"Road Diet" Data Gap: City Mgm't/Councilwoman Pearce Say Broadway Project's Purpose Is Safety, Will Make Tweaks While Pursuing Citywide "Vision Zero" BUT City Mgr. Acknowledges LBPD Accident Data Don't Include Smaller Accidents If Not Reported To PD, Says Residents Should Report All Of 'Em; Council Candidate Fox Readies Affidavits; New Peninsula Corridor Group Surfaces, Raises Ocean Blvd. Issues
|(July 23, 2019, 5:20 a.m.) -- One week after 75 to 100 residents/business owners held a demonstration charging that the City Hall-installed Broadway vehicle-lane-narrowing/bicycle lane-begating "road diet" has caused accidents, 2nd district Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce sought and received a city management conducted briefing for media on the matter.
The July 22, 2019 on-the-record event took place in city management's 13th floor conference room. In the public interest, LBREPORT.com provides on-demand extended VIDEO below unedited from start to finish allowing so our readers to hear unfiltered exactly what took place.
Councilwoman Pearce was flanked by City Mgr. Pat West, Public Works City Engr. Alvin Papa, LBFD Deputy Chief/Operations Jim Rexwinkel, LBPD Field Support Division Commander Rudy Komisza (who all spoke and fielded questions.) Some salient takeaways:
Councilwoman Pearce and City Manager West said the Broadway project's purpose is safety. City Manager West said adjustments to the project are being made now and in the coming weeks, city staff will conduct a "listening tour" to hear from Broadway businesses and possibly make additional tweaks (City Manager's term) changes but didn't offer (and Pearce didn't advocate) a major redesign/reconfiguration [sought by 2nd dist. Council candidate Robert Fox.]
[Scroll down for further.]
LBPD Cmdr. Komisza said between Alamitos/Redondo since the mid-April start of "road diet" through June 30, 2019, collisions along the east-west corridor are down roughly 20% from the past five year average. However on questioning by LBREPORT.com, City Mgr West acknowledged that LBPD's accident data may not reflect all accidents, such as smaller accidents/fender benders and the like, not always reported to LBPD. Mr. West acknowledged a data gap (one can't know what one doesn't know about) but declined to accept the veracity of accident data offered by individuals who say they experienced accidents if they didn't report them to LBPD. "If it's reported to LBPD, we have it," City Mgr. West said and Councilwoman Pearce urged constituents to report all accidents to LBPD.
[For several weeks, City Council candidate Fox has been gathering affidavits (signed statements, LBREPORT.com observed them at a June 13 campaign kick-off) from individuals attesting to specific accidents, large and small, they attribute to the Broadway road diet's current design.]
City Mgr. said the City is committed to "vision zero" [traffic projects undertaken in a number of cities nationally and internationally that aim for no fatalities of serious injuries.].
LBPD and LBFD both indicated they have no data indicating Broadway road diet has impeded their response times.
City mgm't cited changes in parking configurations along Broadway and nearby Appleton St. that have collectively added over 200 parking spaces.
City Manager West said other cities had experienced initial negative responses when they implemented "road diets" and said change is difficult.
Whether the push-back can be contained to the Broadway road diet is unclear. LBREPORT.com has learned that a new group of Peninsula residents has formed -- the "Peninsula Corridor Group" -- raising issues about the Ocean Blvd. road diet from Termino Ave. all the way to 72nd Place. Among other things, they say the Ocean Blvd. project has created 30-45 minute delays along this area in peak times (not just during summer peak times) due to lack of lanes, a new abundance of rental scooters, and the almost-constant back-up at 54th St./Ocean (separate coverage coming on LBREPORT.com.)
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