Venice bike lane disappears near big box consumoplex at San Vicente

Disappearing Venice Blvd. Bike Lane at San Vicente

Now you see it!

This image is a screen capture of a Google Street View image. It shows the road striping for a Class 2 bike lane on the westbound side of Venice Boulevard at San Vicente.

Disappearing Venice Blvd. Bike Lane at San Vicente

Now you don’t!

This image was taken on January 2, 2012 looking east at the intersection of Venice Boulevard and San Vicente. A large, stucco, big-box, development is in the final stages of construction on the left side of the frame. This portion of road has a Class 2 bike lane on the other side of the road – the Venice Boulevard bike lane starts (or used to start) at Crenshaw and continues west to the beach.

The Venice Boulevard bike lane is a part of the City of LA’s “Backbone Bikeway Network” – a hard-fought concession in the 2010 bike plan to install bike facilities on major boulevards in Los Angeles.

The development has been dubbed “Mid-town Crossing”, and is outfitted with all the blank stucco walls, offensive car-first, people-last, architecture befitting a thoughtless late 20th century commercial dystopia of the sort we find ourselves unable to stop building. There have been attempts to give the developers special electric billboard rights that the rest of us don’t enjoy. This would make sense as the development itself has benefitted from an extension of credit that few of us enjoy: in 2010 the developers received a $19.3 million loan from the City of Los Angeles.

How much “investment” has the public put into this soon to be failed shopping center? According to Curbed LA’s post entitled “CIM Group Gets Its Mid City Money, But Reseda Wounds Surface” by Dakota Smith, published on May 28, 2010:

“Public investment covers 20 percent, a total of $33.95 million …”

The free market at work! One less bike lane, one more chain store occupying a parcel of prime real estate.

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  1. David
    Posted January 3, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Sure the bike lane isn’t there anymore, but the re-pavement of that section of Venice has actually made the usage of that road much safer. Does anyone recall how nasty that road was with its deep potholes and scattered cracks that would suck your wheels in if you weren’t careful?! With the removal of this bike lane, I say it’s one step back, two steps forward.

  2. Posted January 3, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    I get my hopes up for change then things like this happen. How on Earth could a city striving to be bike friendly allow this? This is very upsetting and should be brought up at the BPIT meeting

  3. patrick
    Posted January 4, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    This way the repainted the bike lane can be counted against the 40 mile per year goal!

  4. Posted January 4, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    This is more like free money to the CIM Group, rather than a loan. The money is to be paid back through taxes that the development generates. Tax money generated from that development will not go to pay for basic services in the city, it’s to be used to pay back a so-called loan.

    Notice at the end of the Curbed LA article that the CRA/LA representative states that you can’t do a development in south LA without outside funding. This project is not in south LA, it’s in midcity, south LA is not a district that she handles.

    This is also an example of how street services and LADOT bikeways staff are still not communicating very well. Street services resurfaces the road and puts in stripes for motorized vehicles, but it’s the responsibility of LADOT bikeways division to authorize the bike lane installation. So, LADOT bikeways staff have to know when a street will be resurfaced in order to inform street services that a bike lane has to be included. You would think that street services would use a copy of the bike plan when resurfacing streets, but that’s the domain of a separate department.

  5. Posted January 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Word I got is that, years before the 2010 Bike Plan, this bike lane removal was approved by the LADOT, bikeways staff (Mowery et al) knew about it, and they got out of the way of all this big-money hustling going on between local politicians and their best buddies at CIM Group. There is a reason bike advocates in LA have such sharp tongues. This type of sellout is all too commonplace in LA.

  6. Posted January 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Josef, your scenerio about the removal of the bike lanes makes more sense than what I said in my previous post. LADOT would be the department to reconfigure the stripes and not street services.

    If you look at the top of page 16 of this recent report for LA city council from the city planning dept., you’ll see that Venice Blvd from Crenshaw Blvd to Main St. needs a enviornmental impact report before getting a bike lane.

    So, does that mean that a EIR needed to be made in order to take out the bike lane on Venice west of Crenshaw Blvd? Funny how a EIR had to be made to include a bike lane and yet removing the connecting bike lane does not require a EIR. Seems like removing a bike lane to put in a motorized vehicle lane would have a much more adverse affect on the enviornment than the reverse.

  7. Posted January 4, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    An LADOT staffer wrote me yesterday (in response to my nagging) that a public hearing is required to remove a bike lane, and that LADOT will look into this right away. Jeff Jacobberger of the BAC and the Mid-City West Community Council brought it to their attention as well. When I wrote them, I copied Council Member Wesson’s office as well as the Mayor’s office. We’ll see what happens.

    Don’t forget to attend the BPIT meeting on Jan. 10th and bring this up if it is not yet resolved!

    Meeting info:

  8. Posted January 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Just heard from one of my contacts at LADOT that it WILL be repainted. I’ve asked for details.

  9. Posted January 5, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    From LADOT:

    “The striping that is out there is temporary. The plans are being updated to include the bicycle lane and when the development project is completed the contractor will install the bike lane and travel lanes per the new plan. Developer pays.”

  10. Posted January 6, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Bike lanes should be part of the temporary striping as well. This is still unacceptable. As someone who relies on bike lanes to be kept alive every single day on my commute, even a few months without a bike lane would be tantamount to just pointing a loaded gun to my head and saying, “Don’t worry, we’ll just be doing this for a little while.”

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] breaking the news about a portion of the Venice Blvd. bike lane disappearing next to CIM Group’s Mid-to…, the bike advocacy community went to work with curt emails to numerous city hall […]

  2. […] 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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