LADOT, L.A. Metro celebrate completion of Venice Boulevard Priority Lane Project

June 27, 2023
The project includes new crosswalks, signal upgrades, parking-protected bike lanes and a 24-hour dedicated bus lane.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (L.A. Metro) celebrated the completion of more than four miles of safety and mobility improvements along Venice Boulevard between Inglewood Boulevard and National Boulevard as part of the Venice Boulevard Priority Lane Project. The project includes new crosswalks, signal upgrades, parking-protected bike lanes and a 24-hour dedicated bus lane. The project creates a safer corridor, improving reliable bus, bike and pedestrian connections between Palms and Mar Vista for the nearly 47,000 residents living within a five-minute walk of the project area.

LADOT says an average of 20,000 riders board the L.A. Metro 33 Line on Venice Boulevard daily and 8,000 of them board or depart the bus within the project area. On L.A. Metro Line 33, 93 percent of riders are people of color, 84 percent live in households making less than $50,000 a year, 82 percent do not own a car and rely on bus service and 98 percent take L.A. Metro at least several times per week.

The improvements also provide greater access for pedestrians, cyclists and bus riders to and from the L.A. Metro E Line (Expo) at the Culver City Station on the eastern edge of the project area.

"Whether taking the bus, driving, walking or biking, Angelenos deserve to move around our city safely,” said Mayor of Los Angeles Karen Bass. "The recently completed improvements on Venice Boulevard help make progress toward that goal. I want to thank LADOT and L.A. Metro for continuing to deliver improvements to Venice Boulevard and the surrounding community that can increase safety and makes travel more reliable for the many people who travel within this area.”

“All Angelenos deserve to live in safe, liveable communities – where we don’t waste our lives sitting in traffic or fear for our or our child’s safety every time we cross the street,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember and L.A. Metro Board member Katy Yaroslavsky. “Just think about what we could do if we brought this kind of infrastructure to communities across Los Angeles and created a truly connected bike network and made bus travel times faster. It would fundamentally transform the way we live and move around in L.A.”

“The Venice Boulevard Priority Lane Project is an important step in building a safer and more equitable transit network for Los Angeles, especially as it relates to this corridor,” said Glendale City Council Member and L.A. Metro Board Chair Ara J. Najarian. “It will enhance mobility and safety for the thousands of people in the community who use transit to get to and from school, work, businesses and appointments along the corridor.”

Venice Boulevard is part of the city of Los Angeles’ High Injury Network: The six percent of streets that account for more than 70 percent of severe and fatal injury collisions. According to LADOT, from 2012 to 2022, 1,203 collisions occurred on the section of Venice Boulevard west of Inglewood, with 25 percent of those involved people walking or riding a bike and 58 people were killed or severely injured.

LADOT targeted safety improvements along Venice as part of its efforts to combat the public health crisis of collisions and rising deaths on LA streets. In addition to bus priority and bike lane improvements, the project also includes signal improvements such as transit and emergency vehicle preemption, protected left turn signals, crosswalk improvements, high-visibility paint to alert drivers to areas where cyclists and pedestrians may be present and accessibility improvements for pedestrians.

"Venice Boulevard is a symbol of what can happen when agencies collaborate alongside residents and business owners to design transportation solutions that help people get to where they need to go, no matter how they choose to get there,” said Connie Llanos, Interim General Manager at LADOT. “This project will not only make it safer and more reliable for people to walk, roll and ride public transit, but it will help vehicles travel more efficiently and with greater visibility of pedestrians and cyclists, ensuring that all road users are better protected.”

“A lot of people we serve depend on the bus to get to work on time or to pick up their kids and other family members, so it’s critically important we have a predictable and reliable schedule,” said L.A. Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “These new bus lanes will speed up our buses on this part of the corridor by up to 15 percent or more, which has benefits up and down the line.”

The Venice Boulevard Priority Lane Project is one of the many recommendations resulting from the Bus Speed Engineering Working Group, authorized by the L.A. Metro Board of Directors and the Los Angeles City Council in July 2019. It is a collaborative effort between L.A. Metro, Bass and LADOT to identify, design, fund and implement transit-supportive infrastructure to speed up transit service as part of L.A. Metro’s NextGen Bus Plan and the agency’s Vision 2028 Plan.

Prior to implementation, LADOT and L.A. Metro engaged with residents and riders to understand their experiences and gather insights on the corridor's challenges and priorities. Over 250 businesses and 2000 individuals participated in 28 separate engagement events. Participants emphasized the need for safety improvements and the importance of maintaining accessibility and efficiency on Venice Boulevard.

“I’m proud of the outreach partnership between the Palms Neighborhood Council and LADOT,” said Katrina Kaiser, vice chair of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee for Palms Neighborhood Council and Streets for All Steering Committee member. “We were able to daylight the unique needs of our neighborhood, which has both many bikers, bus riders and pedestrians, but also specific business needs. I’m also proud of the advocacy work that many community organizations – including my own, Streets For All – did to ensure the city witnessed the wide community enthusiasm for safe multimodal infrastructure.”

LADOT and L.A. Metro will continue to work with communities to deliver projects that make it easier for people to get on and off buses and enhance accessibility for all users of Venice Boulevard.