Traffic! Traffic! Traffic!
The new urbanists who have been running our City's planning department and are the dominant force on the City Council believe we should not be driving cars. Period. Full stop. Maybe we'll all get there, eventually. In the meantime, we spend hours of our time stuck in Santa Monica traffic and I think our traffic planners, if redirected, could help.
There is no excuse for their acceptance of the constant traffic going south on 21st, 23rd, and all adjoining streets each afternoon towards Venice and Playa Vista. The City hasn't used traffic officers, hasn't blocked off alleys. Yes, people speed down those alleys by SMO in order to gain even a small time advantage each afternoon. The City hasn't stationed personnel at Ocean Park and Pico Blvd's, and generally the nightmare that Sunset Park residents live through each weekday is ignored. This is a wellness issue and our City has failed our residents.
Our City narrows traffic lanes in downtown, adds chaos via misplaced bike lanes and allows e-scooter madness everywhere. Yet, these haven't calmed traffic or tempers on any street. We want a walkable, bike friendly downtown filled with free public transportation. Instead, we get a cacophony of noise, cars belching fumes, and a generally inhospitable streetscape. Note that I mentioned free public transportation downtown. We need our residents to easily access our downtown core by public transit at no charge.
Lincoln Blvd has seen 1400 new apartment units rise up in the past 18 months. Combined with the large developments pending (Von's as an example) and the newly constructed buildings that allow for less parking than needed, we are all in for a constant traffic headache on Lincoln Blvd. This Wall of Lincoln Blvd is unfortunate and further growth must be restricted. It is gonna be really difficult to get our "Spicy Godmother's" from Bay Cities now!
It is important to note that I want protected bike lanes in our City and expect the City to promote safe transit options in a unified fashion. That's not what has happened however. Our City's plans constantly seem haphazard and make bike riding and driving in Santa Monica more unsettling. Let us work together to forge a great pedestrian and bicycle plan that will work. Oh, those e-scooters! Their nuisance and safety factors have not been solved. We either have to abandon the e-scooter experiment or organize it into something that works for the residents of the city. Right now, it does not work.