Downtown Santa Monica is for people first, cars second – Los Angeles Times

Santa Monica has long strived to be one of the most walkable places in Southern California. Policies to make downtown a pedestrian-centric walking district have been in effect since the 1970s, when Santa Monica pioneered the “park once” strategy, with centralized public parking structures that made it easy for people to leave their cars behind while they walked to multiple activities.

Like most cities that were developed in the mid-part of the last century, however, an abundance of low-cost parking and limited public transit connections made the car king.

That’s slowly changing. Santa Monica now has a diverse transportation system with 60,000 daily Expo Line riders, 10,000 daily downtown rides on Big Blue Bus and SoCal’s first bike share system, Breeze.

It’s time for the city to take things even further. Sixty-four percent of our carbon emissions come from transportation. We can’t reduce our footprint and do our part to fight climate change without driving less.

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