Let’s face it, parking and traffic in Los Angeles is no fun. The Westside isn’t excluded from traffic and parking troubles. As the weather gets warmer parking and traffic gets even worse!
The Santa Monica City Council is always making an effort to tackle parking and traffic distress. The council revisited bus routes, considered improvements to two streets and carved out another preferential parking zone.
The council took a look at some of the Big Blue Bus’ less traveled routes. Reducing bus routes that are less traveled will help reduce the city’s traffic and boost service on some of the busier lines. The council will consider curbing the TIDE Ride’s schedule to weekends.
The focus of the TIDE Ride’s line would shift from Downtown to the Annenberg Community Beach House at 415 PCH. The proposed route forms a loop traveling along Ocean Park Boulevard, 14th Street, the area near the city’s northern edge and Ocean Avenue.
According to the City staff, “The TIDE Ride, connecting downtown with the south beach parking lots and Main Street, has experienced a decline in ridership in recent years and has the lowest productivity of all BBB services on weekdays with only 12 passengers per vehicle service hour.”
The new TIDE Ride — which would add two special Mini Blue vehicles small enough to operate in the Beach House parking lot use — would operate on weekends between 9:45 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., with later hours added for summer, as per the City staff. That should help traffic during the week. We all know how frustrating it can be to get stuck behind a bus!
If you use public transportation or want to know if the changes will affect your commute, read up! The council on Tuesday approved changes to the following routes:
Line 1, connecting Main Street and UCLA via Santa Monica Boulevard, will add one bus and driver every afternoon to re-establish reliability when the streets are congested.
Line 3 and Rapid 3, the most overcrowded lines in the system, will add 508 annual service hours.
Line 4, operating on San Vicente and Sawtelle Boulevards, the least productive service on weekends in the entire system, will operate hourly, instead of every half hour, and cut the last hour of service, trimming 3,379 service hours a year.
Line 5, serving Colorado Avenue and Century City, will eliminate the last eastbound and westbound trips in the evening and add a bus in the afternoon when the streets are congested.
Line 6, the Santa Monica College Commuter, will be modified to avoid picking up passengers on Pearl Street after residents complained about students gathered to wait for the bus. The new configuration will add 115 annual service hours.
Rapid 7 on Pico Boulevard will add one round trip in the late morning when the college is in session, adding 450 annual service hours.
Line 9, the service to Pacific Palisades, will cut one round trip every evening, resulting in an annual decrease of 254 service hours.
Line 10, the Downtown Los Angeles Freeway Express, will eliminate the first morning trip servicing Union Station and one trip in the early evening every Sunday, trimming 261 service hours.
The Sunset Ride connecting the Arboretum, Water Gardens, Pico and Sunset Park Neighborhoods and Airport Park with SMC campuses will operate every 30 minutes after 4:30 p.m. due to fewer riders, resulting in 508 fewer service hours.
The above changes were developed to “better meet customer travel demand and to operate reliably through increased traffic congestion,” Blue Bus officials said.
The council also approved an amendment to the preferential parking zone to restrict street parking 24 hours a day to residents only on the blocks of Longfellow, Navy and Ozone Streets near Lincoln Boulevard in the Borderline Neighborhood. The residents complained that restaurant patrons parked on residential streets at night, even though metered parking is available on Lincoln Boulevard.
These changes should alleviate your traffic troubles! For more information on the Santa Monica City Council you can cruise on over to www.smgov.net.