SANTA MONICA—Additional music, fitness classes, food and family activities are expected for the next car-free Sharing an Open Main Street on Saturday and Sunday, August 21 and August 22 between Hill and Kinney Streets in Ocean Park. The city of Santa Monica indicated on their website the Ocean Park Association, Main Street Business Improvement Association, and city of Santa Monica are building on the success of the first pilot weekend. The expanded schedule includes:
- More music performances all day on Saturday and Sunday, including acclaimed violinist Nick Kennerly, Mocha Chai, and the Old Corn Lickers
- More fitness classes, including Groov3 Dance, Pilates Platinum, and Circuit Works
- More giant-sized games such a Jenga, Chess, Cornhole, and Connect 4
- More kids activities, in association with The Pump Station & Nurtury
- More chalk for everyone to brighten Main Street
Residents and visitors can utilize additional picnic tables and lawn furniture as part of the pedestrian-friendly program to celebrate the neighborhood, support merchants, and find eco-friendly alternatives to driving cars this weekend.
“Walk, bike, or scoot to Main Street this weekend to enjoy a weekend-long celebration of local businesses, al fresco dining, and other free, fun community activities as two blocks of Main Street transform into a Pedestrian Plaza,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich. “This is a great opportunity to celebrate our community by reconnecting with friends and neighbors while enjoying music, restaurants, shopping, and family-friendly activities as pedestrians take over. Before you venture out, please remember the latest public health tips to get vaccinated, stay home when sick, and wear a mask that fits.”
“Transforming the street into a pedestrian plaza is enabling us all to experience Main Street in an entirely new way. It was heartwarming to see friends and neighbors smiling together on Main Street throughout the first pilot weekend and we look forward to more of that in future weekends,” said Sean Besser, Chair of OPA’s Main Street Committee
“This pilot program is about pushing the boundaries of business/resident collaboration and piloting a new form of self-governance for neighborhood-commercial districts. It’s about finding ways for communities to work together to come up with solutions and test things out with the city’s support,” said Hunter Hall, Executive Director of MSBIA.
An on-site survey taken during the Sharing an Open Main Street in July discovered that 95 percent of respondents were positive about the pilot. Two-thirds of surveyors thought it had a “positive impact” on the community and Main Street businesses, “enjoyed the community/family nature of the event,” and “felt safe.” Additional survey responses after the weekend (total of 491), 76 percent of respondents were positive overall, with half requesting more activities and entertainment.
Sharing an Open Main Street was designed to encourage people to walk or bike and 80 percent of attendees partaked, according to the survey. In the first large-scale implementation under the city’s revised eScooter program, GPS “fencing” by licensed scooter companies prevented eScooter operation in the closed blocks.
North-south traffic including buses will be detoured to Neilson Way. Temporary bus stops will be placed outside of the pedestrian zone to serve riders. For more details, visit santamonica.gov/main-street-al-fresco.
Sharing an Open Main Street was approved as a pilot by the Santa Monica City Council and funded by grants from Metro to promote business recovery and community resilience in light of the pandemic. The next pedestrian-only weekends on Main Street will be held September 18 and September 19 and October 16 and October 17.
This event will follow LA County Department of Public Health COVID-19 protocols. Participants are asked to follow the latest public health guidelines, including: getting vaccinated, stay home when sick, and wear a mask that fits. For the full schedule, visit mainstreetsm.com.