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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Figures Differ for Venice Blvd; Recall Bonin Group to Go After Venice Blvd, Vision Zero, and Mobility 2035 Streets

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Recall Bonin campaign says Bonin’s figures for Venice Blvd are not quite correct. Based on fewer cars going between Beethoven and Inglewood — 31,000 as opposed to 37,000 per day (LADOT figures) that “rate of collisions” are up 7 percent.

Alexis Edelstein, co-chair of Recall Bonin, says “Venice Boulevard is more dangerous now than it was before Councilmember Bonin implemented Mar Vista’s Great Streets program–and that’s according to the LADOT’s own numbers.

“The only reason injury collisions are down as a number is because the number of cars going thru Venice Blvd went from 37,000 a day to 31,000 a day according to LADOT’s own numbers. Per 100,000 cars, the rate of injury accidents went from 2.7 per month to 2.9 per month. That’s an increase of 7.4%.”

Note: The time periods for calculation seem to be different.

Now that Playa del Rey “Safe Streets” program is resolved, the Recall Bonin campaign is going after Venice Blvd and the other streets earmarked in CD11 for Vision Zero and Mobility Plan 2035 lane reductions.

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Campaign to Recall Westside Councilmember Raises Over $70K

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By Recall Bonin Campaign

PLAYA DEL REY, CA – On the heels of westside councilmember Mike Bonin’s announcement that he’s flip flopping on his support of “road diets” and restoring traffic lanes on Jefferson and Culver Boulevards in Playa del Rey, the campaign to recall Bonin has announced that supporters have made over $72,000 in donations to remove him from office and are moving ahead with the recall.

“The donations keep coming in,” said Alix Gucovsky, co-chair of the Recall Bonin campaign. “We’re at $72,000 already. The Recall Bonin campaign is truly a grassroots effort and one that speaks for the vast majority of the district. This is evidenced by our internal poll that has 69% of registered voters weighing in against the lane diets and road reconfigurations.”

During the last week in July, Recall Bonin conducted a poll via text to 2,000 registered Democratic voters in the 11th District. Of those aware of the “road diets,” 69% were against them, while only 31% percent were in favor of the road reconfigurations.

With over 300 volunteers and mounting public pressure, Recall Bonin officially launched their campaign last month in response to Bonin’s implementation of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative which removed one lane of traffic on Venice Boulevard between Beethoven Street and Inglewood Boulevard in favor of bike lanes and parking. Other streets affected by “road diets” were Vista del Mar, Culver Blvd., Jefferson Blvd. and Pershing Blvd.

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“We’ve already started placing our ‘Recall Bonin Mobile’–a refurbished ice cream truck–in strategic high traffic areas to increase awareness of the recall,” continued Alix Gucovsky. “We’ve been amazed by the positive reactions we’ve received from drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists when driving around the district. People–even some law enforcement officials–have been taking selfies with the ‘Recall Bonin Mobile!’ The word is spreading and the support is growing every day with our campaign.”

Removing a lane has created bottleneck traffic during rush hour, making commutes longer and forcing drivers to make unsafe moves, like cutting across bike lanes to make right turns. Residents and business owners say that the changes to Venice Boulevard created extra gridlock making it impossible for ambulances to pass through during emergencies and that they felt tricked and unsafe on the city’s evacuation route for a natural disaster like an earthquake.

Recall Bonin supporters say that the changes to the streets occurred without prior knowledge and consent of residents, business owners, neighborhood councils or surrounding city governments and were billed under the auspices of Vision Zero and Mobility Plan 2035–L.A.’s effort to eliminate traffic fatalities and shift drivers to other transportation options by adding hundreds of miles of bicycle and bus-only lanes.

“These transportation related schemes that Bonin is creating and supporting are having a severe negative impact on the everyday quality of life for the constituents of council district 11 and beyond,” said Robin Rudisill, former Chair of the Venice Land Use & Planning Committee and former Venice Neighborhood Council Board Member. “Bonin thinks he knows what’s best for us, but he barely speaks to the citizens before he does these things. His outreach is pitiful. Why? Because he knows the majority would of course be against ideas such as reducing lanes of traffic on major thoroughfares. It appears he doesn’t want to really know how we feel.”

“I’ve endorsed the recall of Mike Bonin for the same reason that I ran against him in the last election–Bonin does not listen to residents,” added Mark Ryavec, President of the Venice Stakeholders Association and former Chief Deputy Assessor for the County of Los Angeles. “He puts his own personal agenda above that of the people who elected him as evidenced by his support for several traffic stopping mega developments in council district 11 including the the Martin Cadillac project and expansion of the Archer School. Bonin has sold his vote to developers, special interests and lobbyists.”

