Great Streets and CM Bonin Continue Outreach on Venice Boulevard

Mar Vistans love Parklets
Mar Vistans love Parklets…

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.

...and pianos!
…and pianos! both pics by Damien Newton

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.

Although it would have been nice to be the First of the Great Streets to be ready, the Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce would much prefer having a design and plan of action that has wide community support instead,” writes Sarah Auserwald, the president of the Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce.
“We’ve polled the local business community to make sure their ideas are represented to the Councilman’s office, and we keep encouraging people to make their opinions known. Now is the time. As a Chamber, we are looking forward to seeing what’s possible on Venice Blvd.”

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.

Great Streets Venice Photo Boards 3-16-15 (1)

6 thoughts on Great Streets and CM Bonin Continue Outreach on Venice Boulevard

  1. The link to the copy of many of the poster boards with comments and stickers showing approval and disapproval is Damien Newton’s Facebook page that shows him asleep in a hammock.

  2. Correct me if I’m wrong but Caltrans has jurisdiction over Venice blvd? Therefor making any changes to the actual street(protected bike lanes, Bus lanes) near as makes no difference, impossible.

  3. Yes, from PCH to the 10, Venice is Route 187 (~5.4 miles).

    That’s not to say that Caltrans won’t allow anything. Caltrans can work with the city to develop and implement a plan for a “great street,” and similar changes have been made on the state highway system.

    On the extreme, Caltrans can relinquish the route to the city and then they can do whatever they want.

    Granted, it would take longer for it to happen.

  4. The city is working to get it back from Caltrans. It’s been explained to me Caltrans has to give it back in a certain state of repair under state law, but that both Caltrans and the city want this stretch to be the city’s.

  5. Spot the typo, I did.

    “Although it would have been nice to4e to make their opinions known. Now is the time. As a Chamber, we are looking forward to seeing what’s possible on Venice Blvd.”

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Mike Bonin is not someone who is known for thinking small. “There’s a universe of opportunities,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin, of the proposed “Great Street” on Venice Boulevard. “But it’s important that this not be ‘Mike’s project,’ or the ‘Mayor’s project,’ or the ‘DOT’s Project,’ but the people’s project.” Bonin was speaking excitedly about the […]