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Santa Monica to Host Open Streets Event Sunday
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
2802 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
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Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Jorge Casuso

June 3, 2016 -- Five years in the making, the Colorado Esplanade will be opened during a ribbon cutting ceremony Sunday that will be followed by "Coast," Santa Monica's First Open Streets Event.

The $13 million makeover features a festive promenade of yellow and black wave-like pavers and lights strung from yellow poles that stretches from Expo's Downtown light rail station on 5th street to Ocean Avenue, framing the entrance to the Santa Monica Pier ("Santa Monica Embarks on Final Esplanade Phase," September 17, 2015).

The Esplanade creates a seamless walk or bike ride from the station to the beach and connects Tongva Park to the south and the bay city's downtown to the north.

The ribbon cutting ceremony by Santa Monica Mayor Tony Vazquez and Mayor Pro Tem Ted Winterer will take place at 8:45 a.m. at Colorado Avenue and Main Street.

Vazquez predicts the Esplanade "is sure to become a favorite gathering place in our community."

The ceremony will be followed by Coast, a car-free event that will close two miles of streets between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. so pedestrians and bicyclists can "experience our city like a local," Vazquez said.

Presented by Metro, Coast will feature Samba dancers, picnics in front of City Hall, Conservancy Tours and interactive Coast Zones "celebrating culture, sustainability and mobility, as well as other attractions along the route," organizers said.

The event is estimated to have cost more than $400,000 to organize and stage, with $200,000 coming from an Open Streets Program grant from Metro that requires a $50,000 in-lieu matching grant from the City.

The City also redirected $100,000 from what would have been the 25th annual Santa Monica Festival and used $57,000 from its general fund ("Santa Monica Poised to Spend Nearly Half a Million on Expo Party," march 21, 2016).

The City recently launched GoSaMo, a $500,000 "integrated marketing campaign to excite, educate and get those who live and work in Santa Monica to try new mobility options," officials said.

Transportation options include Santa Monica’s new light rail system, which opened on May 20, bringing the first passenger trains to the beach city since 1953 ("All Abord Santa Monica's New Light Rail LLine," May 20, 2016.)

The City also offers six new Big Blue Bus routes, 500 Breeze Bikes at 75 stations and 107 miles of bikeways, officials said.

The public is encouraged to take alternate forms of transporation to Sunday's event, since roads will have limited access, officials said.

"Pedestrian and bicycle access for Coast will be provided along Main Street from Marine to Colorado, Colorado from Ocean to 5th Street, and along Ocean from Colorado to Wilshire," officials said.

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