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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

MVCC Meets Tuesday to Hear “Great Streets” (Restore the Lanes) Motions

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The Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) will meet Tuesday (12 September) at 7 pm, Mar Vista Recreation Center Auditorium, 11430 Woodbine Street, Mar Vista to hear three motions to restore the “Great Streets” lanes on Venice Blvd. Motions are from the MVCC Transportation and Infrastructure committee.

If you can’t attend and want to say something, email your message to board@marvista.org.

People who use Venice Blvd and people who use to use Venice Blvd are still upset about the “Great Streets” project that removed a lane going each way from Beethoven to Inglewood. Residents who get the diverted car traffic are upset.  Businesses on Venice Blvd are upset and hurting financially.

Why does this continue they ask?  Well, eight Mar Vista  council people voted to continue the study.  Not enough figures.  Restore Venice Blvd has figures that show accidents are up.  That in itself should stop the project.

Want Abbot Kinney
As for motive,  Jim Murez, chair of the transportation committee of the Venice Neighborhood Council, has these words as to why:

Road diet, the numbers the DOT is providing support the improvements.  The numbers they are not talking about would show otherwise but that is not their mission.  Personal opinion, it is doing exactly what the council office wanted to do, start the gentrification process of making VB a yuppie street within MV.  They (the NC and CO) have plans to push out all of the local businesses like the hardware store, laundry and donut shop and replace them with trendy clothing stores and high end restaurants.  They want what we have on Abbot Kinney, Montana or Melrose.

As long as our city leader MB is in office we are going in this direction, he has made that very clear!  This is his vision and without the Supervisor or the Governor stepping in only the Mayor will change his mind.  (We) have to remember, Mike is Chair of the LADOT Commission and holds a seat on the Metro Board.  That is a lot of transportation authority.

Venice residents don’t want it and it is an unsafe design
Mark Ryavec, president of the Venice Stakeholders Association and biker had these things to say:

I am writing on behalf of Venice Stakeholders Association (VSA) to urge you to vote to restore the two traffic lanes which where lost on Venice Blvd. due to Mike Bonin’s misguided and dangerous reconfiguration of that boulevard in central Mar Vista.

The VSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to civic improvement. The VSA supports slow growth, protection of the limits of the Venice Specific Plan, neighborhood safety, better traffic circulation, increased parking for residents, neighborhood beautification projects, historic preservation, habitat restoration and protection of coastal waters.

The ill-conceived re-configuration of Venice Boulevard and the loss of two traffic lanes has had an immediate and detrimental impact on the life of Venice residents. As you know, traffic is at a standstill during early morning and early evening drive times. There has been a corresponding increase in cut-through traffic on other streets such as Palms, which are narrower and thus less capable of absorbing this east/west traffic.

Your residents have counted more accidents with this bizarre street/parking/bike lane layout than before it was installed.

As a long-distance cyclist I can attest to its highly unsafe design. With the bike lane hidden behind a lane of cars, those on bikes cannot see if drivers are intending to turn right and drivers cannot see whether a bike is approaching as they start a right turn across the bike lane.

I frequently ride south to Redondo Beach and north to Cross Creek. I know of no areas along those stretches (about 30 miles) which have a hidden bike lane such as one Bonin installed in your community.

And as you know, there was a perfectly acceptable bike lane on the boulevard before this change was made.

As the first-runner up in the recent Council District 11 race, I want you to know that I would not have supported the loss of two traffic lanes at this location. Our east-west traffic infrastructure simply cannot afford any lane losses, however noble the cause.

If driver speed is an issue, we would suggest that it be addressed in the old fashioned way, with the frequent placement of motorcycle police officers along the boulevard to cite speeders.

Thank you for your consideration of our views.

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