September 25, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway Begins To Take Shape:

Bergamot Station seems to be on Santa Monica’s mind these days. The City Council has two Bergamot Area items on its upcoming Tuesday agenda, while planning commissioners are taking a stab at Hines’ request to enter into a development agreement (DA) with City Hall.

At the Aug. 28 Planning Commission meeting, the advisory panel reviewed the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway, an ambitious circulation plan potentially connecting the Bergamot Arts Center to destinations west.

Plans presented by City staff seemed well received overall, yet there were still a few concerns raised by commissioners and residents alike.

“It’s such a vital corridor here,” Gary Kavanaugh told commissioners, adding he lives in the area where the Greenway is proposed and regularly observes bikers traveling to and from Samohi.

The interaction between cyclists and motorists was a key point of concern on the dais and among members of the public who spoke at the final Planning Commission meeting of August.

One resident, Shawn Killinger, told commissioners two-way access to the neighborhood was an important issue.

Another resident, Ellen Hannon, expressed concern of the proposed traffic circles. She said traffic circles have different rights of way depending on city or state.

With so many tourists in Santa Monica, she pondered whether confusion would rule as cyclists and motorists negotiate a right of way in one of the proposed traffic circles.

On the dais, the Greenway’s impact on residential permit parking was a significant concern.

Commissioner Jim Ries focused on parking and cycle tracks. He asked City staff whether angled or perpendicular parking could be considered.

Similarly, Commissioner Richard McKinnon asked City staff about the potential loss of parking in order to accommodate the Greenway.

“I understand … parking is going to be a big issue and there will be a backlash from those residents,” Ries said.

Funding was also a concern meaning construction could be delayed. Metro funding, for example, might be five or six years away.

Another issue raised by commissioners and residents alike was the volume of traffic on Michigan Avenue, something the Greenway hopes to address.

As for the actual concept plans, the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway entered into the City’s lexicon in light of principles presented in the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) and the Bike Action Plan.

“A future Greenway would provide residents and visitors with a safe and comfortable place to walk, bike, and interact with neighbors, all while connecting the community to important destinations including schools, job centers, and future Expo stations,” City staff stated.

Consistent with the project’s name, the proposed Greenway, according to City staff, “primarily travels along Michigan Avenue, with a beach connection on the west end and connections to Bergamot Arts Center and the Expo bike and pedestrian path on the east end.”

“As an important component of the City’s No Net New Trips strategy, the project is … is a backbone bicycle facility of the network envisioned in the Bike Action Plan,” City staff stated. “The project also furthers LUCE goals of enhancing neighborhood quality of life, by introducing informal spaces for social interaction and through additional trees and landscaping. The project will make it easier to get around Santa Monica on foot and by bicycle, and is intended to enhance the livability of the neighborhood and improve environmental quality.”

City staff added the proposed Greenway, if realized, would serve several local communities, including young and senior residents as well as commuters who rely upon walking, biking, and/or transit to get to work.

A community workshop is set for Sept. 21, allowing residents to provide additional input on the Greenway.

in News
Related Posts

Miramar Project to go Before City Council Tuesday

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

Councilmember Gleam Davis asks City Attorney whether she should rescue self from vote  By Sam Catanzaro  Santa Monica lawmakers will...

SMa.r.t. Column: Needed, A Heart Transplant

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

We have written about adaptive reuse in previous columns and have postulated that with proper incentives, the existing one, two...

Edify TV: Boulders Blocking Westside Encampment

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

City officials recently removed boulders placed on sidewalks by some Westside residents to prevent the formation of a homeless encampment....

Should Council Member Davis Recuse Herself From Voting? Santa Monica Beat – September, 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Should Council Member Davis Recuse Herself From Voting? * Increases In...

SMC to Be Online for Winter and Spring 2021

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

College cites lack of available vaccine  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica College (SMC) has announced it will be delivering classes...

Edify TV: Al Fresco Program Ending?

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

During a COVID-19 pandemic many restaurants have found aid through the City of Los Angeles’ Al Fresco dining program, but...

Local Breweries Say They Have Been Unfairly Shuttered as County Passes Grant Program

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

$10 million grant program approved by Board of Supervisors  By Sam Catanzaro Will a $10 million grant program be enough...

Santa Monica Loses Vegan Restaurant

September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020

Space housing Santa Monica vegan restaurant Viva Vegan up for lease By Sam Catanzaro A vegan restaurant in Santa Monica...

Risks Posed by Wildfire Smoke

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

UCLA pulmonologist on how people can tell if the wildfires are making them sick By Toi Creel Even if you...

Will Los Angeles County See Another Spike in COVID-19 Cases?

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

County health officials keeping close eye on data this week By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health officials are monitoring...

Edify TV: Santa Monica Fire Department Fighting Blazes Across State

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

The Santa Monica Fire Department has been busy helping combat wildfires burning throughout the state. Learn more in this video...

Lawmakers and Residents Take Steps Towards Police Reform

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Santa Monica residents will soon have more control of policing after local lawmakers took significant steps to reform the Santa...

2020 Census Due September 30th: Santa Monica Beat – September, 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * 2020 Census Due September 30th * Bobcat Fire Reaches Historical Size...

UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica Offers Free “Living With Diabetes” Zoom Patient Conference

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

By Staff Writer Although the novel coronavirus has dominated the health space this year, other diseases — like diabetes —...

SMa.r.t. Column: Spending and Pension Policies Are Undermining Our City’s Future

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Our guest columnist this week is Marc L. Verville. He is a native of Santa Monica, now lives in Sunset...