Designed by John Kaliski Architects, in conjunction with Lawrence Moss & Associates, Landscape Architects, and Kimley-Horn & Associates, Civil Engineers, the Ocean Park Boulevard Complete Green Street recently broke ground on December 12, 2011. When completed in early 2013, it will be the longest complete green street in the City of Santa Monica, and one of the longest in Southern California.
The project’s design expresses and expands upon the long standing ambition of Ocean Park Residents and their community association to revitalize and humanize this artery, for a distance of about a mile from Lincoln Boulevard to Nielsen Way. To this end, the architects have widened existing sidewalks, proposed the planting of over a hundred new trees, allowed for visibly painted bike lanes as well as marked crosswalks with overhead flashing beacons. The improved sidewalks will host pedestrian friendly street furniture and add recycling and trash bins. For bicyclists, there will now be bike racks, and, for everyone, there will be traffic signal improvements to go along with the additional landscaping and new medians. The construction budget is $3.8 million.
In approving this project, the City was determined to address the release of untreated storm water draining into Santa Monica Bay. Hence the Ocean Park Boulevard Complete Green Street will incorporate storm water bioswales and underground bioretention chambers which, together with storm drain improvements in adjacent Los Amigos Park, will capture 55 acres of watershead and significantly reduce unwanted run-off infiltrating it into the ground water instead.
The Ocean Park Boulevard Complete Green Street will be a model for future sustainable green street projects in Santa Monica as well as elsewhere in Southern California. In itself, it will stitch together a previously divided neighborhood, conserve water, protect the ocean from runoff, and provide a vibrant pedestrian and bicycle avenue to and from the beach. As a template for change, it will show how streets designed for automobiles can be transformed into inviting parts of the urban landscape.