SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Dotted with hotels and restaurants overlooking the Pacific, Ocean Avenue is one of Santa Monica’s premiere thoroughfares used by thousands of residents and visitors every day. Starting in November, they’ll have more ways to enjoy it when the city adds a protected bike lane to the west side of the street and expand its outdoor dining “boardwalk” on the avenue’s east side.
“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,” Interim City Manager Lane Dilg said in a statement.
The protected bike lane connecting the Downtown Santa Monica Expo station to the California Incline bicycle path, which in turn connects to 22 miles of beach bike path, is first on the docket. Construction is slated to begin in mid-November and be open to bicycles, scooters, and other shared mobility users in early December.
In addition to the bikeway, San Monica plans to repurpose some of the street parking spaces on the east side of Ocean Avenue to expand sidewalk dining. The extra space is intended for businesses to create bigger outdoor dining spaces on the sidewalk without impeding pedestrians. The “boardwalk,” as the city calls it, will be situated along some parts of Ocean Ave. from Santa Monica Blvd. to Colorado.
The city will embark upon its new boardwalk plan next month and is targeting a late November or early December opening for restaurants participating in its expanded dining program.