Friday, December 23, 2011

Caltrans News, PCH and Canyon Road for multi-users

After many years of being shut out, bicycling now has representation on the powerful Caltrans advisory committee that sets statewide standards for bike lanes and other traffic control devices. Caltrans appointed two new seats to the California Traffic Control Devices Committee to represent "non-motorized" interests, including bicyclists, pedestrians and transit riders. Caltrans has jurisdiction over Laguna Canyon Road and PCH and are tasked with accommodating non-motorized road users by federal mandate. More lawmaker news from the California Bicycle Coalition:
  • CBC is sponsoring AB-819 to give local agencies leeway to design bike-ways that they have with their own streets and roads. By eliminating the Caltrans monopoly on bikeway designs, AB 819 will lead to a huge expansion in safer bikeway designs throughout California.
  • CBC is asking the California Legislature to maintain the current proportion of federal funds it spends for bike and pedestrian projects.
  • CBC will re-introduce the 3-foot passing bill Governor Brown vetoed in October.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

San Clemente Released Bicycle and Pedestrain Plan

December 7 2011: The City of San Clemente agreed to release the INITIAL DRAFT of their first ever Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

The Initial Draft of Laguna's first ever bicycle and pedestrian plan was submitted to the City of Laguna Beach for review in April 2010 and never heard from again. See the Laguna version below under RESOURCES.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bike to Work: How to get Started

Jake Lynch and his wife moved to Washington D.C. and traded their car for two bikes.  " But the thing I've noticed the most is how my body feels. It's awesome."  Here is the story how one working couple made a car-free transition and how they got started. Read about their daily commute  where no parking is required.  Story by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

KIA Superbowl Ad

Getting Kids back into cars is automobile industry JOB 1.

Ratcheting up marketing to kids. Marketing cars directly to children pays off big for car companies even though they won’t be driving or buying their own for years. American children in particular hold real sway over family purchases. How about Laguna  Beach Unified District students?  DC Streets Blog has the story.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Week in Review for CSTF

Results of Tuesday 22 November Council meeting addressing Complete Streets infrastructure projects:
  • CSTF under city review make 24 recommendations for CS infrastructure
  • City Staff writes agenda bill, 3 from CSTF, 3 unfamiliar, 1 contingency
  • Staff re-label agenda bill with a CSTF origin
  • Council allocates budget: $5k for Sharrows, $20k for trail building, $50k for consultant fees, and $225K for further in-house studies and fees
  • Summary: out of $300k, $5k pays for cycling infrastructure
Also making news:
  • Susi-Q considers CSTF News as SPAM, requests list removal
  • Saturday 26 Nov. cyclist hit by motorist Forest and PCH
  • Saturday 26 Nov. cyclist accident on Laguna Canyon Road
  • Sunday 27 Nov. two pedestrians hit by motorist, Brooks and PCH

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Grateful for the New Orange Freeway

Seventeen strangers traveled 30 miles making 16 friends and sparing the air 510 pounds of CO2. This is the view down the Class I bike freeway at the Santa Ana River.  Starting in Newport Beach this bikeway links 7 cities,  Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Garden Grove and Orange without a single stop sign.

Monday, November 21, 2011

"SHARROWS" by Los Angeles D.O.T.

This is how Sharrows are done in Los Angeles, Bright Green. This painted lane alerts motorists to share the lane with non-motorized traffic, and directs cyclists to ride outside the door-zone of parked cars. The lane is 1.5 miles long, 6 feet wide and next to a 4-foot buffer zone, leaving an 8-foot parking zone on this street. Cycling advocates in Laguna Beach say they hope to see these lanes used on major commuter corridors such as Cliff Drive, Glenneyre, Laguna Canyon Road, PCH and Virginia Street (S Laguna) where on-street parking is non-negotiable. See the LA Times story on-line.

Pre-Thanksgiving Day Bike Ride and Brunch

Ever wonder what it's like to cycle a freeway without the cars? Come and find out. Wednesday 23 November we ride the Santa Ana River 30 miles, from Newport Beach to Orange. We’ll return to the Newport Pier a little after 1pm. It’s an easy off-street route, so bring a friend and join us:

  • 8am Wednesday Nov. 23rd
  • Meet at the Newport Pier
  • Easy, Off-street & Fun
  • About 30 miles round trip
  • Remember sunscreen! 
For more details see bike Newport Beach.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Give Your 3 Minutes at Laguna Beach City Council Meeting Tuesday 6 pm

Please attend to show your support during public comments at Laguna Beach City Council meeting Tuesday, November 15. Meeting commences at 6 pm.

Chris Prelitz, chair of the Environmental Committee will address city council to move forward environmentally and economically (hear from him how the two go hand-in-hand). He only has 3 minutes to present. Speak in support of Complete Streets and sustainability for Laguna Beach!

Hope to see you there.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Complete Streets Task Force and Safer Passages share cooperation

"Our Mission is to raise awareness so that pedestrians and motorists will save lives by doing the following:"
        *Look Up Find the Eyes!
        *Hang up, Drive!
        *Don't Text and Drive!
        *Don't Text and Walk!
        *Keep your eyes on the Road!
        *See a problem, Report it

Friday, November 11, 2011

Guess where this is?

First Laguna Beach Sharrows to support cycling appeared on Cypress Drive and LeDroite this week. Bike Route signs appeared on Rosa Bonhuer and Monterey. Share the Road!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Memorial Ghost Bike on Park Avenue

A memorial ghost bike was erected on Park Avenue near Tahiti for Mark Leones, 28 of Costa Mesa who fatally crashed his bicycle while descending Park Avenue Sunday morning 16 October. Mark was riding with a group of cyclists when he lost control and crashed. According to police Mark was wearing a helmet. Mark Leones is the eighth cyclist to die in Orange County this year.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Our Energy Trap

An an increasing number of Americans are caught between the cost of gasoline and a systemic inability to stop driving their cars. In the last 60 years America has become a "motorized society" in which most of our citizens have become totally dependent on daily travel by car for their existence. Take away our cars and most of us would be hard pressed to reorganize our lives to provide for the essentials of life. Findings from the Energy Trap, an project of the New America foundation, a think-tank funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. Read "The Peak-Oil Crisis: The Energy Trap" at the Post Carbon Institute.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Signs of Improvement from CALTRANS???

