Venice: Kudos to Those Who Devised the New Boardwalk Plan

The Venice Beach historical refurbishment plan now recommended for funding reflects the desires of thousands of residents grouped into Venice's five main volunteer organizations--the Venice Town Council, Venice Action Committee, Chamber of Commerce, the Venice Canals Association and the Venice Boardwalk Association. The plan is also endorsed by the Venice Beach Entertainment Guild. It was developed over five years under the guidance of the Coastal Conservancy and volunteer Venice architects. Those who oppose elements of the plan are largely outsiders who do not have the community's best interest at heart.

The Venice community developed this master plan after years of frustration with cheap, ineffectual solutions foisted on Venice by insensitive city bureaucrats. The plan addresses chronic problems like congestion, noise, crime, loss of historic buildings, and a lack of adequate lighting, safe restrooms or sufficient capacity for skaters, bike riders, etc.

Months of research also led the residents to decide that sand-set brick was the best solution for the beach setting: It is flexible, more durable, less expensive in the long term, needs less maintenance, doesn't absorb fast-food residue and motor oils, is nontoxic to the marine environment and the grass lining the Boardwalk, and will provide a historic-looking context for the many remaining brick buildings on the Boardwalk. Finally, the professional skaters teaching and performing at Venice Beach support its use, pointing up the lie in outsiders' contention that brick isn't "skater-friendly."

MARCK RYAVEC

Executive Director,

Venice Boardwalk Association

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