July 22, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Shorts: Sand Is Drowning Oceanfront Walk

Grassy Knolls That Separated the Venice Boardwalk and Bike Path Have Been Completely Destroyed, What Is Being Done to Fix It?

By Nick Antonicello

When I arrived in Venice in March of 1993, a stroll along Oceanfront Walk was a delight as the grassy knoll that separated the bike path from the boardwalk was a finely manicured lawn of sorts with working water sprinklers that was mowed regularly and displayed a sense of pride that this tourist destination was being well maintained.

Credible public maintenance means tourist dollars and tax revenue for Venice and Los Angeles.

Fast forward today, the complete deterioration of the knolls and the non-existent maintenance has been going on now for at least the last decade needs to be reversed.  

For the question is who is responsible for this distinct stretch of landscape that stretches from the Venice Pier to the Santa Monica border?

I have asked this question many times in the past and when I approached LA City officials, they claim the County of Los Angeles is responsible.

When posed to the County of Los Angeles, they point the finger right back at LA!

With a new city councilmember and county supervisor representing Venice in Traci Park and Lindsay Horvath, maybe they can collectively visit the beach and put together a plan of action that ends the sand erosion and develop a landscaping strategy that beautifies this patch of public property.

The image(s) here were taken Friday evening, July 14th and hopefully with the pandemic now in the rearview, what is being done or proposed to build an infrastructure plan that reimagines the Venice Boardwalk?

With the World Cup arriving in 2026 and the Summer Olympics in 2028, what is the capital improvement plan to invest in one of the state’s most visited destinations by locals and tourists alike?

Investment in infrastructure here in Venice is woefully inept and downright embarrassing.

If LA can appropriate $1.3 billion dollars to combat homelessness with zero results, what portion of municipal spending can be targeted in cleaning up the boardwalk and providing the kind of public safety presence this venue demands?

Oceanfront Walk should be the crown jewel of Los Angeles.

It could generate millions in city and county revenue with a true commitment to improving and transforming the boardwalk into a place we can all be proud of.

This needs to become a priority today for a better Venice tomorrow.  

Could you imagine if New York city officials allowed Central Park to become a virtual slum?

In fact New York City reinvigorated Times Square as well as Bryant Park, formerly venues of high crime, drugs and prostitution into two of the most visited tourist attractions in the Big Apple!

There needs to be a political will, and thus a way to fix these ongoing infrastructure ills that are attainable and within reach with the right policy and commitment to getting things done.

Our new elected officials at the city and county levels have difficult tasks and nothing is easy. But that should not prevent a pragmatic effort to get things right, especially in revenue generating and job creating propositions like Oceanfront Walk and the boardwalk.

The investment dollars are certainly available and when there is a plan and the will, a way becomes obvious to all.

Nick Antonicello is a thirty-year resident of Venice and a volunteer member of the Oceanfront Committee of the Venice Neighborhood Council. Have a take or a tip all things Venice? Contact Antonicello via e-mail at nantoni@mindspring.com

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