Santa Monica Lookout
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Santa Monica Residents Have Chance to Weigh in On Greenway

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

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By Lookout Staff

January 6, 2014 --Santa Monica residents can weigh in Tuesday on a plan to create a state-of-the-art bike and pedestrian route that will make Michigan Avenue an inviting place to bike, walk and interact.

The plan – which has been called “the backbone” of Santa Monica's recently-adopted Bicycle Action plan – calls for a three-mile greenway between the Bergamot Arts Center and the beach.

The greenway would include traffic calming, increased landscaping, wider sidewalks, bike facilities and enhanced crosswalks.

“The three-mile Greenway between the Bergamot Arts Center and the beach would provide a safe and comfortable place for neighbors of all ages to walk, bike, recreate, and interact with one another,” City officials said.

The proposed greenway will connect schools, parks, job centers and future Expo stations, making it easier to get around Santa Monica on foot and by bicycle, according to City officials.

A survey by the Pico Neighborhood Association (PNA) showed that residents of Santa Monica's historically poorest area support the plan, although there is disagreement on some of its details.

Tuesday’s meeting is part of the planning phase that included a meeting in September attended by more than 400 community members. Proposed elements include a neighborhood traffic circle and a mini-park.

The lengthy public process offers residents the chance to weigh in on how exactly they want the Greenway to look and what features – such as roundabouts, widened sidewalks and green bike lanes – should be included.

Plans for the greenway were launched after Caltrans awarded Santa Monica's Transportation and Planning Division a $138,600 Environmental Justice Grant in September 2011 “to conduct extensive public outreach and complete conceptual designs.”

The City qualified for the Justice Grant -- awarded to promote the participation of low-income and minority populations in planning transportation projects -- because the greenway will benefit the Pico Neighborhood.

Environmental Justice Grants “enhance the quality of their neighborhoods while improving mobility and safety.”

 Tuesday’s meeting will take place at Virginia Avenue Park, 2200 Virginia Avenue, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

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