Restaurateur claims LA's 'road diets' put him out of business

We love diets in L.A. right? Well, in some cases. We've been reporting on the controversy over the so-called ''road diets'' in parts of the city. In Mar Vista, for example, three lanes of traffic on busy Venice Blvd has been reduced to two, and there is a parking lane and a bike lane added.

Business owners objected...some of them anyway, saying removing the parking in front of their stores meant it was too much of a hassle for shoppers to stop. Commuters complained about bottlenecks. All this done in the name of slowing drivers down and reducing accidents, certainly a noble cause.

Now a restaurant owner, from Louie's of Mar Vista, says the ''diet'' effectively put him out of business. It's possible, but it's also possible it was more a reflection of his restaurant.

Still, it's a big controversy on the west side...not a life or death issue but a quality of life issue. In Playa Vista, where a similar pilot program imploded in negative backlash, the road diet was reversed and the lanes restored. Mar Vista is saying ''what about us", and they're also saying (some of them) that Councilman Mike Bonin should be recalled.

He firmly disagrees, saying safety is up and commuter times are much the same. As for Louie's? Don't know if he ever ate there, now it's too late.

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