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Angry Westside drivers want to recall City Councilmember Mike Bonin

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They say street safety projects have slowed down traffic

Drivers have complained about the effect of pedestrian-oriented projects on traffic.

A group of Westside residents angered over a series of recent lane reductions and pedestrian-oriented projects in the area is launching a campaign to recall Councilmember Mike Bonin, a strong supporter of the changes.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, the organizers of the campaign say they will start gathering petition signatures next month (they’ll need over 26,000 to trigger a special election).

Drivers in Playa del Rey and surrounding communities have been simmering for several months over lane reductions on several local streets meant to reduce the speed of traffic and lessen the likelihood of fatal collisions.

The most unpopular of these projects was a reconfiguration of Vista del Mar that eliminated a lane of traffic and added a row of diagonal parking spaces providing easy access to the beach (it also eliminated parking spaces on the eastern side of the road to avoid dangerous pedestrian crossings).

Drivers complained that the changes slowed commutes to a crawl, and Bonin announced in July that the beachfront parking would be moved and that the street would be restored to two lanes in either direction.

The councilmember has also launched a task force to analyze other street safety projects in the area and to provide recommendations for future reconfigurations of local roadways.

But leaders of the recall effort say that Bonin has not done enough to address Westside traffic—and, in fact, “wants to make it worse.” A video released by the group last week encourages voters to “stop the madness” and support the recall.

In a statement given to the Times, the councilmember pointed out that he won re-election handily in March, carrying 71 percent of the vote. “I am confident the vast majority of my constituents approve of what we have done together to move Los Angeles forward,” he said.