This is the promising new view of the road heading northbound or southbound on Laguna Canyon Road.  In Phase 4 of the highway plans for construction, CALTRANS calls for 8 foot shoulders and bike lanes extending south to Laguna from El Toro. Estimated completion will be late in 2012. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bicyclist killed Sunday Morning at Park and Tahiti

A 28-year-old bicycle rider died Sunday morning after he crashed his bike riding down Park Ave near Tahiti Dr. Mark Leones, 28 of Costa Mesa was riding with a group of cyclist when the accident occured. This location is a school zone for Thurston Intermediate School but has no bicycle lane provisions, the posted speed is 25mph.  See more details at Stu News Laguna Beach.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How Sharrows evolved in the city of Glendale

The city’s success with Sharrows had another, almost psychic benefit to the city. Every single person I spoke with to prepare for this series brought up an attempt to put bike lanes on Verdugo Avenue over ten years ago that led to such a backlash that city staff literally cringed at its mention. But for Sharrows, the reaction was different. Mayor Friedman commented that “98%” of the feedback she received was positive.  Mike Nilson with City Planning, took it one step further, “Before Sharrows, people looked at bike projects as ‘taking away parking’ or ‘taking away car travel lanes.’” And now the city is ready to move beyond Sharrows and try adding bike lanes again. Plans are in the work for bike lanes as part of the Riverdale-Maple Greenway and a separate project is scheduled for Main Street…
“These small changes begin to add up to a changed street life in Glendale. It’s not as though the city has transformed from a car dominated transportation system to Copenhagen, but small changes add up over time. Sharrows, better crossings, traffic calming, these are all things that weren’t a part of Glendale’s plan a couple of years ago, but are all in the mix now whenever a transportation project is considered

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Los Angeles hosts CicLAvia Sunday 9 October 2011

Join the Party in Los Angeles! Seven and a half miles of streets will be car-free from 10 AM - 3 PM on Sunday October 10th 2010. Bring your feet, bring your bike, come meet the neighbors.

The Cic-LA-via
Train Transport Metrolink

Sunday Metrolink Fare: $10
Mayor Villaraigossa said: 'Walk, Bike, Bus, Metro but don't Drive!'

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Great Buy-In

Have you ever sat motionless in Laguna traffic wondering where the guy in front of you is from? You might have thought if he wasn’t driving a car Laguna’s streets would be a little less crowded, or you thought “he’s one of those 6 million summer visitors.” Well here is a surprise, moving-citation data from the LB Police Department shows the guy in front of you is 94% likely to be from California, 43% likely from Laguna or our closest 5 neighbor cities, and 26% likely to be a Laguna resident. So don’t blame traffic on visiting Oklahoma drivers, the problem is us.

Naturally most people get around Laguna by driving because the alternatives to driving are oh so “inconvenient”. How inconvenient is sitting in traffic motionless? Let me deliver the final clue now, ever consider yourself as part of the problem? If your answer feels like a confession that’s good, press on.

So how did we arrive here today with a transport system that shows it’s inadequacies despite years and years of refinements, paid consultants and re-designs? Since the 1950’s Laguna Beach like so many other cities around the nation has experienced an erosion of city infrastructure caused by the automobile. Erosion begins with little bites first: one-way streets, bigger intersections, road widening, straightened roads, faster speeds, greater LOS (an engineering term I call Level of Suffering). Then come the desperate bites swallowed whole: the by-pass road, the expressway, the toll road, the mega-transfer lot and the smartcard-activated  underground robot parking garage (made in Germany).

Building automobile infrastructure is in direct opposition to what I’ll call “transit infrastructure”, bus lanes, crosswalks, bike-paths, and pedestrian sidewalks. The preponderance for automobiles causes a dynamic effect, the more space provided cars in cities, the greater becomes the need for cars.  Still more space is allocated for them, both when they are moving and when they are idle. Laguna has not been immune from automobile infrastructure, look at an aerial photograph of the Art Festival grounds and you will be astonished to see 80% of the livable space is paved over for parking spaces and Laguna Canyon Road. The actual Festival Buildings  are packed into the remaining 20%.

Irvine development is planning 5000 more homes near the Great Mall. Guess what those folks drive to the beach? Automobile erosion no longer works as a single mobility solution for us, Laguna needs a new attrition plan for the private automobile and working alternatives. Complete Street Policy is a solution with a working track record, every person you see walking, biking or busing means one less car on the road and another free parking space. If you recognize that further automobile erosion is unworkable in Laguna Beach, you are ready to complete the streets. The Task Force for Complete Streets meets the second Tuesday of each month at 5:00, Senior Center. Come join the discussion.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Coming soon, first bike lanes for Laguna Beach

The first official bike lanes in Laguna Beach were approved in a 4:0:1 vote today by Laguna Beach City Council. Bike lanes for Monterey Drive and Sharrows for Cypress Street with signage will appear soon.

Monday, September 19, 2011

OCTA Directors discuss bike share to connect transit hubs

Bike Sharing Program May Come to Orange County

A plan to start a new “bike sharing” program for Orange County residents and commuters was discussed at Monday’s Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors meeting.

The program would provide commuters the last-mile connection from train stations and major transit stops to their final destinations by allowing riders to rent bicycles from various bike stations placed near transit hubs, colleges, universities, Metrolink stations and employment centers.

The pilot program, which could roll out as early as spring 2012, is anticipated to consist of eight stations, containing a total of 80 bikes. Riders would be able to rent bicycles through an annual membership or a daily usage option.

