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)

LOCATION OF CONCERN:
Cliff Dr. beginning at Broadway through to intersection with PCH

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF CONCERN:
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.

SPECIFIC ACTION REQUESTED:
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 BikeRadar.com:

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 mainstream...at 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.