When trains zoom into the future station at Olympic Boulevard and 26th Street, Santa Monica city planners envision a network of new bike paths and walkable streets, too.
In a memo to commissioners, city planning staffers say the map is evolving with community input. In addition to feedback they've collected at an April 23rd community meeting, their strategy includes recommendations from Santa Monica's recently adopted and Metro's Expo Regional Bike Path.
The Bergamot area will undergo big changes with the arrival of the light rail. The trains are expected to serve more than 3,000 riders daily and be operational at the Bergamot Art Center in 2016.
In as soon as five years, the future Bergamot area could include a . There's also a proposal for a 766,094-square-foot "" of residences, office space, shops and restaurants at the former PaperMate site directly across from the station (those plans, however, are reportedly being held up by about six months). Just east of the "village," an even bigger project is planned consisting of more homes and spaces for creative offices and cultural art outlets.
Future traffic on the eastern edge of the city is of big concern to nearby residents in Santa Monica and the neighboring communities that inherit the congestion.
Priority will also be given to making small improvements to what staffers are calling "Traditional Complete Streets," thoroughfares that will be given distinct lanes for bikes and cars, as well as sidewalks, on-street parking and curbs and gutters. They identify these streets as Olympic Boulevard, Stewart Avenue, Standford Street, Pennsylvania and 26th Street.
Two other types of streets—"Flexible" and "Shared"—would get lower priority for funding. "Flexible" streets (Nebraska Avenue and a Expo retail street through the former PaperMate site) would get expanded sidewalks for outdoor dining, small parks and plazas and diagonal parking. "Shared" streets (extensions of Nebraska and Pennsylvania Extension, Berkeley Avenue and new streets) would be those that encourage walking with slower speed limits for cars and textured pavers on the roadway and no curbs.
In addition to on-street, , staffers propose two garages that would be accessed from Olympic Boulevard, Centinela or 26th Street.
As for bikes, here's what the city is proposing:
- Buffered bike lanes: on Stewart Street for a north-south bicycle link through Santa Monica in the form of a cycletrack or standard bike lanes depending on traffic speeds, volumes, and community priorities. Buffered bike lanes are also recommended for 26th Street between Colorado and Olympic, and Michigan Avenue to the east of Cloverfield Avenue.
- Shared lane markings: Nebraska Avenue between Stewart Street and Centinela Avenue is envisioned as a slower "Flexible Street" with shared lane markings rather than the buffered bike lanes that are indicated in the city’s bike plan. Exposition Boulevard will also include shared lane markings.
- Shared bike and pedestrian routes: to connect the Michigan Avenue bike lanes to the Expo station and regional bike path through the Bergamot Art Center. The routes will ultimate be design during the Bergamot Station redo.
- High-quality bicycle connections to Expo Station: an enhanced Michigan bicycle connection to the station from the southwest. The new "Flexible Street" through the former PaperMate site could also provide a connection through the Transit Village to northern parts of Santa Monica.
Additionally, Santa Monica's bike plan proposes bike parking facilities such as the , offering repair, lockers, restrooms, secure parking and some retail are proposed at every Expo stop.
The Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers in City Hall at 1685 Main St.