Santa Monica: Open Streets Event

Saunter down Main Street as cars take a vacation.

"Traffic" and "beach" and "June" and "Sunday" are four words that have a way of ending up in the same spoken sentence with predictable frequency.

We may simply long to sit on the sand on a fine weekend afternoon, but, oof, the cars, so many cars, cars everywhere, slowing our progress to the beach.

But on Sunday, June 5 there'll be zero cars along two miles of beach-close roads through Santa Monica, one of our most prime beach-dreamy, beach-busy spots.

What's up with that? Santa Monica's first official Open Streets event will turn a few area streets over the pedestrians and cyclists, including a solid stretch of Main Street.

Part of Ocean Avenue is on the closed-to-cars map as well, if you've been wanting to break out your skates and whoosh right down the middle of that particular Pacific-fronting road. 

Like CicLAvia, the mega, thrice-yearly event where major thoroughfares are closed to autos but open to bikes and people on foot, an Open Streets happening bids adieu to vehicles and hello to anyone who wants to walk, roll, stand, or somersault. (The last is not recommended, simply because streets are hard.)

"This local event transforms our streets in a park for the day -- with music, restaurants, shops, dance, and games with family and friends," says the official City of Santa Monica site.

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The hours? Be there from 9 a.m. to 3 o'clock.

The getting there? Well, yeah. Some people will arrive in cars, and have to walk to the walkable streets, but perhaps you've heard that the Expo Line to Santa Monica is now in full, sit-back-relax swing.

Metro, by the by, is a partner in the free event. Thank you, Metro.

Yep, it's free, free of dollars to get in, and free in spirit, as any open-streets-y gathering typically is (it would be frankly weird if such a thing charged admission and people would raise a fuss, justly).

Weather? Sunny. Main Street? Packed with shops and eats. Complaining about beach-close traffic?

Still anyone's prerogative, if they so choose, but a few hours of car-free frolicking may allow even the scowliest among us to drop the shoulders, ease the clenched jaw, and smile in a gridlock-less zone for a day.

But traffic or no, isn't the beach worth it? Spoiler alert: Lots of cities don't sit on an ocean. Sighing over traffic or not, our city does and always will.

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