Nothing…absolutely nothing…is beyond City Hall. We are now covering a team that is assembling a program that is meant to ensure our “well-being” – collectively and individually.

Monday, another team will give a seminar of sorts on walking. According to a City press release, “Even when you’re taking a car, bike or bus, you start by walking. And walking should be as safe as it is healthy and enjoyable, but it isn’t. That’s why the City of Santa Monica is hosting a public workshop to explore ways to make ‘safe and enjoyable’ the highlight of walking anywhere in the city.”

Walking is healthy and enjoyable, but it isn’t safe? In fact, it’s quite safe.It’s the streets that aren’t safe, owing to drivers of cars, trucks, buses and, yes, cyclists – motor and otherwise – who drive too fast and/or carelessly.

The press release continues, “The City’s Pedestrian Action Plan, a project of LUCE (Land Use and Circulation Elements), is about deciding where the dollars should be spent so that walking becomes the healthy, safe alternative it should be. People will be able to question the methods and suggest better ways to make the streets safer, by taking on such issues as: improved pedestrian safety and comfort, independence for young people and seniors, and improve health of all residents by walking.”

There are careless pedestrians who have delusions of omnipotence, and step into the streets without paying any attention to traffic. But there are far more careless drivers, and the first “issue” that the City should examine is ways and means of dealing with drivers who think they’re omnipotent.

The release reports, “This ongoing program has already delivered some important information that community members need to know and talk about in this workshop: 80% of the pedestrian collisions are happening at 20% of the intersections, particularly on certain streets such as Wilshire and Santa Monica Blvd. The highest pedestrian volumes are on and around the Third Street Promenade.”

Perhaps police officers should be stationed at those intersections.

According to the release, “Emerging themes include visibility and crossing issues, sidewalk condition, signal timing, streetscape modification, facility design standards and funding for new facilities.”

In fact, a fully emerged theme aka major issue is that Santa Monica has
a higher incidence of walkers injured or killed by vehicles than most California cities. Surely, the first workshop and perhaps some new policies and/or laws should focus on drivers, not walkers.

The workshop will be held Monday, January 28, 2013 7 to 9 PM, in the east wing of the Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main Street. Free bike parking, $1 per hour for parking. To RSVP call 310.458.8341 or email: Or, engage in the planning process at any time on line at:
Big Blue Bus Lines 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, and 9 serve the Civic Center.

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