Conservative talk radio hosts broadcast from Playa del Rey ahead of Bonin’s traffic town hall

By Gary Walker

Editor’s Note: L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin announced Wednesday night that the city will restore traffic lanes on Vista Del Mar and move parking to the beach. Saturday’s traffic open house has been cancelled.  

KFI AM 640 radio hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of “The John and Ken Show” have roused their listeners to demand stricter supervision of registered sex offenders, oppose California Dream Act protections for undocumented students and support the recall of former Gov. Gray Davis.

On July 19 they turned their afternoon drive-time ire to the reduction of traffic lanes in Playa del Rey, broadcasting live from popular local bar The Shack to pledge solidarity with residents and com-
muters fighting to reverse the road diet.

Kobylt and Chiampou lambasted the reconfiguration of Culver and Jefferson boulevards, Pershing Drive and Vista Del Mar as government overreach and encouraged opponents to follow through on threats to wage a recall campaign against L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin.

Bonin describes his traffic-calming Playa del Rey Safe Streets Initiative, launched in May in response to local traffic fatalities and resident safety concerns, as a pilot subject to periodic review, and earlier this month he restored one eastbound traffic lane on Culver. He and city transportation officials are hosting a town hall on the subject from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 29, at Roski Hall on the campus of Loyola Marymount University.

The Wednesday afternoon broadcast from The Shack included interviews with members of “Keep L.A. Moving,” a grassroots campaign launched out of frustrations over increased traffic congestion and related concerns.

Keep L.A. Moving Director Carla Mendelson, a Playa del Rey homeowner, disagreed with Bonin’s assertion that few traffic lanes and more bike lanes would make streets and sidewalks safer.

“This is about making people miserable,” she said.

That includes Cantalini’s Salerno Beach Restaurant owner Lisa Schwab, who complained on air that traffic congestion is hurting her business.

“People are avoiding our area, and that’s not been good for our commercial district here. My delivery drivers are taking 20 extra minutes to get in and out of town,” Schwab said.

Outside The Shack, opponents of the lane changes displayed signs that read “Gives us Our Lanes Back!” and “Where Are All the Bikes?” as motorists honked and waved.

“This is the only way that we can let our elected officials know that we are unhappy with this and that we will hold them accountable,” said John Russo, a Keep L.A. Moving co-organizer and Playa del Rey resident.

Earlier this month, the Mar Vista Community Council voted in favor of continuing a test run of controversial traffic lane reductions on Venice Boulevard after hearing from a packed house of supporters and opponents.

 

Visit safestreetspdr.org to RSVP for Saturday’s town hall.

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