Monday, December 31, 2012

Rate Your Town's Walkability

WALKSCORE:  According to them Laguna is rated 98/100 for walk-ability. Then why is the town saturated with cars and everybody is seen driving? Only George Carlin knows.

BIKESCORE: Coming soon when their website is finished, stay tuned. Meanwhile you can Tweet a request for a bikescore here.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

San Diego Planners are Counting Bikes

SDSU Professor Sherry Ryan
Bicycling is fun. It's also an important part of city planners' vision of our future.


Planners and government officials think researching who is biking where is worth the investment. That's just what San Diego is doing. SDSU Professor Sherry Ryan is standing by a bike counter embedded in the pavement. Full text at KCBS San Diego.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


A successful street, Norquist says, must serve as: a path on which people travel, a place that facilitates the buying and selling of goods and services, and a public gathering spot. In short: a street is analogous to a city itself. Read "What Happpens When You Legislate Against Vibrant Streets", Jeremy Rosenberg, KCET, Los Angeles.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thanks to the thousands of people who turned out en mass to take part in London’s Drive to Work Day. See how we took over the centre of London creating gridlock today. (Thank you for making our point.) -LS

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Parking Squid

It’s called “Parking Squid,” and we want these everywhere because who would dare steal a bike from the tentacles of a giant squid? Those things are scary! Funded by the Seattle DOT 1% for Art funds and designed by local business Decorative Metal Arts. (made locally?)  By Sarah Laskow at GRIST

Saturday, December 8, 2012


The Planning Commission of Laguna Beach want you the public to solve our parking problems because they can't figure out how. Read the short invitation in the Independent article for some background.

Despite four YEARS of subcommittee meetings between city officials and local residents on this topic the PC refuses to abandon a car-centric approach to mobility. Now after 4 years of paid salaries and benefits the PC is asking the public again for help with their homework.

Maybe a suggestion from outside the ‘Bubble’ will help, PEDal of San Clemente offers this:
Fact 1: Laguna’s roadways cannot be widened.
Fact 2: Laguna’s roadways cannot accommodate more cars.
Fact 3: 20th century car-dependency created Laguna’s parking problems.
Fact 4: 19th century velocipedal technology moves more people.
Conclude:   Adopt a multi-modal transport system

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Traffic Calming

Laguna Beach observes a 36-foot height limit on downtown structures to preserve 'old-town' charm - street parking, auto clutter and parking meters notwithstanding. The rest of the world observes different rules. Outdoor Cafes, Beyoglu, Turkey. (Google Image)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Half the Fun is How You Get There

Family shopping Saturday afternoon, Amsterdam style
Notice these kids don't need to be "entertained" by the back-seat television in an SUV. They are instead engaged in the Saturday afternoon process: shopping with Mom. A healthy mobility alternative with zero emissions, what better legacy to leave kids? For more street-life photos, on foot and by bike, see the photo sequence at cdmCyclist by Frank Peters.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Get Ready for More Parking Tickets

The Laguna Beach coastline is roughly 7 miles long. If little shops in high traffic zones downtown can't make it, how should businesses outside the downtown business zone survive? In a town already saturated with cars, no parking garage will rescue these businesses. Read "Little shops struggle downtown" - Joanna Clay, Coastline Pilot.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Leiden Netherlands, a Model of Balanced Mobility

"In some ways, Leiden is like a mini- Amsterdam with its ubiquitous canals, Gothic architecture and bicycle culture." Einstein was a guest university professor while Rembrandt was born there.
In 1620 the Pilgrims sailed the Mayflower from their brief home in Leiden to the New World. ( You might recall the Pilgrims had something to do with Thanksgiving! ) Today Leiden is a model city with a balanced transportation system including water- ways, commuter trains, buses, private autos, cyclists and walkers.  The Dutch are mobility experts, we could learn from them.   Read the historic account  by Candice Shih in the OC REGISTER.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

San Clemente Reviews Bike-Ped Plan

A car, a bicyclist and pedestrians coexist Sunday at the corner of El Camino Real and Avenida Del Mar in San Clemente. The city is seeking to make the town more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly. The Planning commissioners will review a Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan on Thursday. The plan suggests three alternatives for making El Camino Real more bicycle-friendly. Full story at Orange County Register.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

13 Reasons to Ride a Bike to Work

Photo: Flicker Mikel Pierre
The cost of operating a car today is $8946 per year (AAA), a bike $308. Hypothetically speaking what is the savings in car expenses if everyone switched from car driving to bike riding? And what would people do with money they save from spending on cars gasoline and insurance? If 10,821 households in  Laguna Beach swapped one car each they would save $93,470,000 per year. Our local Laguna economy could use a boost, we could spend $93 Million per year on local consumption (imagine all the Andre's Pastries you can eat every year). Remember the TOTAL budget of Laguna Beach is $65 Million. Now read 12 more reasons to ride a bike to work at the Business Insider.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Look for Sharrows in Corona del Mar

From Newport Beach city Mayor Nancy Gardner in a recent interview,  "There are things we can control such as (public) education and making basic road improvements," Gardner said. "Painting these sharrows in Corona del Mar is part of that effort.

