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Downtown Santa Monica Upping Pedestrian Game as Expo Line Approaches

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11 intersections getting pedestrian-friendlier scramble crossings

Los Angeles has a handful of scramble crosswalks—those crosswalks that crisscross the intersection and allow for a pedestrian-only crossing period for people on all corners going in all directions—near UCLA and USC, and a brand new one at Hollywood and Highland, but Santa Monica is poised to get 11 new scrambles in its downtown in the next year alone. Santa Monica Next reports that the pedestrian-friendly crossings were approved following a new "pedestrian action plan" adopted by SaMo that aims to eliminate traffic-related fatalities—good timing considering the Expo Line light rail extension's readying to open to downtown Santa Monica on May 20.

The scrambles not only make crossing a lot safer, but also up the efficiency, as they allow for diagonal crossing. This wave of flashy safe crosswalks is being installed mostly along Second and Fourth streets, with two also coming to Colorado and Fourth, which is along the western side of the downtown Santa Monica Expo Line station, and one more scramble to be installed where the under-construction Colorado Esplanade, a pedestrian plaza built at the end of the Expo Line, meets the pier.

Other scramble crosswalks will appear at the following intersections:

  • Broadway and Fourth
  • Broadway and Second
  • Santa Monica and Fourth
  • Santa Monica and Second
  • Arizona and Fourth
  • Arizona and Second
  • Wilshire and Fourth
  • Wilshire and Third
  • Wilshire and Second

SMN doesn't lay out a specific timeline for when these crosswalk improvements will be up and running, but it would be pretty cool if Expo Line riders into Santa Monica got to use some on opening weekend (May 20). *Update 5:55 p.m.: Santa Monica officials are aiming to have all the crosswalks done by the "end of June."

Not clear on how this kind of crossing works? This video of the recently installed scramble crossing at Hollywood and Highland shows generally how the scrambles function: