The Wilshire Safety Study: A Community-Driven Plan For A Safe Santa Monica
May 15, 2019
by Jason Kligier, Scott Johnson
Wilshire Boulevard stretches 16 miles from downtown Los Angeles to the western edge of Santa Monica — coming to a halt at Palisades Park, just shy of the great blue Pacific. And the oldest stretch of Wilshire Boulevard? It’s right here in Santa Monica, between Centinela and Ocean Avenue.
Before the 1920s, that stretch of Wilshire was known as “Nevada Avenue” and it was just a dusty road imprinted with footsteps, hoofprints, and the occasional Model T. Today, it’s home to hundreds of stores, restaurants, and residences — not to mention the thousands of people who traverse it by foot, car, scooter, and bike every day.
Wilshire is a densely populated thoroughfare, and a major transit corridor for the Big Blue Bus, and Metro Rapid and local bus services. Its role as a transit corridor will only increase in the coming years with the continuing construction of the Metro Purple Line extension to Westwood.
Clearly, Wilshire has come a long way since its dusty inception some 100 years ago. We’re proud of that progress, but of course — new challenges always accompany progress.
Now, geographic information analysis gathered over a span of eleven years has demonstrated that half of all fatal and severe crashes in Santa Monica take place on only 10 percent of the city’s streets. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Wilshire — one of our most bustling boulevards — is one of those streets. That’s why, when it comes to increasing road safety, Wilshire is a top priority of our city’s Take the Friendly Road Traffic Safety Campaign. What’s the Take the Friendly Road Campaign? It’s a city initiative aimed at reducing the number of traffic-related fatalities and severe injuries to zero by the year 2026.
In February, Take the Friendly Road launched the Wilshire Safety Study which is a detailed, data-driven assessment of traffic-related crashes, injuries, and deaths. With the information from this study, we’ll identify safety issues and identify measures that’ll work to protect the people who walk, drive, scoot, take transit and bike on Wilshire Boulevard. We’ll also work to improve mobility options as we’re always striving to build a more sustainable city that relies less and less on greenhouse gases.
We’ll gather this data from a variety of sources, including some of our most valued community members, like first responders, bus operators, and — hopefully — you. That’s right, we want your input. We believe that the people traveling along Wilshire every day are an invaluable resource and your experiences can help us make the best infrastructure adjustments possible.
So here’s how you can get involved.
- Submit comments and concerns about specific locations in the city by using our interactive map tool.
- Email comments to Safe.Wilshire@smgov.net
- Sign up for our mailing list at www.santamonica.gov/friendly road to receive email updates
- Attend a community workshop; The first community workshop to identify safety issues and concerns on Wilshire Boulevard will be held Saturday, June 8th, from 10AM - 12PM at the Reed Park Auditorium, 1133 7th St., Santa Monica. It will be an open house format, so drop-in anytime.
And to stay updated on all our road safety efforts, visit santmonica.gov/friendlyroad.
When it comes to making our city safe, we all play a role. Join us in making Wilshire a safe street that will work for all of us as we look forward to the next one hundred years.