 The city is also trying to address tensions between motorists and bicyclists by putting up banners that read: "Same Roads, Same Rules," Gardner said. In addition, the city is creating a map that shows safe routes for bicyclists.

Last month, the City Council unanimously approved a bike safety improvement fund and also waived fees associated with a memorial bike ride held Oct. 28 in honor of Leaf and Campion-Ritz. The improvement fund would use city money, including grants, in a 3-to-1 ratio to match private donations up to $450,000. To date $60,000 of donations (before matching) have been collected. Full article by Deepa Bharath in the Orange County Register -LS

Thursday, November 1, 2012


These Sharrows mysteriously appeared Halloween night on Pacific Coast Highway in Corona del Mar. Was the Wicked Witch of the West responsible? No! These safety markings were brought to you by the Bike Safety Committee in cooperation with Public Works and the city of Newport Beach. Stay tuned for new developments in bike and pedestrian safety from this citizen/city cooperative. -LS

Bikes Hit the Streets after Hurricane Sandy

"A lot of people are out biking. You know the city runs on public transit, so without the bus and the subway, which are still closed, most people won’t be coming to work. People with bikes are really lucky right now because they are able to get around better than anybody else." - Jonathan Maus of BikePortland from New York City, OPB.  

  "In a city where most people don't own cars, right now bikes are the fastest way to get around (bus and subway are still not running)." Biking Brooklyn after SANDY by Jonathan Maus of Bike Portland here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fashion Island Memorial Ride

Over 1200 cyclists remembered Sarah Leaf and Kit Campion M.D.

Photos: Frank Peters

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Walk and Bike for Cyclists Recently Killed

UPDATE! It was 1200 riders says Biking in LA.

UPDATE!  700 registered riders rode in fond memory of Sarah Leaf and Katherine Campion M.D..   Organized by the city of Newport Beach and the NBPD their cooperation is deeply appreciated (thank you Sgt. Spencer ) and enthusiasm (thank you Mayor Gardner) for bike safety is noted.

 Join us for the memorial ride tomorrow Sunday 28 October 2012 at 8:00am starting at the corner of Santa Rosa and Newport Center Drive, Fashion Island in Newport Beach. More details and register here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Removed Cycle Tracks are Prefered Safest

Bicycle safety is often argued from two perspectives. One says cycling is safest when completely removed from motorized street traffic while another view insists cyclists should occupy the same lane as motorists. Now a new comprehensive study published in the American Journal of Public Health shows separated cycle tracks serve best as cycling infrastructure. This chart (click to enlarge) shows the compilation from 2100 locations, 2335 injuries on 14 different routes that Cycle tracks are indeed preferred and safest. Published in the Atlantic Cities.

Preparations for Sharrows in Newport

Sharrows, or shared lane markers, will be installed along East Coast Highway in Corona del Mar, between MacArthur and Poppy avenues, before the end of the month. This week the city has been working to let residents know they are coming. Sharrows are used where mandatory on-street parking for automobiles prohibit the installation of safe bike-lanes for cyclists. For the story see the NB Patch.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

OCTA Metrolink anywhere $10

Wanna see LA for the weekend cheap? Take your bike on the train. To meet the growing demand from cyclists for additional bicycle storage space on trains, Metrolink introduced special Bike Cars. They're cars specially designed to hold up to 18 bicycles on the lower level. Electric bikes are OK. Take the Orange County like to LA on weekends for ten bucks! See the interactive System Map here.   See OCTA Metrolink train numbers and schedules here. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

San Clemente Adopts Complete Streets into General Plan

Dedicated train-cars for bicycles, bike lanes, pedestrian benches, and connecting infrastructure. Some cities are making the sustainable shift to a multi-modal transport system and recognize the value in this shift. San Clemente leads the way, on Wednesday night the San Clemente Planning Commission adopted and approved a framework for their Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. The Plan will become an integral part of the San Clemente city General Plan.

Some highlights of the comprehensive Eighty-Eight point framework:
  • The City shall adopt recreational off-road facilities to the on-road transportation network.
  • We shall incorporate bicycle accommodations into all land use plans and capital improvement projects.
  • The city will encourage public pedestrian improvement projects such as public art, fountains, street trees, lighting and directional signs. 
  • (The city shall) include skateboarding as a legitimate form of transportation as a policy, and include program to evaluate and revise ordinances as necessary to accommodate safe skateboard use.
  • Support the creation of comprehensive safety awareness programs for pedestrians, skateboarders, cyclists and drivers.
  • Expand the Safe Routes to School program and encourage all schools to get involved.
  • Develop a (city sponsored) city-wide bicycle map
  • City to sponsor bike-to-work week and month
  • The city shall measure non-motorized trips and vehicle trip reductions, especially at local schools, so as to monitor mode share goal progress.
  • The City shall prioritize smart-growth principles, public transit connections, and greenhouse gas emissions reduction by ensuring safe, convenient, contiguous, non-motorized access to destinations such as employment centers, schools, parks, the beach, businesses, natural amenities and residential areas.
  • We shall establish mode-shift/share goals. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Complete Streets Projects Proposed

