San Luis Obispo alerting drivers of changes to Marsh Street

October 26, 2022


The city of San Luis Obispo is alerting drivers to changes made to the layout of Marsh Street in the downtown area.

Vehicle lanes on Marsh Street have been reduced from three to two between Nipomo and Santa Rosa streets. There is now a protected bike lane that runs next to the sidewalk, rather than a vehicle lane. Additionally, parking spaces have been moved to between one of the two vehicle lanes and the bike lane.

The reduction in vehicle lanes is intended to reduce car speeds and to create a safe corridor for all modes of transportation, the city stated in a social media post.

“Signs are posted and new street markings are painted, but we ask that drivers also be mindful and pay attention to the new street layout,” the city’s post states.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Good, cars don’t belong downtown, it should be human powered transportation from palm to Pacific. Park in one of the garages and walk the short distance to your destination. Maybe have a small ADA lot at nipomo and higuera

As soon as they filled the parking lot with the Banana republic….it was all over. Here comes the SoCal look…. Just perfect for our new residents that have taken over. Can’t stand having to drive in SLo . Progressive Aholes have destroyed our once quaint town. Time to invent a time machine…… You vote for parking meters in MB… You are a prick

You think progressive folks wanted banana republic and that garbage sprawl-plex? Man you really don’t understand how left/right ideologies work.

We want high density walkable downtown centers with a combination of living and working spaces. We want cars pushed as far as reasonably possible away from walking spaces. We want plenty of housing for the un-homed so we can enjoy our downtown with seeing the failures of late stage capitalism and our kids can play safely at parks without the consequences of neo-liberalism and Regan being passed out in public or shooting up under the bridge. We want housing, food and clothing to be a human rights, because they are. We want lots of things, payed by the commons, but we don’t want banana republic.

You make some good points, but at a certain point we can’t hold up Ronald Reagan as an arch-boggyman – America, and particularly the blend of liberalism and progressivism in California hold much responsiblity for our social failings. We also shouldn’t reject markets wholesale, I don’t like Banana Republic, or the seemingly dozens of boutique clothing stores in the downtown, but even in the social democracies or Europe, there exists a balance between business and general welfare. Yes to Banana Republic and capitalism if that’s what constructs a denser, bike and ped friendly, human scale San Luis Obispo.

We are completely missing the bus. We need to adapt to be rickshaw-friendly, like in third world countries. It’s gonna be great.

Change!!! AHHHHHHH!!!

-Old People

Happy to hear any opinions by those of you that are traffic engineers, just because you live here and have an opinion doesn’t mean you have the slightest clue what you are talking about.

So reducing 3 lanes of traffic to 2 lanes of traffic is going to help with traffic congestion ?? Going to be even longer lines of vehicles on Marsh Street , more toxic emissions from vehicles stuck in traffic . Next mandate will be electric vehicles only allowed passage on Marsh Street to combat the smog filled air …

Induced Demand, simple as that. Marsh had congestion before and will have congestion after (probably less though since the lanes aren’t as uncomfortably tight and there is greater bike and pedestrian access). If the City made Marsh a 6 lane street-road, there would still be congestion and the area would be far worse for it. The only way to really eliminate traffic is to reduce Marsh to zero lanes.

Electric skateboards, powered scooters, horses etc etc are all banned from road use. Why are bikes okay? They don’t mesh well at all with vehicular traffic; which is now backed up and drivers are annoyed and in more of a hurry because there are less lanes…Take your toy to a playground where it belongs. This city needs to stop catering to niche groups at the sacrifice of the majority!

“Why are bikes okay?” Lol

“niche groups at the sacrifice of the majority!”

Bs, This has been in planning for years and we voted on it, there were meetings and notices etc. Now the drivers can park without crossing a bike lane and parents can bike with their children on protected bike lanes. This came up in the meetings.

I’ve already watched a driver in the former middle lane of Marsh, begin a left turn onto Santa Rosa…which is no longer allowed. Chaos prevailed.

Notably, as the city has removed most of the traffic lines on the streets for slurry application, there are most streets in the downtown with minimal, if any, markings to direct traffic, for the last few weeks. You can imagine, the fun of driving Higuera that is supposed to be a two lane, with the parklets, faded to nothing lane lines (including the stupid bike lane), and no less than FOUR (as witnessed yesterday) delivery trucks stopped to do their thing, and no clues as to where cars may safely navigate. Monterey is almost worse between Morro and Chorro, that has, as of yesterday, NO lane marking at all! Along with the privately owned parklets we pay for with our taxes (Yes. Yes we do), and the crazy stupid two way bike lane on a one way street, it’s a wonder why more cars don’t have new dents.

