Main Street Al Fresco - Creating a Vibrant Corridor

The Main Street Al Fresco Project allows local businesses to launch outdoor dining, shopping, and recreating along public sidewalks and in converted parking spaces.

This will be accomplished with expanded use of the public-right-of-way by temporarily reallocating parking and vehicle turn lanes to expand access for pedestrians, diners and shoppers as part of the City’s economic recovery efforts to safely reopen Santa Monica in partnership with local businesses and residents.   


The reimagined Main St. from Pico Blvd.  to Pier Ave. repurposes space previously dedicated to cars  (street parking and the center turn lane) for people, such as business owners, customers, and neighbors. The features will include:  

  • Space in the public-right-of-way to allow outdoor dining, outdoor retail, physical distancing, and safe passage   
  • Parklets between Pico Blvd. and Hollister Ave.   
  • Sidewalk extensions between Hollister Ave. and Pier Ave., and sections of Hill St., Kinney Ave., and Pier Ave.
  • Businesses will furnish the spaces and partner on cleaning and maintenance    

Vehicle, transit, and bicycle access will be maintained for the entire corridor.  After the restriping, the Main St. will consist of a single vehicle and bike lane in each direction. The majority of street parking on the Main St. business corridor (from Hollister Ave. to Pier Ave.) will be temporarily eliminated. All parking lots behind Main St. will remain accessible, as well as private driveways.

In addition, new signage will be installed to direct people to the large public lots between Main St. and Neilson Wy., and loading zones will be installed at key locations along Main St. to allow for deliveries.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I own a business that is not on Main Street; what are my options for outdoor dining or shopping?

Restaurants can launch outdoor dining on public sidewalks and adjacent areas (with owner permission) until December 31, 2020. More at:

The option of launching parklets (converting curbside parking spaces) for shopping and dining is limited only to businesses along Main St. at this time.

Q: How will I get around on Main St.? Where will I park my car for visits or deliveries?

  • Transit – Big Blue Bus Routes 1 and 8 will continue to operate along Main St except for one stop at Ashland Ave. in the Northbound direction which will be temporary closed to improve spacing and efficiency for transit riders. Metro Line 733 will also continue to use Main St. as usual.
  • Bike/Scoot/Roll – The bike lanes on Main St. are still available and will operate in the same way. The only difference you may notice is that they’ve shifted inward slightly to make room for the new extended space along the curbside.
  • Walk – Pedestrians can continue to use the space as they always have only now there will be extended space in the street that can also be utilized. The new design maintains a clear path of travel and entrance throughout to ensure people with disabilities have equal access. 
  • Drive – A travel lane in each direction will be maintained so that drivers can still pass through Main St. The center turn lane was removed as part of the project in order to create space for dining and retail near the curbside.
  • Loading – Loading is still allowed on Main St. at key locations throughout the project extent. A few loading spaces have also been made available on the side streets or in the public lots between Main St. and Nielson Wy.
  • Parking – Much of the parking on Main St. between Hollister St. and Pier Ave. has been repurposed to create the necessary space for safe physical distancing and doing business. Private parking lots with driveways on Main St. are still accessible. Ample parking is also available in the lots behind Main St., on the west side. New parking signage will be added to help guide visitors to the parking lots.  

Relevant Links

Main Street Business Improvement Association – New Streetcape:

Santa Monica Economic Recovery:

Temporary Use of Sidewalks, Parking Spaces, and Private Outdoor Spaces for Extra Outdoor Area (coming soon)

Presentations & Milestones

Main Street Business Improvement Association  -June 9, 2020

Ocean Park Association Presentation - June 12, 2020

Estimated Date of Project Completion - July 10, 2020

Together, let’s create a safe—and friendly—Santa Monica for everyone

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