News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by

A community ditches its controversial road diet

Vista del Mar in Playa del Mar in April 2014.
Vista del Mar in Playa del Mar in April 2014.

Listen to story

Download this story 11MB

A controversial move to cut traffic deaths in one of L.A.'s beachside communities is coming to an end. Earlier this year, Playa del Rey removed lanes from three roads, part of a program known as a "road diet" that aims to reduce speeding and collisions.

But residents pushed back.

Councilmember Mike Bonin says the pilot program is over and the lanes will be restored. That also made residents unhappy. 

What happened?

Bonin says that although road diets have worked in other cities, Playa del Rey had different needs. 

"I think what we learned is that not every tool in our street safety toolkit is appropriate for every neighborhood," Bonin told Take Two. 

The lane reductions are working really well in my district in Mar Vista. They've worked really well in Silver Lake and in San Pedro. They weren't working particularly well in Playa del Rey. 

I think [there is a] big difference between Playa del Rey and those other areas. We reduced in Mar Vista from three lanes to two. In Playa del Rey, it was from two lanes to one. That's a much bigger thing. 

Playa del Rey was also a much bigger project and the city, LADOT, my office, everybody, did not do the sufficient community outreach and public education campaign over public safety to make it an acceptable project to the community. A lot of lessons learned. 

Press the blue play button above to hear what safety measures Bonin plans to put in place of lane reductions.