This chart shows five different project proposals introduced to Laguna Beach City Council that address mobility improvements in the spirit of Complete Streets (click the chart to enlarge it.) Each project is recorded in the Agenda Bill of a council meeting, the initial Proposal date is shown with a green triangle followed by project milestones. The good news is the "Cypress St" project was completed while "Ped Path TOW" is recorded in the Ten-Year Capital Improvement Plan with funding allocated. The bad news is all the others are merely studies and have no funding, nor are they recorded in the ten-year plan where infrastructure is actually built. Time will tell if funding is made available to budget these projects. Notice how new proposals grow popular around election season but have no money to support them.  -LS

Dress for Better Mobility

These T-shirts just arrived available in S-M-L-XL, Bike Sharrow on the front, back as shown. Only a $15 donation, reserve yours  by writing eMail to Laguna Streets or buy directly from Laguna Cyclery, 240 Thalia St. at Glenneyre. Help promote walking and cycling alternatives to the car. Get involved so everyone will benefit.

Complete Streets Project Summary in Laguna Beach

This chart shows capital improvements planned and executed in Laguna Beach for the last 5 years. The Complete Streets projects actually built total $5000 (2011), an amount too small to render on this computer graphic. Recall that Laguna spends on average $25,000 on fireworks every year. In an election period where political hype exaggerates  Complete Streets, it is important to hold promises made versus projects actually built in perspective. From the city fiscal year budgets 2007-2012. -LS

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bike Lanes Exempt from CEQA Process

The California Environmental Quality (CEQA) is a Califonia statute passed in 1970 to institute a statewide policy of environmental protection. In September Governor Brown signed legislation AB2245 making the the consideration of some bike-lanes projects exempt from the CEQA statute. The trigger for consideration by CEQA is the impact to Level of Service made by installation of bike lanes. The LOS may be determined by the local municipality and specific for each city.

In Laguna Beach the exemption would simplify the review process and lower the administrative cost for the Glenneyre Complete Streets project (LB staff review). The project offers three alternatives for street improvements proposed by consulting firm  Fehr & Peers in a report dated 9/25/12.  UPDATE: Alternative 1 is the least comprehensive least expensive of three alternatives and was chosen by the city for consideration. Alternative 1 HAS NO PROVISIONS FOR CYCLING making CEQA a mute point for the Glenneyre project. Consulting fees for Fehr and Peers were budgeted $5000. -LS

San Clemente Walks/Bikes to School Again

San Clemente participated in the annual International Walk-to-School-Day Wednesday Oct. 3. San Clemente city council members Lori Donchak and Bob Baker escorted the walking students to local campuses. Remember the District policy in Laguna opposes both walking and biking to school. See the slideshow at the San Clemente Patch.

Friday, October 5, 2012

CicLAvia is Sunday in Los Angeles. Imagine this happening on Glenneyre in Laguna Beach. How may visitors could we draw to a Sunday Parkways block party in the off season?  Time-Out LA has a story.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

BBC Says Italians Bought More Bikes than Cars

Ahead of a cycling conference being held in Italy this weekend, President Giorgio Napolitano appealed to Italians to "catch up" with other European countries by making their roads more cycle-friendly. See BBC News article.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bring me your tired, your texting, your intoxicated

Google's robot car drives itself
Distracted driving is no problem for Google's robot car, you simply allow Google Maps to drive it. Traffic congestion is no problem either. In Google's vision of the new mobility system these cars " sense anything near the car and mimic decisions made by a human driver." They drive high-speed bumper-to-bumper unimpeded by traffic lights because they were removed for efficiency. This way says the commentary, we can "double the cars on the road" and  shift driving responsibility from the driver to the auto-mobile. "...the same commute that you were cursing this morning could be a breeze with a network of smart cars on a smart freeway that will almost completely remove drivers from the equation."  If you like traffic now, your gonna love a car-centric future with even more cars in it. Listen to the Pat Morrison show at KPCC.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Attend: Bike Safety Meets TODAY

To New Mobility Advocates:

Here's a friendly reminder the Newport Beach Bicycle Safety committee meets TODAY to discuss the urgency of bicycle safety in that city. Following the deaths of two cyclists in Newport the committee supported by attendees will urge the mayor and city manager to make road improvements to save lives. 

Monday 1 October 2012, 4:30pm, Newport Library, 1000 Avocado, Newport Beach

Les Miklosy
Laguna Streets

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Vanity Sizing for SUV's?