An update on the status of the program will be presented to the OCTA Board in the coming months. To view the PowerPoint presentation received by the Board, please click here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Making the case for 20's Plenty

Half the pedestrian accidents in Laguna occur on Pacific Coast Highway, here's the case for lowering the speed limit on that freeway.
Pedestrians have a 90% chance of surviving car crashes at 18 mph or below, but less than a 50% chance of surviving impacts at 28 mph or above.
World Health Organization, World Report on road traffic injury prevention, 2004.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bloomberg and Sadik-Kahn change New York's Mobility T-O-D-A-Y

So if a city believes that biking is part of a better future, it must sometimes muscle through a reluctant, rocky present. That’s precisely what Bloomberg and Sadik-Khan have done, in a fine example of the way the mayor’s frequent imperiousness and imperviousness to criticism can work to the city’s long-term advantage.

New York Times article on mobility visionaries

Across the Bay Area, streets are getting a makeover -- with less room for cars

"There is a strong national and international movement to provide transportation for people and not just cars," said Hans Larsen, director of San Jose's Department of Transportation. "For decades, planning has focused on the efficient movement of cars. The result has been communities that are dependent on cars and are not conducive to walking and biking and transit."

San Jose transportation chief Larsen sees reducing vehicle lanes as a key to luring solo drivers out of their cars. Today, 80 percent of travel in the city is in single-occupant vehicles. The goal by 2040 is to reduce this to 40 percent and to increase bicycling and walking by 30 percent, transit use 20 percent and carpooling 10 percent.

San Jose Mercury News article.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cycle commuters given a dedicated lane on 7th Avenue, downtown Los Angeles

"Hold on to your hats, folks, we're actually removing a lane for a car — in favor of a bike lane — in Los Angeles," City Councilman Ed Reyes said during a news conference at MacArthur Park. "By doing so, we, as a city, are changing the way we see bicycles, as not only a recreational vehicle but as a legitimate form of public transportation." Full story in the LA Times on-line.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Seniors in Bike Action

Portland seniors begin riding recumbant bikes after 30 years of inactivity. The Older Adults Bike Program from Portland ride for health, fitness, camaraderie   . Watch the video here.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Arrested for Riding Bike to School

Ms Tryon confirmed with Major Verran that her daughter was indeed breaking no laws at any level, but it was Ms Tryon who was breaking the law by allowing her daughter to ride/walk to school. Even though it only takes her daughter 7 - 9 minutes to bicycle to school, she is expected to ride the bus. This is public policy in Elizabethton Tennessee ............ and Laguna Beach California. The police state tightens its grip? Read and comment on the full story here.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Put lipstick on a Pig it's still a Pig

The accident record for pedestrians crossing Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach show half the incidents happen within a marked crosswalk. We don't see crosswalks across the 405 Freeway for obvious reasons, one being drivers won't expect to find a pedestrian crossing there. So why put crosswalks across Pacific Coast Highway in a zone posted for 35mph? Update: Caltrans has increased the posted speed limit in these zones to 40mph. Should we expect drivers to react differently? Why? Steven Hansen reports the poor accident record and the dilemma for both pedestrians and drivers trying to co-exist on Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. Read the article by the Coastline Pilot.

Bike lane on PCH obstructed

What little city support we have for bike lanes in Laguna Beach, the workers who placed these traffic cones north of Laguna Beach serve no-one. This was the scene at Ruby's Diner on Pacific Coast Highway today. The cones tell the cyclist to ride in freeway traffic because the bike lane is hazardous. Huh?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Finding PARKING, "Honey, is there an APP for that"?

In San Francisco there is. Sensors installed in city-owned garages and on-street parking track when and where parking is available and relay the information to your hand-held device. Parking lots can adjust rates up or down to track demand and give drivers alternative locations to park. National Public radio on-line has the full story.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Laguna Canyon Road Widening at El Toro Road

From the Laguna Beach City Website

Laguna Canyon Road Widening at El Toro Road


The County of Orange will be adding a second outbound traffic lane on Laguna Canyon Road at its intersection with El Toro Road. This added through lane is intended to allow more outbound vehicles through the intersection. The improvement is expected to improve movement through the intersection at peak hours for both outbound traffic on Laguna Canyon Road and inbound traffic on El Toro Road. The project is actually a final phase of the Laguna Canyon Road Realignment project. Hillcrest Contracting has been hired to perform the first phase of work, which also includes a new traffic signal and curb ramps. Construction will begin after Labor Day and is scheduled to be completed in December. Work will take place during the day. The County is coordinating with CalTrans to avoid conflicts with the Caltrans Laguna Canyon Road Resurfacing project. Later phases of this project consist of widening the street north of El Toro Road and undergrounding the overhead utility lines.

Days later the content of this article was completely changed to this:

Laguna Canyon Road Resurfacing


Caltrans has hired All American Asphalt to resurface Laguna Canyon Road between Forest Avenue and the toll road. Construction will begin on weekdays after Labor Day and is scheduled to be completed in early November. In order to avoid traffic congestion and business access restrictions, most of the work will occur at night. Some work will take place during the day between Forest Avenue and Canyon Acres Drive, where there are fewer conflicts with businesses. The work generally will involve grinding the road surface to remove about one inch of asphalt and then placing a new layer of asphalt.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Laguna senior discovers the car-free life "I LOVE IT"

Skipper Lynn, a driving force behind the construction of the senior center (Susi Q)in Laguna Beach, no longer drives a car. The 80-year-old was involved in a car accident and gave up her car. "I took the insurance check from Allstate and put it in the bank. Since then I have taken city transportation, and I love it! Love it! Love it!" But Skipper Lynn like so many other seniors who regularly visit the Laguna Beach Susi Q discovered there is no bus stop there. What? Nobody thought of putting a bus-stop in front of a Senior Center? Read the full article at the Coastline Pilot.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Malibu benefits from $300,000 grant to study bike safety on Pacific Coast Highway

Caltrans awarded a $300,000 grant to the Southern California Association of Governments which Malibu is a member. The grant funds a study of highway current conditions (that should be obvious, ask any cyclist who rides PCH) and promotes improved safety for cyclists. The grant application was written by staff of Public Works, Malibu. To participate, Malibu's contribution was $75k. Grants supporting Complete Streets Policy are available for both DOT highways and city streets, Laguna Beach Public Works should apply. Full story here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Los Angeles takes steps to support Complete Streets, cyclists rights

1. LA City Council unanimously approved a first-in-nation ordinance enabling cyclists to seek damages from drivers who harass or threaten them. Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, sponsor of the ordinance, has launched an online campaign to encourage bicyclists in Los Angeles and beyond to share their stories of threats and harassment.   

2. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued a rare directive calling on city officials to implement the updated bike plan approved by the city council earlier this spring. Villaraigosa ordered the implementation of bike facilities and bike-friendly features in all public facilities, public works construction and other projects; bike infrastructure requirements and construction standards in zoning and building codes; bikeway design, installation and maintenance standards; and bike-related education in outreach campaigns.

3. Mayor Villaraigosa is backing Senate Bill 910, the 3-foot passing bill cosponsored by California Bike Coalition and the City of Los Angeles. Read the complete interview here.
Read these stories at here. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Laguna Beach Plans for Bike Safety in North Laguna

The City Council of Laguna Beach approved a bill to apply Sharrow stencils,  a double-chevron bicycle symbol, on the inland side of Pacific Coast Highway in North Laguna. The Stencils signal motorists to share the lane with bicyclists on the road. Sharrows indicate that cyclists have the right of way and enough room to avoid getting “doored” from a parked car and seriously injured. Read the full article in the Laguna Beach Independent here.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

3-foot Passing Law clears California Senate

California could soon become the nation's 19th state to enact a 3-foot passing law to protect bicyclists. Last week the California Senate approved CBC-sponsored Senate Bill 910 by a 27-9 vote, sending the bill to the Assembly.

SB 910, authored by Long Beach Sen. Alan Lowenthal and cosponsored by the City of Los Angeles, would establish three feet as the minimum clearance when a motorist passes a bicyclist from behind under most conditions. Three feet is the passing distance recommended in the California Driver's Handbook.

Friday, June 17, 2011

New EV Charging Stations in Laguna Beach

Two electric vehicle charging stations are available in Laguna Beach at Broadway and Forest Avenue. The charging stations will be commissioned by City Council on 21 June 4:00pm See the Laguna Beach Independent Facebook page for more details.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Renownd Danish architect Jan Gehl compares walking cities and design

Jan Gehl writes, "Pedestrian underpass systems had the additional disadvantage of being dark and dank, and people generally feel insecure if they are unable to see very far ahead. In short, the often expensive pedestrian underpasses and bridges were in conflict with the basic premises for good pedestrian landscapes. Seen in the perspective of current visions of inviting people to walk and bicycle more in cities, clearly pedestrian underpasses and bridges can only be solutions in those special cases where major highways must be crossed. Solutions must be found for all other roads and streets that allow pedestrians and bicycles to stay on street level and cross with dignity. An integrated traffic model will also make city streets friendlier and safer as cars will have to move more slowly and stop more often.

Today the world is full of abandoned pedestrian underpasses and bridges. They belong to a certain time and a certain philosophy." Read the complete article and see photos here. 

Bike Safety increases with greater bike numbers

Washington DC Transportation Department's Jim Sebastian wants to make DC the most bike friendly city in the country, they are #6 in the nation now. Their 9 year plan started with a Bicycle Master Plan to build bike routes, lanes, and trails. Jim says it is the job of city planning departments, police departments, school districts or developers to knock down barriers to bicycle mobility. Local bike commuter Lori Leibowitz says bike safety improves with greater bike numbers, greater numbers teach auto commuters of their presence. See the BBC story and video here.

Let's $tart the Laguna Beach Car-Free Project

So you noticed the traffic in Laguna Beach and you're bracing for the busy summer tourist season? Santa Barbara sees traffic spoiling their town too, they write "Vehicles are a major source of smog pollution and greenhouse gases contributing to global climate change. The Santa Barbara Car Free Project is a cooperative partnership founded in 1998 and led by the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District for cleaner air and a healthier planet."

Car-free discounts are one intervention measure to reduce the number of automobiles using city streets. Santa Barbara has implemented a car-free plan where hotels, rentals and dining are discounted if you arrive  by other means than a private car. Read the complete story here. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pedestrian Deaths Preventable

Over the last decade 47,700 pedestrians were killed and 688,000 were injured nationwide in automobile related traffic accidents. A startling statistic shows the relationship of pedestrian fatalities to vehicle speeds. In  "Dangerous by Design" by Transportation for America page 27 says (simplified):

"Confirming the risk of vehicle speed, our analysis of NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database shows that nearly 60 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred on roads with speed limits of 40 mph or greater. In contrast, only 1 percent of the 45,294 pedestrian deaths ... occurred on roads with a speed limit of 20 mph or lower."

Slowing the traffic on South Coast Highway at the Hip District and Laguna Canyon Road at Broadway would balance mixed mobility on these multi-use roadways and greatly contribute to pedestrian safety. The executive summary recommends the provisions of Complete Streets nationwide to improve pedestrian safety. Read the full report here.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Freedom from Oil, a new D.C. policy proposal consistent with Complete Streets

June 2 2011 Washington DC: The  Congressional Livable Communities Task Force released a set of policy proposals they say will lead to "Freedom from Oil." These policy proposals are consistent with Complete Streets Policy to reduce dependency on imported oil, improve safety, revitalize the business district.

Here's a snip from the Executive Summary:

"Providing a range of transportation choices can help break auto dependence, giving us freedom from the increasing costs and uncertainty associated with oil... As gas prices have risen, transportation costs have become unsustainable... As severely congested roadways consume our financial resources, our time, and our quality of life, Americans are demanding more and better choices in where to live and how to get around... giving residents the option to walk, bike, or take public transportation if they prefer not to drive.

... Actions as simple as combining short car trips or replacing them with walking or biking can result in significant oil savings for the nation." Read the full article in BikePortland here.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bike Lanes Good for Business? YES!

