Los Angeles Can't Stick to its Road Diet

A high-profile controversy over a decision by the city of Los Angeles to remove a vehicle lane in either direction has finally come to an end. The vehicle lanes will be restored.
July 28, 2017, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Laura J. Nelson, David Zahniser, and Alene Tchekmedyian report on the final outcome of a traffic and road diet controversy on Vista del Mar in the Westside neighborhood of Playa del Rey.

As Planetizen mentioned in a June post, City Councilmember Mike Bonin chose the side of traffic safety as he defended a new road diet to irate commuters. The city had reduced a traffic lane in each direction after the city settled $9.5 million lawsuit after a driver struck and killed a teenager on that stretch of road, and the Bonin's case for the road diet mirrored that of the city's Vision Zero goal to eliminate traffic fatalities.

Commuters didn't see it that way, according to the article:

The resulting “road diet” on Vista del Mar — combined with lane reductions on other streets in the area — sparked a wave of opposition that engulfed the Westside and the South Bay. City Hall was flooded with calls. A condo association sued. And frustrated commuters began raising money to recall Westside Councilman Mike Bonin.

And now, the final act:

After weeks of backlash, Bonin backpedaled late Wednesday night, acknowledging in a YouTube video that “most people outright hated" the Vista del Mar changes. He apologized to drivers and said lanes would be restored next month.

Bonin's apology is properly described as profuse.

The article also reports that in the wake of the failed road diet, the city negotiated a deal with the county, that will remove street parking along Vista del Mar.

The article also notes that the decision to restore a vehicle lane in either direction is a set back for the city's Vision Zero goal and it Mobility Plan 2035—which " both hinge on the elimination of vehicle lanes in an effort to reduce speeds."

Published on Thursday, July 27, 2017 in Los Angeles Times
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