One thing we can thank Bonin for is having been the catalyst that has brought this entire district together,” said Alexis Edelstein, co-chair of the Recall Bonin campaign. “We have received support from left, right and center; rich and poor; Republican, Democrat and Independent. Two things have been consistent: the hatred of traffic caused by Bonin’s bad ideas and a disdain for Bonin as a Councilman. It seems that his M.O. is to ignore the community, speak out of both sides of his mouth, and try and smear those opposed to him. He is out of touch with the entire district and consistently fails to appear, answer questions or routinely says that he wasn’t aware.”

The 11th District includes the communities of Brentwood, Del Rey, Mar Vista, Pacific Palisades, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Venice and West Los Angeles.

The campaign to recall Mike Bonin has raised over $72,000 of its $200,000 goal and will commence signature gathering in November. The campaign needs approximately 27,000 valid signatures of registered voters in L.A.’s 11th District to trigger an election, but plans on collecting 50,000.

More info at www.RecallBonin.com.

Westbound Culver Blvd and Westbound Jefferson Blvd to be Restored

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Westbound Culver Blvd from Pershing Drive (Nicholson St) to Jefferson Blvd will be restored to two lanes. Westbound Jefferson Blvd will be restored to two lanes from Culver Blvd to Lincoln Blvd. It was stated work would start in a couple weeks. Bike paths will remain.

Eastbound Culver was first of the streets to be restored. Since Culver, Vista del Mar has been restored to four lanes.

The only lane reconfigurations left would be eastbound Jefferson and Pershing Drive. Residents at the Westchester/Playa Community Council mentioned that they were not interested in Pershing Drive. The downtown area has yet to be re-reconfigured.

Councilman Mike Bonin’s official notice was on Facebook 3 October.

The Playa del Rey Safer Streets Task Force has made an important early recommendation — asking me to restore additional lanes to a big stretch of Culver Boulevard and Jefferson Boulevard while the Task Force continues to deliberate on a set of permanent and comprehensive safety recommendations for Playa del Rey streets.

I am going to honor the task force’s recommendation, and will be asking LADOT to restore the second westbound traffic lane on Culver and Jefferson, while preserving an area of the road to keep cyclists and pedestrians safe from traffic. The interim consensus recommendation also retains the present configuration in downtown PDR, between Vista Del Mar and Nicholson.

The recommendation was approved after the task force listened to the concerns of small businesses in Playa del Rey. The task force wanted to take steps to provide relief to those businesses while it worked on a comprehensive set of permanent recommendations. I anticipate that LADOT will begin the restriping work in the next few weeks.

When I appointed the task force, I expressed hope that people of different perspectives, focused on the public safety imperative, could work together and make consensus recommendations. While the Playa del Rey Safer Streets Task Force has much work ahead, the cooperative spirit required to make this first recommendation is significant, and I applaud the volunteers for their hard work and their willingness to make tough decisions. For some members of the task force, this was a tough step to take, but they did so in order to pave the way for continued collaboration.

My office and LADOT will provide an update soon on the lane restriping, and I look forward to the continued work of the task force, and I am eager for their next set of recommendations for improving safety on Playa del Streets.

“Safe Streets” in Playa del Rey Starts

By David Graham-Caso, Communications Director for Councilman Mike Bonin

The community-initiated initiative to make streets safer in Playa del Rey took exciting steps forward this month, and improvements are being made to better protect people in the neighborhood from speeding cars.

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In recent weeks, crews from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation have been implementing a series of projects that will help make streets in Playa del Rey safer by calming traffic.

On May 21, crews began working on Vista Del Mar, which has been the scene of a series of horrible collisions, with pedestrians being killed by speeding cars. The city is restriping the street from Culver Boulevard to Imperial Highway, moving all of the parking to the west side of the street, creating U-turn pockets, and narrowing the road to one lane in each direction. This will make the street safer, create more parking inventory, reduce speeding, and curb the use of Playa del Rey streets as a short-cut from the South Bay to points north.

Also, on June 3, the Bureau of Street Services will begin the long-awaited resurfacing of Pershing Drive from Westchester Parkway to Culver Boulevard. When the resurfacing is done, LADOT will restripe not just Pershing Drive, but also Culver Boulevard and Jefferson Boulevard to implement the community-initiated “Safe Streets for Playa del Rey Initiative.” Once the restriping is completed, all three streets will have one travel lane in each direction, as well as center turn lanes and bike lanes. The reconfiguration will help calm vehicle speeds through the neighborhood, with the goal of creating safer streets for people using all modes of travel: pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.

The “Safe Streets for Playa del Rey Initiative” is the result of a community-driven process, and as we enter the next phase of the project, your feedback and continued engagement is crucial.  Please contact Mike’s Mobility Deputy Jessie Holzer at jessie.holzer@lacityorg or 310-575-8461  if you have questions, input, or if we can be of any assistance.