Friday, February 6, 2009

You, me and the SMDP

My bike advocacy career just went global. OK, so it just went super-duper local, but hey, you have to start somewhere...

Not Another Parking Lot

Regarding the article on Thursday ("Parking puzzle comes together," page 1), I sincerely hope the acquisition of the property on Fifth Street isn't just a chance to build more parking structures. Increasing lanes of traffic and adding parking doesn't reduce congestion, it simply attracts more cars up to the level where that congestion again becomes intolerable.

I imagine a Downtown Santa Monica that is comfortable for non-motorized use, where people interact in green spaces, shop, eat, go to the movies. Instead it's becoming an overheated, congested, car-park where non-car use is secondary (and dangerous).

Let's really think about what we want our city to be, and not address congestion with short-term, uninspired choices. Maybe those parking structures could be spread out, decentralized, and create some pleasant, attractive ways of moving pedestrians into a gorgeous central area.

A beautiful destination is good for our residents and our business community.

I am glad the city is making these purchases, but I hope they are used to make this unique city more attractive, more healthy, more supportive of this vibrant place we call home. Let's not blow this chance to get it right.

Jim Haygood
Sunset Park
February 05, 2009

Yes. We. Can! (Wait, that's already been used...)

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