Van Nuys Boulevard - The Boulevard

The Boulevard

Van Nuys Boulevard runs approximately ten miles from the Santa Monica Mountains in Sherman Oaks at its southern terminus to the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains in Lake View Terrace at its northern terminus. It passes through the affluent community of Sherman Oaks, then continues through the community of Van Nuys, passing the numerous automobile dealerships in southern Van Nuys, then passing through the Van Nuys Municipal Center, the government center of the San Fernando Valley, then continuing north through Panorama City, past the old General Motors plant now converted into a shopping plaza called “The Plant,” before veering north east through the communities of Arleta and Pacoima, passing the San Fernando Gardens housing project, and ending in the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains.

With its wide expanse through the heart of the San Fernando Valley, Van Nuys Boulevard became known from the 1950s through the 1970s as a center of teenage cruising. Its car culture was celebrated in several motion pictures, including Van Nuys Boulevard. Cruising became a thing of the past as police cracked down on the practice, but the car culture still lives on through the numerous automobile dealerships that line both sides of Van Nuys Boulevard in northern Sherman Oaks and southern Van Nuys.

Despite its reputation as the center of car culture, Van Nuys Boulevard has several bus routes running on it, including two Metro routes with heavy ridership, Metro Rapid line 761 & Metro Local line 233. Van Nuys is currently the only arterial bus corridor in the San Fernando Valley running NABI 60-BRT articulated buses for both lines. The Metro Orange Line has a station at Van Nuys. Further to the north, there is a Metrolink and Amtrak station. In the first half of the 20th century, Pacific Electric interurban trains ran in the median of Van Nuys Boulevard from Chandler Boulevard to Parthenia Street, which would then continue to Sepulveda Boulevard; traces of this route can be seen in the large medians of the streets the tracks use to run on.

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