San Vicente Boulevard
Built in the early 20th century and named for the Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica that had previously occupied the area, the Boulevard ran from the Soldiers' Home Sawtelle Veterans Home to Ocean avenue in Santa Monica. This tree-lined street was 130 feet wide, with trolley lines used by the Los Angeles Pacific Electric Railway Pacific Electric Railway running down its center. It was oiled and surfaced in 1906 and, when completed, it "made one of the finest drives in the country". (Luther A. Ingersoll: Ingersoll's Century History, Santa Monica Bay Cities, 1908)
Today the boulevard begins at Venice Boulevard between Crenshaw Boulevard and La Brea Avenue and travels in a northwesterly direction towards Beverly Hills. The roadway splits into two streets past La Cienega Boulevard, with the western branch becoming Burton Way, which eventually becomes Santa Monica Boulevard South and connects directly to Downtown Beverly Hills. San Vicente Boulevard itself continues north into West Hollywood and ends at Sunset Boulevard (served by Metro Local lines 30 and 330). A separate stretch of road with the same name, San Vicente Boulevard, runs from Santa Monica to Brentwood.
Locating an address on San Vicente Blvd can be especially tricky. The easternmost end at Venice Blvd begins with the number 4600, and increases to the west. By Los Angeles convention, since there is no E. San Vicente Blvd, i.e. the boulevard does not go east of Main St., San Vicente Blvd is not termed W. San Vicente Blvd. The address numbers continue to increase up to 6600 at Wilshire Blvd. Two complications begin at Wilshire Blvd. Firstly, since San Vicente Blvd does not follow the overall grid of Los Angeles but rather a slowly arcing curve, the intersection at Wilshire Blvd is chosen as the point where the numbering switches from east-west numbers to north-south numbers with respect to the city grid. Secondly, between Wilshire Blvd and La Cienega Blvd, the median of San Vicente forms a border between Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. The east side of San Vicente is known as S. San Vicente Blvd, with numbering decreasing between 700 at the Wilshire end and 400 at the La Cienega end—even numbers only. The west side of San Vicente is known as N. San Vicente Blvd, with numbering increasing between 100 at the Wilshire end and 300 at the La Cienega end—odd numbers only. North of La Cienega, both sides of the street are in Los Angeles. The numbering continues accordingly as 400 S. San Vicente Blvd. The street becomes N. San Vicente Blvd at Gracie Allen Dr. As in the rest of Los Angeles, the numbers at the city's grid axis start with 100. Numbers 0-99 are not used. At 300 N. San Vicente Blvd, the boulevard enters the City of West Hollywood at Beverly Blvd. The street name and numbering do not change. The street terminates at Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood at the number 1100 N. San Vicente.
A second San Vicente Blvd begins in the Brentwood neighborhood of the City of Los Angeles. This street is unrelated to the former except in name. Once again, and for the same reason at before, this street is not known as W. San Vicente Blvd. However, some navigation systems call this street West San Vicente to differentiate it from the other. This San Vicente Blvd begins at Wilshire Blvd west of Interstate 405. This second intersection of Wilshire Blvd and San Vicente Blvd is five and one-half miles west of the former. Once again, the numbering increases to the west, beginning with the number 11400 at Wilshire Blvd. As the street continues, it eventually crosses the border of the City of Santa Monica, and does not change names, at Santa Monica's 26th St. The last number on San Vicente Blvd in Los Angeles' address grid is 13100. On the Santa Monica side, the numbering follows that city's grid and begins at 2600 and decreases towards the ocean. At Ocean Avenue, San Vicente Blvd has its western terminus at the number 100.
San Vicente curves diagonally and cuts through both east-west and north-south streets, allowing quick access between Downtown Los Angeles and Beverly Hills or West Hollywood.
In summer 2011, construction will begin on the San Vicente median between Pico Blvd. and Fairfax Ave.
Planning meetings have taken place in the affected Olympic Park Neighborhood Council, Pico Neighborhood Council, and the Mid-City West Community Council. Money for the project is coming from these three councils and the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles (CRA/LA). The Olympic Park Neighborhood Council is committing $30,000 for the project. According to the Beverly Press (4/21/2011), "The plan calls for the medians between Fairfax Avenue and Pico Boulevard to be adorned with new trees, a walking path and seating areas. Trees and plaques at the intersections at Pico Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, identifying them as gateways, will also be installed."
- Folven, Edwin. "Medians Will Provide Green Oasis in Urban Setting". Beverly Press. Beverly Press. Retrieved 5/2/2011.
- "San Vicente Median Project meeting November 7th, 2010". Mid-City West Blog. Mid-City West Community Council.
- Pineda, Carla. "Olympic Park Neighborhood Council March 2011". The Neighborhood News Online. Retrieved 5/2/2011.