Sunday, September 30, 2018

Village Entrance Pedestrian Bridge

Better ideas by Colossal.

BaNa Hills Mountain Resort, Da Nang, Vietnam
Pedestrian Bridge Ba Na Hills Mountain Resort
This out-of-the-box thinking brought to you by Colossal.   -LS

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Fake Village Entrance Traffic Study

When cities propose urban re-development projects such as the Laguna Beach Village Entrance, an Environmental Impact Report and a Traffic Study are required documents in the planning package. The traffic study performed for the Village Entrance appears in Appendix E of the EIR and begins like this:

Traffic Impact Study
Laguna Beach
Village Entrance Project
In the City of Laguna Beach
Prepared for:
The City of Laguna Beach
February, 2010
       © Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc
Apendix 'E' 292 pages

The finished plan (4-18-17) for the Village Entrance provides parking for 312 parking stalls with an urban linear park with multi-use path and decorative landscaping throughout: 

Yet the final plan drawing is missing the most important provisions recommended by the Traffic Study. From the study:

Summary of Findings and  Recommendations (partial list)
A project alternative proposes the Village Entrance Project incorporate a transit center and a visitor drop-off area into a transportation plaza outside the entry to the structure.
Laguna Beach Transit routes would be modified to include a stop at the Village Entrance Transportation Plaza under the Transit Alternative.
The uncontrolled crosswalk on Forest Avenue near Ocean Avenue should monitored after the opening of the parking structures, and if found necessary, pedestrian enhancements may be needed to facilitate pedestrian movement and safety
The California Coastal Commission offers alternatives to parking replacement when transit and other mobility modes are substituted for parking spaces. In the Village Entrance parking was removed but no transit provisions provided.

The methodology for traffic analysis is decades old and serves a car-centric mobility system, not a balanced mobility system addressing all four modes. Technical terms used in the methodology show this car bias without resorting to high-level mathematics. Some examples from the Level of Service Analysis:

   Conflicting Pedestrians (!!!!!!)
   Percent blockage (by pedestrians)
   Bus blockages
   Cars: Ideal Flow
   Saturated Flow
   Volume: vehicles per hour 
   Level of Service (to cars)
   Approach Delay (for cars)
   Approach LOS (for cars)
   Frpb: Ped/Bikes (effect of bikes and peds on lane flow)
   HCM Average Control Delay (of cars)
   HCM Volume to Capacity Ratio (of cars)

These terms show the bias placed on traffic analysis favoring the private vehicles over all other mobility modes. A modern treatment of traffic analysis for Laguna Beach should count people traffic not car traffic alone.        -LS

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Village Entrance Roundabouts

Did you hear about the roundabout concept for the Village Entrance? A Laguna Beach resident and Architect presented plans to LB City Council at no obligation. The city of Laguna sat on it and approved a consultant's plan instead.  Here is a roundabout in Holland, it's just for bikes. Now that's a roundabout.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Monday, September 10, 2018

Fake Mobility Planning

Letter to Council and Residents LB:

At the end of the first Candidate Forum 9/6 Councilman Rob Zur Schmiede remarked the city of Laguna Beach already adopted Complete Streets Policy.   Public remarks like this placate a parting audience and spread disinformation, worse the remark leads community residents to the wrong conclusion.   Let's review the facts.

To qualify for grant funding assistance  a city must have documents in place the way Los Angeles did in this comparison with Laguna. To date Laguna Beach has not prepared any of these prerequisite documents and thus could not possibly adopt Complete Streets Policy. Laguna's latest Transportation, Circulation and Growth Element  was adopted in 1992, features Model 'A' Fords on the cover, Bob Gentry was Mayor TWENTY-SIX YEARS AGO. In it there is no reference to Complete Streets Policy.

Laguna's  Enhanced Mobility and Complete Streets Transition Plan referred to by Zur Schmiede is not a policy document and thus is not policy. Instead it is rubber-stamped with this disclaimer:


Laguna's Enhanced Mobility and Complete Streets Transition Plan is instead an 84 page exercise for city staff to generate paper not policy, it reads like Wikipedia bookmarks not a city commitment for ACTION.

Costing $118,000 in grant funding plus consultants expense plus staff time, the exercise was a city jobs program not Complete Streets Policy.  If it were policy the content would be consistent with a complete street*, a Twelve Millon Dollar automobile parking lot would not be disguised as The Village Entrance.

Lorene Laguna is the only candidate to promote Complete Streets Policy. She served on the Laguna  Canyon Road Task Force and recognizes adding more auto infrastructure to remove traffic congestion is counter intuitive, like raising speed limits to calm traffic.  One last factoid, Mr Zur Schmiede was not the only council candidate to complete the LB City Citizen Academy.


*Document excerpt:   The level of service (LOS) would count people not vehicles (page 13), SYNCHRO would model roadway users not vehicles (page 28).