Ventura Boulevard was famous long before the band America called it a highway and sang about it in 1972. Bill Robertson says, "It is the oldest continuous use highway in Los Angeles."
Robertson is director of L.A.'s Bureau of Street Services.
He says, "And naturally – and I'm talking about going back to the days of the Tongva Indians and the Chumash, the missions being settled, of course El Camino Real, the King's Highway, that was Ventura Boulevard. That was the main path highway leading up the coast into Ventura County."
The road led to Mission San Buenaventura, founded by Father Serra. The name means "good fortune" and it comes from St. Bonaventure, the 13th century Franciscan priest who ranks among the Catholic Church's great scholars and theologians.