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Santa Monica’s Savvy Multimodalism

Santa Monica is trying just about everything in its transportation system: bike-share, a mix of bike lane treatments, a new rail line, neighborhood greenways, a pedestrian action plan, a new promenade/protected bike lane where the Expo line terminates, and of course they have the hard-to-miss Big Blue Bus!

In the last six months alone the city has launched Breeze bike-share and opened the Expo rail line to downtown Los Angeles, which cuts travel times from an hour and a half by bus to 50 minutes. (Personal note: At rush hour the discrepancy can be even bigger -- after spending the day shooting this story I endured a two-hour, 15-minute bus ride back to L.A.'s Union Station.) Breeze bike-share was my first experience with a smart bike system, and it was easy to use and comfortable.

Come see how Santa Monica is making it easier to get around without a car. Thanks much to the wonderful Cynthia Rose from Santa Monica Spoke, for giving me the grand tour and making my first visit there a joy.

Clarence Eckerson Jr. has been making fantastical transportation media in NYC since the late 1990s. He's never had a driver's license and never will.

16 Comments
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  • http://dannyman.toldme.com/ Daniel Howard

    I love you videos but I have a big access problem ...

    Can you please embed a non-flash version of the video in your page? Or at least link to the Vimeo video page ... asking readers to install and activate Flash is like asking them to play Russian Roulette with their personal data. Some platforms do not even support it as an option.

    Thanks,
    -danny

  • http://dannyman.toldme.com/ Daniel Howard

    Link to non-Flash video: https://vimeo.com/167701617

  • http://www.copenhagenize.com/search/label/erik%20griswold Erik Griswold

    The children riding skateboards in this video are violating two laws:

    1) They are required to wear a helmet by the State of California.

    2) No one is allowed to "...coast in any vehicle upon any public sidewalk..." in the City of Santa Monica

    http://learntorideaskateboard.com/sk8law.php

    Please remove this clip of illegal activity from your film. The City of Santa Monica prefers that children are fattened up rather than remain active and fit.

  • http://www.streetfilms.org/ Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    I am a technological nightmare and am stuck with the way our site is. Our page was set up over six years ago and I have no budget or any other staff that can change the way we do things. But strangely I have only heard of this problem a few times over the past five years - if it is a chronic one. The easy thing that I think some do is they just click over to Vimeo and find the most recent video and watch it there.

  • Bike Share Lover

    I was pleasantly surprised by the smart bike Breeze bike share system. I used a similar one (not in SM) and maybe it is the fact we think we are more comfortable with traditional docks or whatever, but it is pretty darn cool. ALL bike shares are pretty cool.

  • http://dannyman.toldme.com/ Daniel Howard

    Clarence,

    If you'd like a hand with some "pro bono" WordPress stuff, please get in touch. This site is running a somewhat older version and could be vulnerable to hacking ... getting the plugin code updated on the videos should also be an easy fix. (And depending on how things are set up .. WordPress updates are dead trivial ...)

    Resume and email contact available here: https://dannyman.toldme.com/resume/

    The parent site is running WordPress with a hand-written theme: https://dannyman.toldme.com/ ... most recent entry is about bike lanes ... :)

    Cheers,
    -danny

  • ExpoRider

    Beautiful! I love riding a bike in Santa Monica, whether my of beach cruiser or a Breeze bike share.
    Well, 98 percent of the time at least. There's always room for improvement. Two complaints that I'd like to see resolved. 1) Install bike sensors on the Michigan Avenue greenway (MANGO). 2) Identify the eastbound bike route adjacent to the Downtown Santa Monica Expo station.
    (1) When I rode westbound on Michigan Avenue I found that the sensors in the roadway don't detect bikes. I sat at one light through an entire signal cycle without getting a phase in my direction. Until a bike sensor is installed in the pavement the signals should be reset to an automatic setting that includes time for east/west traffic (including bikes) every minute.
    (2) The eastbound bike lane adjacent to the Downtown Santa Monica Expo station ends abruptly in the middle of the block between 4th and 5th Streets. There is no signage informing bike riders of the proper and legal bike route to connect with the eastbound bike route (sharrows) on Colorado Blvd. east of 5th Street.

  • http://www.streetfilms.org/ Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Thank you. I'll pass this along to the folks at Streetsblog who make the decisions.

  • Austin Phung

    Salt Lake City also has "double buffered" bike lanes

  • http://dannyman.toldme.com/ Daniel Howard
  • J

    Portland has them too.

  • J

    Anyone else notice the guy flipping the bird to the camera at 5:03?

  • http://www.streetfilms.org/ Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    It was sign language for love. He yelled out "how's it going?" while I was filming. Not the finger.

  • http://stopandmove.blogspot.com/ Jass

    Good video

  • Brian Howald

    When I had to cross, I crossed with southbound traffic on 5th Street, then, once past the tracks, I made a left onto Colorado. There is nothing to suggest the safest or preferred route east, which is quite odd given the danger in crossing the tracks with a bike at that location due to the angle of the tracks.

  • Charlie

    Wow, very impressive! I do like the double buffered bike lanes, but I can tell you from our experience in Boston that anytime traffic backs up even a little bit, wide bike lanes are an invitation for impatient drivers. At this point, I don't think I would ever recommend installing an unprotected bike lane that is as wide or wider than a car because of this.