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.