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Dedicated Bus Lane Opens on Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica


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By Lookout Staff

November 21, 2017 -- Big Blue Bus passengers should see a swifter ride on a busy stretch of Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica after a dedicated bus lane opened during peak hours on Monday.

On weekdays from 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m., Route 3 and Rapid 3 buses will run on a bus-only lane over a 1.25-mile stretch between the I-10 Freeway overpass and the southern City limits at Ozone Avenue, City officials said.

Outside of these hours, the lane will revert back to metered street parking, officials said. To help make up for the loss of parking, the City installed new meters on select side streets.

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"For transit riders, the new bus-only lane will allow for improved bus flow and travel time," Cty officials said.

Commuters could experience as much as an 8-minute savings for one-way trips, or more than 60 hours saved on round-trips per year, officials said.

"This means faster service to and from LAX, and improved connection to Metro Rail’s Green and Expo Lines," officials said.

The lane is part of a makeover officials hope will make the stretch of Lincoln Boulevard south of Downtown safer for those using alternatives to driving on one the city’s most car-clogged thoroughfares ("Santa Monica City Council Approves Concept for Lincoln Streetscape Re-Design," April 27, 2017).

In all, the boulevard was the site of 660 traffic accidents involving various combinations of vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles from 2005 to 2015, according to police data. An estimated 50,000 vehicles travel Lincoln daily.

In addition to the bus lane, the “Lincoln Neighborhood Corridor Plan” (or “LiNC")implements “traffic calming” and safety measures that feature new landscaped center medians, or “pedestrian refuges.”

The new streetscape also includes improved crosswalks with flashing warning lights, new pedestrian lighting, curb-extensions and bulb-outs and 48 new trees.

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