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April 28, 2014



PCH Construction Threatens

Businesses

Construction work along Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica is being blamed by some local businesses for a steep drop in revenue.

Traffic along State Route 1 has slowed considerably since the city of Los Angeles began construction in early April on a sewer line that will divert polluted dry-weather water runoff from canyons leading to the Santa Monica Bay and transfer it to the Hyperion Treatment Plant.

The effort marks the city’s second attempt after plans to build more than a mile of new 4-foot-high sewer pipe ended 900 feet short of its goal two years ago.

But even as Caltrans has considered changing the traffic signal timings along PCH in Pacific Palisades, some business owners have reported steep drops in revenue – even as high as 80 percent – since the effort got underway.

Anthony Fischler, owner of Patricks Roadhouse, says he doubts his business can survive a year of construction. He agrees with the 80% drop in revenue figure, and says “If this doesn’t turn around in 2 months, we’re out of here.”

Warning signs have been placed as far away as Agoura Hills to warn commuters along the Ventura (101) Freeway to avoid the stretch of PCH, while drivers from the Westside have been urged to use Sunset Boulevard or Entrada Drive as alternatives.

About 80,000 vehicles per day use this section of PCH daily, according to Caltrans records, with many of those traveling between Ventura County and the Westside.

Ice Rink Proposed for Venice

A Public Hearing for Venice Beach Winter Ice Rink was held on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. The hearing was held at the Abbott Kinney Public Library.

The proposed ice skating rink will be open to the public and “will be the only place in Los Angeles where you can ice skate at the beach. The operation will run from approximately mid-November to mid-January”.

The City of Santa Monica has allowed an Ice Rink to operate at 5th and Arizona for the last 5 years.

Santa Monica Assembly Member’s

Redevelopment Bill Moves Forward

A Bill introduced to the California Assembly by Santa Monica Assembly member Richard Bloom that would free up redevelopment funds passed the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development on Wednesday.

Assembly Bill (AB) 2493 would allocate approximately $750 million in redevelopment proceeds statewide that were cut by Governor Brown when redevelopment agencies were dissolved in 2011. The money would go to the redevelopment successor agencies to complete redevelopment projects that were in the pipeline.

“When the Legislature and Governor stripped redevelopment agencies away from cities in 2011, we lost a major tool in fighting blight and reinvigorating our local economies,” said Bloom.

Santa Monica Approves New Bike Routes

Santa Monica High School students will soon be able to bike to school safely along a city council-approved bike route, according to the project manager. This bike route constitutes phase one in an ongoing effort to make downtown Santa Monica more “walkable” by improving streets and landscapes in anticipation of the Metro’s Exposition line extension and continued development in the area.

The Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway project, nicknamed MANGo, aims to take existing streets and enhance them to make them more multi-modal.

The recently approved section of the MANGo project is connected with an ongoing initiative called Safe Routes To School (SRTS), which is a collaboration between the Santa Monica School District and the Parent-Teacher-Student Associations to make school zones safer for students to bike and walk, according to the website. The project is funded by a $880,000 state grant, according to Michelle Glickert, the project’s senior transportation planner.

 

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