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‘Road diet’ reversal: Traffic lanes will be restored to two Playa del Rey roads

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The lanes had been removed to make the streets safer for walkers and bicyclists

Diagram of proposed Playa del Rey street changes
A diagram of the changes implemented earlier this year. A lane reduction on Vista del Mar is also being largely reversed.
Courtesy Councilmember Mike Bonin

Two roads in Playa del Rey will be restored to four lanes of traffic in the midst of public outcry over recent projects intended to cut down on deadly traffic accidents.

Segments of Jefferson and Culver boulevards were reconfigured earlier this year as part of the mayor’s safe streets initiative, with a single lane in each direction and a center lane for turning. The changes created room for bike lanes in both directions with buffers to protect cyclists from traffic.

The projects were championed by Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, who has been a fierce advocate of the city’s Vision Zero program, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths. Bonin’s office explained in May that the changes to the roadway would “help calm vehicle speeds,” in order to keep pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers safe.

But on Monday, Bonin announced on Facebook that a community task force he assembled in August had asked for the second westbound lanes to be restored on both streets after hearing from residents and business owners about snarled traffic.

The councilmember presented the plan as a compromise between safety advocates and project opponents, emphasizing that a protected shoulder for pedestrians and bicyclists would be included in the new lane configuration.

“This sort of buy-in from the community was what this entire Safe Streets for Playa del Rey process has been about,” wrote Bonin. “I’m excited to see it progress.”

Eventually, Bonin indicated, the new task force will help to decide on “a more comprehensive and permanent solution” for future street safety projects in Playa del Rey.

Even amid rising traffic deaths, opposition to street safety projects in the area has been particularly intense. Last month, a group of Westside drivers launched a campaign to recall Bonin over his safe streets efforts.