The City of Santa Monica will soon break ground on a project intended to create more space for pedestrians, cyclists, and outdoor dining along Ocean Avenue.

“This is a moment to lean into our legacy of placemaking by creatively adapting the public-right-of way for uses that add to our local quality of life and support our local businesses,” said Interim City Manager Lane Dilg in a news release. “Through these improvements, we will enhance Ocean Avenue – a beautiful corridor with views of the Pacific – as a signature Santa Monica experience and area for our residents to enjoy time outdoors, not only during the pandemic but for many, many years to come.”

In mid-November, construction is scheduled to begin for a protected bikeway along the western side of Ocean, which will link with other bicycle and transportation infrastructure within Downtown Santa Monica, including the Colorado Esplanade, Downtown Santa Monica Station, and California Incline bike path.  The project, which is expected to be completed in two-to-three weeks, will result in 22 contiguous miles of contiguous bike lanes.

On the opposite side of Ocean Avenue, the City and the Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. business improvement district are slated to convert several segments of street parking for expanded sidewalk dining.  The expanded pedestrian space - which will be located between Colorado Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard - is scheduled to begin construction in late November or early December.

Construction information is available at the project's official website.

The protected bikeway along Ocean Avenue may be a sign of things to come.  On October 14, the Santa Monica City Council adopted a plan which calls for building 19 new miles of protected lanes over the next five years, building off of a demonstration project currently in place along Broadway between 16th and 20th Streets.