Tonight: Mar Vista Council to Again Vote on Venice Blvd Safety Project

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.

Tonight the Mar Vista Community Council will be voting on a series of resolutions critical of the Venice Boulevard Great Streets project. Implemented by the L.A. City Department of Transportation (LADOT) in May, the project includes 0.8 miles of new and improved pedestrian crossings, parking-protected bike lanes, and vehicle lanes reduced from three to two in each direction.

Tonight’s meeting will start at 7 p.m. at the Mar Vista Recreation Center Auditorium at 11430 Woodbine Street in Mar Vista. The MVCC is the elected neighborhood council representing the area where the project is located. The MVCC can and should weigh in on all matters within its Mar Vista jurisdiction, but its actions are essentially advisory, with no binding authority to instruct elected officials or city departments to do anything.

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

On tonight’s agenda there are four Venice Boulevard motions:

  • Motion L calls for L.A. City councilmember Mike Bonin to appoint an empowered point person to interact with elected officials and city departments, and to make Venice Blvd streets project materials available online. (Plenty of Venice Blvd project details are already online at LADOT’s project website.)
  • Motion M calls for immediately reversing Venice Blvd lane reductions as “the only remedy that addresses the constant, voluminous, community outcry on this issue.”
  • Motion N calls for reversing the Venice Blvd lane reduction, urging LADOT to study alternatives “that will achieve the programs’ goals of reducing speed and thus injuries and deaths without adverse impact to the community and surrounding neighbors,” and calls on Bonin to create a “community panel” to further study and survey Venice Blvd issues.
  • Motion O calls for immediate removal of the Venice Blvd lane reduction but the addition of “improvements, including a resurfaced roadway, bike lanes that are clearly designated with green paint, and a reduced speed limit” as well as further study of “a regional network of safe bicycle paths and routes.”

Yesterday, Councilmember Bonin shared some LADOT statistics comparing injuries and collisions before and after the recent improvements.

Early results xxx. Image via Bonin Facebook
Early results show that Venice Boulevard is getting safer after implementation of the Great Streets improvements. Image via Bonin Facebook
  • As I and others observed, it is the signal timing and not the lane reduction that is causing the congestion for motor vehicles.

    P.S. Motion O cannot lower the speed limit under the state’s 85th Percentile Speed Trap Law.

  • D Man

    Do you live in Mar Vista? There is no way to time the lights at the Venice/Centinella intersection to alleviate the congestion caused by eliminating two lanes. The volume of cars on both streets is too much. The only solution is to add back the 2 lanes.

  • D Man

    Once again Bonin and LADOT use bad data to support their false narrative that the lane reduction is necessary to keep the street safer. Aside from the fact that they used LAPD data (which shows fewer accidents than the CHP data and the actual number of non-reported accidents), they compare a 12 month span with a 4 month span. One wonders why they didn’t compare the same 4 months in 2016 and 2017 – probably because it didn’t support their narrative. Nevertheless, the data shows an insignificant reduction in accidents and injuries such that the unintended consequences clearly outweigh any benefit to safety even by Bonin’s own data.

  • Jenni Phoebe

    oh yeah, reduced speed limits. That always works.

  • Is the volume of cars too much for the left-hand turn at Grand view and the “mid-block” crossings too?

  • Can’t do that without a speed survey under California law.

  • calwatch

    Interestingly because the road diet has reduced average speeds, you probably could “release” one of the lanes and probably get a lower speed limit if a speed survey was done now. At least during peak hours, the parking lane should be converted into a bus lane, since the right lane is being impacted by vehicles pulling in and out of parking spots.

  • D Man

    Does Grand View or the crosswalk have the same volume of cars as Centinella? Answer that question, and you will have the answer to your question. The light cycle is already not long enough for the Centinella cycle. Traffic backs up to Charnock to the north and Mitchell to the South. It already takes 3 light cycles to get through Venice Blvd on Centinella. The saving grace was the ability to have a shorter light cycle for Venice Blvd with 3 lanes. But now that there is only 2 lanes the traffic backs up past Wade to the west and to Inglewood to the east. Adding back the 2 lanes is the only solution. I know it doesn’t comport with the narrow minded views of the bike advocates.

  • Why don’t you find out what the totals were for May 2016 to August 2016 and enlighten us all?

  • Anonymous

    This new configuration is dangerous to pedestrians, too. I saw an elderly lady walk into the bike lane thinking she was just walking to a parked car, far from the traffic, and she was almost struck by a fast moving cyclist.

  • Jeff

    Comparing a year’s worth of stats to 4 months worth of stats isn’t an apt comparison.

    Statistics fail.

  • Joe Linton

    They’re, of course, “monthly average” stats. And you’re, of course, willing to wait for a full year for stats on the new project, no?

  • Joe Linton

    If the “volume of cars” is the problem, then another solution would be to reduce that volume.

  • Jeff

    No, but I’d rather see the same period last year vs. this year, where it would be apples-to-apples.

  • mike Kook

    The minimal period when stats were collected is not sufficient. Furthermore, having grown up here, I saw the worst accident on Venice Blvd and Wade Street I have ever seen a few weeks after the road diet was implemented. One car was straddling the center medium, one was 180 degrees backwards and the last was half on the sidewalk. Let’s talk about safety. Side street traffic entering Venice Blvd has a difficult time seeing oncoming traffic on Venice Blvd and bicycles are difficult to see when turning from Venice Blvd onto side streets too, both due to the fact that cars are parked far away from the curb and blocking the view of oncoming vehicles, and bikes crossing side streets. If you want to slow down traffic, put speed limit signs back up. It used to be a 40 mph speed limit, but now there are no speed limit signs to inform drivers of the safe limit to drive. Another problem is sudden gridlock, which occurs on this road diet segment constantly, leading to potential rear end accidents. And yes, I have driven and bicycled on Venice Blvd most of my life. I would support Motion M or O.

  • Joe Linton

    If the crashes are bad, then you’re making a strong case for slowing down traffic even more there.