SANTA MONICA—On Tuesday, April 25, the Santa Monica City Council approved plans for the Lincoln Neighborhood Corridor Plan (LiNC), which aims to produce a safer streetscape for pedestrians and cyclists.
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) relinquished Lincoln Boulevard to the city of Santa Monica in 2012. A resurfacing project in 2013 improved some aspects of the street through appropriate signage and modifications to right-of-way striping. More substantive work is to be completed through LiNC.
Under LiNC, enhancements will be administered to the 1.25-mile stretch of Lincoln Boulevard from Olympic Boulevard near the 10 Freeway to the city limit at Ozone Avenue. The plan combines physical improvements to the streetscape and public right of way with policy and program level recommendations for a more functional experience, according to a report from the city of Santa Monica.
Initial changes under the plan will include three new crosswalks and improvements to four existing ones, with warning lights and curb extensions; elimination of street parking at peak traffic times, with a marked bus lane; safety measures such as new center medians and ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps; crosswalk striping at 20 side streets; and 48 new trees. A formal bike lane will not be created, though bicyclists will be allowed to use up to 5 feet of the 12-foot bus lane.
Streetscape goals include reducing barriers for pedestrians and bicyclists, improving connections to destinations, and enhancing landscaping. Vehicle flow is to be maintained and improved, and strategies to increase transit ridership will be considered.
According to the report, the first phase will cost approximately $2.5 million. Private and public funding will go toward increasing pedestrian comfort and accessibility to residents who choose not to travel by car. Improvements could be implemented by the end of 2018, if plans are carried out in a timely manner. Businesses along Lincoln Boulevard will also be considered for improvement. Goals include enhancing restaurants, markets, and other valuable services; repurposing facades of older buildings to appeal to pedestrians; and forming a cohesive business community.
A second phase is also being considered and would include costlier developments, such as landscaped medians, electrical upgrades, and stormwater runoff facilities. The estimated cost is more than $10 million.
According to reports, LiNC is a work in progress. Further details and suggestions will be considered by the City Council before changes can be implemented.