Thursday, December 31, 2015

Nissan's Shape Shifter by 2020

Nissan IDS Concept Car

Millennials have dismissed car ownership and the automotive industry is nervous. Here comes the push-back, Nissan expects their autonomous IDS concept car to be available by 2020.  With a manual mode for conventional driving and an autonomous mode for partying, who wants to drive?  There's just one other issue: why own an autonomous taxi? Instead call the IDS Fleet like you would call Yellow Cab from your smartphone. Volvo's atonomous car will be available in 5 years.  Update 2-3-18: Google's CEO in Davos Switzerland said: "AI is more profound than fire or electricity".                 -LS

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Climate Talks Tomorrow Paris France

UPDATE: Post Paris, Colbert says good-by to OIL.

 Monday 30 November 2015 is the Climate Summit in Paris France. Organized by the United Nations 40,000 dignitaries heads of state and support staff  from every nation on planet Earth will meet to produce an agreement for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (full article Grist

  • Each nation will submit an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), a commitment to reducing emissions by a target amount. The US commitment is reducing greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2025. 
  • All nations INDC's will be combined into a core agreement in two parts, one legally binding the other non-binding, meaning a country can change its commitment without international repercussions.
  • Climate scientists argue a change of 2 degrees Celsius must be held to avert the worst impacts from climatic change. The best target temperature in the INDC is 2.7 degrees allowing a chance for agreement but does not meet the recommended target.

But what about those climate deniers?

NASA and Bloomberg News have prepared animated graphs from climate models (like the graph above) that give more confidence to historical temperature measurements and the computer modeling that matches. To see the animation visit the Bloomberg site here.

What's this got to do with TRANSPORTATION?

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has compiled data showing the contribution to global emissions from their source, by type of gas and by economic sector.  The charts show Carbon Dioxide (CO2)is the largest contributor (65%) from the fossil fuel industry (9 billion metric tonnes in 2010) where the transportation sector contributes 14%. It's noteworthy the Industry, Electricity and Building sectors contribute to both creating and maintaining the Transportation sector.           --LS

Monday, November 16, 2015

Pay When You Play at CAR2GO RideShare


Ping it
Take it
Drive it
Park it

Munich has BMW's DriveNOW, in Paris it's Autolib, Pittsburgh has Zipcar, in Oakland it's City CarShare, Palo Alto has Zipcar, in San Diego it's CAR2GO. Worldwide you can find car-shares in 1000 cities but what about Laguna?

Laguna's new mobility plan

CAR2GO is available around the clock. Find one with your Car2Go App (there are no storage depots) or reserve one 30 minutes before your departure. You pay only when you use it there's no monthly fee or subscription. Pay when you play and Parking is included. Read the San Diego parking FAQ's here.  Sign-up for your membership from any smartphone. A one-time $35 fee gets you started so find-out how it works at CAR2GO            -LS

Monday, November 9, 2015

BREEZE New BikeShare in Santa Monica


Reserve an 8-speed bike from any of 80 hub stations around Santa Monica with your Mobile App. Release the bike lock with your smart card - adjust the seat - ride anywhere - return the bike. Lock it at the hub or leave it for the Breeze-van to collect (on-board GPS tracks the bikes).

Santa Monica introduced their new bike share in August with a promotion in November, from now until December 31, 2015 anyone can become a Founding Member for only $99. Founding Members get a full year of bike share use including 60 minutes of daily riding time and a special gift.

Street Car and Bike Share connection
Breeze launches on Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 8:15 a.m. at a City Council ceremony with participation by Mayor McKeown, Assembly Member Richard Bloom, and Presenting Sponsor, Santa Monica-based Hulu.

Santa Monica has adopted an award winning land-use and circulation  element with a bold 5-year phase-in strategy to allow riders of all ages to go anywhere by bike.   

Santa Monica is building their future in transportation, Laguna should join them.    -LS

Pay Plans

Friday, November 6, 2015

Santa Ana hosts Ciclovia Sunday

Santa Ana Ciclovia is Sunday 8 November 2015

Ciclovia is an excellent tool to teach the alternative value of neighborhood streets - a value hidden in plain sight. When will Laguna host theirs? For contact info and a flyer to the car-free event click here.   -LS

Sunday on main open streets (SOMOS).

