent.