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L.A. reverses course on lane reductions that ‘most people outright hated’

March 1, 2018

By Laura J. Nelson David Zahniser and latimes – excerpt

Los Angeles officials said they had to act quickly to address the brewing legal concerns with Vista del Mar, a favored commuting route near Dockweiler State Beach.

City Hall had recently paid $9.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of a teenage girl who was killed by a driver there, and another lawsuit loomed. Transportation officials scrambled to eliminate a traffic lane in each direction and reduce the city’s liability before summer beach crowds began to arrive…

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.

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…

The Vista del Mar redesign should calm some of the vitriol that arose over the last two months and help Los Angeles officials “hit the reset button,” Transportation Department general manager Reynolds said.

In recent weeks, residents from Playa del Rey and neighboring Manhattan Beach had spoken out against the Vista del Mar lane reduction and formed a grass-roots advocacy group to fight future road diets in Los Angeles and other cities.

The group has received calls from neighborhoods in L.A., including Studio City and Woodland Hills, as well as Long Beach, said Kara Mendelson, a Manhattan Beach resident who heads the group Keep L.A. Moving(more)

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