America is growing fatter and the clothing industry is adapting to accommodate our growing girth while preserving our vanity. Vanity sizing or 'size inflation' refers to the phenomenon of ready-to-wear clothing in nominal sizing growing larger over time. So a size 6 from the 1950's might be a size 10 or 12 today. Some highlights from a recent study:
  • Because smallest sizes are growing, clothing makers are inserting size '0', '00' and negative sizes to compensate.
  • More expensive brands tended to be smaller than less expensive at the same size.
  • Vanity sizing is designed to make buyers appear thin and feel better about themselves.
  • Dress sizes from the Sears catalog,  a woman with a 32-bust would wear in 1937: size 14, 1967: size 8, 2011: size zero!
  • The Esquire measured mens 36" waist pants at 37-41"
That leads me to the mobility question, when speed limits decrease does the industry sell faster looking cars?  As traffic congestion increases do we buy more SUV's?  Look around and count the number of big cars you see. Do black SUV's feed vanity more than white SUV's? Listen to the commentary at the KPCC Pat Morrison show.

Friday, September 28, 2012

SC Planning Commission Examines Bike/Ped Plan

San Clemente Pete Van Nuys, a resident and director of the Orange County Bicycle Coalition told the city Planning Commission on Tuesday night, "I have contacts and talk to people across the country. Let me assure you that no city that has taken steps to become more bicycle and pedestrian friendly regrets it. It does bring change. I think it will bring change (how to allocate road space) rather soon."

"San Clemente's (plan) is way ahead of every other Orange County city.", Fred Swegles, Thursday Sept 27, 2012, Orange County Register

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Consulate General Netherlands Recognizes PEDal

The Consulate General of the Netherlands recognized the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan for San Clemente authored by Brenda Miller. Here is an excerpt from their letter.

Dear  Brenda,
We enjoyed very much reading about your work with PEDal on a Bicycle and  Pedestrian Master Plan for San Clemente and hope that you had a successful presentation to the Planning Commission this week.            
For your information, the Dutch Cycling Embassy in partnership with the Netherlands Embassy in DC, has been active in supporting the US cities in the development of better biking facilities through a series of ThinkBike Workshops. These 2-Day workshops match Dutch cycling experts with city planners, engineers and advocates, who work together to develop solutions to key problem areas. The workshops have been held in Chicago, DC, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Philidelphia. Next month ThinkBike comes to San Jose and Austin, and there are plans for a workshop in San Diego and Atlanta in Spring 2013. 

To learn more about the workshops, see our website (documentation of past ThinkBike projects or our ThinkBike page on Facebook (photos and links to press from our most recent projects).

We would love to hear more about your work in San Clemente and would be very happy if you could join us for the next workshop in San Jose next month or in San Diego next year.
All the best,            
Jennifer Katell
Senior Public Diplomacy, Press & Culture Officer

Find PEDal here;
Find ThinkBike Los Angeles here;
ThinkBike Facebook is here;
OC Register article on Leiden Netherlands here.



San Clemente goes Dutch

"We're already on the path," Miller said. "We're limited in the amount of road widening we can do. There's not enough space. ... We can achieve a more efficient movement overall by combining modes – automobiles, walking, bicycling and public transit. When any one of those dominates the network, we lose efficiency." Orange County Register News on-line.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Open Letter from Mark Goodley

context:  Bike Safety Meeting, Newport Beach, 17 September 2012
Good Morning;

As you know, following the fatalities of two cyclists this past week, there was an emergency Bicycle safety meeting Monday night. (The author was also injured in a collision with a motorist - ed.)

In front of a hurting, mourning, shocked, and angry crowd representing friends of the family's, co-workers, neighbors, and residents of Newport Beach,   our "Mayor" stood up, addressed the hundreds gathered, and then specifically  BLAMED "the budget" (which SHE signs and is responsible BTW)  for the deaths of the two women this past weekend...  Pouring gasoline on the fire with this cowardly act,  not only was grossly insensitive, it was callous and absolutely inexcusable behaviour.

Not yet 48 hours after the meeting...

I received this (please see attachment) in the mail... The City Manager's annual report.  It seems that our city had a net surplus of $ 7,800,000.. That's 7.8 MILLION DOLLARS AND net surplus; and a net surplus for  the YEAR BEFORE of $ 11,900,000.  (ALMOST TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS SURPLUS).

I'm SURE that the families and friends of the two killed cyclists will be VERY please to know that our Mayor does not feel their lives were worthy of her consideration, even though the cities coffers are over flowing.  Imagine for a moment if it were your wife, parent, or child that was killed.  How would you feel?

But yet, our Mayor HID behind her OWN budget.

I suppose she is blinded by swimming in all the green bills, but to cowardly blame a budget, that she is responsible for, and THEN be found out a liar to boot, is frankly too much to take.  There is NO BUDGET ISSUE! THAT WAS A LIE!

Clearly this Mayor has no intention of attempting to safeguard  the citizens that elected her.  She says and votes for one agenda, in the public's eye,
then behind the scenes, does EXACTLY the OPPOSITE to hinder and stall what she has publicly voiced support for.

Her administration has been as anemic and impotent towards safeguarding cyclists as the previous...