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Laguna's Dirt Fondo Challenge

The Dirt Fondo Invitation Flyer

Learning to bike ride safely and competently on off-road open space encourages kids to learn riding skills free of highway traffic and danger from motor vehicles on PCH and Laguna Canyon Road.  MounTain Biking in Laguna is a great way to stay off the highways and avoid cars altogether.  The Dirt Fondo is a MTB ride fund-raiser to support the LB Interscholastic Mountain Bike Team to hire certified coaches from  National Interscholastic Cycling Association to teach safe riding techniques, trail safety and fitness. IMBT is working with Orange County Parks and the Laguna Canyon Foundation to teach trail sustainability, IMBA trail use rules and maintenance. Riders are taught IMBA Rules of the Trail such as respecting road closures, leave no trace, yield to others and never scare wildlife.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Laguna Beach Tour De Coop 2015

Third Annual Tour de Coop

Know what this is?

Think of a treasure hunt to find Laguna's egg-laying chickens.  Bring the family, get a treasure map, follow the community bicycle ride to find our girls.

UPDATE: Join us Sunday November 8 9:00am check-in at 487 Shadow Lane (Mountain and Carmelita), departure at 10:00am (map detail here).
Meet our hosts and get ride details at Seeds Arts and Education. 
Ready to pedal?  Register at Facebook page here.

Event history at Independent and Coastline Pilot.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

SoCal Active Transportation Forum UCI

October 16 2015 The Active Transportation Forum is sponsored by the UCI Program in Public Health and the Orange County Transportation Alliance. This year's keynote speakers were Mark Fenton, engineer, community design and public health expert, and Leah Shahum, founder and director of Vision Zero Network. Altogether 22 invited guest speakers spoke on the state of active transportation particularly in Southern California and the consequences if a vibrant network is not adopted.

These are highlights from speaker's presentations.

  • The cost for treatment of Diabetes and Obesity is $245 billion and $475 billion nationally. 
  • The obesity rates of OC adults is 60% children 30%, the rate in disadvantaged neighborhoods is 72%. Obesity leads to type II Diabetes and the health costs are borne by the public sector.
  • We bear the health costs of dual epidemics, physical inactivity and poor nutrition, both are a result of our mobility system and lifestyle.
  • Fearing constant danger we coddle kids instead of raising old-fashioned free-range kids
  • We foster the first younger generation whose life expectancy will be shorter than our own.
  • Laguna and UCI share the same mobility crisis, over 30,000 enrolled students want to visit the beach with no alternatives to driving a car, and a destination beach town with no-place to park them. 
  • Across districts school staff are being used for traffic and parking management not teaching.
  • Funding grants 2014-15: OC-PITCH $50M, CAPOC $4M, Measure M. We do more than pot-holes. 
  • OC growth: expect 425,000 more people by 2035
  • Major European cities have adopted a Vision Zero policy to make traffic accidents intolerable, the major impediment to adoption is POLITICS.  
UPDATE: OC Register posts December article here.
Three residents of Laguna Beach attended the all-day health forum, no representative from the city of Laguna Beach attended.      -LS

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Bike Route Safety Conditions on LCR

The Transport Injury Mapping System  shows there were 26 collisons with bicycles for the ten-year period 1/2004 thru 12/2013. The map shows where the collisions occured on Laguna Canyon Road North and South of the 73. Notice the reduction in collisions North of the 73 outside the city boundary versus inside.  Let's look at the road segments on either side of the 73 Laguna city boundary. 

North of the city boundary frequent road signs alert motorists of a "Bike Route" alternating with "Emergency Parking Only". Traveling outbound there are 18 and 11 respectively, inbound there are 21 and 18. South of the city boundary there are 3 and 0.

These photos show the provision for bicycle riders  inside and outside of the city boundary, check-out that 'speed-limit' and a storm-drain grate in the middle of the 'bike-lane'.

LCR Outside City Boundary

LCR Inside City Boundary

Despite the difference in provision for bicycle riders the OCTA Regional Bikeways Map declares a bike route is complete from the 405 to PCH. The on-street provisions and safety record would suggest otherwise.  -LS  

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Livingroom Peleton

When it's too dangerous outside you can join thousands of peleton riders from your stationary bike. Forget Jane Fonda on Beta, with a poke of your waterproof tablet you can connect with  live webcam classes and trainers around the world.  

"Many believe that technology, social media and physical activity somewhat run in conflict with one another, but that's not the case."  - Not from your car-free livingroom naturally, Outside is another story best left for the magazine. (Chicago and New York hope your winters are not too brutal this year.)

