The corridor along 17th Street is experiencing an
increase in the number of people walking and biking along the corridor. The
City is working towards adding safety improvements along 17th Street from Pico
Boulevard to Wilshire Boulevard and Michigan Avenue from 14th Street
to 19th Street to help address the safety concerns.
The 17th Street project is the product of community comments during the LUCE,
Bike Action Plan, MANGo design and Pedestrian Action plan, and seeks to create
a safer, more beautiful connection for residents to enjoy as they connect to
parks, transit and areas within the neighborhood. The project is a composition
of three major elements to create a complete and safe street that works for
people of different ages and abilities, and at different times of the day.
Improvements: pedestrian scale lighting on the west side of 17th Street, curb extensions,
and ADA curb ramp improvements for the length of 1.1 miles between Wilshire
Boulevard and Pico Boulevard.
Bikeway: upgrade existing bike lanes to a separated protected bikeway that will
extend a total of 1.1 miles from Wilshire Boulevard to Pico Boulevard.
Protected intersections are introduced at Arizona Avenue and Broadway where two
busy bikeways intersect.
Avenue Neighborhood Greenway: extend the east-west greenway from 14th Street to
19th Street with curb extension, reduced-scale traffic circles, and markings
that anticipate the connection over the 20th Street bridge.
Pedestrian Lighting: The 17th Street project recognized that
the existing corridor is dark, thereby limiting access for people who want to
walk and bike after dinnertime, especially in the fall and winter months. The
project will add pedestrian scale lighting on the west side of the 17th Street
all the way from Wilshire Boulevard to Pico Boulevard. The existing lighting
along 17th Street is minimum roadway lighting (not sidewalk-oriented), which
lights intersections, and provides only sparse lighting for pedestrians.
Throughout the city, especially in the Pico neighborhood, the lack of lighting
dedicated to the pedestrian sidewalks becomes a barrier for people to walk and
to use their streets fully. The pedestrian scale lighting will be spaced
approximately fifty feet apart, the lighting element will be at a lower height,
and oriented towards the sidewalk.
Curb Extensions & ADA Ramps: The project will add pedestrian
safety enhancements such as curb extensions and directional ADA-accessible curb
ramps along the corridor. The curb extensions serve to make people walking more
visible to drivers as they approach an intersection, and provide pedestrians
additional space at the corners to be better able to make eye contact with
drivers before crossing. In Santa Monica, the majority of crashes take place at
intersections. Creating better visibility between people driving and walking
will help to enhance safety and create a more comfortable experience. For
people driving, curb extensions reduce the likelihood of a collision with
another vehicle. For people walking, curb extensions shorten the crossing
distance, which reduces the amount of time a person is exposed to vehicle
traffic. Pedestrian demand on this corridor surges at times due to Santa Monica
College students walking to and from the Expo Light Rail Station. During the
surges, curb extensions increase the space for pedestrians waiting to cross,
reducing the potential for people to spill into the roadway.
Protected Bikeway: The bike lanes that currently exist on
17th Street link people to parks, schools and neighborhoods. In order to
enhance the safety of people traveling on 17th Street the project will add
protected bikeways. The bikeway will place the bicyclist at the curbside, with
parked cars and a separated raised median to the left that will add a physical
protection from the vehicle travel lane. The protected bike lane will increase
the separation between moving vehicles and bicyclists by ten feet. By swapping
the parked cars and the bike lane, drivers will experience a narrower roadway,
although the number of lanes has not changed. This will also have the added
benefit of creating a street design that feels more local, and less like a
larger cut-through street. The roadway will continue to be able to serve all
local access functions, and to carry the same number of vehicles but the
overall vehicle speeds would be anticipated to be mitigated due to driver response
to the roadway details.
Protected Intersection: Intersections are where most
collisions occur in Santa Monica due to the number of movements in these areas.
In order to increase safety, the project will introduce a new treatment for
Santa Monica called a protected intersection, also known as a Dutch style
intersection. Two protected intersections are proposed, one at Arizona Avenue
and at Broadway, both locations where two perpendicular bikeways intersect and
where this style of treatment is recommended. Arizona Avenue and Broadway
bikeways are among the most popular bicycle lanes in Santa Monica. The
protected intersection will extend the level of protection for people through
the intersection creating a barrier between turning vehicles and bicycles. The
protected intersection has the added benefit of extending the curb and adding
protection to pedestrians and increasing the visibility between vehicles,
pedestrians, and bicycles.
Michigan Avenue: On Michigan Avenue, the project will extend
the MANGo design from 14th Street to 19th Street. The street design will
provide drivers a visual cue to slow down by narrowing the field of vision and
making a wide street appear to be narrower by adding curb extensions and
traffic circles. The roadway design will focus on treatments to make the street
more conducive for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The project will add curb
extensions at 14th and 15th Street. The curb extension, at 14th Street, will
provide a visual cue to drivers to slow down by reducing the width of the
intersection from 40 feet to 24 feet. This will also help reduce the crossing
distance and providing better visibility between people walking and drivers.
The curb extension on 15th Street will provide pedestrians additional crossing
opportunities by adding two new directional curb ramps and narrowing the width
of the street making the street easier to navigate for people walking or
biking. On 16th and 18th Street the project will include reduced-scale traffic
circles that help provide a visual continuity to the corridor and serve as a
traffic calming device for vehicles.