Our CDM hero, Frank Peters, writes a great article on how bike lanes, sharrows and traffic calming helps businesses grow. It creates new customers, increased foot and cycling traffic and a safer community.

Read this article in his Cycling Safety column in in CoronadelMarToday: Don't Tell Them

Well worth a read, business owners of Laguna Beach.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Get Inspired by Portland

Portland, OR is doing a trial street closure this summer. They are taking a downtown street block and closing it to cars. Businesses have agreed to pay the city for the metered parking income that they will "lose" during the June-October time period, an amount of $5K.

Imagine Forest Avenue closed to cars! The restaurants and shops could spill into the sidewalks. Families, groups of tourists, young and old getting together with friends or going solo and people watching at a sidewalk cafe. 

It's a vision...can you see it?

Read the Portland story in

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Complete Streets Legislation Introduced to the US Senate

We are going federal, people! So far complete streets legislation has been local and state supported, but Monday Safe and Complete Streets Act of 2011 was introduced into the US Senate.

Read the article in AltTransport.

This is not a fad...the un-car way of being is for real...and it could raise a city's property values, I'm lookin' at you, Laguna Beach! :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

LA Cyclists Hoping for City Council to Make Streets Safer

Here is an excerpt from the article by Regina Graham:

"Cyclists feel that they are second-class citizens in a city that is well known for its love affair with cars. They think that the city is slow in making the necessary improvements for them to be safe on the road and have a number of issues with riding their two wheels in the city."

“This proposal, this anti-harassment proposal, allows cyclists take action independently of any reliance upon the city,” .... “It creates a private cause of action that allows cyclists that are the victims of discrimination on the road way to pursue the matter civilly, rather than wait for law enforcement to act.”
It targets motorists who physically assault, attempt to assault a bicyclist, intentionally injure, threaten to physically injure either by words, vehicle, or other objects and intentionally distract or attempt to distract a bicyclist."

Other cities are adopting such anti-harassment legislation, how often are you being harassed in Laguna Beach while walking or biking our streets? Tell us your stories, we will post them.

Peak Oil: A Chance to Change the World

For advice about life after graduation, students at Worcester Polytechnic wanted to hear from peak oil scholar Richard Heinberg instead of Exxon’s CEO. Click here to read what he told them
This is an excerpt from his essay/speech in Yes! Magazine:

"But here’s the thing. Everyone knows that America and the world will have to transition off of fossil fuels during this century anyway. Mr. Tillerson knows it as well as anyone. Some people evidently want to delay that transition as long as possible, but it cannot be put off indefinitely. My colleagues at Post Carbon Institute and I believe that delaying this transition is extremely dangerous for a number of reasons. Obviously, it prolongs the environmental impacts from fossil fuel production and combustion. But also, the process of building a renewable energy economy will take decades and require a tremendous amount of investment. If we don’t start soon enough, society will get caught in a trap of skyrocketing fuel prices and a collapsing economy, and won’t be in a position to fund needed work on alternative energy development.

In my darker moments I fear that we have already waited too long and that it is already too late. I hope I’m not right about that, and when I talk to young people like you I tend to feel that we can make this great transition, and that actions that have seemed politically impossible for the past forty years will become inevitable as circumstances change, and as a new hearts and minds comes to the table.

Even in the best case, though, the fact that we have waited so long to address our addiction to oil will still present us with tremendous challenges. But this is not a problem for ExxonMobil, at least not anytime soon. When the price of oil goes up, we feel the pain while Exxon reaps the profits. Even though Exxon’s actual oil production is falling due to the depletion of its oilfields, corporate revenues are flush: Exxon made almost $11 billion in profits in just the past three months. This translates to jobs in the oil industry. But how about the renewable energy industry, which everyone agrees is the key to our future?"

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Get Involved: LB Planning Commission asks for Complete Streets Input

Our city Planning Commission is developing a Parking Management Plan for the Downtown Specific Plan area and are soliciting help from the Complete Streets Task Force. They request:
"If the Complete Streets Task Force is interested in this endeavor, please feel free to discuss, consider, and formulate any and all project objectives with the Task Force and provide a list of itemized objectives for the Downtown Parking Management Plan to us no later than July 1, 2011." 
This effort will be an agenda item for the June 14th meeting.  If you don't know how to get started, read the Laguna Beach 2030 Vision Plan. 

Share any ideas on the comment section here or email

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Talking Points to Mobility

Now is the time to build for the future of Laguna Beach-- No more keeping us down with the status quo!

I recently read some suggested talking points from the group Streets for all Seattle and thought they made sense for us (with a few tweaks). Any new public investments in our city transportation planning should make Laguna Beach:

1.  Healthy by promoting active transportation options;
2.  Affordable by not making automobile-ownership a prerequisite for mobility;
3.  Vibrant by providing an aesthetic village atmosphere for businesses and community interaction to thrive from new accessibility;
4.  Equitable by ensuring that our transportation system works for everyone – young and old, able-bodied and disabled, rich and poor;
5.  Environmentally-responsible by helping to protect our oceans, canyons and lowering overall carbon emissions.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

We Are Hopeful -- Complete Streets and LB City Council Budget

On Tuesday 17 May 2011 during the Budget Workshop Laguna Beach City Council approved a budget line-item for Complete Streets infrastructure, the appropriation will appear in the city's budget  plan for Capital Improvements. A "place holder" value for this appropriation is currently $300,000.

A big thanks to all who attended and/or voiced support for our beautiful city and its need to fund and support walking, biking and mass transit.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Moulton Meadows Trail Project by Complete Streets Task Force

 The LB Complete Streets Task Force proposed a walk/bike trail to connect TOW to Arch Beach Heights allowing these two neighborhoods access to TOW elementary school, playing fields and beautiful park space. Pictured is the existing public easement from Alta Laguna Blvd into the watershed, the paved Moulton Meadows road is seen on the horizon.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Part 1.5: Request for Sharrows on Cliff Drive

Please join the community to voice your support for bike lanes.
You may have read our earlier post from a Laguna Beach resident who put in an "official" request to the PTC (Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee of Laguna Beach) for bike lanes and bicycle shared access (Sharrows) on Cliff Drive in Laguna Beach, CA.
A PTC meeting will address the public request on Thursday, April 28, 6 pm at the Senior Center.

