Slower Does Not Mean Safer

Re: “Let’s Prevent Tragedy, Not Embrace It,” Guest Opinion, June 29

How thoughtful of your publication to give Mike Bonin an opportunity to defend his so-called Safe Streets initiative in the latest issue of The Argonaut. But his article begs the question: Has his noble experiment actually made our streets safer? I think not.

I have lived in Playa del Rey for decades and am currently dealing with a cancer diagnosis — a formidable challenge in and of itself. But since the advent of Councilman Bonin’s initiative, I have literally had to take my life into my hands each time I drive to or from my physicians in Marina del Rey.

On one occasion, I was headed south on Culver Boulevard when a driver, unwilling to accept the recent diminution of southbound lanes from two to one, came within inches of taking my life in order to overtake my vehicle.

I have had similar experiences going in the opposite direction, particularly where Nicholson Street merges into Culver — a transition that was once difficult to negotiate but has now become nothing short of death-defying. So it would seem that, contrary to Bonin’s dictum, slower has not necessarily meant safer.

I know that Councilman Bonin would probably caution me to be patient, inasmuch as change takes time. But I may not have time. So please tell the councilman that if anything should happen to me while driving on his allegedly safe streets, my survivors will file a lawsuit against the city that will make the Larsen family’s legal actions pale in comparison.

Andrea Fellows , Playa del Rey


Not Everyone Can Bike to Work

Re:  “L.A. Already Makes Plenty of Room for Cars,” Letters, June 22

People in favor of expanding bike lanes on Venice Boulevard near Centinela Avenue are not living in the real world. Drivers don’t like the “smell of speeding cars” either, but dislike the smell of idling engines even more. They don’t want a leisurely drive to gawk at coffee shops, restaurants and bookstores along the way. They want to get to work un-frazzled by traffic congestion and return home as quickly as possible so they have more time to spend with their families.

Los Angeles once had the Red Car, an efficient rail system that spanned 1,100 miles of track, and dismantling it left a populous addicted to cars out of either necessity or desire. Now the city wants to rehabilitate us into riding bikes, but many people are not physically able to bike to work or for household errands. Others don’t want to arrive smelling like an old gym bag.

Until we have a mass transit system that serves all neighborhoods (with plenty of parking at transit hubs) or double-deck freeways that can accommodate traffic, please stop taking away the lanes we do have!

Carol Katona, Venice


No Way Out in Hurry

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

On the south side of Culver Boulevard, between Nichols Street and Jefferson Boulevard, there is a sign that reads: “Evacuation Route.” With traffic as it is now, good luck Playa del Reyans: Charred if by fire; Davy Jones’ Locker if by water.

Bea Mitchell, Playa del Rey




Re: “Born Again: Sentenced to death at age 17, Gary Tyler is building a new life in Venice,” Cover Story, June 29

This story gave me a sharp pain in my stomach. To imagine that young man, innocent and vulnerable, inside of a major prison, subject to all the turmoil and violence that occurs there — and, at one point, facing death by electric chair! Yes, it’s wonderful that he has finally been freed, but at what cost? This is just one example of how dangerous it is to be black in America.

Jan Schulman


Re: “Abbot’s Habit Quits Venice: It was never really about the coffee, it was about community,” Opinion, June 29

The gentrification of Venice is nearly complete. Abbot Kinney Boulevard has become Rodeo Drive West and most of the retailers have zero, if any relationship or partnership with this urban beach enclave. Does Venice really need another outrageously priced restaurant or “be seen” venue that lacks any character or association with the people who actually live here?

Nicholas Antonicello


Re: “Cocktails & Character: The Lincoln is a weekend hotspot crafting itself into a neighborhood destination,” Food & Drink, May 25

Thank you for this great new find. I live around the corner and love some of the points you make about the growing neighborhood taking shape.

Shane Falco