Halfway to one Complete Street (if not a ‘Complete Streets’ Plan)

Santa Monica Boulevard easbound bicycle lanesAs we approach the upcoming complete streets workshop this Wednesday, a full ten weeks will have passed without a single word about the process from consultants Iteris or Alta Planning. Gotta wonder if our complete streets consultants aren’t off chasing other business. In the meantime, progress continues on Santa Monica Boulevard: eastbound bicycle lanes are striped bright green. Folks we are halfway to a complete street!

But that doesn’t mean we’re anywhere near halfway toward a complete streets plan. The process seems to have taken a summer hiatus. There has been no email blast about progress or any update to the project website in about ten weeks. An email inquiry went without a response for days. With the third workshop (‘Draft Plan Progress’) fast-approaching on Wednesday, August 22nd, I can’t help but feel the momentum is lost.

The earlier workshops were valuable for illustrating the concepts. The walk audit was useful for its in-the-field exploration. That’s the kind of hands-on planning that should inform the draft plan. However it’s been in short supply: only two streets were covered by the walk audit; that leaves much of the city unexplored — and many problematic conditions unacknowledged in the outreach process.

Contrast that with the tangible progress made on the boulevard: continental crosswalks, raised crosswalks for Beverly Gardens Park users, and of course those bicycle lanes – a gift to riders from our current City Council. Going into Wednesday’s complete streets Workshop #3: Draft Plan Progress it’s some motivation to press on for the best draft plan we can get.

Join us on Wednesday, August 22nd at 6:30 pm in the City Hall Municipal Gallery. Bicycle racks are adjacent to the library.