A New Vision For Santa Monica Streets
With the additions of more bike lanes and the expo train from Downtown Los Angeles to Downtown Santa Monica, the city of Santa Monica has more methods of public transportation that are easily accessible to civilians. The city of Santa Monica’s Open Streets Festival, known as COAST, gave attendees the opportunity to gather information on other modes of transportation as well as the benefits of using cars less frequently.489
A multitude of aromas filled the air from different street-food vendors as tunes from across the globe played throughout the day. Along with the food and music, workshops on sustainable living were scattered across almost the 2 miles of Main Street which were blocked off for the event. There were a plethora of booths that ranged from gardening techniques to bike repair while exemplifying to the Santa Monica community different ways of life that are much easier to maintain than its current system.
When asked about what COAST means to the city of Santa Monica, former Mayor Kevin McKeown said, “We do Coast for two primary reasons; in my point of view, the first is to demonstrate what life is like when you free yourself from the automobile... And the other part of this is it’s a community festival. It's a chance for us on the city council to speak directly with constituents as they walk by... While they’re on bikes or on foot in a way you could never connect with people through cars.”
When asked about the future of public transportation in Santa Monica, Mayor McKeown said, “Along with Bikeshare we’ve put in something like 140 to 150 miles of bike lanes... It doesn’t mean everybody is going to be riding a bike all the time. There are some people who will never ride a bike. It means that people have a choice. I think that’s what the future of mobility in Santa Monica is going to have to be about.” McKeown then followed up by talking about a plan for pedestrian safety called “Vision Zero”, stating, “Vision-Zero is a plan to reduce the accidents, fatalities and injuries that happen with transportation. Particularly cars and pedestrians crossing the streets. We’re really serious about this. We’re going to make changes in this city, in terms of engineering and how the streets are laid out. in terms of education, in how we teach people how to safely use the streets and the old fashioned one, enforcement.”