Return of eastbound lane follows widespread commuter criticism of roadway reconfiguration in Playa del Rey

By Gary Walker

Vista Del Mar and Culver Boulevard in May, when workers began the road diet.
Photo by John McKnight

Following weeks of relentless public outcry about traffic lane reductions in Playa del Rey, L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin announced Thursday that he will order city workers to restore a second lane of eastbound traffic on Culver Boulevard.

Restriping work to restore the second eastbound lane on Culver is slated to begin Friday and continue into the weekend. Bike lanes on Culver will remain in place, and recent lane closures to Vista Del Mar, Pershing Drive and Jefferson Boulevard will not be impacted.

Bonin will also be hosting a public town hall meeting about Playa del Rey traffic concerns from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 29, at Roski Hall on the campus of Loyola Marymount University.

In May, city workers restriped Vista Del Mar, Pershing, Culver and Jefferson to reduce traffic flow to one lane in each direction. Bonin has cited 18 months of review and several traffic-related deaths as reason for the reconfiguration; South Bay commuters have launched an organized effort to undo the changes.

From the start, Bonin described the reconfiguration as a “pilot program” subject to further review at 30- and 60-day intervals.

In a note to constituents on Thursday, Bonin writes that public feedback— specifically “smart, forward-thinking suggestions we’ve received from you and neighbors like you” — impacted his decision to restore an eastbound traffic lane on Culver.

“Based on your input and the feedback of other neighbors in Playa del Rey, and on the recommendation of our traffic engineers who have vetted and analyzed the traffic data, LADOT is making an immediate change to the project that will address two of the biggest problems you have reported to us: gridlock on eastbound Culver Boulevard during the morning commute; and the abrupt and difficult transition from Nicholson Street onto Culver, which is causing additional congestion on Pershing Drive,” the letter reads.

“We’re doing this now because the feedback we received made it clear that there is widespread support for restoring a lane, and because we hope to have the improvement in place in time to make your morning drive next week easier and less stressful,” the letter continues.