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Vista del Mar Traffic Lanes to Reopen

Jul 27, 2017 09:01AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin announced on Wednesday night that traffic lanes in Playa del Rey along Vista del Mar  - which had been closed at the beginning of the summer as part of a "road diet" safety project - will be reopened. The move is expected to bring relief to South Bay commuters, whose daily drives have been hampered by bumper-to-bumper traffic in the new single lane formation.

"That move [closing the lanes] was incredibly controversial - let's be clear, most people hated it - and I said that I would eagerly embrace an alternative solution that met the requirements of improving safety and maintaining coastal access," said Bonin.

Bonin said that the breakthrough occurred with an agreement from Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn to open an equivalent number of public parking spaces below Vista del Mar at the beach - thus re-opening two lanes of traffic and prohibiting parking entirely on Vista del Mar.

Bonin said that the change will occur "as soon as the county is able to restripe its lots and create the additional public parking."

In the meantime, he announced the creation of a Playa del Rey Road Safety Task Force to evaluate and make recommendations regarding the project and its impact on those streets and on the surrounding neighborhood.

The task force, he said, would be composed of neighbors, local small business people, and safe streets advocates. "It will also welcome the input of other residents, of commuters, and agencies or entities that can bring expertise or financial resources to the table - such as the county or some of the South Bay cities."

Bonin ended with an apology: "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. We are doing our best to make this right."

The lane closures had snarled traffic for commuters along Vista del Mar, which carries upwards of 24,000 vehicles per day. Many local officials, including Manhattan Beach leaders, complained that the city had not given proper notice or an opportunity for public input in the decision.

Critics had launched an online petition and fundraising effort to bring a legal challenge to the city over the lane closures.

Editor's note: A statement that had been posted on Bonin's web site last night was no longer up as of this morning. However, the video of the statement is still available and we have embedded it below.

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