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.