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Santa Monica’s Lincoln Boulevard could get pedestrian-friendly makeover

Improvements include new crosswalks and a dedicated bus lane

Rendering of Lincoln Boulevard and Olympic City of Santa Monica

A long stretch of Lincoln Boulevard through Santa Monica is all set to get a major makeover that will make the street a bit more accessible to bicyclists and pedestrians. As Santa Monica Next reports, the city’s planning commission is set to review plans for the project’s first phase this coming Wednesday.

The Lincoln Neighborhood Corridor Plan seeks to promote public transit ridership and improve the experience of walkers and bicyclists along the stretch of thoroughfare between the 10 Freeway and Ozone Avenue.

Phase one of the project, which has just finished an extensive public comment period, would add three new crosswalks to the street and enhance four others, establish a dedicated bus lane during peak hours, add crosswalk striping to 20 side streets, establish 52 curb ramps, add landscaped medians and curb extensions, and plant 48 new trees.

According to a staff report, the first phase will cost $2.5 million and could be completed by the end of 2018.

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The second phase will be costlier and more ambitious. It will add more medians, improve street lighting, and establish infrastructure for capturing stormwater runoff. Phase two will also include efforts to convince property owners to overhaul auto-centric buildings to better serve the needs of a more walkable community. This could include a fund for facade improvements and guides for developers on how to get adaptive reuse projects underway.

Santa Monica officicials have been considering possibilities for Lincoln Boulevard improvements since Caltrans relinquished management of the street back to the city in 2012. Under the agency’s control, Lincoln Boulevard developed into an efficient traffic corridor, but its many auto-serving businesses and lack of crosswalks have made it an unappealing environment for walkers.

Santa Monica unveiled preliminary plans for the street’s makeover in 2015. If the phase one improvements are recommended by the planning commission this week, they will then move onto the city council for final approval.