Reimagine Ventura

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 visions.

After extensive outreach and analysis during the past year, including three community meetings and expert traffic studies, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) and consultant Sam Schwartz Engineering have 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, Councilmember Blumenfield has decided to move forward with preferred “Alternative B” in the report.  

The full report is available at the bottom of this page, with illustrations of the preferred Alternative B preliminary design highlighted below. Alternative B will:

  • Increase the number of on-street parking spaces, including by adding diagonal or angled parking. The report recommends back-in angle parking, which would be an innovation in Los Angeles and which provides important safety benefits and is used successfully in other US cities.
  • Add street trees and other landscaping to beautify Ventura Boulevard and (when mature) provide shade against the West Valley’s heat.
  • Improve safety for people who walk, especially as they cross Ventura Boulevard, with new and enhanced crosswalks throughout the area and a new traffic signal at Royer Avenue.
  • Include a center median to improve traffic safety (including by restricting some dangerous mid-block left and U-turns.

These changes balance, on one hand, the desire to increase on-street parking, create a safer place to walk, and reduce the freeway-like feel of Ventura Boulevard with, on the other hand, 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 has concluded that, for the sake of a safer, more vibrant commercial district, this one- or two-second 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 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.

Conceptual Cross Section  Version_B-page-0.jpg

Conceptual Street Configuration

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  • Friend
    followed this page 2023-01-22 18:49:30 -0800
  • Robert Maiden
    commented 2022-10-07 11:31:29 -0700
    Hello Mr. Blumenfield,

    While I beg you read the rest of this email, here is a brief summary:
    A bus or light rail line along Ventura Blvd. would boost the local economy & businesses, aid residents of all areas in traveling around the city, provide the elderly with a safe mode of the transportation, improve air quality, reduce traffic, ease travel/navigation along the corridor, and build a stronger, closer community.

    It is imperative we consider a light rail line (like the Metro Blue & Expo lines) or a bus line (like the Silver) going down the boulevard connecting at the Universal City red line station.

    Especially with the Olympics coming to Los Angeles, it would truly connect us to the rest of city, bringing in more people to shop at local businesses, attend schools, and visit loved ones in the area. It would also make travel along the street quicker.

    It would also attract people from the city to come explore the “commercial heart” of the valley.
    I personally know people who have said they would visit more often if it was easier, faster, less stressful to get here.

    It would also ease traffic by taking cars off the road. Most people drive alone, which takes up a lot of space on streets and freeways. A line here would help more people get in & out of the valley by providing a mode of transportation where many people can be served in one trip.

    This line is essential for the aging population in areas like Encino, Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, and other areas along the street, who will eventually need help getting around. A sense of independence is innate to all and denying them an easy mode of transportation is a disservice to them & their personhood.

    It would also be a great help to workers traveling from other parts of the city to areas along Ventura, or vice versa.

    LA is a growing city looking towards the future with modern, clean, effective, and efficient solutions. It’s time the Valley joined the rest of the city in embracing people-friendly streets. The biggest mistake would be to promote the current level of car use. And given the increasing smogginess hovering in the air, it’s more than important we consider more alternatives to cars.

    TLDR; A bus or light rail line along Ventura Blvd. would boost the local economy & businesses, aid residents of all areas in traveling around the city, provide the elderly with a safe mode of the transportation, improve air quality, reduce traffic, ease travel/navigation along the corridor, and build a stronger, closer community.

    Thank you,
    Andres Perkins

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