"Today we are finding being connected is getting people actually more benefits and maximizing their results from getting physically active."  - Particularly when venturing outside is too dangerous.     -LS

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sustainable Car-Free Cites

Photo Credit: Crawford, Carfree Times

As Paris France prepares to host serious discussions on climate disruption at the climate summit in December, the Carfree Times is promoting their film to promote awareness and topics on sustainable urban living. Among the topics:

  • Car-free Cities
  • Transport
  • Energy
  • Food & Fiber
  • Water with Healthbridge Canada and Building a Better Bangladesh premeired the 53 minute film in Dhaka Bangladesh and Kathmandu Nepal 13 August 2015. Watch "Recovering from Disruption: A Comprehensive Approach to Building a Sustainable World"
Vimo format here (recommended)
YouTube format here (popular)
See postcards of car-free cities Madrid, Dublin, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Helsinki and soon Paris France at the Carfree Times here.    

Attention NIMBY's:  prepare to duck and cover.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Transport Space Required (Retold)

Q: How should 200 people commute best?
A: Use the best tool for the job.

See transportation solutions from the Seattle Commuter Toolkit here.

The Washington Post animated the Commuter Toolkit here.

Monday, August 10, 2015

LA Council Votes for Vision Zero
UPDATE:  LA City Council vote 12-2 approves their Mobility Plan 2035. The automobile is no longer king in Los Angeles. "People were strong-armed into automobiles but no longer" - Council member Mike Bonin.

Next the Plan goes to Mayor Eric Garcetti for approval. 

Tuesday August 11 the LA City Council votes to approve the new mobility plan for the city of Los Angeles that includes Vision Zero - a program to abolish traffic fatalities by 2025. The overall intent of the plan is to reduce Angelinos reliance on the automobile for transportation.  The plan was approved in a preliminary council vote on 4 August and cleared for the vote tomorrow. This document replaces the existing LA Circulation Element, the transportation component of the city's General Plan. Laguna's Circulation Element was last updated in 1998, as an exercise a working document was prepared but with no intention to update the General Plan.

Hear audio coverage of this development at KPCC Radio 89.3 FM here.

The Los Angeles Mobility Plan 2035 is arranged in these sections:

Pedestrian Enhanced Destination Areas - identifies high pedestrian concentration areas and their proximity to transit

Transit Enhanced Network - prioritizes improvements for increasing mode share of auto alternatives at the expense of driving mode share

Bicycle Enhanced Network - a 180-mile street network for prioritized bike mode share including bike lanes and cycle tracks

Vehicle Enhanced Network - identifies 79 miles of heavy regional traffic slated for more infrastructure, active enforcement, limited parking and active monitoring to optimize traffic flow

The document calls for an additional 300 miles of protected bike lanes separated from traffic by curbs or other physical barriers. It identifies 117 miles of new bus-only lanes and another 120 miles of streets where bus-only lanes would operate during rush hour.

Mobility Plan 2035 also adopts the commitment to Vision Zero adopted by a growing number of European and US cities.

Vision Zero - a bold commitment to traffic safety with zero tolerance for cyclist and pedestrian fatalities due to traffic by 2025.

StreetBlog LA says it this way: "Vision Zero is a transportation planning, law enforcement, and planning project started in Sweden in 1997. The goal is simple: eradicate traffic fatalities. Any traffic fatality is one too many. Every decision involving transportation, from how wide a road should be to how to target traffic enforcement efforts, must meet the goal of making the streets safer for all road users."

Statistics show three of every 100,000 Swedes die in traffic crashes every year, 5.5 per 100,000 across the European Union and 11.4 in the USA. The US has three times the number of per capita fatalities as Sweden.

LA Walks specifies the mission strategy for Vision Zero this way: 
Freedom to Move
The Human Factor
The Vision Zero Initiative

The planning process has not been without controversy. Major issues raised over the mobility plan written by David Zanhiser, Los Angeles Times:

  • The measure of traffic congestion, the means to alleviate it and the criteria for success is not in the domain of automobiles exclusively.
  • The environmental impact report concludes the plan's projects would increase congestion, noise and cause cut-through traffic in residential neighborhoods.
  • Road user behavior is changing, generations of people under age 35 choose to live car free and car-lite. 
  • More scrutiny is anticipated to ensure emergency vehicle access.
  • L.A. officials say the mobility plan is an acknowledgment the city can't build its way out of congestion problems.
  •  "A paradigm shift of this kind often causes growing pains," said Connie Llanos, spokeswoman for Mayor Eric Garcetti, who supports the mobility plan. "But the long-term benefits outweigh the impacts."
Hear audio coverage of this development at KPCC Radio 89.3 FM here.

