After a long and bitter battle between residents and city officials, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Councilman Mike Bonin announced that all car lanes that underwent lane restriping in Culver City and Playa del Rey will be restored by the end of the year to early 2018.
Earlier this year, Garcetti and Bonin pioneered a safe streets initiative called Vision Zero in an effort to reduce the number of traffic-related fatalities in the city to zero. Although voters originally elected Bonin for this very reason, once street changes were implemented, drivers and business owners were not happy.
In order to make way for protected bike lanes and more street parking, as well as slow down dangerous traffic for pedestrians, the city began reducing lanes on major streets including Culver Boulevard, Jefferson Boulevard, Pershing Drive, and Vista Del Mar. According to Curbed LA, the citywide road diet resulted in “snail’s pace” traffic, very angry residents, and even a “Recall Bonin” campaign.
Bonin even created a Playa del Rey Safety Task Force, which consisted of both supporters and opponents of the lane restriping. The team was responsible for evaluating lane changes and figuring out permanent solutions. One of the first decisions made by the task force was restoring lanes on Vista Del Mar.
The failed Vision Zero pilot program was a signal to officials that reducing car lanes will not work in Playa del Rey. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation will most likely work on minor changes moving forward such as enhanced speed feedback signage, pedestrian-friendly traffic signals, speed tables, “Rest in Red” signals, and improved crosswalks with flash signals.