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Santa Monica Prepares for Bicycle Master Plan  

By Jonathan Friedman
Lookout Staff

December 2, 2010 -- The Planning Commission received a presentation at its meeting Wednesday on the creation of a Bicycle Action Plan to create a Bike Master Plan that Lucy Dyke, Santa Monica’s transportation planning manager, called “a strategy document.” She said it was also a requirement by Caltrans to make Santa Monica eligible for grant money for various projects.

A public workshop will take place on Dec. 13 at the Civic Auditorium. A draft master plan will be ready by February. The commission and City Council will vote on a final plan in the spring.

The commissioners were all encouraged about the concept. They said they wanted to make sure this is a plan that will actually be finalized and implemented, and not just a document that will be shelved.

“We had a bike plan 15 years ago (that was not implemented),” Commissioner Ted Winterer said. “I don’t like that Long Beach is the most bike friendly city in the state … I want (Santa Monica) to be the most bike friendly city in the state. I think there is some momentum on this issue.”

Dyke said the failure of the 1995 plan was that although it included significant input from bicycle advocates, it lacked coordination with other transportation planning features for the City such as those involving buses and pedestrians. She said the creation of this plan “comes from a very broad-based planning effort that also looked at not only bicycles as just bicycles, by bicycles within the context of the overall transportation system.”

The commission heard from several public speakers, all bicycle advocates. They talked about various issues regarding making Santa Monica more two-wheel friendly. They will be able to share their views more on Dec. 13, when the City hosts a workshop on the creation of the master plan at 6:30 p.m. at the Civic Center Auditorium.

This past year, Long Beach has been working on various public works projects to make its city “the most bicycle friendly city in America” as a Long Beach sculpture proclaims. The man behind these projects is Charles Gandy, Long Beach’s bike mobility coordinator. Planning Commission Chair Jim Ries said he wants to extend an invitation to Gandy for him to speak to the commission. Staff said it would try to arrange a meeting for next month.

Ries said it would be good to hear what went well in Long Beach. Also, he wants more information on what went poorly in Los Angeles, where bicycle advocates panned a master plan.

The commissioners also discussed the formation of a Planning Commission subcommittee on this issue that could coordinate with one already formed by the Recreation and Parks Commission. Overall, Ries said creating a Bicycle Master Plan is an exciting opportunity for Santa Monica.

“This is something where we can really show the community what the government is doing for them and also achieve more of our sustainability goals,” Ries said. “There are just so many benefits from us getting on our bikes.”


"We had a bike plan 15 years ago (that was not implemented),"      Commissioner Ted Winterer



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