The first of a handful of new “temporary” barriers have gone up to discourage people from driving on Ocean Front Walk. Initiated from the horrible hit-and-run driver that intentionally diverted around what are already the most substantial driving barriers on a street preventing people from driving down Ocean Front Walk – these barriers are temporary. Sgt. Daniel Gonzales who is now in charge of the Venice Beach detail for LAPD told me that these barriers are ones that emergency vehicles and sanitation trucks can drive over without damaging them or their vehicles, yet send a strong visual cue to a driver that this is not a route they can drive on. The largest problems are out-of-town visitors/tourists… and bicyclists riding on the boardwalk. Similar barriers will be going up at Market St. and 17th Ave. At Brooks Ave. and Navy there will also be increased signage and barriers across the boardwalk.
Sgt. Gonzales said that The City has to do a formal geological survey of the boardwalk before any permanent plan can be devised and put in place. While these plastic guards were being put in at Rose, there was something like a metal plate under 4 inches from the surface that was preventing the crew from drilling down to secure them in place. Required a quick work around, and speaks to the issue of having to do a complete survey of any proposed action before anything can be done. The drilling problem today was almost a deal-breaker.
If there is a structure fire along OFW, firefighters need get their trucks in as close as possible. If there is a pursuit, LAPD will need to be able to access the area quickly. It will require a lot of deliberation and planning to find the right fit. And, of course, whatever the solution is… the local gaggle of complainers will have to paint “art” on it. God forbid we have something in Venice that can serve a plain, simple purpose.
The temporary barriers will be finished by the end of next week, while the survey of the area to apply a more permanent solution is devised. New “NO BIKES” signage is also on the way for the Boardwalk proper. (Good luck with that.)