The word on the street is that city staff knew, or at a minimum should have known, that they needed Coastal Commission approval for the "road diet" (removing a northbound 101 traffic lane to create a bike lane), but tried to sneak it through by attaching it to the southbound "sharrows" proposal. Video of the July 18, 2012 council meeting where the council unanimously followed the staff's recommendation is here. Streetscape opponents then did Public Records Act requests to find out if the city had obtained the necessary approvals, and got the attention of the Coastal Commission when they got the runaround on those information requests.
Bike lanes? Good.
Multiple layers of government bureaucracy? Bad.
Cutting corners and keeping the public in the dark because the ends justify the means? Really bad.