The Planning Report recently spoke with Mike Bonin, the new councilmember of the City of Los Angeles’ 11th District, representing much of the Westside—Venice, Brentwood, the Pacific Palisades, Westchester. Bonin, a longtime aid to his predecessor Bill Rosendahl, is familiar with his district’s constituents, issues, and landscape. In the following interview, part one of two, Bonin speaks to transportation, to the need for a Measure R successor in Measure R-2, and to congestion challenges plaguing the Westside. Balancing a macro and micro vision of his district and the region’s mobility needs, he holds, is the necessary response to an issue that has no magic solution.
While Los Angeles has made strides in expanding its transit services, and while the Expo Line is due to connect Santa Monica with Downtown and Pasadena in the near future, the region stands faced with increased congestion and frustration. A jobs and housing imbalance draws hundreds of thousands of workers to the Westside each day, and to Bonin's constituents this is the issue most prominently affecting their way of life. Balancing small immediate changes important to his constituents with the long range regional vision of a transportation planner makes Bonin a smart advocate for realistic urban evolution across Southern California.