Lincoln Boulevard is among the Westside’s most frequently used and dangerous speedways, but local transportation officials are partnering on a project that hopes to make a stretch of Lincoln Boulevard more efficient for pedestrians and drivers alike.
Three years ago, the city of Santa Monica completed a peak-hour bus-only lane that stretched along the Lincoln corridor — and since the project’s completion, Santa Monica has requested that the City of Los Angeles study a continuation of the southbound peak-hour bus-only lane on weekdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Los Angeles Department of Transportation officials recently said. The proposed upgrades have been dubbed the “Lincoln Fast Forward” project and the project area consists of a 1.1-mile segment of Lincoln Boulevard.
“There are three goals we want to achieve through the Lincoln Fast Forward project,” project officials said in an online video, which detailed how a number of local agencies have been hard at work engaging with the community to assess their feelings on the project. “First, we want to improve safety on Lincoln Boulevard for everyone, whether they drive, walk, bike role or take the bus. Second, we want to improve transit reliability on Lincoln so the bus riders can get to their destinations more easily. This will help us achieve our third goal, which is to make Lincoln work more efficiently for everyone.”
Officials added during a presentation last week that an average of 890 people travel southbound on Lincoln by bus between 4 and 7 p.m. In the City of Santa Monica, the bus travels in a dedicated bus lane on Lincoln at an average 16.5 mph. In Venice, where there is no bus lane, this slows to 6.8 mph. But this is only one reason why officials are working hard to install a dedicated bus lane and a series of bold markings that would define pedestrian-priority spaces. After all, Lincoln Boulevard has the 11th highest rate of death and severe injury traffic crashes in Los Angeles, according to project leaders.
About a dozen residents were in attendance during last week’s community Zoom meeting to hear about the potential changes, and the local business community will have a chance to provide their input from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14. Residents who can’t attend can submit a survey from now until Nov. 30 by visiting ladot.lacity.org/lincoln or texting “Lincoln” to 47177.
“We are in the middle of the community outreach process… but we very much intend to bring forward improvements to the corridor to make it safer and address the reasons why this corridor is on the city’s high-injury network,” officials said. “So, we are exploring options; we are bouncing ideas to the community; and we’ve created robust outreach opportunities like the mapping tool. And through engagement meetings,” the project’s scope is being fine-tuned.
“We’ll take the feedback we’ve received and update the design to reflect those community contributions,” officials said. “We plan to come back to the community in February 2021 to give an update on the project design and to get more input before we proceed with a more detailed design and Caltrans permit applications in the Spring.”