I joined what appears to be many other Santa Monicans in examining the resume of parking consultant Jeffrey Tumlin (“Community groups demand consultant’s job over comment,” Feb. 27). Since I spend a lot of time in San Francisco and am familiar with its issues, I focused on the section called “Key Accomplishments: San Francisco.”
Once past the self-important hyperbole, Mr. Tumlin states that two of his plans together “help accommodate over 10,000 residents without an increase in traffic, largely by making walking more delightful, bicycling safer and transit more efficient and reliable.” Sounds pretty good, no? I heard his same rap before the Planning Commission, describing it as the perfect solution for building Santa Monica 2.0.
And exactly where is this new nirvana? Nowhere. It exists on paper only. He is referring to the Bayview-Hunters Point redevelopment, a projected 20-year process of rebuilding 1,300 acres (over 2 square miles) of a former industrial land pocket in the southeastern corner of the city. Partially occupied by mostly lower-end housing, it is well served by freeways, but future funding for the project is sketchy at best. Candlestick Park (home of the 49ers) is also located there.
Only a consultant would consider his fancy (and expensive) how-to plan as an “accomplishment,” when there are zero tangible results, nor any results-based metrics to judge it on. Based on his blue-sky projections, the city of Santa Monica bows at his feet, and is gambling that millions of square feet of new development are just what we need while already overwhelmed with traffic. What the hell kind of planning is that? Is anyone even considering the disastrous downside if Tumlin’s “accomplishments” are simply wishful thinking? It’s no surprise that private developers continue eating the lunch of our naive politicians.