VENICE (CBSLA) — Some Westside locals say they have some shocking numbers that show a city plan to reduce accidents is instead causing them.
As CBSLA’s Laurie Perez reports, they are fighting City Hall over a controversial “road diet” project along Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista.
Bikes, cars, pedestrians — Venice Boulevard has all kinds of traffic, all hours of the day. And since last May a so-called road diet from Inglewood to Beethoven has changed the way it all flows — taking away a car lane to create a parking lane and bikeway.
The impact? Depends who you ask.
“Fewer cars, more accidents and more injuries,” said John Russo of Keep LA Moving.
Russo says he’s compared CHP data from May through December 2017 to the same months the five years before and he says accidents have increased by 20 percent and that injuries are up 43 percent, all while traffic has gone down.
Restore Venice advocates say they’ve seen it firsthand.
“We have a neighborhood traffic watch program. We’ve documented 47 accidents since May 20th, 2017,” said Selena Inouye of Restore Venice.
Councilman Mike Bonin’s office said Thursday night they could not comment on the data but they’ve compared numbers from before and after the installation and say the stretch is safer. They said in the first three months after the changes were made that traffic collisions, injuries and speeding dropped.
People who use the road are also in disagreement about whether the modifications are for the better.
Geoff Johnson bikes to work there every day.
“For me, yeah, the extra buffer between cars and the biker is perfect,” said Johnson.
But Jim Chin, who runs a bike shop, says since the changes went in he has mostly seen “a lot of confusion between the bikers and the cars.”