Monday, September 16, 2019

Complete Streets Bill SB-127 ready for Governor

SB-127 Applies to Laguna Canyon Road and PCH

Caltrans claims to make streets safer when they make roadway improvements, like the $39 million Caltrans improvement planned for Laguna Canyon Road beginning 2021.

Caltrans often claims to make streets safer when they repair them, but in practice they prioritize fast traffic over more livable streets. The Complete Streets for Active Living Bill will provide Caltrans stronger direction, and force the safety improvements necessary to reverse the poor safety record on SR-133.

246 Collisions 5-Killed 311 Injured, 2015-2018 

"In California from 2007-2013, nearly 1.7 million people were injured in traffic incidents, including 95,758 while walking along or across the street. In those crashes, 22,117 people were killed, with pedestrians accounting for one-fifth of the total persons killed." The problem is often concentrated around Caltrans roads that go through low-income neighborhoods where more people get around via transit, biking, and walking."

SB 127 Co-Sponsors:
California Bicycle Coalition, California Walks, American Heart Association, AARP, Safe Routes Partnership
Bill Supporting Organizations:
350 Bay Area Action, 350 Silicon Valley, Active San Gabriel Valley, American Lung Association in California , Alameda County Transportation Commission , Berkeley Climate Hub, Bike Bakersfield, Bike Concord, Bike East Bay, Bike Monterey, Bike San Diego, California Alliance for Retired Americans, California City Transportation Initiative/NACTO, California Democratic Party, California Interfaith Power & Light, California Park and Recreation Society, California ReLeaf, CALSTART Inc., CALPIRG, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Stockton, Cedars, Center for Climate Change and Health, Central California Asthma Collaborative, City of Encinitas, City of Half Moon Bay, City of Long Beach, City of Sacramento, City and County of San Francisco, City of Santa Monica, City of San Luis Obispo, Climate Action Campaign, ClimatePlan, Climate Resolve, Coalition for Clean Air, Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities, Compton Unified School District, Cultiva La Salud, Davis Bike Club, Day One, East Bay Recreational Park District, Elders Climate Action (NorCal), Environment California, Fossil Free California, Inland Empire Biking Alliance, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, La Verne Bicycle Coalition, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, Local Government Commission, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Los Angeles Walks, Lyft Inc., Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Napa County Bicycle Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, Natural Resources Services Division Redwood, Office of the Mayor, San Francisco, Orange County Bicycle Coalition, Office of the Mayor, San Francisco, Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, Planning and Conservation League, PeopleforBikes, PolicyLink, Public Advocates, Redwood Community Action Agency, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Rural Counties Representative of California, San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco Transportation Municipal Agency, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco Planning Department, SFBA Families for Safe Streets, Santa Monica Spoke, Save The Bay, Seamless Bay Area, Shasta Living Streets, Sierra Club California, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, Sunflower Alliance, Transform, Transportation Agency for Monterey County, Trust for Public Land, Walk Bike Berkeley, Walk & Bike Mendocino, Walk Sacramento, Walk San Francisco, and Walk Long Beach.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Carfree Cities: Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre Italy, with a population of roughly 6000 residents in five villages manage up to 5 million visitors per year with NO PARKING. Maybe we should ask the Italians how to do that. 

Walking paths, trains and boats connect the five villages, cars cannot reach any village from remote inland cities.

Genoa and Livorno. Day-trippers from cruise ships that stop there stream into the villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso. Auto drivers park at La Spezia and take a train to reach the five villages.

A walking trail, known as Sentiero Azzurro ("Azure Trail"), connects the villages. The section from Riomaggiore to Manarola called the Via dell'Amore ("Love Walk") is temporarily closed but   alternative trails remain open.

Here is a Google Map of Cinque Terre, below a comparison of the five villages to Laguna Beach. The HD videos take you on a walking tour so use full-screen!

The table shows visitors pay for access to Cinque Terre, there is a fee for using the trains, the walking path even for using the beach. Cinque Terre shows us how to manage local tourism with public transportation and pay for it.