The requests for these improvements are here:

The city response for these improvements is here, see item 5, Agenda:

Map of the proposed area to place sharrows on Cliff Drive:

Show your support for a balanced mobility plan for Laguna Beach and attend this meeting!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

More Support for 20 mph Streets: Kids Safety

New research by Royal Holloway College, London University, studied the perceptual limitations of children and concluded that they had difficulty detecting cars approaching at speeds over 20mph. 

Would you commit to driving 20 mph in town to save lives?

This great photo from Great media ideas for safety.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Moulton Meadows to Old Top of the World Trail

The Complete Streets Task Force of Laguna Beach (CSTF) is working with community leaders to extend a trail from Moulton Meadows to the Old Top-of-the-World neighborhood. The current trail is not much more than a goat path and is not safe or even easy for anything with wheels--namely bikes and strollers, nor is it very safe for kids to use unless accompanied by a very able-bodied adult to push or pull them up the trails steep and treacherous passage.
The new trail would be a viable and car-free option for elementary children to ride or walk to TOW Elementary School. It will allow for both neighborhoods to have access to Moulton Meadows' beautiful trails, playing fields, courts and playgrounds.When the CSTF has had informal discussions with neighborhood families the response has been overwhelmingly positive for the new trail. One neighbor simply stated, "It is silly that there is no safe access between our neighborhoods. Our kids play together at school and then to get back to MM to practice on the soccer fields, it's a 4 mile drive each way."

Currently, the MM fire road ends at the private, gated road Sommet du Monde. From our understanding, the owners of the six houses on this road have refused to grant pedestrian and bike access to the community. There has been some investigation into whether the city would have any right to open this up as a public through way, but an attorney speaking for the property owners has threatened litigation if the city were to press for eminent domain. In order to simplify the issue and preserve community harmony another option was chosen to avoid the "private" community.

Thus, Plan B is to build a bike and stroller accessible route for the trail, with some necessary easements from TOW residents. The CSTF is working to determine the route, costs and other options. The old trail will be returned to its natural condition and absorbed by the surrounding reserve.

If you are interested in joining CSTF to work on this project, please use the contact information for this website: or write to the task force directly at Meetings of CSTF are held the second Tuesday of the month 4-6 pm at the Community Center downtown.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Traffic hazard for peds, bikes and drivers on PCH goes unresolved

A contributor writes: This happens pretty much EVERY WEEK DAY MORNING (The police have been notified, no solution forthcoming) The photo shows northbound traffic at PCH and Emerald Bay at 7:30 am. Despite the northbound lane and the shoulder posted  as "NO STOPPING AT ANY TIME", the traffic is stopped Northbound traffic comes around a down-hill righthand bend and then abruptly stops.

I don't cycle past Emerald bay or Irvine Cove early in the morning anymore since this is a complete nightmare on a bike. I'm also amazed there have not been any vehicles rear ended. Just a matter of time. 
Suggested solution: The police would also have to enforce the LAW and move people on, after a short time all the construction workers would know there is no point in arriving early and sitting on PCH. The same solution could be implemented by Emerald Bay and Irvine Cove- they would issue staggered start times for the various construction projects.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Part 1: Request for Sharrows on Cliff Drive Submitted to PTC of Laguna Beach

As part of the establishment of Complete Streets to Laguna Beach, we will report on the following request as it goes through "the established system" of the city and mark its progress through this blog.

Click here to make a submission to the PTC, using the required form.

DATE OF SUBMISSION: March 23, 2011
SUBMITTED TO PTC (Parking Traffic and Circulation Committee)

Cliff Dr. beginning at Broadway through to intersection with PCH

I commute to work 5 days a week by bicycle, and this busy intersection is part of the ONLY safe, legal route for me to get home at night.  Other than traveling on PCH, a far more dangerous route for cyclists, Cliff Dr. is the ONLY other way to travel through North Laguna on a bicycle - or car for that matter. Many recreational riders use this route when heading north through the city from Laguna Canyon to PCH or from downtown and points south.  Traffic moves very quickly through here with high-speed traffic exiting Broadway St. onto Cliff Dr.  There is a bottleneck created by the solid “triangle” divider, where it’s easy for cyclists to be forced into a narrow lane if a motorist attempts to pass in the wrong place.  When Cliff Dr. becomes lanes in both directions (at top of Beach st.), the on-street parking pinches the lanes narrow again.  This makes it difficult for motorists to pass a cyclist without interfering with the oncoming traffic lane, even if that cyclist is riding perilously close to the parked cars. The risk of a door swinging open is scary for a cyclist and is also capable of causing severe injury.

I'm proposing a small FIRST step, "sharrow" markings starting on Cliff Dr. at Broadway and continuing to the intersection of Cliff and PCH.  This is a simple, “bucket-of-paint solution” that is well within the requirements for safe streets required by state law.  “Sharrows” will do a great deal in increasing awareness among drivers that they should  respect the legal rights of cyclists and share the lane when necessary to help avoid unsafe conditions.  If that means that traffic will be slowed through there when bikes are present - so be it.  If motorists want speed, they can go to PCH!

San Diego Wins! (not the basketball game, but hopefully some bike and ped lanes)

Headline from

San Diego proposes US $2.58 billion for bikes

1) read the story here

2) rub your genie lamp and wish the same for Laguna Beach!

Ode to Cities

Original essay posted at
citytank,  a blog/think tank concept by Dan Bertolet, this essay written by Gene Duvernoy, President of Cascade Land Conservancy.


I’m now told that cities are necessary to save the planet. Let’s get this straight. Nature doesn’t need our cities. Nature will bound across the countless fronts opened by what may be the latest great die-off. Time will move on, there’ll be a spanking new world ecology, and our heedless tenure will be so last geologic era.

