Santa Monica Accelerates Safety Improvements
Wilshire Boulevard is one of the most famous streets in Los Angeles County, extending over fifteen miles from Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica to the financial district of downtown LA. Densely developed throughout most of its span, the roadway serves as a major transit corridor for local and regional bus services and a crucial street for pedestrians walking to jobs, stores and restaurants. Over the past 10 years, six people have died and another 29 received injuries in bike and pedestrian-related crashes on the busy stretch road in the City of Santa Monica. Now the city’s efforts to make the street safer is getting a big boost thanks to $450,000 in SB1 funding.
The much-needed funding helps the City of Santa Monica accelerate safety improvements that started back in the 1990’s. In order to make the most cost-efficient investments, the city plans to conduct a robust public outreach process that will engage emergency responders and the community to identify targeted safety enhancements through a detailed, data-driven assessment of the roadway. With this information, the city will implement immediate, cost-effective safety measures and create a clear plan for long-term improvements that may require additional engineering or funding.
“The SB1 funding enables the City of Santa Monica to intelligently address safety concerns on a corridor with a high number of severe injuries and fatalities,” said Santa Monica Mayor Ted Winterer. “Providing safe connections to housing, jobs, and transit services along the Wilshire corridor is critical to encouraging walking and transit trips, and working towards the region’s goals for alternative transportation modes and greenhouse gas reductions.”
In 2016, Santa Monica’s City council adopted a Pedestrian Action Plan, which sets a “Vision Zero” goal of eliminating severe and fatal injury crashes in the city by 2026. Increasing safe and comfortable mobility options is also one of five strategic priorities of Santa Monica’s city council. In 2017, the city launched its “GoSaMo” mobility program, an initiative to educate and excite residents about various mobility options in the city. City leadership believes that making mobility options safer, will create a more efficient, sustainable and equitable community for all of its residents.