Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as new chairman of MTA, according to Thursday's LA Times article wants to add five more Bus Only lanes in the county (city?) He touts the mostly federally funded Wilshire lane as part of a world-class system. Whether lanes are beneficial or not to local businesses and residents is an open debatable question.
I feel I must start lobbying our councilman and mayor NOT to consider Venice Boulevard as one of these five other dedicated bus lanes that will be proposed (or done deal?) Rapid bus yes, DASH yes, bike lane yes, streetscape improvement with storm water infiltration yes, traffic signal synchronization yes, but not high rise development abutting Mar Vista and other city neighborhoods R1 or R3 zones just because we live along current or future transit hubs/corridors.
A dedicated bus lane taking out what limited parking downtown Mar Vista has now would be a blow to legacy and emerging businesses. We need this street parking even if we get a much-needed city/private parking facility in downtown Mar Vista through the Westside Mobility Plan. Or taking out the third vehicle lane for Bus Only would make an already stagnant rush hour traffic flow much worse.
Slow down, park, get off the bus, bike, walk and shop in Palms and Mar Vista instead of more rushing through on the way to and from Venice beach or a downtown stadium. Culver City has shown the way with street closures, parking structures and streetscape improvements/beautification in downtown areas as well as along East and now West Washington Boulevard attracting businesses, restaurants, people walking and paying sales taxes!
When President Obama gets the infrastructure bank idea going through Congress, let our city officials lobby for more federal and state funds to rebuild and beautify in an ecologically sound way the much- neglected streetscapes we already have, instead of creating new infrastructure we won't maintain. Beautification will attract new and retain existing businesses and people who will pay taxes that will pay off the loans, go to future maintenance and add to much dwindled city coffers.