David Voss Stood Up Against the Road Diet

Re: “Westchester Playa-Council Cracks in Two,” Cover Story, April 12

Nearly a year ago, L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin and the LADOT all but snuck in overnight and imposed unsafe and unwanted road diets on Playa del Rey. While those leading the charge to unseat Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa member David Voss turned a deaf ear, Voss took a stand for his community.

Voss used his seat on the council to give the majority of residents who opposed the road diets a voice. He put in an enormous amount of work and time — publicly as well as behind the scenes — leading to the return of the lanes and the installation of features that actually address problems on the roads in question.

Playa del Rey now has safer streets with the crosswalks, speed humps and lighting that originally should have been installed in lieu of Bonin’s Bad Idea. The business district that nearly collapsed under the road diet is recovering. And traffic is flowing on the arterials, rather than being pushed onto residential streets.

Westchester-Playa residents are lucky to have David Voss on their neighborhood council.

Karla Mendelson and John Russo

 

KeepLAMoving, Playa del Rey

Let’s Work Together on Widening Lincoln

Re: “Breaking the Bottleneck,” News, April 5

The Argonaut has done an excellent job of reporting on all of the craziness of L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin’s road diet mess in Playa del Rey. Say what you want, but the city and Bonin definitely never asked for any suggestions. Bonin didn’t want to listen and really screwed up. It should have been a “two-way” street.

Now it’s the maybe more of the same with Caltrans and the widening of Lincoln Boulevard. I went to the scoping meeting for the project, and it’s too bad the representatives of the contractor, Psomos, were not allowed to go through their slides without being pestered and peppered with questions.

But what disturbed me more is that the contact person for questions about planning, aesthetics, air quality, design and like is one of the same Caltrans representatives involved in widening the 405 while I was on the Westwood Hills Property Owners Association. He did not take into account the desires and comments of the homeowners.

Not sure anyone feels that the 405 widening was worth all of the years of slowdown for the gridlock we still have, according to the reports. I do support widening the Lincoln Boulevard Bridge, but hope this time state officials and homeowners will listen to each other. Let’s work together this time.

Larry Steven Londre,
Playa Vista

 

FROM THE WEB:

Re: “Westchester Playa-Council Cracks in Two,” Cover Story, April 12

“The bylaws are more of a guideline. I don’t want this to be used as a ‘gotcha’ document.” Wow. While that “got myself” candor bodes well for stickiness of sunshine laws, that remark betrays the speaker’s ignorance about an elected official’s most fundamental pre-service homework task: “Read the rules.” Public service is clearly the wrong business for him.

While the oversight responsibility here lies with the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) in its handling of a body whose public funding isn’t doing its job, the city attorney is not blameless: If the rule says “automatic,” removal is automatic. What could possibly motivate a highly-compensated city employee to advise elected officials who volunteer to follow the Brown Act to ignore a rule’s crystal-clear direction?

Then again, neighborhood councils exist because of longstanding, rationally developed mistrust of L.A. City Hall’s governance practices and procedures.

The “resign in disgust” factor is understandable but sad. While one or more grievances appear to be warranted by this fiasco, the test of DONE’s will to do its job will be whether it summons the courage to implement a board reboot — the necessity for which, again, was partly triggered by the city attorney’s apparent abuse of discretion.

Jed Paulker

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