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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Playa del Rey Could Be Your Aliso Canyon

The methane gas storage facility in Playa del Rey will be discussed Saturday (14 April), 10 am to noon, at the Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, 6700 West 83rd St, Westchester 90045.

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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.

Vista del Mar Has Four Lanes

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Vista del Mar has four lanes restored from Napoleon to Imperial Highway. Work north from Napoleon has not been done.

Westchester/Playa Neighborhood Council Approves Letter Asking for Lane Restoration

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Standing room only inside.

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Line waiting to go in.

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Members of the council preparing to vote.

The Westchester/Playa Neighborhood Council in a specially called meeting voted 15/2/1 in favor of sending a prepared letter to Councilman Mike Bonin asking for the roads to be restored that were removed by the Playa del Rey “Safe Streets” road diet that was initiated a few months ago. An amendment to letter excluded restoration of Pershing Drive.

The eastbound lane of Culver Blvd was restored to two lanes in July. Vista del Mar will be restored to four lanes starting 21 August.

The meeting room was packed with standing room only. There was a line, guarded by the police, waiting to enter.

A statement was made that “Safe Streets” did not go thru the Westchester/Playa Neighborhood Council for vetting and such buffering and vetting was the purpose of the neighborhood councils. Many felt there was insufficient data to justify that lane removal would prevent accidents or be safer…”there just was no data to justify this.”

There was suppose to be 30-, 90-, 120-day reviews and already the 30 is behind. One said it sounded like the normal process for removal, other than the letter to the councilman, would result in the road diet staying for at least two years even if determined that it was not wanted or unnecessary.

A task force of 18 to 20 composed of half “for” and half “against“ the road diet has been formed to investigate and will report to the council. First meet will be Monday.

It was stated that already there have been more accidents encountered recently than without the diet in the same period. Mar Vista residents have reported the same fact for “Great Streets” on Venice Blvd. So streets being safe is questionable.

The speakers were many and varied with their opinions. There were two stacks of written comments–one for and one against. The two-minute verbal comments went from 7 pm to almost 10 pm before the vote. Several brought up lack of data needed to justify closing of the roads.

Only John Russo included extensive research regarding causes of the previous accidents and the lack of justification for safer, calming streets. He made the statement that “none of the accidents that had occurred could have been prevented by slowing the traffic.” Russo has been invited to present his data in the Venice Update. Justification for the road shrinkage was based on providing safer streets and preventing lawsuits such that have occurred. Russo showed that already there were two accidents in June.


It was stated that people had asked for lights in certain areas and crosswalks but never loss of lanes.

Business people spoke and it was disheartening for residents to hear their stories. All the business owners said their businesses were down. One man who ran the shoe store said he had had to lay off one person and was questioning whether he would be able to sustain the business for the rest of the year. It was the same story that the Mar Vista Neighborhood Council heard at their outreach meeting regarding “Great Streets.”

Those who spoke “for” said the environment was better. They had been given notice by the council office. They did not like speeding cars. Their kids could play now.

Countering those who said the environment was better because of slower cars, were those who said the pollution was greater for standing cars. Kids playing, people countered saying that kids should not be playing on those streets that were removed. They are not neighborhood streets. But now commuters divert thru the neighborhood streets where the kids do play creating an unsafe condition for kids and residents.

David Voss, a board member, summed it up for those against the road closures when he said “This is not Vision Zero; this is Zero Vision.”

Summary Conclusion to the letter:

CONCLUSION: There was no sudden need to close down lanes on Pershing and Culver. Indeed, as noted above, the City of Los Angeles identified that these streets are not the priority for attention. The irony is that some of the support for the Road Diet has been from those who want a vital thriving downtown Playa del Rey yet the changes made are having the immediate and opposite effect. The reversal of Vista del Mar lane closures addresses the concerns of the South Bay while leaving your own constituents adversely impacted. However, the cut-through traffic on residential streets because of lane reductions remains a significant and dangerous problem. There is an overwhelming groundswell of opposition to the PDR pilot project as expressed to the NCWP. There is simply no question that the majority of the local community does not like it as it stands and wants the lanes restored without delay. We are confident that you and your staff will respond to our questions and requests and facilitate other City agencies in being timely and responsive. More urgently, we hope that the flexibility you have already shown will be extended to reversing course and improving the planning, evaluation (both pre- and post-intervention), and proactive and transparent communication regarding the PDR Safe Streets initiative. The NCWP and your constituents look forward to collaborating with you in an alternate improved and comprehensive means of addressing safety, efficiency and accessibility other than the current pilot project reduced lanes.

