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.