Pismo and Shell Beach have seen the light, and have removed the parklets in their towns, making it safer for traffic and pedestrians, and freeing up more parking spaces. Is SLO dumber than a tourist trap?

I don’t understand the parklet haters – what would you prefer: a single person (probably a tourist) able to park directly in front of the restaurant, or comfortable outdoor space for 12 or so local business patrons. Even if you only care about money, not the downtown experience, what will make the City more money, a quarter meter, or the sales tax revenue from thriving businesses? Come on!

With parking rates going to $4 an hour and no more free parking the first hour, more locals will be avoiding driving downtown to have lunch or shop. There will be fewer cars and fewer business patrons. The city loses on both sales tax revenue and parking revenue. Over 150 people opposed the parking increase, but this city council approved it 5-0 because they want to build – tah dah! – another parking garage to accommodate another performing arts center.

I see bikers going the wrong way on one-way streets, and I can’t even begin to count the near misses I have witnessed between bicyclists and cars. Eventually there will be a terrible accident and a big lawsuit. The whole thing is a mess.

Cheap parking is a handout from tax payers to free-loading motorists. Downtown is growing and needs more parking structures to accommodate more visitors (local and out of county). Has to be capitalized and paid for somehow. Parking is expensive, and someone has to pay for it. If we had abundant free parking, downtown would be nothing but one massive surface lot with almost no businesses. I’d personally prefer SLO didn’t turn into Santa Maria.

We used to have “abundant free parking”, and SLO grew like a weed. Now, we have parking meters in residential areas.

The parking structure at Marsh and Chorro. Do you know what used to be there before the expensive parking structure?

A free parking lot…

Let’s play this out. If we had, instead of a parking garage that costs a few dollars, a free surface lot, the city would need have two options: 4-5 times less parking in the downtown which would prohibit most people from coming downtown, flood local neighborhoods with people who have to walk 10 min to get to Higuera, and would devastate local business, OR we redevelop swaths of downtown to have that same amount of parking, gosh, blocks of businesses bulldozed to make way for paved surface lots, maybe at that point we should have only drive-throughs instead of a downtown. Let’s get real folks.

When the downtown was incredibly vibrant, long before the Madonna Plaza, and filled with huge name brand department stores; Sears, Woolworths, Montgomery Ward etc, and Higuera, Marsh, and Monterey were all two way streets, and SLO had at least 6 major parades every year, along with the High School Homecoming Parade and the Poly Royal Parade…

Absolutely nobody complained about parking.

So if EMS needs to get through and we are supposed to pull to the riiiight..mmmmkay.

Oh you’re expected to slow and wait for the bicyclists to pass and then pull to the right; never mind someone’s life may be at stake and every second counts; cyclist wants to get their exercise in… The idea that bikes are being used as transportation is a fallacy; THEY AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE!

unusualsuspect Said: “Sigh* If someone wants to go faster than you, just pull off. Let them by. It’s not about being “intimidated” it’s really about courtesy. You do your thing and they’ll do theirs. Move along. No prizes or awards. Fail.”

“used as transportation is a fallacy” BS My slo neighbourhood has bikes, skateboards, scooters and more passing by all day doing errands.

You make a fair point, cars can really congest roads that EMS needs access too, whereas bikes are small and can more easily pull off to the side (they’re already on the side!). “Someone’s life may be at stake and every second counts” – true!! Solution? More bikes for transportation (like they do in the Netherlands) and maybe a dedicated lane for buses and EMS. Also fewer cars mean less accidents… The problems solve themselves!

You can go a steady 15-20mph on a bike, legally blast through stop signs if there’s no other traffic and it’s the only transportation powered by burritos. I have commuted by bike for years, downtown to an office by the airport. Down the broad st corridor at 5:30 this morning. Now I’m the first person in the office, but we don’t go anywhere. Ok Boomer.

pull to the riiiight, yes like everyone does on 2 lane roads, what is so hard?

I’ll be curious to see how this works out. I’m not thrilled with Higuera Street these days. But, elections have consequences. Not the town I grew up in anymore.

Higuera should be closed to commercial traffic after some point in the morning. Many cities don’t allow deliveries during business hours in the business district. Sorry Sysco you gotta bring your trucks downtown first then go to the periphery.

Garden street was supposed to be closed from marsh to higuera but it got too much push back from a loud minority.