Lincoln Boulevard will get its long-awaited streetscape makeover by early 2021.
Construction on the Lincoln Neighborhood Corridor Plan (the LiNC) will start by the end of 2019 and last until early 2021, costing $5 to $6 million. The City of Santa Monica has been working on the LiNC since 2015 and has already installed a bus lane and planted 50 new trees along Lincoln. By 2021, Lincoln will have new medians, curb ramps and bike connectors, as well as new workers to maintain the corridor if local businesses approve a new tax district.
South of the 10, Lincoln features fast food joints and hole-in-the-wall restaurants, car rental companies and gas stations, grocery store Gelson’s and Olympic High School. The plan is meant to lure new visitors and businesses to the corridor with attractive landscaping, banners above Olympic and Ozone and a business improvement district (BID) that will keep the street clean and deploy ambassadors similar to those in downtown Santa Monica.
Planners said the BID will help maintain the improvements LiNC will put in and will put Lincoln businesses on the same playing field as other Santa Monica districts with BIDs.
Property owners have reacted favorably to paying assessments on their properties to fund a $350,000 annual budget that would pay for cleaners, ambassadors and a part-time coordinator to plan special projects to activate the corridor, planners said.
Work on the BID will begin at the end of February by circulating a petition, mailing ballots to property owners and holding a public hearing. The BID could be up and running as early as July 2020.
New pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure will make the busy corridor safer. There will be three new crosswalks on Grant Street, Pine Street and Wilson Place. Small groups of restaurants cluster around Grant and Wilson and Pine intersects Lincoln in front of Olympic High School.
The City will also enhance existing crosswalks at Olympic Boulevard, Pearl Street, Hill Street and Ashland Avenue. When the plan is completed, pedestrians will be able to traverse Lincoln at almost every cross street.
The City may also add more than 100 new LED pedestrian lights at 75-foot intervals along the street after 2021 if it has enough money to do so.
Construction will be separated into five zones of three to four blocks between the 10 freeway and Ozone Avenue and each zone will take three to four months to complete. Two lanes in each direction on Lincoln will remain open, but some side streets may be closed for two to three weeks and bus stops may be temporarily relocated.
Nearby residents who attended a LiNC community meeting Monday night said they were satisfied with the City’s efforts to minimize disruption during construction but were concerned that the project will draw new visitors to Lincoln who will increase demand for parking.