Any cyclists  that have felt some loyalty or "niceness" towards her in the past,  might want to carefully look in the mirror, today, and reconsider their position.

See you at the next City Council meeting.


mark d. goodley


Brief Highlights Bike Safety Meeting

Newport Beach Public Library
1000 Avocado
Newport Beach, CA

Next Meeting: 1 October 2012, 4:30pm

View My Saved Places in a larger map

Meeting Highlights
  • Moment of Silence for Katherine Campion M.D.  and Sarah Leaf, both women cyclists killed Friday and Saturday in collisions with motorists
  • Bicycle/Pedestrian infrastructure projects compete for funding with all other Capital Infrastructure projects planned by Newport Public Works
  • Priority projects are completed first
  • Mayor Gardner: Newport Beach has no extra money to hire staff or fund bike infrastructure projects
  • Lack of progress implementing bicycle safety measures is due ineffective city policy and a failure to act
  • Design criteria for measuring mobility effectiveness is called the Level of Service (LOS)
  • LOS is defined as measure of moving vehicles not moving people, that shortcoming is the reason our mobility system is a congested failure
  • Sharrows planned for PCH in October will be studied further and a report issued in 6 months
  • Citizen response: If Newport Beach does not implement Sharrows on PCH in 30 days, a legal action will be taken against Newport Beach.

For the record:
Fiscal Year Newport city budget 2010-2011 shows an $11.9M surplus,
the 2011-2012 budget shows a $7.8M surplus, from City Budget and Pensions, Dave Kiff, City Manager, September 2012.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Somber Bike Safety Meeting

The Bike Safety meeting in Newport  Beach concluded with a better understanding of the perilous nature of our community streets.  An emotional meeting with roughly 150 attendees, NB Police and city officials observed a moment of silence for victims of two accidents involving cyclists and one hit-and-run driver. See the story and photos of Sarah Leaf and Katherine A. Campion M.D. at bikeNewportBeach.  UPDATE: Hit-and-Run suspect arrested, read the NBPD report here.   -LS

Two Women Cyclists Killed in 24 Hours

Two women cyclists have been killed in Newport Beach in a single 24-hour period this weekend. The latest, a hit and run on Newport Coast Drive.

Little good can come from such a loss of life, but maybe we can squeeze a drop of Call-to-Action from our elected officials. So city government this is for you:


Join cyclists, pedestrians and city officials at this Special Meeting of the Newport Beach Citizens Bicycle Safety Committee at 4:30pm Monday September 17th in the Friends Room at the Central Library on Avocado. Have your concerns heard.

Map to Special Meeting

Laguna Streets

Friday, September 7, 2012

A $1.1M Grant for Bikes/Pedestrians goes to.....

SAN CLEMENTE!  A $1.18M  OCTA grant for building bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure was awarded the city of San Clemente. Meanwhile Laguna Beach received no grant funding because city Staff never bothered to apply, they still can't find a pen.  
    San Clemente Times story here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Results of Petitions Posted

Petitions signed by Laguna residents and visitors have been posted to Laguna Streets. See the results under PETITIONS or follow the links here:

MOULTON MEADOWS TRAIL, 191 signatures, May 2010

BIKE SHARROWS, 250 signatures, April 2011

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bus Art

Need not be dull.

Business Potential from Laguna Bike Tourism

In a research study currently underway at Portland State University researchers are examining how trasportation choices determine consumer behavior and the bottom-line for retailers. A recent report compares consumer purchases for shopping trips made on foot, by bike, using transit and cars. Here are some results for shopping trips made by bicycle:

"Research into the (business) benefits of recreational bicycling and bicycle  tourism has tracked expenditures directly related to bicycle equipment or to travel related food and lodging. A study of the Outer Banks in North Carolina estimates that tourists who come to the area specifically for bicycling generate approximately $60 million a year for the local economy, nine times the cost of constructing the bicycle facilities in the area (2). More than half of the visitors on the Greenbrier River Trail in West Virginia spend more than $100 per visit and most come from out of state (3). According to a recent study, the revenue
generated by recreational cyclists and by bicycle tourism in Wisconsin amounts to nearly $1 billion annually (4).Colorado similarly estimates the impact of cycling by out-of-state tourists and active residents at $1 billion (5)."

What is the business potential for out-of-town cyclists visiting Laguna? Read the progress made thus far in "Examining Consumer Behavior and Travel Choices", Kelly Clifton Associate Professor Civil and Environmental Engineering, Portland State University. (The TR News article "Business Cycles, Catering to the Bicycle Market" is linked from this article). Researchers anticipate a final comprehensive report by year end 2012.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

City Government Misses Another Golden O$$ortunity

In April 2010 the Complete Streets Task Force identified sources of grant funding for building street infrastructure in Laguna Beach and  delivered them to city council (CSTF Documents: Action Plan). Identifying funding is the fifth phase of a five step program to implement Complete Streets Policy, it identifies federal funding for civic projects such as bike-lanes, pedestrian zones and transit stops.

