The Santa Monica City Council reportedly voted 7-0 recently to pilot weekend closures of part of Main Street this upcoming summer, in a move that some have called prioritizing pedestrians over cars. The motion seeks to boost business along the restaurant-filled street. It is now headed to city staffers to sort out the logistics and potential traffic impacts before its final approval.

 

The Main Street Business Improvement Association and the Ocean Park Association, which represent residents in the surrounding area, came up with the idea, and council members Gleam Davis and Christine Parra then presented it in front of the council. Davis reportedly cited the success of a similar program on Santa Barbara’s State Street, as well as comparably-sized pedestrian initiative in Munich that boosted retail activity by 200% and restaurants by 300%.

 

Though the details still have to be worked out, the program would most likely close two or three blocks to car and bus traffic. A map posted on the MSBIA’s website specifically suggests about half a block east of both Hill Street and Ashland Avenue could be opened up to on-street dining. Whichever the case, the motion wouldn’t close the entire span of the tree-lined street, and cross traffic would still be allowed.

 

As previously mentioned, the closures would likely take place on two days on select weekends, either Friday and Saturday or Saturday and Sunday. Though there’s no set start date, MSBIA director Hunter Hall reportedly said during a public comment period that the closures could commence at the end of June.

 

As part of the city’s Main Street Al Fresco initiative, some of Main Street’s curbside parking spots have already been turned into outdoor dining areas, lined with brightly-painted traffic barricades. 

 

The city received over a hundred public comments in response to the proposal, of which the large majority were in favor. Among those opposed, however, most cited fears of increased traffic along 2nd and 3rd Streets, as well as residential roads that run parallel to Main. Others simply felt that the plan caters too heavily to restaurants and bars.

 

For some, pedestrianizing streets mean fewer vehicle collisions with bicyclists, pedestrians, and everyone else not in a car. In California, on average, 136,000 are injured in traffic collisions each year, including 1,500 deaths and 5,200 seriously injured. People who walk and bike are at greater risk of fatalities. Pedestrians and bike riders make up 27% of those deaths, despite comprising only 12% of the trips.

 

However, Slow Streets programs, which were designed to limit through traffic on certain residential streets and allow them to be used as a shared space for people traveling by foot and bicycle, have been criticized for mostly serving wealthy communities — like Santa Monica.

 

The post Santa Monica’s Main Street Could Turn Into Pedestrian Plaza On Summer Weekends appeared first on Personal Injury Lawyer Los Angeles CA.

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Neama Rahmani is the President and co-founder of West Coast Trial Lawyers.

Neama graduated from UCLA at the age of 19 and Harvard Law School at the age of 22, making him one of the youngest graduates in the 200-year history of the…

Neama Rahmani is the President and co-founder of West Coast Trial Lawyers.

Neama graduated from UCLA at the age of 19 and Harvard Law School at the age of 22, making him one of the youngest graduates in the 200-year history of the law school. Upon graduation, Neama was hired by O’Melveny & Myers, the largest law firm in Los Angeles, where he represented companies such as Disney, Marriott, and the Roman Catholic Church.

But Neama wanted to help ordinary people, not corporations, so he joined the United States Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted drug and human trafficking cases along the United States-Mexico border. While working as a federal prosecutor, Neama captured and successfully prosecuted a fugitive murderer and drug kingpin who had terrorized Southern California and was featured on “America’s Most Wanted.” Neama was then appointed to be the Director of Enforcement of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, an independent watchdog that oversees and investigates the elected officials and highest level employees of the City of Los Angeles, including the Mayor and City Council. He held that position until becoming a trial lawyer for the people.

Neama has extensive trial experience. He has led teams of more than 170 attorneys in litigation against the largest companies in the world. Neama has successfully tried dozens of cases to verdict as lead trial counsel, and has argued before both state and federal appeals courts. Over the course of his career, Neama has handled thousands of cases as attorney of record and has helped his clients obtain more than $1 billion in settlements and judgments.