This Saturday, the Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce is hosting “Make It Mar Vista” along Venice Boulevard starting at Centinela Avenue and heading west. The event is the area’s newish small business showcase, highlighting one of the Westside’s more walkable corridors with small shops and locally-owned restaurants.
But this year’s event is also another outreach event for the Mayor’s Great Streets Program on the Westside. Streetsblog has already covered how Councilmember Mike Bonin and Westside community and business leaders have led a multi-faceted public process for Great Streets planning that is unrivaled throughout the city, and Make It Mar Vista is another example of planning beyond the public meeting.
Bonin’s office, the Mayor’s office, the Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce, and the Mar Vista Community Council have all worked together to create a progressive Great Streets plan, which will include a protected bike lane, improved crossings and sidewalks, and possibly even a parklet. Make It Mar Vista will have pop-up versions of the protected bike lane and parklet so residents, businesses, and visitors will get an idea of what the Great Street will look like once the redesign begins.
“Make It Mar Vista is exactly the type of programming we need on the Venice Boulevard Great Street,” said Bonin. “By encouraging people to spend time at our local businesses and experience the street in a new way, Make it Mar Vista helps foster the sense of community that furthers long-term investment in neighborhoods.”
According to event programmers, creating a community feel along the corridor is a shared-goal of Make It Mar Vista and the Great Streets Program.
“What we love best about Small Business Saturday is how it supports the local community,” writes Sara Auerswald, the founding president of the business district.
“These businesses are owned by our friends and neighbors, after all. And this year we’ve made it into a festival on the Great Street with art projects, live entertainment and, of course, the bike lane pop-up.”
Make It Mar Vista is working with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition to highlight the importance of the event. Bicyclists will kick off Make it Mar Vista by riding on the stretch of Venice Blvd designated as one of the Mayor’s 15 Great Streets. This family-friendly bike ride is a flat, 2-mile round trip along Venice Blvd and will be led by LACBC ride marshals and cyclists with the Los Angeles Police Department.
Cyclists, meet at 10 a.m. at the southeast corner of Venice & Inglewood, roll at 10:30 a.m. More on the full program for the event can be found after the jump or at the Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce website.