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Keywords 2019 LB Downtown Specific Plan

Here is a quick summary of mobility keywords found in the 2019 DRAFT LB Downtown Specific Plan (DSP  169 pages):
  • Complete Streets Policy: 0
  • Enhanced Mobility and Complete Streets Transition Plan: 0
  • Bike: 1
  • Bicycle: 5
  • Skateboard: 1
  • Scooter: 1 
  • Pedestrians: 28
  • Walking: 3
  • Bus: 4
  • Trolley: 17
  • Shuttle: 4
  • Transit: 26
  • Transit Center: 6
  • Rail: 0
  • Lightrail: 0
  • Park: 49
  • Parking requirements: 12
  • Parking structure: 13 
  • Downtown housing: 4
  • Market-rate:0
  • Multi-story:1
  • Increasing density:0
  • Single formula: 0
  • Relaxed parking: 0
  • Parking: 411

The intent of our 2019 DSP is clear. Once again our Laguna Beach Planning Commission denies solutions to Laguna's mobility crisis by preserving 1950's parking requirements (the same as Irvine's). The LBPC denies mobility planning altogether, Laguna is a parking lot after-all.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

LB Downtown Specific Plan 2019

In 169 pages (80MB) of our Planning Commission's latest DRAFT Downtown Specific Plan, Complete Streets Policy is not mentioned, instead complete streets is reduced from a state transportation mandate to a paradigm. Note the mandate was specified previously in the RFP for a Downtown Parking Management Plan. Now read the strawman logic setup (DSP page 17) in this mumbo-jumbo:

Transportation changes are notable with respect to new perspectives on parking. The complete streets paradigm emphasizes designing for all modes of travel, particularly transit and pedestrians, and has resulted in a de-emphasis on requiring parking based on the assumption that every person will be driving their own car and only visiting a single establishment. In the Downtown, the increase in available trolleys and the success of demand-based pricing has changed both the behavior of and the parking availability for customers. This process is predicted to continue with the expansion of ride-sharing services and the advent of autonomous vehicles.

The claim is made that demand-based pricing and available trolleys has already changed the behavior of customers and parking availability. Further, future technological means will change roadway user behavior and parking availability, so there is no need to take actions with complete streets interventions.
  1. PC claims with no cited data are unsubstantiated
  2. Expanding ride-sharing services will benefit customers - unsubstantiated
  3. Automomous vehicles will benefit customers - unsubstantiated
  4. As if by magic a paradigm is enough to change customer behavior 
  5. As if by magic a paradigm boosts parking availability 
  6. Complete Streets Policy mandates is only a paradigm, so ignore it
  7. The Enhanced Mobility and Complete Streets Transition Plan is not referenced 
  8. The Deliverables in the Appendix are missing.
Only a corrupt city manager, paid city lackeys and revolving-door consultants could write mumbo-jumbo shiz like this.


Friday, August 9, 2019

Scooters Suck? Uh-oh

Image result for electric scooters lime
A VOX Future-Perfect story

We regret to inform you...



 Say it ain't so!   

Scooters aren't good for the environment?  Well it depends, while riding a scooter is better than driving a car the lifetime environmental costs are not. It depends how you crunch your numbers a study shows:
  • Making, deploying, transporting, Juicing them is not emission-free
  • Worse for environment than transport modes they replace
  • Calculate the emissions per mile per passenger carried over life-cycle
  • More emissions than bus with high ridership, electric moped, electric bicycle
  • More emissions than regular bicycle, or carbon-free walk.


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Radschnellweg Munchen Deutschland (Bike Freeways)

Radschnellweg Munchen, Germany
Germany is building bicycle freeways (Radschnellweg) exclusively for bicycle commuters. CycLAvia reports the latest one is between 10 German cities, including Duisburg, Bochum, and Hamm, and planned to remove 50,000 cars from existing roads. That would work well for Laguna Beach where Laguna Canyon Road's capacity is expected to carry 56,000 (ADT) per day by 2020. Irvine to Laguna on the Old RT-185 would work so nice!


Monday, August 5, 2019

Fremont's Tesla to Test Solar Roof

Click CNBC Story
The Fremont plant will begin testing of Tesla's Solar City architectural roof tiles, one leg of the solar economy triad (collection-distribution-storage) for a fleet of electric cars. Will Laguna Beach ignore the possibilities and deny municipal power? 