The Orange County Transit Authority just published this map to show the allocation of  $9,400,000 in free grant money to cities in Orange County.  Notice Laguna Beach was allocated no money because city staff did not bother to apply for funding nor prepare for grant qualification. (To qualify a municipality must have a Bicycle and Pedestrian Management Plan in-place, and an approved project for the grant allocation to apply. Laguna has neither.)

OCTA is extending a hand to all municipalities around Orange County and can help us solve our transit problems, all we have to do is choose to participate. The OCTA plans to knit together a bicycle network to serve all of Orange County.  "It would be like planning freeways on city borders," County Supervisor Shawn Nelson said. "This seems to be a good way to get cities together. ... Orange County will be a master-planned county for bicycle transit."  Read the cover  story by Alejandra Molina, Orange County Register.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Heritage Fields plans for 10,000 more homes

Our city government did nothing while Heritage Fields planned for 5000 new homes and Altura's 753 homes (I read 4000 elsewhere). Our city attorney Mr. Kohn (a non-resident) is paid $560,000 for legal services to represent Laguna Beach but must excuse himself from this issue because he also serves for the opposing side. Now we must hire another impartial attorney to hear the issue.

Meanwhile the traffic consultant plans for a parking garage and shuttle to absorb some of those 100,000 new trips. And the best part, Laguna resident Michael Ray and board member of the Great Park (talk about conflict of interest) says the Great Park will be such a tourist magnet that our tourists will just trade places with their tourists and presto, auto congestion in Laguna Beach "will-be-a-wash". No more parking problem.

You can't make this up, this must be Laguna Beach. Here's another example where traffic solutions (proposed by experts) based on a car modality alone will never solve traffic troubles in Laguna Beach. Read the Independent on-line "Laguna Protests More Irvine Homes"        -LS

Monday, August 13, 2012

Moulton Meadows Trail Project

Ref: "Path to get more study", Coastline Pilot, 10 August 2012. The Complete Streets Task Force met early as September 2009 to select a route for this path from four alternatives. One route amicable to both street users and Sommett du Monde private community residents led the route away from the private development. City government now chooses to ignore CSTF recommendations and locate the path where it will irritate residents most.

Further, the route taken for the present design and it's alternate does not consider project requirements reviewed by CSTF committee, those requirements specify path location, grade, width, usage, cost, impact on Sommett residents and more.  The project criteria are also ignored, here are some of them: 1) Path width maximum 5-8 feet to prevent visits by rogue motorvehicles. The path is now 10 feet wide. 2) Minimize project costs to $50k (no ADA) to better posture for council approval. New cost $350k. 3) Hold the slope to 10% grade to allow access by all anticipated road users. Now the illegal path follows 34% terrain with stairs.

The project manager Wade Brown is apparently unaware of the previous study on this path called the Moulton Meadows Trail project. City directions  would be more cost effective by leading Mr. Brown to early results produced by the CSTF including two computer renderings of the trail, prepared by Sebastian and Associates, that meet the objectives and requirements of the MMT and delivered to Councilwoman Jane Egly in November 2010.

Both the proposed path and its alternate ignore objectives for the Moulton Meadows Trail. The City would serve their residents better by starting from the early work results instead of starting from scratch. The records, notes and maps produced in years of meetings with city officials are available to anyone by visiting the Laguna Streets Blog, scroll down to  "CSTF DOCUMENTS" and select from the documents found there.

Laguna Streets

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Citizens Bike Safety Meeting, Newport Beach

Our neighbour city to the north is forging ahead with street improvements that meet Complete Streets objectives. The summer meeting was lightly attended by the audience but did not distract the committee from making significant progress. Here are some highlights

  • NB's Public Works Brad Sommers submitted plans to Cal Trans for the intersection at Newport Coast and 73 Toll Road.
  • Sharrows installation on Pacific Coast Highway in Corona del Mar will include a public outreach effort using a digital banner to educate drivers prior to installation. Banner slogans include "The Sharrows are Coming" and "Bikes May Use Full Lane".
  • Committee member Tony Petros prepared NBPD bicycle collision data in Newport for a striking presentation. The data show a collision corridor from Newport Heights to the boardwalk and the 3 worst intersections.
  • NB’s Communications Tara Finigan will speak to her peers in the City of Long Beach to gather ideas for the public outreach effort.
  • A proposal before the city is to widen Newport Blvd at Via Lido to 6 lanes. Mayor Gardner will invite PW Director Steve Badum to present the proposal to the Committee next month.
  • A public Bike Share system is proposed for NB, the committee will host a presentation by a private company invited by Mayor Gardner.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A photo essay: Babes on Bikes

ParentMap 'cause parenting is a trip!
Here is a site for early parenting with a dozen slideshow photos of toddlers on their way to school. This is a low-cost daily activity for quality time with kids, it makes bike-to-school simple, social, a party every day. Some cities have  dedicated safe lanes for bikes only, and eliminate auto congestion at school. Imagine if Anneliese Schools LB had this. Watch the fun at ParentMap.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Business Benefit from Alternative Mobility

"Contrary to popular delusion, cars are so inefficient at moving large numbers of folks into limited areas that the obsession with them has been holding back economic development, draining government treasuries, and actually pushing businesses out of cities as more and more land is seized to make room for more and more motor traffic lanes and car parking spots." -Richard Risemberg, Flying Pigeon LA. Richard shows that Santa Monica is beating this trend while Los Angeles is slow to react.

