Only in Venice can you zip-line your way around the boardwalk. Last week, the Venice Neighborhood Council approved the temporary construction permit for a 720-foot zip line near the boardwalk, making way for a final approval by the California Coastal Commission.
Greenheart Conservation Company is the Canadian-based ride operator which hopes to have its final permits in time for a July 1st opening. Under the proposal, riders will take off from a 44-foot tower near the skate park to a 24-foot tower at Windward Plaza by the basketball courts. The towers will be decorated with local art, and the attraction will bring in much-needed revenue to clean up the boardwalk, said Linda Lucks, president of the council.
Greenheart plans to offer live acrobatic and aerial performances to the public, and it proposes to give two-thirds of its gross revenue to clean the trash and improve public restrooms along the boardwalk. Educational programs for children on art and environment issues are to be run. The conservation-centered company has built similar attractions in Haiti and Las Vegas, raising more than $200,000 for local charities.
Opponents of the zip line feel that it may cause more harm than good and express concern that the ride will bring more crowds and more trash, which is counterintuitive to the group’s mission. The zip line must be dismantled after the three-month trial, but a permanent installation may be considered and is subject to environmental impact studies.
Do you think a Venice zip line is a good idea? Is it better that the group involved is more interested in cleaning up the boardwalk rather in than making a profit and leaving? Will it improve the condition of the area? Do you think you’ll want to ride it?
Bill Rosendahl, City Councilman
Ira Koslow, Resident of Venice, California and a member of the Venice Neighborhood Council; he’s also a teacher in the magnet school Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies