L.A. Already Makes Plenty of Room for Cars

Re: “Road Diet Resistance,” News, June 8

The expansion of bike lanes and greenery on Venice Boulevard near Centinela Avenue is a godsend. Not only is the street redesign good for bicyclists, it’s great for pedestrians and people who live there —opening up and beautifying the environment.

That’s great for the businesses. People now slow down to see what’s actually in the neighborhood: coffee shops, restaurants, a bookstore, thrift shop and other stores. And that Sunday Mar Vista Farmers Market at the heart of changes to the boulevard is a gem.

People can talk and meet easier without the loud, harsh sounds and smells of speeding cars. There’s more to life than just having another traffic lane for the four-wheeled, two-ton steel chariots to occupy space in our city.

Andy K. Liberman
Santa Monica

A Wrong Turn in Playa del Rey

Re: “No Shortcuts to Safety,” News, June 1

An open letter to L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin:

I’m a longtime resident of Playa del Rey and an avid bicyclist. I understand you are behind the grand idea of putting bike lanes on Pershing Avenue, Culver and Jefferson boulevards — thereby reducing by 50% the lanes on each thoroughfare in my backyard.

It’s a noble intention, I must say, but also quite a disaster. Traffic in the area is worse than ever. The only people you have aided in this project are the three to five cyclists I’ve seen along each road over the last two weeks. Commute times are out-of-control now, with traffic well past 10 a.m. and into the early evenings westbound on Culver.

I invite you to drive Pershing Avenue north to eastbound Culver Boulevard weekdays between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. and westbound on Culver around 5:30 pm. Let me know how your day starts and ends and how you feel.

The problem is that most bikers use Ballona Creek’s bike path to the area and beach — not Jefferson or Culver. For humanitarian reasons, I hope you reconsider, tweak and reevaluate your intended noble purpose. Our city’s traffic problems are a nightmare to begin with, and in my area they’ve been compounded exponentially.

Ted Lux
Playa del Rey

The Culver Boulevard Crawl

Re: “No Shortcuts to Safety,” News, June 1

On Wednesday, June 14, at 9:45 a.m., with the traffic density substantially less than rush-hour norms, it took me seven minutes to travel 1.9
miles from Vista del Mar and Culver Boulevard to the 90 Freeway on-ramp. That’s 16 miles per hour!

That’s also a lot of additional idling auto engine pollution being dumped into our air every day. And dumped into the Ballona Wetlands habitat every day.

Are these lane changes really an improvement, or cheap and short-sighted Mike Bonin political theatrics?

Mitchel Wayne Rapp
Playa del Rey

The Hard Truth About L.A. Drivers

Re: “No Shortcuts to Safety,” News, June 1

Fast and affordable cars, self-important and aggressive drivers, virtually no traffic cops — this has long been a recipe for disaster, no matter how the streets are laid out.

But in the case of the Playa del Rey safety project, the re-striping has exacerbated the problem. Drivers now race to get ahead through the two-lanes-to-one merge areas. Others roar down the center lane and bike paths until they have to aggressively push their way into bumper-to-bumper traffic. Road rage and cell phone distractions appear to be on the rise due to the congestion, and when the streets aren’t congested the speeding continues.

I’ve heard the evaluation period for the Playa del Rey road reconfiguration could be as much as 180 days. Advocates say give it time and reference Silver Lake as an example of a road diet working to calm traffic, but this is going to be brutal if something isn’t done about the lawbreakers.

Jim Moorhead
Westchester

Call It What It Is: A Disaster

Re: “No Shortcuts to Safety,” News, June 1

What logic would assume that reducing the number of traffic lanes on Culver, Mar Vista and Pershing Drive would improve traffic? Under the guise of safety, traffic is now totally congested and taking even longer to drive. They’ve made traffic even worse than it was before. Where is the logic in reducing capacity to handle the same amount of traffic? Didn’t they have the sense to foresee what a disaster this was going to turn into?

Al Fessel
Playa del Rey

Don’t Feel Sorry for Kathy Griffin

I am so sorry to hear about the “bullying” that Ms. Griffin has been subjected to recently. She admits she went too far by posing with an image of a bloody decapitated head of our president. But she did apologize, didn’t she? And as most bullies say when caught: “Oh, I was just kidding!”

The backlash she is now experiencing is chump change. What does one call the systematic, organized “criticism” that the left has been channeling toward the Trump administration and the Trump family since the 2016 election … at every turn? Now that is a solid example of the word bullying — on a grand scale.

Angela Whitney
Marina del Rey

FROM THE WEB

Re: “Road Diet Resistance,” News, June 8

Bonin and Garcetti only distributed their survey to a small percentage of those who use Venice Boulevard on a daily basis, and its questions promoted the good elements of the program without asking whether lane reductions and increased traffic congestion would be an acceptable tradeoff. This allowed them to hear what they wanted to hear, ignoring that the community does not want already bad traffic to get worse.

Ken Marek

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