Santa Monica : Promenade to Allow Cars

For the first time in 20 years, cars and trucks will be allowed along the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica's downtown outdoor mall.

The mall, which is undergoing extensive renovation, has until now been for pedestrians only.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously passed an ordinance that set the speed limit on the mall at 15 m.p.h. But members left for a future meeting the decision over the hours in which traffic will be permitted.

Tom Carroll, director of Bayside District Corp., which manages the mall, recommended that traffic be prohibited from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. But council members proposed longer time periods during which only pedestrians would be allowed on the street. Councilwoman Judy Abdo suggested a 6 a.m.-to-6 p.m. period for foot traffic only.

The council is expected to review staff suggestions in two weeks. If an ordinance passes then, traffic would be allowed on the Promenade a month later.

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