By Greta Cobar
A zip line between the boardwalk and the beach is to be installed by the Canadian company Greenheart/Flightlinez beginning July.
Running for a distance of just under 700ft., 3 lines accommodating 3 people at a time will run from the area in front of Ocean Sidewalk Cafe to the public bathrooms by the basketball courts.
During the March Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) meeting, Kevin of Greenheart stated that they have a temporary permit to operate a zip line for 3 months, after which it will come down.
“We intend to come back and re-apply for a longer permit,” said Kevin during the March VNC meeting. To bring back the attraction, Greenheart would have to re-apply with the VNC and the California Coastal Commission.
The reasoning behind obstructing ocean view with a zip line is to use 2/3 of the money donated by Greenheart to the city of Los Angeles to improve bathroom facilities in Venice.
The bathroom situation in Venice is a violation of basic human rights. Hour-long lines and lack of toilet paper are the norm on summer weekends.
However, the city of Los Angeles is responsible for paying for bathroom upkeep, and bringing in an ocean-viewobstructing structure to get Los Angeles out of paying for our bathrooms is a bad precedent to establish.
The cost for a 40-second zip line thrill will be $18 for California residents and $20 for others.
The zip line operators were required by the VNC’s Venice Impact Committee to “offer incentives to encourage nonvehicular and public transportation customers.” Consequently,
California non-residents with bus passes will also be eligible for $18 tickets. Those will be very rare, though.
Greenheart will offer valet parking services for bikes, skateboards, skates and rollerblades. It will be open daily from 11am to sunset.
In a June phone conversation with the Beachhead Brina Marcus, Marketing Director for Greenheart, stated that the zip line will employ about 25-30 people who were recruited through the company’s website and craigslist. When asked if locals are given priority in the hiring process, her answer was “No.”
“When hiring, our priorities are safety-conscious mindsets and competency,” Marcus told the Beachhead.
“We would like to be there as a permanent attraction, but the community and the city have to agree on that,” Marcus said.