September 12th MVCC Meeting Update for:
After what can only be described as a tense and contentious meeting Tuesday night the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) voted to table a motion to recommend immediately reversing the lane reduction on Venice Blvd.
Thank the MVCC for not reversing their July decision and insisting on proper procedure. They rarely get thanked! We can expect variations of these motions to come back before the Board in October and they need to know they have our support.
The Motion: tabled
Policy motion “M” was sited out of order in violation of Robert’s Rules of Order with the board unable to reach agreement on how to resolve the issue — the motion was tabled for the board to do due diligence and revisit it in order to verify how rules of order apply to this situation. No public comment was heard. If it is determined that the board can reconsider a motion they have already made a decision on the matter may come back for a subsequent vote. If not, their prior vote will stand and they will withhold judgement until the project’s trial period is completed. Two similar motions* N and O were sent back to the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee to be reviewed with more notice and community involvement.
Your emails and turn out to the meeting meant a LOT – the MVCC board knows that the demand to restore the lanes does not reflect the majority and that the community seems to be pretty evenly divided. The room was pretty much full with representation of opponents and supporters of the Venice Blvd / Great Street Project seemingly roughly equal. Even for pro-Great Streets MVCC board members, it is difficult to vote their personal convictions if they do not appear to have support. We made our presence known and your voices were heard in support of safer streets for all.
We thank the MVCC for their careful consideration of the Venice Blvd Great Streets Project this past Tuesday. We all appreciate the difficult choices presented by this controversial project and the willingness to deliberate thoughtfully is gratifyingl. Special thanks goes to Sarah for navigating an extremely contentious procedural debate.
With that said — we are sorry we all had to go through this again — with a decision already rendered at the July meeting that was preceded by extensive public comment.
We must all recognize this matter may still come back – again for a subsequent decision(s) before the pilot project duration expires. Objections being heard at this point are anecdotal, based on experiences and perceptions while the project is still quite new, before traffic behavior has a chance to adapt and settle down and before the study can implement possible tweaks or modifications informed by collected project data. The are a number of studies** that confirm the need to be patient and give the modifications a chance to work — consistent with the July MVCC vote on the matter.
We will keep you updated – Again many thanks for your emails and support for safer streets for everyone!
*Additional related motions:
Motion Approved: “a stakeholder petition” which called for the designation of a “point person” to write up and submit a request for performance data related to the Venice Blvd / Great Street Project / Vision Zero Project. It was however pointed out that a request for this data had already been made to the city. The motion was described to be a “veiled tactic to call attention to the opponent’s accusations that the city is withholding or manipulating key data”. Nonetheless it was approved.
Two additional motions N and O were sent back to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
- One was yet another recommendation that the Venice Blvd lane reconfiguration be reversed.
- The other was a proposal for an expansive network of bikeways intended to pre-empt the need for the protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd. This motion proposed an elaborate network of alternate routes with a conceptual network describing several bike paths that would be extremely expensive to implement and vaguely outlined a few circuitous on-road routes through neighborhoods intended to satisfy regional cycling connectivity. It would seem the proposal was cooked up in a vacuum uninformed by existing plans or recognition of funding and engineering constraints.
** Related local case studies
- A case study of York Boulevard in northeast Los Angeles that examined the economic impacts of reducing mixed-use travel lanes and increasing bicycle lanes found there was little difference in the local retail business economy after the street underwent the reconfiguration.
- An analysis of safety on road diet corridors in Los Angeles closely mirrors the results of existing studies, as well as the summary estimates by the FHWA, suggesting that road diets have measurably improved safety on LA streets.
SHARE on social media! Tweet and post your support or photos of your ride through Venice, Jefferson, and Culver Boulevards, and Pershing Drive in the new bike lanes! Use #SaferVeniceBlvd, #SaferJeffersonBlvd, #SaferCulverBlvd, and #SaferPershingDr or #SaferVistaDelMar, to build momentum and share your message with fellow safe streets advocates.