Many in Culver City use the bike path for both transportation and exercise, and the route to the beach has multiple benefits for every community it runs through. The non-profit group Streets For All has put forth a proposal to extend the bike path to Mid-City, a vision that was part of it’s original inception in the 1970’s but never can to pass.
The bike path runs approximately 6.5 miles from Syd Kronenthal Park at the east end of Culver City in the Arts District, all the way out to Marina del Rey. While plans had originally called the path to extend east, the expected second phase of construction never materialized.
According to UrbanizeLA, the proposal from Streets For All would complete the original vision of the path, extending its reach by approximately two miles to the intersection of Cochran Avenue and Venice Boulevard.
Landscape architecture firm SWA has provided design concepts for the project, which would overall take a light touch toward new construction along the corridor.
Potential big ticket items in the extension would include the construction of a new bridge at Smiley Drive, allowing the bike path to transfer from the north side of the channel to the south. To make the bike path contiguous, the project would also require the construction of three segments of underpass at its crossing of the I-10 Freeway and its on- and off-ramps.
However, other grade crossings along the corridor would be handled through the installation of new signalized mid-block crossings including those at Washington Boulevard, Fairfax Avenue, Thurman Avenue, Hauser Boulevard, Burnside Avenue, and Cochran Avenue.
East of Fairfax Avenue, new stretches of bike path would be built on the currently empty right-of-way flanking the Ballona Creek channel, with a portion of the route to be built as “Sharrows” along Cologne Street. The final terminus of the path would be located at the southeast corner of Cochran and Venice Boulevard, where plans call for transforming a vacant lot into a new gateway park.
Streets For All is coordinating the project, according to the organization’s founder Michael Schneider, along with partners at Culver City Forward, Ballona Creek Renaissance, Bike Culver City, and SWA.
“LADOT tried to get funding for this twice in the early 2000s – both times failed,” says Schneider in an e-mail. “I think with the Biden Administration’s infrastructure push and as part of our COVID-19 recovery, things could move very quickly. I’d love to have this complete by 2025.”