Transportation Alternatives of NYC invites you to sign a petition to change motor vehicle 'accidents' to 'crashes', that would change the way law enforcement and the insurance industry treats collisions with pedestrians and bike riders.

Friday, August 7, 2015

CicLAvia is SUNDAY!

The best way to introduce your community to Complete Streets Policy is experiencing the CicLAvia, Adonia Lugo PhD, Urban Anthropologist, Urban Adonia. 

The Culver meets Venice CicLAvia is Sunday August 9, 2015.

This six mile route connects Culver to the beach and back, 9am to 4pm Sunday.

See the route map and information page here
See the CicLAvia FAQ page here.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Building Bike Mode Share through Bike Trains

In Los Angeles the growth in bicycle mode share has grown 70% in fifteen years particularly for bicycle commuters who bike to work.  For newbies the transition from auto to bicycle can be intimidating but there is comradery and added bike safety-in-numbers by joining a bike train as Meghan McCarty of KPCC Public Radio did during her LA bike to work. 

Bike Train builds cycling safety-in-numbers
Bike trains serve Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles, Silver Lake to NASA/Caltech's JPL. The Irvine Barranca Metro Station to Laguna is only 10 miles apart, easily managed by bicycle. This commute route needs a bike-train and it's not rocket science.  What is a bike train? Check-out existing routes or propose a new route at LA Bike Trains here.     -LS

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Festival Season Transportation Alternatives

Slow and Go   Rush Hour   Heavy   Bumper to Bumper   Rage Level 1  Stuck in Traffic   Light    Traffic Jams Road Rage  Bottle Neck Hit-and-Run  Beat Traffic Rage Level 2 Slog  Traffic Fine  Snarl  Stuck

As Laguna's festival season begins so does the heaviest traffic congestion and consequences of a saturated car-centric mobility system. Normal weekly traffic alerts now occur daily.

Laguna Canyon Rd now has 1 lane open in each direction. Expect heavy traffic.Expect heavy traffic SB (inbound) Laguna Canyon Rd before the 73 fwy due to summer like conditions.Laguna Canyon Rd remains closed in both directions between El Toro & Canyon Acres until further noticeLaguna Canyon Rd is closed in both directions due to a brush fire in the 1900 block until further notice. Expect heavy traffic SB (inbound)Laguna Canyon Rd before the 73 fwy due to summer like conditions. 

Starting this festival season consider using alternatives to the automobile for arriving in and getting around Laguna Beach.


During Festival Season a FREE summer trolley services 3 routes from 9:30am to 11:30pm June 26 to August 30. See a route map here. See the route descriptions here. Trolley Tracker mobile App here.

Municipal Bus 

(No service July 4) The blue and white bus, Monday through Friday 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM, Saturday 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM. Route map here. Click for route maps:  Gray route service, Blue route service,  Red route service. Bus schedule here.

For more information visit the city transit page here.


Route 1 Long Beach to San Clemente, route map.
Route 55 Santa Ana to Newport, route map.
Route 85 Mission Viejo to Dana Point, route map.
Route 89 Mission Viejo to Laguna, route map.


Sally's Fund - local ride scheduling 949 499-4100
Age Well Senior Services - local ride 949 855-9766
LB Transit Plus Taxi Voucher Program - Suzi-Q Community Center front desk 9am-3pm 497-0504
Yellow Cab OC Company - 714 999-9999 pick-up schedule here.
Silver Streak Tranport Services - 949 435 3460
Uber - Ride on demand signup page here.

See more senior transportation details here.


Door to door service, alternate routes, easy parking. 
See the historical bike-route map (2004) here
See the bike-route map (2012) here.
See the latest city bike-route map (2015) TBD.


Get some exercise, meet a neighbor, experience old Laguna like you never have before. Paak-da-Ka if you dare here, and walk to your destination. Can't find parking?  Leave the car in the garage and experience Laguna's vistas, walk to your destination anyway.

"Traffic signals in New York are just rough guidelines" -David Letterman

Monday, June 29, 2015

Traffic Conditions Around Laguna

For car traffic alerts like these in your Inbox, provide your email address at the Laguna Beach City website sign-up page here. Note that walking, biking and bus alerts are not available.

Monday, June 22, 2015

San Diego City Adopts VISION ZERO

Today the city of San Diego adopted Vision Zero (video), a zero tolerance plan to reduce the number of traffic related fatalities to zero by 2025.  Like New York, San Francisco and Seattle before it, San Diego is taking steps to reduce traffic fatalities caused by collisions between motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to zero in 10 years. 

