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Re: Item 13 - D: Open Streets for Economic Recovery

June 23, 2020

Re: Item 13 - D: Open Streets for Economic Recovery

Dear Mayor McKeown, Mayor Pro Tempore O’Day, and City Council,

Santa Monica Forward strongly supports the request of Mayor Pro Tempore O’Day and Councilmembers Davis and Himmelrich to review opportunities and consider staff direction to immediately open streets throughout Santa Monica for greater pedestrian, restaurant and retail use in locations throughout the city.

As mentioned in the item description, cities across the state, nation and world are already successfully implementing programs like these to support a safe economic recovery. These plans should be grounded in equity, accessibility, and safety for all in our community. The valuable lessons learned from the Main Street pilot can be applied equitably across all of Santa Monica’s commercial districts—and, we hope, extended into residential neighborhoods to facilitate safe access to physically distant outdoor activity.

As you know, Santa Monica Forward has joined many other residents and community groups in advocating for the implementation of a neighborhood slow streets pilot program—as many cities in the country are currently adopting—and welcomes the news that such a program is close to realization. It is vital that residents safely access their streets and neighborhoods for essential exercise, recreation, and healthy fresh air for pedestrians and bicyclists, while reducing car speed and traffic. We urge you to ensure that slow streets are distributed equitably throughout the city, especially in residential neighborhoods that primarily feature multifamily housing, with many raising families in these homes without private yards.

We know that many of you have been advocating behind the scenes for both slow streets (residential) and open streets (commercial). We know the hour will be late when you take up this item but we urge you to take this opportunity to set clear policy and give needed direction to move the City quickly toward broader implementation. As always, Santa Monica Forward stands ready to assist you and our City in any way possible.


Abby Arnold Carl Hansen

Co-chair, Santa Monica Forward Co-chair, Santa Monica Forward

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