CITY HALL ‚Äî Talk surrounding the incoming Expo Light Rail is sounding more active. Tonight City Council will discuss plans for controlling traffic around rail line.
Once complete, likely in early 2016, Expo will make three stops in Santa Monica, connecting the city by the sea to Downtown Los Angeles.
“In order to ensure that future train operations can meet the needs of both the City of Santa Monica and Metro, both in terms of train and street traffic operations, specific design and construction activities are required,” city officials said in a report.
Expo wants, for instance, to permanently remove the left turn lane on northbound Fifth Street at Colorado Avenue.
Expo and City Hall also wants to make sure that trains run in five-minutes intervals in each direction. Trains will have to be coordinated with city-owned traffic signals.
Further, in order to achieve those five-minute intervals, traffic signals might need to be programmed to hold up traffic so that the train can make it through an intersection without stopping.
“(Expo) would design, construct and install the necessary infrastructure,” city officials said.
City Hall will tie traffic signals on Colorado at Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh streets and Lincoln Boulevard to the train‚Äôs system.
Residents want parking restrictions
Residents of Bay Street have petitioned City Hall to restrict parking for out-of-towners in their neighborhood. As a result, city officials are suggesting that portions of Bay, Grant, Pacific, and Pearl streets between Lincoln Boulevard and 10th Street become preferential parking zones. Two hour parking will be allowed between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and will be prohibited overnight for anyone without a permit.
Residents say that workers from businesses on Pico and Lincoln boulevards are parking on their streets. Likewise, they said, students from Santa Monica High School and Santa Monica College are hogging residential street parking.
“The current regulations on Bay, Grant and Pacific streets are unusual in that they are only on one side of each street,” city officials said. “The regulations on the north side of the street were approved in 2002 when regulations were established on both sides of Lincoln Boulevard and both sides of Pico Boulevard. The north side-only regulations appear to be a compromise as there was a reluctance to establish stringent regulations on other residential streets in the vicinity in the Coastal Zone, specifically on the west side of Lincoln Boulevard. The one-side of the street regulations are now in place on all three blocks.”
Council will consider an updated hazard mitigation plan required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The last one was approved in 2004. The new one will take into account organizational changes at City Hall and will include new mitigation actions intended to limit the loss of life in an emergency.