Santa Monica Bike Infrastructure Upgrades Rolling In

By Mihai Peteu

Last Wednesday, the Bike Action Plan [PDF, 48.6mb] took center stage at Santa Monica’s Planning Commission. Here it enjoyed a warm reception. It is headed next to Tuesday evening’s City Council meeting for final ratification.

With some fresh paint already on the streets, it is worth noting that we have many improvements to look forward to in the near future.

New Colorado Ave bike lane, Westbound - photo by GarySeven


Gary’s comments
on the recent bike infrastructure improvements in downtown Santa Monica were brought up multiple times during the meeting. Planning Commission Chair Jim Ries wondered how other concerned locals can provide such feedback before the bike plan goes to City Council for approval on November 22nd. Lucy Dyke responded that direct email feedback to her would be best. She also mentioned future Santa Monica Spoke Ride Alongs which will be a great way to introduce the public to the new facilities as they emerge, and get feedback in the process – similar to Charlie Gandy’s Long Beach by Bike tours.

Commisionner McKinnon inquired about the project timetable for the next few years. Lucy Dyke promised 2 bike corrals by year’s end, along with 14 miles of sharrows, and 19 miles of bike lane. Included will be the green bike lanes on Broadway and 2nd St, which should be ready by July 2012. Tentatively, the city plans to install 2,500 new bike parking spots in the next 5yrs, 800 of which should spring up next year.

5th and Arizona Bike Corral, adjacent to SM ICE skating rink - photo by Luis Morris

One of those bike corrals has already made its debut at the Southwest corner of 5th and Arizona. Thanks to the efforts of transportation engineer Sam Morrisey and transportation manager Luis Morris, it was installed within days of ICE skating rink’s request. The Zanzibar night club is located on that same corner – great music and overall vibe, except for their deplorable dress code which requires you to wear pants, even during a heatwave. So leave your find-a-decent-parking-spot worries at home – hop on your bike and ride to your preferred entertainment destination.

Overall, the Planning Commission was very receptive of the Bike Action Plan. If anything, their nitpicking of implementation details disclosed their thorough understanding of issues that cyclists face. Lucy Dyke earned most memorable quote of the night by stating that “We (the city) cannot avoid eventually prioritizing bikes over car traffic.”

In other news

  • The city of Santa Monica plans to take over Lincoln Blvd from Caltrans in March 2012; My hopes are that Santa Monica will then attempt to turn Lincoln into a Complete Street, minimizing or eradicating the possibility of serious injury or death
  • Most cyclists are accustomed to triggering a traffic light in their favor by riding over the embedded magnetic loops?  But what about that white stripe with a bike symbol?  It means that a video camera placed directly ahead will trigger the light, so don’t stray too far away from that mark.
  • The Bike Center opens this Friday! Info below.

Bike Center, Colorado and 2nd St - photo by GarySeven

The Bike Center opens this weekend; it offers bike and segway sharing, lockers and showers, cyclist education programs, assistance with repairs, and secured parking. Santa Monica Spoke is leading a tour there on Saturday, Nov 19th, following a Bike Action Plan community meeting at 502 Colorado. Meet and greet at 10am; Bike Action Plan presentation led by city staff at 11am. Coffee and homemade cinnamon rolls will be on hand, and a 1 month membership to the Bike Center will be given away.

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4 Responses to “Santa Monica Bike Infrastructure Upgrades Rolling In”

  1. I don’t doubt that SM will pull a complete streets on Lincoln. Talk about overdue.
    Beverly Hills took over Santa Monica Blvd. (route 66 – America’s Main Street!) from the state back in 2006 along with a pot of money and…. did exactly nothing. Supposedly the reconstruction of the corridor is scheduled to pick up steam in 2012 – possibly without even bike lanes – but the schedule already seems to have slipped.
    It can’t come soon enough. We at Better Bike have pointed out the road hazards that force cyclists deep into the travel lanes, and the response from Transportation is a shrug. Live with it until 2013, officials say.

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