Monday, July 28, 2008

Cyclists Speak at Santa Monica LUCE Meeting

Santa Monica City Council MeetingSanta Monica City Council MeetingSanta Monica City Council MeetingSanta Monica City Council Meeting

A few weeks ago I met with a group of fellow passionate cyclists at the Bikerowave to discuss our game plan for a City Council meeting later that evening. The City of Santa Monica has been in an ongoing discussion about an urban planning initiative referred to as LUCE (Land Use and Circulation Element). This document would set the direction for urban planning goals within Santa Monica for decades to come which will have lasting impacts on the bikeability of Santa Monica as well as other forms of transit.

Alex Thompson and others have been attending and promoting the meetings discussing this document to promote the cycling portions of the initiative as well as applying pressure to get the less controversial cycling sections into motion now, before the perpetually delayed document is ratified.

Santa Monica City Council Meeting Santa Monica City Council Meeting

Though I was a little nervous, this being my first time talking in a political forum, I got up and spoke my 2 minutes to emphasize the importance of adopting sharrows and clearly posting bus lanes as bus and bike only lanes within the Downtown Santa Monica region, which many bike lanes feed into. Bicycles are allowed to use bus lanes for through traffic unlike cars, however it is currently unclear due to the lanes being marked for bus only. The downtown area with it's narrow streets and dense street parking is not suitable for permanent bikes lanes, but sharrows could be used direct cyclists safely through the congested streets and remind cars that cyclists need to be far enough left to avoid the door zone.

Santa Monica City Council Meeting

Alex speaks before the Council for cycling issues in Santa Monica in the photo above. For further coverage of this meeting see Alex Thompson's post on Westside BikeSIDE.

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