Thursday, September 29, 2022

Gov. Newsom signs OmniBike Bill AB 1909

On Friday 23 September 2022 California Governor Newsom signed the "OmniBike" Bill into law making four significant safety enhancements to existing law concerning cycling. 

  1. Obsolete
    Existing law required motorists to give people on bikes a 3-foot margin when passing, this law was difficult to enforce and did not provide enough space for safe passing. The change requires motorists to change lanes whenever passing a bicyclist, the new law is easier for police to enforce.
  2. Some jurisdictions requiring bicycle license laws have abused the law by harassing youth riders, the new provision removes bicycle licensing laws throughout California. AB 1909 removes the pretext for biased policing against bicyclists.
  3. In some areas eBikes are banned on bikeways, the new provision allows eBikes equal access to bikeways everywhere. Exceptions are State Parks and Recreation Departments may continue to prohibit them, local authorities may ban them from equestrian, hiking, and recreational trails.
  4. Bikes are considered vehicles and follow normal traffic rules at intersections, the final provision allows bike riders to cross streets on pedestrian walk signals rather than only a green traffic light.  AB 2264 directs Caltrans to give pedestrians a 3-7 second headstart on crossing the street. If AB 2264 is signed, provisions in AB 1909 allows people on bikes a headstart, too.  A study in San Francisco shows traffic violations reduced 65-98% when pedestrians are given this headstart.  For more detail see the CalBike report.



Sunday, September 18, 2022

Beach Fee for Day-Trippers

Who should have access to public beaches?  In California private beach property boundaries extend to the mean high-tide line, the beach going public gets the ocean side. This means private beaches occur the length of California that everybody can go to.

In Carbon Beach Malibu, billionaire moguls scoffed at rightful public beach access putting up "NO Parking" signs, painting curbs red, and building fake garage doors to enforce their illegal excluded visitors. 

The restaurant owners at Paradise Cove Malibu, placed "NO SURFING" signs to discourage the surfing riff-Raff (us). In 2014 the restaurant withdrew their restrictions on order by the California Coastal Commission, then in June 2022 restaurant owners began charging a $20 Beach Membership to access the beach. 

The Commission reminded Paradise Cove Land Co. threatening to levy fines of up to $11,250 per day for blocking public access.  The $40 parking fee remains although visitors may park along the highway for free. So how should beach communities otherwise pay for city services bestowed on beach visiting guests? Some resort to parking fees and membership fees.

Notice the absence of visitors walking, biking, busing in these short videos.

Malibu Beach Parking

Blocking Beach Access

Paradise Cove, Malibu  (drone view)

 Paradise Cove, Malibu (walking view)

Carbon Beach, Malibu 

Malibu Solution: New Beach Parking because "Nobody Walks in LA"

Cape Cod National Seashore

Beach entrance fees (below) are collected daily from late June through Labor Day, weekends and holidays from Memorial Day through September.  All passes are sold during the months that the fees are collected. Passes are sold at the beaches not the park visitor centers.

Daily Vehicle - $25.00

Daily Motorcycle - $20.00

Daily Bicycle or On-Foot - $15.00 (under 16 free)

California State Park Beaches

Parking for Peak Season Weekend and Holidays: $20

Day Parking: $10

Small Bus: $30

For California State Parks entry fees apply for all motorized entry into the park and there is no parking available outside of the park. However, there is no fee for hikers or bicyclists entering the park.


Saturday, September 10, 2022

Black Rock City and Day-Trippers

The Burning Man Festival near Gerlach and Empire in northwest Nevada was held over the Labor Day weekend 2022 resulting in a massive 9-hour traffic jam. Here's what car-culture looks like.

9-hour traffic jam leaving Burning Man (Russian)

Black Rock City is a parking lot.

Burning Man Festival Parking, 2022

How do Burning Man visitors pay for city services?  Black Rock City charges admission to the festival event.  


Organized and promoted by the Burning Man Project - the equivalent of Visit Laguna in Laguna Beach, this festival of arts is held annually on the playa desert in Nevada. In 2019, 78,850 people participated, then influenced by Covid in 2021 the unofficial event had an estimated 20,000 attendees.


"An underground gathering for bohemians and free spirits of all stripes, Burning Man has evolved into a destination for social media influencers, celebrities and the Silicon Valley elite."-NPR   Each year the festival is organized by the Burning Man Project around a new theme. Participants are invited to build art projects, activities and events in that theme. Artwork includes experimental and interactive sculptures, buildings, artistic vehicles, theatric performances and other media.   

