Disappeared Venice Blvd. bike lane just being held ransom. To be replaced soon.

Disappearing Venice Blvd. Bike Lane at San Vicente
This image, snapped on January 2, 2012, shows the portion of the Venice Blvd. bike lane that was kidnapped by the evil mastermind’s at CIM Group.

After breaking the news about a portion of the Venice Blvd. bike lane disappearing next to CIM Group’s Mid-town Crossing financial sinkhole, the bike advocacy community went to work with curt emails to numerous city hall insiders.

So, what is the story? From what I can tell this is a case of a bike lane being disappeared by mistake, on purpose, for a cool $33.9 million. Crazy, huh?

The Mid-town Crossing debacle project got approved way back in 2005, when it was okay for people like John Fisher at the LADOT to sign off on plans to obliterate one of LA’s major bike lanes without so much as a murmur of controversy from staff at any level in city government. In 2005 the LADOT approved of a road striping plan that included the removal of this portion of bike lane.

The City of LA, and the LA CRA, dumped tens of millions in “loans” into the project (some of which will be “paid back” through sales taxes generated at the site, i.e. with money that tenants would be paying anyway).

In between begging for public dollars and getting the project built, things at Mid-town Crossing got bogged down. First, the project is an ugly, and cheap looking, stucco and wood-frame eyesore that turns its back to the surrounding neighborhood and streets. The City did the project no favors by trying to give the developers special rights to light the place up like the Las Vegas strip with electric billboards. Then the 2008 market collapse happened.

All the public money CIM Group was able to squeeze out of LA ($33.9 million in total) helped the project inch to it’s current condition – and the 2005 road re-striping plan was finally put into place a short while ago.

Venice Boulevard bike lane returns thanks in part to LA’s patron saint of bicycling (artist’s rendering).
Venice Boulevard bike lane returns thanks in part to LA’s patron saint of bicycling (artist’s rendering).

Thanks to our little article and the large number, and well placed, complaints the LA complaint-ocracy submitted, bikes have won the day – securing emailed promises from city employees that the evil developer will be forced to fix their “mistake” of installing the road striping plan the city approved.

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  1. […] Pigeon’s Josef Bray-Ali uncovers the corporate theft of a Venice Blvd bike lane, and gets a promise from city officials to get it […]

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