Road Diet Foes (updated: ALMOST) File For Recall Against L.A. City Councilmember Mike Bonin

Recall Bonin press conference this morning. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
Recall Bonin press conference this morning. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Updated 4:45 p.m.: An anonymous source tipped off SBLA that the Recall Bonin committee was unable to file their recall notice of intent today as they needed five signatures to file, but they only had four. They instead plan to mail in the signed document later this week.

Updated 9:15 a.m. Tuesday October 31: L.A. City Clerk Media Coordinator Sandra Mendoza confirmed that, as of this morning, the Bonin Recall proponents have not filed their notice of intention with the City Clerk.

The “Recall Bonin” committee announced that it is filing papers today to begin the official process towards a recall election against L.A. City Councilmember Mike Bonin. Bonin championed Vision Zero and westside road diet safety measures that included road diets in Playa Del Rey and Mar Vista. Those safety improvements precipitated a backlash that has included lawsuits, angry public testimony, and fundraising for this campaign to recall Bonin.

This morning, four foes of the westside road diets held a press conference announcing that they are filing a notice of intent to recall with the L.A. City Clerk. Gathered at this morning’s L.A. City Hall press event were:

  • Alexis Edelstein, Recall Bonin Co-Chair
  • Alix Gucovsky, Recall Bonin Co-Chair
  • Demetrios Mavromichalis, owner Venice Grind
  • Mark Ryavec, President of the Venice Stakeholders Association

Edelstein said that the committee has raised “close to $100,000,” though he declined to answer questions about specific large donations, stating that the information would be released in later public filings with the city. Edelstein was quoted in September in the L.A. Times saying that “the campaign aims to raise at least $200,000 to hire professionals to help with the signature effort.”

These road diet foes railed against Bonin’s implementation of lane reductions, which are proven safety measures, and at the same time blamed Bonin for the deaths of several pedestrians who were struck by  drivers. Edelstein specifically blamed Bonin for three pedestrians deaths: two deaths on Vista Del Mar – Naomi Larsen and Michael Lockridge – and last week’s death of Damon Shear on Pacific Avenue.

Opposing road diets while blaming Bonin for traffic deaths is duplicitous. Bonin has been among the council’s most courageous advocates for traffic safety, especially in citywide plans and policies, including Mobility Plan 2035 and Vision Zero.

Southern California Families for Safe Streets issued a statement criticizing the recall proponents’ misleading attempt to exploit Shear’s death:

As family members who have lost loved ones through similar situations, our hearts go out to the Shears. No family should ever have to suffer such a sudden, senseless loss. Better street design could have prevented this tragedy, and can prevent so many others. But any anger directed at Councilmember Bonin is misguided and tied to a troubling recall campaign that actually aims to unseat the most vocal, persistent, and passionate champion for safe streets in Los Angeles. Councilmember Bonin led the charge to fully fund and implement safe streets projects throughout Los Angeles. With so much work ahead of us, we must not lose sight of who our true allies are.

Today’s speakers complained of the city Mobility Plan’s inclusion of “19 road reconfigurations” in Bonin’s district. When questioned by reporters, they backed off this statement, saying that the plan calls for “calming measures” and that they have “repeatedly asked” Bonin, who has “not denied” the claim.

Several times Ryavec identified himself as the runner-up to Bonin in the March 2017 primary election. That election returned Bonin to office with 71 percent of the vote; Ryavec received 15.7 percent.

Bonin supporters have begun the process of organizing against the recall. Readers interested in signing up to receive updates on pro-Bonin efforts should submit contact information at Reject the Recall.

  • D Man

    “Opposing road diets while blaming Bonin for traffic deaths is duplicitous.” FALSE.

    All three of those deaths occurred because the LADOT made recommendations to make modifications to crosswalks which were not done. None of the recommendations from the LADOT included a road diet.

    And Bonin spent our money implementing these road diets (one of which was changed twice and is now being reversed), instead of using those funds to modify the crosswalk on Pacific Ave at Paloma Court. This is one of the many reasons why he should be recalled.

  • Revoke The Peace Prize

    It is fairly apparent that the writer/propagandist has an agenda and most assuredly has NOT done their real homework. Instead, like most government sycophants, they use manipulated/fudged data supplied by government agencies (LADOT) to PROMOTE government idiocy…as a basis to form opinions… amazing. Statism is a religion.

  • Which one of the people in the photo are you and how do you not have at least four friends?

  • lizzy

    Joe Linton your article is the most ridiculous piece of propaganda I’ve read in years. Calling Bonin “courageous” –that is hilarious. He is scared to even show up to a town hall meeting that the VNC requested months ago. He is a total coward and a clown. Then labeling anyone who wants to see new city leadership as “foes”–as if these people are your enemies? Come on Joe, these are your neighbors who are pissed that their government officials are wasting our Measure M tax dollars. No wonder you don’t write for a real publication.

  • Joe Commuter

    Anyone who isn’t willing to make a personal sacrifice in the name of greater traffic safety and promoting more walking and bicycling may not be a foe but they are ignorant and/or selfish. The Recall Bonin people call spending thousands of dollars on a project that can be easily reversed “a waste of money” but are silent on freeway widening. Ok, the road diet messed up, it can be reversed. The 405 widening sure as hell was a waste of money billion dollars. Where are these fake fiscal watchdogs and safety advocates on that issue? Where is Alexis calling for the reversal of the 405 widening? Call paint on the ground a waste of money but then call for costly traffic signals and say “money shouldn’t be an issue when it comes to safety” as if that means scarce transportation dollars suddenly become infinite.

