Densely developed throughout most of its span, the roadway serves as a major transit corridor for local and regional bus services and a crucial street for pedestrians walking to jobs, stores and restaurants. Over the past 10 years, six people have died and another 29 sustained injuries in bike and pedestrian-related crashes on a busy stretch of the street in the City of Santa Monica. Now the city’s efforts to make the street safer are getting a big boost thanks to $450,000 in SB1 funding.
The much-needed funding will allow Santa Monica to conduct a robust public outreach process to engage emergency responders and the community in identifying targeted safety enhancements through a detailed, data-driven assessment. The outcome will be recommendations for cost-effective safety measures that the city can implement immediately, and a clear plan for long-term improvements that may require additional engineering or funding.
“These new transportation revenues enable the City of Santa Monica to intelligently address safety concerns on a corridor with a high number of severe injuries and fatalities,” said Santa Monica Mayor Ted Winterer. “Providing safe connections to housing, jobs, and transit services along the Wilshire corridor is critical to encouraging walking and transit trips, and working towards the region’s goals for alternative transportation modes and greenhouse gas reductions.”
Santa Monica in 2016 adopted its Pedestrian Action Plan, which sets a “Vision Zero” goal of eliminating severe and fatal injury crashes in the city by 2026. Increasing safe and comfortable mobility options is also one of the Santa Monica City Council’s five strategic priorities. In 2017, the city launched its “GoSaMo” mobility program, an initiative to educate and excite residents about various mobility options in the city. City leadership believes that making mobility options safer, will create a more efficient, sustainable and equitable community for all of its residents.