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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

LADOT hosts info booths for those seeking answers regarding “Great Streets”

Los Angles Department of Transportation (LADOT) hosted the information tables at Windward School Saturday afternoon to a crowd of people with questions regarding the Mar Vista “Great Streets” project billed as giving a “small town effect in a big city.”

LADOT stated there will be three-month and six-month figures for the public to see. Right now it is only one-month old with no figures. They claim there will be adequate figures for the streets that are getting the cut-through traffic. Many argued with LADOT about the safety of the design.

One LADOT spokesperson did say that the fire vehicles would be equipped with emergency equipment that would control two traffic lights ahead of them.

For the most part, the crowd looked for justification
What started out, one Mar Vista resident said, as a street beautification project turned into a major talking topic for westsiders. And at this point no one seems to know whether it was to be a “Great Streets” project or a “Safe Streets” project and when and if the two projects became switched or intertwined. One person commented that it was for the bikers.

The survey started it all
It started out with a survey given to approximately 450 people and then information was put on the web. Several meetings were held but all were within and for people of Mar Vista. No one notified people who live in Venice or any of the other residents of neighboring cities that use the thoroughfare.

One lady, who owns a business in the effected area, said she got the survey and would never have approved it had she known they were going to remove a traffic lane (the survey never hinted at lane removal) and “we never knew the pedestrian crossing would be a major stop signal.” She was unhappy with the project but wanted to give it a “wait and see.”

People are overwhelmingly against
People are overwhelmingly against the project. At the Venice Blvd town hall in Mar Vista there were people from Playa del Rey who were opposed to the project. They were getting a double dose with the Playa del Rey “Safe Roads” and the “Great Streets.”

At the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), one person who co-chaired the “Great Streets” committee, voted for restoration of the east and westbound lanes, as did a co-chair of the transportation and infrastructure.

Venice Neighborhood Council voted last week to request Councilman Mike Bonin to have a town hall for Venetians regarding Venice Blvd.

Business owners want lane restored
The big story for the “Great Streets” is that “Restore Venice Coalition,” headed by Kenneth Marek did a survey of the businesses and it was found that 82 percent did not like the great streets. They wanted restoration. There business incomes were down considerably. One man who owns four businesses on the street wanted lane restoration. “What would a great street be without the businesses,” one asked.

Cars are finding alternative routes and those are through the residential neighborhoods making neighbors very unhappy and feeling unsafe.

Bikers love it
Bikers, bike shop owners, members of bike clubs showed up in big numbers to support the “Great Streets” project at the Mar Vista town hall. But even with the bikers from all over, it was still overwhelmingly for restoration of the lanes. The MVCC vote was not there.

But the Great Streets wasn’t billed as a solution for bikers. It was a way to give the “small town effect in a big town.” Many claim it has changed to save pedestrians and bikers at the expense of the commuters and maybe the businesses of Mar Vista.

This map was a handout by LADOT showing bike and pedestrian deaths and injuries from 2003 to 2016.


Venice Update found Vision Zero map for fatalities—bike, pedestrian, car from 2003 to 2017.

Vision Zero map showed:
Male, 19, car, between 2013 and 2017 at Grandview
Male, 32, on bike, 2008 to 2017 at Meier/Moore
Male, 25, pedestrian, 2008 to 2017 at Wade
Male, 38, pedestrian, 2004 to 2017 at Inglewood

Comments (6)

  1. Sandy Stewart

    Not a fan of “Great Streets – Mar Vista”- I have been avoiding the area completely since the end of May- so my commute stats will not be comparable- just like thousands of others who are directed away from the area with Navigation apps and systems- I didn’t need Waze to get me through the area last year- so the stats are not valid.
    And Thanks for all the cut through traffiic inflicted on the side streets- and sorry to all the businesses I no longer stop at on my way to and fro…

  2. Anonymous

    RE: “Great Streets,” Tia Tuenge posted: “I love that we can now hang out on Venice, walk and sit on the patios at cafes without six lanes of traffic zooming by.” Then move to a small town or suburb where this is the way it is. And Tia, that is even getting hard to find today. Dictatorial social engineering just pisses a lot of people off. So, let me get this straight, your being able to “sit on the patios at cafes” is worth slowing commutes and angering your neighbors? Who are you to be calling anyone assholes?

  3. Joan Merritt

    I take exception to a decision being made based on a survey of 450 people. According to the 2000 census there were 35,492 residents of the area. A survey of 450 is 0.012% of the population. That is insanity!

  4. Tia Tuenge

    The people opposed to the changes on Venice don’t seem to understand that slowing traffic down is the point. For those of us people who live in the affected stretch of Venice Blvd. and support the changes the slower traffic is a good thing. I love that we can now hang out on Venice, walk and sit on the patios at cafes without six lanes of traffic zooming by.
    I drive on Venice multiple times a day and it’s not any more gridlock than it’s always been. The difference is that a lot more drivers are pissed off and driving like assholes.
    People hate change and yet in time seem to adjust. I’m sure that in time all the disgruntled drivers will adjust to this change too.

    • Nick Antonicello

      There is slowing traffic and grinding traffic to a halt. You want to slow traffic, lower the speed limit. Not make these outrageous claims and outright lies people are being mowed down on Venice Blvd as if it were some bad Mad Max flick! Eliminating the lane is just stupid.

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