Former City Councilman Marvin Braude would be delighted that the long-proposed improvements to add a second lane to the bike path between the City of Santa Monica and Will Rogers State Beach is finally under construction.
Work has started this week and will continue through June 22 to add the additional lane (and bridge) in the .6-mile gap north of the Santa Monica City limit to Will Rogers. When completed this will finish a nine-mile parallel trail from Venice to the Palisades.
Pedestrians and pet walkers will be able to use one path, while bicyclists and skate boarders will have a separate path. Paths will each be 12-14 feet wide.
Notices will be posted on the trail in advance so that bicyclists and pedestrians will know to expect detours and delays during the construction. Residents should be forewarned they may experience occasional stops around the construction area during work hours. Construction activity will be based at the Chautauqua Parking Lot and the southern end of the Temescal Parking Lot.
According to the September 2021 L.A. Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners meeting, the money to fund the project: $2,200,000 will be provided by Active Transportation Program Grants and $3,800,000 will come from L.A. County Measure R Local Return Funds.
The County has received California Coastal Commission approval. When completed the trail will be maintained by the County.
Will Rogers State Beach is owned by the state of California and leased to Los Angeles. Since 1975, the County has provided maintenance according to a Joint Power Agreement between the County and City.
Braude was a member of the Los Angeles City Council from 1965 to 1997. He was known for protecting the open space of the Santa Monica Mountains and for leading the drive to ban smoking in restaurants and government buildings. He also protested gas-powered leaf blowers.
He was an avid bicyclist and worked to establish bicycle paths along the Pacific Ocean beachfront. It was reported that in 1968, he led a contingent of 350 bike enthusiasts from Venice to Playa del Rey to draw interest for a bike trail.
In 1974, he led 175 bikers along the 19-mile bikeway that the county was building along the beach, only to be stopped by sheriff’s deputies at the entrance to a Marina apartment complex in what the owner contended was an “unlawful invasion of private property.”
Braude died in 2005, and a year later, the trail was officially named the Marvin Braude Bike Trail and dedicated by State Senator Sheila Kuehl.
The 22-mile paved bicycle path runs along the Los Angeles County coastline, from the northern terminus at Will Rogers State Beach, in Pacific Palisades, to the southern terminus at Torrance County Beach in Torrance, and is open year-round.
In 2020, a portion of the trail in Santa Monica was upgraded by widening the existing bike path and adding a separate defined path for pedestrians.