Thursday, February 27, 2014

Alternative Mobility for Route-185 Old Laguna Canyon Road

Old Laguna Canyon Road Rt-185 went through here...
Old Laguna Canyon Road was a rural country road completed in 1910, and adopted into California's state highway system in 1933 as Route-185. In order to "mitigate auto congestion" CalTrans realigned the road into the divided highway SR-133 we use today (adopted 2006). To further "mitigate congestion" CalTrans considered a planned expansion to SIX lanes. And you thought LB traffic is terrible now?

...and through here toward Laguna
CalTrans measures highway effectiveness by number of vehicles moved, not the number of people moved, in 2001 they show SR-133 moving 29,000 ADT (Annual Average Daily Traffic) vehicles with a service grade (A-F) of 'D'. By 2020 that number swells to 56,000 - surely this is an 'F'. By this measure the traffic volume has doubled in 20 years, 2020 is only 6 years away.

... a cattle fence and roadbed remain.

Does everyone see where this line of thinking has gone wrong, particularly for Laguna Beach? We have been led by arcane institutional planning long enough. Fortunately there are better alternatives from a balanced multi-modal perspective, once residents and visitors value the benefit and city government adopt them as city policy.

A trail branch leads to NIX Center.

As you might have guessed this is a brief photo-tour of Old Laguna Canyon Road Route-185, both on the original abandoned roadway and on the County managed bike and pedestrian trail that runs parallel. Heading southbound the county road begins near Lake Laguna and ends at the 73 Toll Road passing through the James Dilley Preserve. The improved trails are presently used by hikers and bikers to access hiking destinations like the Nix Center.

Direction signs for maintained trails

With foresight and planning Old Laguna Canyon Road should also be revitalized to provide an alternative means of transport to Laguna Beach other than a CalTrans highway for moving cars. Build it and they will come! The good news is it's downhill all the way to the beach. -LS

Southern entrance at James Dilley Preserve

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

80 Communities adopted Complete Streets in 2013

Communities across the country are adopting Complete Streets policies. The National Complete Streets Coalition rank cities by policy effectiveness and  just published their report for 2013.
"In 2013, more than 80 communities adopted Complete Streets policies. These laws, resolutions and planning and design documents encourage and provide for the safe access to destinations for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income or ethnicity, and no matter how they travel."

"Nationwide, a total of 610 jurisdictions now have Complete Streets policies in place. Today, 27 states as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have Complete Streets policies. Fifty-one regional planning organizations, 48 counties and 482 municipalities in 48 states also have adopted such policies."

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Anybody see the BIKEPATH?

Bikepath on Old Laguna Canyon Road (small grey line)
The city of Laguna Beach is seriously considering 7 design proposals to widen the current Laguna Canyon Road into a 4-lane highway. Guess what will happen to downtown traffic in the summer? Where shall we put the extra cars? How about an off-ramp directly into the Pacific Ocean at Main Beach?

Here's a better idea, how about a dedicated lane for cycling and electric-bikes  from Lake Forest Drive to Broadway. Surprise! It's already there, just clean off the tumble-weeds. Sometimes solutions are hidden in plain sight.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Village Entrance Remains a Parking Lot

The parking structure is gone so is the public park. The Village Entrance beautification project remains a parking lot and a hedge for $14.4 million.

Village Entrance Plan 'D'

Monday, February 3, 2014

Important Meetings on Mobility Topic for Beach Cities

See UPDATE Below!
Our beach cities are holding public meetings to discuss traffic problems and mobility solutions in our communities. This can't be coincidence, rather our municipalities recognize the importance planning our mobility system deserves.

3 February 2014, Newport Beach
UPDATE: The draft plan remains in committee for further review by the oversight committee, city staff and the public.

The next Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee meeting will held be Monday, February 3 at 5:00 pm in the Civic Center Community Room located at 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach, 92660.  The primary topic of the meeting will be the  draft Bikeways Network

4 February 2014, Laguna Beach
UPDATE: The parking structure and the park are gone, LB Council voted 5-0 to proceed with paving another parking lot with a modest gain in parking spaces. A pedestrian walkway with a hedge boarder bring the project cost to $14.4 million. The project is labeled the "Village Entrance". 

Regular City Council meeting beginning 6:00pm in Council Chambers will reveal the Heritage Fields Project and payments to city Agenda Item 13, and Plan D of the Village Entrance (City Entrance and Park) Agenda Item 16. Read the Agenda Bill here.

4 February 2014, San Clemente
UPDATE: By unanimous vote Tuesday evening, San Clemente's City Council adopted its first Mobility and Complete Streets Element and Bicycle and Pedestrain Master Plan. This is a huge win for San Clemente, congratulations to City Council and mobility advocates at PEDal.
Regular City Council meeting begins at 6:00pm City Hall. The council will voting to adopt San Clemente's first Bicycle and Pedestrain Master Plan.

8 Feburary 2014, Laguna Beach
City Council Retreat 9am at the Council retreat location, Water District top of West Street , South Laguna. The Council will select city project priorities for 2014.

10 February 2014 Laguna Beach
Senior Center Communication Room, 380 Third Street, Laguna Beach. The LB Planning Department will hold a public Workshop to discuss what is a Complete Street, take recommendations from the public and entertain questions.

18 February 2014, San Clemente
San Clemente City Council (map HERE) will evaluate for approval the Complete Streets proposal for PCH, the City's northern-most stretch of the Pacific Coast Bike Route

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tell these cities how you would fix traffic

These three cities are collecting comments and recommendations from the public to solve the traffic issues in their communities. They want to hear from you.

If you've had enough of traffic in our beach cities, please participate! Take the surveys at San Diego and Laguna Beach, for Newport comment on the location of your interest, a favorite Hot-Spot say. Follow the Newport link and click on the circle to leave a constructive comment. -LS 

North Laguna gets Slurry Slop

The LB City news flash says:

"This is part of the City's ten-year plan to a ten-year program to have all streets slurry sealed."   Complete Streets interventions have been around since the concept was introduced (2003) and became law in 2008. They are easily worked into normal road maintenance scheduled like this one in Laguna Beach. It didn't happen. Maybe it will in the next ten years.  -LS