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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Venice Blvd–“Let’s Give it a Try;” Playa del Rey — “Wait and See”

Oops!  First, and hopefully, only casualty.

Venice Blvd …  Ah, yes.  The one good thing about Venice Blvd and its shrinking is that it has replaced the homeless in conversation.

Venice Blvd, called the “Great Streets,” between Inglewood and Beethoven has lost a lane during the one-year pilot, feasibility period. Reasoning behind this lane loss is to produce a “small-town effect in a big town.”

Playa del Rey, west of Lincoln – Jefferson, Culver, Pershing, Vista del Mar — will lose a lane, if there are more than two lanes, and gain a bike path on both sides. Vista del Mar will not have a bike lane. This is part of the “calming” of traffic and is called “Safe Streets.” The City did have a lawsuit on Vista del Mar.

Culver Blvd at 6:30 Wednesday morning.

Both projects were vetted with residents and surveys were taken. All residents should have been made aware. One business owner in Mar Vista said only her business received notification. Both projects were explained to residents at various interactive community meetings.

“The Neighborhood Council of Westchester Playa and residents have been involved in the more than two-and-half year effort to make streets safer in Playa del Rey, and received a series of presentations about these projects before they were installed,” wrote David Graham-Caso, communications director for Councilman Mike Bonin. “Hundreds of members of the community have been engaged and involved by attending interactive community meetings and participating in online surveys.”

The residents of Venice are very upset about the slowing of the traffic on Venice Blvd. Venice Blvd, which  is State Route 187,  has been a main artery for Venetians for years. They did not participate in the Mar Vista vetting process and rightly so. The City was given permission from the State to do what has been done to that section between Inglewood and Beethoven.

There are petitions circulating for Venice and for Playa del Rey.  There is talk of recalling Councilman Mike Bonin.

The Venice Chamber of Commerce was queried as to what they thought of the “smaling” of Venice Blvd. George Francisco, president, responded with the following:

The business community in Venice is predominantly composed of small commercial enterprises whose vitality is inescapably tied to the over 10 1/2 million visitors we welcome each year. The Venice Chamber supports transit solutions that provide safe and efficient circulation for both visitors and residents alike, and we would hope all permanent options to improve mobility are soundly envisioned and implemented to ensure the welcome result of increased access with minimal disruption.

Venice Update decided to see how the businesses liked the “small-town” effect.

First sighted were two men working on the parking meters.  They said they were aligning the meters to match the cars.  When asked  how many parking spaces had been lost, they said they didn’t know, but with the wider berth on the corners, they had to lose some.  We just stood there as we watched a car using the bike lane and another approaching.  We also watched a biker using the lane and then stopping at the pedestrian red light.  We each bet that the biker wouldn’t stop.  He did stop but had started thru the light and then backed up.


“I hate it … just hate it,” said the first five shop operators. One said “education is more beneficial than prohibitive action. I asked for something to write that one down.

Then one shop keeper said there had been many meetings and surveys over a period of years.  She participated. She did mention that, as a resident, she did not receive any notification.  “It is too early to tell if it will make a difference for sales or if we like it,” she said.  “We all must wait and see.”

One thing that bothered her were the weeds in the median and took this writer outside to see them..  Just as we went outside a biker peddled by going the wrong way on the sidewalk.  We both jumped out of the way to accommodate the bike on the sidewalk.  “Isn’t that illegal,” she asked.  “It is so dangerous and it happens all the time.”  Hard to believe but even with the protected bike path, bikers continue to make pedestrians jump and endanger them as they persist in riding on the sidewalk.

Biker continues on after moving pedestrians out of his way.

“I can’t see the businesses across the street,” she said.  This writer had concentrated on the road improvements and had never been conscious of the median condition.  All along the Venice Blvd, the median is filled with weeds, trees that need trimming, and trees that need removing.  They are not native plants.  They are native weeds.  One would assume weeds will be removed, trees trimmed to give that “small town” effect an added “well-kept” look.

These are not native plants.  They are native weeds with debris.

A squirrel palm with unkept trees and more native weeds.

Comments (10)

  1. Frank

    This is an awful modification. Makes absolutely no sense. Los Angeles has the WORST traffic in the world according to a 2016 study. Why make traffic and travel times even worse? Traveling Venice Blvd. around 6pm now is like a standstill. The Community does NOT need this!

  2. Marti

    The incompetence of the city planner who okayed the reduction of lanes in an already congested city is simply idiotic! Beyond comprehension and shows a complete lack of common sense!

  3. Jamie

    I am a resident of PDR and grew up on the Westside. This is the dumbest street modification I have seen in my life. Someone needs to do a survey to determine how many people actually even use the bike lane on Culver between PDR and Playa Vista. I cant imagine anybody uses that strip of the bike lane to commute to work. Meanwhile, commute times for cars traveling to or from PDR have increased astronomically. So we now all sit in a single file line and stare at an empty bike lane next to us. What a poorly thought out decision. At the very very least, the bike lane should only be active on weekends when cyclists would actually be using it for recreation and when commuters are not all trying to come and go to work at the same time.

  4. Jackie

    These changes have already done serious damage to the commuting residents of the beach cities of PDR, El Segundo, and Manhattan Beach. While PDR used to be a sleepy and quiet beach community, it now faces complete gridlock each day as angry commuters spend hours of extra time in their cars. Taking all of these roads down to one lane has created unnecessary headaches and hours of additional commute time for residents already facing long commutes. What a complete waste of tax dollars!

  5. Jennifer

    This change was made as a bandaid to a lawsuit. The strategists that came up with this trial plan were narrow minded and inexperienced. We need a board of qualified people who can look at the la county streets as a whole and provide a multi step plan that will integrate into all aspects of this issue not one tiny irresponsible change that is RUINING the life of la commuters

  6. Justin

    Absolute catastrophe for Playa Del Rey. What used to be a sleepy beach community now had complete gridlock during rush hours, and much longer drive times during most other times of the day. Its also pushing more trafgic into the previously quiet residential streets.

    Now you have to spend an extra 20-30 minutes just in Playa traffic just to get to the freeway entrance where you will deal with the usual gridlock there. The extra combined 40 min. to 1 hr. commute is devistating to some families.

  7. Lisa

    Pdr resident here, and I do not like the changes being made. They say it is a pilot program but there is no criteria for success. I am calling b.s. I know how this wait and see stuff typically goes.

  8. Ashle

    What a joke this is….. this just makes people spend MORE time in there cars away from their families. It’s no safer when emergency vehicles cannot get through and people have road rage because it doubles their commute. What a bone-head idea this was! I guess I won’t be frequenting the businesses in this area anymore since I don’t care to endure this ridiculous traffic!

  9. Allison

    This article does not accurately represent the damage these changes have done to our beautiful beach town. It also doesn’t mention how the surveys that went out mentioned nothing about reducing lanes! Bonin made a unilateral decision to do this without involving the people he is supposed to represent!

  10. Nick Antonicello

    What an unmitigated disaster, traffic nightmare and complete waste of tax dollars. What more evidence does one need that this was a huge error in judgement? Why does this Council Office refuse to acknowledge the massive mistake? You cannot have someone like this in public office with the inability that they made a mistake.

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