CONCEPTUAL CROSS SECTION
CONCEPTUAL STREET CONFIGURATION
Blumenfield at the ceremonial key exchange for the newest city-owned performing arts center in the West Valley, the Canoga Park Stage Arts Lab (CPSAL).
Councilmember Blumenfield is dedicated to empowering the West Valley through economic development efforts that revitalize commercial corridors and boost business growth.
Local Business Support
Neighborhood Improvement Initiatives
$100 Million Plus in Investments for a Brighter Future for Reseda
"With its historic retail corridor along Sherman Way, natural resources like the Los Angeles River, transit accessibility with the Orange Line Busway, and diverse neighborhoods, I know Reseda’s best days are ahead. With the launch of Reseda Rising we are opening a dynamic, multi-front initiative to leverage those incredible resources to create the Reseda we know it can, should, and soon will be.” -Councilmember Bob Blumenfield
Ventura Boulevard is the San Fernando Valley’s Main Street, and it is so iconic that it is referred to simply as “the Boulevard.” But the westernmost portion, near Fallbrook Avenue, has the potential to be even better. Councilmember Blumenfield is focused on helping it thrive with his “Reimagine Ventura Boulevard” initiative.
The program seeks to “Reimagine Ventura Boulevard” as a neighborhood-scaled Main Street for Woodland Hills that supports local business and creates a better sense of place for nearby residents by providing additional parking, enhanced landscaping, and improvements for those who walk, even if just from a parking space to a local store or restaurant. The project was sparked by community members who enlisted the Woodland Hills-Warner Center Neighborhood Council and other groups to develop a clear vision for their main street. Councilmember Blumenfield was happy to secure City funding for an in-depth study of the half-mile stretch of Ventura between Royer and Sale Avenues to flesh out the community’s vision.
After extensive outreach and analysis over a year, including three community meetings and expert traffic studies, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) and consultant Sam Schwartz Engineering released a report detailing proposed modifications to Ventura Blvd. LADOT and Sam Schwartz evaluated various possible road reconfigurations, but based on the preference of the business and community members who played an integral role in the design and outreach workshops, “Alternative B” in the report was chosen.
The full report is available here, with illustrations of the preferred Alternative B preliminary design highlighted below. Alternative B will:
These changes balance the desire to increase on-street parking, create a safer place to walk, and reduce the freeway-like feel of Ventura Boulevard with the need to move traffic efficiently. Notably, because the street cannot be widened to create space for more on-street parking, in some areas this will require reconfiguring a traffic lane.
To that end, Sam Schwartz Engineering and ITERIS, in consultation with LADOT staff, conducted a full traffic impact analysis. The traffic study concluded that the proposed roadway reconfiguration would have no significant delay or negative impact on traffic. At Ventura/Royer, because the new traffic signal would allow safer and quicker turns onto Ventura for local residents, average traffic delay during rush hour would actually decrease by 18 seconds or more. At Ventura/Sale and Ventura/Fallbrook, the average traffic delay during rush hour would increase only slightly, by a cumulative 1.6 seconds during the morning commute, and 1.1 seconds during the evening commute. At all other times of day, traffic on this stretch of Ventura Boulevard flows freely, and that will not change. Councilmember Blumenfield, in consultation with the community, has concluded that, for the sake of a safer, more vibrant commercial district, this one- or two-second limited increase in peak hour congestion is an acceptable cost.
Over the next several months, Councilmember Blumenfield will work with LADOT and other City departments to refine and finalize the roadway plans, and to design more extensive landscaping. He will also seek additional funding to leverage the City’s commitment of $500,000 to implement this community-initiated project.
Some elements of the plan to make this part of the Boulevard shine brighter—such as a new traffic signal, median and landscaping—are relatively permanent. Others--including addition of angled parking—involve road striping and can be modified if they do not work as intended. Councilmember Blumenfield will monitor the performance of the initiative, using parking and traffic metrics to ensure success and make any needed adjustments.
Councilmember Blumenfield offers his deepest thanks to the community members including, Scott Silverstein and Dennis DiBiase, who began to “Reimagine Ventura Boulevard” and all of those who participated in the planning process. Together we will make this commercial district the Main Street that Woodland Hills deserves.
Councilmember Bob Blumenfield is proud to unveil his vision for a new ‘Canoga Parks Art District.’ With the Madrid Theatre on Sherman Way, Canoga Park Youth Center, and the new Canoga Park Stage Arts Lab (CPSAL) at the new Taxco Theatre(formerly Clyde Porter Theater), Blumenfield and the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) are creating new opportunities for all types of local artists to help the community become a greater destination for family, business and culture. Utilizing Community Redevelopment (CRA) Excess Bond Funds, Blumenfield was able to leverage monies that could only be used for community reinvestment projects to help develop these exciting projects. He also was able to provide additional city funds to make it happen.
