From Santa Monica's new bike plan. Click above for a larger image.
SANTA MONICA BIKE PLAN: Congrats to Santa Monica, where the City Council last week approved a new bike plan for the already very bike-friendly Republic. The best part, I think, are bike lanes for the city’s downtown area where cyclists currently get stuck in some pretty serious car traffic.
It will be interesting to see the combined impact of the bike improvements and the coming Expo Line, which is scheduled to arrive in 2015. From the bike plan:
“Much of Santa Monica is within a 10-minute walk of the stations, but all of Santa Monica is within a 10-minute bicycle ride. Bicycle access to Expo is essential, as are strong and legible bicycle connections throughout the areas surrounding the stations.”
If all goes as planned, it should be far easier to reach the Expo Line by bike in Santa Monica than it is to get to rail in many other parts of the county.
I can tell you for a fact that the north-south bike access to the three Gold Line stations in the 210 freeway median in Pasadena — where I live — could be much improved. For now, providing free street parking for cars trumps bike lanes in those areas.
WESTCHESTER STATION: Interesting motion by Supervisor and Metro Board Member Don Knabe to add a Westchester station to the future Crenshaw/LAX Line light rail project.
The gist of it: Supervisor Knabe wants Metro to ask contractors bidding to build the project to include a street-level station east of Aviation and Manchester as well as a possible Leimert Park station within the project’s $1.7-billion budget.
In both cases, it’s a smart move — instead of going over the project’s budget, it’s an attempt to use the marketplace to get what Metro wants. It remains to be seen whether any contractor can get the stations to pencil out. But it never hurts to ask.
On a related note, some of you may have heard the news that Measure R receipts are down due to the sour economy — projections are now that the sales tax will bring in $34 billion to $36 billion during its 30-year lifespan that is due to expire in 2039.
The key word in the above sentence is “projections.” Certainly it’s not good that receipts are down, but it’s also really hard to say what the future holds, right?