Bicycle usage in Santa Monica and worldwide is on the rise. Santa Monica has responded to this trend by making the city more bike friendly and is now developing a bike action plan to articulate the goals and strategies for that effort.
The bike action plan is needed to move forward in the short term and “give a blueprint for resources needed to get where we want to go,” explained Lucy Dyke, the City’s transportation manager, in her report to the City’s Planning Commission on Dec. 1. The plan also has “to comply with the CalTrans requirement to have a master plan that would help us compete for grant funding.”
When completed the plan elements will include the bicycling goals and policies specified in the City’s Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE), specifics on existing and future bicycle commuters, existing and proposed bikeways, existing and proposed bike parking facilities, connections to other types of transit, bike programs, priorities, and expenditure and financial needs.
There will be a bicycle action plan community workshop at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium’s East Wing located at 1855 Main Street between 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 13. Topics that will be addressed include school access, education programs, bike parking facilities, parameters for a bike network, beach access, and private property development standards for bikes. Input from the workshop and a public survey will be synthesized into a draft bike action plan by February 2011. The draft will then be reviewed by the City’s commissions and boards before review for adoption by the City Council in the spring.
The commission also heard from the community who were very supportive of having an action plan. Recreation and Parks Commissioner Richard McKinnon stated that “the most important element of this bike action plan is how we change the culture of the city” in terms of bikes. It will help with the LUCE goals of no new net trips. He recommend tracking the progress of making the city more bike friendly in the public arena and in terms of the development agreements the City will be considering.
Jack Walter, who is a stakeholder in the mixed-use creative district close to Bergamot Station, asked the bike community and the commission to tell the developers with pending projects on the eastern end of the city “what the bicyclists need as they are biking around Santa Monica.”
The commission also was very supportive of having of creating the action plan but stressed the need to make sure the plan moves forward due to past inaction on the City’s bicycle master plan. The commission will now consider creating a bike subcommittee.