Last night, the Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved a five-year plan and longer-term strategy to enhance bike safety by creating a network of protected bike lanes in Santa Monica through an update to the 2011 Bike Action Plan. This is part of the City’s commitment to multi-modal and carbon light living, reducing roadway fatalities through Vision Zero, and spurring economic recovery by connecting people to commercial districts and facilitating quick trips and deliveries to local businesses.
“This is an exciting next step to creating a bike network that enables residents of all ages and abilities to move more safely outdoors while also helping us make progress on our long-term climate, safety, and mobility goals,” said Chief Mobility Officer Francie Stefan. “Protected bike lanes are a proven way to entice biking for both recreation and everyday use and we’re excited to get to work on 19 miles of protected bike lanes in Santa Monica.”
Using data, seventeen corridors were identified for protected bike lanes, which add separation between people bicycling or scooting and people driving thereby reducing opportunities for conflict and creating an environment that is more welcoming to a broader array of people. Studies show a 45-90% reduction in collisions where protected bike lanes have been implemented. The map below shows the identified streets labeled as a five-year project, a longer-term bikeway vision, or a future priority connection as part of the 20-year Bike Action Plan Vision.
The five-year plan will add a total of 19 miles of protected bike lanes, 15 new and 4 miles programmed for construction in the next year, building on the City’s more than 100 miles of bike lanes and 19 miles of green lanes. These are not new to Santa Monica, earlier in the COVID-19 public health emergency, a pilot on Broadway from 16th to 20th Street demonstrated a model for future lanes. Next month, construction will begin on the next milestone: a protected bike lane on Ocean Avenue from California to Colorado with connections to the California Incline and Colorado Esplanade, which already have protected bike lanes. That project will open for community use in December.
Residents continue to enjoy new bike facilities as a way to get around town for short trips, and as a part of the quality of life in Santa Monica. In addition to fostering these benefits, this update will help the City continue to compete for state and federal transportation grants. Many of the 5-year projects in the update already have identified funding possibilities from outside sources. Santa Monica’s Mobility Division regularly submits applications for outside transportation grants to supplement local investments.