Bike Lanes, Facilities, & Parking
Santa Monica has an extensive bikeway network and ambitious plans to improve it. The Bicycle Map identifies the best routes throughout the City—with bike lanes available to cyclists to within a few blocks of almost any City destination. The recently adopted Bike Action Plan calls for additional improvements on bicycle priority streets. Approximately 15 miles of new bike lanes and hundreds of additional bike parking spaces are currently funded. Future recommendations for bike improvements are available for streets throughout the City.
Bright green painted bike lanes are sweeping the nation and Santa Monica is no exception. Green paint creates a highly visible contrast on the street and increases motorists’ awareness of cyclists. The City of Santa Monica has installed green paint on the new bike lanes as part of the Ocean Park Boulevard Complete Streets Initiative.
Buffered bike lanes operate as standard bike lanes but are enhanced with buffers of various widths. The benefit of adding a buffer zone to a bike lane is to provide additional separation from the “door zone” of parked vehicles and, in some cases, travel lanes or edge conditions. Buffered bike lanes are proposed along numerous street segments, including many that experience high parking turnover and/ or possess excess general purpose travel lane width. The minimum dimensions for this type of design should be a 4-foot bike lane, 2-foot buffer, and 7-foot parking lane (as shown above). Where feasible, the buffer and bike lane width should be increased.
Bike boxes are a new tool to improve safety on streets used by both motorists and cyclists. Bike Boxes create a space for cyclists to safely ride to the front of traffic and stop at intersections.
Streetscapes that do not allow sufficient space for a striped bike lane are often enhanced with painted “Sharrows.” The Sharrow symbol is a bike painted with two arrows, indicating where cyclists should ride. Sharrows help motorist to remember to watch for bicycles on the road, and indicated that cyclists have the right to use the entire lane if needed.
Bike Detection at Intersections
Were you wondering why small bike stencils are painted in lanes at numerous intersection? It is a video-based detection system for bike riders. In order to be detected by the signal system, position yourself at the “bike detection markings” at limit lines where a bike lane meets a signalized intersection throughout the City. Be sure to stop behind the limit line to get a green light. Bike detection is being added at many intersections in the City as part of the Bike Action Plan to improve the City’s bicycle network.
Marvin Braude Beach Trail
The Marvin Braude Beach Trail runs along the entire length of the Santa Monica State Beach and connects to the City of Los Angeles at the northern and southern City limits, is an off-street trail exclusively for non-motorized users. Currently the City implementing improvements in markings and signage to help everyone find the best place on the path to travel depending on the mode of travel chosen.
Bike parking is available throughout Santa Monica, including in many of our parking structures, on street racks and near numerous public and private facilities. Most commercial streets have bike racks, and more are being installed, often at locations requested by merchants and cyclists.
Know of spot that could use additional bike parking? To request a bike rack at your favorite business, park, or destination, submit a request using the Go System.
In areas where there is high demand, and a community partner is available to maintain the space, the City may install a bicycle “corral” with parking for ten or more bicycles in one place.
Bike Corrals are currently located at:
- On Main street at the Edgemar Center and just south of Ashland
- On Olympic Boulevard at Ocean Park Community Center
- At the Main Library in the parking garden
The City created a free bike valet program for events needing large scale bike parking. Offering a bike valet is a great way to reduce parking demand, traffic congestion, and increase bike security and parking convenience for cyclists. The free bike valet is offered weekly at the Main Street Sunday Farmers’ Market, as well as at most special events such as the Pier Summer Twilight Concerts, Front Porch Cinema free movies at the Santa Monica Pier, and the Santa Monica Festival. The Santa Monica bike valet program parks over 25,000 bikes per year.
For more information about how to provide bike valet at events, restaurants, etc. please contact the Transportation Engineering & Management Division.
Secure and Long-Term Bike Parking
Newer buildings are required to provide secure long-term parking for bicyclists, and public secure parking is also available at the Santa Monica Bike Center on Colorado and 2nd Street. The Bike Center offers free two hour valet for downtown visitors as well as a secure area with 24/7 access for commuter members.
Santa Monica College Bike Park
SMC students and visitors can take advantage of 400 bike parking spaces along with a repair stand, tools, hydration facility and skateboard rack located at the southern entrance to the College on Pearl Street, east of 17th Street.