Q: Is it legal to walk on the bike path?

A: No, it is not legal to walk along the bike path, unless there are no adjacent walkways for pedestrians. In the city of Santa Monica the only place it is legal to walk on the bike path is about 1/4 mile north of the pier, where Ocean Front Walk ends. Unfortunately, many of the pedestrians who are on the bike path are not aware that it is illegal and are simply using the path to enjoy the beach, just like the bicyclists. However, the confusion can pose a safety hazard, particularly during the summer months when there is a large influx of visitors. To support improvements to the bike path and educate the public regarding bike path safety, a committee was recently formed involving the city of Santa Monica, city of Los Angeles, and Los Angeles County. In the meantime, the SMPD asks that people be mindful of each other, slow down on the path, and be patient with those who are unaware of bike path laws. To view the Santa Monica Bike Map, check out: http://gismain/gismaps/pdf/bikemap.pdf Remember, always wear a helmet!

Q: Can I walk my dog on the beach?

A: Unfortunately, no. Although most people are responsible and clean up after their dogs, many do not. Therefore, to maintain the cleanliness of our beaches, dogs are not allowed on any portion of the beach in the city of Santa Monica. The only exception to this restriction is for service dogs. The Santa Monica beach is also home to protected wildlife that may be affected by our canine friends. While in public, dogs must be on a leash at all times. Also, all dog owners and/or walkers must have readily available materials to clean-up after their dogs. If you have any other animal related questions, feel free to contact the Santa Monica Animal Shelter at (310) 458-8594.

Crime alert

The Beat 2 patrol area, which encompasses the area between Interstate 10 and the south city limits and Lincoln Boulevard to the beach, has seen an increase in bicycle thefts in the past two weeks. SMPD reminds everyone to lock their bicycle to a fixed, secure location (both in public places and private parking garages) using a quality bike lock (cable locks are not suggested). Make sure you also register your bike with the City, so that if it is stolen we can identify it if located. For questions or information please contact Neighborhood Resource Officer Scott Pace at (424) 200-0682 or scott.pace@smgov.net.

The SMPD also provides free security surveys to help you better secure your residence. A crime prevention coordinator from the Community Relations Unit will come to your home or apartment to conduct a residential security survey at no cost. Areas covered include lighting, landscape, locks, alarms, and much more. The crime prevention coordinator can then offer valuable suggestions on how to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of burglary or robbery. Schedule your survey today by calling (310) 458-8784.

If you have police related questions or concerns, we’d like to hear them. Send your questions or comments to NRO@smgov.net and you may see your question in our weekly column accompanied by valuable feedback for the rest of the community. While not all questions will appear in the column, all questions submitted will be answered by a department representative. Also, please note that we will supply as much information as possible without jeopardizing any legal proceedings or investigations. Remember, if you have a question, chances are, another reader may be wondering the same thing. So don’t hesitate to ask!

This column was prepared by NRO Richard Carranza (Beat 1: coastal, beach and Santa Monica Pier areas). He can be reached at (424) 200-0681 or by e-mail at richard.carranza@smgov.net.

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