Lanes restored in Playa del Rey after complaints of traffic problems

- Officials announced that traffic lanes will be restored in Playa del Rey and a task force formed to evaluate road projects in the area after the elimination of 9.4 miles of lanes prompted complaints of congestion and lost business and beach access.

The changes were announced by Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, who had originally called the elimination of traffic lanes that reduced parts of Venice Boulevard, Pershing Drive, Jefferson Boulevard, Vista del Mar and Culver Street to one lane in each direction a safety improvement while detractors called it "one-lane madness.''

An online petition calling for an end to the project gathered thousands of signatures and an online campaign has raised tens of thousands of dollars for its supporters to take legal action against the city and organize opposition.

The anger over the elimination of lanes prompted an effort to recall Bonin.

The changes announced Wednesday include the restoration of lanes to Vista del Mar while still allowing transportation officials to continue to address the city's liability issues while maintaining coastal access, Bonin said.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn has ``directed the county to make free or affordable parking available at the existing county beach parking lot, allowing the city to remove street parking on Vista del Mar and restore the roadway to two lanes in either direction,'' according to a statement released by Bonin.

"I said that I was listening, and that I would eagerly embrace an alternative solution that met the requirements of improving safety and maintaining coastal access,'' he said. "Thanks to Janice Hahn, we have that alternative.''

Hahn acknowledged that her "constituents were frustrated by the impact this project had on their daily commutes.''

"I am relieved that we were able to come together and find a solution that restores the lanes and prevents pedestrian accidents,'' she said.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation will also make changes to the signal phasing and the turn at the intersection of Vista del Mar and Culver Boulevard, Bonin said.

The newly announced Road Safety Task Force -- consisting of residents, business operators and safety advocates -- will evaluate and make recommendations on what Bonin calls road safety projects in the area and make a report with recommendations on whether to keep, reverse or modify such projects.

"If you are one of the many people who were inconvenienced, who were late to work, or who missed a bedtime story with your toddler, I am truly sorry,'' Bonin said. "We are working to make this right.''

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