Mar Vista Council Postpones Re-Vote On Venice Blvd Great Streets

The Mar Vista Community Council did not approve motions to reverse recent  Venice Boulevard safety improvements. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
The Mar Vista Community Council did not approve motions to reverse recent Venice Boulevard safety improvements. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

In a somewhat anti-climactic non-vote, last night the Mar Vista Community Council stood by its past support for the Venice Boulevard Great Streets project by postponing a re-vote on the project.

In May, the city of L.A. Transportation Department implemented safety improvements on Mar Vista’s Venice Boulevard. These included 0.8 miles of new and improved pedestrian crossings, parking-protected bike lanes, and vehicle lanes reduced from three to two in each direction.

In July, the MVCC board supported the Venice Boulevard improvements by voting down a motion calling for a reversal of the Venice Boulevard lane reduction.

At last night’s meeting, there were three motions again calling for the same reversal. None of the reversal motions were approved, or even voted up or down. Though there were lots of supporters and opponents present, the board ended up not allowing public comment. Several boardmembers asserted that a straightforward reversal motion (motion “M”) did not follow the procedure for how to reconsider a previously rejected motion. The board was unable to reach agreement on how to resolve the issue, so they ended up voting to table (essentially to indefinitely delay) the motion in order to verify how their decision-making rules apply to this situation.

On 6-5 votes, two of the reversal motions (“N” and “O”) were sent back to be reconsidered in MVCC’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. These were “Director’s Motions” which bypass committees, and the majority of the board decided that they should instead go through the MVCC’s established committee structure.

Kent Strumpell, a bicycle advocate in attendance, described the meeting as follows:

The room was pretty much full and the representation of opponents and supporters of the Venice Blvd. project seemed roughly equal, judging by the appearance of the audience members and levels of applause heard in response to comments related to their respective viewpoints. Debate amongst the board was extremely heated at times with one member losing his temper at one point. There was strong debate on whether to allow public comment, out of respect for the people who had shown up to express their views on the subject again. In the end comment was limited to other agenda items and issues peripheral to the Venice Blvd. project.

A fourth Venice Boulevard motion (“L”) passed, requesting several things: making more city data available, appointment of a point person, and reports back to MVCC.

The reversal motions are likely to return to committees and the full board in October.

 

  • D Man

    The Board had to defer votes – likely because they would have been up voted to restore the lanes – and the attendance was even because all of the Vision Zero, bike and pedestrian groups throughout the County of LA sent out their social media blasts to get all of the outsiders there to influence a local decision in a neighborhood where the majority of its residents oppose the road diet. LADOT refused to provide the data they promised, the City refused to timely comply with an open records request and the only data Bonin did put forth showed an insignificant reduction in accidents and injuries (and even that data was manipulated to be as good as possible by manipulating the data sample size). This project is a failure and was based on lies and deception. The goal was to keep cars going the speed limit and significantly reduce accidents and injuries. The result was to create gridlock and have no meaningful change in accidents or injuries.

  • Dont Care

    improvements. bitch please… not was improved. its worse for cars and bikers.

  • thegteam

    I live on the north side of Venice Blvd just east of Inglewood where the road diet begins. This has got to be one of the worst ideas ever!! Gridlock constantly, cant see bikers behind parked cars when making a right turn off Venice which seems to make it more dangerous for bikers, not safer. Please re-install the 3rd lane immediately….

  • Walt Arrrrr

    This is my perennial reminder that Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils have no legislative power whatsoever. It is akin to a Tuesday evening softball team determining whether the Dodgers go to the World Series. If they did have any power, there would be road diets, traffic calming, and bike lanes on every major street in this city. Time and time again, for the past decade, neighborhood councils throughout our fair city have voted to support these changes to our streets. Why? Because public safety should be the most important feature of a given roadway that the public shares.

    Data is already showing that Venice Blvd improvements are reducing collisions and injuries, and improving travel times for car-centric users: https://www.veniceblvdmarvista.org/evaluation/

  • Good point, those parked cars should probably go.

  • D Man

    I have no problem with them removing the parking and adding back the 3rd lane. The problem is that Bonin sold this as “Great Streets” to create a “main street” Mar Vista. This was never sold as Vision Zero because they needed to avoid doing the required environmental studies. So Bonin can’t pivot to removing the parked cars because then people can’t patronize the business on the “main street.” The problem is that Bonin lied about a main street and at the same time over-sold himself to the bike activists. He has no way out of this now.

