UPDATE: LADOT expects to finish road work by this weekend.
VENICE — A new transportation project on one of Venice’s busiest streets will help improve mobility, increase road safety, and encourage active modes of transportation.
The Main Street Road Diet — taking place between Windward Circle and the City of Santa Monica — will reduce travel lanes to one in each direction while creating a bike lane on both sides of the street.
“This road diet will meet the needs of the increasing number of bike commuters on the Westside,” said Councilman Bill Rosendahl. “The new and improved Main Street in Venice will create a safer environment for all modes of transportation.”
Rosendahl also says the road diet will enhance the pedestrian experience, reduce traffic conflicts, and eliminate the bottleneck at the Santa Monica border.
While motorists may experience additional delays during peak travel times due to lane reductions, the delay will be partially mitigated by providing a center-striped median that allows motorists to remove themselves from through lanes of traffic to make left turns.
“We are laying the foundation for a truly multi-modal system here in Los Angeles that will offer people a choice to travel by bike, bus, automobile — or even on foot,” says Rosendahl. “Whatever your mode of transportation, the road diet will aid in congestion management and build safer, healthier communities.”
As chairman of the City’s Transportation Committee, Rosendahl has fought to ease congestion in his gridlocked district and find ways to encourage more people to ride their bike instead of their cars.
“Venice has always been a very bicycle friendly town,” says Linda Lucks, president of the Venice Neighborhood Council. “People are more willing to ride their bikes these days for various reasons, but we encourage people to ride their bikes because the traffic is so bad.”
Los Angeles bicycling advocates say neighboring cities are investing heavily in their own bike infrastructure and it’s important to have a seamless connection for those who chose to ride on two wheels instead of four.
“People want to enjoy the great weather and ride near the beach,” says Alexis Lantz of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. “This is why it’s important to have these amenities — whether you’re a full-time resident or you’re just visiting for a couple of days. ”
Studies show that a relatively minor mode shift could result in significant congestion reduction that would benefit all users of our roadways. The Federal Highway Administration found that road diets reduce crash frequency by 29% per mile.
Listen to an audio slideshow on the project here
UPDATE: LADOT says removal of the old stripping was completed and crews should have the remaining work completed by next weekend.