Now that we’re past this bit of hubris, let’s get over our ambivalence and admit it is we who need cities. Desperately. We are busy adding 175 thousand people a day to the 6.9 billion people already here. At this mind boggling rate, cities are the best way to not become the next late, great bipedal species.
Cities inherently are an efficient way for us to live. They reduce growth pressure on our farm, forest and wild landscapes so these lands continue to do what they do best—provide the life support that we now call eco-system services. Cites can intensively aggregate capital needed for infrastructure to mitigate our untidy existence from solid waste to air pollution.
So let’s try out something new: promise. Let’s fulfill the promise of building cities people are drawn too, worthy of our children, and welcoming to all. Places of grace that have room for nature alongside and within.
Success will need strong civic institutions. The payoff will be a stronger civic life. Learning to live well in our built environment will help us all to live better together.
As Laguna Beach residents, we are thankful for all the ocean beauty and green space surrounding our city. What can we do to improve the infrastructure of our city to live better together? What can you do differently today that considers this concept?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Unicyclist fined for riding on sidewalk

If Longboards are defined as pedestrians in Laguna Beach,  Unicycles are defined as bicycles in New York, the Segway Personal Transport (PT) remains undefined, then the body luge in Switzerland must be a Cushmann? Seems the Vehicle Code is wholly inadequate for defining personal transport and mixing it with high-speed automobile traffic. Reducing speed limits uniformly would improve compatibility and safety among all forms of mobility. Photo courtesy CBS New York article.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Walkscore - Walkability Measuring App

What's the walkability where you live?

How could a computer calculate what it is like to live up in Arch Beach Heights and love to walk? Sharing one car helps this love to grow...but staring down a Range Rover going 35 mph on a hairpin turn makes my insides hurt! The app calculated the score alright, low walkability due to lack of sidewalks, cross streets and limited transit availability.

Check out Walkscore.

Email us to join forces to transition Laguna Beach into a more walkable city.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bike Lanes are....HOT!? So says Newsweek

Bike lanes are least in some cities. Let's convince Laguna Beach to be one of the hip kids again. (hip like its old days -- the artist colony start, where Hollywood came to get away from it all, the positive earthy qualities of the 60's and 70's it so strongly touted).

For actual "celebrities" on bicycles, see Cyclelicious 

(Illustration from 3/21/11 issue of Newsweek)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Long Beach Loses Bike Advocate, Mark Bixby, in Plane Crash

We are grieved to hear about the death of Long Beach bike advocate, community leader, Mark Bixby, who died in a plane crash yesterday. (LA Times article). We recently listened to a superb interview with him at CdmCyclist and were inspired to hear about his work with CalTrans to get the Gerald Desmond Bridge to include bike/pedestrian lanes. His group was victorious in this fight, so please think of him as you ride or stroll the bridge in future years.

You can see the blog BIKEable Communities that he and others developed around the advocacy work to get the lanes onto the bridge. We hope his voice continues to be heard, that bike lanes and safe access for pedestrians continue to be a requirement in our cities' streets.

To Mark's family, friends and colleagues we offer our heart felt condolences.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Merchants Beware: CARS don't carry wallets, PEOPLE do!

Laguna High School Students hold their wallets and cellphones while occupying a single parking space on Forest Avenue in Laguna Beach. The students demonstrated the potential for business from foot-traffic, a single parking space is room enough for 18 students or 14 bicycles. Courtesy Coastline Pilot May 2009.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Awards for Bike Friendly Universities and Businesses Announced

The 2011 awards are out. We are happy to see six awards going to California schools, with the top award going to Stanford. UC Irvine was given a "silver," making OC proud!

See the list of schools awarded.

The League of American Bicyclists had this to say in their press release:

"Promoting bicycling is a simple solution to many challenges we face as a nation - improving sustainability, physical activity and quality of life. The League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly America program has helped communities, businesses, states and now universities improve conditions for bicycling, creating the types of places where people want to live, work and visit."

What are your ideas for making Laguna Beach a more bike friendly city? Here are some of ours:
- Bike racks at grocery stores, schools and City Hall (what other locations?)
- Support for commuters (lockers, racks, etc. at bus depots)
- Dedicated bicycle-only streets (and more one-way streets with bike lanes)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

L.A. City Council approved new bike/ped plan

The Los Angeles City Council approved a new bicycle and pedestrian plan for Los Angeles late today, 1 March 2011.  The master plan foresees 1,680 miles of interconnected bike ways and more than 200 miles of new paths every five years. Courtesy Los Angeles Times On-Line.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Another Cyclist Dies in Orange County

Amine Britel was struck while riding his bike by a drunk driver in Newport Beach, CA.
Our condolences to his family and friends for their tragic loss.

Cyclists greeting when entering Laguna

 Typical when entering Laguna from any road, this is on Pacific Coast Highway from the south.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Too old to ride a bicycle?

Comparison of bike riders in Europe with the United States by age group. Courtesy Prof. John Pucher, Rutgers University.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Newport PD promises crackdown on motorists and cyclists

One cyclist is killed per month in Orange County, law enforcement in four cities are joining forces this month to turn around this tragic trend. Locally Laguna Beach will step-up enforcement of traffic laws for motorists and cyclists, see reports in the Stu News Laguna  and Laguna Beach Independent. Photo OC Register

Strasbourg France reduces speed limits to 19MPH

This is the bike route map for Strasbourg. The Mayor says "The public roads no longer belong to automobiles alone. They must be reimagined to be redistributed in a fairer manner between all forms of transportation." Article courtesy SmartPlanet

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Cost of an Automobile Subsidy

The free subsidy for operating an automobile and parking it, metered or not metered, takes the 'Village" out of Laguna. This is a photo of Muenster Germany, care of Professor John Pucher, Rutgers University.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Physical Exercise Improves Test Scores

Walking and Biking to school should offer the same results. If Naperville Centeral High can do this in Chicago, LBHS can do this in Laguna. The program costs nothing, the curriculum improves, and our weather is much better than Chicago.