Participation is a key precept for the community, much like Laguna day-trippers there is much controversy in the community over the problem of non-participatory influencers and elite at the event.


Regular admission (2016) for individual tickets is $424. CNBC (2016) estimated the total cost of attending could range from $1,300 up to $20,000. Money magazine (2017) estimated an average total cost of $2,348 to attend.

Meanwhile, the regular admission price has increased over the years, Nevada lawmakers have modified the entertainment and sales tax code to include nonprofits like Burning Man Project, the festival tax burden is absorbed in the admission price.  

City Services

Firefighting, emergency medical services (EMS) mental health, and communications support is provided by the volunteer Black Rock City Emergency Services Department (ESD). EMS units are funded by local, provincial or national governments.


Black Rock City is patrolled by various local and state law enforcement  agencies as well as the Bureau of Land Management Rangers. The cost of enforcement is carried outside Black Rock City, BLM is funded by the federal government

Burning Man also has its own in-house group of volunteers, the Black Rock Rangers at no cost to the City. The Rangers act as informal mediators when disputes arise between participants. 

Local  Gerlach-Empire police issue $1500 citations for drug and alcohol abuse.

Commercial Philosophy

The organizers encourage festival attendees as self reliant individuals, to bring all living provisions termed radical self reliance.  Cash transactions are not permitted between attendees.  Cash can be used for a select few charity, fuel, and sanitation vendors: ice sales benefit the Gerlach-Empire school system, private portable toilet services and shuttles to the airport, private diesel fuel.

"To preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience." -Wikipedia

How We Do It

With ticket sales nominally topping $6.4 million, Black Rock Project is well organized to be a profitable "nonprofit LLC" venture by covering visitor costs and externalizing their most expensive city services. There are no plans for parking structures or parking meters in Black Rock City.

Visit the Burning Man subscription page for RSS Feed, Facebook and Twitter links.


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

How Venice Handles Day-Trippers

Venice Italy supports 55,000 residents and hosts 20-30 million tourists, up to 120,000 per day. What steps has Venice taken to manage visitors?
Grand Canal, Venice Italy (Credit:Getty Images, DW)
  • Charge a contributo di sbarco (disembark fee) started 2019
  • Up to $11.50 charged day-trippers to enter Venice a World Heritage Site
  • Exemptions for students, regional residents, local business
  • Separate from hotel taxes valued $39 Million in 2017
  • Fees will help balance this appetite for travel with preserving environment. 
  • Pays for city services, sanitation and resources
  • WEF promotes sustainable practices for global tourism. (World Economic Forum)

Sunday, August 28, 2022

European Countries Pay to Bike or Transit

Some European countries offer motorists incentives to ride bikes and use transit instead of driving.

In France the number of daily trips by bicycle are 3% today, the country offers incentives to make 9% by 2024; they pay people to ride bikes.

  • 4,000 Euros to car drivers to switch to eBikes
  • Trade-ins on gas guzzlers for bikes or eBikes
  • Or keep your car and earn a 400 Euro bike grant
  • Paris will pay you 500 Euros for Folding/eBike/Transit pass
  • Netherlands hosts 27% of bike trips today
  • Finland and Lithuania offer 1000 Euros toward bikes 
  • 70 European countries pledge carbon neutrality by 2050
  • Belgium, Netherlands, UK pay for ride-to-work incentives
  • Belgium pays approximately US $0.45 per mile


Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Can Laguna Adopt New Urbanism?

Who benefits?
  • Residents
  • Visitors
  • Businesses

How to do it?

  • Temporary Structures
  • Experiment
  • Revenue


Monday, August 22, 2022

Pedestrian Collisions and OTS Data

2020 Pedestrian Collisions (8) Map 

Cal Office of Traffic Safety Collision Rankings for LB 2019 (latest):

Total Fatal and Injury           115           8/103
Alcohol Involved                     13         13/103
Motorcycles                            15           2/103
Pedestrians                             14          4/103
Pedestrians < 15                      0        99/103
Pedestrians 65+                       4          3/103
Bicyclists                                  7        12/103
Bicyclists < 15                         0        91/103
Composite                              59        17/103

Speed Related                         30        2/103
Nighttime (9:00pm–3am         11        6/103
Hit and Run                              2       51/103


