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Eyes on the Street: Culver City’s Renovated Culver Blvd Bikeway

Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog

Last week, Streetsblog got the chance to visit the recently reopened portion of the Culver Boulevard bike path in Culver City. The half-mile long refurbished portion of the facility extends along the east side of Culver from Sepulveda Boulevard to Elenda Street. The northeast end connects with the Elenda protected bikeway that opened in 2021. The path, located on a former Pacific Electric streetcar right of way, continues southwest along Culver Boulevard another mile and a half to McConnell Street in the L.A. City neighborhood of Del Rey.

Culver Boulevard's recent bike, walk, and landscaping upgrades were part of the city's project Culver Boulevard Realignment & Urban Stormwater Project, which was completed earlier this year. According to the city website, that project:

    • continued the widening of Culver Blvd that was initiated by Caltrans in 2009 as part of the widening improvements to the 405 Freeway (It is not clear where any further widening took place recently. That earlier widening - circa 2007-2008 - narrowed the bike/walk median in order to flare six-lane Culver Boulevard to eight lanes at Sepulveda. That lane configuration persists today. It appears that the new project added/widened median spaces, not spaces for driving.)
    • resolved traffic issues, improved pedestrian safety, and enhanced aesthetics
    • installed a raised bikeway and walkway, landscaping, and new median separating the eastbound and westbound lanes of car traffic
    • installed underground water features to detain rainwater and other urban run-off, for both infiltration and for use for irrigation

Truth be told, the improvements in the bikeway itself are not night-and-day different than what had been there earlier.

Google Street View of Culver Boulevard median bikeway in 2019
The 'before' view of the Culver Boulevard median bikeway in 2019 - via Google Street View
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The paths' surfaces have been redone. The parallel decomposed granite walk path and the asphalt bike path are further separated from each other. The small architectural relics (from Culver City's 1928 City Hall building) are still there, in new display fixtures. There is new lighting and extensive new native landscaping - including removal of some palm trees, replaced by shade trees.

Below are Culver Boulevard project photos taken last Friday afternoon.

Culver City's Culver Boulevard bike path
Culver City's Culver Boulevard bike path featuring new asphalt surface, new lighting, and new landscaping
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Along the Culver Boulevard walk/bike paths are several concrete seating areas
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The walk and bike path sees plenty of people on foot, including many folks walking their dogs
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The renovated Culver Boulevard path features extensive native landscaping. Many existing mature shade trees were retained; many new shade trees were added.
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The project included new benches (shaded by nearby trees) at Culver Boulevard bus stops
The project included installing new benches (shaded by nearby trees) at Culver Boulevard bus stops
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The path has long displayed a handful of decorative architectural forms salvaged from the now-demolished 1938 Culver City City Hall. These "relics" (as the signage terms them) have been retained, and re-installed on new concrete display fixtures.
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More 1928 Culver City City Hall relics on display along the refurbished Culver Boulevard walk/bike path
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Most of the watershed management features of the project are underground, invisible to folks walking, bicycling, riding buses, or driving on Culver. The one surface infiltration feature that Streetsblog spotted was a series of openings in the curbs of the smaller new median separating eastbound and westbound car traffic lanes. These allow for rainwater to enter the landscaped median and soak into the ground there.
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Diagram of the large underground water storage facility below Culver Boulevard. Water enters via storm drains, then is diverted, filtered, and used for irrigation.
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