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Radical Remake of Streetscape for Santa Monica’s Lincoln Boulevard Corridor Moves Forward
By Niki Cervantes
November 14, 2017 -- The radical transformation of Santa Monica’s commuter-jammed corridor on Lincoln Boulevard is likely to push forward another inch as the City Council votes tonight on a half-million dollar agreement to provide design/engineering services and help prepare construction contracts.
A three-year contract not to exceed $582,472 for the final design of the City’s ambitious Lincoln Neighborhood Corridor Streetscape Project (LiNC) is expected to be awarded to Kimley-Horn and Associates, with offices in California, as recommended by staff.
The proposed contract is on the council’s agenda tonight.
LiNC is a signature project for Santa Monica as it tries to re-design itself into a City more people oriented than car-centric.
As envisioned, the project will overhaul the look of Lincoln and smooth the flow -- and safety -- of people, bikes and, mostly, automobiles as they jockey for space on the corridor stretching north from Interstate 10 to the City’s southern boundary at Ozone Avenue.
A report to the council said LiNC will see a streetscape with new lighting, gateway banners, landscaped banners, parkways and scores of street trees.
A report to the council said the new Lincoln Corridor also will feature new and enhanced crosswalks, “pedestrian refuges,” bicycle connectors, curb ramp improvements, curb extensions, storm-water rain gardens and bioswales.
More controversial has been the new dedicated peak-hour bus lane, scheduled to be completed this year.
It is meant to encourage use of alternate-transportation, such as City buses, although Santa Monica’s bicycling population has worried about sharing space with more buses.
The City took over responsibility for Lincoln from Caltrans in 2012. By then, the boulevard had become an often-gridlocked commuter route lined heavily by low-slung and aging buildings for commercial uses, with adjacent surface parking.
The project spans 17 blocks and 1.25 miles along Lincoln, and runs through the Pico, Ocean Park and Sunset Park neighborhoods.
“The improvements are intended to make movement for all users and modes more predictable by providing safe places for pedestrians to cross the street, identifying areas for bicycles to maneuver, accommodating transit and organizing vehicle flow,” said the report by Susan Cline, the City's public works director.
“All of the streetscape elements are being proposed without the loss of a travel lane for vehicles,” she said.
LiNC will be completed in two phases, the first running an estimated cost of $3 million to $3.5 million, and the second “estimated to exceed $6 million,” the report said.
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