The immense popularity of the Venice Boardwalk has raised new concerns for this zany seaside carnival. The huge crowds have attracted every manner of illegal vendor and legitimate nonprofit to set up shop on Ocean Front Walk. This, in turn, has created an impenetrable wall of tables along the east side of the famous walkway, blocking emergency vehicle access and posing a safety hazard for pedestrians.
Limiting nonprofit groups to six-foot tables and banning structures along the boardwalk's west side is a reasonable means to restore public ingress and egress and to preserve some open space in this public park. Of course, leafleting, signature gathering and other free speech activities will continue.
The Venice Boardwalk Assn. respects and welcomes the many artists, craftspeople and entertainers working on the boardwalk; at our request, the new boardwalk regulations do not affect these individuals. However, we feel they deserve to have their contributions recognized, so last December we proposed a plan to legitimize their presence on the boardwalk. We also asked (that) they be allowed to sell their wares. (They are currently prohibited from setting a price and can only suggest a donation.)
We look forward to the city of Los Angeles going ahead with this plan to establish the west side of the boardwalk as a permanent haven for the activities of artists and entertainers.
Executive Director Venice Boardwalk Assn.