At a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and Metro marked the completion of a new project which brings bus-only lanes and protected bike lanes to a long stretch of Venice Boulevard on the Westside.

The effort, formally known as the Venice Blvd Safety and Mobility Project, includes 2.1 miles of 24-hour dedicated bus-only lanes running from Inglewood Boulevard in the west to National Boulevard in the east - just short of Metro's Culver city Station. That corridor has a small gap between Sepulveda and Sawtelle Boulevards, where mixed-flow traffic remains at intersections which feed into ramps to the nearby 405 Freeway.

New 24-hour bus-only lane along Venice BoulevardMetro

Likewise, the project upgraded added new plastic bollards and parking protection to existing bike lanes along a 2.5-mile stretch of Venice. Other components of the project included new crosswalks, signals with emergency vehicle preemption, protected left turn lanes, and other accessibility improvements for pedestrians.

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

An estimated 47,000 residents live within a five-minute walk of the project area, with approximately 8,000 boarding Metro Line 33 which runs along Venice Boulevard - a large chunk of the average 20,000 daily riders the bus line sees on an average weekday.

Cyclist using the new protected bike lanes along Venice BoulevardMetro

At the same time, that corridor has been identified as part of the City of Los Angeles’ High Injury Network, which is the roughly six percent of streets that account for over 70 percent of severe and fatal injury collisions. In the 10-year period between 2012 to 2022, 1,203 collisions occurred on the section of Venice Blvd west of Inglewood. Of those incidents, roughly one quarter involved people walking or riding a bike, and 58 involved fatal or severe injuries.

This project came out of the recommendations of the Bus Speed Engineering Working Group, which was authorized by actions taken by the Metro Board of Directors and the Los Angeles City Council in July 2019. The work is intended to bring about new tinfrastructure to speed up transit service as part of Metro’s NextGen Bus Plan.

Project area for Venice Boulevard Safety and and Mobility ProjectLADOT

“I’m very proud of the outreach partnership between the Palms Neighborhood Council and LADOT,” said Katrina Kaiser of the Palms Neighborhood Council, who is also a member of the Streets for All Steering Committee. “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."

While the ribbon cutting ceremony may mark opening of the bus and bike lanes, more improvements are still on the way. Money awarded earlier this year by California transportation officials will go toward the construction of 38 new bus boarding islands with 27 shelters along Venice starting in June 2025.

This piece was updated to correct the distances of the bus and bike lanes.

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