Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Santa Monica Bike Committee Getting The Ball Rolling

In a packed Ken Edwards Center community room, exceeding the bike parking available at the building,  Parks and Recs commissioners Richard McKinnen and Phil Brock outlined plans for a Santa Monica Ciclovia proposal and the possibility of bringing a bike share system to Santa Monica, like a number of other cities are doing. They also solicited input from the audience on a host of various issues on what needs to be better in Santa Monica for cyclists, from paint on the streets to racks for bike parking. The great thing about McKinnen and Brock stepping in to champion cycling in Santa Monica, is that while they do not have the power and authority of the council members, they can with voting support of fellow parks commissioners place items on the council agenda to be considered. Expect to see a lot of council consideration on cycling issues moving forward.

In fact, jumping in to get things on the agenda immediately, councilman McKeown has tacked the Ciclovia proposal onto the end of the agenda for tonight's council meeting. This the same evening that earlier in the day McKinnen will be hosting another meeting, this one specifically to form the committee for the Ciclovia proposal specifically. To work out the various logistics and who will be on board to help manage it. A number of the people behind managing the Santa Monica Independence Day parade have already stepped in to support the idea, and have experience with blocking down Main St. to automobile traffic. The Santa Monica Daily Press has also just put out an article on the brewing Ciclovia idea.

Santa Monica Twlight Dance Series, Massive Bike Valet Parking
(Temporary event parking with the bike valet has proven Santa Monicans will ride bikes. Concept proven. Now is the time to start seeing  permanent facilities for cycling city wide.)

Momentum is building, the more we can keep pressing the issue, the better. I feel Santa Monica has a lot of potential to become a world class cycling city, it certainly has some of the best weather and terrain for cycling on planet earth. When bikes are accomdated, people will ride. At last Thursday's Twilight Dance series event, I saw hundreds if not thousands of bikes crammed into the bike valet corrals. I think we are getting very close to the tipping point beyond which cycling becomes a constant and serious consideration of cross departmental city planning and services. There is still a ton of work to be done to make needed changes, and some changes will be harder to make than others, but I think some of the work put in by advocates is starting to pay off. Let's keep it going.

1 comment:

Bike Winston-Salem said...

What a fantastic sight to see. Keep that swell of momentum up and you'll see change.