The Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning Director Richard J. Bruckner said the county’s Marina del Rey traffic study in 2010 by Raju Associates was professionally performed, reviewed by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, and that the county stands by the study.

In an Aug. 25 Argonaut article, “Independent study on Marina traffic impacts finds discrepancies with Los Angeles County study,” We ARE Marina del Rey co-directors David Barish and Nancy Vernon Marino had hired Tom Brohard of Tom Brohard and Associates, a professional traffic engineer and transportation planner, to review a 2010 study for the county Department of Beaches and Harbors that was performed to identify local and regional traffic impacts resulting from redevelopment plans for Marina del Rey.

Brohard’s study contested the results of the county study, and claimed, “The 2010 Draft Traffic Study fails to properly identify, analyze, and mitigate all of the significant traffic impacts that will result from the proposed project, the Local Coastal Program Amendment (LCPA).”

Brohard had stated that in addition to his review of the county’s traffic study and other documents, there are other issues and concerns that require further study.

The traffic consultant for Beaches and Harbors reviewed Brohard’s study, and Bruckner responded in writing to The Argonaut’s request for a response to Brohard’s claims.

The following information is from Bruckner’s letter.

“The Amendment to the Local Coastal Program involves redistributing approved land uses in Marina del Rey and is required to be approved by the Coastal Commission. These changes would permit developments that serve boaters, tourists and residents to move forward that have been discussed with the community over the last several years.

“Mr. Brohard’s analysis was prepared for We ARE Marina del Rey (WAMDR) to critique the county’s traffic analysis. WAMDR has attempted to convince the public that the county is asking for a huge increase in development potential. The facts are that the county is not requesting any increase in development. This misrepresentation has been brought to their attention on numerous occasions,” stated Bruckner’s letter.

Bruckner said that Raju Associates had been retained by the county to conduct a comprehensive traffic study for the LCP amendment, and that “Mr. Raju is a well-respected traffic engineer who has conducted several traffic studies in the Marina and throughout Los Angeles. Mr. Raju’s study is comprehensive and looks at all development proposals, including development proposed outside Marina del Rey.”

Bruckner’s letter continues, “Mr. Brohard’s critique of our traffic study is undermined by the fact that he does not understand the scope and purpose of the county’s traffic study, nor of the LCP amendment itself. Mr. Brohard describes the project incorrectly. In addition to this mistake, Mr. Brohard’s analysis has several additional errors.

“The LCP amendment proposes to distribute approved development potential to four properties in the Marina. In addition, the amendment would also make improvements to the LCP in response to the recommendations in the Coastal Commission’s periodic review of our LCP,” stated Bruckner.

“To make this point more clear, no new development potential is being proposed. The county is simply proposing to relocate development, which has already been approved and analyzed, to more appropriate locations in the Marina and at the same time add public benefits.

“Please understand, we are keenly aware of the existing traffic problems in Southern California. There seems to be a general misconception going around that traffic on the Westside of Los Angeles is the direct result of overdevelopment of Marina del Rey. The truth is quite the opposite,” stated Bruckner.

“Over the last 15 years, development in the Marina has generated approximately 300 peak hour p.m. trips. Conversely, our neighbors in the city of Los Angeles and Culver City approved over 10, 000 new peak hour p.m. traffic trips over that same time period.”

In conclusion, Bruckner said, “It is our goal to increase the Marina’s role as a recreational destination, while at the same time not allowing it to suffer from the traffic problems that have plagued these neighboring jurisdictions. The very purpose of our traffic study was to ensure that even with the proposed changes to the LCP, no significant traffic impacts will occur.”

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