'Road Diet' program prompts resident frustration in Mar Vista

- Cyclist Nate Wyne pulled over to talk with FOX 11 about how much he likes the new bike lanes on Venice Boulevard.

“Having this very visual, white, new set up really gives us a lot more protection as bikers,” Wyne said.

He was off to a meeting where dozens of neighbors packed in to give their take on the new traffic configuration, which took away one lane of Venice Boulevard in each direction and put in parking, a buffer lane and a bike lane.

“Many of my neighbors believe that Venice Boulevard is now unsafe,” one woman said.

That’s because some neighbors think the lane reduction has led to gridlock traffic on a very busy street, increasing commute times.

“People don’t really use the bike lane that much it’s just making it more crowded,” one driver said.

The stretch of road between Beethoven and Inglewood is serving as a pilot project for the city’s Great Streets initiative.

Council Member Mike Bonin said, he’s heard the complaints, but there’s positive’s too.

“I have heard as I have walked the streets kids cycling saying this is now the safest street in Los Angeles,” Bonin told the crowd.

Many opponents called on city leaders to change the streets back.

“There is a broad community agreement that the lanes of Venice Boulevard must be restored immediately,” another woman said.

But many cyclists hope they lane will stay.

“When people were blitzing through this boulevard at 50 miles per hour because it’s one of the only thoroughfares left it really made me uncomfortable,” Wyne said. 

“Bicycle transportation needs to be safe for everyone including people who have no other means of transportation,” another cyclist said.

The Department of Transportation said it’s doing a traffic study to examine the full impact of the changes.

Results will be presented on July 22nd at another community meeting at 1 p.m. at Wynward School.

A similar situation in Playa Del Rey has city officials adding back a lane of traffic after resident there complained about gridlock.

 

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