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Make It Mar Vista Celebrates Community on Venice Blvd with Placemaking, a Pop-up Protected Bike Lane

On Saturday, November 28th, Make It Mar Vista, a Small Business Saturday community event on Venice Blvd, took place. LACBC volunteers made a pop-up protected bike lane on Venice Blvd between Centinela and Grandview, which is one of the Mayor’s Great Streets Challenge Grant awardees. Over ten volunteers showed up at 7 a.m. in the morning to give Venice Blvd a bike makeover.

Venice Blvd at 7 a.m., before installing pop-up bike lane. The street was very quiet after Thanksgiving.

Our volunteers started to stripe lanes with white duct tape from the local home supply store. The parking lane soon became an 8-ft wide bike lane, and the normal bike lane became a safe 5-ft buffer.

We needed signs and arrows to indicate that this was the bike lane. We used the leftover duct tape to make creative and fun signs. Our volunteers were really artistic!

We used green tape to mark a pedestrian crossing zone between the bike lane and pop-up parklets. Four parking spaces were converted into awesome public spaces that people could hang out and enjoy holiday spirit.

At 10:30 a.m., LACBC Make it Mar Vista Kick-off Ride rolled out at Venice and Beethoven. Councilmember Mike Bonin joined us on his bike with a baby trailer. About 30 people looped the Great Street Venice Blvd between Beethoven and Inglewood. Of course we rode through the brand-new pop-up protected bike lane, twice!

This stretch of Venice will get a makeover next Spring with protected bike lanes, parklets, and more.

Riders arrived at pop-up parklets after the ride.

After the ride, the Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce, Councilmember Mike Bonin, and the Small Business Association launched Make it Mar Vista with opening remarks. LACBC also had a booth all day and gathered surveys asking how safe people felt on Venice Blvd on that day as opposed to before.

Bike Bike Share, Santa Monica’s new bike share program, brought 9 fleets of bikes for people to ride and test the pop-up lane with. I got to ride on one of the bikes. They’re lighter than other bike share bikes and have a GPS and a U-lock attached. Pretty cool!

At 12 p.m., Jim Shanman from Walk ‘n Rollers led a tricycle derby. You can tell the pop-up bike lane is working when kids feel safe riding their scooters and bikes on it.

A lot of local shops along Venice Blvd participated in the event as a part of the Small Business Saturday nationwide movement. Walk or bike to your local stores instead of driving to a mall and being stuck in traffic. What do you #shopsmall for? Community!

Thank you so much for volunteers who came out so early in the morning to make this happen! Special thanks to Sarah Auerswald from the Chamber, Ryan Snyder Association, and Charlie Gandy!

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