Monday, July 8, 2019


In the Agenda Bill for Tuesday July 9 2019 are two agenda items affecting significant development, parking and traffic in Laguna Beach. See Items 7,19. 


In the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between a Laguna Beach Corporation and the City of Laguna Beach are these beauties:

      11. The Parties agree to explore whether a housing development on a vacant parcel at the intersection of Laguna Canyon Road and Canyon Acres is feasible and in the best interest of the City.

      12. The Parties agree to pursue projects and programs that will provide all of the necessary parking for guests, patrons, visitors, and employees, to prevent traffic congestion and detrimental impacts to nearby neighborhoods.

Traffic count measurements, origin-destination studies, compliance with Complete Streets Policy mandates are not specified. Looks like Laguna Beach City is shooting from the hip again.

     Read the full Agenda Bill here.
     Item 19 Staff report here. 


Thursday, July 4, 2019

Can Parking Poison Laguna Beach?

If a UCLA distinguished professor of urban planning says excess parking poisons cities, shouldn't Laguna's planners and residents pay attention?

Shoup podcast: Parking Poison

From Professor Shoup's Podcast in brief:
  • P-districts should reinvest parking revenues into local neighborhoods
  • Mandated minimum parking is a disease masquerading as cure
  • Off-street parking discourages a vibrant urban landscape
  • For more housing and less traffic:
  • STOP promoting parking everywhere
  • START promoting housing to build community

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Take ACTION: Senate Bill 127 for Complete Streets

NATCO Performance Measures
This is an urgent call to action. The Cal Senate votes 8 July 2019.

 The California Legislature found that pedestrians cyclists and other non-motorized roadway users are disproportionately injured or killed in relation to motorized roadway users. SB-127 seeks to enforce provisions to improve non-motorized roadway user safety. Encourage your district assemblyman to vote YES on SB-127. To find your assemblyman simply insert your address and click-to-send your support - takes 30 seconds. 
Calbike vote YES page for support email is here. 
The California Legislature found (abbreviated) that:
a) A household survey finds that walking and bicycling trips have doubled between 2000 and 2012 and constitute nearly 20 percent of all California trips.
(b) People walking and bicycling are killed or seriously injured in California at much higher rates than car drivers or passengers.
(c) An update in 2014 now requires The Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to consider complete streets in all phases of design, delivery, construction, and rehabilitation on all projects.
(d) Caltrans adopted Strategic Management Plan 2015-2020, 2015–2020, which includes goals to triple bicycling and double walking by 2020, which cannot be achieved without significant improvements to infrastructure and safety on major roadways and highways.
(e) The SMP also includes goals to include “complete streets” improvements on an increasing number of projects between 2015 and 2020.
The objectives of the Bill are set in requirements (abbreviated) that:
  1. This bill would require a process for community input and complete streets implementation to prioritize safety and accessibility for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users on all proects, as specified. 
  2. The bill would require that projects starting in 2020 2022 meet specified requirements set forth as part of the State Highway Operation and Protection Program.
  3. The bill would require the California Transportation Commission, to adopt performance measures that include conditions of bicycle and pedestrian facilities, accessibility and safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users, and vehicle miles traveled on the state highway system. 
  4. The bill would require that the State Highway Operation and Protection Program projects include capital improvements relative to accessibility for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users. 
  5. The bill would require that each project include in its budget the cost of pedestrian and bicycle facilities.
  6. The bill would require the department, commencing with the 2022 State Highway Operation and Protection Program, when undertaking any a specified capital improvement project on a state highway ... to include or improve new pedestrian and bicycle facilities. 
Full Bill Text here.    UPDATE: SB 127 Result: PASS   (10:3 vote)

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The LB Traffic Time-BOMB

Laguna's parking demand and traffic congestion grows exponentially, so what does exponential growth look like?  Let's use rice on a chessboard to demonstrate exponential growth.

The time elapsed for Laguna's car population to double is called the doubling period. Imagine each grain of rice on the chessboard is a car and each square represents the doubling period in years. The sequence goes 1,2,4,8,16,32 years and so on. For a growth rate at 6-percent the doubling period is 12 years. If the first horse and buggy arrived in 1900 and cars followed, the car population doubled in 1912, 1924, 1936 and so on.  Watch what happens to the population of cars.