Courtesy PBS Program 'NEED TO KNOW'.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

PieCycle: Pie delivery by Bike from Seattle

Bike advocacy is tough...lots of loop holes, pot holes and other sorts of "ahem" holes that get in the way of our good time.

With that said, here is a happy story that is as delicious as it is ingenious, one of those, "why didn't
I think of this?" businesses.

...By the way, where is the best slice of pie in Laguna Beach?

Monday, February 7, 2011

How about Visitor Incentives Instead of Parking Tickets?

I read in the Pilot that Laguna Beach cites visitors and residents for $2.5M in meter collections, $3.5M in parking tickets and maybe another $1.0M for moving violations (5,833 tickets), a total of $7M per year. Hmmm the city collects $7M per year for visitor disincentives?

Clearly citations and fees for visiting downtown Laguna don't leave those cited with a welcome message. Then I read this excerpt in today's Indy (SCORE front page) where the experts arrive at the same interpretation. Jack Curtis is with the LB Chamber of Commerce.

As for Laguna’s struggle to revitalize a waning retail community, Curtis is not impressed. “Laguna has a unique business climate because it is luxury-based,” he said, which means visitors need to feel accommodated in order to want to return. But the city, he said, is not paying attention.
“For one thing, the city tickets people for not parking their cars exactly within the lines,” he commented. “When word of that gets around, and it has, people aren’t going to want to come here and spend their money,” said Curtis, who recently visited Palm Springs and found no parking meters and jam-packed shops. “People just don’t see Laguna as a welcoming place.”
WHAT NO PARKING METERS? What happened in Palm Springs?

A complete street policy focuses on revitalization of the downtown business district, Palm Springs happened to do that to some extent by separating their through traffic from the business district via Palm Canyon Drive. Here's the mechanism for funding their project:

The arrangement transferred county and Caltrans funds targeted for (highway) widening to the city (revitalization) project as long as (Caltrans) traffic performance targets were achieved.
Here's a partial story on the Palm Springs revitalization with Complete Streets Policy:
Imagine the possibilities if Laguna could revitalize their downtown business district by offering visitor incentives instead of parking incentives?


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rivendell Bicycle Blog Entry from Jan 18

...Cars are banned from the streets in the ultra-upscale Ginza shopping district in Tokyo on Sundays. Let's spread that one around.

...Bikes are green transportation and all, but people don't give up their cars because they're green. Unpeel the top layer of green and you'll see the real reasons. They don't own a car. A car's too expensive to park, or spaces are too hard to come by. Their license has been suspended or they don't have one. They want exercise. Pedaling relieves stress and they arrive at their destination invigorated but not sweaty. Commute time is training time. There are lots of reasons to ride instead of drive, but I don't believe greenness is one of them. Maybe avoiding guilt, but that's guit-avoidance, not greenness.

The problem with greenness as an incentive is it's too weak and deferred. No one person's single commute has a measurable impact on the health of the planet. Cumulatively, yes; singly, no---because we're talking about measurable effects. This doesn't mean don't ride and be green. It means if the goal is to get more people riding, the incentives to ride and disincentives to drive have to be in place, and both of those things are more powerful when they're immediate and dramatic, and weak when they're not. Show me a deferred, barely perceptible consequence that's shared by billions that's more influential than an immediate and dramatic personal one, and I'll give you a million of anything, as long as I have it to give. If not, no dice! (This sort of statement, in the old days, would be taken for what it is. In modern times, it feels sort of like sticking my arm down a dark shaft in a jungle in Borneo and wiggling my fingers for an hour or so.)


To read the whole post go here
(this is stolen, err... we mean appropriated from Rivendell Bicycle Works Blog, check it!) 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Calculator for the Climate -- Bike to Work does Save!

You can figure out how much money you would save and how much carbon you will keep from dispersing amongst us mere mortals if you rode your bike to work:.

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Federal-State-Local Policy on Bike Routes

Here is an update on the latest policy about bike routes...
The following was submitted by Les Miklosky of Laguna Beach, CA

In support of "Give Bikes a Route" by Justin Gresh: The new policy for mobility from our Federal Department of Transportation gives equal consideration to pedestrians, bicycles, buses and private automobiles. Adopting this policy into the LB City General Plan would be the first step to bringing bike lanes to Laguna. If adopted, approved and implemented by the City, the new policy would construct a mixed mode transportation system in Laguna Beach and relieve the traffic congestion we experience in our automobile saturated town. For every commuter you accommodate safely by walking, biking, and busing, you eliminate one car and free a parking space. Optimally, imagine if 75% of the commuting traffic in Laguna began walking, biking or busing across town, auto congestion and demand for more parking would vanish. For the remaining commuters and contractors who must drive, the relief from traffic congestion would be refreshing.

Our Department of Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood took a progressive stand in May of this year, he said “People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized. We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally-funded road projects. We are discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians. And we are encouraging investments that go beyond the minimum requirements and provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.”

At the state level effective January 1 2011, AB-1358 is legislation that mandates equal consideration be given to four modes of mobility for cities and towns in California.

At the local level, Long Beach appointed a committee to advise their city council on urban planning issues. On December 1, 2010, the Sustainable City Commission for Long Beach voted unanimously to support Class I separated bicycle, pedestrian and ADA (American Disabilities Act) access on the new Gerald Desmond Bridge. In Dana Point the city has adopted traffic calming as city policy. Evidence of their work are the bike lanes in town, in the harbor and on PCH but stopping at the Laguna boundary.

In Laguna the Task Force for Complete Streets advises our city council about balanced mobility, the same mobility infrastructure Long Beach and our neighboring cities have already built. Compared to Dana Point and Corona del Mar, Laguna is years behind on implementation.

For Corona Del Mar and Newport Beach their city council take advice from a Bike Safety Committee formed by local residents. At their motto is "a new vision of urban life where people matter more than motor vehicles".

Last week the city of Newport Beach declared they intend to become the most bike-friendly city in all of Orange County. Mr. Gresh already knows how Laguna Beach ranks on that score.