January 23, 2022 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Main Street Traffic Closures Return This Weekend

Sharing an Open Main Street back for second time this summer August 21 – 22

By Sam Catanzaro 

The summer’s second iteration of pedestrian-only use for a segment of Santa Monica’s Main Street will take place this weekend, a program that during the first weekend most attendees said was positive but less than half of merchants said it led to better business. 

The pilot program, initiated by the Main Street Business Improvement Association (MSBIA) and Ocean Park Association (OPA), was approved by Santa Monica City Council in June and debuted July 24-25. Known as “Sharing an Open Main Street”, the program applies to the two blocks between Hill and Kinney streets. 

Like the first weekend, vehicle traffic will be detoured from Main Street to Neilson Way. In addition, bus stops within the plaza footprint will be temporarily closed. According to the City, temporary bus stops will be placed outside of the pedestrian zone to serve riders. Bicyclists and scooter users will need to dismount within the plaza footprint as well. 

According to the City of Santa Monica, based on an on-site survey conducted by OPA and also survey responses received after the weekend, a majority of residents indicated the first weekend in July was a positive program. 

“An on-site survey taken during the first Sharing an Open Main Street in July found that 95% of 241 respondents were positive about the pilot. About two-thirds noted the ‘positive impact’ on the community and Main Street businesses. The respondents said they ‘enjoyed the community/family nature of the event,’ and ‘felt safe,’” wrote Debbie Lee, Santa Monica’s Chief Communications Officer, in an email statement. “Including additional survey responses after the weekend (total of 491), 76% of respondents were positive overall versus 19% negative, with about half requesting more activities and entertainment for the upcoming weekends.” 

In addition, 80 percent of attendees said they walked or cycled to the event, per the survey. 

According to Lee, the City has received seven emails from residents that shared their view that the closure didn’t add value to the community and caused more traffic. 

“Staff will continue to closely monitor the three remaining pilot events in collaboration with MSBIA and OPA as well as take steps to mitigate any issues that may arise,” Lee said. 

The OPA survey also showed 69 percent of respondents spent more time on Main Street due to the event and 76 percent wanted to attend future events. According to the City, based on the results of this survey this weekend there will be more activities and entertainment throughout the open street in response to community feedback. 

Saturday will kick off with a pilates class at 9 a.m., a dance fitness class at 10 a.m and then live music from 10 a.m. through 8 p.m.  On Sunday a fitness class is scheduled for 10 a.m., followed by live music from 11 a.m. through 5 p.m. interrupted only by a fitness class at 2 p.m. and salsa dancing at 3 p.m. In addition, on both days there will be activities geared towards kids from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., including story time and crafts. 

In a separate study conducted by the MSBIA, 47 percent of businesses said their business did better during the event, 29 percent said about the same, 14 percent said worse and 10 percent responded “other”. Among businesses, 55 percent said they loved the sense of community and 51 percent loved the absence of cars. In addition, 45 percent said they saw increased foot traffic as the biggest benefit of the program while only 32 percent said it brought a new sense of life to the corridor. 

From an operational perspective, the City said it monitored traffic and pedestrians during the first weekend and has made adjustments to the traffic control plan to reflect a full closure at Main and Ashland for this upcoming weekend. 

“This will improve pedestrian flow and continuity. The City will also continue to disable all e-scooter and e-bike use within the pedestrian zone to reduce potential conflicts among the various modes,” Lee said.  “The City will continue to evaluate the pilot closure by collecting and assessing traffic volumes and on-street parking activities. Baseline data was collected prior to pilot closure and again during the first weekend. A memo summarizing the findings will be provided to City Council this fall.” 

Related Posts

Cedars-Sinai Urges Blood Donations

January 11, 2022

January 11, 2022

As 2022 begins, Cedars-Sinai is facing a critical blood shortage and is encouraging prospective donors to give blood as soon...

Interview: Westside Food Bank Adapting to Challenges of the Pandemic

January 4, 2022

January 4, 2022

An interview with Bruce Rankin, Executive Director of The Westside Food Bank By Dolores Quintana We spoke to Bruce Rankin,...

Yo! Venice’s Best Westside Dishes of 2021

December 28, 2021

December 28, 2021

By Sam Catanzaro Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or anytime in-between, the Westside has no shortage of world-class food to...

The Best CBD Gift For Every Occasion

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

Thanks to the growing popularity of Hemp CBD, there’s a lot of new and unique CBD products that will make...

Venice Family Clinic Completes Merger with South Bay Family Health Care

November 9, 2021

November 9, 2021

Venice Family Clinic and South Bay Family Health Care, which have together provided more than a century of health care...

New French Restaurant Opens by Beach in Playa del Rey

October 20, 2021

October 20, 2021

Westside Dining Scene October 21, 2021 By Dolores Quintana There’s a new French restaurant open in Playa Del Rey according...

Breaking Barriers Through Sport

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

Ex-Navy Rescue swimmer and triathlete, Jordan Hunter is changing the statistics of African Americans not knowing how to swim and...

Community Volunteer Patrol Program Brings Civilians New Insight Into Law Enforcement

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

The West LA Police Department has a community patrol program bridging the gap between civilians and law enforcement. Video brought...

Pali High Debuts Fall Musical Avenue Q Live on Stage

October 12, 2021

October 12, 2021

Pali high students bring the musical Avenue Q to the stage for a limited time. Video brought to you by...

UCLA awarded $1 Million Dollars Towards Enabling Safer Bike Commutes

October 11, 2021

October 11, 2021

The Civic Bicycle Commuting team along with partners is one of six competitors for the Civic Innovation Challenge backed by...

Carmelo Anthony Will Be Crucial The Lakers’ Title Chase, From The Bench

October 8, 2021

October 8, 2021

The Los Angeles Lakers remain the second favorites for the NBA championship in 2022 on the back of their slow...

Barn Owl Nesting Box Program Comes to The Westside.

October 5, 2021

October 5, 2021

The barn owl nesting box program from Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife is helping these birds create a network of...

Missing Woman Last Seen in Venice Beach

September 29, 2021

September 29, 2021

Jessie Jean-Baptiste last seen Saturday By Sam Catanzaro Police are seeking a missing 25-year-old woman last seen in Venice Beach...

Canstruction Fights Hunger Through Art

September 27, 2021

September 27, 2021

International hunger relief fundraiser Canstruction makes an appearance at the Westfield Century City mall and we have the highlights. Video...