Santa Monica’s Transportation Management division outlined its draft goals for the revision of the circulation element of the City’s General Plan to the Planning Commission at its meeting last week.The circulation element sets out the location of existing and proposed roads, highways, and other modes of transportation.According to Transportation Manager Lucy Dyke, the goals were a synthesis of comments made by people in the community and based on the staff’s “planning for people first instead of cars first.” “Some will still drive,” she said, but they will have to “pay their fair share.” The draft goals also include ways to “support people who don’t own cars,” such as encouraging “car sharing” and “separating parking from housing costs.”Dyke went on to say that one of the draft goals was developing the means to move more people around the city by foot, bicycle or mass transit. Another goal is to “provide transit access that is superior to freeway access to and from most of the region during peak travel periods.” The planners also aim to “provide local transit service to allow residents, visitors, workers and students to move about the City without driving. A third draft goal was to “manage travel speeds on local streets so that they are not time-saving cut through routes and people can play in the yards adjacent to them.”“Developing a system of streets where cyclists are safe and comfortable, and can cross the City as quickly as motorists during peak travel periods” is also on the list. Staff also aims to “allow development of neighborhood clusters that have enough people within walking distance to support quality neighborhood serving uses.” Sixth on the list is to “minimize delay and congestion associated with auto use.”Among other goals are to “develop street design standards that result in low auto speeds and recreational quality walking experiences and develop some corridors active cyclists and joggers can use for fitness as well as regional bike access” such as the San Vicente and Olympic Boulevards bike paths. The final draft goal was to “develop mechanisms to allow use of market incentives to balance transportation system use when capacity is constrained.”Commissioner Darrell Clarke told City staff he “wanted to compliment the draft list of goals. You have been very comprehensive in dealing with the reality. Yet we’re not changing our street system, it has so much capacity. What can we due to make alternatives work?”“I generally endorse all the goal structures that you’ve had,” stated Commission Chair Jay Johnson. “put, from my perspective, I believe we need to enhance pedestrianism in the City which equates to wider sidewalks in some parts of the City as we go through redevelopment…[as well as] promoting pedestrainism in some organized way similar to bike paths.”Johnson also suggested that there should be more focus on “disincentives.” such as London’s charging motorists “a fee to enter the downtown.” He also called for looking at an “integrated concept, particularly when looking at transportation programs for shuttles, taxis and buses.”
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