By Nancy Kaufman
Observer Staff Writer 

Movement to Recall Mike Bonin & Vision Zero Great Streets

City of LA Calls "Road Diet" a life saving measure, when city has been negligent

 

December 15, 2017

David Ganezer

A CHP Traffic cop on a motorcycle eyes Lincoln Blvd traffic. Street narrows in Venice causing consternation

Since last summer, divisiveness has grown in Mar Vista over  the  "road diets," that City Council member Mike Bonin implemented, as part of the Los Angeles' " Vision Zero Great Streets" initiative that included improving traffic safety.

    Grass roots group, "Recall Bonin," has been going after the Venice Boulevard lane reductions in it's effort to unseat Mike Bonin in Council District 11, which spans several regions of the Westside, including Mar Vista, Venice, and Playa del Rey.

  Last June, Council Member Bonin reduced traffic lanes as part of the city's plan to reduce all traffic deaths to zero on regional connecting streets, including Venice, Culver and Vista del Mar. Vista del Mar's lanes have since been restored, due to months of complaints over the reductions.

     According to Alexis Edelstein, the co-chair of Recall Bonin, the lane reductions are instead, creating horrendous results, including more accidents, (200% increase on Culver Boulevard),  more congestion, more pollution, longer commute time,  and local business losses.



  Edelstein said that councilmember Mike Bonin's lane diets have had several negative impacts on traffic, including a 7 per cent increase in accidents.

  Edelstein explained, "Even using LADOT numbers, the actual accident rate increased. The actual number of accidents went down by 22 per cent but the rate of increase went up 7 per cent from before implementation."

   Bonin refuted Edelstein's claim that Venice Blvd is more dangerous and that injury collisions rate has increased by 7 per cent. "

• According to the latest LAPD data, injuries and collisions on Venice Boulevard have DROPPED since the Mar Vista Great Streets implementation in May 2017, compared to the previous twelve months. Collisions dropped 22% and injuries dropped 10%.

  According to a study made by Recall Bonin group, the increased commute times have increased about two to three times as long with an average 104 hours per year.  Also, the lane reductions have impacted the environment; idling cars producing more toxic emissions into an already over polluted air, according to (Center for Environmental Research and Technology at UCR). https://www.recallbonin.com

  "What we need is a revolution. Recall Bonin is a step towards our revolution," said Edelstein, who characterized the group as a non partisan grass roots organization that is not tied to any polticial party.

  Recall Bonin is an organization run by CD11 Angelinas who are fed up with what Edelstein referred to as, "an out of touch self interested city council man who leads by bullying and divisiveness, making ill fated and incompetent decisions that affect the quality of life, the environment, and the economy of the district."


  Edelstein, a former Bernie Sanders delegate who attended the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016, has been an elected assembly district delegate for the state Democratic Party,  since January, 2017.  He also has an MBA in International Business and spent 20 years working in marketing for Redbull and other companies.

  He calls Bonin a "fauxgressive," and yet he's been referred to as an "alt right" by writer Arturo Flores, of medium.com. Edelstein said he was insulted by this accusation, as it demeans the serious hurt real fascit groups have done.

  The alt right radio hosts, Ken and John have endorsed Recall Bonin on their show. https://kfiam640.iheart.com/featured/john-and-ken/content/2017-07-20-donate-to-recall-mike-bonin/ That said, Edelstein, a former Bernicrat, is not a member of such as extreme tribe as the alt right.

  Recall Bonin, Edelstein said, grew out of other grass roots groups, Restore Venice, and Keep LA moving, in June, 2017, after the road diets were implemented in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista.

  The group is funded by a political action committee(PAC) and registered with the state and the city. Donations come from individuals. Edelstein earns his income as co-chair of the Recall Bonin organization. The other co-chair is Alix Gucovsky, a Venice Beach resident.


  Edelstein said, "Venice Boulevard is more dangerous now than it was before Councilmember Bonin implemented Mar Vista's Great Streets program-and that's according to the LADOT's own numbers." http://veniceupdate.com/2017/10/21/figures-differ-for-venice-blvd-recall-bonin-group-to-go-after-venice-blvd-vision-zero-and-mobility-2035-streets/

  Edelstein said that Mike Bonin pays lip service to his constituents and that "Increasing congestion is the worse thing you can do for environment cause of emissions. Only ting Bonin's been able to do is put up a lighted crosswalk for Snapchat on Market Street."

  It's not only road diets, but also lack of traffic lights in certain streets in Venice that bothers Edelstein about Bonin. When talking about Damin Shear, the forty year old pedestrian who was hit by a car and killed a few months ago on Pacific and Sunset because no traffic light had been installed, Edelstein said, "Somehow Bonin, who claimed "red tap" for not having a Flashing Crosswalk on Pacific and Sunset, manage to put on one on to Pacific and Market next to the Snapchat executives offices almost overnight and without any red tap."

  Edelstein also added, "Bonin made an excuse. Red tape to justify why a traffic light was not installed on Pacfic and Sunset where the 40 –year-old father was killed? Really, is this more or less due to incompetence or reckless neglect? I'm not trying to be biased or tell the story with a slant, but when a human life is inovled and the death could have abeen prevented,this needs to be addressed. Bonin needs to be held aaccoutnalbe for this tragedy."

  Edelstein is not the only one who has not been able to digest the Mar Vista "road diets."  TV Anchor woman, Gabriela Teissier tweeted on December 3rd by,  Gabriela Teissier:

 Gridlock on Venice Blvd on Sunday. One more great Ladot is doing to make us all late after they messed it all up with the useless #RoadDiet Thank you Council Member Bonin for the Mar Vista Traffic @RestoreVeniceBl

According to a Recall Bonin statistic, local business sales are down more than 50 per cent. Some residents of Mar Vista agree with Recall Bonin, that the "Great Streets" lane diets are bad for local businesss.  RestoreVeniceBlvd @RestoreVeniceBl

    Although Edelstein did not say he would not consider running for the CD11 seat, he said, "first priority is to see the recall through and see it's successful."

  According to Edelstein, the lane diets are a Trojan horse. He said, "the city is trying to position it as a life saving measure, when in reality, the city has been negligent for the past four years." He used as an example, the death of the pedestrian on Pacific Avenue in Venice, due to the absence of installed traffic lights at the crosswalk.

  The DOT has called for lighted cross walks on 46 streets in Los Angles and none have been installed. Edelstein said, "Bonin's excuse, too much red tape is bullshit,"  and then he continued to say, "The Trojan horse is try to sell it as a safety measure(the road diets) whenin reality it will be windfall fro big pocket developers that fund the puppet in city hall. It will be the  windfall that will lead to building codes changing zoning laws."

  In order for the Recall to work, Edelstein explained that 27,000 signatures are needed by March, 2018. The process of signing the petition began in November. If the group gets the needed amount of signatures, the City Council sets the date of electi0ns to be between July-Ocotober, 2018.

David Ganezer

Rare empty view of the 405 freeway in West Los Angeles was caused by the 405 Fire last week.

 
 

Reader Comments
(1)

RestoreVeniceBl writes:

Please note that @restoreVeniceBl and Restore Venice Blvd are NOT part of the of the Recall Bonin organization. We are a separate, local grassroot organization made up of local neighbors who are trying to work with the Mar Vista Community Council, Councilman Bonin, LADOT and Mayor Garcetti to remove the inappropriate #roaddiet on Venice Blvd while keeping the pedestrian safety improvements and reconfiguring the bicycling infrastructure to meet the needs of our local cyclists. We ask if you are going to mention our group in this article, you kindly make this correction.

 
 
 

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