I have lived on Michigan Avenue and 19th Street for almost 25 years. I am an avid bicyclist and do not own a car. However, I am adamantly opposed to the Santa Monicans for Renters‚Äô Rights-controlled Planning Commission‚Äôs proposal to eliminate all the parking on the north side of Michigan Avenue from 20th Street to Lincoln Boulevard to make a bike lane.
Everyone parking on Michigan Avenue will be forced into parking on the intersecting numbered streets from Ninth to 19th streets and there are not sufficient spaces to accommodate the need. Too, most of the multi-family housing was constructed many decades ago when requirements for on-site parking were far lower than they are now, thus adding to the parking deficit. ¬† The proponents are clearly not protecting the interests of renters.
Planning Commissioner Jim Ries‚Äô suggestion to turn Michigan Avenue into a one-way street and use the space from the former second lane to make bike lanes, while leaving parking on both sides of the street, is a reasonable compromise that meets everyone‚Äôs needs, and I support it.
What really infuriates me about the proposal is a majority of the planning commissioners live north of Wilshire Boulevard. The bike lane on 14th Street ends at Washington. The planning commissioners protected the parking on their streets by not extending the 14th Street bike lanes to San Vicente Boulevard. It is clear the planning commissioners would never propose eliminating all the parking on the east side of 14th Street from Washington Avenue to San Vicente because it would eliminate parking at or near where they live.
It is time to end the disparate treatment of the Pico Neighborhood by the SMRR, north-of-Wilshire elitists.