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Eyes on the Street: Santa Monica Connection from E Line Bike Path to Downtown Is Almost Complete

“Always be closing gaps in your bikeway network.”

Santa Monica MANGo extension is nearly completed. Screengrab from video by Carter Rubin

A version of this article first appeared at Santa Monica Next.

Over the weekend, environmental activist Carter Rubin shot a video showing the “small mighty” bike path that will provide a safe connection between the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway (MANGo) and the Expo Bike path. Watch the video on Twitter/X or below:

Once this connection is completed, and it looks pretty close in Rubin’s video, cyclists will be able to ride the Expo Bike path to Bergamot Station and then ride a few relatively quiet streets to connect to a block-long bike path from 21st to 20th street. There, a new bollard-protected bike lane provides a safer north-south route over the I-10 Freeway and a crossing to MANGo.

Map/diagram of Santa Monica's 20th Street Project extending the MANGo

In Rubin’s video, he is riding east from the downtown area on MANGo, before he crosses 20th street and then over the freeway.

“You will be able to continue onwards here,” says Rubin, at the northeast corner of the I-10 overpass where he points the camera at a fenced off bike path. “And Bergamot Station is about six more blocks this way. You’ll be able to connect to the E-Line, Bergamot Station and the Arts District.”

While initially dreamed up by bicycle activists after the opening of the E-Line (then the Expo Line) in 2012 and MANGo in 2015 as a small project that would have big benefits by closing the gap between the bike path and greenway, it took nearly a decade for the project to be completed. In a Streetsblog article last November, Santa Monica Spoke’s Cynthia Rose explains why.

“It took a tremendous amount of inter-agency work, plus the cooperation of property owners” noted Rose, “it could not have been more bureaucratic.” In the end though, Rose expressed that she’s “ecstatic the project is reaching fruition.”

In the end, both Caltrans and the city had to work not just with each other, but property owners along the now-completed-but-not-yet-open bike path. But as the bike path nears its opening, everyone is focusing on the importance of the route opening, not the bureaucracy that slowed its creation.

“Ooooooo good new stuff is a coming!!,” tweeted Santa Monica Spoke.

“…exciting to be nearly done with this one, with much more to come!,” tweeted Anuj Gupta, the city’s Director of Transportation.

“Thanks Santa Monica and Caltrans for making this happen,” Rubin concludes at the end of his video. “As I always say, ‘always be closing gaps in your bikeway network.”

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