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Santa Monica’s Lincoln Neighborhood Corridor Plan Moves Ahead

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Santa Monica Convention and Visitors BureauWhen one lives in a city as breathtakingly beautiful and unique as Santa Monica, inevitably that city will be shared with visitors.

By Daniel Larios
Staff Writer

June 9, 2014 --The Santa Monica City Council is scheduled to move forward with plans to enhance Lincoln Boulevard in order to create a “more functional, aesthetically pleasing pedestrian experience.”

The Council is expected to award a $395,000 contract to Oakland-based Community Design and Architecture to lay the groundwork for the ambitious Lincoln Neighborhood Corridor Plan.

The firm will “provide planning, urban design, transportation, economic analysis, art integration, infrastructure planning and parking and transportation demand management services,” according to the agenda’s staff report.

The proposed project would improve sidewalks, streets and crosswalks; reconfigure lanes; add  landscaping, new benches and shared parking, improve signage and potentially include urban runoff projects.

In addition to planning the physical improvements, the consultants will identify ways to enhance the local-serving commercial uses along the boulevard for the local community and address the need for beautification.

In addition, they will review ways to enhance transit to boost ridership of the City-run Big Blue Bus, including reconsidering a dedicated bus lane. 

Since CalTrans relinquished responsibility of the boulevard to the City, interest in the improvement of Lincoln Boulevard through the Lincoln Neighborhood Corridor Plan (LiNC) has increased, according to City Staff.

“Several local groups formed to provide guidance at the community level on revitalization efforts, such as the Lincoln Boulevard Taskforce and a non-profit artist group called Beautify Earth,” staff said.

Both groups “are staffed by energetic community members (residents, artists, local businesses) who voluntarily contribute their time to advocate for elevating the Boulevard’s image,” senior planner Peter James wrote in the staff report.

The Lincoln Boulevard Taskforce includes residents from Ocean Park, Sunset Park and Pico neighborhoods.   Beautify Earth has been leading a grass-roots movement to paint murals on private property by forging public-private collaborations.
“The Lincoln Boulevard Taskforce has conducted a survey to identify preferences among residents and businesses for improvements to the street, land uses, and circulation, while Beautify Earth has installed a number of colorful murals on private property along the Boulevard,” James said. 

With public outreach already is underway, staff hopes the project will include more public input through community meetings, working groups and one-on-one interviews, social media platforms and other planned events.

In April of 2014, the City published a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the project and received proposals from six California-based firms. After reviewing the proposals the top three teams were interviewed.

The review committee unanimously selected the team led by Community Design and Architecture (CD+A) based on their “team composition and relevant experience, project approach and understanding of Lincoln Boulevard’s unique issues, availability of consultant time, and competitive cost,” said James.

The Council on Tuesday also is expected to authorize Planning Director David Martin to issue any necessary changes to the project in order to complete additional work within the agreed budget.

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