Creative Greenius Loves Hermosa Beach Sharrows & You Should Too

 

Members of the newly formed South Bay Bicycle Coalition are happy with the Hermosa Beach "sharrows," which allow bicyclists to use a lane of traffic on Hermosa Avenue. The group hopes to see more South Bay cities install such bicycle-friendly facilities. (Steve McCrank, Daily Breeze Staff Photographer)

 

I’ve written before about the sharrows Hermosa Beach painted on Hermosa Ave earlier this year and how much I like them.  I continue to use them and I like them even more now.  I feel safer when riding on Hermosa Ave and the cars on the road don’t seem to have any real problems going around me if they need to.

Since I stop at all the stop signs, I get a certain amount of respect from the vehicles I’m sharing the road with too.

I think a lot more streets should feature sharrows throughout Hermosa Beach and the newly resurfaced Upper Pier Ave is a good place to put them next. I think most of my friends in the South Bay Bicycle Coalition and the Beach Cities Cycling Club agree with me.

My recent bicycle tour of Long Beach with their Mobility Coordinator extraordinaire, Charlie Gandy, further convinced me of the benefits of sharrows.  Their green painted sharrow lane on 2nd Street in the Belmont Shore neighborhood produced 30% more cyclists with fewer crashes, 20% fewer cyclists riding on the sidewalk and a 50% reduction in car/bike crashes.

A big part of the reasons sharrows work so well in Long Beach is because of the great job they did educating their elected officials, the police force and the public.  They made sure they got the word out, that people in the community understood what the rules were and what the benefits would be from  working together.  The result?  Long Beach is fast on the way to becoming the most bicycle friendly city in California.

There’s no reason Hermosa Beach can’t follow that same sharrow story of success and indeed if Hermosa really wants to be taken seriously as a “Green Idea City” or wants to actually achieve carbon neutrality it’s going to need sharrows and a lot more bicycle infrastructure and friendliness to get there.

Step one to get there is for a strong bicyclist turnout for Wednesday (Oct 20) night’s public forum on Hermosa Beach Sharrows.  Check out the details after the jump. Read more

Has the Green Idea City Invited YOU Yet?

My old pal, Michael DiVirgilio, the Mayor of Hermosa – until Pete Tucker takes over that ceremonial title later this month –  is putting on a “Leadership Forum” on Sept 10 in Hermosa Beach in the City Council chamber. I only know about it because the announcement was sent to me by accident with a request not to forward it to anyone.  I’m honoring that request by reposting the invite here instead of forwarding it to anyone.

It’s all been very hush-hush with no public announcements or outreach despite the fact that he’s been planning it for a couple of months now.  It’s apparently by invitation only and intended for VIPs of an undisclosed nature.  Call it a closed session if you want to be really accurate.

This isn’t the kind of transparency or sunshine I expect from local elected officials and this level of secrecy isn’t worthy of a “Green Idea City” label.


Greenius on Patch.com: Lessons Learned on Carbon Neutral City Committee

After eight months of working directly with Mayor Michael DiVirgilio to introduce and launch the Carbon Neutral City initiative, I stepped aside two weeks ago to focus more on the surrounding South Bay communities and to play a different role in Hermosa.

It’s been a rewarding and exhilarating 34 weeks since I first sat down with DiVirgilio, Dency Nelson and Robert Fortunato at the Planet Earth Café to propose that Hermosa Beach become the first municipality in Southern California to go carbon neutral and rebrand itself as the “Green Idea City.”

I’ve learned a lot over that period.

READ THE REST OF THE STORY ON HERMOSA BEACH PATCH.COM

Greenius on Patch.com – Helping AOL Get HyperLocal

It’s been weeks since I’ve opined on this page and one of  the reasons why is the time it’s taken launching two new columns for AOL’s Patch.com.  I’m writing a weekly column on environmental issues for Hermosa Beach Patch and a weekly column on bicycling and the South Bay Bicycle Coalition news for Redondo Beach Patch.

AOL is backing Patch.com with an initial $50 million and hiring journalists to provide hyperlocal coverage in communities of 15,000-100,000 on both coasts.  And I’m helping to provide that coverage in Redondo and Hermosa including shooting photos and video.

I’ve only been doing it for or a month or so, but so far I’m digging the experience and happy to broaden my local readership and Creative Greenius reach.

There was an interesting piece by James Rainey in today’s LAT focusing specifically on Manhattan Beach Patch but I don’t think Rainy has any particular insight or perspective on the issue.

Unlike yours truly who has nothing BUT particular insight and perspective on not only this issue but so many more.  And that’s exactly what a brain dead populace is looking for these days and exactly why I’m stretching my already overburdened schedule to  bring my fellow South Bay citizens Patch pieces like these I’ve already had published:

Read more

Mayor DiVirgilio: “Why Hermosa Beach is Going Carbon Neutral”

Hermosa Beach Mayor, Michael DiVirgilio, speaking on behalf of 350 at the International Day of Climate Action last October.

Hermosa Beach Mayor, Michael DiVirgilio, has on Op Ed piece in today’s Daily Breeze on why he is leading his city to a carbon neutral future.

In an era when most elected officials offer no substance and no positive vision for our future, DiVirgilio is downright JFK-like in his view of what must be done:

“But now is not the time to narrow the vision for our own future, to diminish our expectations for the better days ahead or to downsize the ambitions for our children’s quality of life.