The zero tolerance measure was requested as a budget measure in a memo to the mayor and Council members in January.  In a state of the city address Mayor Kevin Faulconer said "We are going to fix our streets".

Credit: Circulate San Diego
Steps to meet zero tolerance include road improvements costing $15 million to get started. A challenge to $120 million more in bond financing was defeated preserving the additional financing.UPDATE:  Latest story here from City of San Diego.

These graphs show the number of fatalities from auto collisions for 10 years 2002 - 2012 for PCH (San Diego City Hwy 5) for San Diego compared to Laguna Beach.

San Diego 153 Fatalities
Laguna 15 Fatalities

Monday, June 15, 2015

French Asparagus

Like kids and Asparagus, pedestrian zones are hard to swallow in LB.

 "Road reserved for cyclists and pedestrians 
10am - 7:30pm"  - City Hall

Friday, June 12, 2015

Asparagus and Les Trolleys


These silent all-electric trolleys  serve French cities from the suburbs and peripheral parking lots to the city center. Les Trolleys were demanded by city residents for their aesthetically pleasing design and convenience. In the city of Reims local residents realize too many cars increase noise and air pollution, make outdoor eating very unpleasant and ruin the feeling of their town. French aesthetics demand a better visiting experience hence the trolleys.

Unlike Laguna, Reims is essentially void of automobiles or running engines. Like Laguna, Reims is a tourist destination town yet their streets are completely empty of  cars. Residents and tourists walk. There are some cars parked at curbs but everyone uses trolleys. Locals say it is so much easier to use trolleys for transportation, they run from 8:00am until 9:00...some until midnight.
Think outside the gear-box


What if, just what if Laguna was served by Les Trolleys from the Barranca Irvine station to The Festival of Arts? Even if you've never tried Asparagus you'll love the trolley.


Les trolleys are powered by overhead electric power or alternatively a ground level low-voltage supply safe to pedestrians and animals so overhead wires are not necessary. Wireless les trolleys are used exclusively in Reims serving a six-mile route from suberbs to the city center.

At the moment Laguna resident Jahn Levitt is visiting Reims and has this to say about her experience.
"The Cathedral with Chagall stained glass and les grand marques (champagne houses) like Mumms, Taittinger, Veuv Cliquot....have headquarters in Reims, all give daily tours and tastes. So why do these visiting tourists and residents use public transportation in Reims and don't drive around the city? Why don't they drive cars to the champagne chateaus? Because the city hall demands that these vineyards provide some type of public transportation to get outside the city. The majority go on tours and are driven in buses. Here's the issue... You can take the train from Paris to Reims for $50 round trip, it takes 45 minutes. How can you get to Laguna from LA? Or Irvine? You drive. I thought it was really interesting because there are also no car dealerships, no car washes, or gas stations, as there are in Laguna. The superb public transport from Paris make daily trips to Reims possible, j'adore les trolleys fuschia et jaune. "     -Jahn Levitt

Saturday, June 6, 2015

OCTA Regional Bikeways South OC

(Update) On June 4 2015  The Orange County Transportation Authority held another roundtable meeting to review plans for 10 regional bikeway corridors in South Orange County, 6 corridors serve beach cities including Laguna. A discussion followed the presentation where city planning personnel and the public again contributed ideas to the planning process. Laguna Beach City planning personnel did not attend.

These are the current bikeway corridors planned to serve Laguna Beach and Aliso Canyon. View high-resolution maps of all 10 bikeway corridors here.

The corridors are designed to increase the cycling mode-share and improve cycling safety as measured data show from other installations.

To understand the level of cycling competence  among the participants the spectrum of abilities was measured in this chart. The audience measured from average (green) to expert (black).

Update: To show the corridor preferred greatest some meeting attendees selected their preferred route from Corridors A-J. Laguna Canyon Road is I, most preferred is Regional Parks Corridor A.

To identify routes to be completed first, priority is assigned according to weights given in this table. There are more projects to be completed than there are resources available so a weighting criteria is necessary.

The OCTA planning process to increase the mode-share of rail, transit and cycling continues. Local city planning departments are encouraged to PARTICIPATE. The next opportunity for public collaboration on the Bikeways Strateby appears here.
The OCTA meeting agenda appears here.
The OCTA Round Table summary and follow-up appears here
The OCTA Round Table meeting presentation appears here.