','subtitle>',$line); echo $line; $line = "\n"; } else if (strstr($line, '','updated>',$line); } else if (strstr($line, '','published>',$line); } else if (strstr($line, ' Impractical Proposals <br> Santa Monica: Crossing Main


Crossing Main

How many more decades must pass before the mid-block crosswalk, long promised for Main Street between Hill Street and Ashland Avenue, will be installed at last? Although we have been trained by experience to have low expectations about follow-through by city staff, in this case there are grandfathers who were in diapers when the proposal was first broached.

It's not as though the idea is unprecedented. Mid-block crosswalks already exist on Main -- between Ocean Park Blvd. and Hollister and between Ashland and Pier -- causing both those sections of the drag to be considerably more pedestrian friendly than the rest. The crossing to the north, connecting the Galley Restaurant and Edgemar, has a pedestrian-controlled signal (known locally as "the god light" because it's quick response time makes walkers feel like gods when they push the button to arrest traffic). In front of Joe's Diner (at Kinney), crossers halt the cars by stepping into the marked lane. For the the long-anticipated crosswalk in the Ashland-Hill block, linking the area in front of the World Cafe's parking lot booth (next to LF Stores) with FITO across the street, either method of interrupting traffic would be acceptable, as would a stop sign.

As long as they already have their cans and brushes out (although to suggest this may be to invite another generation of studies by consultants and commissions), city staff could also put a path across Main between the northeast corner of the Victorian and Amelia's (on the block between Hill and Ocean Park), ending the petty harrassment of citizens by expensive jaywalking citations during Sunday farmers' market. As a side effect, both crossings would slow traffic, further benefiting walkers. Although these suggestions have the disadvantage of not costing millions of dollars to implement, like transit malls and traffic calming impedimentia, they would have an immediate and positive impact on the experience of shoppers and strollers on Main Street. (Published Santa Monica Mirror 2004-08-25)


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