The city of Santa Monica will be testing new traffic strategies to improve pedestrian and vehicle flows through downtown during the holiday season beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 24.

The intersection of Second Street and Santa Monica Boulevard will be the first location for the testing, which will include the temporary addition of one westbound travel lane on Santa Monica Boulevard between Fourth Street and Ocean Avenue, as well as the installation of a new pedestrian-only crossing phase at the intersection of Second and Santa Monica.

The additional westbound travel lane on Santa Monica Boulevard will create two lanes instead of one travel lane from Fourth Street to Ocean, allowing for more vehicles to be accommodated, city officials said.

The existing parking along the north side of Santa Monica, including taxi parking, will be temporarily removed.

Downtown visitors, residents and employees are encouraged to use other available parking areas throughout downtown during this time.

The new pedestrian-only crossing phase at the intersection of Second Street and Santa Monica Boulevard will allow for pedestrian crossings at all corners of the intersection, including diagonally across, during the designated “walk” phase, thereby eliminating potential conflicts with pedestrians crossing the street and vehicles making left or right turns, city officials noted.

This approach will be evaluated to determine if the new pedestrian-only phase reduces vehicle delays overall and improves the flow of pedestrians and vehicles.

The city’s staff will gather data during the test phase in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies. Following the holiday season, city staff will evaluate the test results and consider permanent implementation of the strategies or reverting to the pre-test street and intersection configurations.

Information, Principal Transportation Engineer Sam Morrissey at (310) 458-8955, or sam.morrissey@smgov.net.

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