    The Recall Bonin people have yet to prove they care about anything other than fast moving traffic. The approach to traffic safety from the group seems to be “yes but not if it means I have to slow down during rush hour.”

  • Walt Arrrrr

    Hilarious. From the comments so far, it seems that the metathesiophobes are not taking the lack of support for their recall effort very well. Are these people really this delusional? It is the same four people who were at their much hyped, but desolate “Launch Party” at Venice Grind in September. The same four people that attended KFI’s right wing radio broadcast at The Shack. And now these four have summoned a couple of TV news stations to City Hall just to listen to these pathetic Westsiders whine about their first world problems.

    This movement to recall council member Bonin is about as real as Justin Purser’s anti-road diet, “Westside Walkers Club,” or as factual as the erroneous flyers being mailed to complete street supporters with bogus return addresses. Sure they have the money. An old delivery truck, some hats and t-shirts, lawn signs, and funds to pay professional signature solicitors. But they don’t have the support necessary to win. Again, Mike Bonin received the most votes of any council member in March, and these people think they can take him out just because of some lines painted on a couple of streets in one corner of the 11th District?!?!?

  • fuzdis

    Not following this closely but my understanding is that government funding is not a limitless pit of money but often restricted in usage (grants come with many strings). It doesn’t seem crazy to say they were waiting for money. (though like most people driving on VdM I do wonder how much all the line painting cost).

  • Joe Linton

    The full phrases I stand by are “foes of road diets” and “courageous advocate for traffic safety.” I for one, am very encouraged that Measure M is going to make L.A. streets safer and better at supporting all modes – and very grateful to Bonin for his courageous leadership on making this happen.

  • Raphe

    Bone-in has wasted a lot of taxpayer money instituting ridiculous changes and then reversing the changes. I have no doubt about his sincerity as well as Donald Trump’s sincerity to make America great again but both are misguided and incompetent.

  • Raphe Pavlick

    Oops spell check spelled bonin’s name incorrectly.

  • D Man

    The 405 widening was not a waste of money. How much has LA’s population increased since they started the widening project? The widening hastened traffic getting worse. It was a success…unless you a a mindless road diet zombie who simply regurgitates what Joe tells you.

  • D Man

    Correct me if I’m wrong but Bonin got 12% of all eligible votes in CD11. This recall is very real. And you are focused only on the road diet issue and not even realizing that every condo owner and apartment owners just had their garbage rates increased by 2-4 times as a result of the new RecycLA program and we are very, very, very pissed about that.

  • Matt

    Traffic on the 405 is worse if anything. All it did was encourage more people to live farther from their jobs and the local streets on the Westside cannot accommodate the extra cars trying to access the freeway. It can take over an hour for someone to go from SM to Westwood on local streets. All the freeway widening was make this worse.

  • D G Spencer Ludgate

    Remember Governor Gray Davis? His recall started because of an increase in registration fees.

  • Ray

    Too bad people aren’t seeing that the real reason for increased congestion is the increasing private parking being built all over. The road diet just has the same affect overnight what normally happens slowly over a few years. At least the road modification is reversible. We’ll never be able to remove all that private parking that has been built.

  • Funny, my spellcheck does no such thing. Was yours written by Beavis and Butthead?

  • More accurately, a resumption of temporarily-suspended registration feeds. And what did they accomplish with their insurrection? Instead of paying for the roads they use, they voted in a celebrity who brought us Prop1B, which raised those funds and saddled us with 30 years of bond debt service, tripling the cost.

    Not exactly the dimwits’ shining hour.

  • KingLeonidas

    Awww so cute that the Angry Manchildren radio know-nothing backlashholes are here to troll!

  • KingLeonidas

    That’s rich consider most of you road diet truthers are all MAGA

  • KingLeonidas

    > 70% of the vote, but keep cherry-picking and distorting.

  • Michael

    Donald Trump got 26% of all eligible votes. I don’t really see your point.

  • Joe Commuter

    How many eligible voters do you expect to vote in a potential recall? And what proportion of votes do you expect to go to the candidate the recall people put forward?

  • calwatch

    While they can probably get a few thousand signatures easily, they’ll need more than that in order to qualify for the ballot. Are they going to knock door to door to get them? Do a mass mailing (which is usually fraught with issues)?

  • D Man

    Actually, my road diet propaganda friend, what caused people to live farther away was the lack of affordable housing. The road diet crowd has yet to prove that the widening make things worse. The best Joey L can do is to cite a study from the 1950s about induced demand.

  • neroden

    It’s pretty easy to prove that freeway widening makes things worse; there are dozens of studies, though we usually only cite the most obvious ones.

    True, the zoning laws also make things much much worse. I assume since you are concerned about the lack of affordable housing, that you support the elimination of single-family zones so that apartment buildings can be built anywhere in LA? Because the zoning laws are the reason there’s a shortage of affordable housing; they artificially constrict supply.

  • Sylvia Aroth

    It’s about time people driving around alone in 4000 pound vehicles are challenged. Whatever we can do to hasten the paradigm shift.

  • Dr Fever

    Poor Ryavec. He always chooses the wrong side of history. His only real contribution to date was negotiating with CM Ruth Galanter’s office to allow a storage company’s takeover of a large Venice parcel on condition that they allocate a portion of the land to a low-income supportive housing project. While that project has quietly thrived for three decades, Ryavec quickly lost interest in community-serving work, choosing to eke out a miserable living as a low-level commercial real estate industry attack dog. His new garage apartment is testament to the hyper-local effects of residual anger.

  • Dr Fever

    How about pursuing real mass transit rather than expecting drivers to commute 30 miles by bicycle?