There are studies underway in several U.S. universities (Colorado State, Portland State, Rutgers) to take measure of the economic benefit from different modes of transportation as alternatives to the car. One study published results recently in the TR News, a trade magazine of the Transportation Research Board.

Woodlawn Art Bike Rack-14-9
Bike parking at Breakside Brewery in Woodlawn.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)
"Survey results suggest that patrons who arrive by automobile do not necessarily convey greater monetary benefits to businesses than bicyclists, transit users, or pedestrians. This finding is contrary to what business owners often believe."

-Kelly Clifton, Associate Professor of Civil and Env. Engineering PSU

Clifton showed while the vast majority of people surveyed arrived by car, the auto drivers spent the lowest amount per person/per month when compared to those who biked, walked, or took transit.  See a table of the study results at Bike Portland  and read the full article "Study Shows Biking Consumers Spend More" by Johnathan Maus. -LS

Monday, August 6, 2012

Roads Chase Rules

1935: (1) All persons have a right to use the road for purpose of passage.  (All users have rights)
1946: (1) The Highway Code is a set of common sense provisions for the guidance and safety of all who use the roads. Consideration for others as well as for yourself is the keynote of the Code. Remember that you have responsibilities as well as rights.  (Add user responsibilities)
1954: The road use on foot. (1) Where there is a pavement or footpath, use it.  (Pedestrians beware)
Highway engineers have a confession to make: compared to new road vehicles their design manuals are out-of-date and necessarily so are the roads. You see, transportation engineering itself is a new experimental science and road users are its test rodents.  Here is a book that cites rules from early highway code guides, notice how emphasis of the first Rule changes as time passes. Complete Streets Policy emphasizes a balanced and safe accommodation for all road users, in time road conditions will catch-up to the new rules.

Bike Racks come to Council Vote

This  city staff report shows 32 locations for installation of bike racks in the downtown area and park locations. It is noteworthy  that bike racks were not assigned to locations of high traffic areas like banks, the Post Office, schools, coffee cafes or City Hall. Instead four prime locations were flagged as "NOT RECOMMENDED" due to considerations made by city officials (none of whom ride a bike). The locations are:
  • Starbucks (2)
  • Post Office
  • Sawdust Festival
  • Albertsons Market
Two high traffic locations were included
  • Bus Transit Depot
  • PD FD
Balanced mobility for Laguna Beach is achieved by giving commuters alternatives to driving the automobile. Bike racks should be located where they are visible to street users, a reminder to consider alternatives to driving a car. Put an artistic rack in front of City Hall, that would spare some parking spaces and show city commitment to balanced mobility. Hiding bike racks behind obstructions or merely dedicating them to sport riders at remote city parks will not serve their greater purpose.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sign Petition for Sharrows through Laguna

Now THAT'S a Sharrow! This is a photo of Market Street in San Francisco where the local transit authority is taking safety measures for cyclists. TRAFFIC PLANNERS AND Cal Trans TAKE NOTE!

Now meet Julie Pusateri from Dana Point who invites you to sign this petition for installing these Sharrows on PCH through Laguna Beach. Thank you Bryan Goebel at SF Streetblog for this photo.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Election Year Hyperbola

"Local Bicyclists Get Boost in City Budget", Laguna Beach Independent, 23 June, 2012, Rita Robinson.

Where are the city records to substantiate the claims made for Complete Streets funding in this article? In June a budget workshop Memorandum claimed $300k and $1.3M in funding for Complete Streets infrastructure improvements, today the Memorandum disappeared from the public record. Without a record in an agenda item, adoption and approval from city council, claims like these are pure speculative BS.

Homeless Cruiser

This homeless cruiser was spotted on the street just one block from the new city bike-rack. The bike rack provided for city employees remains unused and empty. -LS

Monday, July 23, 2012

LB City Ignores Complete Streets Mandates

The Complete Streets Act requires that cities plan (and provide) for a balanced, multi-modal transportation network that meets the needs of all (street users) for safe and convenient travel. The users of these streets include bicyclists, children, seniors, persons with disabilities, motorists, movers of commercial goods, pedestrians, and users of public transportation. Mandates in the Complete Streets Act were effective 1 January 2011.
Laguna Beach anticipates capital improvements around the city in a Ten Year Capital Improvement Plan available from the city website. (2009-2010 Plan here)  In the first year plan for 2011-2012 Section V cites 
15 projects for total funding of $6,390,000. Four of those projects have implications under Complete Streets mandates and total $1,740,000. The projects now completed do not offer routine accommodation of all roadway users and show Complete Streets mandates were disregarded by City officials.