The Madrid Theatre, located at 21622 Sherman Way, has long been a staple for arts and entertainment in the West Valley. Beginning in 1928, the original Madrid Theatre served as a silent movie house and was one of the first buildings in Canoga Park. Since then the theatre has gone through many incarnations but it was severely damaged in the 1994 Reseda/Northridge Earthquake. In 1998, the CRA purchased the site and, with the help of federal grants, millions of dollars were invested into helping the theater get back on its feet.
Now, Blumenfield is bringing the Madrid into the 21st century. He recently announced that he had cobbled together $8.5 million in improvements to upgrade everything from the stage, lobby area, and the addition of needed amenities such as new restrooms and a concert level Steinway Grand Piano. The renowned architectural firm Gensler won the RFP and renderings of the improvements are now available.
In December 2018, Councilmember Blumenfield and the City of Los Angeles purchased the newest city-owned performing arts center in the West Valley. Dubbed the Canoga Park Stage Arts Lab (CPSAL) at what is now known as the Taxco Theatre. This site will serve as an incubator, rehearsal and performance space for all types of local artists. For decades this theater, formerly home to the West Valley Playhouse troupe, served as a unique stage for local theater and Blumenfield wanted to ensure that it would continue to provide entertainment for years to come.
When Blumenfield found out that the former Clyde Porter Theatre was on the market to be sold to the highest bidder, he wanted to make sure that this Canoga Park venue would not be lost. He believed it could encourage live dance, music and theater in the West Valley and Los Angeles. With creative thinking and strategic partnerships, Blumenfield has helped save this site. Under city leadership it will not only become a new home for the development of local performance arts projects for many years to come, but it will serve as a key element in realizing Blumenfield’s dream for the new Canoga Park Arts District that will help transform the area.
Located at 7242 Owensmouth Ave. in Canoga Park, the petite performing arts center seats about 150 people and was formerly a Masonic Lodge before it was transformed into a theater in 2000. Blumenfield used $1.395 million in excess Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) bond funds to purchase it. These are funds that can only be used for community revitalization efforts and cannot be utilized for issues such as public safety or homelessness. The theater will be operated by DCA and be available to various community theater and performance groups from throughout the region. It will be operated in coordination and collaboration with the Madrid Theatre to create synergy and new possibilities.
Warner Center Transportation Technology Innovation Zone
In 2021 the Los Angeles City Council adopted Councilmember Blumenfield's motion to create a Transportation Technology Innovation Zone in the Warner Center. With its mix of office, residential and commercial uses and--compared to many other parts of Los Angeles--relatively uncongested streets and sidewalks, the Warner Center is an ideal location to test new technologies that can help reduce our reliance on fossil-fueled vehicles, improve access for all, and create a better quality of life.
Councilmember Blumenfield is partnering with Mayor Garcetti, the Department of Transportation, Urban Mobility Labs, and community organizations to create a permitting process that will encourage innovation, ensure safety and bring new technologies to the Warner Center area. Some of these technologies--such as sidewalk-operated robotic delivery devices--are already in operation. This is another step toward making the Warner Center a true live-work-shop-play neighborhood and Blumenfield is proud to be part of this exciting initiative.
Committed to improving mobility in the Warner Center, in 2019 Councilmember Bob Blumenfield launched "Warner Connects," a Transportation Management Organization (TMO) focused on encouraging the use of sustainable or alternative transportation such as walking,biking, public transit and carpooling.
By reducing traffic and encouraging transportation alternatives, Warner Connects aims to create a fun and active atmosphere for the entire Warner Center community, envisioned as a live, work, play, transit-friendly neighborhood under the Warner Center 2035 Plan.
Councilmember Blumenfield has been doggedly pursuing ways to help restaurants and small businesses from going under during these difficult times. Toward that end, Blumenfield authored special legislation to temporarily suspend and/or streamline certain City regulatory hurdles that have been a financial burden to small businesses during the pandemic. The measures were adopted by the City to help businesses recover and expand, with an eye towards making a number of them permanent after the economic crisis has eased.
Although the City does not have the vast resources of the Federal and State Government to bail out local businesses, Blumenfield is actively working with business owners to identify creative solutions at the City level to assist businesses and their workers during this difficult time.
To create synergy between the City and local business community, Blumenfield and his Economic Development and Local Business Consultant Kevin Tamaki partnered with members of the West Valley small business community to create a BobCAT Community Action Team on Small Business Outreach. Together they regularly visit small businesses all across the West Valley to check in with the owners, provide existing City services and access to workshops, and listen to local issues. These outreach visits have led to Blumenfield authoring many motions that have streamlined services for small business owners, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The BobCAT was also responsible for organizing a small business symposium titled BLOOM, which brought together small business owners who had a vested interest in learning about free and low-cost consultation services to help grow their brands.
More recently, with public health safety measures in mind, Blumenfield has taken the BobCAT virtual with his small business outreach via Zoom meetings. He has also hosted virtual events to inform small businesses on economic relief programs such as government and private entity loans and grants.