The City of Santa Monica recently launched Take the Friendly Road, an initiative focused on connecting the community to educational resources and infrastructure projects that improve street safety and help reach the goal of eliminating all fatal and severe injury crashes from our streets by 2026.
To actively promote Take the Friendly Road, the City is releasing a series of eye-catching messages that provide encouraging, practical ways to travel safely, pay attention to others, and highlight safety projects. You’ll find these images throughout the City on lawn signs, light pole banners, Big Blue Buses, crosswalks, and online. These messages reflect the City’s focus on improving traffic safety for everyone.
“Santa Monica is a unique city, where everyone has a strong sense of city pride and ownership,” said Francie Stefan, Acting Chief Mobility Officer for the City of Santa Monica. “This extends out into our streets with how we act toward one another: waving hello, letting people cross safely, and slowing down around schools. This initiative harnesses the friendly spirit that’s already alive in our city.”
The City recently painted 19 miles of green bike lanes, upgraded 20 signalized intersections with bike detectors, and implemented 50 Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs), which give pedestrians a head start at signalized intersections and are proven to enhance safety. A major project along 17th Street and Michigan Avenue will improve walking and biking connections to Expo Light Rail and a safety study of Wilshire Boulevard will identify ways to make the corridor comfortable for all users. The first community meeting for the Wilshire Boulevard Safety Study will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 10 a.m. at the Reed Park Auditorium, 1133 7th Street.
In Santa Monica, more than half of residents walk and bike daily, and a third of students walk to school. However, close to 40% of residents have reported that they feel uncomfortable navigating Santa Monica’s streets, especially young families and seniors. The City has launched Take the Friendly Road in response to this data and its commitment to Vision Zero, a global movement to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. The initiative also builds on e-scooter public education efforts launched last summer.
“We are committed to taking the Friendly Road,” said City Manager Rick Cole. “That means making our streets accommodate all modes, through thoughtful and inclusive design, enforcing the rules of the road and informing everyone about the value of taking an extra moment to watch out for each other.”
Over the last few years, Santa Monica has increased its commitment to safety in response to evolving mobility options that now exist, including Expo, Breeze Bikeshare, ride-hailing apps, and e-bikes and e-scooters. In February 2016, the Santa Monica City Council committed to the goal of eliminating all fatal and severe crashes in Santa Monica by 2026 with the adoption of the Pedestrian Action Plan.
Submitted by Constance Farrell, Public Information Officer