Last year, it seemed as though Councilmember Joe Buscaino (CD-15, South Bay and San Pedro) and Councilmember Mike Bonin (CD-11, Westside) were the only two City Council offices that were truly engaged and passionate about Mayor Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative.
A year later, there are small improvements in San Pedro, protected bike lanes on Reseda Boulevard, and even a handful of “final candidate” plans in Gil Cedillo’s North Figueroa. Some people are starting to wonder… what happened to Great Streets on Venice Boulevard?
But Bonin and other boosters of Great Streets have an answer: in the case of West L.A. the Great Streets outreach process may be as valuable as the final project.
A major part of the outreach has been a series of public meetings but also bringing “Great Streets concepts” where people already are both online and in the real world. A pair of online surveys, the second of which is a picture survey that is running now, have garnered hundreds of responses.
The images used in those surveys are also on a series of poster boards are being carted around public spaces in Mar Vista where people can comment with stickers or notes with their feelings about different options to make Venice a Great Street.
A pdf with all of the poster boards is available at the end of this article. A copy of many of the poster boards with comments and stickers showing approval and disapproval is available here.
The boards are making the rounds. Currently, they’re serving as a sort of interactive art exhibit at the popular Venice Grind coffee shop. They’ll also appear at the Grand View Market, the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market, the Mar Vista Library and even at Venice High School, so the current and future users of Venice Boulevard all have a chance to weigh in and learn more about how streets can be about more than just moving cars.
“The Mayor’s Great Streets Initiative is more than a tremendous opportunity to transform downtown Mar Vista – it is a tremendous opportunity to engage our neighbors in creating the community they want to see,” said Bonin.
“I wanted our outreach for Great Streets to be the most extensive and comprehensive community outreach the City has ever done – and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing. From online surveys, to door-to-door walks, to open houses at the Famers Market, libraries and local businesses, this has been a phenomenally informative and engaging experience.”
The Venice Boulevard Great Street aims to transform Venice Boulevard between Beethoven Street and Inglewood Boulevard from a car-centric street full of fast-moving traffic to one more friendly towards all road users.