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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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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.

“Recall Bonin” Campaign Fund Surpasses 60K

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Alexis Edelstein and Alix Gucovsky, initiators of the Recall Bonin campaign, stated this week that with “another generous $10,000 donation” the fund is over $60,000.

They want to collect $200,000 so that professional signature takers can be hired when signatures can be obtained starting in November.

Last week Venice Update reported the campaign had $40,000.   

Vista del Mar to go back to four lanes; Lawsuit filed to restore all lanes removed by “Safe Streets”

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Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey will return to four lanes — two southbound and two northbound. Work will start 21 August.  Lawsuit was filed Thursday by Keep LA Moving to restore all lanes removed by what Councilman Mike Bonin referred to as “Safe Streets.”

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Work should take three weeks to restore the lanes southbound from Waterview Street to Imperial and northbound from Imperial to Napoleon Street. Parking on Vista del Mar will be removed. Culver Blvd eastbound was restored to two lanes in July.

Keep LA Moving, comprised of Playa del Rey and Manhattan Beach residents, claims that removal of lanes on Jefferson, Culver, Pershing, and Vista del Mar was illegal without an environmental review. They seek restoration of all lanes removed.

It is a “gross abuse of discretion” to remove lanes without outreach and examining potential adverse effects on congestion.

“A few additional things that might be relevant to the Venice reader is that Venice Blvd wasn’t even mentioned by Councilman Bonin when he addressed Vista del Mar,” said Alexis Edelstein of keeplamoving.com.  “Also Venice Blvd all the way down to the ocean and other streets like Lincoln, Sepulveda, Centinela and others are part of Mobility 2035, a citywide initiative that includes Vision Zero. 

“All these streets are targeted for a variety of traffic calming measures meant to slow down drivers.” 

“Another important aspect of the lawsuit is the misappropriation of Measure M funds,” said Alix Guck sky of RecallBonin.com.

The “road diets,” as generically called, have not been popular in Los Angeles. They have slowed commuter traffic wherever they have been implemented and raised the ire of the travelers.  This is the first lawsuit. It is rumored there is another one ready to be filed.

Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) says:

Occasional full street closures will occur during night hours only.

During the duration of construction, it is recommended that commuters plan ahead and look for alternate ways to travel. Alternative east/west routes are Imperial Highway and Westchester Parkway; alternative north/south routes are Pershing Drive, Lincoln and Sepulveda Boulevards, and the 405 Freeway. Beach parking is available at the beach parking lots.

Additionally, the Bureau of Engineering also has an ongoing construction project that may intermittently restrict southbound traffic to one lane daily before 3 pm.
For project updates, please visit: https://www.safestreetspdr.org/vdm/