Cal Trans holds jurisdiction over both Laguna Canyon Road and PCH and is held to a separate but equivalent complete streets mandate via Deputy Directive 64 from the California Department of Transportation. This directive specifies that routine accommodation of road users should be met, it means full consideration and accommodation of all road users. This Directive mandates that all Cal Trans employees are to "[m]aximize bicycle, pedestrian, and transit safety and mobility through each project’s life cycle." Furthermore, Deputy Directive 64 plainly states, "the Department and local agencies have the duty to provide for the safety and mobility needs of all who have legal access to the transportation system."

Roadway users on Laguna Canyon Road and Pacific Coast Highway routinely include hundreds of cyclists, pedestrians, non-motorized vehicles, buses, the LB Trolley and private automobiles. Routine accommodation means providing reasonably safe and convenient travel through city planning, design, construction, reconstruction and operation of roads for this diverse mix of road users.

For Cal Trans, Complete Streets compliance is an integral part of enabling people to safely and conveniently navigate the transportation system. They set high standards for our infrastructure. What are Laguna's standards? No one seems to know. Maybe they just don't care: LB Public Works was contacted for comment to this article but made no reply. -LS

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Trolley Tracker App

The city of Laguna Beach offers a new App for Android, Apple or Amazon mobile devices to help you find the free Trolley. Get the Trolley Tracker App here. Or just relax, paak-da-kaa, and look down the street for the blue and gold trim trolley bus.

7/10/19 UPDATE: Users report the Trolley Tracker App is unreliable and at times does not work despite a software redeployment. Dispatchers redirect Trolleys to serve ridership other than the scheduled route. Ride a bike or use Uber/Lyft, your trip time will be shorter and departures to your convenience. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012


UPDATE: City bike rack is located in back of building in the employee parking lot. Was this location selected so our car-driving culture in front would not be offended?

Small print:  holds 3 bicycles, it's in the back of the building, still inside a cardboard box. Did I mention for employees only. -LS

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Where did $65,550,000 go?

"We don't have any money for THAT".....

the argument heard most often from city officials opposing construction of Complete Streets infrastructure. Long Beach pays $0.25 per foot to paint green lanes with Sharrows, so lets put expenditures for paint in perspective with Laguna's budget. This chart shows the money spent for Laguna city services in each department, see if you can find funding for Complete Streets infrastructure. From the 2010-2011 city budget, Laguna Beach, click chart to enlarge.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

City Council Approves Sharrows in Newport Beach

(Update) Tonight In a 5-1 vote with one council member absent, the Newport Beach City Council approved the use of bicycle Sharrows to be painted on Pacific Coast Highway in Corona del Mar. Sharrow symbols are traffic lane markers used to remind all road users the lane is designated multi-use for both cyclists and automobiles. The city council was responding to a 1 year study and a letter of recommendation by the Bicycle Safety Committee of Newport Beach. With plans for Sharrows on Pacific Coast Highway in neighboring beach cities, maybe Laguna Beach will follow the same recommendation for these traffic safety devices.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Tuesday night NB City Council debate Sharrows for PCH

The city council of Newport Beach has the courage and foresight to bring this topic to their agenda for an open candid discussion. They should be encouraged and applauded for addressing the traffic safety commitment for residents and visitors while exploring solutions to traffic congestion offered by the Complete Streets policy, and meeting that mandate. Laguna Streets salute you.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

NB City Council to consider PCH Sharrows

City Council To Consider CdM Sharrows For Cyclists at Tuesday Meeting

After two and a half years of debate, sharrows — special markings to alert motorists to share the road with cyclists — will go before the Newport Beach City Council on Tuesday.

According to an agenda posted for Tuesday’s meeting, the Council will discuss whether to accept a bike safety committee’s recommendation to add sharrow markings along East Coast Highway and direct staff to create an installation and public outreach plan. A staff report included in the online meeting agenda states that the city’s budget includes funding for sharrows but does not specify the cost.

The Newport Beach city attorney also said the city would not assume increased liability for a “dangerous condition of a public property” by adding sharrows, the letter states.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Dutch Courageously Identify Real Issue

Hans Monderman, Dutch engineer and traffic planner pioneered the idea of removing traffic controls on city streets (many cities in Europe have done this). "Too many traffic rules strip us of the most important thing: the ability to be considerate." In Der Spiegel 2006 he wrote "We are loosing our ability for socially responsible behavior." People slow-down and proceed with caution when removed from their comfort zone, so when entering an intersection absent of traffic controls for cars, everybody proceeds with caution and safety is improved. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Riding the River down Catalina

Imagine a Laguna Beach bike route down Catalina Street from Victoria to Emerald Bay, well marked with destination posts, rest stops, location highlights, offering a utility route car-free with NO stop-signs.  Orange County has a real one, and it's 30 miles long!       see this excellent full-size map at OC Register