Council members split over concerns for local businesses and environmental impact
During a recent City Council meeting on March 13th, the council voted in favor of reopening Main Street on weekends, except for the farmer’s market.
The meeting’s action item focused on discussing and directing the future use of Main Street, between Culver Boulevard and the city boundary south of Venice Boulevard.
During the meeting, the public speakers expressed their concerns regarding the decision, with some being worried about the future of the local businesses on Main Street. One person provided photographic evidence of how quiet Main is, but the photographs’ timeframe was unverified. Others preferred that the street remain closed, as the area has become safer and more walkable, allowing kids to play while parents shop and grab a coffee.
One speaker suggested that parents should take their kids to a park to play. The council members voted as expected, with Mayor Albert Vera and Council Members Dan O’Brien and Göran Eriksson voting in favor, while Vice Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin and Council Member Freddy Puza voted against in the 3-2 vote.
Although Vera, Eriksson, and O’Brien acknowledged valid concerns for the future of the local businesses, stating that many had signed leases with the expectation that Main Street would remain open, McMorrin and Puza pointed to the environmental impact and argued that “public spaces are for people.”
Furthermore, O’Brien called for more bicycle racks to be installed on Main, even though he voted in favor of reopening the street. Overall, the council’s decision to reopen Main Street on weekends, excluding the farmer’s market, remains a topic of debate among the public.