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Part of Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista Will Be Getting More Hospitable to Non-Drivers

A section of Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista, named as one of the first crop of Los Angeles roads that'll be getting makeovers as part of Los Angeles's Great Streets program has its first changes coming as soon as the first half of next year (possibly), and they're going to be a big deal on thoroughfare-like Venice. Streetsblog LA says that, though the changes will only affect a stretch of the street that's slightly under a mile, they're aimed at calming traffic and turning the section of Venice Boulevard into a safer, more welcoming place for people, regardless of whether they're in cars, on bikes, or on foot.

The makeover will start with a pilot program (aka Phase One) that will include a road diet for the Great Streets section of Venice, between Inglewood Boulevard and Beethoven Street, taking the street down to four lanes of car traffic from the current six. The existing bike lanes will become protected bike lanes, and four mid-block crossings with their own signaling buttons will be installed near intersections that are currently without traffic lights.

The pilot program doesn't include a ton of beautifying features, normally another component of Great Streets upgrades, but later phases will; Councilmember Mike Bonin says locals wanted amenities including street furniture, parklets, and other additions to create gathering spaces. (There's talk of maybe including a few new planters in the first phase, but nothing definite.) The pilot is anticipated to be up and running by "winter/spring 2016."

· Venice Great Streets Phase 1: Road Diet, Protected Bike Lanes, Mid-Block Crossings [SBLA]
· Mar Vista's Main Street [Councilman Mike Bonin]
· The First 15 LA Streets Getting Big Great Streets Makeovers [Curbed LA]