June 22, 2020 2:20 PM
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Beginning this week, the City of Santa Monica is rolling out the Al Fresco - Vibrant Main Street Corridor Project which includes enhancements to the heart of the Main Street corridor to facilitate an al fresco or outdoor experience. This provides businesses with expanded use of the public-right-of-way by temporarily reallocating parking and vehicle turn lanes to expand access for pedestrians, diners and shoppers as part of the City’s economic recovery efforts to safely reopen Santa Monica in partnership with local businesses and residents.
“As we seek to support our local businesses and provide safe ways to enjoy our City, reimagining our public rights of way becomes essential,” said Interim City Manager Lane Dilg. “We will continue to look for opportunities to expand sustainable transit and safe outdoor dining in Santa Monica. As we do so, we need everyone who comes out to enjoy our vibrant local restaurants and public spaces to wear a face covering and practice safe physical distancing for the public health and safety of all.”
The reimagined Main Street from Pico Boulevard to Pier Avenue temporarily leverages space previously dedicated to street parking and the center turn lane to expand the space businesses and customers can safely use. The features will include:
- Space in the public-right-of-way to allow outdoor dining, outdoor retail, physical distancing, and safe passage
- Parklets between Pico and Hollister
- Sidewalk extensions between Hollister and Pier and sections of Hill, Kinney, and Pier
- Businesses will furnish the spaces and partner on cleaning and maintenance
Vehicle, transit, and bicycle access will be maintained for the entire corridor. After the restriping, the road will consist of a single vehicle and bike lane in each direction. The majority of street parking on the Main Street business corridor (from Hollister to Pier) will be temporarily eliminated. All parking lots behind Main Street will remain accessible, as well as private driveways. In addition, new signage will be installed to direct people to the large public lots between Main and Nielson, and loading zones will be installed at key locations along Main Street to allow for deliveries. To implement the changes, work will take place from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., June 22 to June 26. Two-way bicycle and vehicle traffic will be open during this daytime work. There will also be temporary full closures at night on Main Street between Bay Street and Marine Street from 9 p.m. - 6 a.m. from June 29 to July 10. East/west travel across Main Street will remain open.
The project will begin now and changes are expected to remain in place for up to a year.
These changes are made in partnership with the Ocean Park Association and the Main Street Business Improvement Association. Hunter Hall, Executive Director of the Main Street Business Improvement Association, said, “Main Street is thrilled at the exciting streetscape changes we have worked on collaboratively with the City and Ocean Park Association (OPA). We’re confident these will prove to be valuable changes for our businesses.”
Marc Morgenstern, President of the Ocean Park Association said, "OPA and the Ocean Park community are excited to see Main Street's transformation underway. In partnership with the City and the Main Street merchants, we fully support the pilot project to help save jobs, preserve businesses, and create a vibrant and safe environment for residents and visitors to enjoy."
L.A. County Department of Public Health reopening protocols for businesses will be implemented throughout the dining and retail space including use of face coverings, physical distancing and hand washing. Businesses who would like to take advantage of the expanded space need to apply for an encroachment agreement that will be posted on the City’s Economic Recovery website soon. The approvals are issued the same day for businesses that have all necessary documentation.
The work towards economic recovery is spearheaded by the City’s Economic Recovery Task Force, comprised of a team of City staff across relevant departments. This City team is dedicated to collecting, vetting, and advancing the best ideas in all five identified focus areas:
- Business Reopening & Retention
- Business Permitting
- Community Economic Development
- Communications and Outreach
- Federal, State, and County Resources
The Economic Recovery Task Force is designed to take quick, decisive action to move key items forward in partnership with subject matter experts and the community. Recommendations from the City staff Task Force will be built upon the ideas, analysis as well as expertise of business and resident partners. Many action items will require a public process and Council approval. There will be several additional opportunities for resident and community involvement, including town hall sessions and other virtual meetings to generate and vet ideas.
For the latest information, please visit santamonica.gov/economicrecovery, call the City’s Hotline at (310) 458-8400, or visit the project website smgov.net/mainstreet. To receive regular updates or to get involved with Santa Monica’s economic recovery efforts, register for SaMoNews, the City’s email newsletter at santamonica.gov/newsletter.
Public Information Coordinator