Monday, February 27, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bicycle Rack going going gone

One week after the bicycle map "Laguna Beach Bike Tour" was published, the bicycle rack at Cleo Street Ralphs market was discovered removed. When asked where it went, two managers  said "I didn't know". Well, isn't that special.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Laguna Beach ignores opportunity for free money

Two objections heard most frequently from city leaders for adopting Complete Streets Policy are exposure to municipal liability and lack of funding. Municipal liability is not an issue since cities hold immunity from liability for use of a public street, and studies show (Pucher, Shoup, Gehl) the more pedestrians and cyclists using the street , the fewer accidents there are provided the city provides safe infrastructure.

Funding is available and often subsidized by state and federal grant programs. During meetings held by the Laguna Beach Complete Streets Task Force, the committee were often challenged by Council members Egly and Rollinger to find funding for complete street projects. Each time the task force responded with sources for state and federal grant funding early as April 2010, yet the city of Laguna Beach failed to apply for the grant. Below is a list of funding resources for the period the task force was active, Sept 2009 to Jan 2012.

No amount of free money is available to Laguna Beach if the city makes no effort to apply for the grant.  To date, the City has not filed an application for any Complete Streets grant. Like the Lotto, if you don't play the game, you're just dreaming.

See a partial list of grant funding for Complete Streets here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Yet another committee to study Complete Streets

From the 7 February LB City Agenda: Recommendation: Reorganize the Environmental Committee as the Environmental Sustainability Committee; assign the committee the tasks of developing a Sustainability Element to the General Plan and recommending Complete Street Projects; and 3) set a date of February 28, 2012, as the deadline for submitting applications to the City Clerk, and a date of March 6, 2012, for the interview and appointment of seven members to the committee. (Egly/Rollinger)

Translation: the city will appoint another committee of unpaid volunteers to study Complete Streets compliance to make recommendations in a new Sustainability Element to update the city General Plan. This way the committee meetings (held to formal rules of order) can filibuster progress forever.

Here's what to remember, this strategy effectively sidesteps the Transportation Element where CS Policy applies.  This study should be done by city staff, they are the 'experts' that's what they are paid for. What happened to the "low hanging fruit"? Why not build a pedestrian bench at Ralphs market next week?  Read the 7 Feb Agenda.  

Correction: This agenda bill as written is incorrect, it should say the Complete Streets topic will be addressed at a monthly meeting of more volunteers but independent of the ESC. The venue is an inconsequential Potluck luncheon held at the Senior Center, all residents capable of wishful thinking are invited to attend!

Quick, get your bicycle insurance

Bicycle liability insurance. Is that an oxymoron?

When municipalities fail to provide infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, the capitalist solution is to sell them insurance! You're-on-your-own baby, get your YO-YO policy now. Laguna Beach is ripe for this market

Looks like R.E. Chaix & Associates headquartered in Irvine is the broker for Sports Insurance Solutions.    (http://spokeinsurance.com/)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Our Carjacked Culture

Laguna Beach drivers can learn how their driving habits are coerced by the automobile industry to the detriment of our local community and neighborhoods. Catherine Lutz is the Thomas J. Watson, Jr. Family Professor of Anthropology and International Studies at Brown University. Explore the book by Catherine and Ann Lutz Fernandez.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bike Route Map of Laguna Beach

Watch for this bike route map to be posted around selected stores in Laguna. The map shows the quiet back-roads through Laguna and avoids PCH. Brought to you by people with vision at Laguna Streets (this blog) and Transition Laguna. Download the digital copy in the Resources section below.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Congress Trashed Transportation Bill - TAKE ACTION HERE!

This is urgent, Congress is voting on a transportation bill for cars and trucks leaving out the provision for Safe Routes to School. They are spending $150,000,000,000 (yes Billion$) without a penny spent on kid-friendly facilities and Safe Routes to Schools, signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2005.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How to Make a Bike Rack - by David Byrne

"To my surprise, they responded by saying, 'If you make these we'll put them up.' Holy Moses! I was over the moon — what happened to the legendary red tape and years of bureaucratic haggling I was supposed to go through?" 

The city of Laguna Beach is spending $15,000 to study bicycle racks, not build them.

Read the story by David Byrne on how to manufacture bike racks locally in NYC.  OR  Watch Talking Heads perform "Burning Down the House"    A cyclist for 30 years, David shows the benefit of cycling.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Orange County Bike Coalition meets at fund raiser

Bike advocates from San Clemente to Long Beach and all cities between gathered for a Sunset Soiree this week in support of the Orange County Bicycle Coalition. Co-host and OCBC Executive Director Pete Van Nuys invited the assembled to contribute to the non-profit and by the end of the evening $3,000 was raised to support better biking in Orange County. All advocates agreed the meeting was a valuable opportunity to get acquainted  and share stories of our work supporting cycling under the umbrella of Complete Streets Policy. Here are names of your tireless local Orange County advocates that contribute their time and money to promote cycling and hold a vision for balanced mobility in Orange County. The donations were matched by our gracious hosts Mr. Frank Peters and his wife Barbara.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The House trashed the transportation bill, but here's what you can do

$150,000,000,000 is proposed for car-centric transportation spending. "And NONE of it will go to Safe Routes to School unless the Congress amends the Bill.  Call them.  Time is of the essence.  We have about 1 week before this goes to the House floor."  Read Brenda Millers article in the San Clemente Patch and take Action.