Councilmember Calls for Needs Assessment and Immediate Action in Wake of Tragedy

LOS ANGELES – At the first City Council meeting since the tragic rampage that claimed the life of a young woman and injured 16 others on the Venice Boardwalk, Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin today introduced a legislative package calling for needed safety upgrades at the boardwalk.

Bonin, who represents the Westside of Los Angeles, including Venice, submitted a motion to the City Council calling for a public safety needs assessment to be completed and for immediate action to be taken to restrict vehicle access to the most hazardous intersections on the boardwalk.  The motion was approved unanimously at today’s Council meeting.

“Hindsight is always 20/20, but this tragedy also affords us a rare opportunity to allow foresight to come into focus,” said Bonin.  “This horrible incident showed vulnerabilities at the boardwalk and we have an obligation to do everything in our power to ensure this sort of tragedy cannot happen again.”

On Saturday, August 3, a driver sped down Ocean Front Walk in Venice, injuring 16 pedestrians and killing a 32-year old woman who was visiting Los Angeles on her honeymoon.  The assault is under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery Homicide Division.

Bonin’s motion specifically asks the LAPD, Los Angeles Fire Department, Department of Recreation and Parks (which manages the Venice Boardwalk), Department of Transportation and the Department of Street Services to examine ways (such as installing barriers and bollards) to restrict non-essential vehicle access at each boardwalk intersection between the southern border of the City of Santa Monica and Venice Boulevard.  According to the LAPD, as many as 15-20 cars accidentally drive on to Ocean Front Walk each day, and restricting non-essential vehicle access would help prevent cars from unintentionally threatening pedestrians on the boardwalk.

The motion additionally requests that the needs assessment consider public safety improvements being requested by the LAPD and LAFD, including the installation of a public address system that will allow first responders to communicate with large crowds during and emergency, as well as video cameras to assist in deterring and investigating criminal activity.

“The first responders from both LAPD and LAFD who reported to the scene on Saturday were simply exceptional,” said Bonin.  “We must give them the tools and resources they need to keep this world-class tourist destination safe.”

Though motions requesting reports typically allow between 60 and 120 days for departments to report back to the Council, Bonin’s motion instructs the relevant departments to complete the Venice Beach Public Safety Needs Assessment within 14 days.

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A copy of the full motion can be found below.