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In the February edition of Brentwood News, we ran an article about a recent agreement made by Brentwood School and CD11 Councilman Mike Bonin that resulted in the approval of Brentwood School’s expansion plans.

Over the next 30 years Brentwood School will be adding buildings and students.

Some in the area feared this expansion would add to more traffic in the neighborhood of Sunset and Barrington. Everyone agrees the traffic in that area is already hideous.

According to Brentwood School and Mike Bonin, the school’s plans call for a 40 percent reduction in school-related traffic over the next five years.

The initial reduction, in year one, will come in at 12.5 percent.

Lauren Cole, writing as a private citizen, took issue with the agreement. She said if Brentwood School didn’t add all the students it says it is planning to add, then the school could walk away from the traffic reduction agreement.

Is this a real loophole Brentwood School intends to take advantage of or did Lauren simply identify a one tenth of one percent chance of something that could happen – but likely never will?

In this issue, Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, Head of Brentwood School Mike Riera and Jeff Appel, a resident who lives near Brentwood School, have all weighed in. They think Lauren is way off base. “Swift-boating” is how Mike Bonin described it at a recent fundraiser in Brentwood.

If you don’t recall this phrase, it was used to describe what some opponents of John Kerry did when Kerry was running for president against George W. Bush in 2004.

Kerry was a decorated war hero in Vietnam, piloting a swift boat that made quick hit and run attacks on the Viet Cong. Some fellow soldiers who knew Kerry in Vietnam said Kerry really wasn’t much of a hero and didn’t deserve his medals. Many Vietnam veterans were angry with Kerry because, when he got back to the states, he threw away his medals and testified to congress that the Vietnam War was a huge error and that the war should be ended immediately.

Bonin, Riera and Appel’s responses can be found on pages 12, 13 and 14 of this month’s edition. It’s pretty clear Bonin, Riera and Appel believe Brentwood School is making a rather dramatic traffic reduction commitment that the school intends to abide by.

I also know from listening to skeptics that they aren’t nearly as confident a 40 percent reduction in traffic will ever really take place.

Time will tell, but for now, we need to give Brentwood School the benefit of the doubt.

If Brentwood School lives by its commitment, we should thank the school for its leadership in doing something exceedingly proactive here. If the school fails to live up to the commitment, we can all talk about it again at a later time.

Meanwhile, Bonin continues to seek additional solutions to reducing traffic on Sunset. One idea he is floating is a “reversible lane” in the middle of Sunset. During rush hour, the lane in the middle would open up and make it easier for people to get onto the 405. This idea is being studied right now. While I’m no traffic expert, it’s hard to imagine this isn’t a good idea.





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