  • D Man

    Actually if the CC was representative of the community they would have voted to restore the lanes yesterday. The MVCC is rigged with people like Damien and other people who are involved in great streets organizations.

    And the data you cite to is not accurate. A 30 second delay? Haha. And the most recent data posted by Bonin (and on this site) shows a 0.3 reduction in injuries over a 4 month time period. That’s right 0.3. And that was using the most favorable data available to Bonin. This road diet will be reversed, it is just a matter of time.

  • michael macdonald

    You really live in a fantasy world, huh?

  • Chris

    I wonder how many speakers actually live within a mile or two of this craziness? Seems like a lot of road diet advocates who aren’t having every aspect of their daily mobility affected are some of the most vocal. I live right off venice Blvd. (my family has lived in venice for almost 100 years, so we are as vested as it gets). Just about anywhere I want to go involves this congested mess. People say, “oh it’s only 10 minutes,” but multiply that by many times a day and it is a significant deprivation to life quality. Pick up kids, go to the market, post office, work… it all adds up. Also, turning across parked cars and a bike lane is more dangerous. Impossible to see cyclists when there’s a row of cars parked. I’m not against cyclists, but another solution would be better. How about repurposing part of the sidewalk?

  • D Man

    I live three blocks away from this and agree with everything you said. The Vision Zero and bike/ped activist organizations send out social media blasts to everyone to come to our neighborhood meetings to make it appear as though the “community” supports this.

  • Fred Davis

    The board deferred the vote due to a disagreement over procedural issues. Not because, as you state, the vote would have gone your way.

    Interesting how you and several speakers complain about outsiders/non-stakeholders speaking but only mention those that don’t share your opinion. I counted just as many non-stakeholders from Venice, Playa, Palms, and the Marina at the July meeting speaking against the project.

    I’m also unclear how you can definitively state that the project is a “failure” and has had “no meaningful change in accidents or injuries” and then proceed to state that the data is missing or compromised without offering any proof other than you opinion. Talk about lies and deception.

  • Fred Davis

    Is the “Restore Venice Blvd” group not an organization? It sure seems like it. The signs, shirts, hats, flyers, web site, etc. sure seem to point an organized effort with a communication strategy and budget. Smells like an activist organization to me.

    Should we also mention that Elliot is actively involved in defeating the project and has stated that his sole purpose for being on the board is to do so?

    Project much?

  • Opening up the parking spaces on Venice to travel during the peak rush would be a useful test of this Pilot project.

  • Marcotico

    All these people like D Man think that “everyone” agrees with them. I spent too much time reading comments like his on Measure S, so I was very worried about it passing. It must have come as a genuine surprise when that measure got trounced. Yet here he is claiming that all the opposition to livable streets is manufactured. Maybe he’s just wrong about what everyone else thinks.

  • Cyclist’s Rights

    “ Impossible to see cyclists when there’s a row of cars parked. I’m not against cyclists, but another solution would be better. How about repurposing part of the sidewalk?”

    Pushing the cyclists up on the sidewalk wouldn’t make them any easier for drivers to see either.

  • D Man

    Cars and bikes should not share the same right of way. They should get rid of the center median and build a completely separate bike path. That way the cars have their 3 lanes and the bikes have a completely protected bike path. Bonin can’t do that because it would require actually being honest, doing the required studies, and getting community support. He prefers to pander to bike and ped activists.

  • D Man

    You guys are the best with the propaganda. “Livable streets.” “Victim blaming” “Transportation Justice Advocate” The best lie is the one that this is for safety considering accidents significantly increased because of the poor street design that was never actually studied. Can’t wait till they restore the 3rd lanes…only a matter of time.

  • D Man

    I relied on the data Bonin posted on his Facebook page. He compared 4 summer months to a 12 month sample and even then injuries were only down 0.3. Yes, 0.3. That is not meaningful at all in comparison to the detrimental effects of the road diet.

  • Vooch

    it’s all part of the sinister war in cars. watch these videos to see what the anti car zealots have planned for you. trigger warning

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