Green Lanes and Safe Streets Get the Green Light
September 13, 2018
by Carlos Morales
This article originally appeared in the September edition of Seascape.
On July 24, the City Council gave the green light to add green paint to 19 miles of bike lanes, and approved advancing the Safe Streets for 17th Street and Michigan Avenue to the next phase of design!
Green bike lanes popped up in Santa Monica a few years ago on Main Street and Broadway. Green lanes are a proven strategy to make streets safer by making bikes and scooters in the lanes more visible, and clarifying the use of road space for drivers. To meet the ever-growing demand for travel options, the City is painting 19 more miles of green lane markings. This project will also add video detection cameras at 20 intersections to trigger a green light for people in the green lanes when no cars are present, and will add 1,250 bike racks. Partly funded by a grant from Metro, these changes advance the community vision in the Land Use and Circulation Element and Bike Action Plan of making streets safer for people of all ages and abilities. For more information, visit smgov.net/bikelanes.
SAFE STREETS FOR 17TH STREET AND MICHIGAN AVENUE
Since the Expo Line opened, the number of people walking and biking on 17th Street has increased 1600% and 82%, respectively. 17th Street connects 4 neighborhood groups, 3 transit corridors, 2 primary bikeways and the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway. Given this staggering demand and connectivity, the Safe Streets for 17th Street and Michigan Avenue project envisions a safer, more beautiful walking and biking connection for residents to enjoy as they go to parks, transit stops and neighborhood destinations.
The Safe Streets for 17th Street and Michigan Avenue project will add pedestrian-scale lighting to improve personal safety, curb extensions to reduce crossing, and a bikeway protected by a raised median. The 17th Street improvements will span from Wilshire Boulevard to Pico Boulevard. On Michigan Avenue from 14th to 19th Streets, the project links with reduced-scale traffic circles to reduce speeding, and curb extensions for pedestrian safety. The project will go through final design in 2019, with construction starting in early 2020. To learn more, visit smgov.net/17thStreet.