Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Photo by John Schreiber.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Photo by John Schreiber.

A stretch of Van Nuys Boulevard in Pacoima that was once scary, gritty and unsafe is looking a lot more attractive due to a series of improvements that Los Angeles city leaders celebrated Friday.

The stretch of the boulevard from Laurel Canyon Boulevard to San Fernando Road has recently received high-visibility pedestrian crossings, buffered and protected bike lanes, and street resurfacing.

Since 2014, when the stretch of the boulevard was named as part of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative, it has also received an entrepreneur center, an outdoor art museum called Museo al Aire Libre, and 11,000 square feet of reconstructed sidewalk.

Garcetti’s office said the improvements are aimed at enhancing Van Nuys Boulevard as an economic, cultural and transportation hub.

“Van Nuys Boulevard is the cultural and commercial heart of the Northeast Valley, and we’re going to keep it thriving — by making sure it is safe and accessible to everyone who comes to enjoy what it has to offer,” Garcetti said. “These upgrades will improve everyday life for local residents and business owners, and they’ll let everyone who visits Pacoima explore the community in a new way.”

Garcetti was joined Friday by City Council President Herb Wesson, Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra, LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds, and some community partners to celebrate the improvements. Wesson has been overseeing the Seventh Council District where Pacoima is located since Felipe Fuentes stepped down in September.

“Van Nuys Boulevard is as iconic as Los Angeles itself,” Wesson said. “The Pacoima Great Streets project is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when the city and local community work together.”

Garcetti’s office also said this stretch of Van Nuys Boulevard has been classified as part of Vision Zero’s High Injury Network, which highlights streets where a majority of severe and fatal traffic collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists happen, and the new improvements will make the street more safe.

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