On Friday, the City of Santa Monica announced that “Safe Streets for 17th Street and Michigan Avenue” was honored by the League of California Cities as the winner of the “2024 Local Streets and Roads Project Award, Complete Streets.” The award, “innovative and cost-efficient programs across California that preserve and protect investments in local streets, roads, and bridges.”

“Safe Streets for 17th Street and Michigan Ave” was officially completed in December, but was a hot topic of conversation and debate throughout a large portion of 2023. Cement dividers are being used to create fully separated bike lanes that provide protection for cyclists and shorter crossings for pedestrians on 17th Street. When reviewing the bike lanes for Streetsblog, Joe Linton simply called them, “amazing.”

But the bike lanes proved controversial with residents fuming over the loss of parking.

Councilmember (now Mayor) Phil Brock authored a motion requiring the city to do a full analysis and update of the project over the summer, before it was even completed but after an impromptu meeting with residents where he heard their concerns. The motion was pulled when it became controversial after advocates for safe streets pushed back against the project.

But, of course Friday was about the positives. The city’s statement summarizes the projects successes, “this project introduced several roadway safety enhancements, including protected bikeways, curb extensions, pedestrian lighting, traffic circles, and more, on segments of both 17th Street and Michigan Avenue in Santa Monica, creating more accessible corridors for bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists alike.”

For more you can read the city’s official project website, or read past coverage on Next.

Learn More