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Huge Surge in Biking in Santa Monica
As reported on Santa Monica Daily News by David Mark Simpson, between 2000 and 2012, Santa Monica increased cycling in the city by 356 percent, compared to 61 percent nationwide. Indeed, one of the main goals of the 2011-adopted Bike Action Plan was to increase bike trips to 14 to 35 percent of all trips by 2030. Currently, “[f]ive percent of Santa Monica employees bike to work, up from 3.4 percent when the plan started. About 23 percent of residents say they ride at least a few days a week, up 2 percent from the start of the plan.”
Despite the 8.4-square-mile city expanding its bike network by 45 miles, there were six fewer crashes in 2013 than in 2011. In addition, the crash rate in intersections during rush hour dropped by 50 percent last year.
Despite all the progress, the Planning Commission has many suggestions for improvements to fully achieve the Bike Action Plan's goals. Indeed, earlier this month the City Council approved a 500-bike bikeshare system contract, scheduled to open in early 2016 in conjunction with the Expo Light Rail.