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/

Doug McIntyre of KABC to Interview Councilman Bonin Tomorrow About “Street Shrinkage”

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Alix Gucovsky and Alexis Edelstein discuss the “Street Shrinkage” and the Recall Bonin movement with broadcaster Doug McIntyre at the Venice Grind last Tuesday.

Doug McIntyre of 790 KABC-AM will be interviewing Councilman Mike Bonan Friday (28 July) sometime between 5 and 10 am about the “street shrinkage” Bonin has initiated and what further street shrinkage is planned for Los Angeles.

Doug McIntyre did his radio broadcast Tuesday at the Venice Grind on Venice Blvd in area of the “Great Streets.” His broadcast was about Venice Blvd “Great Streets” and the Playa del Rey “Safe Streets” and the LA plan for street shrinkage initiated by Mayor Eric Garcetti for all of Los Angeles.

All Thumbs Down for PDR Road Shrinkage


(Video courtesy of Keep PDR Moving.)

Video says it all for the recent road shrinkage in Playa del Rey. It was called “Safe Streets” by Councilman Mike Bonin and “Vision Zero” by Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT). Commuters have their own names.

Residents and business owners and commuters are so upset that a recall has started for Councilman Mike Bonin.

LADOT will be having a Town Hall with Councilman Bonin for residents 29 July from 1 to 3 pm at Roski Hall, Loyola Marymount University, regarding “Safe Streets” for Playa del Rey.

One east bound lane on Culver Blvd in Playa del Rey was restored early in July because it just was not working.

Several stories have been written about this “road diet” but none have explained the effect as well as this video done by Keep PDR Moving.

Street Cleanup on Vista del Mar Gets New Schedule

Cleaning schedule of Vista del Mar around the parking areas has changed from every other month to at least once a month, maybe more, according to the crew supervisor.

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This is what it looked like last week.

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This is what it looked like before.

Third Accident for 16 July Weekend in PDR; Residents Want Lanes Restored

PDR (Photo compliments of Keep PDR Moving.) The Keep PDR Moving website reports on https://www.facebook.com/KeepVDMopen/posts/154099465152908 and stated that this was the third accident for the 16 July weekend.

Playa del Rey residents and users of the roads involved with the “Safe Streets” project that Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) and Councilman Mike Bonin have implemented are not happy and that is an understatement.

Residents and business owners want the lanes restored. Business owners are being hurt financially. No one sees justification for the lane removals. There supposedly are two law suits regarding this.

The PDR Facebook site shows that John and Ken did an onsite show and interviewed locals at The Shack Thursday.

LADOT will be having a Town Hall with Councilman Bonin for residents 29 July from 1 to 3 pm at Roski Hall, Loyola Marymount University, regarding “Safe Streets” for Playa del Rey.

Update has been checking the Culver Blvd westbound traffic at the 90 Freeway each Wednesday at 7 pm.

This photo appeared in Update the last of June.
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This photo in last week’s Update (17 July) shows traffic backed up last week. It was so bad that Alla Road was backed up.
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This photo was taken 19 July at 7 pm. What happened?
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LADOT was called the next day to see if the Culver Blvd westbound land had been restored and they said no. It is not determined what happened. Perhaps, alternate routes have been established.

Culver Blvd Loss of Lane Causes Back Up at 90 Freeway in Evenings

Removal of one Culver Blvd westbound lane west of Lincoln Blvd as part of Vision 0 and Playa del Rey’s “Safe Streets” is causing a backup under the 90 Freeway in the evening. (Photos have been given to LADOT.)

There were two westbound lanes from Nicholson (Pershing Dr) to just west of Jefferson. Both eastbound and westbound lanes from Nicholson to Jefferson were changed to a one-lane configuration recently. The eastbound lane from Nicholson to just west of Jefferson was just reinstalled because of traffic.

Alla road which feeds into the freeway underpass at that point was backed up also, creating a time delay. Culver Blvd, east of freeway intersection and not shown, was backed up also. Photos were taken Wednesday at 7 pm.

Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) reinstalled the eastbound on Culver after the Fourth of July. A Town Hall meet will be held 29 July from 1 to 3 pm at Roski Hall, Loyola Marymount University. There apparently is a law suit pending.

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The link to the traffic map is http://www.localconditions.com/weather-marina-del-rey-california/90292/traffic.php

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Alla Road traffic trying to enter 90 Freeway interchange.

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Culver Blvd with green light but traffic backed up. Traffic under the freeway from intersection to intersection was backed up. Culver Blvd was backed up east of the freeway intersection also. Almost impossible to get on 90 Freeway from Alla Road.