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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Murez Answers One “Great Streets” (Venice Blvd) Supporter


Note: Jim Murez is a long-time resident of Venice, a member of the Venice Neighborhood Council, and a former member of the Land Use and Planning Committee. This letter was written to a resident of Mar Vista who was in favor of the “Great Streets” project and wrote to the Mar Vista Community Council and the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) to encourage their continued support. The VNC was never consulted regarding “Great Streets” so they couldn’t have endorsed such. In fact, the residents of Venice are not happy. Read stories and comments to stories in Update. This is Jim Murez’s answer to this individual who lives on May St.

As a longtime resident of Venice and having lived in West Los Angeles before there was a 405 freeway, I strongly disagree. It is one thing to spend $2.5M on cross walks to serve very few people, especially with the homeless problem we have, but to reduce the traffic flow from three lanes in both directions to just two on the busiest street in our region after Lincoln Blvd and Sepulveda Blvd is plain stupid. What do you think was created, a safer bike lane … more pedestrian friendly … calming drivers’ nerves? These are all wrong assumptions that are costing commutator hundreds of thousands of dollars in waiting time.

OH, let’s not forget the cut through traffic this is generating. But those numbers are not being counted because it is a problem the City does not want to answer to … they do have a contract with the Waze app!

Venice Blvd for over 100 years has been the major east-west traffic corridor. The people that own property or live on or near the street all got discounted prices because it was historically California State Highway 187. Now you are supporting a huge gentrification initiative that if it stays in place will cause property values to sour. Wow – did you ever consider what the long term effects of traffic reduction measures will have on the west side.

The claim that Mar Vista does not have a downtown district is also not true, Centennial, Grandview, National and Washington have served as retail corridors for decades.

Do you have any idea how many cars travel on Venice Blvd in a day, week, month or a year? Do you also know how many bikes are now able to feel cozy as they pass by your place on May St? I suspect not because when I asked the project lead engineer from LADOT the same question, he told me they were accumulating that data to be presented in an upcoming public meeting. Good grief! Who is doing their homework before spending tax payer dollars? No wonder the homeless don’t have any place to sleep, the priorities are all wrong!

The parkways of Venice Blvd are already over forty feet wide, perhaps the widest in the entire City. The parkway is the land between the back of curb face and the sidewalk. People along much of the Mar Vista portion of Venice Blvd have either cut the street trees into nothing or paved the public land without permits to create parking lots. Pedestrian friendly would look much more like lush green open spaces, NOT having to walk into the center of the roadway to get into one’s car.

Urban planning NOT here! But I am really happy to hear that you support spending this sort of money on a project that serves so few (including yourself) and costs so much more than any amount of benefit you think was created.

Comments (6)

  1. Anonymous

    Do you commute to work? Do you work? Do you care that your idea of the future is disrupting many of your neighbors? Do you even consider that? Do you understand that the blockage is forcing traffic onto the residential streets adjoining the blocked thoroughfares and disrupting those folks peace and quiet? Do you care about that? Like Councilman Bonin, your vision of the future has priority over the needs of the people. How democratic is that? Unfair attitude, to say the least.

  2. Nick Antonicello

    Public Policy needs and demands public support and a legitimate conversation as to the benefits proposed. In the case of Bonin’s bollards, that discussion never took place and thus you have this overwhelming opposition and reaction to this traffic nightmare that needs to be vastly changed or simply brought back to the drawing board. But because Bonin lacks any empathy for those he pretends to represent, that will not occur.

    • Jack Herman

      Seems you seem to think you have the solutions to all of our problems why don’t you run for City Council ?

  3. Anonymous

    Sylvia Aroth posted: “Creating a pedestrian friendly community center in exchange for giving up a “commutator” corridor seems like a no brainer to me.”
    No brainer for sure – Choking down traffic without an alternative plan to move commuting traffic took no brains to approve. As you uber liberals have been saying for years to people who wanted to improve Venice, why don’t you just move! If you want a “small town” feel, MOVE TO A SMALL TOWN! Forcing your urban neighbors to conform to your wishes for your vision of a utopian future is mean and disruptive.


    I disagree. Cars and traffic are on their way out. We need to plan for new paradigms. Creating a pedestrian friendly community center in exchange for giving up a “commutator” corridor seems like a no brainer to me.

    • Anonymous

      SYLVIA AROTH posted: “I disagree. Cars and traffic are on their way out. We need to plan for new paradigms.” Yes, to plan is one thing, to implement before the plan is complete, with elements dealing with the existing situation addressed is short sighted and foolish. No brainer indeed.

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