Friday, August 19, 2022


 Legislative Information header image: click to go to the home page

There is new legislation before our State Senate and Assembly - 15 bills in all, to improve safety for pedestrians and bike riders including eBike riders. BROUGHT TO US BY THE CALIFORNIA BICYCLE COALITION or CalBike.  To support all 15 Bills see the link below.
Here are some highlights, timely in view of recent Laguna collision tragedies. 
On Governor's Desk 
* E-Bike Safety Training Program: Requires CALTRANS to develop statewide safety standards and training programs for users of e-bikes. 
In California Senate 
* Safe Street Crossings: Legalizes safe pedestrian mid-block crossings. 
* Pedestrian Crossing Signals: Requires CALTRANS and cities to update all pedestrian control signals to operate giving a pedestrian a 3-7 second head start on circular green signal. 
* PLAN FOR THE FUTURE BILL: Requires cities to ensure that a modified circulation element additionally includes bicycle and pedestrian plans and traffic calming plans. (LB CITY HALL ARE YOU THERE?) 
In California Assembly 
* Speed and Wreckless Driving: Increases local funding in circumstances that constitute gross negligence for manslaughter (because despite the pandemic since 2020, deaths an injuries due to vehicle collisions went up).

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Laguna Beach Ballot Iniative: Part B

The way we were. 

Forgotten public space, NYC 1920, photo credit VOX

There was a time in American history when neighborhood streets were shared public space and automobiles were new-fangled annoyances. Then a new automobile lobby rallied automobile manufactures to fight back eventually dominating public streets as exclusively for cars. The new normal was called progress. ( The forgotten history of how automakers invented the crime of "jaywalking", Joseph Stromberg, November 4 2015, VOX)

Lozenges (Los Angeles) like most US cities suffers from a car-centric mobility system that frequently becomes saturated, traffic congestion is the result. To their credit Angelinos are moving away from their car-centric plan by developing other modes of transportation.(Getting Cars out of the Way, LA Times, Rachel Uranga).

Lozenges adopted city policy documents and plans to do this. A change from car-centric to mixed-mode transportation like walking/biking/transit. The portion devoted to each is called mode-share, the changes brought to the streets are called complete street interventions. Building new mode-share means qualifying, designing, funding, and building the remaining mode-share infrastructure.

This week an initiative to build these mode-shares is before the LA City Clerk and LA Council. Local Angelinos drafted the initiative to place before voters. In the past special interests have stalled these initiatives in city red-tape among city departments, lawsuits, and lack of political will when facing irate motorists. 

Mike Schneider is an LA software entrepreneur and Angelino mobility advocate and founder of Healthy Streets LA - a political action committee with financial backing from wealthy donors. To avoid administrative delay, the Healthy Streets LA PAC is fast-tracking the mode-share initiative in a ballot measure before LA voters in November. 

Laguna Beach is preparing to place a Ballot Initiative before the voters in November too. Laguna Beach could follow the LA example.  Laguna has all the same elements for supporting new mode-share initiative in the existing city Capital & Improvement (C&I) plan, so every time our neighborhood streets are repaved and striped, the mode-share interventions are included. This builds mode-share infrastructure in increments already committed in C&I.

Would Laguna Residents First consider adopting a mode-share initiative PART-B for Laguna Beach, including it in the LRF Ballot Measure? Package a Laguna mode-share amendment in the November Ballot Initiative for Laguna Beach. Stay tuned.

NYC by 1925


Thursday, August 11, 2022

ACT TODAY to Save Bike-Share in California

 Remember these?

Pending legislation in the California Senate AB-371 will mandate bike-share and scooter providers carry liability insurance forcing some out of business. At a time when California is developing another transportation mode-share, this mandate will kill small micromobility operators. Compare insurance requirements:

  • 4,000 pounds Automobile
  • 80+ mph
  • $15,000 (current CA insurance minimum)
  • Bike-share bike
  • 45 pounds
  • 18 mph
  • $10,000 (if AB 371 passes)

The Kill Bike-Share Bill singles out shared scooters and shared bikes for an onerous insurance requirement. This bill should be fixed. What can you do about it?

Today August 11, California’s Senate Appropriations Committee will review AB 371 AB 371. Senator Portantino, a supporter of active and accessible transportation, chairs the Committee and you can let him know Californians across the state want a better future for micromobility. 


Help protect the future of California’s shared micromobility systems by sending Senator Portantino a letter opposing the bill’s burdensome requirements today.


 On behalf of CalBike, People for Bikes, and mobility advocates statewide, Thank you for participating.