Now is the time to step up and seize the opportunities available to those who act on new realities before they become mainstream trends. Now is the time to use the stimulus, grant and foundation money available to those who lead before the map is even drawn.

Now is also the time to act because we are standing at another threshold, the threshold of climate-change tipping points that may diminish the future prospects and possibilities for young and old alike.”

So we choose to go carbon neutral, not because it is easy, but because it is our best possible future, and the best path to preserving the small-town beach community and culture we all cherish and want to pass on to the generations who follow.

Getting To Work In Hermosa Beach – The Carbon Neutral ClueTrain Leaves the Station

Courtesy of YouTube and the Hermosa Beach City website, and converted and enlarged through the magic of Greenius, we bring you this exclusive look at the Carbon Neutral ClueTrain leaving the Hermosa Beach station this week.  Local mainstream media missed this story completely but fortunately for them this on-line record will exist for them to use as research.  So will the reporting that the new Patch.com news group will be providing.

The story actually began last week during Hermosa Beach Mayor’s State of the City address where Mayor Michael DiVirgilio spoke about the Carbon Neutral City concept:

Mayor DiVirgilio was right back at it Monday night at the Hermosa Beach Green Task Force meeting, speaking enthusiastically on behalf of the idea:

Join us after the jump to see your friendly neighborhood Greenius and my Fratelli Verde, Robert Fortunato, following the Mayor with our own remarks.

Read more

Greenius Presents: My Pal Governor Schwarzenegger on What’s Coming Next & Why AB 32 Needs Your Love

As your friendly neighborhood Greenius continues with his efforts to help Hermosa Beach become the first carbon neutral city in the South Bay, it might help some of you to get up to speed on what we already know is coming our way here in California from climate change and global weirding.

So why not let my old pal, Governor Schwarzenegger tell it to you straight about what we’re doing here in California to prepare for what we already see coming our way:

Unlike the astoundingly large group of dumbed-down states in the USA who happily have their heads up their own asses when it comes to sharing the climate change facts with their citizens and actually taking the bold actions necessary, California isn’t lying and isn’t delaying.  If we have any chance at all of stopping catastrophic climate change from making the future a moot point for your kids, the rest of the country is going to have to follow our lead with emissions cuts, energy efficiency and renewable energy use.

Many of them will have to be dragged kicking and screaming – as usual – but if we have to go caveman on them to help save ourselves, then so be it.

Read more

BREAKING NEWS: Hermosa Beach To Become Carbon Neutral City! Acting Locally, Thinking Globally

Ever since the Copenhagen climate treaty talks ended in impotence two months ago there hasn’t been a single ounce of positive news on the international scene about our chances of cutting the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and getting CO2 levels back down to the safe 350 ppm zone.  Here in the United States our President and Congress haven’t shown the leadership or sense of urgency necessary to prevent a climate catastrophe and they’ve given the people no hope for their children’s future at the national level.  Many in Congress have acted unethically and immorally with the responsibility they have been trusted with.

As the Creative Greenius and organizer of the South Bay Los Angeles 350 Climate Action Group that’s just unacceptable to me.  If they can’t get the job done in Washington, DC or at the UN – and it’s obvious to me that they cannot – then we will take the reins of responsibility from them right now and we will get the job done here locally.

That’s exactly what is happening now.

Last night at the Hermosa Beach, California City Council meeting, Mayor Michael DiVirgilo, confirmed that he and the City Council are committed to making their iconic beach town a Carbon Neutral City at the earliest possible date.  Hermosa Beach’s Green Task Force was directed to come up with the plan and a special joint session of the Council and the Task Force was scheduled for March 30 to get the carbon neutral ball rolling.  This makes Hermosa Beach the first city in the South Bay of Los Angeles County, and the first city in all of Los Angeles County to declare their intent to become carbon neutral and sustainable.  And that makes them the leadership model we will replicate in all of the other 87 cities that make up this County of 10 million people.

None of this is happening by accident.

Your Creative Greenius was there on the scene to witness the historic action and to add my remarks to note the occasion.  Check out the video excerpt courtesy of Hermosa Beach’s website after the jump, and discover, in classic Paul Harvey tradition, the rest of the story…     Read more

We Stand With The Small Island Nations! Candlelight Vigil for Survival in Hermosa Beach

Members of our South Bay Los Angeles 350 Climate Action Group speak to our representatives and fellow activists in Copenhagen at Friday night’s Candlelight Vigil in downtown Hermosa Beach.  Unedited and unrehearsed, our straight from the heart messages.

And here’s some still photos from our event.  To see our Flickr photo slide show click here.

That’s our co-host and 350 supporter, the Mayor of Hermosa Beach, Michael DiVirgilio, behind the big number 5.

And here’s your Creative Greenius and 350.org Organizer for the South Bay Los Angeles 350 Climate Action Group.  That big smile on my face is because our community showed up and brought their compassion for our brothers and sisters across the Pacific who live on the small island nations, like Tuvalu.  If you’re a regular Creative Greenius reader you know how concerned I am about the plight of island states like Tonga, the Carteret Islands, the Maldives and Kirabati.  It breaks my heart to think of those people paying the price for the way we live our lives here in the USA but it gives me great hope for the future that my friends and neighbors now stand with me on their behalf.