Exponential growth means the number of cars using our streets will double and so do the spaces needed to park them, the condition when all the public space for cars is occupied is called saturation.  Urban consultants have told us the demand for parking grows at 4.5-percent per year while Caltrans tells us in 2015 peak volume growth was 13.5%.*

It should be clear Laguna Beach cannot build enough roads or parking to accommodate the exponential growth of cars nor faster than Japan/Germany/Detroit can build them. Lagunatics need to use alternatives to the car and the city of Laguna Beach and Caltrans should provide the infrastructure.

*Caltrans SR-133 Peak traffic growth factors from base year 2015 are 2023: 13.5% and 2043: 6.25%  


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Peter Blake of Amsterdam: Remove 10,000 Parking Spaces

"When you take a boat trip in Amsterdam canals the first thing you see are the fronts of cars. " - Zeeger Ernsting Member of City Council Amsterdam.  Councilman Ernsting promised Amsterdam if elected he would remove 10,000 parking spaces downtown. He Won.  The Peter Blake of Amsterdam is removing parking spaces. To see why watch the video. (Credit Streetfilms)


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Housing Transportation and Budget Gov. Newsom

Highlights from Governor Newsom's budget presentation made today:
  • $2 Billion for homeless and housing initiatives
  • Creation of housing targets for all California regions 
  • Withdraw transportation revenue from regions not building enough
  • Proponents say tie transportation funds to housing goals
  • Coupling transportation and housing gives local governments incentive
  • Middle class squeezed by housing costs
  • Unaffordable housing demands increasing density multi-use buildings
  • Democratic super majority will determine budget spending

For more summary or full interview see KPCC AirTalk interview here.  


Monday, May 6, 2019

May is Bike Month in Laguna

OCTA Bike to Work Month

It's the start of visitor season in Laguna Beach. With parking lots 10 and 11 under construction* now would be a good time to consider biking instead of driving. Pledge bike-to-work one day in May and you can win a bike from OCTA. To celebrate Bike Month OCTA is hosting a Bike Rally in Orange. Friday May 17 is National Bike to Work Day, here are tips to plan your bike commute.

Here is the Bike Rally RSVP.

Here is some Bike Safety Awareness.

Here is more information about the OCTA bike-on-bus, track your bike-miles with STRAVA.

*P-Lot 11 opens May 6, ready for oil stains.


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Laguna Canyon Road SR-133 Realignment for Approval Tonight

The Laguna Canyon Road segment favored for Canyon Acres to El Toro Road.

Click for city Agenda, Item #12

Features of this design
  • Four new traffic lights
  • Underground utility power
  • On-road Class II Class IV bike lanes
  • Reversible HOV Lane for cars
  • Lane width reduction
  • Total Cost Estimated: $122 Million

Missing from disclosure
  • Compliance with Caltrans roadway safety Directive-64
  • Measure for traffic speed reduction
  • Driving criteria for traffic model success (roadway user counts)
  • Specification for Complete Streets Policy 
  • Transit and rail

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Urban Renewal Paris and Laguna

Major urban developments are anticipated for Laguna Beach, the planners could really mess this up or they could develop liveable streets.

Frontage road along Seine river, Paris France

Cleo Street development: hidden from view 3-level parking for 223 cars, and red Martians.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Parking Minimum Requirements Removed

These US cities have modified their minimum parking requirements, Mo-Town should do the same.

Credit: Strong Towns
  • Green pins = parking minimums ended
  • Blue pins = parking minimums lowered or removed
  • Orange pins = currently discussing their parking minimum laws
Some cities pay people (35 cents/mile) to lure them out of their cars, no parking required.


Friday, February 15, 2019

A Laguna Creek Opportunity

In October 2011 the resort city of Cinque Terre Italy flooded, the city rebuilt placing flood control measures underground with pedestrian access on top.

December 23 2010 Laguna Beach flooded, Laguna Creek was cleared.

February 14 2019 the Laguna Creek culvert collapsed into itself. What will replace it?

Photo of 1.5-mile ADA approved ped and bike path atop flood control, San Antonio TX. 
Credit: HDR Design Group